Do you have multiple issues around leadership and partnership? If so, read the following, from Making Parnership a Habit, and leverage your bridge-building capacity with a view to partnering with communities, service providers and other stakeholders around these issues.
The bridge-building strategies presented in this case evolved over time as Coalition staff, led by McHugh, experimented with techniques to ensure the commitment of the key actors who would help them achieve their goals. Originally the Coalition’s work revolved around filling an institutional gap in New York to address the needs and rights of local immigrants. A central focus of their work was to help immigrant communities leverage their own power to advocate for themselves. How they have done this has changed over time as the power of immigrant communities has shifted – from a small group of individual leaders with some power to represent their communities to whole communities with substantial power in their own right. The Coalition has flexibly redefined their approach to keep pace with the growing power of these communities.
For example, the Coalition adapted its approach to governance internally, by shuffling the power dynamics within its own board so that large service providers who once carried the leading voice of the Coalition began to share power and leadership with the smaller, grassroots organizations. It has also developed successful strategies for engaging a diverse group of stakeholders external to the organization, such as, a wide array of service providers for which immigration issues were not central concerns, and hospitals, educators, and religious institutions. Sixteen years of successful action have produced a mature organization for which partnership has become a habit. This case describes the story of these significant shifts to illuminate the emergence of collaboration and bridge-building as key leadership tools that have allowed the Coalition to be effective over an extended period of time and on multiple issues that face immigrants.
The Coalition represents, according to McHugh, a new model to leverage the power of immigrant groups. At the core of their success is their determination to involve all members in shaping the agenda and making decisions. They are effective because they help groups who know about a particular issue bring their voices to policy makers in ways that connect their issues with a broader set of issues that affect the immigrant community. The Coalition has created ways to leverage the energy and power of groups for a whole set of issues that members have come to believe are important for all. Because no single issue in itself will always have the power to unite, power over the long run comes from the fact that the issue at hand is framed within this larger set of issues, creating a much more powerful message to policy makers and politicians.
If you understand what any of this tissue of issues means, I have a bridge to sell you. It's as well that the author's bridge is metaphorical, as he obviously hasn't hit any nails on the head for quite a while.
So far, we have concentrated on American pop-singers, but our list would not be complete without recognizing one of the greatest British performers to grace stage and screen in America. In addition to being a wonderful singer, appearing in several major musicals in the 1950s and 60s including My Fair Lady, Camelot, Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews was also a very good dramatic actress (see The Americanization of Emily). Here she is in the stage version of My Fair Lady, where the young Miss Andrews took Broadway by storm in 1956.
KANO, Nigeria — Three days of Muslim-Christian clashes in the Nigerian city of Jos have left around 300 people dead, clerics and a paramedic said Tuesday, as troops were deployed to control the unrest.
Authorities placed the central city under a 24-hour curfew amid reports of continuing armed clashes, with terrified residents saying they could hear gunshots and smoke was billowing from parts of the Plateau State capital.
Nigeria's Vice President Goodluck Jonathan sent in troops and ordered security chiefs to "proceed to Jos immediately to assess the situation and advise on further steps," his office said.
All flights to the city were suspended, aviation sources said.
Leaders of both sides and a paramedic issued death tolls that put the number of dead in fighting, which erupted Sunday in a mainly Christian area and spread, at nearly 300 but there was no official confirmation.
The clashes were sparked by a dispute over the building of a mosque, residents said.
"As at yesterday I had 50 dead," the secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Reverend Chung Dabo, told AFP. Another 15 people were killed on Tuesday in the neighbouring town of Bukuru, he said.
Muslim leader Balarabe Dawud said 192 bodies were brought to the city's central mosque on Tuesday. On Monday he gave a death toll of 26.
Dawud, head of the mosque, said at least 800 people had been wounded, 90 of whom had been taken to military hospitals with serious injuries.
The mosque had run out of medical supplies, he said. "Even neighbourhood private clinics are full with the injured."
Mosque employee Mohammed Shittu told AFP "the mosque is full with the injured and the dead."
Clashes in Bukuru on Tuesday left another five people dead, according to Maryam Mohammed, a paramedic working at the clinic there.
"As I am speaking to you now, fighting is ongoing although soldiers have been deployed. So far we have 50 injured and now five dead," she told AFP.
The Red Cross said more than 100 people were seriously injured and around 3,000 people had been displaced.
Announcing the extension of a weekend curfew, state information commissioner Gregory Yenlong told AFP: "All residents are hereby directed to stay indoors as security agents work towards restoring peace."
Christian resident David Maiyaki said the clashes had gone on despite the curfew.
"We woke up to new fighting this morning. As I am talking to you we are indoors, but there is burning and gunshots all around us," he told AFP by phone.
"From here I can hear gunshots and see burning buildings from a neighbourhood in the northern part of the city," said another resident, Ibrahim Mudi. "It seems that Jos north is completely on fire," he said.
Sunday's fighting had been confined to the predominantly Christian Nassarawa Gwon area but spread, the army said.
Jos, situated between the Muslim-dominated north and the Christian south, has in recent years been a hotbed of religious violence in Nigeria, whose 150 million people are divided almost equally between followers of the two faiths.
The vice president slammed the lastest outburst of violence and said the government was "determined find a permanent solution to the Jos crisis," his office said.
"This is one crisis too many and the Federal Government finds it most unacceptable, retrogressive and capable of further sundering the bonds of unity in our country," it said in a statement.
Jonathan met with his security chiefs to review situation, it said, adding: "They are also to put in place comprehensive security strategies to ensure that these constant eruptions do not happen again."
In November 2008, hundreds of people were killed in two days of fighting in Jos triggered by a rumour that a mainly Muslim party had lost a local election to a Christian-dominated party.
At least 800 people were killed in nearby Borno State last July when security forces put down an insurrection by a Muslim fundamentalist sect.
In December, around 70 were killed in clashes between security forces and members of another radical sect in Bauchi State.
James Cameron's $1 billion epic Avatar is to be banned from being screened in China because the country’s sensors believe the Hollywood blockbuster’s plot will lead to civil unrest, according to reports. . . Chinese sensors are reportedly worried the film’s plot, which has been hit by accusations of racism, could lead to civil unrest in the country when it was due to premiere later this month.
Perhaps they sensed trouble afoot. I sense deeper malaise in the sub edit office.
Kenya - Muslim Youth Group Denied Licence to Demonstrate
From All Africa
Police in Mombasa on Monday turned down an application by a group of youths to hold a peaceful demonstration on Friday over the detention of Jamaican cleric Sheikh Abdallah Ibrahim Al-Faisal.
Mombasa Muslim Youth said that the protesters intended to march from two different venues and present their memorandum to Coast Provincial Commissioner Mr Earnest Munyi.
Shortly after Central police station O.C.S rejected their application to hold the demonstration, one of the youth leaders, Sheikh Abu Qatada addressed reporters outside the station and dismissed the police action saying the call for protest is within the rule of law.
"We come here to inform them(police)of our planned demonstration and being citizens of this country, we have our constitutional right to do so without any interference," he added.
When contacted Mombasa OCPD Mr Tom Odero said "No comment from OCPD... I don't mean the demonstration will not be allowed. Just say so," .
According to the organisers, one group of protesters will march from Tononoka playing ground and join the second group converged at Makadara ground before building huge peaceful protesters toward PC's offices located at Uhuru Na Kazi building along State House Road.
Another official with Mombasa Muslim Youth, Sheikh Abubakar Ahmed accused Internal security minister George Saitoti over his claims that members of Somalia Muslim fighters, Al-Shabaab infiltrated last week's chaotic demonstration in Nairobi where two people lost their lives.
Sheikh Ahmed also claimed that police were giving false information on number of deaths during the Friday riots saying they were more.
He said the government has violated human rights of Sheikh Al-Faisal for holding him incommunicado for more than two weeks.
Mombasa Muslim Youth also defied calls to suspend their demonstration and accused senior clerics who are against their planned demonstration saying they have no faith in them. Elsewhere in All Africa Harakat Al-shabab Mujahideen officials have Sunday held press conference in the Somali capital Mogadishu and hailed the demonstrations organized by the Islamists in Kenya and against a clerics detained in Kenya, just a day after the Kenyan government said that Al-shabab was involved the riot.
Sheik Ali Mohamud Raghe (Sheik Ali Dere), the spokesman of Harakat Al-shabab Mujahideen talked more different sides in the press conference saying that they greatly welcomed the protest happened in Kenya on Friday adding that it was organized by the Muslims in Kenya who infuriated the arrest of Jamaican Muslim who was jailed in Nairobi recently.
"We welcome and welcome the feelings of the Muslims in Kenya who got angry the arrest of their brother who was aggressively detained by the troops of Kenya. We are very sorry for brutal actions against the Muslim people in that country. It is baseless propaganda the statement of Kenyan government that Al-shabab involved the demonstration," said Sheik Ali Dere.
With that level of encouragement they are involved, if only through their moral support. Meanwhile the Sunday Standard of Botswana reflects on the behaviour that got al Faisal deported from that country earlier. Abdullah al-Faisal, the Muslim cleric who was deported from Botswana on suspicions that he was recruiting young Batswana to become suicide bombers, met with officials from the South African and Nigerian High Commission and the Botswana Muslim Association during his stay in the country.
Sunday Standard investigations have revealed that two young Batswana who are known to this paper are currently under surveillance by law enforcement agencies after evidence emerged to the effect that they were at some point under the tutelage of al-Faisal. Apparently he trained them to become suicide bombers and also used them to recruit young Batswana to become terrorists targeting the South Africa2010 World Cup.
The chairman of Botswana Muslim Association Satar Dada has confirmed that they met with al-Faisal during his stay in Botswana. He explained that al-Faisal wanted the Muslim association to employ him as a religious lecturer. However, he said, the association could not offer him a job.
Dada reiterated the Muslim Association’s commitment to upholding the security and laws of Botswana, saying that they strongly support the deportation of anyone who might pose a security threat to the country.
al-Faisal was declared a prohibited immigrant after the South African authorities refused to grant him entry into the country from Botswana. When he tried to return to Botswana, he was immediately declared a prohibited immigrant and escorted to Ramokgwebane border post, at which point he said he wanted to go to Tanzania.
While he was in Botswana, al-Faisal had the opportunity to make public lectures at the University of Botswana. He also conducted another lecture at Boipuso Hall, in Gaborone and visited Molepolole and Lentsweletau. Security agents also revealed that al-Faisal had also wanted to establish a youth development facility, which he would employ as a pretext to train Batswana to become suicide bombers.
Muslim Converts Who Are Leaving France To Avoid Having To Compromise (In French)
LE MONDE | 19.01.10
oussa, prénom musulman d'un Français converti à l'islam depuis huit ans, ne pouvait s'accommoder de l'islam "modéré" qui prévaut selon lui en France. Formé dans le génie civil, le jeune homme de 25 ans a pensé un temps s'installer en Egypte pour y apprendre l'arabe et le Coran. Puis, "malgré un niveau d'anglais plutôt moyen", il a cherché du travail dans un pays du Golfe, afin de pouvoir pratiquer sa religion "de la meilleure façon". Il vit aujourd'hui dans les Emirats arabes unis avec sa femme franco-portugaise, également convertie. Et n'envisage pas de revenir en France : "Trop difficile", estime-t-il. Même s'il lui manque, dans l'ordre, "sa famille et le pain".
Comme en écho à certaines positions défendues lors du débat sur l'identité nationale, qui a prospéré ces dernières semaines, Moussa est de ces musulmans français qui considèrent que "la France et l'islam sont incompatibles". Tous ne franchissent pas le pas comme lui. Le phénomène, que les chercheurs ne se risquent pas à chiffrer, demeure d'ailleurs marginal dans la communauté musulmane. Mais, le mythe de la "hijrah", l'installation en pays musulman, parcourt de manière insistante les salles de prière et les mosquées de France.
Sans comparaison avec le "retour au pays" idéalisé par les populations immigrées de la première génération, ce nouvel horizon, popularisé par les tenants du salafisme, un courant rigoriste de l'islam, traverse des populations, dont les "origines" sont lointaines ou inexistantes dans les pays rêvés. Une pratique orthodoxe de la religion musulmane ajoutée aux discriminations réelles ou ressenties dans la vie professionnelle et sociale constitue les moteurs de ces expatriations d'un nouveau genre.
L'imam de Bordeaux, Tareq Oubrou, confirme cette tendance, tout au moins dans le discours : "Les jeunes des nouvelles générations envisagent la hijrah pour trouver du travail et pratiquer l'islam de manière visible tout en passant inaperçus. Certains vivent en effet leur religiosité en France avec douleur à cause du climat médiatique et sociétal."
Le cas de Moussa est symptomatique de ce déracinement volontaire. Tenant d'un islam rigoriste, le jeune homme arbore depuis sa conversion une barbe longue et fournie mais récuse le qualificatif de "salafiste". "Pour moi, l'islam est unique et il n'y a pas un islam plus "rigoriste" qu'un autre", insiste-t-il, dénonçant toutefois l'islam "du juste milieu" qui, en Europe, autorise les musulmans à adapter une partie de leurs pratiques au contexte socioculturel dans lequel ils vivent.
Plutôt que de devoir en rabattre sur ses nouvelles pratiques religieuses, embrassées l'année du bac à la suite de la conversion de son frère aîné, le jeune homme, originaire de la région lyonnaise, a donc préféré l'exil. Pour lui, qui souhaite prier cinq fois par jour aux horaires réglementaires, le contexte professionnel français était inadapté. "Je n'en veux pas à la société française, mais quand même ! Les entreprises refusent d'accorder une pause de cinq minutes aux musulmans pour prier alors qu'elles autorisent les pauses cigarettes !", regrette le jeune homme, qui, malgré des expériences professionnelles plutôt satisfaisantes en France, assure aussi que certains emplois lui ont été fermés du fait de sa religion. "Certains patrons craignaient que le jeûne du ramadan me rende moins efficace un mois par an."
Revendiquant un islam "ouvert", Khaled confirme en partie ces difficultés. Longtemps, il a prié "en cachette dans un bureau vide et pas forcément à la bonne heure". Aujourd'hui, chaque fois que résonne l'appel à la prière, il prend cinq minutes pour se rendre à la salle de prière située dans son entreprise. Un soulagement pour ce jeune cadre en informatique de 31 ans, installé depuis deux ans à Dubaï.
Originaire de Lille, Khaled reconnaît qu'il est parti dans le Golfe "pour des raisons professionnelles ", mais qu'il hésite à rentrer en France "pour des raisons religieuses". "Le retour en France serait difficile, estime-t-il, car la France a un problème avec l'islam. Ce n'est pas totalement négatif car cela prouve qu'il y a une prise de conscience du peuple français. Mais les débats actuels prouvent que nous sommes encore loin du compte." Pour lui, "l'histoire du voile intégral est un exemple de cette crise ; cette pratique est très marginale, il n'y a pas à légiférer sur ce sujet. La réalité est qu'il est difficile pour un Français d'origine maghrébine de s'intégrer, y compris professionnellement". Malgré tout, il sait qu'il rentrera un jour en France. "Simplement parce que je suis français et que ma famille y vit !"
Ce "climat" incite aussi Meriem (prénom d'emprunt d'une catholique convertie en 1997) et son mari Abdellak, installés dans le sud de la France, à faire le grand saut l'été prochain. Le couple et ses trois filles partiront vivre en Algérie, pays d'origine d'Abdellak. S'il défend l'envie d'un "retour aux sources" et la conviction que "les opportunités professionnelles se trouvent aujourd'hui dans les pays du Sud", cet informaticien de 46 ans justifie aussi son prochain départ par "la pression et la suspicion qui pèsent sur les musulmans" en France. "Je n'en ai pas personnellement souffert, reconnaît-il, mais je le sens dans les discours politiques et dans les médias.""Les musulmans se sentent humiliés en permanence. Je ne veux pas que mes filles vivent dans ce contexte."
L'installation en Algérie convient aussi à sa femme, mal à l'aise dans sa pratique religieuse. Venue par étapes à la religion musulmane, cette mère de famille, qui travaille dans un service public, aimerait aujourd'hui porter le voile. Impossible au travail et difficile dans la vie de tous les jours, où elle avoue avoir du mal à se "défaire du regard des gens et de sa famille". "Cela me manque, car c'est un acte de foi. En Algérie, je le porterai, y compris pour travailler", assure la croyante. "En France, on peut bien vivre son islam, concède-t-elle, à condition de ne pas trop demander." Elle déplore qu'une femme voilée ne puisse pas travailler et que ses filles ne puissent pas manger de viande halal à la cantine.
Dans ce contexte, certains musulmans regardent avec envie les pays anglo-saxons, qui constituent parfois une première étape avant un départ en terre d'islam. Après un an et demi de stage en Angleterre, Samy B. en est revenu enthousiaste. "Tout le monde pratiquait sa religion sans problème, il y avait une mosquée sur le campus, personne ne s'étonnait de voir un homme avec une barbe un peu longue... En France, on parle de liberté religieuse mais j'ai l'impression que la laïcité est mal comprise." D'origine tunisienne, ce Parisien pur jus a fini par s'agacer de chômer le lundi de Pentecôte et de travailler le jour de l'Aïd (fête du sacrifice) ou de ne pouvoir s'absenter pour la prière du vendredi. Puis a de plus en plus mal supporté l'ambiance "la France tu l'aimes ou tu la quittes".
Faute de pouvoir changer "la mentalité des manageurs et des Français", il a cherché du travail dans le Golfe. En France, jure-t-il, malgré son DEA et son diplôme d'ingénieur, il lui aurait fallu quinze ans pour obtenir les responsabilités qu'il a acquises en quelques années à Dubaï.
A cette accélération de carrière s'est ajouté un épanouissement spirituel. "Aujourd'hui, je ne me cache plus pour vivre et pratiquer ma religion, ce qui me permet de mieux avancer à tous les niveaux." Lui n'a pas renoncé à revenir, notamment lorsque ses futurs enfants seront scolarisés. "Et puis, le Vélib et le métro me manquent", assure-t-il en riant.
Ces parcours mûrement réfléchis et plutôt réussis ne doivent pas cacher la réalité de la hijrah, qui demeure inaccessible pour la plupart des candidats au départ. L'installation en pays musulman suppose, comme toute expatriation, de pouvoir monnayer son potentiel. "Si on veut travailler dans les Emirats, mieux vaut être diplômé et parler anglais", rappelle Khaled, qui avoue maîtriser davantage l'anglais que l'arabe. "Ce n'est pas parce que je suis musulman que l'on m'a laissé entrer. Ici, il n'y a pas de passe-droit pour les musulmans, les visas sont professionnels." Pour les non-diplômés, la concurrence avec la main-d'oeuvre asiatique est féroce.
D'autres pays, comme l'Arabie saoudite, l'Egypte, la Syrie ou le Yémen attirent aussi les convoitises. Davantage choisis par ceux des musulmans qui souhaitent approfondir leur connaissance de l'islam et de la langue arabe, ces pays délivrent un visa étudiant. Mais ces visas ne sont pas renouvelés indéfiniment et, malgré le coût de la vie peu élevé, les contraintes économiques finissent par s'imposer et accélèrent les retours. "Les expatriés rentrent au bout de quelques années. Ils se rendent compte que la France est un pays libre avec des avantages sociaux non négligeables !", commente M. Oubrou. Ces exils avortés sont connus de la communauté musulmane, mais rares sont ceux qui acceptent d'en parler.
Autre obstacle : les gouvernements des pays concernés ne voient pas toujours d'un bon oeil l'arrivée de musulmans pieux, susceptibles de verser dans le radicalisme ou l'islamisme. "Dans la banlieue du Caire, des Français musulmans sont montrés du doigt par les Egyptiens qui les trouvent trop radicaux dans leurs pratiques", explique le chercheur Franck Frégosi. Une suspicion que l'on observe aussi de la part des gouvernements dans les "pays d'origine". "Je n'aurais pas voulu m'installer en Tunisie, où l'on surveille de près ceux qui fréquentent assidûment la mosquée", témoigne Samy.
Le cas du Franco-Algérien Ould Aïssa Charef illustre la sensibilité de cette question. Installé en Arabie saoudite en 2001 pour approfondir ses connaissances de l'islam à l'université du roi Abdel Aziz, il a été détenu un an dans une prison saoudienne. Soupçonné de "terrorisme", il a été libéré en novembre 2009 sans qu'aucune charge ait été retenue contre lui.
All contributions are well worth reading, although I wish Daniel Pipes would drop the "Islamism" nonsense, but Mark Steyn's light touch makes his the most quotable. The emphasis is mine:
Acouple of years back, the novelist Martin Amis went to see Tony Blair and brought up the European demographic scenarios of my book. When the British Prime Minister got together with Continental leaders, Mr Amis wondered, was this topic part of “the European conversation”? Mr Blair replied, with disarming honesty, “It’s a subterranean conversation.” “We know what that means,” wrote Amis. “The ethos of relativism finds the demographic question so saturated in revulsions that it is rendered undiscussable.”
Geert Wilders is on trial for wanting to discuss it. The European political class will not permit this — even though what is “undiscussable” in polite society is a statement of the numbingly obvious if you stroll through Amsterdam and Rotterdam, not to mention Antwerp, Clichy-sous-Bois, Malmo, or any old Yorkshire mill town. The Dutch establishment is effectively daring the citizenry: “Who ya gonna believe — the state-enforced multicultural illusions or your lyin’ eyes?” Lest you be tempted to call their bluff, the enforcers are determined to make the price of dissent too high.
In the Low Countries, a pattern is discernible. Whenever politicians seek to move the conversation from the “subterranean” to the surface, they are either banned (Begium’s Vlaams Blok), forced into exile (Aayan Hirsi Ali) or killed (Pym Fortuyn). Given that the court provided greater security to Theo van Gogh’s killer than to Mr Wilders, you might almost get the impression that the authorities are indifferent as to which of these fates consumes him.
Behind this disgraceful prosecution lies a simple truth that the Dutch establishment cannot tell its people — that, unless something changes, their nation will become more and more Muslim and, very soon, slip past the point of no return. They understand the tensions between their ever more assertive Muslim population and an aging “native” working class, but they believe that the problem can be managed by placing “the European conversation” — the non-subterranean conversation — within ever narrower constraints, and criminalizing any opinions outside those bounds. Some of them are blinkered and stupid enough to think that they need to do this in order to save the tolerant multicultural society from “right wingers” like Wilders. In fact, all they are doing is hastening the rate at which their society will be delivered into the hands of the avowedly intolerant and unicultural. In its death throes, Eutopia has decided to smash the lights of liberty.
In the emboldened part, Steyn makes so bold as to half-quote Hugh Fitzgerald. Well, all the best people do, as he's not half right.
U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington D.C., 14 Jan 2010
As President Obama completes his first year in office, security experts give him high marks for sticking to American values and trying to win the hearts of Muslims while taking steps to avert terrorist attacks. But they also say the U.S. must not wait to fix a weakness until after it is exposed by an attack.
"While passions and politics can often obscure the hard work before us, let's be clear about what this moment demands, we are at war," President Obama said.
And that war is against the kind of terrorism that authorities say a Nigerian man attempted when he allegedly tried to bomb a US airliner bound for Detroit on Christmas Day [December 25]. President Obama promised to use "every element of national power" to keep Americans safe.
Some security experts say that President Obama avoids comparing the war on terrorism to conventional war between nations, but he has taken several steps to contain the threat.
Clark Irwin is with the Aspen Institute:
"People don't realize that President Obama has really intensified the effort to go after al-Qaida central in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The drone strikes have really intensified under his tenure. He famously, after much deliberation, is increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan," Irwin said.
President Obama is doing something that his predecessor did not do, says Irwin.
"The struggle for the hearts and minds of the Muslim community here in the U.S. and around the world," Irwin said.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney accuses Mr. Obama of pretending not to be at war with terrorist organizations. But Jacob Shapiro at Princeton University says the use of the word "war" actually helps the terror groups.
"It plays into the narrative that they are trying to construct for the population they are appealing to of this ragged band of brave individuals fighting the mighty power that is oppressing their society. And it also helps their efforts to create fear and anxiety in our population," Shapiro said.
Paul Pillar at Georgetown University says if it is not war, then the Obama administration needs to spell out the exact nature of the struggle. The former CIA veteran says there should be an open debate about what price Americans are willing to pay for security against terrorism.
"It might be privacy, it might be personal liberty, it might be the convenience of the traveling public. It might be monetary cost, it might be cost in blood and treasure for military operations overseas, as in Afghanistan," Pillar said.
Michael German of the American Civil Liberities Union says the American public does not fully understand what is at stake in the war against terrorism.
"I think that is something that this administration needs to address immediately, and it is already a year behind," German said.
But he says the Obama administration should get credit for not giving up on American values while fighting against terrorists.
"Our policies and procedures do express American values - tolerance, transparency, respect for rule of law and due process. Those things will ultimately keep us stronger and protect us better than any sort of effort to stomp out who we perceive as the bad guys," German said.
Clark Irwin at the Aspen Institute agrees. But he says the recent failed airplane bomb attack makes clear Mr. Obama's administration must do more to combat terrorism. Security officials have to anticipate the next attack.
"One of the things we need to start doing is to get ahead of the curve by trying to anticipate additional methods that can be used against us and closing the gaps before those gaps are exploited," Irwin said.
Security experts agree that given the number of targets and the infinite ways they can be exploited, security can never be 100 percent. But they say that does not mean the Obama administration can lower its guard and stop working toward achieving that.
And because the democratic party is now so far to the left as to be unrecognizable, tonight's Senate victory for Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts is a good thing. It's not your father's Democratic Party.