Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

We Are Winning the War, so Says the New York Times?

Never mind the fact that they are a day late and a dollar short. The fact remains that the New York Times, of all media outlets, is now admitting that we are, in fact, winning this war:

The deadliest terrorist networks in Southeast Asia have suffered significant setbacks in the past three years, weakened by aggressive policing, improved intelligence, enhanced military operations and an erosion of public support, government officials and counterterrorism specialists say.

Three years after the region’s last major strike — the attacks on three restaurants in Bali that killed three suicide bombers and 19 other people — American and Asian intelligence analysts say financial and logistical support from Al Qaeda to other groups in the region has long dried up, and the most lethal are scrambling for survival.

In Indonesia, since 2005 authorities have arrested more than 200 members of Jemaah Islamiyah, an Islamic group with ties to Al Qaeda. In the Philippines, an American-backed military campaign has the Abu Sayyaf Group, an Islamic extremist organization with links to Jemaah Islamiyah, clinging to footholds in the jungles of a handful of southern islands, officials said.

Indonesia and the Philippines, which have faced the most serious terrorist threat in the region, have taken sharply different approaches to combat it. Each has achieved some success, offering lessons to American and allied counterterrorism efforts worldwide. But there are worrisome signs that the threat could rebound quickly. ...

“The governments out here take it very seriously and, in my opinion, seem to be doing a very good job individually and working together to deal with that terrorist threat,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, a former director of central intelligence, told reporters on June 1 at a regional security conference here.

Senior American intelligence officials began noting progress earlier this year.
“Southeast Asia continues to be a concern, although not nearly that which we might have envisioned two or three years ago,” Michael E. Leiter, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said in a speech in Washington in February.

The United States and Australia, in particular, have played major roles in helping Southeast Asian countries combat terrorist threats in the region.

More than 500 American personnel, including experts from the military Special Operations Forces, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Agency for International Development, are training and working with Philippine counterterrorism forces from a base in Zamboanga, a city in Mindanao.

The Pentagon recently awarded the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia a total of $27 million in coastal surveillance stations equipped with special radar, heat-detecting cameras and computers to help disrupt terrorists plying the Sulawesi sea lanes, according to documents sent to Congress. The Philippines also received nearly $6 million in night-vision goggles, body armor, helmets and radios.

In Indonesia, the Australian police provided sophisticated electronic surveillance capabilities that allowed local security forces to locate within days several militants who carried out an even deadlier bombing in Bali in 2002. The Australians are still helping the Indonesian police monitor telephone traffic, and, along with American officials, have helped train Indonesian lawyers, prosecutors and judges.

The Left has constantly complained that our global war is anything but. They accuse the administration of being short-sighted; that is, we took our eyes off the ball in Afghanistan, and invaded a country we had no business being in. To be honest, that is nonsensical, and it is incorrect. We are spread out across the globe in counterterrorism efforts. We were directly involved (air cover) in the Somali/Ethiopian war back in 2006. The fact is that in the African and Asian theaters we are having success because of the offensive tack we have taken, and with governments willing to work with us that is an added bonus.

The media quit covering Iraq when the surge showed signs of success. This was notable because there was not some new gloomy story splashed on the front pages of newspapers, nor did it lead off the news programs and talking head shows daily like it used to. To be fair, they do have their motto in the news: "If it bleeds, it leads." But one would think they would want to continue maintaining coverage of the war. After all, dead terrorists can boost ratings, too.

The point is that we changed up our thinking and our strategies, and it is working. However, we are not using all the tools available to us. FISA reform still has not be carried out by the Congress, and unless something changes, it does not appear that it will be carried out before President Bush leaves office next year. That is unacceptable, in our book, because the NSA's terrorist surveillance program was working to protect this nation. The president needed no warrant for a national security issue. The Left, once again, has made up a lie to make something completely legal an issue and a talking point for their little lemmings.



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