Practically, this also means lowering standards in criminal areas. It's one thing to hold a middle-class person accountable for his actions, but we can't expect the same from someone in a different cultural context. John Kerry will fight for such a double standard.
Our government, and this administration in particular, had a war plan but not a peace plan. It isn't enough to merely arrest and charge criminals -- we haven't won the war of hearts and minds. Rogue cops are a real issue, and the chain of command goes all the way to the top. Who hasn't seen pictures of racist police officers beating up criminals? Let's place the blame where it belongs: at the feet of President Bush. Where does the buck stop, Mr. President?
With police officer after police officer going home in coffins (where are the pictures, by the way?), it's time for the president to admit that he planned his campaign against crime badly. It's easy enough to get into the criminal areas and knock heads together, but how will you build a new, more democratic system? We can't use role models from the outside -- that's insulting and imperialistic. And so the gangs keep fighting the police, attempting to protect their territory. Why didn't we plan ahead for this kind of resistance? We should have had more police officers. Maybe we should have held a draft.
Our biggest mistake was not bringing in the international community on this. We have no coalition at all. France and Germany could have taught us about crime-fighting techniques. So could Switzerland and Canada. Even Sudan and Libya could have weighed in. All we had to do was ask, but this president and this administration are far too arrogant for that.
Now, we have to live with the consequences. Our inner cities are becoming a homegrown Vietnam, a new quagmire. The United Nations must have a hand in this. Some nations that might lead the way are Colombia and Brazil, since they already have close contacts with criminal leaders in America. We can rejoin the international community and sacrifice our sovereignty.
Let's get some international forces in there and bring our boys in blue back home.
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