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Finite Justice

The other morning, on a Boston talk show, the host joint-broadcast with a talk show from the BBC. They were discussing Guantanamo Bay, and the prison camps there. The BBC presenter (their term) was opposed to the camps, while the American host supported them. The Brits brought on Member of Parliament and odious snake George Galloway, then followed up with a man who had been held at Guantanamo for two years.

This reminded me of Ann Coulter's recent book, and one of the points she brings up -- the tendency of the Left to bring in victims to give their political points credence. The 9/11 widows, in Coulter's most prominent example, use their personal loss to add credibility to their arguments. Coulter says (apparently) that this is done to disarm their critics, to personalize the principles and make a rebuttal an argument a rebuttal of their loss and their victimhood.

I find myself speculating that while Coulter might be on to something, there might be a bigger issue at stake here -- one that is too close for her to see.

The left, over the last few decades, has grown more and more dependent on using the legal process to win their battles. Repeatedly rebuffed through the electoral and legislative systems, they now find their greatest successes when they can persuade one or a few judges to accept their arguments and impose their rulings on the populace. Witness the rise in prominence of advocacy groups like the ACLU, which pour the lion's share of their resources into litigation, not legislation. Or consider how gay marriage came about in Massachusetts, when four of seven justices on a single panel made a decision for an entire state of about 6.3 million people. Or in California, where ballot measures overwhelmingly passed by the people are struck down.

These incidents are symptoms, I believe, of the over-litigation of our society. The court system is seen as the panacea for all ills. Whatever the issue, the best solution is to simply take it to court and get a judge (or panel of judges) to decide.

In this context, the left isn't exploiting the victims' loss for their political gain. They are expert witnesses, people whose credentials on the issue in question are impeccable. Who better to discuss the effects of terrorism than a woman who lost her husband in an attack? Who knows more about how unjust Guantanamo Bay is than someone who was held there?

The problem is that our court system is very ill equipped to deal with such situations as the war on terror.

By design, our legal system is reactive. It is punitive. It most often intervenes after a wrong has been committed, and acts to right it.

But in the war on terror, those are simply futile.

We know the names and identities of the 19 men who carried out the terrorist attacks in 9/11. By the legalistic model, they should be arrested, tried, and upon conviction punished for their deeds. But unfortunately, during the course of the attacks (indeed, as an essential part of the attacks), they placed themselves irrevocably beyond the reach of our legal system. They are literally answering to a higher authority.

Likewise, this mentality has been playing out over the death of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. We found the terrorist leader and dropped a couple of bombs on him. He's dead. End of story.

But not to the supporters of the legalistic model. Why didn't we try to capture/apprehend/arrest him? Were any of those others killed innocents? How long did he live after the bombing? Did we try to give him medical treatment? Did we abuse him and make him suffer more during his last moments of life? Did we beat him? Did we execute him?

I have the same answer to all those questions: I don't care.

Yeah, it might have been nice to catch him, wring him for information, and then quietly, without any fuss, execute him and dump his body in an unmarked grave somewhere. But that didn't happen.

Were any innocents who happened to be in the house also killed? Irrelevant. By international law, combatants have an obligation to keep themselves away from non-combatants. A combatant is always a legitimate target, and to hide among non-combatants is strictly forbidden. If they do so and any harm befalls the innocents, then the blame falls squarely on the target's shoulders. And in this case, Zarqawi is already dead, so it doesn't really matter.

Further, capturing someone is an up-close and personal thing. It would have put the forces trying to capture Zarqawi at risk. He'd proclaimed at least once that he would not be taken alive, and would detonate a suicide bomb to avoid capture. If the commanders on the scene decided that instead of risking a single American or Iraqi life, they'd rather just drop a couple of bombs on the house and fumigate the place that way, I'm not going to second-guess them.

I'm not sure of the best way to win the war on terror, but I do know one sure way to lose it: to fight a purely reactive war. To wait for the other side to violate some law, then bring the full force of our justice system down on their heads. All that will do is teach them how to operate within the framework of our laws until they are ready to strike.

We're seeing signs of that tactic already. The terrorists who set off bombs in Madrid and London kept very low profiles, below the radar of the authorities, for a very long time before they struck.

Our legal system is based upon a profoundly simple concept: life has value. Freedom has value. It is the coercive power of our system to deprive people of life and liberty that is the "stick" used to coerce obedience to the law. If you don't play by the rules, we will lock you up or kill you. (What separates this from pure tyranny is the consent of the governed; we can, directly and indirectly, shape the law that is so enforced, as well as how strictly.)

But the enemy we face now is immune from such factors. They are not only willing, but eager to die for their cause. Their goals and aspirations are not in this world, but the next. And while we have palpable threats we could use to counter their spiritual beliefs, our own civilized, legalistic ways restrain us from fully using them. Bringing up the legend of General Pershing burying Muslim enemies wrapped in pigskin, largely refuted as a myth, is pretty much guaranteed to provoke out howls of protest.

So the reactive model is pretty much ineffective. That leaves two choices: pro-active, or surrender. And President Bush chose the former.

Regardless of one's feelings about Bush, one fact is undisputable: since 9/11, there has been a single terrorist attack within the United States, and it wasn't even targeted against Americans. Meanwhile, the terrorists around the world have diverted their efforts from massive slaughter of innocent civilian Americans, and turned their efforts towards our military.

This is not necessarily a good thing, but a less bad thing. I'd be willing to bet that given their druthers, nearly every man and woman in the service would rather not be attacked. But if given the choice between being attacked themselves and seeing American civilians being attacked, they'd choose to be the targets. That is the core function of the military -- to stand between us civilians and those who would do us harm. And they are the best equipped to not only survive the attacks, but to kill the attackers.

Of course, fighting the US military is not the safest of pursuits. There are far less risky jobs, such as bungee cord tester, shark bait, and crash test dummy. So the terrorists have turned much of their focus towards non-American civilians. But even that is starting to backfire on them. According to much of the mainstream media, Zarqawi had alienated large portions of the Arab world through his barbaric acts. (This didn't come out much until after he was safely dead, but it's nonetheless an encouraging sign.)

But I seriously digress. Back to my original point: the legalistic model for the war on terror is a comforting one. It is reassuring to think that no matter what happens, justice will prevail. That there is always a calm, reasoned, civilized venue for the settling of grievances. That the law is supreme, and that all men and women are equal before the bench.

It's a comforting thought. It's just a pity it simply isn't true.


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Comments (64)

The left derides Bush for h... (Below threshold)
Eric:

The left derides Bush for his "Bring it On" comment. I felt then and still feel to this day that it was the right sentiment. The U.S. military is the most powerful and effective fighting force in history. The U.S. military unlike any other military in the world can fight on any land, in any environment, in the air, on the seas or under the seas. Our military is the best equipped and best trained fighting force EVER.

Given a choice between terrorists engaging the U.S. military or engaging U.S. civilians I think the choice is obvious.

But I like how the left has been saying for several years that our presence in Iraq has been a recruiting poster for terrorists, and yet now that Al-Zarqawi is Al-Kablooie they now say there really aren't that many terrorists in Iraq.

Given a choice between t... (Below threshold)

Given a choice between terrorists engaging the U.S. military or engaging U.S. civilians I think the choice is obvious.

It is. But you have to understand the hold that the victimization cult has over the American Left these days. Morally, they believe it is far better to just let the bad guy saw off your head in front of a video camera, than to drop a bomb (or two) on the bad guy to stop him from sawing more people's heads off.

"Let the Generals run the w... (Below threshold)
Buckeye:

"Let the Generals run the war." That's a comment I heard over the weekend. It is my sentiment also. I do not watch protests/demostrations or Congressmen who profess to know when we should withdraw our troops. I also take issue with those who sit back and wait with glee and anticipation for the next setback in Iraq or the next huricane that will devastate an American city. It is amazing to me how anybody could vote for anybody with this mindset.

Were any of those others... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Were any of those others killed innocents? ...I don't care.

Yeah, Jay, fight, fuck, or draw your gun. As long as our armies march gloriously onward -- and you don't have to own any of the things that go wrong.

And, no, I don't expect you to get that.

William T. Sherman would kn... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

William T. Sherman would know how to fight this war. He knew that in order to stamp out secession, it would be necessary to kill at least 20,000 of the most fanatical secessionists in order to stamp out the flames of secession. (Please note I'm not comparing secession to Islamo-fascism.)

In other words, killing or bringing to a jury trial one or two instigators wouldn't solve a damn thing.

Would nailing Hitler -- and just Hitler, and say, a few of his top henchmen -- in 1942 have stamped out the Nazis? Hardly. While it's true that Adolf was one incredible cult of personality, the core of Nazism ran deep and it had to be beaten out of Germany.

The same is true for Islamo-fascism. We need to keep killing the most nuts among them as a warning to those who are less nuts, and at the same time offer those who are less nuts real alternatives, namely democracy and capitalism, the hallmarks of freedom.

I'm not happy that there is... (Below threshold)
Candy:

I'm not happy that there is a war in Iraq, Afghanistan - or anywhere else in the world, for that matter.

I AM comforted, however, to know that we HAVE had only the one terrorist attack in this country. It is conceivable that none of us would be sitting here typing away if the Left had been in office on 9/11 and beyond.

I am not comforted to think of what might happen to us all in the next election should things change. Everybody remember the hostages being released as soon as Reagan was elected?

Imagine some "reciprocal of now" (I don't have any caffeine in me yet - let that one go) situation happening if Gore or some other idiot is elected. kaBOOM!

I doubt highly that Jay is uncaring about the innocents who may have been in the house - but sadly, these weaklings surround themselves with innocents in the hopes that our military will cave. The whole thing stinks, alright - but we didnt' start it.

The problem is that our ... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

The problem is that our court system is very ill equipped to deal with such situations as the war on terror. Jay

This may be true, but a system of law where man has certain unalienable rights and is entitled to a fair trial is one of the most important pillars of our society. This type of mentality can lead to a very slippery slope and I could put it much simpler: Let's revoke the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and might as well throw in the 2nd so the people can't revolt since we revoked all those others.

and statements like this are just absurd:
Imagine some "reciprocal of now" (I don't have any caffeine in me yet - let that one go) situation happening if Gore or some other idiot is elected. kaBOOM! Candy

Did you ever think that maybe 9/11 would have never happened if Gore were president? He's shown better foresight than most politicians and has gotten proven results. I know people like to belittle him for the "invented the internet" statement, but he had done more than any other politician to bring it to where it is today. He also might have paid attention to the "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" pdb instead of cutting brush on a ranch. If not, he might have shown more patience in Afghanistan instead of allowing the Taliban resurgence that we're currently seeing. And he also would have done about a 100X better job in handing Katrina, the biggest disaster to hit the US, so get over you GWB fantasy fest. He's not some sort of superhero the right delusionally thinks he is.

sean, the planning for 9/11... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

sean, the planning for 9/11 took YEARS. Years while Gore was veep, and "right hand man" to the president. The president who had at least a couple of opportunities to capture or kill Bin Laden, and let him go. Do you really think that it would have been suddenly called off because Gore won?

Likewise, do you really think Gore would have suddenly revamped our intelligence and counterterrorism system within 9 months of assuming office? Such a shakeup would be seen as a repudiation and slap in the face of his predecessor...

So, would there have been a 9/11 had Gore been elected? We'll never know for sure. But the odds are extremely likely...

J.

astigafa,Zarqawi w... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

astigafa,

Zarqawi was apparently in this "safe house" with his 15 year old wife and young child. I don't know about you, but if I knew an entire military wanted to find and kill me I wouldn't be sitting in a house with my family. He chose to live by the sword and he died by the sword, unfortunately those who surrounded him shared the same fate.

I AM comforted, however,... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

I AM comforted, however, to know that we HAVE had only the one terrorist attack in this country.

Islamic terrorists set off a truck bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center in February 1993, tried to bomb the LA airport...a truck bomb destroyed the Murrow bulding in Oklahoma City a decade or so ago, killing (I think) 250 people, 30 of them children in the day care...sorry, Candy.

The whole thing stinks, alright - but we didnt' start it.

I forget; just when did Iraq attack the United States? Yeah, I'm being simplistic, but so are you. And I don't think Jay celebrates the death of innocent people either, but it's fun to turn his rhetorical devices back on him.

When Fidel is mirroring you... (Below threshold)
Stormin:

When Fidel is mirroring your talking points (i.e. should have brought Zarqawi to trial...), that should tell you something. Unfortunately, it goes right over the head of most lefties.

What some on the left don't... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

What some on the left don't realize is that there's a significant difference between police action and military action. Police have a duty to protect innocents (the public) in pursuit of violent criminals. For example, police won't risk the lives of hostages by initiating an assault without first trying every other avenue to resolve a situation. However, even in police work, that's not always true. In many areas police continue to pursue fleeing subjects at high speeds even when the chase puts the public in great danger.

The purpose of military action is to defeat the enemy and that often means destroying the infrastructure and killing enemy combatants and their enablers. In an urban setting, more often than not, insurgents use non-combatants as shields or chaff in hopes the U.S. won't attack. If that tactic worked, the insurgents would just bring hostages with them to each battle and watch the U.S. back down. It wouldn't be long before they would be on U.S. soil marching down Pennsylvania avenue surrounded by American hostages.

Iraq has it's own elected government and those fighting against that government are criminals as well as terrorists. When the Iraqi people turn against the terrorists, the conflict will be over in short order, maybe in time for this fall's elections. I'm sure the left realizes they must keep the conflict going until after the elections even if they have to go to Iraq themselves to help the insurgents. Otherwise, all their hard work of undermining support for the war will be for nothing.

Nice post Jay even though i... (Below threshold)

Nice post Jay even though it's a very partisan one. At least it's well reasoned.
Now I must take issue with you on some things:
First, we need the legal system in this country, and if I were the left I would never apologize for the legal process and trying to use it to my advantage. The right should be doing the same thing. And believe me, when they are no longer in power, they will. The legal process that right wingers all of a sudden despise, is what has allowed my people to sit at the same lunch counters with you, and to attend government funded schools etc.It has also save many innocent people from suffering from the same fate as some of the Iraqi people who were just, as the hawks like to call them; "collateral damage". So lets not start knocking the legal system just because you don't like how some recent Judges have ruled.

We are a country of laws, and thank God for that. I fear now that with you and your ilk, we are becoming the country we were pre-civil rights. Where the will of the majority ruled no matter where it took us.

astigafa, please show a SHR... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

astigafa, please show a SHRED of intellectual honesty. I said one attack SINCE 9/11, not BESIDES 9/11.

And Iraq attacked United States aircraft numerous times while we enforced the No-Fly Zones.

Next?

J.

So, would there have bee... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

So, would there have been a 9/11 had Gore been elected? We'll never know for sure. But the odds are extremely likely... Jay

It is still very possible (even very likely) that the 9/11 attacks would have still happened. There was a lot that had to be done from Jan to Sept to prevent. But maybe Gore would have listened to the military advisors and counterattacked al Qaeda after the USS Cole bombing instead of dismissing it as "swatting flies" and gotten the intelligence that was needed. Again, who know?

All I'm saying is the right worships at the feet of GWB for reasons which are lost to me and Gore is too easily dismissed even though he has consistently been more than competent at whatever job he has held. The same thing certainly cannot be said about good ol' George.

sean nyc/aa<blockquot... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

sean nyc/aa

Did you ever think that maybe 9/11 would have never happened if Gore were president?

Based on what? The attack was long planed and the first attack on the world trade center was done while Gore was VP.

He's shown better foresight than most politicians and has gotten proven results.

Proven results at what?

I know people like to belittle him for the "invented the internet" statement, but he had done more than any other politician to bring it to where it is today.

Which isn't saying much. Funding of DARPA was the key, as it's still the key for many emerging technologies.

He also might have paid attention to the "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" pdb instead of cutting brush on a ranch. If not, he might have shown more patience in Afghanistan instead of allowing the Taliban resurgence that we're currently seeing.

And he might have done nothing before or after 9/11.

And he also would have done about a 100X better job in handing Katrina, the biggest disaster to hit the US,

Not likely. The Katrina disaster was years in the making, and much of that time Gore was VP.

so get over you GWB fantasy fest. He's not some sort of superhero the right delusionally thinks he is.

And all you have in Gore is a paper tiger. There's no way to know how events would have played out had Gore actually won in 2000. That's the real fantasy fest.

Great post, Jay. While read... (Below threshold)
Kim:

Great post, Jay. While reading it, I found myself nodding in agreement many times.

Iraq has it's own electe... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Iraq has it's own elected government and those fighting against that government are criminals as well as terrorists Mac Lorry

If only it were that simple. We know that tribal and religious militias are being incorporated into the military and police, so one question is: where does their loyalty lie? We consistently hear that people in police/military uniforms kidnap and execute people. Are they terrorists or actual law enforcement? Nobody knows.

The fight for power is far from over and the desire to be in control of the oil wealth is a strong factor fueling the intra-gov't rivalries. Sunnis don't have a piece of that pie, so they believe they have to fight to have any say. But even in Shiite areas like Basra, greed and power are creating instability. And the Kurds want to essentially form their own mini-state, a proposition which doesn't sit well with anyone but them (this includes Turkey, Iran, and Syria). Not to mention that Sadr still has a strong influence over a significant chunk of the ruling party which complicates things even more, so it's not like the gov't has the best wishes for all the Iraqi people in mind. We're not dealing with just Iraqi gov't vs. terrists.

What can the US do about this? Not much in my opinion, but I'd love to hear the armchair generals' recommendations.

Beautifully said Jay -- as ... (Below threshold)

Beautifully said Jay -- as always. I've been neglecting you of late, but its posts like this that keep me coming back.

As far as the innocence of the surrounding civilians is concerned...how innocent are you if you are associating with and harboring a known terrorist? Aiding and abetting a terrorist is a crime and incineration by association is simply natural justice being meted out.

I say godspeed to paradise!

RE: The effectiveness of Vi... (Below threshold)
kevino:

RE: The effectiveness of Vice President Gore
1. Gore was given a commision to improve the security of airline travel during the Clinton Administration (1996). He was chairman of the panel that recommended: (1) improved standards for searches, (2) installation of bomb detection gear for all luggage, and (3) creation of a database to detect patterns in air travel. After the airline industry donated money to the Clinton/Gore campaign and applied sufficient pressure, these recommendations were watered-down or eliminated. Gore went along. (The whole Gore Commission looked like a Clinton shke-down of the airline industry.)
2. Bin Laden issued his declaration against the United States during the Clinton Adminsitration. Gore was never an outspoken critic of Administration policy on terror -- as he was in other areas -- even after Bin Laden openly ridiculed the American weakness. It's hard to believe that he would suddenly change those policies if he was President.
3. After 9/11, several of Gore's closest friends and advisors admitted to the press they they were glad that Gore lost the 2000 election. They know Gore well, and they believed that the Bush Administration would do a better job.

Greorge Orwell: "So much of... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Greorge Orwell: "So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot."

There's no way to know h... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

There's no way to know how events would have played out had Gore actually won in 2000. That's the real fantasy fest. Mac Lorry

Yes, I know. I was responding to Candy's statement that electing Gore would have made things go "kaBOOM". That also is speculation, and I was using examples to demonstrate how Bush is not infallible in conducting the war, despite what the right believes. Gore is not perfect either, but there was a lot of room for improvement for GWB the right simply overlooks.

Somebody in power who terro... (Below threshold)
Idaholawyer:

Somebody in power who terrorizes is far more dangerous than somebody who is not in power who terrorizes. Unchecked executive authority is more dangerous to the U.S. Democracy than a bunch of right-wing religious nut jobs in planes. I'm talking about the Muslim nut-jobs, not you right-wing Christian nut-jobs that frequent this site. If you weren't in power, or were being oppressed, you would be in the Muslims' shoes, shouting hatred and "death to [insert prideful and powerful country here]!"

Religion, violence, and oppression of minority rights is exactly what conservatives promote. This is also exactly what caused the problem in the first place.

Are you really all that different? Exporting your own brand of terrorism to kill an overwhelming minority - which you are quickly making into a majority by killing the innocent?

Can't you see that your "proactive" response has been a miserable failure that only fans the flames? You are no longer a friend to the world, you are the enemy of the world. It is an uphill battle you do not have the stamina to win. That's why slow, well-reasoned (even if inefficient) responses are a better idea.

Think about how the U.S. is an enemy to the world some more if you don't agree. How do you "win" if you are hated by the world???

sean nyc/aa<blockquot... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

sean nyc/aa

If only it were that simple. We know that tribal and religious militias are being incorporated into the military and police, so one question is: where does their loyalty lie? We consistently hear that people in police/military uniforms kidnap and execute people. Are they terrorists or actual law enforcement? Nobody knows.

Where the loyalties of military and police lie certainly has a real impact on the situation in Iraq. Yet, if they don't lie with the elected government, they are criminals by any civilized law.

The litany of problems in Iraq go away once the Iraqi people accept the idea that they are Iraqis first and Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds second. Until and unless that happens, no elected government can ever succeed. The alternative is to be ruled by a tyrant.

What can the US do about this? Not much in my opinion, but I'd love to hear the armchair generals' recommendations.

Do what the left apparently wants, free Saddam.

astigafa, please show a ... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

astigafa, please show a SHRED of intellectual honesty. I said one attack SINCE 9/11, not BESIDES 9/11.

So you're the Candy I was responding to?

No, astigafa. Candy is a ve... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

No, astigafa. Candy is a very dear friend of mine, the woman who works for the home-schooling co-op that adopts old computers I fix up and who had a bear eat her chickens a few months ago. She's also an occasional commenter here. If she didn't juggle her job, home-schooling her kids (she has 5), her church, and a zillion other things, I'd bully her into posting at the Bomb Squad.

Here's what happened:
1) I mentioned there had been a single terrorist attack within the US since 9/11.
2) Candy comments on there only having been a single attack.
3) You skip my original mention and deride her for not mentioning all those attacks BEFORE 9/11.
4) I resent my words being twisted to attack MY friend, and restate the facts that you distorted.

Clear enough for you? Or should I draw you a picture?

J.

Idaholawyer:Your p... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Idaholawyer:

Your post demonstrates just how demented you real are. I have never read anything so vile in my life. If you realy beleive all that trash you need some serious help.

idaholawyer,<blockquo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

idaholawyer,

Religion, violence, and oppression of minority rights is exactly what conservatives promote. This is also exactly what caused the problem in the first place

One could just as correctly say the "humanism, violence, and oppression of majority rights is exactly what liberals promote. This is also exactly what caused the problem in the first place.

Are you really all that different? Exporting your own brand of terrorism to kill an overwhelming minority - which you are quickly making into a majority by killing the innocent?

What's an "overwhelming minority"? And by your own logic, once they are a majority, they are fair game.

Can't you see that your "proactive" response has been a miserable failure that only fans the flames?

It's the best approach because if it doesn't work we can always surrender. But if you surrender first, then it's over.

You are no longer a friend to the world, you are the enemy of the world.

Who says? There are lots of women in Iraq and Afghanistan that have hope of being something other than property. The rest of the world either doesn't care or realizes the U.S. will attack if attacked. Those who don't like us because we defend ourselves never were our friends to begin with.

That's why slow, well-reasoned (even if inefficient) responses are a better idea.

Spoken like someone who ignores the history of that approach.

How do you "win" if you are hated by the world???

Do what liberals do, buy their friendship

This reminded me of Ann ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

This reminded me of Ann Coulter's recent book, and one of the points she brings up -- the tendency of the Left to bring in victims to give their political points credence. The 9/11 widows, in Coulter's most prominent example, use their personal loss to add credibility to their arguments. I must have missing something but this column - massive slaughter of innocent civilian Americans-,
and the right constantly remind of us 9/11, to bolster their arguments about the sea change in our attitudes to liberty and authority. The other point which I am rather surprised at, is Jay's drop dead reaction to the death of innocent Iraqi civilains.. Basically 'I don't care'..This type of attitude which used to be personified as that of' the ugly American' strengthen's the impression by many Iraqis as an colonial war, and we are going to to create alot of 'civilan Iraqi martyrs' in our ruthless determination to rid Iraq of the real terrorists, just as the 9/11 terrorists created many unanticipated martyrs when they toppled the twin towers... The attitude of "To hell with them" when Jay refers to the 'collateral damage" casualties in Iraq , or the similar thoughts of Ann Coulter to the 9/11 widows, reminds me of how the Argentine military dismissed the mothers of the missing, marching daily in Maya Square in Argentina, much to their later cost in their 'Dirty War'.

Jay,Thanks. I have d... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Jay,
Thanks. I have decided not to comment on anything here until I have had at least one cup of coffee. Chivalry is not dead, ladies! Not by a longshot :)

'Think about how the U.S. i... (Below threshold)
LJD:

'Think about how the U.S. is an enemy to the world some more if you don't agree. '

O.K. I thought about it some more, and I still disagree. Now what?

RE: Clinton/Gore administra... (Below threshold)
kevino:

RE: Clinton/Gore administration and the WOT

While I could write a book about the mistaker that President Bush has made in the WOT and Iraq in particular, the following quotes should also be added here:

"I don't want to diminish the threat of terrorism at all, it is extremely serious, but on a long-term global basis, global warming is the most serious problem we are facing." Vice President Gore, November 14, 2005.

"Climate change is more remote than terror but a more profound threat to the future of the children and the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren I hope all of you have. ... It's the only thing we face today that has the power to remove the preconditions of civilized society." President Clinton, May 21, 2006.

Truly there are none so blind as those who will not see.

Jay, seriously: <i... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Jay, seriously:

1) I mentioned there had been a single terrorist attack within the US since 9/11.

Why, so you did.

2) Candy comments on there only having been a single attack.

So she did; I thought she might have been too young to remember all that other stuff which, by comparison, fades into the background. A lot of people actually do this, even newsdrones.

3) You skip my original mention and deride her for not mentioning all those attacks BEFORE 9/11.

Yeah, I skipped your original mention. Mea culpa. But "deride"? Saying "Sorry, Candy" is derision? Do you have a shred of intellectual honesty?

4) I resent my words being twisted to attack MY friend, and restate the facts that you distorted.

Your friend was not attacked, your words were not twisted. As noted above, I said nothing about your words and only wanted to make sure that your friend did not overlook some critical facts about the history of terrorism in America.

Clear enough for you? Or should I draw you a picture?

The second "you" is unnecessary; lose it.

Kevino, here is the link to... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Kevino, here is the link to the Gore Commision Final Report.

http://www.securitymanagement.com/library/faa.html

And the first paragraph under the security section (Chapter 3):

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence sources have been warning that the threat of terrorism is changing in two important ways. First, it is no longer just an overseas threat from foreign terrorists. People and places in the United States have joined the list of targets, and Americans have joined the ranks of terrorists. The bombings of the World Trade Center in New York and the Federal Building in Oklahoma City are clear examples of the shift, as is the conviction of Ramzi Yousef for attempting to bomb twelve American airliners out of the sky over the Pacific Ocean. The second change is that in addition to well-known, established terrorist groups, it is becoming more common to find terrorists working alone or in ad-hoc groups, some of whom are not afraid to die in carrying out their designs.

and the first recommendation:

3.1. The federal government should consider aviation security as a national security issue, and provide substantial funding for capital improvements.

The Commission believes that terrorist attacks on civil aviation are directed at the United States, and that there should be an ongoing federal commitment to reducing the threats that they pose. In its initial report, the Commission called for approximately $160 million in federal funds for capital costs associated with improving security, and Congress agreed. As part of its ongoing commitment, the federal government should devote significant resources, of approximately $100 million annually, to meet capital requirements identified by airport consortia and the FAA. The Commission recognizes that more is needed. The Commission expects the National Civil Aviation Review Commission to consider a variety of options for additional user fees that could be used to pay for security measures including, among others, an aviation user security surcharge, the imposition of local security fees, tax incentives and other means.

and there's also this point:

3.19. Complement technology with automated passenger profiling.

To improve and promote passenger profiling, the Commission recommends three steps. First, FBI, CIA, and BATF should evaluate and expand the research into known terrorists, hijackers, and bombers needed to develop the best possible profiling system. They should keep in mind that such a profile would be most useful to the airlines if it could be matched against automated passenger information which the airlines maintain.

Second, the FBI and CIA should develop a system that would allow important intelligence information on known or suspected terrorists to be used in passenger profiling without compromising the integrity of the intelligence or its sources. Similar systems have been developed to give environmental scientists access to sensitive data collected by satellites.

This is all spot-on. Al Gore would have done something after hearing the PDB, which might not have been enough to stop 9/11, but it would have been a helluva lot more than GWB. Now the question is: how effective was the implementation and did (Republican) Congress provide sufficient funding?

"Al Gore would have done so... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

"Al Gore would have done something after hearing the PDB" Sure. He would have. Sure.

Just like he and Bill lept into action the previous 8 years every time Muslim terrorists actually DID attack Americans and American interests, right?

"Climate change is... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
"Climate change is more remote than terror but a more profound threat to the future of the children and the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren I hope all of you have. ... It's the only thing we face today that has the power to remove the preconditions of civilized society." President Clinton, May 21, 2006.

This just demonstrates the limitations of Clinton's imagination. A Yellowstone size eruption would not only remove the preconditions of civilized society, but the preconditions for human survival. A large asteroid impact would do the same thing as would an all out nuclear war. Furthermore, there's growing evidence that climate change is a natural cycle over which humans have little if any control. We should focus on threats we can actually do something about such as preventing global nuclear war and overpopulation.

Just like he and Bill le... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Just like he and Bill lept into action the previous 8 years every time Muslim terrorists actually DID attack Americans and American interests, right?

Right, just like Ronald Reagan's response to the terrorist attack on the Marine barracks at the Beirut International Airport in October of '83. I don't think Reagan even farted in the direction of Mecca.

Right, just like R... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Right, just like Ronald Reagan's response to the terrorist attack on the Marine barracks at the Beirut International Airport in October of '83. I don't think Reagan even farted in the direction of Mecca.

Right, just like Jimmy Carter's response to the militant's attack on the U.S. embassy in Iran on November 4, 1979. I don't think Carter even farted in the direction of Mecca.

This may be true, but a ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

This may be true, but a system of law where man has certain unalienable rights and is entitled to a fair trial is one of the most important pillars of our society.

Considering it only applies to American citizens --- it's also a bit of a red herring.

Did you ever think that maybe 9/11 would have never happened if Gore were president?

Nope.

He also might have paid attention to the "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" pdb instead of cutting brush on a ranch.

And do what?

FBI and CIA couldn't talk. It didn't mention such minor details as when, where, how.

You realize that Clinton got those PDB's for years. And he did nothing. Gore would be different how?

. The legal process that right wingers all of a sudden despise, is what has allowed my people to sit at the same lunch counters with you, and to attend government funded schools etc.It has also save many innocent people from suffering from the same fate as some of the Iraqi people who were just, as the hawks like to call them; "collateral damage".

It ALSO legalized segregation, stealing of land by the gov't, and the killing of innocent unborn.

Right, just like Ronald Reagan's response to the terrorist attack on the Marine barracks at the Beirut International Airport in October of '83. I don't think Reagan even farted in the direction of Mecca.

The Dems who ran the House demanded he pull out.
-=Mike

Right, just like Jimmy C... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Right, just like Jimmy Carter's response to the militant's attack on the U.S. embassy in Iran on November 4, 1979. I don't think Carter even farted in the direction of Mecca.

Like your style, ML

sean:Sorry to tell... (Below threshold)
kevino:

sean:

Sorry to tell you this, but you're wrong. Sure the report is nice reading, but the report doesn't mean a thing because nothing was ever done. It has lots of recommendations. Many of those recommendations would increase costs and take time. Note well: there is not implementation plan.

The Clinton/Gore campaign and the DNC took big bucks -- hundreds of thousands -- from the airline industry, who would have had to pay for a lot of the recommendations, and let them off the hook. Bomb detection gear, for example, was never installed or required to be used. The wall between the FBI and CIA (and other intelligence services) was basically created by the Clinton Administration.

And let us not forget that one of the biggest failures of our government and our society in the WOT is Political Correctness. Five years after 9/11, we can arrest people in a bomb threat without mentioning their creed/national origin. Now, given that Vice President Gore has always been a huge fan of minority sensibilities in general, and political correctness in particular, what makes you think that could possibly change in a Gore Administration?

I also place a great deal of weight to Gore's personal friends and co-workers who said that they were glad that he wasn't president after 9/11. That's pretty bad.

Sure the report is nice ... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Sure the report is nice reading, kevino

yes, but on a blog we can only present written material. that is why I asked the question at the end. feel free to present contrary evidence.

I also place a great deal of weight to Gore's personal friends and co-workers who said that they were glad that he wasn't president after 9/11. kev

Do you place a great deal of weight on what they're saying now about Bush? They might have changed they're tune after seeing him in action; afterall, a lot of GWB's former supporters have.

Candy: "It is conceivable t... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

Candy: "It is conceivable that none of us would be sitting here typing away if the Left had been in office on 9/11 and beyond."

Yeah... Gore would have appeased the terrorists by offering them nuclear weapons and free airfare to densely populated American cities. Do you think that there are now a) more or b) less people that want to blow you up today than before Dubya's crusade? You don't wish, just for a second, that your country had had a more intelligent, open-minded executive over the past five years? You don't think that his ham-handed foreign policy may have... I dunno... inflamed hatred of the US? Being tough on terror is, in my opinion, 100% compatible with not seeing everything in black and white, with being inquisitive, and with listening to people outside of your inner circle.

9/11 may or may not have happened with a different president in office. Gore's response likely would have been more measured and even, but I see no reason to assume he would have hid under his desk. (He wouldn't have appeared less cowardly than Bush and his Pet Goat did, that's for sure.) But screw Gore, he wears earthtones and reads books. Kill 'em all and let Zeus sort 'em out, right?

Jay Tea--the wrong thing to say about the collateral damage in the attack on Zarqawi's safe house is "I don't care." The right thing to say would be a little bit more sensitive to the fact that when we are required to do good, sometimes we may have to excuse a bit of evil. (Sounds utilitarian, but it ain't.) We should care about not doing evil, but not to the point that it hinders our ability to do good when necessary. The overall goodness of an action (dropping bombs on Zarqawi) does not thereby make all unintended consequences (blowing up women/children) good; they remain tragic. I know you agree; you don't have to sound so callous, is all.

RE: "feel free to present c... (Below threshold)
kevino:

RE: "feel free to present contrary evidence."

I did: your report is worthless because it was never implemented. It's just a bunch of goals and recommendation. In fact, talk to Victoria Cummock. She was on the commission and sued Gore personally over the report and ommitting her objections.

Google: clinton gore airline campaign donations

"On Sept. 20, 2001, the Boston Globe broke the story of how the so-called Gore Commission had failed in its mission to address airline safety. The Globe claimed this failure 'represents the clearest recent public example of the success that airlines have long had in defeating calls for more oversight.' The Globe traced that failure to a series of campaign donations from the airlines to the Democratic National Committee in 1996 in the wake of the crash of TWA Flight 800."

Or the article "Delay, Dilute and Discard: How the Airline Industry and the FAA Have Stymied Aviation Security Recommendations", which talks about how the report got trashed: "Public Citizen found that the top nine airlines and their trade association, the Air Transport Association (ATA), spent $16.6 million lobbying the federal government in the year 2000. The same group spent $62.9 million lobbying the federal government from 1997 through 2000, when the federal government was working to convert several Gore Commission recommendations to regulations."

RE: What Vice President's Gore's friends and co-workers say NOW
I haven't read anything, so I can't guess.
I do know at the time, the people that know him far better than you and I said that they were glad he wasn't president, and that says a lot about what they think of him. I also notice that no one in his inner circle made a even half-way effort to say that he would have done anything to prevent it.

I also notice that my comments on Political Correctness and on the fact that Gore didn't disagree with the failed Clinton Administration policies went unchallenged.

"...the tendency of the Lef... (Below threshold)
jp2:

"...the tendency of the Left to bring in victims to give their political points credence."

Hilarious:

"On the opening night of the Republican convention in New York, three women shared their pride in the bravery and self-sacrifice of the loved ones they lost in the 9/11 attacks"

From NR. Once again, Wizbang off the mark and hypocritical.

The Dems who ran the Hou... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

The Dems who ran the House demanded he pull out.

Right: The Republicans had the White House and the Senate, but they did the will of the Democratic House majority. Gotta blame it on somebody; can't blame it on Reagan.


I understand that those who... (Below threshold)

I understand that those who want the terrorists to win are upset that Zarqawi's family and friends did not survive to direct or carry out future suicide attacks against Americans.

It's a very sad time for them, with Zaq and crew getting killed, over fifty other cells raided, Fitz giving up on indicting Rove, the Iraqi government coming together, and Bush visiting Baghdad to congratulate the Iraqis.

Cheer up, moonbats! Something bad will happen to America again sometime, and your gray skies will show a glimpse of blue again. Keep hope alive!


~~~~~~~


Jay Tea ~ your request for "intellectual honesty" from astigafa reminds me of the old description of second marriages:

"The triumph of hope over experience."

;-)

Jay Tea ~ your request f... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Jay Tea ~ your request for "intellectual honesty" from astigafa reminds me of the old description of second marriages: "The triumph of hope over experience."

I just think you're both so cute.

Why does the Left hate the ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Why does the Left hate the U.S. military so much?

jp2:RE: "the tende... (Below threshold)
kevino:

jp2:

RE: "the tendency of the Left to bring in victims to give their political points credence."

I disagree. I think that Jay has a pretty good point. I've seen this kind of nonsense from the Democrats for a long time. The best examples are from gun control.
1. The Brady's and Rep. McCarthy are national symbols giving the party line, and they all about victimhood. They'll tell you in detail every single detail about the horrors they had to endure and what they intend to do so that you and your family don't have to go through what they did.
2. In the Boston area, the preferred technique is to bring out this someone who lost her son in a street fight. (There is the one they've used repeatedly. You got to feel sorry for her because she's used as a human shield against debate. She never says much, but it is very sad.) Anyone with a anti-gun control position is shouted down with, "Don't you see this poor woman. She lost her son to gun violence. How dare you come here ..."
3. We had an incident in NH a few years ago, and it was really ugly to see the anti-gun crowd talking to friends and family -- while the bodies were still warm -- to do a press conference to promote gun control.

Your counter example is pretty weak:
1. The individuals in question are not exactly wallowing in "victimhood" the way that their DNC counterparts are. The emphasis seems to be their loved ones fought back.
2. They are not being used to sell talking points or specific positions. The article says the the most that they did was to suggest that military service would be a good way to contribute to the effort.
3. This is one very minor example against DNC standard operating procedure.

Les Nessman:"Why d... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Les Nessman:

"Why does the Left hate the U.S. military so much?"

The draft during the VietNam war. Most of the left (Hilary et. al.) began during the sixties, when the draft was the dreaded enemy of life. Soldiers were baby killers, and napalm was their weapon of choice. Having gained control over the educational system in this country, they are able to perpetuate the myth. It's kind of like McDonalds; "get um while their young".

"We have seen in the last d... (Below threshold)
kevino:

"We have seen in the last decade the decline of the American government and the weakness of the American soldier who is ready to wage Cold Wars and unprepared to fight long wars. This was proven in Beirut when the Marines fled after two explosions. It also proves they can run in less than 24 hours, and this was also repeated in Somalia." - Osama Bin Laden

The withdrawal from Beirut was a terrible mistake, and President Reagan was responsible for that. He should not have pulled them out. If Congress complained, he should have made his case, and only pulled them out if they put a gun to his head.

Similarly, President Clinton's withdrawal from Somalia was a terrible mistake.

Bottom line: we at at war with a determined enemy, and showing weakness is a bad idea.

The same group spent $62... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

The same group spent $62.9 million lobbying the federal government from 1997 through 2000, when the federal government was working to convert several Gore Commission recommendations to regulations." kevino (from article)

so from your own contrary evidence, the article says several recommendations were being worked on. Now this doesn't say which recommendations, but clearly something was being done. And we all know gov't is a verrrryy slow-moving animal, so this taking numerous years is not surprising.

Your other article is valid and certainly merits recognition and consideration. Maybe that explains the long duration to complete the regs. Although, Jay Tea always seem to be mocking the "Glob", so how do I know I can trust that liberal rag? (sarcasm)

I also notice that my comments on Political Correctness and on the fact that Gore didn't disagree with the failed Clinton Administration policies went unchallenged. kevino

Honestly, I have to agree w/ the political correctness part. When I was reading through the report, there's a whole list of criteria and procedures to follow to make sure you don't racially profile. It's actually sort of funny.

And I'll sort of agree with you on the failed Clinton policies. I don't have a clear recollection of everything they agreed/disagreed on, but you'd expect the VP to follow the Prez's lead on issues of national security. Or in Bush's case, he followed the VP's lead.

And as far as those close to him saying they were happy he wasn't Prez at the time, do you specific quotes associated to individuals, or was it the Washington special, the "unnamed source"?

Considering it only applies to American citizens --- it's also a bit of a red herring. MikeSC

Well, seeing how the Administration was playing around with Padilla's legal status, it does apply to US citizens. But the quote you use:

This may be true, but a system of law where man has certain unalienable rights and is entitled to a fair trial is one of the most important pillars of our society. sean nyc/aa

really is true of all Western society, not just the US, so it's not a red herring at all. The hyperbole I presented of abolishing the amendments would apply only to US citizens, but again, all (I'm pretty sure) Western countries have something similar in their constitutions, so to show them (Iraqis, Afghans, etc) the strength of democracy, we must (at least attempt to) live up to these ideals. Just discarding them from the start would be a serious mistake, which, unfortunately, is the impression places like Gitmo and actions like rendition give to the world.

Most other Western countrie... (Below threshold)

Most other Western countries don't have binding constitutions. They have traditions and precidents but there really isn't an equivalent that we can assume exits that serves anything even remotely like the same function as our constitution serves.

Most Americans find this shocking. We *assume* that everyone has Constitutions that they have to adhere to. They don't.

The draft during the Vie... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

The draft during the VietNam war. Most of the left (Hilary et. al.) began during the sixties, when the draft was the dreaded enemy of life.

Yeah, the draft, but mostly the funny haircuts.

Most Americans find this... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

Most Americans find this shocking. We *assume* that everyone has Constitutions that they have to adhere to. They don't. synova

I am surprised by that. But doesn't the EU have some sort of generalized constitution-ish thingamajig that all member states must adhere to? that would cover the lack of constitution for those that didn't have one.

RE: Gore Commission recomme... (Below threshold)
kevino:

RE: Gore Commission recommendations
There are numerous articles and data points to show the point: airline travel money went to prevent new regulations that they didn't like. "Working to convert" says that they we supposed to be working or in the process, not that anything got done.

In any case, even if you believe that some good was done, albeit s-l-o-w-l-y. Your thesis is that Vice President Gore was an agent of change, and this is a data point to show that he was not very effective at all.

[Sidebar: On a personal level, I really hate what happened with the Gore Commission. I used to work for the Federal government. My family had contacts with the FAA. It's a textbook example of big business throwing money at politicians instead of safety to get what they want.

I remember being in a room full of people watching the WTC burning. The news media couldn't reach any high-ranking officials in the Bush administration to interview. One lady said, "They ought to get out there and talk to us. I said, "Maybe they're busy." Later, the Media reached members of the Clinton Administration, instead. When it became known how the planes had been taken over, a Clinton official (whose name escapes me) said about airplane security: "I thought we had that covered." The (mostly liberal) crowd was not thrilled with that remark.

Bottom line:
1. As P.J.O'Rourke [sp?] once said, "When Government controls what is bought and sold, the first thing that is bought and sold are politicians."
2. Government is not very good at even basic services. Don't even think about relying on them for your safety.]


RE: Remarks from Gore's friends and advisors
It was widely reported in several newspapers at the time, but the sources (his friends) were anonymous. I tried to google it, but couldn't get a reference. Sorry.

sean:The EU consti... (Below threshold)
kevino:

sean:

The EU constitution has not been ratified and probably won't be -- ever. Very few countries have written constitutions with specific protections for individual rights. Our consitution is a particularly radical document. Consider the exclusionary rule: "The Court-pronounced exclusionary rule, for example, is distinctively American. When we adopted that rule in Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 655 (1961), it was "unique to American Jurisprudence." -- Justice Scalia, Roper v. Simons

Particularly in the Middle East, it doesn't make sense to expect the Arab Street to understand the American view of justice. Most of them live in terribly autocratic systems dominated by tribal loyalties and fundamentalist Islamic law.

Right: The Republicans h... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Right: The Republicans had the White House and the Senate, but they did the will of the Democratic House majority. Gotta blame it on somebody; can't blame it on Reagan.

Civics 101: So, WHO controls the pursestrings in Congress?

Hint: Not the Senate.
-=Mike

How in god's name does this... (Below threshold)

How in god's name does this argument make any sense at all? How is our military in Iraq preventing terrorists from gaining access to the US? Are you actually suggesting that terrorists who could enter the United States are choosing to go to Iraq instead? You've got some Iranian or Saudi or Afghani Taliban dude, and they'd commit a terrorist act against civilians in the US...except they'd rather fight our military in Iraq? Or target Iraqi civilians? That's just stupid. I mean honestly. That's just plain dumb. If they could attack us here, they would. It's that simple.

How come this theory doesn't work in Israel? The anti-Israel terrorists are much more likely to attack Israeli citizens than the Israeli military. The reason is obvious. And the only way that Israeli troops can keep terrorists out is by their physical presence stopping terrorists from entering Israel; and our troops in Iraq are certainly not serving that purpose. In fact, we'd be safer if they patrolled our borders than Iraq's.

So why is it that you think the anti-American terrorists would rather attack our military instead of our citizens? That's a pretty idiotic strategy, even for a terrorist. Especially as you admit that they'd prefer non-military targets. So they'd rather attack Iraqi citizens than US citizens?? And this makes sense to you, how?

Honestly, leave all the rhetoric aside and really think about this for alittle bit. It's absurd. Silly. An insult to your intelligence. Terrorists would much rather attack us here in America than to attack anyone in Iraq. And the only reason why they don't do so is because they don't think they could do it. And our troops in Iraq aren't preventing that. While they might be a magnet for terrorists, they're not drawing away terrorists that would otherwise attack us here.

And then when you add in the statistics which show that we have more anti-American terrorists now than we used to, and you see how silly the whole argument is. By attacking Iraq, we've made more enemies and have given more credence to Bin Laden's absurd idea that we're trying to conquer Muslim countries. But what would I know? I actually think that democracies should have a legal system. Silly me. Due process, and all that. So outdated. If only we could have an easy enemy, like the Soviets. Heck, the only thing we had to worry about back then was the destruction of the entire planet in one afternoon. We could afford a court system back then. Damn those terrorists.

"I forget; just when did Ir... (Below threshold)
Darby:

"I forget; just when did Iraq attack the United States?" astigafa at June 13, 2006 09:46 AM

Just for the record... I know Jay already addressed this issue, but I felt the need to bring it one step further.

Iraq invaded Kuwait. Kuwait pleaded with the world. "HELP US, HELP US!'

The U.S. and a buncha allies went in and whipped Saddam but good. Saddam lost the battle, but not the war.

Sanctions were put into place and a whole buncha stuff on top of that, no fly zones, weapons inspectors, umpteen million U.N. resolutions dictating what the dictator had to do, which I might add he rarely complied with.

So the answer to your question. The world decided to side with the U.S. when Iraq invaded Kuwait. He lost. The U.S. and the world gave Saddam the benefit of the doubt after the First Gulf War(By letting him stay in power). He didn't abide by the rules set for him. When you lose a war, you don't get to do what you want when you want. You abide by the ruling of your international peers(nations) whom you offended. I.E. Germany's rehabilitation after WWII. The lack of a "true" army in Japan, and it's rehabilitation after WWII.

The war in Iraq IS over and has been ever since Saddams capture.

All we're doing now is rehabilitating it(Even though those damned fanatics keep trying to stop it), just like the U.S. did with the Axis powers after WWII.

So, you're right in your simplistic statement, when did Iraq attack U.S. Forces? They didn't. But we were asked to liberate an innocent country from tyranny.

When did Germany attack The U.S.? They didn't, but we went and kicked their ass anyways. I won't even go into the bone headed move the Tojo did at Pearl Harbor. Yamamoto said it best. Now the Terrorists are learning that it's not wise to awaken the sleeping giant, and fill him with terrible resolve.

BRAVO, Darby!... (Below threshold)
Candy:

BRAVO, Darby!

Doctor Biobrain,<bloc... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Doctor Biobrain,

How in god's name does this argument make any sense at all? How is our military in Iraq preventing terrorists from gaining access to the US? Are you actually suggesting that terrorists who could enter the United States are choosing to go to Iraq instead?

You missed or ignored one of the most fundamental principles of military strategy. That is, to win a war you attack the enemy's strategically important infrastructure or territory. By doing so you pull the enemy into a battle for that infrastructure or territory. Yes, terrorists would rather attack U.S. citizens, but they can't afford to lose in Iraq, so their strategy is to defeat the U.S. in Iraq and then they'll be able to attack U.S. citizens at their leisure. The decision to attack Iraq and then publicly challenge the terrorists with the "bring it on" statement is one of the factors that has kept the U.S. safe from attack since 9/11.

The reason why Iraq is so important to terrorists is that there are very few places in the would where they can base their operations from, and without a base, they can't mount effective attacks. The loss of Afghanistan and Libya makes winning Iraq vital to the future of terrorism. A free and democratic Iraq that's friendly to the U.S. would put terrorism on the defensive all around the world and likely destabilize terrorist friendly nations like Iran and Syria.

The terrorist know they cannot defeat the U.S. military, so they have to undermine the political will of U.S. citizens to continue to fight in Iraq. With the help of U.S. fools and liberals, the terrorists are making good progress in achieving that goal, but they know that an attack on the U.S. would greatly boost support for the war in Iraq. To win, the terrorists need your help, but if they win, you'll be just as much a target as I would be.

And then when you add in the statistics which show that we have more anti-American terrorists now than we used to, and you see how silly the whole argument is.

What you missed is that there's a fundamental difference between being anti-American and being an Islamic terrorist. It seems that it's almost a requirement of citizenship for French people to be anti-American, but that doesn't make them Islamic terrorists. Certainly, when someone's family member is killed in war, the remaining family becomes anti-other side, but that doesn't mean they are going to take up arms and kill others indiscriminately. If that were the case, we would still be seeing terrorist attacks because of WW2, Korea and Vietnam. History proves that just doesn't happen on a significant scale.

That is, to win a war yo... (Below threshold)

That is, to win a war you attack the enemy's strategically important infrastructure or territory.

Iraq wasn't part of the terrorist's infrastructure...not before the war, anyway.

The reason why Iraq is so important to terrorists is that there are very few places in the would where they can base their operations from, and without a base, they can't mount effective attacks.

Incorrect. Terrorists do not need a base of operations. An effective cell can be run with a handful of people, independent from anyone. They can be your next door neighbors, and can be anywhere. Terrorists do not need a headquarters nor do they require leaders; and most often, these things would interfere with a proper terrorist cell. A properly run terrorist cell runs independently.

Secondly, Iraq would be a horrible, horrible base to run anti-American terrorist acts out of. A better base would be within the US or Canada. Iraq is the last place a terrorist wants to base his operations, assuming he wants to attack Americans or other westerners. But it would be a good place to be if they honestly want to protect a Muslim country from outside invasion.

The terrorist know they cannot defeat the U.S. military, so they have to undermine the political will of U.S. citizens to continue to fight in Iraq.

And yet you just said they were in Iraq trying to defeat our military. If they were trying to undermine our will, why wouldn't they attack us directly? Wouldn't that be far more effective? To continue attacking American cities until we pulled out of Iraq? Of course. Your argument makes no sense.

What you missed is that there's a fundamental difference between being anti-American and being an Islamic terrorist.

Uh, I said "anti-American terrorists" and I meant it. There are more anti-American terrorists than before the Iraq war. The fact that there are also more non-terrorists who are anti-American doesn't help any.

If that were the case, we would still be seeing terrorist attacks because of WW2, Korea and Vietnam.

Sadly, no. Nobody is suggesting that the attacks would continue after our wars with them stopped. Were we to pull out of Iraq, it is unlikely that the average Iraqi's bloodlust would carry them to attack us here in America. Freakos like Bin Laden and his crew would still be attacking us, but they already were. The rest of these people just need to be convinced that we're not trying to conquer them and destroy their way of life. The Bush Doctrine doesn't do a good job of doing that.

Overall, my point stands. There is no reason to believe that our troops are serving as a magnet or decoy protecting the US. Nor is there reason to believe that Iraq helps our war against terror. And there are many reasons to believe that it's made things much worse.




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Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

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