Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rudy G. and the Law Enforcement Approach to the War on Terror

I'm on my way to the airport this morning, and have been thinking about the conflicting views of the Democrats and the Bush Administration on how to prosecute the War on Terror. Back in 2004, John Kerry described the WoT as a law enforcement operation, and since then, this theme has popped every once in a while in national politics. I've finally realized what bothers me about this. It's not that I object to a law enforcement approach per se, but I'm afraid such an approach as implemented by the current Democratic (and some Republican) leadership would be inflexible and, ultimately, not actually enforced. Living in NYC, I see the results of decent law enforcement every day, which, under Giuliani, included consitently punishing minor crimes like graffiti as well as taking on organized crime. The combination of more police, agressive prosecution of criminals of all types, "Broken Windows" policy, and use of information technology (CompStat) to identify emerging crime trends WORKS. And you know, sometimes it can look like a "war," since it is inherently agressive. Liberals in NYC had the same kinds of problems with Giuliani then as they do with the WoT now. They don't like the aggression, the "our way or the highway" approach to crime and criminals, the clearing out of strip clubs, etc. from bad neigborhoods. They hated it when he stood up for his police department, even when they did some terrible things. They always beg for more "understanding," but it was the law enforcement officials in NYC that understood that playing nice wasn't going to work anymore.

Based on this, I can see what has always impressed me about Rudy Giuliani, even before his heroic performance on and after 9/11. I hope he runs for President in 2008. He'll have my vote. I can live with an agressive, pull-no-punches law enforcement approach to the WoT. In fact, I'm not sure that that isn't exactly what we have now. I hope the Democrats push the "law enforcement" angle over the next two years, in an attempt to back out of the war without trying to win it. Such a redefinition of the WoT would allow Rudy G., or someone like him, to advocate agressive policies, and follow through on them if elected. I think the American people would get on board with someone like that.


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