THE COUNTER PUNCH
Bostonians, as New Yorkers before them, will no doubt evince the right American response to the cowardly act of terror, denying victory to those who would seek gain.
As the courageous Brits demonstrated during the blitz of World War II when nightly bombs killed thousands, life must go on as normal. Refusing to cede liberty or freedom is the democratic response of defiance.
A premeditated violence against civilians by clandestine means is the tool of those we loosely call terrorists, either foreign or domestic. I have written and argued these acts are a continuum of guerrilla warfare. Though Mao and Che are the best known practitioners of our age, guerrilla warfare's great proponent was Sun Tzu, in the Art of War.
An objective of the tactics of guerrilla war, and I include terrorist bombing, is to create a crisis in the population. What the warrior or terrorist hopes for is a forced over- reaction, a compromising of the feeling of security, a lack of trust in the capability of the government. In short a paranoia and fear.
As nightly bombs fell on London, the English went on with their lives, even conducting theatre, dinners and social life, albeit with blackouts and air raid shelters. New Yorkers responded to both World Trade Center bombings with getting on with life, even while mourning. The Bostonians I know are tough and I trust their getting even includes not budging an inch on life as normal.
There will be a natural call by some to fight back with measures that further erode individual liberties by surveillance, control, intrusion and other "security measures." We need to be extraordinarily careful to examine any such idea with a cool eye and diligent scrutiny. I am one who believes the Patriot Act response to 9/11 went too far. I understand that it has given intelligence, security and law enforcement a greater tool set. I have friends and contacts in that community and I know the challenge of the work they face and their need to gather and analyze, but it is still a delicate balance. Each time we cede a bit of freedom, as an aftermath to an attack, we give ground, a small victory, to those who attacked us.
I trust that Boston's famed "in your face and up yours" toughness will lead and guide how we counter punch.
By the way, I have given away many copies of the Art of War. I always had a copy on my desk. It was surprising and even amusing the conversations that would ensue.
THE PRIZE AND THE PURSUITOur raised bed lettuce crop has been especially bountiful this spring.
So, naturally, the ridge line marauders have been lustful.
The fence has kept them out and assigned to working theample open acreage. Still they edge near the tomato
shelter and a lower raised bed out side the defended perimeter.
Despite the rain deficit, the slopes remain green with plenty of "deer food." On the higher slopes directly opposite, cattle are being well grazed.
See you down the trail.