Putting Up a Front
President George W. Bush proclaims that Iraq is the “central front in the war on terror.” He is mistaken. There is no front such as may exist between the armies of 2 nations at war. Terrorism is an ideological movement that is spreading rapidly everywhere around the world and we must fight it everywhere. But U.S. has trouble fighting terrorism because our men are bogged down and sinking … sinking … sinking in the quagmire of Iraq.
Why does Bush keep telling us that Iraq is the "central front in the war on terror"? Because Iraq is, or rather Bush is making it, a front - as in "putting up a front." This brings me to the next question: Why does he need to put up a front? Because he is embarrassed - if such a word may be applied to Bush - that he has almost nothing positive to say to this year's voters about his administration.
Bush claimed to be compassionate but favored laissez faire. He showed his compassion to the rich with his tax cuts and his reduction in the so-called "death tax." He demonstrated his adherence to laissez faire when he allowed the poor victims of Katrina to exercise "self reliance."
Bush is so paranoid and eager to win the "war on terror," that he approved torture and warrantless spying on Americans - as if such actions could possibly help.
Need I bring up the scandals, especially those involving Jack Abramoff and his many congressional buddies?
President Bush, or as some call him King George, knows he is right when God presents him with a gut feeling. If Bush says a person is an enemy combatant, there is no point to any legal procedures. All that is left to be done is to put the detainee in Guantanamo and forget about him. Secrecy, reduced civil rights and a lawless rule of law are the rule under King George.
King George decides to invade Iraq. So, regardless of all objections, we invade Iraq. We meet the ostensible goal of the campaign: Saddam Hussein is overthrown. Do we leave? No. We must establish democracy. Now that Iraq has had elections and has formed a "unity government," Iraqis are running around killing each other in a "non-civil war." Our buddies the Shi-ites enforce civil rights by putting women in burkas and under the control of men. Iraqi leaders root for Hezbollah against Israel and U.S.
Absolutely nothing has gone right in Iraq. From the beginning to today it has been one big fiasco. And what does Bush say about this? "Stay the course." In other words, Bush has no idea what to do. He's been asked about this so many times that finally he blurted out that U.S. will never leave as long as he is president. Pure emotion. Nothing but suffering for Iraqis and Americans.
The situation is so dire that 61% of the nation wants to get out of Iraq.
To stem the bloodbath Republicans expect from the coming fall elections, Bush and his cronies are turning to the scare tactics they have used successfully against Democrats in the past. They think the word "terror" has lost some of its terror. So they are busy concocting new words to scare the people to death. They bringing up Communism and Fascism, Hitler and Nazism. Not strong enough. So they invent a new word "Islamofascism." What does it mean? Who knows? Who cares? It sounds bad and that is all that matters.
Scare them. Scare them. Scare them. At the very least, confuse them.
Instead of fighting terrorists, our Republican leaders are playing with words in order to scare the people, so that the people would elect Republicans. Although this strategy worked before, it will not work this time. All of us can see that terrorism is increasing and that the Iraq war was a blunder.
Iraq is not the "central front in the war on terror." It is the central front for concealing what the Bush administration and the Republican House and Senate truly are like. Don't be scared. Vote the Republicans out.
Posted by Paul Siegel at September 1, 2006 5:58 PM
To scare the populace into believing what you want them to believe has been a ploy of the republican party for years. You don’t have to provide any factual info you just have to repeat it enough. And, own the (so called liberal) media. I find it dashearting that you can not find any full time on air (TV) liberals to rebutt the Linbaugh’s, O’Riley’s, Scarbourgh’s. But the reality of it is that the advertisers are afraid of the backlash at the cash registers.King George is going to give a lot of speeches between now and the election, all with the same central theme, “Be Afraid Be Very Afraid”, if you give back power to the Democrats our country will attacked. I just hope that the majority gets out and votes.
Bush’s, Cheney’s, Wolfowitz’s, Rice’s and Rumsfeld’s complete failure to stem terrorism, and indeed to fan its flames, stems from their errant believe that we can fight terrorism spreading with our military.
It just ain’t so. The enemy is in small groups, dispersed, and connected only by communications if connected at all. You can’t go after small groups, or cells as they are called, with the 5th Infantry without turning millions of people against the U.S. and toward the cause of the terrorists.
It is so plainly obvious, yet, military expansionist designs blind many Republicans from seeing it, and forces them to chalk up ever more failures increasing successes.
Interesting point, Paul. What has the GOP done for us lately? They can’t win in Iraq, they can’t find bin Laden, they can’t get their act together on immigration, homeland security, ethics, Social Security, stem cell research, ear marks, lobby reforms or the federal budget. They can’t even coordinate enough to pass a simple measure making government contracts more transparent to save money.
Let’s face it. The Republican Party has completely lost it’s moorings. What happened to fiscal responsibility? What happened to small government? What happened to term limits or the balanced budget amendment? What happened to conservative foreign policy? You can bet Reagan never would have attacked Iraq while the terrorists who attacked America were still on the loose.
The Republicans tax cut us into servitude to loan sharks in China. After that, they had nothing else to offer America.
Other than the war, what are Republicans campaigning on? Nothing.
—Paul—You have hit the nail, square on the head
an in a clarity, even the spinmeisters should
have fun trying to dismantle.
Excellent post, as usual!
I would like to add that Bush’s is talking about Iran, in very much the same way he spoke of Iraq, before he (we) invaded them.
My fear is that he’s going to invade Iran and manage to start a real live WWIII.
Somehow I believe that would definitely keep us at WAR until he is no longer President.
That scares the heck outta me……
The good news I’ve discovered latedly is that a number of people I know who loved Bush originally and always voted Republican, are leaning towards Democrat candidates - assuming they can find any.
A general condemnation of Republicans will never be a constructive argument. I would whole heartedly condemn the diplomatic and military capabilities of the executive branch, but the legislative branch has had little more than a front row seat to this since the Iraqi debacle was first initiated.
To be fair, there are many Republicans who are questioning the administrations ability to succeed in this effort, and many, not all, are truly just conservatives with intellect.
With the help of Congress, the ball was set rolling. They have had little affect on it’s direction.
My point is, the body of Republicans in congress are not, as a group, as incapable as the current administration, nor are they nearly as proven to use fear tactics on thier constituency.
Where is Phil Donahue these days.
—- American Pundit —- I enjoy very much two
posts together(yours an Paul’s) showing such
well placed at this juncture of really need
to know, information at this time!
I am no fan of Bush or the Iraq War, but I think you went a little extreme. Can we agree that despite his mistakes he does actually have the best interests of the country (notably the rich, religious and corporate parts of it.) at heart? That said, good post.
The Republicans ARE campaigning on something other than war. Its fear. Fear of terrorism, fear of illegal immigrants. Mostly fear of what will happen if gays can marry. Its ridiculous. When will the “Grand Old Party,” be grand in any way other than fiascoes and corruption. Incidentally, the Democratic party is older than the Republican Party.
Terrorism is an ideology??? Terrorism is a tactic and your statement is just plain stupid.
—-Doc— I am afraid the Republicans need a much
greater showing, of their displeasure and
sedentary inaction, before major changes will
Can we agree that despite his mistakes he does actually have the best interests of the country (notably the rich, religious and corporate parts of it.)
Posted by: Silima at September 1, 2006 07:48 PM
Nonsense….if we had had a government for the last 60 years that served the interest of the American people instead of everything but, we would not have been exposed to the fanaticism produced in part of the world where the average American has no interest.
Weren’t you also one who blamed Bush & company for the problems of Valerie Plame & Joseph Wilson? Even Bob Beckle admitted he had falsely accused the Bush administration. Can you & your bleeding heart liberals do the same as Bob Beckle, or will you look for more “evidence” of wrong doing?
DAVID - Oh, I completly agree. Democrats are barfing all over the place, while Republicans are just now starting to feel queezy.
—-Keith—Ideology is a body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class or culture. Also, it
becomes A set of doctrines or beliefs that form the basis of political, an economic, or other systems. I don’t believe this includes
—BP— Do you think those nit wits would out A
CIA agent with out the Bush Administrations
permission ? I think not
How many times can George W Bush cry wolf before his Republican constituents stop believeing him?
I didn’t say that terrorism is an ideology. Are you sure you read my post???
Paul, good post. Bound to get at least a few Bushie’s frothing at their keyboards.
“What has the GOP done for us lately? They can’t win in Iraq, they can’t find bin Laden, they can’t get their act together on immigration, homeland security, ethics, Social Security, stem cell research, ear marks, lobby reforms or the federal budget. They can’t even coordinate enough to pass a simple measure making government contracts more transparent to save money.”
Yes, all that, and here’s a few more: Attacked our Constitution. Made us the laughing stock of the world. Then there is KATRINA — they couldn’t even manage to keep our own people from dying during the worst natural disaster the country has ever faced. And a year later, those who managed to survive are still trying to get by without any kind of effective assistance or compassion. Total disgrace. And then they try to tell us how traitorous we are not to want to pour billions more of our tax dollars into their Iraq quagmire — when all it’s doing is needlessly kill our troops, as well as deprive our own fellow citizens on the Gulf Coast of the help they need to put their lives back together.
“the body of Republicans in congress are not, as a group, as incapable as the current administration, nor are they nearly as proven to use fear tactics on thier constituency.”
No DOC, with all due respect, don’t give them that out. The Republican majority in Congress has done very little to try to curb, alter, or rein in the actions of the most RASH, INCOMPETENT, UNWISE, DISHONEST, AND INEFFECTIVE administration in our nations history. Instead, they’ve been a rubberstamp. Now of course, they’re trying to show a bit of resistance, but it’s so transparent a ploy, because it’s only due to the fact that they’re afraid of losing the complete control they’ve been holding.
As far as fear tactics go, In my opinion, they’ve done a truly shameful amount of cheerleading and lip-syncing of talking points for the Rovian Fear-Meisters.
Just when you think it can’t get any worse with these Clowns, it does. Time to throw the Bums OUT, or let them have sole control to start WWIII.
—expat usa— fanaticism goes back to 1786 in this
country with witch hunts, an other religious
obsessions, including one of Hitlers beliefs,
an others seem to become over zealous with Religion an are linked with Fanaticism!
You’re damn right we should throw the bums out! I just hope we’re not too late. At the rate GWB is beating his war drum the bombs may already be exploding by then.
—-Kieth—- I believe you implied Paul applied
the term Fanaticism, Paul said others on the
Republican side were using many isms including fanaticism! He did not use or direct
the word towards any one.
—————- Except what the Republicans are
The words Central front in the war on terrorism certainly sound nice, but Bush has two problems. One, it’s an unprovable statement. Two, it’s only central in any shape or form because Bush created a failure of security in the region.
Bush and his apologists take to calling this “the flypaper strategy” and repeat that God-forsaken talking point of fighting them there so we don’t fight them here, but each is merely the Bush administration trying to make lemonade out of cyanide-spiked lemons. It’s about as healthy a product to consume as well.
There is no strategical advantage to leaving oneself vulnerable on an ongoing basis. Though the Republicans are quick to point out how negative media reports embolden the terrorists, they forget to mention how the continual state of anarchy contributes to the boldness of our enemies. They don’t keep on doing this because they love lining up in our sights. They aren’t that stupid, friends and neighbors. They keep doing this because most of the time they can get away with it, and as of this point, unless they get too overconfident and bunch together in one spot, there’s little we can do to stop them, with Bush’s current plan at work.
Why does Bush want to stay the course? It’s pretty simple: Because its his course. He has no desire to give up control, or submit to his political enemies. If he were a better leader, this might make political sense. Unfortunately, he’s a hack at policy, so his gift for politics only lets him dig himself and the rest of us in deeper.
Leadership is more than standing in front of impressive backdrops and speaking grand words in grandiloquent style, while looking far into the distance. In the real world, it’s about results. Truly good leaders bring trully good results. Bad ones make things worse. Bush, by screwing up again and again, has indicated to us just what kind of leader he is, and all the resolve and good intention just serve to fixate him on continuing to do things his way, the wrong way.
For the Republicans, he’s like Brad Pitt’s character in Legends of the Fall He’s the rock everybody breaks themselves upon, the source of so much tragedy. It has been said that God punishes people by giving folks what they want.
Well, God gave the Republicans all three branches of government, and a Bush back in the White House.
Adrienne - I’m not giving them an out. I’m not even saying that they are not guilty of being total suck ups at times. My comment was intended to call out undue condemnation of congressmen for actions of BushCo.
Moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats tend to be able to agree on many more issues than their representative counterparts. Unfortunately, in party politics its either Red or Blue. To me party politics is the real obstacle in achieving our potential. It’s a 1:1 power struggle, with very little synergy.
Now. Before people begin to beat me about the head and neck for using the word synergy, consider this:
Without logic, we would have been eaten by animals larger than us. Without passion, we wouldn’t have cared. Democrats will logically discuss things and be devoured by large animals. Republicans will charge with passion at the large animals and be destoyed. Given that every person has a unique mixture of logic and passion, where does it all mesh?
Somewhere in the middle.
Somewhere in the purple.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.
Good post! I must refute one point, though: your use of the term “President George W. Bush”. He is not President; he is an usurper! The “election” was handed to him by Diebold CEO Walden O’Dell through the use of Diebold’s paperless voting machines.
“To be fair, there are many Republicans who are questioning the administrations ability to succeed in this effort, and many, not all, are truly just conservatives with intellect.”
The problem is, those same Republicans (along with too many “Democrats”) are not questioning the very basis and legality of the Iraq Debacle. If these people really had intellect they would stop echoing the talking points(dull, indeed) Annhole Coulter and the Viagra junkie spew forth and start thinking for themselves.
I don’t understand.
What party does not prey on the fears of their base or the populous?
Since the 1960s there is a pretty good track record of playing on the fears of America relative to the environment. So were they wrong to do so? I don’t think so, I think 40 years of fear on environment has lead to some great change. Not enough though.
Paul, where should the war on terror be fought specifically? Anywhere but Iraq is unrealistic, so where?
Can we expect that any sitting President, Dem or Rep to completely withdrawal from the Middleeast now that we have a footprint there?
Call Him King or Curious George, no matter, what do we do now? What do we do to ensure the safety of Americans.
Two years from how it won’t be Georgie, however, they’ll have the same perdicament. What is the broader solution.
I’m sure we all feel very good now, after another useless thread recounting George Bush’s sins. The Democratic party better start talking about what they plan to do a bit more, because most of the country still sees it as the party of moveon.org, Cindy Sheenan and Michael Moore.
I don’t know about you, but I find it rather dishartening, that with all the failures of this administration, all the abuses of this goverment and all the lack of a “vision thing”, the Democrats still are not assured of gaining a majority in congress in November.
Where is the Democratic foreign policy narrative? Where are the inspired leaders? (Actually Gore seems to have finally found his voice lately) Where is the positive message? Where is the beef?
Edge—- There was more than fear in the sixties,
we took action against the war, environment,
road signs 50ft. high next to the highways, clean
drinking water, got started on cleaning up
the Great Lakes an saving the Red Wood forests,
an my friends an I went south on the Freedom Rides against racism, just to name a few things
we personally did on our own, which a battle of
which most people can not comprehend. sorry this
is a sore subject for me. I had a good friend
killed trying to help others. I can say you
all have a Better, Cleaner an Healthier country
country because of Rebellious generation.
The ploy of blaming the press, blaming Hollywood, and blaming the commies/(now islamofacists) is an old Richard Nixon, Joseph McCarthy trick.
The anti war movement began in the sixties and steam rolled the Nixon administration when middleclass families faced the loss of thousands of their 18 year old sons for a war of lies. We have a failed war of lies again, but there is no draft, and the volunteers are blinded by propoganda.
There is a general belief that we are in a losing lie, but the middle class is not bound to sacrifice their sons yet. By making the underclass pay and the devout kool aid drinkers, Bush avoids the massive movement like the sixties. The Republican strategy has not yet exacted a cost on the middleclass or business class that is the beneficiary of their policies. The middleclass is losing ground , but thus far this is a vague not obvious link to Republicans or Democrats.
When a Black Panther type group rises up and declares war on the status quo, when the underclass refuses to play the man’s game. When the middleclass and business class is directly threatened by the instability created by a corrupt elite political front, there will be consequences to Bush’s war.
It was the duel front of the Pacifists and Anarchists that brought the Civil Rights changes and fed into the Anti War movement. This is what led to the withdrawal from Vietnam.
I’ve seen the writing on the wall. There is a revolution fomenting. The connection of Black America to the Islamic movement, the Mexican underclass dying in Iraq and being harassed as illegals, and the increasing tax burden and energy swindles on the middle class may well create a new terror class in America. Groups like the SLA and SDS of the sixties may form under the new facism of the right. Al Qaeda has added the grandiosity of large attacks to the mix.
A war with Iran may lead to a draft, and further grow this movement.
In order to avoid this, we must address the raping of the middleclass, the racism against a growing hispanic segment, and the continued criminalization of blacks through economic repression. The answer isn’t welfare or set asides. It is the understanding of a culture and the involved leadership of mainstreaming these underclasses.
This is the real war America is facing. The Arab conflicts are their own. There is no Arabic superpower forming. It is only our attempts to control the supply of oil that involves us.
Our security is dependant on Energy Policy, Anti trust laws, Fiscal responsibility and addressing racism and underclass issues. Change Energy policy and get out of the middle east and Islamo-facism goes away. Address the underclass and internal terrorism diminishes.
—-gergle— I like you post. I believe the word
Islamofascism is a very Dangerous word, an I
also think the Bush Administration is making
a serious mistake using it. I am quiet sure his
handlers are deliberately trying to apply this
disgusting dark an ominous atmosphere, to help get
the Republicans a little edge in November.
I don’t think things are quite at that point. Until you get people getting drafted into this war, you really won’t see widespread social disruption. Katrina and the immigration policy are more likely to create problems, but even there the radicalism is likely to be lessened by the fact that a majority of Americans have little appreciation for the policies.
I think the major consequence of the Iraq war will be bleed the Conservative movement of much of its strength. We’ll have to see what the consequences are of that.
From Article concerning kidnapped Fox News Reporters
The Religion of Peace — at Gunpoint
By Kathleen Parker
“… disbelievers will be cast into an eternal fire. But Allah is also ever merciful, and the West can change its ways and turn to the purifying power of Islam …”
— Kidnapped Fox reporter Steve “Khaled” Centanni, channeling his captors.
We don’t often get to watch our media people convert to Islam, so the footage of Fox News’ Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig has been riveting.
Some people can’t get enough of watching planes fly into the World Trade Center towers; I can’t get enough of Centanni and Wiig pledging allegiance to Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him.
The common thread between the two is disbelief. I keep rerunning the tapes, now posted on the Web, trying to read the kidnapped men’s body language and translate the meaning of deep breaths and eye movements.
Trying, alas, to imagine being in their place.
As everyone knows, reporter Centanni and cameraman Wiig were released several days ago after being seized in Gaza City by masked gunmen and held hostage for 13 days.
It’s not clear exactly who their kidnappers were, whether part of the Holy Jihad Brigades, as claimed, or whether they had ties to Hamas or the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an offshoot of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah.
You need a scorecard to keep up with all the region’s disaffected. Apparently, when three or more angry Muslims gather in a garage, a new jihadist group is born.
What’s perfectly clear is that video is the new weapon of mass destruction. A billion people manipulated into religious frenzy is a formidable force. It is also clear that the West’s continued existence — at least from the perspective of Islamist militants — depends upon our willingness to bow to Islam.
Those two conclusions are made possible by the images of Centanni and Wiig holding up an index finger and proclaiming allegiance to the Prophet Muhammad.
Says Centanni: “My name is Steve. I’m an American. After I entered Islam, I changed my name to Khaled. I have embraced Islam and say the word Allah, and my leader is the Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him.”
Wiig — new name “Ya’aqob” — repeats the liturgy.
Then the two men proceed to read a script outlining all the reasons why the West is wrong — from invading Afghanistan and Iraq to the tortures of Abu Ghraib. They also ask that all prisoners be released from Guantanamo and that President Bush cease referring to Islamic fascists as “Islamic fascists.”
It’s not nice, and it makes the kidnappers mad.
“Yeah, they were very angry about that,” said Wiig in an interview after his release.
In his role as Khaled, Centanni said he hoped to help Westerners see the light of Islam, which “helps people to love mercy, brotherhood, equality and justice.” Especially — we can’t help filling in for him — when a gun is pointed at one’s head. Or a knife poised at one’s throat.
One of Wiig’s interrogators, a dark figure framed by two AK-47s and with a bayonet at his feet, provided a grim reminder that death is always an option for uncooperative infidels. Thus, the journalists did what they thought necessary to survive.
Obviously, none of us can imagine what we’d do under similar circumstances. Yet despite our empathy and relief at the men’s release, there is nevertheless something about that video — of seeing those two decent, open-hearted Western men surrendering to these lowlife fanatics — that makes me want to take a shower.
How dare those thugs lecture Westerners about the loveliness of Islam while forcing religious conversion at gunpoint?
Their objective was clear from the beginning, according to Centanni and Wiig. They wanted a video. The two Fox journalists were far more valuable shown as cowardly Westerners converting to Islam than as severed heads on the tip of a dull knife.
Let me be clear: I don’t think they were cowards. But those who are willing to strap explosives to their bodies — or enlist their children to become suicide bombers — surely see them, and us, that way. It is easy to imagine that rancorous Muslims are as attuned to the video as we are, watching replay after replay in the smug satisfaction that they have scored another victory against the infidel and the Great Satan.
Those few minutes of choreographed horror affirm for the Islamic world that Westerners are weak, while they reiterate the jihadist’s message to the West:
Convert to Islam — or die.
***** OFF TOPIC - but really worth a couple of minutes *****
“The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.
Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.”
Can we agree that despite his mistakes he [Bush] does actually have the best interests of the country (notably the rich, religious and corporate parts of it.) at heart?
Shouldn’t we Dems just call Bush “CHICKEN LITTLE”—-“THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING”—(until the elections are over).
Shouldn’t we Dems just call Bush “CHICKEN LITTLE”—-“THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING”—(until the elections are over).
I take it you are opposed to torture in all its forms, correct?
I feel this is alot to compare the present day Bush Administration with the past history of Nazi Germany under Hitler. Then the Nazi’s used the hatred of the Communist,foriegners, homosexuals, and the Jews. Now under Bush we see a fear of foriegners,homosexuals, and instead of Jews we replaced them with Moslems. Bush has used fear tactics. And has tried to force Americans to feel as he does or call them unpatriotic. The only real difference to then and now is Nazi Germany had a strong and growing economy. Now I am not trying to discount the suffering that Many groups felt during Hitler being in power. But King George has totally ruin what most people of the world feel about the United States.
Onr thing the American public chooses to forget is that the raid in the UK was their doing NOT OURS!! but that being said , Bush and et.al will bring it up, and that fear works and so does this war and our secret “intelligence”. Live in fear and all will be well, at least for the incredably stupid.
We can only win by the constraint of our enemies. Little of the overwrought rhetoric of the right has served that purpose. It only helps to confirm for these people that we’re hostile towards Arabs and Muslims in general. That takes the gloves off, friend.
The Terrorists don’t win by cutting off heads or forcing conversions. They win by throwing off the constraints of law and order, by successfully gaining support within the population, and by mounting successful campaigns of terror.
So, to win, we must reinforce the constraints of law and order, turn the population against the terrorists, and frustrate their operations effectively.
How does this vilification fit into that? Americans don’t need motivation to fight the terrorists. 9/11 provided plenty. The only reason to maintain this level of high dudgeon is to encourage escalation of conflict against the very Arabs and muslims whose cooperation we need to to get the advantage on the terrorists.
It’s not that we should never intervene, or that we should not allow ourselves or our allies to defend themselves. No. The truth is, this is a matter of approach, which those on the right all too often insist is the same thing. The manner in which we defend ourselves and carry out our foreign policies can end up doing well for us, or it can end up screwing things up for us.
This hair-trigger defensiveness only serves to confuse the one issue that should be clear to all: who’s starting this. Forget pre-emption. Try engineering things to where it’s Hezbollah and Hamas that’s clearly guilty of breaking the peace. Hold off until there’s no alternative, then attack in defense, asking for international help. Keep attacks precisely targeted against the terrorists. The rules of engagement must be such that resentment for the misery of the war falls mainly on the enemy.
Such resentment is a force multiplier. Reduce the cooperation and you reduce options. Reduce the enemy’s options and they may do something stupid or simply grow soft and fat and complacent waiting a lifetime for a viable opportunity.
Make it not worth their while to start these fights, to make the attacks, to even operate as a terrorist group. The more they get tripped up, the more their prestige drops. Get that drop and your force multiplies even farther.
We have to strangle the terrorists by precisely laid snares of statecraft, espionage, and diplomacy, punctuated by the occasional outright military neck-wringing. Forget the War on Terror. Let’s create a movement against terror in the Middle East, get them to willingly lay down that weapon.
This isn’t World War Three, or at least it doesn’t have to become it through the kind of belligerent foolishness that characterized the first great war. No, this is just a foreign policy problem that needs a more creative, more appropriate response.
I could use some clarification on you’re previous post. Do you want us to wait to be hit, then hit back, or find terrorist plots in the making then expose them later, a little bit before we are attacked? I hope its the second one.
Well said. What is interesting about the article posted by Joe is that it unintentionally reveals exactly what is going so wrong.
The attempt to associate all Muslims with the kidnappers is primitive, but consistent with the appeal the Bush administration makes to its base. Bush, Cheney, & Rumsfeld use terms suggesting we face a unified, monolithic enemy with a single philosophy/religion.
This is false.
Worse, this results in the idea that one size fits all, that one solution will solve all problems in the Middle East. Again, this may play well with the social fundamentalist base of the Republican Party. The problem is that not only the base believes it, but so do Bush, Cheney, & Rumsfeld. And even worse yet, the solution seems to involve military applications, as if this were a “war” with some sort of “central front.”
Starting WWIII, and pitting the US/Israel v Islam is stupid beyond description. Let us hope the elections rein in the Bush administration, and that no horrifying October Surprise is in the works.
Wandering a bit here… But imagine the Bush administration bombing Iran and destroying its nuclear program. Imagine it goes perfectly, without a hitch. Now what?
You never hear Republican conservatives address this issue. What happens after we lash out with violence?
The Democrats are accused of wanting to “cut and run.” We need to bounce that accusation back at the Republicans, and ask them what else they have in mind. The only thing President Bush can think of to do in Iraq is: “Stay the course.” Anybody with a smidgen of common sense knows that when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you do is stop digging.
We Democrats need to tell the American people that we do not necessarily advocate an immediate withdrawal from Iraq; what we do advocate is looking around to see what we can do differently from what has been done already, since that is obviously not working worth a hoot.
I really can’t see much comparison between Hitler and Bush. Hitler accomplised something.
What’s with WW3? The last two were fought everywhere on the globe. Even a US v Islam war would not be a world war in that sense. It would not involve significant naval action, S. America, most of Asia and Europe only in that all the muslims there would be screaming at their governments to attack us. It actually would, whatever you say, be fought mostly in the Middle East. Some in North Africa and some in Indonesia, maybe, but it would not be a world war, at least in the historic sense of the word. Please do not take this as support of Bush or his foreign policy. Just pointing out that your criticism of him and his is going a little overboard. And yes, starting such a war would be lunacy. But it would not be a world war.
-destroying North Africa
-giving Japan ability to destroy itself and much of China and Burma
-In destroying Europe giving tons of land and power to the USSR, the next villain of the 20th C.
-killing 6 million Jews and several million homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, gypsies and Serbs.
Not alot there to be proud of there, Tony.
“Not alot there to be proud of there, Tony.”
Of course not. Lot’s of people accomplish bad things… and some people fail at bad things…
You make some very good points.
IMO this whole battle over “words” is somewhat foolish, but OTOH words can pour fuel on a fire.
Bush & Co. have poured a hell of of a lot of fuel on the fire recently. I know I’ll get bashed by the ultra-right for saying this, but we need to be working with liberal and moderate Islamic leaders to try and “change minds”.
Regardless of the religion, many wars have been fought by religious extremists and they’ve always lost. How many American’s would agree to change to Islam if threatened with death? I honestly don’t think I would. I’ve been in between a rock and a hard place before & I know everyone dies sometime.
But, back to my point, we absolutely need to be very much engaged with Islamic leaders. No threats! No begging! We need to have our best diplomats engaged with the leaders of ALL countries. Look at Hugo Chavez! Look at the mess in Mexico, which is also our mess, ie: immigration!
Hate crimes in the US are up. Extremist groups in the US are on the rise. Aryan Nations grafitti is appearing on walls in Bagdad. What does all of this say? Need I remind anyone of the OKC bombing?
Extremism on one front is a huge threat. When it’s met with extremism on another front it’s even worse. We can only win this war with a combination of military superiority, superior intel, and gaining the favor of Islamic leaders so they’ll be willing to teach tolerance.
If we choose to “declare war” on “Islam” we will lose unless we’re willing to reinstate the draft and fight for 40 to 50 years. Don’t forget that we’ll need to rebuild everything we blow up! And then there’s Chavez, the mess in and from Mexico, and Cuba. Of course Russia and China are just going to sit back and watch!
And, as if this isn’t enuf, Bill Clinton’s sounding off like he’s the best thing that ever happened to the Democratic Party. Please, would you Republican’s take Bill and Hillary off our hands? I don’t want them, never did, never wiil! I’ll take Santorum in trade.
Regarding WW III. Wouldn’t there be countries form all over he world taking part in such a war, thus making it a world war? After all WW I and WW II were not fought here in the U. S., or Canada or really anywhere in the North, South, or Central America. There were many countries which did not participate in those wars.
First, few terrorist plots are going to warrant or require a military response. We should disrupt them with a full spectrum of resources, including diplomacy, policework, espionage, and if necessary, a military strike. We just have to be very clear and very sure about what we’re doing when we’re doing. We should be like Adlai Stevenson with charts and maps showing the weapons. We should not attack based on suspicions and gross uncertainties By it’s very nature, a pre-emptive war puts the burden to justify the war on our shoulders, and if we don’t have proof of the threat, it will be a stategical mistake our enemies can take advantage of, as they have with Iraq.
Sorry buddy Hillary is my rep not your, so please don’t give her away. She fights hard for education. As for Santorum, he advocates intelligent design in the science classroom. I have NO use for him.
Terrorism is an ideological movement that is spreading rapidly everywhere around the world and we must fight it everywhere.
I agree with most of what you’re saying, but not the above block-quoted sentence. Terrorism is not an ideological movement, it is a tactic used by certain ideological movements. We might as well declare war on pincer movements or amphibious assaults. Consequently, because terrorism is a tactic, the “war on terror” becomes an excuse for all sorts of illegal and unconstitutional actions by the government.
Otherwise, great post.
Point well taken! But do me one small favor.
Write Hillary an e-mail or a letter and tell her to stuff a sock in Bill’s mouth. That BS about “ending welfare” was a bit much to swallow.
Worse yet: I used the word sock which sounds too much like c**k, and the word mouth, and the word swallow. We’ll never completely rid ourselves of Bill. For the harm he did to the party through his personal shennigans he can just kiss my a$$.
And I am a life long Democrat, but I’d respect Hillary more if she kicked that sorry SOB to the curb and nailed his butt for alimony. (I know alimony, I’ve been married three times, divorced twice, and had one annulment.)
In May of this year, Bush said the passengers on Flight 93 carried out the first counter-attack of WWIII. Last year, Bush echoed OBL that WWIII was raging in Iraq. Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld have repeatedly compared the current struggles with WWII and the Cold War. Many right wing pundits have, for what it is worth, claimed we are already involved in WWIII. If the US bombs Iran, I would tend to agree. But if WWIII seems too dramatic, “The Israeli/US Oil Wars” would do.
Too extreme? Ask yourself: Why is a friend of Osama bin Laden, a fellow mujahideen, now in control of Somalia? Why does the US do nothing? The answer has to do with oil, or the lack thereof in Somalia.
Anyone worried that withdrawal would make Iraq a terrorist haven is wasting their time. Terrorists seeking haven already have a veritable smorgasbord of choices. Also ask this question: How many terrorist attacks have Iraqis launched in the US? The borders are wide open, right? We all know that. So how many?
For anyone who follows politics in Iraq, the UK Telegraph has an interesting article:
It sounds like al-Sistani is withdrawing from politics. In his place, al-Sadr and the Mahdi Army are assuming power. A large battle between “security forces” and a “militia” in Diwaniyeh seems to have played a large role in determining the ultimate fate of Iraq.
Al-Sadr appears to be the winner. There is some good news and some bad news for us in regard to al-Sadr.
The good news is that Al-Sadr is the force of the future. He leads a new generation, young people who perceive Iraq as a real country. Being a nationalist, Sadr dislikes the Iranians. Sadr and his Mahdi Army could eventually displace SCIRI & Dawa, and end the prospect of an Iranian allied Iraq.
The bad news is that Sadr is profoundly anti-American and anti-Israeli, even more so than Iran. He is also the least likely to make peace with the Sunnis. It will either be Shia rule over the whole country, or partition. Given the fierce nationalism and fundamentalism of Sadr, along with the sheer numbers and the economic power behind his faction, and the best bet would be for Sard to prevail over the Sunnis- by force.
I do not think US troops will stop this, only slow it down. Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts, locks your trays and place your seats in the upright position; we are going to encounter some turbulence.
As long as I am on a roll…
Hakim and his Badr Brigades have a substantial presence in the Iraqi military. Iran is their pretty good ally in some respects, but most Iraqis dislike Iranians because of ethnic differences, and because memories of the Iran/Iraq War persist.
Arming the Badr Brigades- er, I mean, the Iraqi military- is an impossible proposition. We cannot afford to provide them with logistical infrastructure, air power, or heavy weapons, because the chances are excellent they will be turned against the US. Furthermore, it means helping the Iranian-allied faction of Hakim, SCIRI, & the Badr Brigades win, rather than the nationalist, radically fundamentalist faction of al-Sadr & the Mahdi Army.
Talk about being stuck between Iraq & a hard place…
But it makes no sense to back the democratic puppet government; they are a sure loser. While assassination could still be the final determinant in who wins, al-Sadr or Hakim, the US would be far better off choosing one or the other; failure to back one or the other leaves us with no horse in the next race.
If Bush and anyone else thinks we are in WW3 they are deluded. We are in a war against extremist muslim fundamentalism requiring the killing or forced conversion of all non-muslims, the annihilation of Israel and the Jews and the destruction of free society. The “War on Terror” is not a “war” at all. It is more of a police action, for lack of a better term. War indicates mostly military involvement, which is not the case. This is a war fought for people’s opinions. If we marginalize the extremists they will lack much power. Right now the Iraq debacle is centralizing said extremists, not marginalizing them.
It is interesting that terrorists have not snuck a few backpack bombs into movie theaters or schools. The borders are wide open, it wouldn’t be to difficult. And imagine the terror if people were afraid to go to malls or theaters or send their children to school. Good gravy.
I watched the King George-Bryan Williams interview last week. Again our President LIED when he claimed that invading Iraq was not being though of before 9-11. This truth optional President must be brought to reality that this nation will no longer tolerate it.
VOTE, VOTE, VOTE these people out. First donate to the candidates with you money and time. We all have a hour or two each week to help our candidates send a message to King George and His administration that their 15 minutes of fame are way over.
You all appear to be so smart. But you really are not.
Surely a person that can establish our lacking intelligence can overwhelm our arguments with their own. So what are your arguments?
I like the tactics you propose. They are probably too sophisticated to implement by this or any other administration. We are not perfect and we make mistakes. The opposition will always have some boondoggle they can make hay with.
I disagree with your assessment that the right is “hostile towards Arabs and Muslims in general.” I think most have always been very clear about fundamentalist ferver and the corrosive effect it has on Islam.
I do agree that law and order are some of our best weapons in the battle being fought. You and I both can be happy we are not slitting the throats of those in Gitmo. Incarceration then is the civilized response to terrorism.
It would seem that Hezbollah’s mistake in inciting the Israeli Army into attack meets your idea of engineering blame. But the ferocity of Israel’s response was too much for you:
“They could have settled for something like: securing the Northern border against rocket attack.”
It is very difficult to reign in righteous indignation when you are holding a gun. My point is that your approach is idealistic. I have no problem with trying to adhere to an ideal, but I stop short of rebelling against my government when they prove to be mere humans. This is not to say you are rebelling, but their are many on this blog that do and most of them are on the Left.
Despite my rambling, it is always nice to hear new ideas and there is no valid argument against any of the tactics you advance. Except of course human nature.
I have an IQ of 140 something which, according to the graphs, I have an above average intelligence. I just want a President who, hands down, has is a superior intelligence to me, not one who brags about a C average in college and graduate school. I agree with Al Frankin who said that G. W. Bush is not stupid, just intellectually lazy. We have had a chance to elect candidates far smarter that Bush but his hype was to belittle them for being smarter.
Take a look at some of those people we have elected to Congress. I have seen better heads in a produce section.
By the way, Kerry, never assume that just because you disagree with someone, that person is not smart. That is like saying, questioning our leaders and you are un-American. Questioning is part of being an American and a good citizen.
Personally, I’d settle for a President that knows right from wrong. I will assume that political nature selection will take care of the rest.
This cannot be a world war. France has not surrendered yet.
“I agree with Al Frankin who said that G. W. Bush is not stupid, just intellectually lazy.”
If a person, like our president, is still pulling that shit by the time they’re sixty, there’s not a lot of difference between the two anymore.
“This cannot be a world war. France has not surrendered yet.”
How does this statment jibe with what France did in WWI. As I recall, they did some pretty heavy lifting, so that the doughboys could walk in at the last minute and get all the credit. While France was losing over a million men at Verdun in six months, we were cooking hotdogs and playing baseball.
“The quickest way to end a war is to lose it.”
pxh8 & Stephen,
You will not turn the populations of these areas against the Terrorist, when push comes to shove, they will follow their Muslim brothers every time. Do you see world wide protest by Muslims condemming these terroristic acts? Of course not, and you never will! You will never convince Muslim populations that Hezbollah and Hamas are wrong in ANY circumstance, Islam states that you must defend your Muslim brother to the end, it is the will of ALLAH. We have to stop thinking that these people think of life as we do and may be willing to sit down, talk, and sort things out, not going to happen my fellow free American citizens!
As far as torture is concerned, during wartime, things such as torture occur, and in many cases you cannot control these occurances. Agree or disagree with torture is a mute point, if a Muslim extremist was holding your family hostage, and torture may get information out of one of them to save your family, I bet you would bend the rules a little…if you say you would not, I personally believe you are lying. And make no mistake, we are at war with Islam. Everyone is trying to be politically correct and say this is not a Holy War..it is. If your enemy has declared war on you, you have no choice but to defend yourself, or you accept their hold over you and your way of life. We are being called upon by the enemy to convert to Islam or die. Extremist have declared war on us,we have no choice in the matter, they have stated so, it may not be a traditional war in the sense of western history, but it is a war never the less. Some may try to bring this enemy to the table and talk peace, but this will be to no avail, the only peace they are interested in is domination of the west. You cannot appease these people. It may be our fault from failed past and present policies, we can try and change present policy and correct past mistakes, but we must also focus on how we will be defending our way of life against these zealots. As I said, I am not about being politically correct, I am about the future of my children and my country and saving both from being harmed by people who want to destroy them, it doesn’t matter if you are Democrat, Republican, Independent, Communist or Anarchist…these people want to convert you or kill you. We must wake up to the reallity of the situation. I agree Stepen with many of your ideas to fight this WAR on terror, but I also feel very strongly that we have to act as unified as possible in this country in order to survive. ‘A HOUSE DIVIDED CANNOT STAND”
I am not implying that we all have to follow everything our government throws out to us, but we must focus on the enemy, who by the way, ARE the terrorist and not our own government, and use the freedoms we have to elect someone by the people and for the people..stop all this silly talk about Bush being as bad as Hitler and the like, it’s unproductive and takes attention away from the real enemy.
Code of Conduct under Muhammad for WAR
Muhammad as a general
Muhammad gave various injunctions to his forces during his time and adopted attidudes toward the conduct of war which can be summarized as:
No killing of innocents (Non-combatants i.e. Women, children, monks)-THEY HAVE PROVEN THEY DO NOT ADHERE TO THIS HOLY COMMAND!
No wanton desctruction of livestock, animals, orchards, trees and wells.-WELL, AT LEAST OUR DOGS ARE SAFE!
“Islam states that you must defend your Muslim brother to the end, it is the will of ALLAH.”
The Iran-Iraq war alone undermines this statement.
You’ve just helped prove Stephen’s statement:
“…we’re hostile towards Arabs and Muslims in general.”
If indeed “A HOUSE DIVIDED CANNOT STAND” then our best bet is to divide the house of Islam. Actually, we don’t even have to do that, it already is divided. We need to do a better job of leveraging that.
He who votes for a Republican, votes against Americans interests. The Republican is at war against the American worker and his family. His undying support goes only to the wealthy and the corporate powerhouses. Look at Congress and what theyve done under complete GOP rule. Nothing for the common man, everything for giant multinationals and the top 1% wealthiest among us. Even their Medicare prescription program is about enriching the Big Pharm industry. If it doesnt have huge gains for the corporate world, the GOP is against it. The facts are there.
As Charles points out, Islam is not a monolithic religion. One size does not fit all. Like Christianity, they are fractured into at least two major division, and numerous sects. Like Christianity, most Muslims are peaceful, and their beliefs benign.
As for terrorism, I just do not see it. Personally, I do not think it is enough of an issue to be a focus of policy. There will always be terrorists of various religious and ethnic stripes. There will always be crazies & loons, and occasionally a few will get together. It is a matter of the police & international cooperation between intelligence agencies.
And if I may point note, reality- not politics, but reality- indicates that I am correct about terrorism being a relatively minor issue.
Should we pursue OBL & Zawahiri? Of course. It is a matter of justice, it is a matter of vengeance, and it is important to prevent their speeches from encouraging murder.
Other than that, there just is not enough to work with for terror to be our focus.
“Terrorism and war have one origin, one spark, one frame of mind, and we have to keep ourselves away from this.”
Hey! Let’s quit having these long winded discussions on Islamic ideology or whether there will be a holy war. We should instead get back to pointing fingers and placing blame. I’m talking about the “Cheney administration” including “Daddy Bush” and “Baby Bush”, Rumsfeld, Rice and the rest of their cronies who keep lining their pockets and the pockets of their bosses the Military Industrial Complex and the Oil Cartels. Why else in his arrogance would Baby Bush say “We will never leave Iraq while I’m president”.
Article from AP Press.
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Tuesday for a purge of liberal and secular teachers from the country’s universities, urging students to return to 1980s-style radicalism.
“Today, students should shout at the president and ask why liberal and secular university lecturers are present in the universities,” the official Islamic Republic News Agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying during a meeting with a group of students.
Ahmadinejad complained that reforms in the country’s universities were difficult to accomplish and that the educational system had been affected by secularism for the last 150 years. But, he added: “Such a change has begun.”
CAN ANYONE OUT THERE SAY “NAZI” Without talking about George Bush? Here is the REAL enemy…Islamic Radicals. As I stated before, focus your enenrgy on the enemy, stop thinking Islamo-Facism is just going to go away if we withdrawl from Iraq and become socialist.