Michael Chertoff, secretary of Homeland Security, wrote an editorial today in the Washington Post, criticizing people who “minimize the threat” that terrorists pose to our nation’s safety.
He goes on to say “the impulse to minimize the threat we face is eerily reminiscent of the way America’s leaders played down the Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolutionary fanaticism in the late 1970s. That naive approach ultimately foundered on the kidnapping of our diplomats in Tehran”.
Chertoff concludes by saying “the false comfort of complacency is a dangerous indulgence in the face of a determined enemy”. On a side note, Iraq is only mentioned two times in the article.
Chertoff disagrees with Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security advisor to Jimmy Carter, who says that the administration is hyping up a “war on terror” and also criticizes him for complacency. But in the article in which Brzezinski made those comments, he was certainly not complacent.
Brzezinksi says “the events of 9/11 could have truly resulted in a truly global solidarity against extremism and terrorism. A global alliance of moderates, including Muslim ones, engaged in a deliberate campaign both to extirpate the specific terrorist networks and to terminate the political conflicts that spawn terrorism would have been more productive than a demagogically proclaimed and largely solitary U.S. ‘war on terror’ against ‘Islamo-fascism'”.
Chertoff’s comments are off the mark as he accuses others of being soft on terrorism. Everyone is against terrorism regardless of political party, but methods to solve the problem greatly vary. To continue carrying out a vast array of acts purely in the name of fighting terror further advances the precipitous decline of America’s reputation overseas. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times writes recently that he has “never seen a president and a vice president more disliked in more places than George W. Bush and Dick Cheney”.
In World War I, the Allied Powers triumphed. In World War II, the Allied Powers triumphed. In the Gulf War, the coalition was successful. In Iraq, the U.S. has stumbled.