Two years after war was declared on terrorism, terrorist networks are not only still operating, they're busy plotting their next atrocious acts.
"For the terrorists, it is still business as usual," warns Middle East expert Rachel Ehrenfeld, director of the American Center for Democracy and a consultant to the Pentagon on terrorism.
In her new book, "Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed - and How to Stop It" (Bonus Books), Ehrenfeld notes terrorists need money to pay for recruitment, travel, training camps, weapons, bribes, propaganda, housing, food and day-to-day maintenance expenses.
"The U.S. and other democracies are losing the war due to misdirected efforts," she says. "We have not been effective in shutting down their access to funding."
She provides a road map illustrating the funding of terrorist organizations, particularly Islamic fundamentalists. She places some blame on "political corruption," but says illegal drugs are the major source of funding for terrorism.
Ehrenfeld has most recently been consulting with the Defense Department's Threat Reduction Agency.
A bipartisan effort has been launched to remove every member of the Senate and House who voted for the war in Iraq and replace them with committed peace candidates.
The first candidate under the "Congress for Peace" umbrella is Bill Sheurer (pronounced "sure"), who seeks the House seat held by Rep. Philip M. Crane (R-Ill.)
As for additional candidates to fill what would amount to several hundred vacancies in Congress, Sheurer says there are many qualified people who, like himself, have never run for elected office "and are not necessarily political types."
Sheurer, a lawyer, emphasizes that with peace he backs a "strong defense." He just doesn't like the United States sticking its boots in other countries. Two of his children served in the Army and Marines, including tours to Kuwait.
BLEW IN ONE EAR.
You might have read about "The Old Guard" hurricane vigil.
Now, "valiant" members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment are being saluted for their recent act of "patriotism" on Capitol Hill.
"As Hurricane Isabel's winds swept over Arlington National Cemetery, the soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknowns were given - for the first time in history - permission to abandon their posts and seek shelter," observes House Armed Services Committee Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.).
"But that wasn't what was going to happen, and Sgt. Christopher Holmes knew it."
To provide some background, the Army sergeant's guards take turns patrolling the cemetery's Tomb of the Unknowns in hourly shifts - never leaving their post.
John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on Townhall.com and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .
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