The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

September 5, 2013

We're looking at wrong target on WMDs

Complacency is a state of mind that exists only in retrospective: It has to be shattered before being ascertained. — Vladimir Nabokov

After 9/11, the prevailing view was that “nothing would ever be the same.” The sight of bodies plunging 100 stories from the flaming towers of the World Trade Center seared into our psyches the reality that America has cruel and wanton enemies. The USA Patriot Act, which sought to repair some of the intelligence lapses that permitted the 9/11 attacks to go undiscovered, passed the House by a vote of 357 to 66 and the Senate by 98 to one.

Twelve years is a long time, though, and the best you can say about “things will never be the same” is that it’s a truism. The ordinary human tendency to relax one’s watchfulness creeps back surprisingly quickly — especially when the president of the United States implies that we can unilaterally declare a war “ended” because we’re tired of vigilance and we want to spend money on Obamacare, universal preschool and food stamps.

The Obama administration is flailing on the subject of national security, declaring the war over in one breath and thundering against Syria’s use of chemical weapons in the next. After 12 years of excoriating Mr. Bush for attempting to deal with a tyrant in control of WMDs, Mr. Obama, though calling himself “war-weary,” nonetheless sounded exactly like his predecessor in his frustration with the so-called “international community.”

‘‘My preference obviously would have been that the international community already acted forcefully,” he lamented on Friday. “But what we have seen ... is an incapacity at this point for the Security Council to move forward.”

What caused that “incapacity”? Russia’s willingness to veto any resolution that would impose costs on Syria. Thus does the law professor encounter the real world, in which promising “resets” and “flexibility” to “Vladimir” leads not to international cooperation against evil but to the opposite.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Holly Youngquist Friends of the Library book sale is underway

    Friends of the Library Book Sale is open now. The sale is open to all until 8 p.m. today and on Friday, Aug. 1, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Finally, Saturday, Aug. 2, is box day. From 9 a.m. to  3 p.m., books will sell at $3 per box.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cremation service helped pet owner in her time of need

    I wanted to share some positive news about a business located in Clinton that I’m guessing most residents aren’t aware even exists. It’s Northridge Pet Cremation on Main Avenue and for me they were recently a godsend.

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A Cappella choir concert was a success

    The CHS A Cappella reunion was great. It was real great to hear so many good voices of so many former choir members.

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Time to boost social security

    It's time for Congress to act so that Social Security benefits can finally start to keep pace with the cost of living.

    July 31, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Off and on the record Let us now praise anonymous sources.The new White House press secretary got into a familiar old spat with the White House press corps the other day over the use of anonymous sources.Josh Earnest — has there ever been a more perfectly named White Hous

    July 25, 2014

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • CCC thanks community, collaborators for successful movie night Clinton Community College would like to thank those who participated in the free outdoor movie showing of “Captain America – Winter Soldier” on the evening of Friday, July 18.We are grateful to have such wonderful community collaborators in the Erick

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook