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Juliette kayyem

Pulling the plug on nation’s security

WELCOME BACK, D.C., it’s good to hear from you. By now, hopefully, you and your neighbors in the mid-Atlantic area are back online after last month’s violent storms left about 3 million people in the dark and, with downed power lines and fallen trees, delayed the restoration of power. Since then, to catch you up, Tom Cruise’s Oprah couch-jumping testament to love was put in a new light when Katie Holmes filed for divorce; CNN’s Anderson Cooper came out of the closet to a worldwide yawn; and the nation celebrated its independence from an unresponsive and monopolistic source of power (and it wasn’t the electric utilities).

The ongoing power outages are an epic failure, however, not only for those who suffer in the heat but for the rest of the nation and the world looking on, aghast. That our capital is in the dark is akin to riots in London or debilitating strikes in Paris. It says something about a nation whose projection of strength is an essential part of its security strategy. There is little national power with no power in the nation’s capital.

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