Tags: We're | Still | Flying | Blind

We're Still Flying Blind

Sunday, 03 February 2002 12:00 AM

When President Bush warned of the "Evil Axis" of North Korea, Iraq and Iran, some saw it as a declaration of war.

But the implications of his unusual denunciation of this troika of terrorist nations pose some other possibilities.

By warning these nations, President Bush may have been preparing to hold them accountable for some heinous future act of terrorism against us.

Sept. 11 made it apparent that America was vulnerable to an attack from al-Qaeda and several nations.

Because of America's propensity to reduce and limit conflicts in the aftermath of Vietnam, we could easily have been targeted by any number of nations that could have seized the moment to strike America.

Such a nation might believe it could attack us with impunity, thinking that the U.S. would be unwilling to fight a larger war.

Under this scenario, the current administration would quickly place blame for such an attack on al-Qaeda.

Nations like Iraq and Iran may have good reason to buy into such thinking, as they have seen that the U.S. has been very ambivalent about exposing al-Qaeda's links to countries like Iraq.

The Bush pronouncement about the "Evil Axis" may have been an effort to undercut such thinking among these rogue states.

Our enemies may have perceived, and may still perceive, a window of opportunity to attack the U.S. and not receive the blame.

The great threat is likely not from Osama bin Laden.

It may emanate from the madman in North Korea, who could easily hit America with smallpox, or another one in Cuba, who may decide to strike our water supplies with poison, or the religious fanatics in Iran, who could detonate a small nuclear device in New York.

Clearly, the best way to insure against such an attack on the U.S does not come from war or threats of war, but by our front line of intelligence gathering.

The Bush warning may indicate that our intelligence vis-à-vis these three countries is weak or non-existent. In this light, the Evil Axis warning may be viewed as a subtle sign of weakness.

By putting these three nations on notice, Bush may also have been suggesting that these three terrorist states do not fear the U.S.

By taking the very unusual step of identifying these three nations as the world’s most dangerous regimes and saying that they are linked like an "axis,” Bush may also have been telegraphing countries that they may be held responsible for some future attack, whether they orchestrated it or not.

Of course, this is just conjecture on my part.

But my thinking on this is colored by the fact that I believe the U.S. continues to fly blind in its war against terrorism.

The Clinton-Gore years decimated American's intelligence-gathering efforts. It will take years to recover our spy capabilities.

Unlike the Carter years, during which there were open purges, the Clintons were cleverer.

This week I spoke with a CIA technology expert who left the agency in disgust during the mid-90s.

He told me that many of the best and the brightest saw the P.C. direction the agency was taking and simply left. Those who stayed were weak and impotent.

He believes it will take years for the U.S. to regain the capabilities it had before Bill Clinton took office.

In the interim, there remains a window of opportunity for our adversaries to seize the moment and attack us.

This reason, more than any other, may be the real reason for President Bush's "Evil Axis" declaration.

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When President Bush warned of the Evil Axis of North Korea, Iraq and Iran, some saw it as a declaration of war. But the implications of his unusual denunciation of this troika of terrorist nations pose some other possibilities. By warning these nations, President Bush...
We're,Still,Flying,Blind
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2002-00-03
Sunday, 03 February 2002 12:00 AM
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