Bollards are those 3 ft. tall figures that the 9/11 events positioned around our most important sites. They are barriers in our minds and a concession to the extremists that hate us. Could we not figure out now a defense following 4/16/2013 in Boston and 9/11/2012 in Benghazi?
Opinions – published by The Washington Post.
The invasion of the bollards.
Look at the landscape design of the Capitol gardens and grounds, created by the masterful Frederick Law Olmsted after the Civil War. He envisioned the approach to the dome of democracy as flowing, transparent and open to all. Just as the dialogue of democracy represents all comers as equals in the public square.
Olmsted, the famous Central Park landscape architect, put the terrace and stairs on the West Front of the Capitol to fuse it with its setting. That also expanded the Capitol’s access in an elegant exterior form. Verandas always make a house or building seem more smiling and friendly.
In other words, Olmsted’s message spoke: “Come in! You are part of this place.” The opposite is true now. The bollards don’t beckon and invite you in — as a citizen — to witness the noisy marketplace of ideas and enjoy the grandeur of the Capitol Rotunda art.
Rather, they say: “Keep out!” Along with stumpy bollards, the Capitol police’s heavy presence — backed up by guardhouses and a hazardous material rescue truck — darkens the everyday experience. The Olmsted plan’s lawns and trees have notably diminished since Sept. 11.
The northeast corner of First and Constitution avenues, on the Senate side, used to be an inspiring vista to the Capitol. Now it feels like the edge of a fortress. Nearby, the Supreme Court looks even worse. Bollards clash with the bright white marble stairs to the courthouse door, which is no longer a public entrance.
Then there’s the Treasury and the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, which is closed off to traffic, with bollards working overtime. Such a wide-open street is not as ideal as it seems for creating civic order. On a sunny spring afternoon, about 25 Marines (off-duty) were doing a grueling “Goruck challenge” wearing camouflage. This required one guy to carry another on his back while sweating, grunting and swearing in view of the Treasury statues and tourists.
Little by little, bollards are coarsening our conduct, and soon schoolchildren won’t know America any other way. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombs, it’s clear that bollards would not have stopped the Tsarnaev brothers. As Boston amply demonstrated, the best preparedness comes from quick thinking and coordinated actions by civilians, police, fire and medical personnel.
Washington, meanwhile, may be lulled into a false sense of security with our unsightly bollards.
Jamie Stiehm is a Creators Syndicate columnist.
Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, spoke yesterday, May 10, 2013, during a discussion on counter-terrorism at the UN Security Council.
In his remarks, Ambassador Prosor compared terrorism to a “growth industry,” with a “business development arm” and a “human resources division.”
· “Chapter Seven of the United Nations Charter sets out the Security Council’s powers to maintain peace. There is no greater threat to international stability than those who use fundamentalism to advance their personal ideologies and agendas.
It is time for the international community to unite and put terrorism out of business. The Security Council must further utilize Chapter Seven of the Charter to force terrorist groups to file for Chapter Seven bankruptcy. The failure to do so would be nothing less than moral bankruptcy.”
He also said:
· “We face the frightening possibility that Hezbollah could soon get its hands on Syria’s vast stockpiles of chemical weapons. The threat of game-changing weapons reaching Hezbollah is substantiated by Nasrallah himself, who yesterday said – and one should listen
very carefully – I quote, ‘Syria will give the resistance special weapons it never had before.’ This Council must act today, not tomorrow. We will not allow Hezbollah – and I’d like to emphasize this clearly – to test our resolve,” the Ambassador said.
The relation between the above and a passive defense-that-is-not – is the need to tackle the scourge of extremism in Islamic hatred to everything Western is that passivity does not work. Even those that contend that the West did some terrible things to the Islamic parts of the World in the past, do not have the right to ask for redress by perpetuating indiscriminate killings now.