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Nothing More Than Feelings...

Peter David today asks:

Anything I could say about recollections of the day, I've already said in previous years.

So this year I'm simply moved to ask...

...anyone feeling safer?

I'd have to say no, I don't.

I don't FEEL any safer.

Nor do I FEEL any more endangered.

That's a bogus question. First off, "feelings" don't really enter into it. That's a question of emotion, not of reason. Secondly, reasonably speaking, terrorism is not that big a deal to me on a strictly personal level. Here in West Nowhere, New Hampshire, I'm miles and miles from even remotely possible terrorist targets -- and I don't travel that much. Perhaps on my annual trip to Baltimore, I might be a smidgen more endangered than I am at home, but that's still pretty scant.

Part of the War On Terror is being fought on a psychological level. Terrorists enjoy killing and destroying, but they got the name "terrorists" because their focus is beyond the immediate destruction -- they want to terrorize those who are not killed or injured or otherwise directly affected by their attacks. On that front, we need to focus more on the fact that there have been damned few terrorist attacks on US soil since then -- the LAX shooter and the Beltway Snipers are the only two that come to mind. But it seems hardly anyone talks about that.

That might be an error. While on the one hand, a bit of braggadocio might lull people into a sense of security, and challenge the terrorists to try harder, it's still a noteworthy accomplishment to think that we have been royally pissing off some of the worst terrorists the world has ever seen for almost six years, and they haven't been able to pull off squat in retaliation.

It's a tough balancing act. I'm glad I'm not in charge of putting out the right message.


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Comments (39)

But Jay, you have to unders... (Below threshold)

But Jay, you have to understand that for the Left, "feelings" are all there is.

What the heck do you expect? Leftists to "think" rationally?

How quaintly bourgeois . . .

"The question is, are as sa... (Below threshold)
yo:

"The question is, are as safe as we should be? "

Bogus question since you can't qualify the definition of "safe as we should be."

I certainly feel safer than... (Below threshold)
Jo:

I certainly feel safer than if the dems were in charge. That's the way EVERYONE feels. Even if they don't admit it.

It does not matter whether ... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

It does not matter whether people "feel" safer. In reality, they are safer.

Al Qadea lost its training bases and many of its safe havens. They have also lost tens of thousands of trained jihadists. They have also left the flower of their military in the mountains of Afghanistan, and on the fields and in the buildings of Iraq and Somalia. Many of their best veterans are dead.

The survivors are less well trained, and much less capable. For example, the terrorists picked up in Germany apparently left bombs in German railroads before being captured. The bombs failed to explode when improperly installed fuses failed to ignite them. Jihadi U is not turning them out like they use to.

Folks like Peter David may not feel safer, but their odds of being killed in a terrorist attack in 2007 are demonstrably lower than they were in 2001. If they do not feel safer it is a product of their ignorance, possibly willful ignorance.

Baghdad barney:And... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baghdad barney:

And "foreign policy" hasn't spared others from being hit as the U.S. has.

"they haven't been able to ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

"they haven't been able to pull off squat in retaliation."

hmmm..I would think the families of the 3,774 dead in Iraq might differ...

unless of course you believe that the deaths of our troops in Iraq means less than deaths of civilians here in the U.S.

However..I will agree that Iraq is less able to invade us than there were in 2003..


then -- the LAX shooter ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

then -- the LAX shooter and the Beltway Snipers are the only two that come to mind.

One more: The Jewish Center attack here in Seattle on July 28,2006 where Naveed Afzal Haq killed 1 and wounded 6. The terrorist attack was labeled a "hate crime" by SPD despite the fact he yelled ""I'm a Muslim American; I'm angry at Israel" before opening fire.

Oh yeah .. there's also, Mo... (Below threshold)
yo:

Oh yeah .. there's also, Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, the douchebag 4WD jihadi (running folks down on the UNC campus).

I felt safer before Novembe... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I felt safer before November 7, 2006.

RE #10Amen!... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

RE #10

Amen!

Mark L and Jim Addison: Al ... (Below threshold)
jim:

Mark L and Jim Addison: Al Qaeda has built itself back up to the level it had before 2001.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/WireStory?id=3369168&page=2
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/WireStory?id=3369168&page=3

The threat assessment says that al-Qaida stepped up efforts to "improve its core operational capability" in late 2004 but did not succeed until December of 2006 after the Pakistani government signed a peace agreement with tribal leaders that effectively removed government military presence from the northwest frontier with Afghanistan.

This is a US Intelligence Agency report. So I don't think they hate American and want us to lose.

Do you get that these a FACT? Do you get that this is REALITY?

And they are now training against our own soldiers in Iraq. Meanwhile their recruiting and prestige increases, also.

It is a reality that we are *not safer*.

The first part of fixing a problem, is admitting that there's a problem.

I just have two questiosn for you:

1) Is it possible that a Republican can be wrong?

2) If you had to admit that a Republican did something wrong, in order to fix a problem that could save your life and your children's lives and futures - would you do it?

My husband and I seem to di... (Below threshold)
Candy:

My husband and I seem to differ an awful lot about "feelings" and whether they do or do not play a part in things. Men LOVE to say that feelings don't count, because real men don't HAVE feelings now, do they?

Well, voters are people, and people do not always react to fact. Oftentimes, they react to feelings. Women, for example, may have voted for JFK because they were reacting to his physical appearance over his position on political issues.

If, gentlemen, you catch your wife in bed with your best friend, are you going to react on fact, or emotion?

I feel safer, because for some crazy reason, we have not had to suffer a series of 9/11's over and over and over again, as I certainly expected after the horror of six years ago. I believe my feelings of safety have increased as time has gone by.

I'll be very honest with you - I will NOT feel safe if a democrat takes over the White House! It will be like Carter-to-Reagan, only in reverse.

Jim:Mark L and... (Below threshold)
marc:

Jim:

Mark L and Jim Addison: Al Qaeda has built itself back up to the level it had before 2001.

Making shit up again I see. No where in your two links, or page one you didn't link, does it say that. What it does day is:

al-Qaida has used its safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border to restore its operating capabilities to a level unseen since the months before Sept. 11, 2001.
Of course to you the two statements are the same.

And unlike you who make a habit of letting legit question go unanswered I'll take a stab at your:

1. Yes
2. Yes

Here's a bonus question for you:

Would you agree a person in office that is a Democrat would also be a Democrat when out of any public office?

To the extent people feel l... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

To the extent people feel less safe now, perhaps it is because that, unlike before 9-11, we now have an appreciation of our enemies, and how dangerous they are.

That's not Bush's fault, that's just reality.

"Mark L and Jim Addison: Al... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

"Mark L and Jim Addison: Al Qaeda has built itself back up to the level it had before 2001."

Ooooh jim. Scary.

Except . . . where's the beef? Where are the successful terror attacks to buttress the assertion made in that statement? Where are the attacks that kill thousands of Americans?

A bald assertion is not the same as the naked truth, jim. They still want to hurt us. We heard Osama bin Laden tell us that in a message released a few days back.

Yet . . . they have not.

The article you cite claims they have built themselves back up to the level it had before 2001. Yet they are not capable of launching the same type of attack of the same magnitude. Instead the attacks against America -- in America -- are virtually nonexistent. The attacks in Europe are getting smaller with every year.

Anyone can find an idiot with an opinion. But where are the facts demonstrating the accuracy of that opinion. Events do not seem to justify that assessment. What facts do?

Baghdad barney:<em... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baghdad barney:

According to this poll only 30% of Americans think we are winning the war on terrorism.

Very typical of you Baghdad. In your haste to post something mildly on topic you butcher it.

The title of the story reads: "Majority of Americans don't think U.S. is winning war on terror."

Huh, Marc?I said "... (Below threshold)
jim:

Huh, Marc?

I said "before 2001", and the quote you make says "before September 2001" - therefore I'm making shit up?

Pardon me, I should have said "before 9/11/2001". You got me.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/WireStory?id=3369168&page=1

A new threat assessment from U.S. counterterrorism analysts says that al-Qaida has used its safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border to restore its operating capabilities to a level unseen since the months before Sept. 11, 2001.

As (1) and (2), great.

I hope some day you can bring yourself to see Bush's mistakes in dealing with terror.

As for your other question, which I guess is going back to our discussion re: whether Lieberman is a member of the Democratic party.

It comes down to what you mean by "Democrat". If you mean as a private citizen, sure.

But if you mean as a member of the Democratic party who is able to *speak for it* in any formal official capacity, no. Once someone is no longer in office as a Democrat, they can no longer officially speak for that party.

Clear?

Well Mark L - currently the... (Below threshold)
jim:

Well Mark L - currently they have what they want, 'cause Bush gave it to them. Bin Laden's major gripe was our US military forces in Saudi Arabia. Bush pulled them out. Done.

Meanwhile we're also stuck in Iraq, and our effort in Afghanistan is in trouble too - the Taliban's resurged there. And we can't even go after Al Qaeda in Pakistan.

Why should they do anything now? They have us where they want us.

During the Clinton Admin. w... (Below threshold)
Franz:

During the Clinton Admin. we had 7 terrorism-free years following the first WTC bombing. I don;t see anyone talking about that either. We all felt pretty safe on Sept 10th 2001.

As for terror attacks since... (Below threshold)
jim:

As for terror attacks since 9/11, let's not forget the Anthrax terrorism as well.

OK, "smart" guy. Where in y... (Below threshold)
marc:

OK, "smart" guy. Where in your CNN links is it quantified the level at which al-Qaida rebuilt itself?

It doesn't, it just says to a "level unseen since the months before Sept. 11, 2001."

What level is that Jim? The article NEVER says what level, what is this unseen level?.

Yet you chose to say it had built "itself back up to the level it had before 2001.

The article doesn't support the "facts" you made up.

"jim" ~ Yep, they "have us ... (Below threshold)

"jim" ~ Yep, they "have us where they want us" as we are killing their recruits wholesale. They do WANT "martyrdom," so I suppose we're just playing into their hands by sending them straight to Paradise and all those dark-eyed virgins . . .

As for your ABC news reports - which source I was roundly criticized for relying upon by your Daddy, Barney, last week - if al Qaeda is in better shape now than before last year, how is it they were able to carry out attacks in Bali, Madrid, and London BEFORE last year, but now their plans in Denmark, Germany, and Turkey are being thwarted?

Seems like the claim isn't quite "reality-based" . . .

~~~~~~

Franz ~ "During the Clinton Admin. we had 7 terrorism-free years following the first WTC bombing."

Sure, if you don't count the terror attacks on our military barracks in 1995 and 1996, the attacks on our embassies in 1998, and the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, we were pretty much "terrorism-free."

Franz:During t... (Below threshold)
marc:

Franz:

During the Clinton Admin. we had 7 terrorism-free years following the first WTC bombing. I don;t see anyone talking about that either. We all felt pretty safe on Sept 10th 2001.

And you very plainly point out the childishness of some that use that debating point.

However you should be more specific by saying U.S. soil. The U.S.S. Cole was attacked, an attacked failed against the U.S.S. The Sullivans, then there were the two embassy bombings in Africa.

"Why should they do anythin... (Below threshold)
Mark L:

"Why should they do anything now? They have us where they want us."

Whatever are you smoking, jim? Whatever it is you need to stop. Its making you see things that are not there.

Let's just take one example -- "the taliban is resurgent" -- that explains this now:

http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/afghan/articles/20070911.aspx

And the situation in Iraq is not much worse for us than the one in Afghanistan. In Iraq, we are at the same stage as the North was just before Sherman took Atlanta. Back then, at that point, the Copperheads said the Union could not win the Civil War. Within a few months, Sherman was on his way to Savannah.

Yeah, we can still lose -- especially if we listen to the minions of defeat, like the Democrats who have invested their political capital in our losing. But that's the only way.

Jim, lets' get more specifi... (Below threshold)
marc:

Jim, lets' get more specific about what you originally said: ("Al Qaeda has built itself back up to the level it had before 2001.")

How many more fighters do they have?

How many more are willing to become suicide bombers as opposed to mere propagandists?

How many more training camps do they have?

Is their operational chain-of-command stronger, at the same level or weaker than before 9/11?

Surely the answers can be found in your links right?

Safer? Safer than what? S... (Below threshold)
Larry Sheldon:

Safer? Safer than what? Safer than when?

For the big picture, may I suggest: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/163

I feel safer in North Omaha than I do in the poling place (there are people on the ballot -- trying to get there -- that scare me shi....scare me a lot.

I feel safer in South Omaha than I do in the Omaha City Council chambers.

I feel safer in either of "those" parts of town as long as there are no police around.

A while back, I drove a big truck--which are generally speaking not welcome in the best part of town. Did I feel unsafe parked for the night? NO! I felt most threatened when I had to drive through Chicago, or Dallas, or Atlanta of any of a number of other places where people with fancy cars and "SUV"'s, dressed in fancy clothes, playing with zillions of dollars worth of electronics were clearly intending to kill me. Not safe feeling at all. Almost as bad as when I was a small child standing in the dark with my parents and others watching the searchlights tracking airplanes thought to be attacking us. (That would be in Sherman Oaks, California.)

I am frightened by the Moslems, but more frightened by the politicians who are committed to protecting _all_ of the people who frighten me.

Baghdad barney:<em... (Below threshold)
marc:

Baghdad barney:

The title of the story reads: "Majority of Americans don't think U.S. is winning war on terror."" marc

Thanks for agreeing with me I posted the same quoted headline. That's not what you posted is it?

This is what you posted: "According to this poll only 30% of Americans think we are winning the war on terrorism."

Where's the "DON'T?

I could care less what the rest of the article said you misquoted the headline.

You and Jim both need to slowly back away from those knives.

You are both consistently in the center of a gun fight and get your heads blown off.

"As for terror attacks sinc... (Below threshold)
yo:

"As for terror attacks since 9/11, let's not forget the Anthrax terrorism as well."

At it, again, eh?

*yawn*

Re: # 27 - Marc, it's a cla... (Below threshold)
jim:

Re: # 27 - Marc, it's a classified report. So no, I don't have those details.

However, if you want to think that the Associated Press, ABC, MSNBC etc. are all lying - AND that the Bush Administration wouldn't attack them if they were lying - that's up to you.

Here's the MSNBC link for you, as well.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19730468/

Jimmy, I will address your ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Jimmy, I will address your self hating and loathing of our country and our effort to combat this evil that was brought on us. Al Queda is up to the numbers but not the money. That go bye-bye. Also, the terrorists are informing their citizens that we are at war with Muslims, which of course we are not. So, maybe they find that information motivating? I really don't think Muslims cared much for the secular Iraq. ww

"On that front, we need to ... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"On that front, we need to focus more on the fact that there have been damned few terrorist attacks on US soil since then -- the LAX shooter and the Beltway Snipers are the only two that come to mind." -- Jim A.

I would have thought that the anthrax attacks would have been far more memorable, given their bizarre nature and the implied potential that terrorists were brewing large quantities of anthrax to eventually annihilate thousands. Don't you remember those protective suits people were wearing?

My mistake. It was Mr. Tea... (Below threshold)
Herman:

My mistake. It was Mr. Tea (as usual) who came up with the strange quote above.

Jimmy, I will addr... (Below threshold)
jim:
Jimmy, I will address your self hating and loathing of our country and our effort to combat this evil that was brought on us.

Sigh.

I am sorry beyond words if you actually think I hate myself or this country, and you actually think I want Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, or any other terrorists who hate us to win against us.

Please think about this.

I disagree with our President and his party about tactics. I also disagree with you and a lot of people here, about the best way to win.

That doesn't have to mean that I hate American and want us to lose, just because I disagree.

Jim: Re: # 27 - Marc, i... (Below threshold)
marc:

Jim: Re: # 27 - Marc, it's a classified report. So no, I don't have those details.

Nice ploy to avoid the question. But I asked you to assess the threat not for you to give classified info.

You're the one claiming they are stronger based on a link that doesn't say that. That seems to imply you know more to make a better assessment.

I guess not. As someone already pointed out via a link the Talaban are crying for mercy in afgahistan and looking to make a deal for "peace."

As for you latest link from MSNBC I suspect you didn't read this section:

The terror group has been able to restore three of the four key tools it would need to launch an attack on U.S. soil: a safe haven in Pakistan's tribal areas, operational lieutenants and senior leaders. It could not immediately be learned what the missing fourth element is.
Got that.

The National Intelligence Estimate according to your own link, the one you think supports your contention that al-Qaida is stronger than before 9/11 is missing 25% of the capabilities they had on 9/10.

So tell me smart guy, how are they stronger or just as strong if they are missing a quarter of they previous capabilities?

SLOWLY back away from that knife Jim!

Nice ploy to avoid... (Below threshold)
jim:
Nice ploy to avoid the question.

Nice ploy to avoid my answer.

This report's conclusions has been reported by several news agencies - and I have not heard this report's conclusions refuted by the Bush Administration, or anyone else with access to the same data - or, indeed, *anyone* with access to any relevant info, classified or no.

That's good enough for me.

Is there some reason why that shouldn't be good enough?

Now let's look at your selected quote:

The terror group has been able to restore three of the four key tools it would need to launch an attack on U.S. soil: a safe haven in Pakistan's tribal areas, operational lieutenants and senior leaders. It could not immediately be learned what the missing fourth element is.

Being able to restore 3 out of 4, is bad enough by itself. But it also doesn't mean that the other part is entirely lacking. What it means is that Al Qaeda has *at least* 75% capacity, and they may have up to %97 capacity - they're just not all the way up to having all of that last missing tool.

Furthermore, what if the 4th "missing tool" is ground agents in the US? In which case, we either don't know about their agents and think they don't have them; or, they simply aren't trying to attack us now, because Bush gave them what they wanted.

Or, Al Qaeda's gone past %25 in one or more of the other 3 areas, so their aggregate strength remains similar.

Or something else is going on. I don't know.

Bottom line for me: those who have read the full reports are of the opinion that Al-Qaeda's strength has basically been restored - and the Bush Administration, which has access to the same information, has not refuted this analysis in any way.

More of jim's misrepresenta... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

More of jim's misrepresentation of citations, moving goalposts, revision of the history of his own claims and horde of zombie strawmen.

Enough.

SPQRMore of ji... (Below threshold)
marc:

SPQR

More of jim's misrepresentation of citations, moving goalposts,

But Jim looooves moving the GOALPOST.

" and I don't travel that m... (Below threshold)
Jim:

" and I don't travel that much. Perhaps on my annual trip to Baltimore, I might be a smidgen more endangered than I am at home, but that's still pretty scant."


As I suspected, you are not very well travelled!

You need to get out more. Small town boy with small town views!

SPQR and Marc - please show... (Below threshold)
jim:

SPQR and Marc - please show what goalpost you claim I've moved.




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