Monday, April 22, 2013

Don't Get Fooled Again

The usual terror hawks have been out in force, explaining why the Boston bombing  means we should continual our perpetual War on Terror. Ignore them. Conor Friedersdorf:
John Yoo thinks this case shows the inadequacy of the law-and-order approach. "How is this a victory for traditional law enforcement?" he asks in an item at the American Enterprise Institute's blog. "Two young brothers, lightly armed, killed several innocent civilians, wounded 170, killed an officer and wounded another, and shut down one of America's great cities. We had a whole city trapped in its homes and paramilitary forces in its streets. Law enforcement alone means the nation lies vulnerable to attacks on soft targets and must expend enormous resources to catch the killers afterwards. A pre-emptive strategy based on intelligence and the use of force overseas seeks to prevent such attacks further from our shores. That option should be preferred by everyone compared to what we've seen in Boston these last five days."

What a slippery rhetorician. Obviously, the United States should preempt terrorist attacks using intelligence when possible. Does anyone disagree? Can anyone deny that we already dedicate significant resources to intelligence gathering? Yoo writes as if that wasn't happening prior to Boston. For years now, we've also been preemptively using force overseas. The drone war waged in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere didn't stop the Tsarnaevs. And it is difficult to imagine any preemptive war that could have stopped two legal residents of the U.S. from attacking their city. Exactly which country would Yoo have had us invade to stop those bombs? But never mind. Yoo has an ideological predisposition to preemptive war. So he implies that it would've made us safer in this case, even though that makes no sense given the facts. It should also be noted that the Tsarnaevs did not shut down a major American city. Boston wasn't shut down by their bombs. The day after the marathon, Bostonians kept calm and carried on.
Let us resolve never to be led by fear of terrorists into another stupid war.

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