cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
We learned a few days ago that President Obama had adopted the approach that former-President Bill Clinton used when dealing with terrorist activity in our country. Obama indicated that his Administration would no longer use the term "enemy combatant". This was in keeping with his decision, or apparent decision, to close Guantanamo within the next year.
The Clinton Administration always considered any terrorist activity in this country to be simply that of criminals and that our legal system was capable of dealing with these people. We watched that play out with the first World Trade Center bombings in the early-1990s. People were arrested and they were sentenced to serve time in prison for the "crime" committed.
What was missed, however, was the fact that we were involved in a war, and not just the commission of crimes on our soil. The word "war" helps us to focus our energies unlike the word "crime" does. We begin to viscerally understand what it means if we work to protect ourselves from war-like acts on our soil or our persons. We are exposed to crime of one sort or another on a virtually daily basis. But the bombing of the Trade Center towers the first time should've awakened us to the fact that we were then at war with an enemy that had yet to be properly defined. We wasted nearly a decade that could've been used to infiltrate those cells and to flesh out the nature of the enemy. We paid the price on September 11th.
Now, we have officially decided to ignore the fact that we have enemy agents within our borders. We only have criminals inside our borders.
There is a whole different context involved. We are too comfortable with our daily lives to be as alert for crime and criminals as we likely would be for the terrorist enemy and his acts of terrorism. The destruction of the Oklahoma Federal Building was a crime. The destruction of the World Trade towers was a terrorist action. Deaths and rubble resulted from both but they were vastly different situations.
We watched on television as the airplanes circled to come directly into the towers, and we were confused and we were horrified, but we couldn't quite put a face on what we were seeing because we hadn't taught ourselves to be aware that bad people were after us and wanted to end our way of life. Then, we got the idea and most of us were very attuned to the world situation. We had come to understand that we were vulnerable and that we needed to be ever-vigilant in the period of a couple of hours of terrorist actions in our country.
All that understanding is being risked by the "simple" change that occurred when President Obama decided that we no longer were concerned with enemy combatants. Our government is relaxing whether it believes that to be the case or not. Funding changes will occur and terrorist task forces will lose funding while "feel good" programs will receive more money. Our military and intelligence groups will become a bit weaker and a bit less capable.
That began the process of our becoming lackadaisical once again. We'll pay a price for that decision and for our letting down the defensive mechanisms we each had cultivated to one degree or another. We will pay a price...and it will have been unnecessary.