Date: 2006-09-15 09:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fox-uk.livejournal.com
Hmmm. Just because we have branded these people as terrorists is it therefore true that they must be exactly that? The leaders of the groups responsible for the attacks against the West are doing so with very specific goals and a comparatively small pool of resources. Of course they are going to fight assymetrically and that kind of warfare is incredibly hard to counteract. The only way of doing so is by effectively instituting a lockdown.

So our choices are put in place restrictions and react to perceived threats, or ignore it all and hope it goes away. Unfortunately, the international diplomacy stance of the western world regarding such wonderful things as energy supplies and general Middle Eastern policy means that the latter is about as likely as Osama Bin Laden changing his name to Jesus Cohen.

Meanwhile, every twitch by the security forces is broadcast in super-mega-psycho vision by all available news media outlets in a continuous cycle of one-upmanship. This in turn fuels even more panic amongst the populace. And the politians recognise this and turn it to their own nefarious ends. Meanwhile the security services plod along, trying to do their job.

A little more of this, though, and the population will become so desensitised to it all that the governments will have to curb their responses or risk a general backlash. Right now we're still watching with interest but how quickly did people start complaining about the flight restrictions the other week? As a group I think that society can only take so much bullshit before it starts reacting against it.

Still need to watch "The Power Of Nightmares". Maybe my opinion will change after that.

Date: 2006-09-15 10:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gedhrel.livejournal.com
[[[
Of course they are going to fight assymetrically and that kind of warfare is incredibly hard to counteract. The only way of doing so is by effectively instituting a lockdown.
]]]

I have to take issue with this. And so does Schneier in his article. The recent arrests were nothing to do with a "lockdown". They were about intelligence-driven policing. Like the arrests that were happening at the same time that the 90-day extension to police powers was being debated.

[[[
So our choices are put in place restrictions and react to perceived threats, or ignore it all and hope it goes away.
]]]

No. Again, the article makes this point very well. The police are _currently_ using a third way. And it is apparently being successful. (The success rate is hard to measure, of course, because politicians and the media benefit from screaming about each and every arrent and foiled plot, no matter how ridiculous.)

Date: 2006-09-15 10:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gedhrel.livejournal.com
Incidentally having re-read your post I detect irony that I didn't perceive originally - I think we're of the same opinion..?

Date: 2006-09-15 12:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fox-uk.livejournal.com
No idea. Probably. I don't keep track of when I am being ironic, sarcastic or just downright rude. Changes so fast I can't keep up with myself.

Thing about intelligence driven policing is that it is only useful when you have useful and understandable intelligence in the first place. The difficulty right now appears to be that the useful intelligence is out there but sifting through all the dross to pull out that which would make a difference is monstrously difficult. Mistakes happen; false leads are followed and positive leads are ignored. In the former, unsuspecting people get shot in the arse. In the latter, unsuspecting people get blown up on the aircraft/trains they are commuting on. Personally, I'm amazed that tghe boys in blue have any degree of success at all.

Date: 2006-09-15 01:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gedhrel.livejournal.com
Yeah. If only we had 1% of the money being spent on ID cards, just think how many humint people that would pay for.

Date: 2006-09-15 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Intellectually I agree entirely. But - and I hate this - emotionally I was at Paddington the week after the London bombs and there was a stereotypical out-of-place Arab foreign type: shifty, nervous, ratty beard, rucksack. I felt edgy and my eyes flicked to the nearest copper and I'm still furious at the manipulators involved for making me feel that way: I was being a racist twat - albeit just inside my head.

But in the cool atmosphere of the ivory blogosphere, I agree absolutely.

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