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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Protecting US Citizens Abroad

For John, BLUFGlobal Terrorism, with diverse motivations, is a serious problem.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

On City Life yesterday there was a discussion of the current ISIL practice of beheading Westerners who fall into their hands..  Both Guest Co-Host Linda Bown and Producer John McDonough want to "do something".

From The Huffington Post we have this article by Mr H A Goodman,"Of the 17,891 Deaths from Terrorism Last Year, 19 Were American. Let Iraqis Fight ISIS."  The author suggests that major military action might be disproportionate to the problem, at least from the US point of view.

Over 100,000 deaths are attributed to terrorism worldwide in other countries against other citizens in the past five years, while less than 60 of those deaths are American, so perhaps we're waging a war on terror to protect citizens of other countries?  Terrorism and the ideology that fuels it can't be destroyed by American military interventions and shouldn't be the reason we send our soldiers to counterinsurgency conflicts (with sectarian violence and ever changing political turmoil) that hurt our nation immeasurably.  We owe our soldiers and veterans better, especially since they do the fighting and there's still a VA crisis and an ongoing war in Afghanistan.  President Obama's strategy against ISIS is as short-sighted as Bush's was in getting us into Iraq in the first place.
The writer gives us a cost/benefit analysis.  Is it worth putting at risk tens of thousands of US Military personnel for what is a numerically small number of people?  Ms Linda Bown would have us commit US forces.  The problem with that approach is that it will result in American casualties, and also in the death and injury to a lot of non-ISIL people on the ground in the Middle East, resulting in a active recruiting for ISIL by US actions.

This is not an easy problem.  We have gone to war over this kind of thing in the past, and it has not been a free ride.

Regards  —  Cliff

  And are not ransomed, as some European nations engage in.
  I am not a Special Operator, but my sense of Special Operations actions is that they are well planned and well rehearsed and thus can not be conducted off the cuff.


Cynthia Ann Harlan Krieger said...

We should all note there is a long border with China along the India-Pakistan border, not a road too far from the Levant. Do we want China to be able to assess for themselves the capabilities of our US armaments which have fallen into the ISIS hands when ISIS gets to Pakistan?

For the discussion below see the Supreme Court Case: Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494 (1951) wherein "The Court ruled that Dennis did not have the right under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution to exercise free speech, publication and assembly, if the exercise involved the creation of a plot to overthrow the government" source on 09/24/2014 1328 EST.

This argument to reign in the First Amendment rights will not be a popular one, but I believe it is sorely needed with respect to our successful war against ISIS. This US Supreme Court case should be used to keep the American journalists safe and at home, rather than out in the ISIS backyard sniffing for sensational news to shock the US people into the illegal actions of the US government. Specifically, these journalist's assembly in the Levant, meeting with ISIS leaders taking photos and writing articles sympathetic to the ISIS propaganda agenda and subsequent publication of their articles works to the terrorist's organization's advantage. These publications explicitly and/or implicitly comprise a small piece of ISIS's plot to use the nation's media to overthrow the current US government. This is feasible argument specifically because our government is a democratic one whose rules are made by a congress determined by popular vote via the electoral college.

Additionally, we can strengthen the ISIS members plot to overthrow the government argument by citing its clerics teaching violence to its constituents wherein they call upon their congregation to engage in all manner of revolt against their "muslim oppressive regimes"; these democratic government (possibly Christian nation) to which these Muslim's have freely emigrated…emigrations I might add away from their oppressive countries of origin.

Using this case, I believe that Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court John Marshall Harlan II (in office from 1955-1971) broad sweeping interpretation in 1969 of the First Amendments rights protecting journalists rights to publish basically anything could be amended. I say this as a Harlan myself, though I am not aware of a direct tie to Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court John Marshal Harlan II. A consequence of re-interpretation of the First Amendment's rights could then save these journalists from self-harm of decapitation. Even if the American/European journalists are themselves non-radical muslims, I fear they are at risk. The leadership of ISIS are bullies and are not military in anything other than their own minds.

Anonymous said...

I am troubled by the implicit argument that it is the role of government to protect reporters from themselves. I believe that all of the case law abut excluding people from other places relies not no the concept of protecting them from themselves, but protecting others from their actions. For example, we do not let reporters into ebola isolation wards, lest they infect the public upon emergence. Of course, we could just let them in and keep them there.

the Other cliff said...

I find the implicit argument that it is the proper role of government to protect reporters from themselves. As a general rule, any case where a reporter, or others, are excluded from a geographic area, be it a building or country, is based on the danger the visit would have for others.

While I recognize the argument that the articles the reporters publish could potentially harm our national security, that is the price we must pay to live in a free society.