President's Speech Nov. 11

After class on Friday, I came back to my room to begin working for the political science department and as I usually do I turned on the news. I saw President Bush discussing the Iraq War and the global fight on terror. It was part of the Veteran's Day festivities I believe. Despite not agreeing with the President most of the time and being very much a member of the opposite party, I always listen when the President speaks. It's just something I feel that we should do.

As I was listening to him speak, he began discussing "networks of terror" and "evil networks." He was saying that those devoted to terror were all connected in one way or another. He went on to discuss the tactics that the United States is implementing to break up such networks. He said that the US has made significant strides in killing and capturing the leaders of these evil networks. He placed heavy emphasis on this. He said that those that are focussed on terror are so focussed due to the leadership of a small number of people.

This was an element that we did not discuss Thursday in class. We discussed the role that networks play, why they exist, if they will continue to exist, etc.., but we did not discuss the hierarchical element within such networks. Who leads such networks? How do they garner support? What specific role do the leaders play? President Bush seems to think that the leaders play a very large role in the success of such "terror networks" and he has made it a priority of the US to seek out and kill such leaders. This is one thing that I can agree with the President on. I believe that leaders are the glue that keep all networks together regardless of whether or not the network is a group of terrorists or a group of Ebay users. There will always be some type of hierarchy within every group that allows the group to run smoothly and efficiently. If such efficiency is not reached, then the members of a network could replace or oust the surrent leadership. The leadership that I am discussing does not have to be formal leadership, it can be a leader that emerges from the cracks that takes on a role that helps to tie up the loose ends of a network.

Perhaps "Linked" will discuss this later on, but for now I would like to open this up to everyone. What do you think about leaders within networks? Do you agree with President Bush or is he underestimating the power of the members of a network? Please share your thoughts.

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Comments

I guess this is where the discussion of hubs come in, and I agree that leaders of networks hold a special place. Perhaps this is where our concept of/need for figureheads come into play. I would ask how the links differ between a queen and a prime minister. Does the actual action of the hub matter, or just the power? Some question whether Osama Bin Laden is still alive. If he dies, he might carry the same power as a hub. unless his death is widely known and publicized. This is definitely an interesting question...

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Posted by: Janice
Posted on: December 3, 2005 01:33 AM

Well the reason why the 'terrorist network' is so powerful, is because, as we stated, it is a network. does bin laden really serve as a hub for al queda? i don't think he can play as active as a role now that he is sequestered away in the caves of afghanistan. i think that there are a large amt of equally powerful, but unknown or undetected hubs. so, can 'fighting' terrorism be achieved? will this network ever be eliminated? it seems like it won't, perhaps negotiations should start coming into the picture.

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