Scoop®

Your Inside View to the Strategies and Activities of the Conservative Movement in Washington

Issue 220 * October 30, 2001

The National Center for Public Policy Research
777 N. Capitol St., NE, Suite 803 * Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 543-4110 * Fax (202) 543-5975
E-Mail: [email protected]
Web: http://www.nationalcenter.org

 

 Contents

Would We feel Better if the Postal Service Ran Airport Security?

America's Priorities, Then and Now

Defending Against the Smaller Threats

There's More to This Than Money

At Least Elian is Safe Now

In the War Against Terrorism, Our Old Friends are Our New Friends

 

Would We feel Better if the Postal Service Ran Airport Security?

In Europe, 85%-90% of airport-security workers are privately employed and the Israelis partially privatized their government-run airport security system in 1996 to improve it. The Federal Aviation Administration refused for five years to issue security regulations in response to congressional demands that it do so. This last, surely, is evidence that leaving security in the hands of a government agency is no guarantee of competence ­­ or even a guarantee of a wholehearted effort to try to be competent.

Fully federalizing airport security would give airports similar management problems as suffered by the U.S. Postal Service, which was sued October 29 by postal unions seeking the closure of letter-sorting facilities in New York and Florida. Should unions and courts have authority over airport security?

(For more on how airport security is structured in Europe and Israel, see "Politicizing Airports," Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2001, available to WSJ subscribers at http://interactive.wsj.com/articles/SB1004305041687705680.htm or read a NCPA summary at http://www.ncpa.org/iss/ter/pd102901c.html.)

America's Priorities, Then and Now

Food for thought: In 1962 the United States government devoted 46.9 percent of its budget to defense. Today that has dropped to 15.1 percent (Source: Heritage Foundation). From 1991 through 2001, inflation-adjusted defense spending declined by 25 percent (from $404 billion to $300 billion). Over the same period, inflation-adjusted non-defense spending rose by 24 percent (Source: National Taxpayer's Union; see http://www.ntu.org/news_room/press_releases/P0109NTUFIB141.php3 ).

Defending Against the Smaller Threats

An observation: Now that America has graphically seen how an airliner can be converted into a murderous flying bomb, we'll be prepared, if need be, to shoot them down. But if an enemy were to send a nuclear missile onto U.S. territory, we'd have no way to shoot it down. In a nationwide Fabrizio-McLaughlin poll taken after the September 11 attacks, The White House Bulletin reports, 55 percent of Americans strongly favored building a national missile defense, 21 percent somewhat favored, 8 percent somewhat opposed and seven percent strongly opposed.

There's More to This Than Money

A good point, courtesy the September 13 Jerusalem Post: "If poverty, corruption, tyranny, suffering, ethnic conflict, and territorial disputes were the sources of terrorism, sub-Saharan Africa would be terror center of the world."

At Least Elian is Safe Now

A passing thought: Had the INS announced last year that Elian Gonzalez could not be sent back to Cuba for at least a few years because the agency was too understaffed to deport aliens without legal visas, the public - at least, the part of the public that wanted Elian sent back - might have demanded INS reforms a year ago. Such an INS action would not have made the Elian issue any less controversial, but at least we would have learned something useful from it.

In the War Against Terrorism, Our Old Friends are Our New Friends

Some Americans make the mistake of thinking that the sudden moderation by the Palestinian leadership represents friendship with the U.S. Not so. Just five days after the attacks in New York and elsewhere, Marwan Bargouti, Yasser Arafat's right-hand man and the head of the Tanzim militia, did not mince words at a rally in Ramallah: "The U.S. is the world's terrorism leader." Three days after that, Hamas spiritual leader Shiek Ahmed Yassin in Gaza City declared that the U.S. is launching an "open battle against Islam." Today, Hezballah is setting up a terrorist training camp in FARC-controlled Colombia, the backdoor to attacking American interests directly. So reports Joe Roche, an adjunct fellow at The National Center for Public Policy Research in "In the War Against Terrorism, Our Old Friends are Our True Friends, available at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA367.html. An American, Roche has a bird's eye view to events in Israel: he began volunteering with the Israeli Defense Force in October 2000 after Israeli soldiers were lynched in Ramallah.

 

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