Friday, July 31, 2009

Random Thoughts

As I watched the Beer Summit last night, I had an overwhelming urge to cry "Open Sesame - Shazam!". I got the feeling that this was some strange ritual being played out for the hoi polloi. Watch the President spread some Community Organizing Pixie Dust on everyone, and we'll all live happily together ever after... and yet, the "agree to disagree" poop came out of the trooper's mouth after the meeting. What is this, agree to disagree on basic constitutional rights? We think we have rights and laws - all applying to all of us, and the trooper disagrees with that?

And then there was the news that within the next few days we (the United States) will be the only remaining segment of teh Coalition of the Willing left in Iraq.

There is a good case to be made that the ultimate goal of getting bin Laden and cutting off al-Qaeda's actually-existing capabilities to project power depend on cleaving apart the bin Ladenist coalition on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border; and that depends on, in part, militarily pressing that coalition to induce state-changes; and that depends on acquiring intelligence from the population preyed upon and passively supporting that coalition's members (a point Biddle, in fairness, made); and that depends on attending to the population's material goals -- security, wealth, access to services. That is a counterinsurgency strategy for a counterterrorism objective. Among the reasons worth supporting that strategy is that not providing for the population stands a great chance of, well, failing in its counterterrorism aims. Why should the population support us, anyway, if we don't give them a reason? (my bolds)

I see the same thing happening here - So many people are getting sick and tired of the police overstepping their mandate to taser and arrest anyone who gives any indication of non-compliance to their stated(or unstated) orders. The police bitch and complain that whole neighborhoods decline to cooperate with their officers. No tips, no information, no heeding the call to support them.

Maybe it's because of their "shutup and comply" attitude when they enter these areas. Maybe it's because the police in general have an ever increasing incidence of violating the rights of those they are charged with protecting and defending.

The US police departments are being supplied with a burgeoning population of ex-military who have served multiple tours in the mideast wars, and who, even if they are not already suffering from PTSD, have an ingrained and practiced disdain for "civilians". With their reflexes on the hair trigger that saved their lives in the war zone, these officers bring the war zone back home to share with all of us.


UPDATE: Ted Rall Agrees

I admit it: I don't like cops. I like the idea of cops. The specific people who actually are cops are the problem. My theory is that cops should be drafted, not recruited. After all, the kind of person who would want to become a police officer is precisely the kind of person who should not be allowed to work as one. But I didn't start out harboring this prejudice. It resulted from dozens of unpleasant interactions with law enforcement.

Race has long been a classic predictor of attitudes toward the police. But high-profile cases of police brutality, coupled with over-the-top security measures taken since 9/11 that targeted whites as well as blacks, have helped bring the races together in their contempt for the police. In 1969, the Harris poll found that only 19 percent of whites thought cops discriminated against African-Americans. Now 54 percent of whites think so.

Don't worry, Professor Gates. We don't care what you said about the cop's mama. A lot of white guys see this thing your way.


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