Fareed Zakaria is commonly referred to as brilliant, but I think his brilliance is principally based in his ability to find the front of a parade and lecture everyone else about their shortcomings in the comfort of retrospection. He has a new article in Newsweak called “What America Has Lost.” The bottom line of the article?
The error this time is more damaging. September 11 was a shock to the American psyche and the American system. As a result, we overreacted.
We overreacted to 9-11. Hmmm.
9-11 was a failure of intelligence, a failure of vigilance. We desperately needed to improve our intelligence gathering, yet Zakaria is critical of the intelligence improvement.
The amount of money spent on intelligence has risen by 250 percent, to $75 billion (and that’s the public number, which is a gross underestimate). That’s more than the rest of the world spends put together.
And? One wonders whether Zakaria has noted that there hasn’t been another successful attack since then. As if Zakaria regards success as a failure.
Five miles southeast of the White House, the largest government site in 50 years is being built—at a cost of $3.4 billion—to house the largest bureaucracy after the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs: the Department of Homeland Security, which has a workforce of 230,000 people.
This is nothing compared to the useless Departments of Energy and Education. The Department of Energy was created to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and we’re more dependent on foreign oil than ever. The Department of Education does- what? It doesn’t educate a single kid and in spite of the $70 billion spent by it every year we still have a “crisis in education.”
I don’t remember any crises in education prior to the establishment of the DOE, and now we have them every year.
But then Zakaria ventures off into self-indulgence land:
And yet no one in Army intelligence noticed that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan had been making a series of strange threats at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he trained.
“We asked him pointedly, ‘Nidal, do you consider Shari’a law to transcend the Constitution of the United States?’ And he said, ‘Yes,’ ” a classmate told TIME on Monday. “We asked him if homicidal bombers were rewarded for their acts with 72 virgins in heaven and he responded, ‘I’ve done the research — yes.’ Those are comments he made in front of the class.” But such statements apparently didn’t trigger an inquiry. “I was astounded and went to multiple faculty and asked why he was even in the Army,” the officer said. “Political correctness squelched any opportunity to confront him.”
Hasan was ignored because he is a Muslim. Because of dhimmitude. Liberal political correctness trumped the security of Americans.
Zakaria then goes on to hawk a book rife with accusations of human rights abuses in New Orleans post-Katrina.
The most chilling aspect of Dave Eggers’s heartbreaking book, Zeitoun, is that the federal government’s fastest and most efficient response to Hurricane Katrina was the creation of a Guantánamo-like prison facility (in days!) in which 1,200 American citizens were summarily detained and denied any of their constitutional rights for months, a suspension of habeas corpus that reads like something out of a Kafka novel.
You’d think that all 1200 were detained at Camp Greyhound for for months, which isn’t true. Camp Greyhound was a cycling center for looters. Let’s go back to a more critical time and look at Camp Greyhound. First, from MSNBC:
The city transformed the Greyhound Bus station into a make-shift jail after the Katrina-triggered flood water made other prisons uninhabitable. It still looks like a regular bus station. But law enforcement officials now bring all alleged criminals to the terminal for detention, known to some as Camp Greyhound. Eventually, they get sent up north for further processing.
One prison guard says the main goal is to get criminals off the streets. “That was not happening because the wonderful police department and FBI and state police would arrest them, but what are they going to do? Carry them around in their car?”
And from USA Today:
Moman, 30, thus became the first arrestee to be held at what the state Department of Corrections has dubbed “Camp Greyhound.” The new jail, which features chain-link holding cells topped by razor wire in what used to be the station’s parking areas, became necessary when the city’s justice complex was flooded. Its opening was among the first signals that authorities were gaining their footing against the looting and violence that plagued New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit.
Thus Zakaria is most “chilled” by the need to re-establish justice, which could not be done without a place to house criminals removed from the streets of New Orleans. Were there abuses? Highly likely. It is unfortunate but hardly unexpected in the aftermath of a such devastation.
While prison officials continue to make due with limited resources, missing criminal records prove more challenging. Three-fourths are underwater. For people who committed lesser crimes, such as speeding, this doesn’t work in their favor.
Until records can be retrieved, everyone in question will be held detained at prisons throughout Louisiana until the can retrieve the documents.
Zakaria never cuts law enforcement any slack during a brutally difficult time. This 20/10 hindsight analysis is so typical of liberals who were screaming about a lack of response to anything. And it only adds to my contempt for Zakaria.
Zakaria is the author of The Post American World, a favorite book of Barack Obama. Zakaria initially supported the Iraqi invasion, but then turned on Bush. He argued for a greater United Nations involvement in Iraq (as though Bush never thought of it) and was opposed to the surge.
While offering a review of Zakaria’s book Snopes provides a bit of amusement in their ongoing defense of Obama, who has been photographed reading Zakaria’s book:
“…it is not about the decline of America, but the rise of everyone else.”
Let’s see- if everyone else zooms by you and you’re left in the dust, that’s not the same as a decline?
Zakaria is the perfect muse for Obama. What America has lost is its common sense.
And Zakaria is a blowhard.