Another resignation

WITH the resignation of Tom Ridge, the Secretary of US Homeland Security — the fourth in line after the Bush re-election — the American establishment is in a state of flux. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and Commerce Secretary Donald Evans have all stepped down in the last few weeks.

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Published: Thu 2 Dec 2004, 11:50 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:12 AM

Apparently, Ridge was stepping down to may more attention to ‘personal matters.’ But that is an oft-quoted reason that comes quite handy in all situations. Ridge had won the total confidence of Bush as he set about restructuring all security arrangements with the intention of making America safer than September 2001. That mission, according to Ridge, has been successful, as America is “significantly stronger and safer than ever before.” There are a lot of sceptics who will question Ridge’s categorical statement — many of them from within the country itself who probably do not feel any safer now than before. Some of them would definitely question how six ‘orange alerts’ in three years can be called ‘safe’.

But in such matters, perception is more important. Most Americans feel secure under Bush, and that is why they voted for him a second time. The American reaction after 9/11 has been to tighten all their plugs and leaks. Unusual times need unusual measures, and in that sense, Bush and his team rose to the expectations of most Americans. So, the series of resignations comes as something of a surprise, which are still being analysed and debated in news programmes. The picture will become clearer soon. What, however, is certain is that for America, homeland security is indeed very important and no compromises can be made on that.

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