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Opinion

Opinion

America’s war on terror was rousing success

September 10, 2011

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The new conventional wisdom on 9/11: We have created a decade of fear. We overreacted to 9/11 — al-Qaida turned out to be a paper tiger; there never was a second attack — thereby bankrupting the country, destroying our morale and sending us into national decline.

The secretary of defense says that al-Qaida is on the verge of strategic defeat. True. But why? Al-Qaida did not spontaneously combust. Yet, in a decade Osama bin Laden went from the emir of radical Islam, jihadi hero after whom babies were named all over the Muslim world — to pathetic old recluse, almost incommunicado, watching shades of himself on a cheap TV in a bare room.

What turned the strong horse into the weak horse? Precisely the massive and unrelenting American war on terror, a systematic worldwide campaign carried out with increasing sophistication, efficiency and lethality — now so cheaply denigrated as an “overreaction.”

First came the Afghan campaign, once so universally supported that Democrats for years complained that President Bush was not investing enough blood and treasure there. Now, it is reduced to a talking point as one of the “two wars” that bankrupted us. Yet Afghanistan was utterly indispensable in defeating the jihadis then and now. We think of Pakistan as the terrorist sanctuary. We fail to see that Afghanistan is our sanctuary, the base from which we have freedom of action to strike Jihad Central in Pakistan and the border regions.

Iraq, too, was decisive, though not in the way we intended. We no more chose it to be the central campaign in the crushing of al-Qaida than Eisenhower chose the Battle of the Bulge as the locus for the final destruction of the German war machine.

Al-Qaida, uninvited, came out to fight us in Iraq, and it was not just defeated but humiliated. The local population — Arab, Muslim, Sunni, under the supposed heel of the invader — joined the infidel and rose up against the jihadi in its midst. It was a singular defeat from which al-Qaida never recovered.

The other great achievement of the decade was the defensive anti-terror apparatus hastily constructed from scratch after 9/11 by President Bush, and then continued by President Obama. Continued why? Because it worked. It kept us safe — the warrantless wiretaps, the Patriot Act, extraordinary rendition, preventive detention and, yes, Guantanamo.

Perhaps, says the new conventional wisdom, but these exertions have bankrupted the country and led to our current mood of despair and decline.

Rubbish. The total costs of “the two wars” is $1.3 trillion. That’s less than 1/11th of the national debt, less than one year of Obama deficit spending. During the golden Eisenhower 1950s of robust economic growth averaging 5 percent annually, defense spending was 11 percent of GDP and 60 percent of the federal budget. Today, defense spending is 5 percent of GDP and 20 percent of the budget. So much for imperial overstretch.

Yes, we are approaching bankruptcy. But this has as much to do with the war on terror as do sunspots. Looming insolvency comes not from our shrinking defense budget but from the explosion of entitlements. They devour nearly half the federal budget.

As for the Great Recession and financial collapse, you can attribute it to misguided federal policy pushing home ownership through risky subprime lending. To Fannie and Freddie. To greedy bankers, unscrupulous lenders, naive (and greedy) homebuyers. To computer-enabled derivatives so complicated and interwoven as to elude control. But to the war on terror? Nonsense.

Nine/Eleven was our Pearl Harbor. This time, however, the enemy had no home address. No Tokyo. Which is why today’s war could not be wrapped up in a mere four years. It was unconventional war by an unconventional enemy embedded within a worldwide religious community. Yet in a decade, we largely disarmed and defeated it, and developed — albeit through trial, error and tragic loss — the means to continue to pursue its remnants at rapidly decreasing cost. That is a historic achievement.

Our current difficulties and gloom are almost entirely economic in origin, the bitter fruit of misguided fiscal, regulatory and monetary policies that had nothing to do with 9/11. America’s current demoralization is not a result of the war on terror. On the contrary. The denigration of the war on terror is the result of our current demoralization, of retroactively reading today’s malaise into the real — and successful — history of our 9/11 response.

— Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for Washington Post Writers Group. His email is letters@charleskrauthammer.com.

Comments

cato_the_elder 3 years, 3 months ago

Future historians will acknowledge that the major accomplishment of the George W. Bush administration was keeping us safe from further terrorist attacks after the despicable attacks against us on September 11, 2001. Obama's advisers knew that the Bush-Cheney policies had worked, and persuaded Obama to keep them in place despite the churlish complaints from his far-left base and the incompetence of his attorney general.

All Americans should be proud of the accomplishments of our intelligence community, our military, and members of local law enforcement who have thwarted further attempts to kill our citizens and disrupt our way of life. We must never forget what was done to us ten years ago and how much worse it could have become had we not immediately put effective measures in place to prevent such atrocities ever being inflicted on us again.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 3 months ago

That's a succinct description of the radical left in this country.

tbaker 3 years, 3 months ago

I have to disagree with you on this one Liberty. We were attacked for a host of reasons, but near the top of the list is because these nuts hate freedom. They hate what we stand for, and they hate the fact we support Israel. I could list all the attacks militant Islam has carried out against the US in the last 30 years. These were not caused by the US going around the world killing Muslims who are just out for revenge. They were caused because the US is viewed as evil in the eyes of militant Islam. In the case of 9/11, Bin Laden tapped into this hatred but also had the overthrow of the Saudi régime in mind. The "thinking" Jihadist like Bin Laden wants to rule Saudi Arabia and turn it into an even more repressive place from which to conquer the rest of the world in the name of his perverted view of Islam. Read what the guy wrote and believed. It's all out there. I've watched several of these guys interrogated. They genuinely believe Satan is running the United States and God is telling them to kill Americans. Generational hopelessness in much of the Muslim world makes it a ripe recruiting ground full of angry, illiterate young men. These type of men are anxious; they downright yearn to be lead by a charismatic, intelligent Muslim man with a modicum of education who has a message, who has figured it out, who has the plan to end their cycle of suffering and humiliation: Die for God. Death is a promotion. Your life will be so much better if you blow yourself up. Most of the foreign fighters in Fallujah didn't even know how to load and fire a weapon. They came eagerly, just to die fighting the infidels. Illiterate people are easily convinced. Myths are quickly made facts and indisputable truth. It really is very difficult for the Western mind to comprehend how these people think.

Make no mistake, this is not an endorsement of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both were necessary, but were done very poorly. We should have been out of both places a long time ago.

tbaker 3 years, 3 months ago

Spend nearly seven years with the people we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and you'll have a completely different opinion. People do think very differently from us. Its hard to fathum becuase you cannot make yourself illiterate and a victim of generational hoplessness, and you cannot produce conditions where you and everyone you know have never left the bottom rung of Maslow's pyramid. They are a product of not only a completely different culture, but a completely different environment. It would be nice to apply your generalities to them. It doesn't work.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 3 months ago

I hate that we support Israel because of how Israel treats the Palestinians. http://www.hrw.org/publications/reports?topic=All&region=228

"Generational hopelessness in much of the Muslim world makes it a ripe recruiting ground full of angry, illiterate young men." --It would be cheaper in the long run, and less bloody, to spend our tax dollars helping these people instead of bombing them and creating more generational hopelessness and hate. IMHO

"Illiterate people are easily convinced. Myths are quickly made facts and indisputable truth."
--And that(!) is how Brownback became govna.

scott3460 3 years, 3 months ago

Current apologists will never acknowledge that the major failure of the george w. bush administration was failing to keep us safe from known terrorist threats prior to September 11, 2001......

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 3 months ago

Future historians will acknowledge that the major failure of the George W. Bush administration in keeping us safe from terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. (fixed that for you)

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Brownback,Cheney and Bush did a lousy job in protecting anyone from the 9/11/01 terrorists!!! Over 3000 people lost their lives in the USA due to the negligence of Bush/Cheney.

Thousands of our soldiers are now dead because of the reckless war in the oil rich nations. Many more thousands of innocent native men,women and children are dead and still die everyday as a result of this reckless war. More killing is not making the USA safer. It is pissing off a lot of families who had no connection to the terrorists thus much bitterness toward the USA government.

Hell the CIA were tracking two in Yemen until the CIA lost track of them. So yes the USA government knew of this group.

What was Brownback and the repub admin doing to prevent 9/11/01?

Spending too much time at political fund raisers?

Why did they not put the FBI on these culprits knowing where they were living? Only a few blocks from Nat'l Security Admin Headquarters?

Why was no one fired for negligence?

The Clinton admin advised the Bush Admin of these people so how could the Bush Admin drop the ball?

How did these terrorists know they could pull off their plan on 9/11/01? This was a fairly sophisticated event which took time and effort so who kept the FBI off the the agenda?

Official knew these terrorists were learning to fly in the USA and were only learning take-off not landing.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 3 months ago

Why was the Clinton administration sitting on their hands while AQ did most of their planning? Hmmmmm

Jean Robart 3 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

It wasn't a war ON terror, it was a war OF terror.

The US had the sympathy of the entire world after 9/11, including the vast majority of the Muslim and Arab world. BushCo squandered it by launching two unnecessary wars.

"Future historians will acknowledge that the major accomplishment of the George W. Bush "

Yep, plunging the country into a new Great Depression, and alienating the rest of the world with his penchant for mass murder.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

"It wasn't a war ON terror, it was a war OF terror."

Right. Because it wasn't a global terror network that attacked us, and when we went to war we should have obviously taped flowers to our muzzles and sung kumbaya, that's how these things are resolved amicably. Why, the Arab world was all ready to just turn over all jihadists, there wouldn't have been any suicide bombings or IED's taking out their own people, all those plots against us and Australia, Spain, Britain, France, Holland, numerous locales in Africa et al. would never have happened because they weren't happening before 9/11 whatsoever. Uh uh.
As to that last moronic line = more of the same exponential exaggeration from our resident clown. You're a wonder.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Let's see, Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, so invading it prevented absolutely zero terrorism, but resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, and the displacement of millions of people, and a country that can't begin to govern itself, and provided the rationale for millions of new potential jihadis.

We're stuck in a quagmire in Afghanistan (and the war has now spread into Pakistan) with no end in sight, and not only is Afghanistan ungovernable, Pakistan is on the verge of becoming the same.

No matter how much you want to worship death and destruction, it didn't work.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

"No matter how much you want to worship death and destruction"

No matter how much you want to appear mature you still end up showing your childishness. At least you're predictable.

" Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, so invading it prevented absolutely zero terrorism,"

Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Another logical fallacy for your collection. While the first statement is arguable at best, the second is absolutely unproven, let alone doesn't logically follow.

"but resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people"

Just can't resist gross exaggeration, can ya?

"and not only is Afghanistan ungovernable, Pakistan is on the verge of becoming the same."

Nice. Two countries that were "ungovernable" long before, in the former's case virtually always so, yet you choose to insinuate that the U.S. and Bush were responsible for their lawlessness? Never let the truth stand in your way, pal. Atta boy.

Corey Williams 3 years, 3 months ago

"Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11..." "While the first statement is arguable at best..." Then argue it. Show the world what ties Iraq had to terrorism.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

That was difficult:

From The Council on Foreign Relations: Has Iraq sponsored terrorism? Yes. Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship provided headquarters, operating bases, training camps, and other support to terrorist groups fighting the governments of neighboring Turkey and Iran, as well as to hard-line Palestinian groups. During the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam commissioned several failed terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities. Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the State Department listed Iraq as a state sponsor of terrorism. The question of Iraq’s link to terrorism grew more urgent with Saddam’s suspected determination to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which Bush administration officials feared he might share with terrorists who could launch devastating attacks against the United States. Some Iraqi militants trained in Taliban-run Afghanistan helped Ansar al-Islam, an Islamist militia based in a lawless part of northeast Iraq. The camps of Ansar fighters, who clashed repeatedly with anti-Saddam Kurds, were bombed in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In February 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell told the UN Security Council that Iraq was harboring a terrorist cell led by Abu Musab Zarqawi, a suspected al-Qaeda affiliate and chemical and biological weapons specialist. Powell said al-Zarqawi had both planned the October 2002 assassination of a U.S. diplomat in Jordan and set up a camp in Ansar al-Islam’s territory to train terrorists in the use of chemical weapons. Powell added that senior Iraqi and al-Qaeda leaders had met at least eight times since the early 1990s.

Corey Williams 3 years, 3 months ago

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47812-2004Jun16.html

As far as direct links between Saddam and terrorism, a simple google search only comes up with fox news, newsmax, hot air, and other conservative based "news" sources. So, not proven.

And yes, Iraq was on a list of "state sponsors of terrorism". They were on there until Reagan took them off, and then from when Bush 1 put them back on after the invasion of Kuwait.

So, nothing proven. How about some independent links that tie Saddam to terrorism?

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

"As far as direct links........."

Oh. Except for the Council on Foreign Relations, which was just quoted, right? Or are you that obtuse? STOP. That was rhetorical.

Corey Williams 3 years, 3 months ago

Yep, never really cared for them at all. Acting might be her thing, but I have doubts about the foreign policy experience of Angie Jolie.

So, once again, nothing proven. How about some...oh, yeah. I can't get blood from a stone, and I can't get reason from you.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

Angie Jolie? Don't care for THEM but acting might be HER thing??!

What the hell are you talking about?!

Corey Williams 3 years, 3 months ago

"CFR members, including...Angelina Jolie...explain why the Council on Foreign Relations is an indispensable resource in a complex world."

And that's where you get your only proof.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

Nice one, Corey. Unable to respond 'cuz ya know you've been bested, so why not unleash the censor police? Sorry if I hurt your feelings, but the truth still lies below. I'm still bettin' on crickets from ya, though.

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an American nonprofit nonpartisan membership organization, publisher, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs. Founded in 1921 and headquartered at 58 East 68th Street in New York City, with an additional office in Washington, D.C., the CFR is considered to be the nation's 'most influential foreign-policy think tank. CFR's mission is to be "a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries." The CFR's Maurice C. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies, directed by scholar and author Sebastian Mallaby works to promote a better understanding among policymakers, academic specialists, and the interested public of how economic and political forces interact to influence world affairs.[18] The CFR's Center for Preventive Action (CPA) seeks to help prevent, defuse, or resolve deadly conflicts around the world and to expand the body of knowledge on conflict prevention. It does so by creating a forum in which representatives of governments, international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, corporations, and civil society can gather to develop operational and timely strategies for promoting peace in specific conflict situations.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

And you wrote you "can't get reason from me." Huh. How's it feel to resemble that remark? Gotta gnaw at ya, just know it does. Lovin' it.

Corey Williams 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes, it keeps me up at night worrying about what some anonymous person on the internets thinks. And if I could only best your superior logic. "resemble that remark?" Wow. Just wow.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

I made a statement, you challenged, I backed it up, you pretend it doesn't count because of affiliation when we both know you're embarrassed and have nothing else. Sorry the truth doesn't fit into your closed mind but it has nothing to do with "superior logic", all I did was quote a well respected organization with an exemplary record. Like I said, your the one displaying no rationale, pal. Not that it's a surprise.

Corey Williams 3 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, no links so you didn't back it up. Instead of mindless hyperbole, let's see some proof. Something I've repeatedly asked for and have yet to see anything from your part. Just because you say it's "truth" doesn't mean it is.

ra·tion·ale   [rash-uh-nal] noun 1. the fundamental reason or reasons serving to account for something. 2. a statement of reasons. 3. a reasoned exposition of principles. Something I've asked you for repeatedly (as in links), that you have yet to supply.

And yes, I am trolling you. Mainly because you don't have the intelligence to back up what you say with hard facts. At least Liberty275 had a factual claim that is easily researched even though they didn't provide any links to back it up. Although, of course, that form of terrorism had little to no effect on America. Is a google search (and subsequent copy and past of links) all that hard when you are trying to persuade others that your point of view is correct?

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

You wasted that much space griping because you're to lazy or stupid to perform your own search? Here's a hint: try 'council for foreign relations' and include a significant piece of the text I quoted. Are you sincerely this obtuse?? Much of what I quoted is directly from the CFR website, which I KNOW you've been to. So what? You picked Jolie's name out and figured that was enough to justify your obstinance? Grow up, then get back to me.

Liberty275 3 years, 3 months ago

Saddam Hussein paid tens of thousands of dollars to the families of suicide bombers that killed Israelis.

Armored_One 3 years, 3 months ago

Saddam publicly announced a life payment for any suicide bomber that successfully attacked any Zionist building or citizen.

Saddam made his own terrorism by gassing his own people.

Saddam, at the end of the first gulf war, was known to still be in possession of a number of chemical agents and all fully active. His military had a specific branch dedicated to replicating said bio-agents. We know this because we built the labs for him when Iraq and Iran were at war and Iraq was the lesser of two given evils.

Just because you uncorked the genie doesn't mean you can't grab a plunger and shove the bimbo back in the bottle. Or in this case, the coward into a noose.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

You're the one defending the wars, not me.

And so far you've failed miserably.

But that wasn't your goal, anyway, was it? This is just another one of your many, many posts driven by your need to pump yourself up by attacking someone else.

But at least you're consistent.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

Attacking someone else? Always the victim singing the same sad song. Feel sorry for you, bozo.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 3 months ago

"Kumbaya My Lord"

Everyone click here and sing along:

There's lots of pretty pictures to look at, too.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps the worst analogy of the week. Congrats.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

" No we didn't target civilians"

When you're dropping thousands upon thousands of 500-, 1000 and 2000-lbs bombs, there is no way you're not going to not kill civilians, and lots of them. Which means that for all practical purposes, civilians were indeed targeted.

jaywalker 3 years, 3 months ago

You did it again! Post hoc ergo propter hoc. For all practical purposes civilians were targeted??!! You might be the saddest individual on the planet.

scott3460 3 years, 3 months ago

Post hoc ergo propter hoc is a fallacy regarding the causation of events. I don't believe anyone disputes the causation of the deaths. Bozo's point, I believe, has to do with the intent, or perhaps more generously - the negligence, of the acts. You got it right the first time you went all Latin on us, but missed the mark with this one.

scott3460 3 years, 3 months ago

And, by the way, you might ponder this bit of Latin:

"adversus solem ne loquitor "

Armored_One 3 years, 3 months ago

There was no big secret made that we were going after this select group of people. Not only did they purposefully hide in civilian areas, the civilians frequently went out of their way to protect them, in one form or another. Food, medical support, information and other assundry supplies are probably just the tip of the iceberg.

If you are going to step in front of someone that has a gun to try and keep them from killing someone bent on killing everyone, don't be suprised if you get shot.

JohnBrown 3 years, 3 months ago

Good police work, coupled with a good spy network could have accomplished the same thing at much less cost in American blood and treasure.

Abdu Omar 3 years, 3 months ago

"Yet, in a decade Osama bin Laden went from the emir of radical Islam, jihadi hero after whom babies were named all over the Muslim world..."

Having travelled most of the Middle East in the last10-15 years, I will tell you that very few, maybe less that .025% of the Arab population revere Bin Lauden in any way. Most Muslims hate the SOB. Why? Because he hijacked the great Religion of Islam to include killing of innocents and preemptive attacks, the sneaking and suspicious manner of warfare; all anti-Islamic in every sense of the word. Muslims hate Bin Lauden for making the religion a household dirty word and they hate him for making the world believe things about Islam that are not true. Of course he was helped by ignorant people and bigots.

As an American Patriot, a Veteran of Vietnam and a Muslim, I want to categorically state that Muslims do not name their children after him, pretend he was a hero in any way or want to be like him. He tricked and fooled young men into thinking the Quran tells them to kill when these young men are illiterate and unable to think critically. He fooled us all.

Armored_One 3 years, 3 months ago

If so much of the Muslim world hated him, then why was he unable to be found for so many years?

You'd think that if he defiled the religion that badly, which I do agree his mangled it, they would have hunted him down long before we did, and either handed him over or at least given us the mangled corpse after they were done with it.

I'll buy the anger over perverting a religion, which by definition as being a religion is already twisted and mangled, but the unyielding hatred?

It may be that way, given that I haven't travelled to places that I can't speak the language, but if that anger ran that deep, I just can't see him managing to hide if he was surrounded by such incompetant young men, as you claim. Either they are fools or the hatred wasn't all that and a bucket of chicken. Heck, Americans are exactly a mass of religious followers, and yet they take great delight in not only pointing out the nutcases, they beat them down as often as they can. It's almost a sport these days.

Irritation yes. Anger yes. Hatred... I just can't find evidence of it.

Mike Ford 3 years, 3 months ago

This country trained and armed Osama Bin Laden during Charlie Wilson's war funding the Muhijadin against the Soviets. I was eleven when this was going down and the Olympics were boycotted. This country armed Saddam Hussein against the Ayatollah Khomeini from 1980 to 1988. This country punked the Middle East for oil like pretty much every World power since World War One. Imperialism doesn't care about faces or places elsewhere...it cares about their resources being the United States to take. When a whole region has endured callous concern with no regard other than the taking of oil and the toppling of leaders in Iran they become cynical and have no sense of value for lives. After all, do any of the imperial powers have regards for others...no. Just give us your stuff and shut up and become civilized...that's what they've heard from this country. And people in this country show no historical perspective at times...oh well.

DGL 3 years, 3 months ago

What is the difference between the rhetoric of a far-left liberal in America and that of Hugo Chavez or Ahmadinejad? Nothing. This post is a great example of that.

Liberty275 3 years, 3 months ago

Terrorism is just a speed bump, socialism is our real enemy.

scott3460 3 years, 3 months ago

Too bad that you were unable to contest the content of the post and resorted instead to mere name calling.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 3 months ago

Nice post. Here's a video of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam back in 1983 after he sold him all those weapons of mass destruction to use against Iran: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTldYb...

And here's a video of a comedian asking Rummy if he's a flesh eating lizard-human hybrid: http://vimeo.com/20704542

tomatogrower 3 years, 3 months ago

Hmm, killing a lot of American soldiers and innocent people in Iraq was a success? Iraq? Wasn't bin Laden from Saudi Arabia? Wasn't his group holed up with the Taliban in Afghanistan? Money spent in Iraq is ok, but not money spent in the United States? Conservatives are patriots? To what? Iraq?

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 3 months ago

Good questions, keep them coming. +1 I've got a few questions too: weren't the vast majority of hijackers on 9/11 from Saudi Arabia? Why didn't we invade Saudi Arabia?

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

In response to Bozo's comment, "The US had the sympathy of the entire world after 9/11, including the vast majority of the Muslim and Arab world". All the major media outlets showed mobs of people dancing in the streets in Arab cities. The crowds were cheering that the U.S. got it's nose bloodied. Maybe you were watching Al Jazeera, but all the U.S. media clearly showed what I saw. In that region there were two notable exceptions, Israel and Iran. Very interesting that in those two contrasting counties there were visible expressions of sympathy and outrage..

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

There were a few isolated celebrations, but most of the celebrations you likely saw were archive footage of celebrations that had nothing to do with 9/11 (since it didn't happen yet.) Not that I expect you to check the facts, because I understand that you have a vested interest in seeing Arabs and Muslims as America's enemies, because that keeps the military aid to Israel freely flowing.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

I saw what I saw. And I suspect you saw it as well. I saw it on numerous U.S. news outlets.
"Archive footage" What? Are you suggesting that our many news organizations were involved in some sort of conspiracy to mislead us? Is that what you're saying? If not, could you please explain what you meant by that statement? Right, I have a vested interest in seeing military aid to both Israel and Iran, the two examples I gave. Cherry picking, are we?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

You saw what you wanted to believe. The facts are that the majority of governments and other leaders in the Arab and Muslim world condemned the attacks, and whatever "celebrations" you saw were isolated events.

If you have evidence otherwise, please produce it.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm amazed you would reference Arab leaders, since you routinely condemn them as brutal dictators. To whom are you referring, the Egyptian government which you condemned Israel of keeping peace with such a repressive regime. Are you referring to the Saudi leaders, the Syrian leaders? These are the people who lent support? Thousands were in the streets celebrating 9-11 and you claim we had overwhelming support. You're wrong.
And I again challenge your claim that American news outlets posted "archive footage". Please explain your statement. Is there some conspiracy afoot, something going on we should know about? Explain your claim, if you can. Withdraw it if you can't. Or be labeled a fool and a hypocrite if you remain silent.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

"I'm amazed you would reference Arab leaders, since you routinely condemn them as brutal dictators."

Many of them are/were, but the fact remains that with the perhaps the exception of Saddam Hussein, very, very few Arab or Muslim or Arab leaders made statements in support of the actions taken on 9/11

"Thousands were in the streets celebrating 9-11 and you claim we had overwhelming support. "

Thousands? Probably so. But there are well over one billion Muslims, and vast majority of them were not out on the streets celebrating.

If you saw a KKK/Neonazi parade here in the US, would that make everyone here a KKKer or Nazi? That's precisely analogous to what you want to claim.

But I understand your "reasoning." If all Muslims are evil, it's much easier to justify murdering them by the hundreds of thousands, isn't it?

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

You made a claim, Bozo, one that I challenged you on. "Archive footage". Care to respond?

As to the other issue, the support or lack thereof of the Arab/Muslim community in the wake of the 9-11 attacks. You said the thousands that cheered is not significant given there are a billion Muslims. Let me give you a similar analogy. Fifteen people show up at a pro-choice rally in Topeka. In a state of almost 3 million, a small sample indeed. But suppose the rally had 100,000 during a January blizzard. Still, jut one person for every 30 in the state, a small sample, right? Wrong. It's a huge sample. The same is true of the thousands who protested in tightly controlled societies. A significant number. The "Arab Street" was and still is very anti American and their joy on 9-11 was as genuine as it was repugnant.

I never said Muslims are evil. I suspect they have as many evil people as other religions and cultures. Killing them is not at all what I would like. Read my post below, the one responding to Merrill. You will see that I believe that the U.S. is frequently confronted with bad choices. I wish it were not so. Then we could elect Mother Teresa as President. But the world is not like that. Given that, decisions will be made where people will die. Again, I wish it were not so. But it is. Lastly, please consider responding to my challenge. Just about a week ago, I threw out there some numbers I thought were correct. Someone challenged me and upon further research, I withdrew my claim. I was in error and I apologized. Making a claim that sounds like the frequently made claim that a certain group controls the media, is a comment worthy of withdrawal and apology.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

" But suppose the rally had 100,000 during a January blizzard. Still, jut one person for every 30 in the state, a small sample, right? Wrong. It's a huge sample."

If you're suggesting that something analogous happened after 9/11 celebrating the attacks, then finding evidence thereof should be a simple task.

But you have yet to provide it.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

You're the one making unsubstantiated claims, ones that I challenged you about, the "archive footage" claim. I challenged you before, I'll challenge you again. Provide proof, withdraw the claim, or if you remain silent on this issue (as you have for nearly a day), then be labeled a fool and a hypocrite.
And as I said before, mistakes happen. I've made them and responded with an admission of error and an apology if my comment misled. This is your opportunity to show your character. What type of a person are you, Bozo? Are you a person worthy of carrying on an intelligent conversation with or not. I have no problem carrying on conversations with individuals with whom I disagree. But people who make veiled accusations and then hind behind silence and anonymity are not worth my time or effort.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

OK, I looked it up, and the claims of faked footage appear to have been debunked. (not that outlets such as Fox News, and many other mainstream media, didn't make this an opportunity for fear mongering against Arabs and Muslims.)

But your contention of widespread, large demonstrations appears to be equally unsupported. The demonstrations by Palestinians appear to have been rather small and isolated.

Furthermore, in the Arab/Muslim world, only Saddam Hussein made any statements in support of that action.

And I suspect that's why you're so focused on the archived footage aspect of this story-- as a deflection from your unsupported claims.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

Just a quick 9-11 celebrations google search reveals the celebrations in Palestine. Wikipedia clearly states that shortly thereafter, leaders realized the public relations nightmare that was causing and told their people to back off. I'm not even suggesting Palestinians don't have legitimate reasons to be angry. But there is a time and a place, and this wasn't it.
Thank you for backing off your claim, and if you'll remind me what unsupported claim you're referencing, I'll address that.

Crazy_Larry 3 years, 3 months ago

"Are you suggesting that our many news organizations were involved in some sort of conspiracy to mislead us? Is that what you're saying?" Yes. Yes I am.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, Larry. From your previous about conspiracy theories and such, I just can't take you seriously. But thank you anyway for your opinion.

Armored_One 3 years, 3 months ago

Uhmm, if it was archived, why do I distinctly remember seeing the people in those crowds holding up Arab newspapers with images of the towers burning?

Last I knew, that was the only time aircraft was purposely flown into those particular buildings.

I don't think you can archive something in advance of it ever happening, but who knows. This could just be a bad version of Spaceballs.

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 3 months ago

Krauthammer has provided even more evidence of being a man out of touch with reality and certainly not a person I would want advising our county's leaders regarding foreign policy.

heygary 3 years, 3 months ago

Don't you badmouth Charles! He is arguably one of the most clear thinking "advisers" on TV!

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Reagan/Bush supported the Taliban against the Russia invasion. When the USA invaded Taliban became the enemy. Isn't that something.

9/11/01 is a tool for politicians who want to keep the war machine going. It has nothing to do with democracy. It's all about the global economy producing global tax free profits for the few. This is not how peace and tranquility is established.

This celebrating 9/11/01 is kind of strange. Spending tons of tax dollars. Last night on Frontline revealed the USA has become nothing but a mammoth secret government operation. Discovering how many billions of tax dollars is being spent to supposedly keep america safe is also top secret information = no one is telling.

One other odd detail surfaced. The weapon makers of the USA suddenly became among the many many many many new intelligence gathering groups. 9/11/01 produced a vast array of civilian spy groups at big bucks. In essence all of this 9/11/01 has become a great source for profiteers aka tax dollar moochers.

A big question still remains unanswered? How in the world did 15 people manage to dupe Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rummy into ignoring them after the Clinton admin warned the Bush people. And after Bush had received a memo stating something big was on the table 30 days before 9/11/01.

These 9/11/01 culprits had to be very busy planning in depth strategy for each airport which had to involve serious hours. These folks were not strangers to the nations security giants. Since it seems a 24/7 cover-up has been on the tables.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

The mistake in your logic is a mistake frequently made. If our choices were good and bad, surely, we should strive for good. And if we don't strive for that, then shame on us. But the world is not black and white. It's not good vs. bad. Look at our support of Stalin's Soviet Union during WW II. We supported him and his regime not because it was good or because we agreed with him, it was because we had a common enemy that was perceived to be worse. Was Hitler worse than Stalin? With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, we might be able to debate that. We made a bad decision precisely because the only alternative was perceived to be worse. The same was true of our support for those fighting against a Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The same was true of our support of Iraq as a counter balance to a rising threat from Iran. The same is true in countless other decisions the U.S. makes. It would be great if we could make good and bad decisions. That's just not the world we live in.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, but looking at bad decisions-- decisions that were clearly bad when they were made-- and saying that they are analogous to WWII, is just plain lazy.

But I understand that you need to cling to such bad decisions, because otherwise the rationale behind your uncritical support for Israel would crumble.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

I used three examples of U.S. decisions that were made where our choices were bad, or worse. One was the WW II example you reference, two were at different times and none had anything to do with Israel. But since you bring that up, yes, it is another example of the U.S. making bad decisions precisely because the alternative is worse. That, along with hundreds of other decisions we make fall into that category I mention, bad or worse. My criticism of Merrill's post was his suggestion (as I interpreted his post) was that the U.S. had a choice between good and bad, right or wrong. I stand by my comment that it's just not that easy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 3 months ago

Worse for whom? American support for Israel has rarely worked in the national interest of the US, and it most certainly hasn't worked in the interest of Palestinians.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 3 months ago

Look, there are so many times we make decisions that are not in our best interest. We give aid to a starving country and it diminishes our wealth. Allowing a country to starve is worse. Should we give aid, yes, of course. Might those same people rise up and act in a way contrary to our best interests, again, yes. It happens. It happens all the time. It happened with Stalin, it happened with the Taliban and it happened with Iraq.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Again Brownback,Cheney and Bush did a lousy job in protecting anyone from the 9/11/01 terrorists!!! Over 3000 people lost their lives in the USA due to the negligence of the Bush/Cheney national security team.

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 3 months ago

The fact that our soldiers have performed so courageously says much more about the quality of our young people, their values and their hearts than any politician.

kugrad 3 years, 3 months ago

With all due respect to everyone involved, no war is a "rousing success." Also worth noting, the reason we have such a huge deficit is this same "rousing success"

Armored_One 3 years, 3 months ago

And I suppose the three major bailouts, the huge stimulus plan that accomplished next to nothing and who knows how many grants to 'green power' companies that are going nowhere fast, except out of business had nothing to do with the deficit.

If you are going to start placing blame, place it on everyone that deserves it, not just the ones you don't happen to like.

weeslicket 3 years, 3 months ago

from the editorial: "We no more chose it (the war in in iraq) to be the central campaign in the crushing of al-Qaida than Eisenhower chose the Battle of the Bulge as the locus for the final destruction of the German war machine. "

just want to remind everyone of the terrible, incredible dishonesty contained within this statement. locus, indeed.

scott3460 3 years, 3 months ago

Well, we wasted a good deal of $$$ too.

Funny, of course, that government welfare payments to defense contractors are acceptable to the right wing, but a payment to a family or poor person is not. What values, I wonder, underlay that?!?

scott3460 3 years, 3 months ago

Given that the majority of welfare recipients are females trying to support their families, I always find it interesting that those who proclaim their family "values" are so unwilling to act upon those professed values.

Also, for the folks that push such a consumerist agenda in so many other ways, who can tell me why $600 spent on the proverbial toilet seat is a better use of funds than feeding and maintaining $600 worth of consumers?

scott3460 3 years, 3 months ago

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

You've got to read past the parts that you like.....

Armored_One 3 years, 3 months ago

Promote the general welfare does NOT mean fork out cash left and right to people for groceries.

Considering that the two terms were conceived and written into practice over a century apart, I can't really see your point.

scott3460 3 years, 3 months ago

It means Agnostick's contention is not true.

somedude20 3 years, 3 months ago

I will never forgive Colin Powell for knowingly selling a bill of goods that put our troops in harms way. He "sexed" up that bs intel about Iraq having WMDs' that has caused tens of thousands of American military members wounded or dead (not to mention all of the Iraqis that have been killed or injured). As an officer, he took an oath not to put our troops in harms way unless necessary, which Iraq was not!!! I can only hope that he will have nightmares that haunt him for the rest of his pathetic days on earth!! Powell, in my eyes, is more culpable than Bush or Cheney when it comes to Iraq since he is the only one to serve (don't even pull that crap about AWOL George) and he betrayed the trust that was given to him by the people

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