You ARE Safer Today Than You Were 6 Years Ago

I know you don’t FEEL safer. You are like a man who feels invincible eating pork rinds and bacon before a heart attack. After the attack, eating right and exercising, he is in better shape but never again feels secure. Now we are more vigilant with controversial but effective programs to attack terrorists’ financing or listen in their communications. We have taken a more aggressive stance against terrorists. NATO is deployed in Afghanistan and training counterterrorist forces all over. These are just a few examples.

The world is full of bad guys who would do us harm. They do not go away if we ignore them. They just plan bigger attacks to get our attention. Talking to them rarely works. Their goal is to kill as many of us as they can. What will we negotiate about? Numbers?

We did not cause the problem. Terrorists are not responding to anything we have done except in a very indirect way. Some of these guys are still upset about their loss of Spain in 1492. Terrorists like us to look around for our own faults and try to find ways to blame ourselves. They laugh and take advantage of the breathing space this gives them. Their complaint, however, is with the structure of the modern world, how it is run, who controls resources and how power is allocated. The U.S. as a major creator, leader and defender of this structure is a natural target. Unless we want to give up our way of life, there is nothing we can do to placate the terrorists.

Islamic terrorists would be happy to tolerate us if we subordinated ourselves to them. If you are willing to do that, you can negotiate. Otherwise, your options are to work to eliminate terrorist power bases and to the extent possible physically eliminate terrorists. We cannot hide; this is not 1935. We cannot just stay home, protected by our oceans. Come to think of it, that was not such a good idea back then either.

We have beefed up our defenses in many ways, often in ways we don’t notice. If you walk around the Washington Monument, you may not notice the new dreadnaught wall. It lays on the landscape in such a way that a truck speeding toward the monument would drop nose first into the bottom of the wall sending most of its force into the ground. This kind of thing is repeated all over. But defense alone will never stop terrorists. We also have been aggressively pursuing terrorists communications and finance, as mentioned above. Some people think we are doing it at the expense of civil liberties. I disagree.

And then there is the use of force to eliminate terrorist safe havens.

Let’s talk a little about Iraq.

"The war in Iraq has been a mistake – a grotesque mistake. It must be our resolve to end the war as soon as possible and to resolve to not make similar mistakes in the future." Who said that and what does a statement like this mean? Everybody wants to end the war as soon a possible. It depends under what conditions.

We have discussed at great length how we got into Iraq. Many of us will not agree on that. If Bush haters want to indulge themselves they can dwell on the past that they cannot change, but I want to focus on what we do today and tomorrow. We can all agree that whether or not there were terrorists in Iraq under Saddam, they are in Iraq now. The terrorists see Iraq as a central front. We should too. Few things are more important to the future of the U.S. than the outcome in Iraq.

The President’s stated policy is to end this war and leave Iraq as soon as possible. (Some recent background is here.) Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid evidently agree with the President since they repeat it all the time. The disagreement hinges around the concept of as soon as possible. It is misleading to say that the Bush policy is simply to stay the course. We are constantly adapting strategy to changing conditions. It is just that the President doesn't consider preemptive retreat a viable option.

Democratic leadership seems to think that they can determine "as soon as possible" in advance with a timetable based on when THEY want to leave. I wish that was true. The President recognizes that conditions in Iraq will determine "when possible". We all hope that will be sooner, but if we leave before it makes sense to leave, we will have to go back fight terrorists later. OR maybe the terrorists will come visit us again.

Posted by Jack at July 27, 2006 11:01 PM
Comments
Comment #171255

Jack

I disagree that we are safe now than before the war in Iraq. If terrorist wanted to fight us they could have done that in Afganistan. Was Saddam was terror to his country, but many people liked him. In a country of 26 million people how many actually had any encounter with him what so ever? Now put your self in the place of the average Iraqi who has seen his country invade, life as they know it end. Not to mention the family, brothers, sisters, fathers, and sons etc killed or maimed because we felt the need to bring them freedom. I know if my country was invaded and I lost my wife or daughter, I would spend the rest of my life trying getting even. I think we made the problem much worse. It is hard to win the hearts and minds of a people at the point of a gun. Terrorist need to die, but how about the 30,000 other people who did us no harm?

Posted by: 037 at July 27, 2006 11:31 PM
Comment #171259

Jack, Interesting read, however I dont feel as safe as I did 6 years ago due to W and his administrations continous attempts at hijacking the constitution and the freedoms continued therein. My opinion is our collective demise as a nation will come from within. This demise is happening little by little, inch by inch. Although you appear to be happy with this consistant effort by W and his worshippers,I am not. This erosion of freedoms is much more serious than your post would lead us to beleive.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 27, 2006 11:46 PM
Comment #171258

Jack, Interesting read, however I dont feel as safe as I did 6 years ago due to W and his administrations continous attempts at hijacking the constitution and the freedoms continued therein. My opinion is our collective demise as a nation will come from within. This demise is happening little by little, inch by inch. Although you appear to be happy with this consistant effort by W and his worshippers,I am not. This erosion of freedoms is much more serious than your post would lead us to beleive.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 27, 2006 11:46 PM
Comment #171261

Jack,

“The world is full of bad guys who would do us harm.”

The world has always been full of bad guys that would do us harm. Whether or not we allow our collective paranoia to change how we deal with that reality, is something else entirely.

For instance, there was once a spate of plane hijackings, some planes also got blown up, people got killed, and we changed the way we traveled.

I don’t fly anymore if I can avoid it, not because I feel particularly insecure about flying, but because of the hassle it has become.
I used to fly to L.A. all the time. Now because I have to get to the airport 2 hours before my flight, plus the hour the flight takes, an hour to get my luggage, etc., I will just drive there, and have my own car to drive and it only takes 1.5 hours extra.
Oh, and BTW, it’s cheaper for me to drive.

My point is that we adapt and move on. I just will not allow someone else’s fears to govern how I’m going to live my life.


“If Bush haters want to indulge themselves they can dwell on the past that they cannot change, but I want to focus on what we do today and tomorrow.”

The Bush “haters” are beside the point.
Jack, you know as well as I that if “staying the course” results in galacticly stupid mistakes, it’s time to change the course, and come up with a better plan, and if that doesn’t work, come up with another better plan, and continue to do so, until we find one that does work.

Posted by: Rocky at July 27, 2006 11:52 PM
Comment #171262

037…your post has so many basic errors in it that it’s difficult knowing where to begin.

Iraqis were having their families, brothers, sisters, fathers, sons, etc killed by Saddam’s forces long before we invaded the country, and no, we did not invade Iraq because we felt the need to bring them freedom…we invaded Iraq because we thought, like the rest of the world thought, that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction at his disposal, and that he would make them available to Islamofascists who would in turn use them against the US or her people.

Even Saddam Hussein thought that he had weapons of mass destruction.

The UN spent years asking him to get rid of his WMD’s.

“I know if my country was invaded and I lost my wife or daughter, I would spend the rest of my life trying getting even. I think we made the problem much worse.”

We dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan, nothing of the sort happened.

Posted by: Luis Gonzalez at July 27, 2006 11:53 PM
Comment #171263

“Jack, Interesting read, however I don’t feel as safe as I did 6 years ago due to W and his administrations continuous attempts at hijacking the constitution and the freedoms continued therein.”

Can you give me a personal example of how your freedoms have been hijacked by this administration?

Posted by: Luis Gonzalez at July 27, 2006 11:54 PM
Comment #171265

Luis
Then why did Bush say that he would have invaded Iraq even if he knew they didn’t posses the weapons? Wasn’t it because Saddam was a brutal dictator? and what are the other error?

Posted by: 037 at July 27, 2006 11:59 PM
Comment #171266

Can you give me a link to that quote?

Posted by: Luis Gonzalez at July 28, 2006 12:01 AM
Comment #171267

All right and freedoms are personal Luis ,all of them. When the Executive branch seeks to usurp the rightful authority and oversight of the house, its personal. When laws are not followed, courts are not informed its personal.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 28, 2006 12:04 AM
Comment #171268

I believe a legitimate concern is what we allow to happen to our own form of government while we combat terrorism. Terrorism will never be completely eliminated, of course; on that I agree with our president. Given that, we have to be careful how powerful we allow the executive branch to become, since the War on Terror appears to be a permanent war, and with no victory in sight, there is no obvious way to bring the system of checks and balances back to where the Founders intended. Other legitimate concerns involve how the war in Iraq has limited our ability to counter greater threats. I know you don’t wish to discuss the failed leadership that got us into this mess, but it is not unreasonable to pin most of the blame on blind neo-con ideology rather than a realistic assessment of how best to use our resources. Like it or not, these considerations will be a factor this November and in 2008.

But what do we do now? It seems all we can do is leave or continue to attempt to provide the conditions in which the Iraqi government can stand on its own. For now, I support the latter course and hope we can succeed. What I long for is a clear vision of the future that involves more than bombing terrorist camps or invasion. I don’t preclude out-of-hand any tool, including the obvious military ones.

But what will success look like? Will an Iraqi government be able to completely eliminate the insurgency, wipe out all the terrorists? That seems unrealistic, at least in the foreseeable future. If not, what have we accomplished, even if we leave Iraq with a government strong enough to maintain power? The larger conflict seems to be between the Shi’ites and the Sunnis, and it doesn’t seem that will go away anytime soon. I have no doubt that many Muslims hate America and that our country and the west in general serves the purpose of the great boogeyman against which the two sects can unite.

I’ve just finished reading Peter Heather’s The Fall of the Roman Empire, which claims that the “barbarian” tribes were shaped and changed by their contact with the Romans into forces strong enough to topple the empire. I wonder if something similar is happening now, and what we can do about it. I don’t pretend to know the answer. We need a longterm strategy, one that does involve force when necessary, but also involves clear, forward-looking thinking. Obviously, this involves more than Iraq, and more than simple conquest.

Posted by: Trent at July 28, 2006 12:07 AM
Comment #171270

Examples, not rhetoric.

Posted by: Luis Gonzalez at July 28, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #171271

Can’t find the link to the quote Luis, but look up reasons for war google it see what you get. Freedom for Iraq is almost always in the top 3 As for Japan, They attacked us, unprovoked. Could that be why?

Posted by: 037 at July 28, 2006 12:30 AM
Comment #171272

Luis, was that comment intended for me or earlier posts? I can dig up links about Bush’s interpretation of congressional authorizational to justify wiretapping, etc. if necessary. Except for the penultimate sentence of my first paragraph, I didn’t intend to write anything particularly controversial — and my neo-con statement is clearly my opinion which would involve interpretation of facts rather than listing facts themselves (and many others have made similar arguments — anyway, my purpose doesn’t hang on that statement). My real intent was to wonder in print what a good longterm strategy for dealing with the Muslim world would look like.

Posted by: Trent at July 28, 2006 12:33 AM
Comment #171273

>>>Democratic leadership seems to think that they can determine “as soon as possible” in advance with a timetable based on when THEY want to leave. I wish that was true. The President recognizes that conditions in Iraq will determine “when possible”.

The problem is that many people who find fault with how Iraq has been handled, also have little or no trust that it will be handled any better in the future. The military decisions are utimately the responsibility of the leader of the military, and if that leader has lost confidence in the eyes of his people, every action will be scrutinized.

Unless George has information that he is keeping ultra-secret until some magical moment, there is little anyone can say or do that will dispell the suspicion some have that he operates from an agenda that demands blind faith from the public.

This last statement says nothing more to me than, “You don’t know. I’m not telling you anything, You have no choice.”

Not a good position in a supposed democracy.

Posted by: DOC at July 28, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #171274

Your point is irrevelent Luis because all freedoms are indeed personal, when one person is infringed upon we all pay the price whether you want to beleive it or not. call it rhetoric, call it what you will, but dont ask me to give them up in the guise of fighting terrorism, and dont tell me its for my safety.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 28, 2006 12:36 AM
Comment #171276

LUIS
Bush was asked, knowing what you know now would you still have gone to war? His answer was yes.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/17140/bush_admits_he_would_have_gone_to_war.html

Posted by: 037 at July 28, 2006 12:47 AM
Comment #171278

LOUIS
Here is a bit about the Iraqi culture of revenge

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0513/p05s01-woiq.html

Now, what were my other errors again?

Posted by: LUIS at July 28, 2006 12:53 AM
Comment #171279

037

Saddam didn’t personally walk into 26 million homes, but don’t you think that the fear of knowing your dictatator was capable of killing 100’s of thousands of innocent people could be called sort of an encounter.

Posted by: andy at July 28, 2006 12:54 AM
Comment #171282

037

Another error is you being able to put yourself into the shoes of an average Iraqi family. You couldn’t begin to know what the daily fear did to their minds, I would bet that most, except in the terrorist zones, are pretty o.k. with the shakeup in their lives.

Posted by: andy at July 28, 2006 1:00 AM
Comment #171283

I do not feel safer, I feel like a prisoner in my own country.

Bowing to one-sided rhetoric and gracefully agreeing with one person is not safe. Having my conversations listened to is not safe…a net over the entire population of the U.S. is not safety, it’s what one does when they dont know what else to do.

Our ports arent safe…our borders are less safe now than they were under Clinton, and we have put this country into dangerous grounds both economically and politically. What should have been learned from 9/11 was not, the lessons were tossed aside and replaced with panic and fear, and blind acquiesence.

We arent safe, we are simply being told we are safe. We are using the excuse of safety as we rape and pillage the middle east.

We are not safe…we are in great danger…you only say we’re safe because the alternative(agreeing with the dems), is too awful for you to realize.

Posted by: lucas at July 28, 2006 1:07 AM
Comment #171284

The Iraq War preemptive. Just War theory says that any preemptive war is by defenition unjust. Period. No ifs and or buts. Whether or not Iraq had WMD and irregardless of what Bush would have done, the Iraq War was an unprovoked, preemptive strike.

Now that we are there, we have created an army of bloodthirsty jihadis bent on killing us, far more than there were before we invaded Iraq. If we pull out now, why would they just go home? They have money-most of them came from Europe-so they could fairly easily fly to Canada or Mexico and jump the border. Maybe when Starbucks and McDonalds are being suicide bombed and High Schools need to have bomb squads to check for IEDs Dem pols who want us out quick will have second thoughts.

As for personal freedoms Bush can have my phone records. I don’t have anything to hide. Unless playing Settlers of Catan is terrorism I’m safe. As for Bush’ manner of spying, well, sometimes you have to sacrifice some personal freedoms. I note that only James Madison way back in the War of 1812 fought a war without repealing any civil rights. Woodrow Wilson, FDR, the Vietnam presidents (all of whom save Ford were Dems) all reigned in on personal freedoms. Now one Rep checks on what phone numbers we’re calling and he should suddenly be impeached. By this criteria Lincoln, who rescinded the writ of Habeas Corpus during the Civil War should have been packing his bags about the time of the Peninsular Campaign. Lincoln also happened to be a liberal. Lets lose the double standard.

Posted by: Silima at July 28, 2006 1:11 AM
Comment #171286

What exactly are these plans democrats have that you speak of? All I hear is “Bush is an ass” not much else.

Posted by: andy at July 28, 2006 1:14 AM
Comment #171288

Lucas,
Your phone calls are not being listened to or recorded in any way. All the NSA has is a list of all the numbers you’ve called. Unless you are in contact with al Qaeda the gov’t doesn’t care who you’ve called. If you are in contact with al Qaeda be very afraid. Why do you care so much? The phone company is a worse guardian of your personal freedoms than the gov’t. They give your information to all sorts of companies. Same with internet servers. Wanna know where spam comes from? its from people who find out what kinds of sites you like then if you match what they’re selling they bombard you with crap. They NSA just makes sure you’re not a terrorist.

Posted by: Silima at July 28, 2006 1:16 AM
Comment #171296

Silima,
War has not been declared. I dont recall Kennedy and Johnson repealing civil rights, what do you mean? Nixon was republican.
Why are you so quick to give up rights and freedoms that other have fought and died to protect? What even makes you think you have the right to give them up?
This repub has done much more than you give him credit for, check out the American Bar Association’s recent findings.
You know the same line (Idont care I’m not doing anything…)was ran on us when Regan/BushI started the war on drugs. Now if your caught with say $3000 in cash it can be taken from you by your local police without you being charged with any crime and will cost you 10 times that amount to get it back.
Are you willing to give up checks and balances in the government? where do you want to stop giving?
How safe do you think you will be? Is it proportional to the rights your willing to give up?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 28, 2006 1:45 AM
Comment #171302

Andy,

Here’s the Demorcrats’ Plan: We’re Not Republicans! That’s it. its a bit like Kerry’s strategy. You remember, “I’m Not Bush!” As pissed as the American people are with the Republicans, I think the Democrats are getting a little overconfident. They don’t have a plan. You’ve got Murtha saying move the troops to Okinawa, which is 5,000 miles away from the Middle East, Kerry and the rest who say we want a timeline but don’t offer one. They have not presented anything constructive. Hell, Dean said flat out that the Democrat’s entire strategy was to obstruct everything the Republicans did and we wonder why Congress is seen as getting nothing done.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 28, 2006 2:29 AM
Comment #171303

1LT B,
I think your right when you say “Congress is seen as not getting anything done” that must be the dem’s plan to keep us safe from our reprsentatives and W and his administration. Now if they would only focus on the Iraq police action.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 28, 2006 2:42 AM
Comment #171305

Silma,

In point of fact, there is an allowance for pre-emptive war in the Just War Theory. One must first understand that war is ALWAYS evil, its inherent to its nature. I think everyone can agree on that. However, there are times when war is justified. For example, I doubt very many people would’ve complained if France and Britain had invaded Germany in 1938. The idea of a pre-emptive war is to lower the total evil of war by reducing the total number of casualties and destruction by rendering the total number of casualties and destruction to property a lower level than what would have occurred in the event of a major war.

j2t2,

My point exactly. While Dean was correct that based on the vote returns a large number of Americans did not approve of Bush’s policies, I find it difficult to believe that they wanted to see all work of Congress cease. This is what the Democrats have been doing. According to the head of the DNC, the Democrats’ policy is to block all Republican initiatives in Congress. Great plan, thanks alot.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 28, 2006 3:13 AM
Comment #171307

Luis wrote:

“I know if my country was invaded and I lost my wife or daughter, I would spend the rest of my life trying getting even. I think we made the problem much worse.”

We dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan, nothing of the sort happened.”
————————————————————————-

You are absolutely wrong and should check your history:

The (Tokyo) fire convinced the Japanese lower classes, as no propaganda ever could, that surrender was, indeed, out of the question and that Americans really were demons bent on exterminating all Japanese”.”

””What finally convinced Hirohito to act was not the atomic bomb or the threat of a US invasion but an event more compelling than both.” On 8 August 1946, two days after Hiroshima and on the eve of Nagasaki, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan. The long-established foe of Japan in the Far East attacked across a broad frontier with a ruthless million-man Red Army in coordination with their Maoist Chinese comrades.34 De-cades of humiliating Japanese triumph and aggression over its East Asian neighbors were coming to fruition. “The thought of a Russian invasion was terrifying enough, but the thought of a Chinese revenge raised cold sweat.”35 The emperor, fully aware of what had happened to the czar and his family at the hands of the Bolsheviks, wasted no time in coming to a decision.

Faced with the alternatives of either a US or Sino-Soviet occupation, Hirohito intervened and overruled the Peace Cabinet, directing the foreign minister to accept the Potsdam Ultimatum”

http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/apj/apj97/win97/parrin.html


Posted by: Josh at July 28, 2006 3:30 AM
Comment #171309

Josh:

Some agree with your take on the events leading to Japan’s surrender. They are called revisionists and are correct sometimes and wrong sometimes. Traditional interpretations of those events state that the nuclear explosions were the primary factor in the Japanese surrender.

I don’t think that you are on solid ground telling Luis that his understanding of history is entirely wrong just because you have found a source that disagrees with him.

As for me, I lean towards the traditional interpretation with consideration of the fact that the use of nuclear weapons was in part to illustrate our military prowess to the USSR.

My sympathy for the Japanese is rather low since they did threw the first punch in a sneak attack during the midst of peace negotiations. My sympathy for Hezbollah and their supporters is also rather low.

Posted by: goodkingned at July 28, 2006 4:36 AM
Comment #171311

Silima:

I just wanted to say that I enjoy your posts.

Re: The NSA issue, everyone seems to think that each American has been assigned their own team of analysts to study transcripts of their phone calls, monitor their international banking transactions, review the video from the unmanned drones currently circling their homes with their cloaking devices engaged, and to confer with their mail carrier (who is a FBI plant).

Actually, I think that people are more in danger of government persecution because of the nationwide trend to legalize police stops for seat belt violations.

Posted by: goodkingned at July 28, 2006 4:49 AM
Comment #171312

Goodkingned, didn’t we invade Iraq during negotiations? Do you have sympathy for us?
Secondly, the sneak attack you are refering to is Pearl Harbor, I presume, and there were intentional provocations on the part of the US. I think the provocations were justified, but none the less, we provoked an attack. Roosevelt wanted an excuse to enter the war. He got it. Let’s not revise history while attacking revisionist.
I don’t have sympathy for Hezzbollah, either. I do understand the Arab mistrust of the US and other foreign powers.

Posted by: gergle at July 28, 2006 5:03 AM
Comment #171314

Silma, spam comes from spammers. They usually only look for active emails, not targeted clients. Ads are often targeted, but that isn’t spam, technically speaking.

Phones have never been a secure way to communicate. They’ve always been easy to tap, legally or not. If you want security use scrambling devices or secure codes.

Only those politically opposed to our administration need fear wire taps. This isn’t new either. Hoover made his career on this. Hmmm , maybe apple pie America isn’t reality after all.

Posted by: gergle at July 28, 2006 5:13 AM
Comment #171315

Jack, I’m neither safer nor less safe. Iraq has no direct bearing on my safety.

Let’s not confuse political power strategy in the middleeast with my personal safety.

Secondly, since you have no means of inteligence gathering, I presume, your assurances about America’s relative safety are not particularly reassuring.

I don’t have any crystal ball visions about the middleeast. I know we are playing strategic games for oil access. I don’t know the outcome. I know that few, if any, politicians have been honest about this. Manifest Destiny was a political strategy for land and resources for which America commited genocide and recieved terror from the native “savages” to obtain.

Oil, given its use in plastics and a multitude of other modern processes besides energy makes it hard to replace, and will affect our position economically in the world. Iraq is a minor pawn in this game of economic positioning. We could become energy independent, but would likely still need oil. The chuckles and shoulder shrugging of the oil execs, when asked about energy independence, reveals a rather callous and typical elitist attitude toward those that will die obtaining access to oil.

Until we change course in this oil grab, talking about security relative to the middle east is nonsense. This struggle for access will only intensify in the near future. Millions will die for it.

Posted by: gergle at July 28, 2006 5:32 AM
Comment #171316

Safer? We might be undr an illusion of safety, but it is because we are now in a cage. The FBI is reporting that violent crime is way up because authorities have been ignoring local communities for the “War” on Terrorism. (which is like trying to get rid of pesky sugar ants, clean them up in one spot, they just appear in another).

So we are not safer, even inside our cage.

Is Iraq safer, is the world safer? Far from it, we are in a MUCH more dangerous place now.

So where is it that we are safer? Only inside the minds of Republicans.

Posted by: mem beth at July 28, 2006 5:43 AM
Comment #171317

“Until we change course in this oil grab, talking about security relative to the middle east is nonsense. This struggle for access will only intensify in the near future. Millions will die for it.”
———————————————————————-
They feel entitled to total control over their nations, their minds and their resources just like we do. “We have to protect our interests over there” (John Bolton).

Hence the everlasting “War on Terror” to “obtain peace and democracy in the Middle East”.

Basic questions that remains: “How much safer can the world afford to have President Bush make it?” (Jon Stewart asking John McCain)

Posted by: Josh at July 28, 2006 5:44 AM
Comment #171323

Let’s sum it all up:

RIGHT: Things are better than they seem… really, they are. Trust us. Bush has said so himself.

LEFT: Bush sux. We’re mired down in a war based on lies and the Middle East is boil into a “crockpot shit stew.”

IND: They’re all a bunch of corrupt power mongers.

OK, I’m with d.a.n. on this one. Vote em all out and scare the hell out of the newly elected. There’s not a single side we can look at who would actually recognize what the average American faces on a daily basis, much less work to make government work in best interest of the citizens.

If you burn the shit stew, toss it out and go out for pizza!

Posted by: tony at July 28, 2006 7:17 AM
Comment #171325

It appears that the libs are the modern day Chamberlain party, while the conservatives play the Churchill role. I mean, read the above posts. The lib side refuses to even acknowledge the danger of the rising facism. All they do is vent their hatred at one man. (Who cannot run for re-election, I might add.)

Posted by: nikkolai at July 28, 2006 8:09 AM
Comment #171326

“The lib side refuses to even acknowledge the danger of the rising facism. “

Exactly what facism are you talking about? (Just curious…)

Posted by: tony at July 28, 2006 8:15 AM
Comment #171327

“All they do is vent their hatred at one man”
——————————————————————-
When I personally speak of GW Bush I mean the-Bush-administration-being-let-on-avery-loose-leash-by-a-Republican-controlled-Congress.

Second, this is not hatred, its criticism. As the game clearly doesn’t suit their style of play, they should find themselves another game and let someone else play in the real world.

Posted by: Josh at July 28, 2006 8:18 AM
Comment #171330

Jack,

The terrorists see Iraq as a central front. We should too.

Nonsense. There is no central front. This is, as you guys like to say, a “new kind of war”. Look at the terror attacks in London and Madrid. Didn’t those guys get the memo? They were supposed to be in Iraq!

On another tack, is that World War II analogy getting a little tiresome? This is a totally different situation. We aren’t facing an enemy with airplanes and tanks. Again, there is no “central front”.

We all hope that will be sooner, but if we leave before it makes sense to leave, we will have to go back fight terrorists later. OR maybe the terrorists will come visit us again.

The terrorists can visit us again whether we are in Iraq or not. The supply of terrorists is not fixed. “The terrorists” can fight in the US and in Iraq at the same time, just like they can fight in Madrid, London, and Iraq at the same time. (We, on the other hand, are going broke.)

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 28, 2006 8:52 AM
Comment #171331

Just so you know, I consider myself Progressive, not Liberal. I view the issues and make my own decision, my mind isn’t made up by some political party.

We don’t hate Conservatives, or GWB. We love them a lot. Just like parents do when their teenager’s head is filled with adolescent angst. Some mature and learn how to live with others, some never grow up and live their life hating everybody, judging everybody, and being intolerant.

I’d much rather be pro than con.

Anyone can see how dysfunctional our political system has become because of the constant negativity from both sides. Displays real lack of integrity and validity of our political parties.

The illusion of safety is dangerous! Remember how safe we felt in the Summer of 2001, the headlines where filled with the dangers of shark attacks, even though beaches were safer than the highways, the amusements parks, or the crime filled inner-cities. Were we really safe? We were so safe we were training and supplying the very terrorists who would attack us, becuase we couldn’t beleive that something like Sept 11 could happen in the safety U.S. And we are still doing that today, but it has become more widespread, worldwide. We are not safer!

The price of gas is going up, but we demand more and more, thus funding terrorism and the countries that support it. We want to “win” the war on terrorism, but Americans are not willing to give up any of their comforts and conveniences in order to stop the flow of money that is funding terrorism. We must be able to be energy self-reliant. Then they will be begging us for their business, instead of punishing us for being wealthy. We will not “win” this fight unless we are willing to sacrifice until the conflict has been resolved.

Maybe if we buy everybody in the Mid-East some A/C, they won’t be so hot. Yeah yeah, that should work.

Posted by: mem beth at July 28, 2006 8:54 AM
Comment #171332
All they do is vent their hatred at one man.

I know it looks that way to you guys, because you take every policy complaint, no matter how legitimate, as an attack on Bush. In other words, you everything we say or do motivated by hatred for Bush, therefore we are obviously Bush-haters.

This is called circular reasoning.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 28, 2006 8:56 AM
Comment #171333

Pardon my fractured grammer. I mean, you guys take everything we say or do as motivated by hatred for Bush.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 28, 2006 8:57 AM
Comment #171334

Andy,

Another error is you being able to put yourself into the shoes of an average Iraqi family. You couldn’t begin to know what the daily fear did to their minds, I would bet that most, except in the terrorist zones, are pretty o.k. with the shakeup in their lives.

Unfortunatly, the terrorist zones are expanding in Iraq since March 2003…
While the security of an invaded country is clearly the responsability of the occupant (“freer”) forces. I guess we could agree that on this task the US in Iraq has failed. As in finding WMDs. And reducing worldwide terrorism. And winning the heart and mind of muslim world. Hum, what else?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 28, 2006 8:59 AM
Comment #171335

Josh:

I dont have a source for this argument, unless you want me to get you the history channel video or something, but there are a few things about the Atom Bombs you have wrong.

Yes, the bombs were a military “Im bigger and better than you” to the Russians. We were showing that we have the advanced technology despite your spy in the Manhattan Project. We have the capability to produce more than 1 of these. We have the ability to deploy them anywhere in the world we want. Dont f*ck with us russia.

They were also used to get Japan to surrender. It wasn’t a random “hey guys look at this” bomb either. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and 3-4 other cities were deliberately left untouched by American & Allied bombing, and were buzzed with 3 bombers almost everyday. Eventually, one of those three bombers were carrying an atomic bomb, and blew the shit out of the Japs. Even before the first bomb, Hirihito wanted out of the war, but the generals would not surrender, and when in war, Japanese culture only allowed the Emporer certain rights, and surrender was not one of them.
Eventually, Hirihito said “screw the culture” and sued for peace.

tony:
We are talking about the facism of the Radical Islamic countries, and the followers of Radical Islam.
We are all for world peace, but with 7th century Islam in the 21st Century, it wouldn’t work.

Of Course, every major ethnic group/religion must go through this phase at least once before they can settle down and chill. The Jews did so many times when first getting the Holy Land, The Christians had the Crusades, The Muslims had the original capture of the Holy Land, and the tug of war through the first 4 crusades. Then the Roman Catholic Church became even more repressive, and eventually Martin Luther started the split for the Protestant Reformation, and after a while, the RCC chilled.

We just need a Muslim Martin Luther to get people to simmer down and chill.

Posted by: flodigary at July 28, 2006 8:59 AM
Comment #171336

Nikkolai,
The rising fascism is what I speak of in my post. I fear it much more than the islamifascism we are told we must surrender rights for. Worshippers of W and his administration are blind to this rising tide of fascism Im afraid. They say we hate him, which is not true, its the policies that lead us to beleive that the interests of this country are not being cared for. I dont consider W evil, just misguided. Its the sin not the sinner as Im sure you know.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 28, 2006 9:05 AM
Comment #171337

“Fascism is a radical totalitarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism.
The original fascist (fascismo) movement ruled Italy from 1922 to 1943 under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. In time, the generic term fascism came to cover a class of authoritarian political ideologies, parties, and political systems, most notably Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler but also Hungary’s Arrow Cross Party, Romania’s Iron Guard, Spain’s Falange and the French political movements led by former socialists Marcel Déat and Jacques Doriot and others.”

—-

Terrorists are not (NOT) fascists - they are much more for:

“The term theocracy is commonly used to describe a form of government in which a religion or metaphysical faith plays the dominant role. It refers to a form of government in which the organs of the religious sphere replace or dominate the organs of the political sphere as clerical or spiritual representative(s) of god(s).”

Neo-con is a much better example of fascism. (It seemed to me that there was confusion about the terms involved here.)

Posted by: tony at July 28, 2006 9:07 AM
Comment #171339

1LT B, As an independent, not aligned with either party the best I can usually hope for is both parties working together to pass laws and compromising to do so. Lately this usually doesnt happen, especially with one party holding control of both houses and the exec. branch. In lieu of a compromised solution, the standoff where nothing gets accomplished is the next best thing.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 28, 2006 9:10 AM
Comment #171341

Jack,

Did I miss something or you’re actually providing nothing (no numbers?) backing your claim that Americans are safer now than 6 years ago?

Or is it just a “headline” title?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 28, 2006 9:14 AM
Comment #171344

I think this would perfectly describe terrorist-states… if you mixed in the religious component.

“Totalitarianism is a term employed by political scientists, especially those in the field of comparative politics, to describe modern regimes in which the state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior.
The most influential scholars of totalitarianism, such as Karl Popper, Hannah Arendt, Carl Friedrich, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Juan Linz have each described totalitarianism in a slightly different way. Common to all definitions is the attempt to mobilize entire populations in support of the state and a political or religious ideology, and the intolerance of activities which are not directed towards the goals of the state, such as involvement with labour unions, churches or political parties. Totalitarian regimes maintain themselves in political power by means of single-party state, secret police, propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, personality cult, regulation and restriction of free discussion and criticism, the use of mass surveillance, and widespread use of terror tactics (political purges and persecution of specific groups of people).”

Posted by: tony at July 28, 2006 9:19 AM
Comment #171345

Andy said
“Another error is you being able to put yourself into the shoes of an average Iraqi family. You couldn’t begin to know what the daily fear did to their minds, I would bet that most, except in the terrorist zones, are pretty o.k. with the shakeup in their lives.”

Baghdad holds 1/3 of the Iraqi people. Would you consider that a terror zone?

You talk about a dictator capable of killing 100,000 innocent, we have a president who has killed 30,000 and counting. Yet I don’t fear Bush

Police departments across the country have been charged with abuse yet I don’t fear the police.

But if Russia invaded and droppped bombs that killed my family I would strap on a dynomite vest in a hurry. Mix that with a culture of revenge and I would say we are creating terrorist.

What we need is an objective measure of terror.
I would say the number of terror related bombings would be a good indication. these attacks are up world wide.

Posted by: 037 at July 28, 2006 9:20 AM
Comment #171354

we are not safer today than we were six years ago.

It may feel safer in a forest in Virginia, but I guarantee you it is not safer on the streets of New York, Washington, DC or Los Angeles. Let’s just consider the following:

— while we have poured billions of dollars into Iraq our ports are no safer because of lack of attention and proper funding.

— the greatest natural check to Iran has been removed and has been replaced by a friendly government. In point of fact, Saddam’s blustering about weapons of mass destruction was intended for his enemies in Iran. Iran, emboldened by the removal of their most proximate threat, has become increasingly bellicose and now poses a more real threat that it did when it had to worry about Sadam Hussein.

— the CIA, whose performance left much to be desired in the past, is now in even worse shape. The administration’s appointment of Goss to clean out “disloyal” employees of that agency has been a total disaster. So much so that Bush was forced to take the extraordinary step of firing Mr. Goss. Since then, the new head has rehired a number of those who Mr. Goss had forced out. I’m sure we do not understand the extent of the damage done. But if Mr. Bush took the extraordinary step of firing someone whom he had only recently appointed I’m sure it’s much worse than any of us know.

— if there are not more terrorists in the world today than there were on 9/11 there are at least more potential terrorists.Unfortunately our presence in that part of the world and the actions of a small minority of our military has caused anger and even rage among many Muslims, who would not have considered becoming terrorists.Furthermore our support of Israel’s actions in both Lebanon and Gaza have produced the same result.While I recognize the right of Israel to defend itself one has to wonder what ratio of civilian to terrorist deaths is acceptableto to them because the present ratio is very unbalanced toward civilians.

Posted by: Terlen at July 28, 2006 9:54 AM
Comment #171359

Well, just for the record, I don’t feel safer. The economy sucks, the world hates us, I feel like my “own” government would snatch me up in a minute with little or no provocation… I am turning into a hermit all because of what bush & co. are doing.

I am not a democrat, but I am a liberal; liberal means liking change, and boy! am I ever ready for change!

Posted by: myles at July 28, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #171362

Jack

I do not agree with your assement of terrorists. Their goal is not to kill as many of us as possible. Their goal is to change US policy in the Middle East and to get us out of there. Until we come terms with this and deal with it, we will forever be fighting terrorism.

I think it is too easy to dismiss them as just bad people who hate usjust because we are Americans. This view absolves us of any responsibility, honest reflection and seeing cause and effect. It reduces a complex situation to simple good vs evil.

Michael Schuer(Anonymous) ex-CIA analyst on Al-Qaeada, in his book “Imperial Hubris” states AL-Qaeda hates us “for what we do, not who we are”. Osama bin Laden has made clear in his videos what he wants the US to do. What we also forget is that Al-Qaeada’s views are shared by the majority of the Arab Muslim world. It is just that the majority fortunetly do not share their tactics.

In Ron Suskind’s Book - “The One Percent Doctrine” He quotes CIA officials who view Al-Qaeda as “strategic thinkers” - he goes on to say; “Although Al-Qaeada’s tactics are ruthless and horrific, They are not homocidial manics. The bombing of the trains in Spain was done specifically to change the Spanish election to get the Spanish troops out of Iraq”. He also states that according Pentagon documents, the reason we have not been attacked since 9/11, is because Al-Qaeada has chosen not to. Their strategy appears to fight the US in Iraq by attacking all the coalition forces and thier people (ie Spain) to get them to withdraw from Iraq so the US is alone with all the cost and burden, Then drain us”.

You are right that we cannot negotiate with terrorists, thre is nothing to negotiate. But we also cannot win miliatrily. That is the dilema. There is only a political and cultural solution. But this inlcudes the US changing its Mid-east Policy. Our policies are fueling hatred towards us.

On the Iraq war, you are too forgiving of Bush. You criticize Bush Haters for “living in the Past”. I cannot undersatnd your casual passing and forgiveness of Bush. How you can forgive Bush for casuing grave human suffing and damage to US image, policy, and creating more terrorists and hatred toward the US?

Too many people in this country turn off or refuse to acknowledge and understand the grave pain, destruction, death and suffering we have caused to the People of Iraq and the middle east, and the impact of our support for Israel. We do this becsue we are detached from it and have a moral rightous attitude to justify it. Then we sit back and wonder why they hate us so?

In your logic, then why have a war crimes trial for Saddam? Isn’t that just dwelling in the past for something you cannot change? I know you may feel my comparisson is not fair, Bush to Saddam. But the point is still valid. I view Bush’s action to bring us to war in Iraq as criminal, immoral and worthy of impeachment. What makes matters worse is he refuses to acknowledge his errors and still engages in continuos misinformation on this war. He has not changed or learned any lessons.

Posted by: Jerseyguy at July 28, 2006 10:09 AM
Comment #171365

_____You ARE Safer Today Than You Were 6 Years Ago - HOAX _____

That is what this thread should be named.
How hypocritical is it to pretend homeland security is important and allow our borders and ports to be wide-open?

Wait until terrorists get their hands on WMD.

The government can’t connect the dots anyway.

11-Sep-2001 was not just a result of terrorism. It was also result of criminal negligence, laziness, and ignoring obvious signs. Don’t you think Americans should get much better for the trillion$ they pay in taxes for defense each year? After 11-Sep-2001, some lying hypocrites said “We never imagined anyone would do such a thing”. That was a lie. That very thing had been discussed many times, and other nations had been warning us for years. Specifically, the Israelis and Russians had been warning us to secure cockpit doors on our airlines. Duh ! The government failed miserably, resulting in the avoidable deaths of over three thousand people.

To say nothing hasn’t happened again (yet), as if it were due to the superior security, is laughable, since the borders and ports are wide open.

Keep sayin’ it , but you’d better knock on wood.

Posted by: d.a.n at July 28, 2006 10:13 AM
Comment #171372

“While I recognize the right of Israel to defend itself one has to wonder what ratio of civilian to terrorist deaths is acceptableto to them because the present ratio is very unbalanced toward civilians.”
———————————————————————-
I completely agree. By not forcing Israel to uphold proportionality, human rights and plain conventional wisdom we are seen as their partner in crime by the majority of the Muslem world.

And through the ‘non deliberate’ precision bombing of a UN post killing four Israel has made sure that chances of a significant peacekeeping force landing over there quick are slim.

We (i.e. the U.S. + Israel) seem to be driving forward foot flat on the pedal, never mind “winning the hearts and minds” anymore.

Again:“How much safer can the world afford to have President Bush make it?”

Posted by: Josh at July 28, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #171374

Lots of comments. I will comment on the comment later. Right now have to actually earn some money.

Phillipe

Please take a look and tell me what you think -

French bloggers

Posted by: Jack at July 28, 2006 10:32 AM
Comment #171385

You know, this is something I’ve thought about for years but especially after 9/11. I’ve never been afraid of terrorism. I’m not trying to sound brave, just honest. Statistically speaking, I’m at far greater risk driving my car or taking a shower. When I watched the towers fall on 9/11, I felt many powerful emotions, but not fear. I do remember thinking, inter alia, this: “Uh oh, this country is going to go a bit nuts now.”

But here is my honest reaction. After 9/11 every time I read a newspaper or turned on a TV, I was told how Americans think, how we fear to go into work, etc., etc. I have no doubt some did feel this way, but, really, don’t you think we have overstated the threat? Where does death by terrorism fit into lists of causes of death? Oh man, I might be lambasted for this, but I really am just being honest about my thoughts and feelings.

Now a terrorist with a nuke — ok, THAT’s scary. and we do need to be diligent and smart about preventing that scenario. But by and large, I think we’ve seen an enormous amount of fear-mongering in this country.

Posted by: Trent at July 28, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #171389

Jack,
Safer?
Here are the sentences which begin each paragraph:

“I know you do not FEEL safer.”

“The world is full of bad guys who would do us harm.”

“We did not cause the problem.”

“Islamic terrorists would be happy to tolerate us if we subordinated ourselves to them.”

And so on.
Should I list the titles of the previous Red Column articles?

How can we be safer if we are now fighting WWIII? Starting a World War seems like an inherently unsafe activity. Republicans are running with scissors.

Posted by: phx8 at July 28, 2006 11:12 AM
Comment #171390

There is so much in this thread I can refute, I’m not going to waste my time.

Jack, Luis, et al:
You sound like you get ALL of your news from Rush Limbaugh and FOX. ‘nuff said.

Benjamin Franklin said: “Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security.”

Thomas Jefferson said: “Every generation needs a new revolution.”

Revolt! For our lives and our childrens’ future are at stake and under imminent threat!

Posted by: ChristianLeft at July 28, 2006 11:14 AM
Comment #171393

Jack,

That may be true.
People are blogging instead of taking action.
Bloggers think someone else will fix it.
We are becoming like politicians … just talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, complain, gripe, discuss reforms endlessly, talk some more, but never take any action.

And writing your congress persons is a waste of time. They probably don’t even read ‘em.
Action is needed.

Incumbent politicians will never reform themselves.
Incumbent politicians resist countless common-sense, no-brainer reforms.
Incumbent politicians always outnumber newcomers to Congress, and pressure the newcomers to accept the corruption and look the other way.
Incumbent politicians will never voluntarily pass any campaign finance and election reforms , and all other reforms of any kind are futile until voters do the one simple thing there were supposed to do all along. Stop re-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians.

A fundamental change is needed.

Posted by: d.a.n at July 28, 2006 11:17 AM
Comment #171396

Incumbent politicians won’t reform themselves, will continue to resist countless common-sense, no-brainer reforms , outnumber newcomers to Congress, pressure newcomers to congress to accept the corruption and look the other way, will never voluntarily pass any campaign finance and election reforms , and all other reforms of any kind are futile until voters do the one simple thing there were supposed to do all along. Stop re-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians. A fundamental change is needed.

Posted by: d.a.n at July 28, 2006 11:20 AM
Comment #171401

Lots of fat cats are safer now. How many TENS of THOUSANDS Iraqis, American soldiers, and Afganistanis have been killed and how many TENS of THOUSANDS have been SERIOUSLY wounded? WHO is safer?

Do you think the people living through the misery in the Middle East will forget our actions? Have we taught them the big lesson yet?

The strikes against an Afghanistan Talibani government harboring the leaders who directed the 9/11 attack was warranted. We could have helped Afghanistan set up a decent government and maybe even helped them to provide themselves with a decent life and set a good example (sort of like we did with Japan and Germany after WWII). But we went in over our heads for a cause that was nothing but fabrications and lies. The attack on Iraq was political and planned many, many months prior to 9/11 (read the Project for a New American Century http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqsep1898.htm
Where is the wisdom in the pre 9/11 thinking now? Don’t tell me we were FORCED to attack Iraq because of WMD and terrorists. EVERYTHING the formidable ‘think tank’ of the PNAC predicted has gone soured or has just been flat out proven wrong.

Think in longer terms, Jack. Don’t fall for the chest thumping ‘Dirty Harry’ tactics that the current administration likes to use. They don’t work in the real world. Didn’t work for history’s bullies and won’t work in the long term now.

We will be safer when more world citizens don’t hate us, but see us as a stabilizing force for GOOD.

Posted by: LibRick at July 28, 2006 11:32 AM
Comment #171406

Especially now that everyone now knows there was no WMD.
Everyone but Bush, who said: In May 2003, Bush stated, “We found the weapons of mass destruction.” U.S. forces have yet to find any evidence of chemical, nuclear, or biological weapons in Iraq.

The sad fact is, Bush started an unnecessary war, that appears to now be turning into civil war (if it hasn’t already).

How any of that makes us safer is hard to understand.

However, you are in the wrong column to get an objective answer or opinion on this.

The rose-colored column will never admit a mistake. They’d prefer to side-step the reasons for war. They want to somehow make it all justifiable by saying “You ARE Safer Today Than You Were 6 Years Ago”, which is a crock of [explicative], since our borders and ports are wide-open, and millions are pouring across the borders each year. Thousands cross the border daily. And most are trying to get in … not out.

The hypocrisy is amazing.

And when the next terrorist event occurs, again, the “In Party” will blame everyone else, say “We never imagined such a thing”, and go start another war with a country other than the one that perpetrated the terrorism.

For $2 trillion per year, a good chunk of it going to national defense, you’d think we would be getting much better. It would only cost about $10 billion per year to secure all the land borders. Instead, congress wastes triple that much ($29 billion for 2005) annually on pork-barrel, graft, bribes, and waste.

Of course, voters have some responsibility too, since they keep re-electing them.

Posted by: d.a.n at July 28, 2006 11:52 AM
Comment #171424

The sad fact is that despite the nations who used to claim we were the bad guys; most of their people liked Americans, they admired our culture, they desired our freedoms, they looked to us as an example of what-could-be.

Now, they see us as the axis-of-evil, they see us as stupid for voting in a clear incompetent for a second time based on negative-politiking, they give no credibility to our spokesmen, they no longer look up to us to lead.

We are not safer.

Posted by: Dave1 at July 28, 2006 12:42 PM
Comment #171429

actually according to the house report… we are not safer…

Thu Jul 27, 4:27 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. intelligence has a poor understanding of threats against the United States, nearly five years after the September 11 attacks prompted the U.S. war on terrorism, according to a report released on Thursday.

The unclassified report on intelligence reform, issued by a House of Representatives intelligence oversight subcommittee, cited continued weakness in America’s spying ability and warned that poor management had placed high-altitude espionage such as spy satellites at risk.

“Poor understanding of the threats and the changing environment in which our officers have to operate has resulted in an insufficient human intelligence capability that does not and will not meet the nation’s needs,” said the 38-page bipartisan report.

The office of U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte, who oversees 16 agencies that comprise the intelligence community, issued a statement that cited successes at reform but acknowledged there was more work to do.

“We recognize that change does not come easily to large enterprises and that we must continue to aggressively work to fulfill the mandate of the intelligence reform legislation,” the statement said, referring to congressionally mandated reforms that created Negroponte’s job in late 2004.

Negroponte’s office also issued its own unclassified report on reform on Thursday, saying a classified version of the document was sent to
President George W. Bush this month.

The House report said intelligence analysis was largely ignoring efforts to discover unknown adversaries such as home-grown cells or new information about known enemies including al Qaeda and other militant groups.

“Today, analysis largely is still clustered around reporting on the same 10 percent of the data,” it said.

The House report was the latest independent assessment of the Bush administration’s failures and successes at implementing a range of reforms intended to prevent another September 11 attack. That attack killed about 3,000 people in New York, the
Pentagon and Pennsylvania in 2001.

The report appeared at a time when authorities in the United States and Europe have stepped up vigilance against Hizbollah and other militant groups, amid concern Middle East violence could spill over in the West.

Earlier on Thursday, al Qaeda second in command Ayman al-Zawahri in a videotape called on Muslims to wage holy war against
Israel and all countries in the “crusader alliance” that supports the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon.

-Einghf

Posted by: Einghf at July 28, 2006 12:53 PM
Comment #171434

Einghf,

Thanks for that.
The “In Party” refuses to see reality.
Here are 99 reasons why we are not safer.

Posted by: d.a.n at July 28, 2006 1:26 PM
Comment #171470

“Balls” have not made the world one iota safer…let’s try brains now…

Posted by: Lynne at July 28, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #171480

I do not feel any safer, enfact with Big Brother watching us(instead of the borders) now, it’s worse then before. Now that I have to have a passport to go back and forth to Canada starting in January, what a joke.
Illegal’s coming in across the border in record numbers, before bush gives them all citizenship, who says terrorist isn’t among them.
Ports are a joke also.

As far as Iraq and staying the course, problem is that there is no course or plan. They are running around like chickens with their heads cut-off or better the keystone cops. If there is a plan what is it. Staying the Course, is staying the course until another 59000+ service members are killed in a war that should have never been.

Posted by: KT at July 28, 2006 4:48 PM
Comment #171497

““Balls” have not made the world one iota safer…let’s try brains now…”

I’m guessing these people know where their balls are, but as for the rest… might take some serious searching.

Posted by: tony at July 28, 2006 6:00 PM
Comment #171498

Dave1,

I just finished writing about that very thing, in response to a news story I just saw.

My story, Once Upon a Time, includes a link to the article.

We are being called to the mat for our unscrupulous behavior in these recent times! The World sees US as just another bad guy.

Oh, for the old days…

Posted by: myles at July 28, 2006 6:05 PM
Comment #171510

ChristianLeft:

“Revolt! For our lives and our childrens’ future are at stake and under imminent threat!”

If you keep this up, I may have to convert to Christianity.:-)

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 28, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #171513

Lynne:

“Balls” have not made the world one iota safer…let’s try brains now….”

In keeping with your comment, you might find this essay interesting.

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0728-27.htm

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 28, 2006 6:39 PM
Comment #171532

and speaking of brains, this hit the point ;)

http://www.gocomics.com/doonesbury/2006/07/23/

Posted by: myles at July 28, 2006 7:04 PM
Comment #171584

The trouble with the NSA issue is fourfold:
1)Constitutional Violations. Inconsistent with American’s notions of freedom, and therefore bound to come against resistance which shortens its shelf-life.

2)Not very productive. According to Ron Suskind in The One Percent Doctrine, the NSA wiretaps produced very little usable information for all the intrusiveness it brought to bear. There’s a difference between terms and meaning. You can search for the words in people’s conversations, but you can’t distinguish, necessarily, what usage they are in.

3)Large capacity for domestic abuse, little in the way of oversight. People don’t mind surveillance of our enemies. They mind surveillance of themselves when they’re minding their own business. They also mind having political parties and folks associated with it spied up on by their political rivals. If you think that’s nothing, then you’ve forgotten what started Watergate, and what made it so juicy a scandal.

4)Last but not least, and this is perhaps the scariest thing you might read in Ron Suskind’s book, our surveillance on al-Qaeda is going blind. They’ve figured out that people who make wire transfers, talk on cellphones and do other business over telecommunications get caught. So they’re adapting. The NSA program, for what its worth, might not get a lot more good information.

The sad thing here is that intelligence officials have said that al-Qaeda’s current goal is to politically isolate us from our allies, both in the west and in the Middle East. That may be why we’re not being attacked: They’re too busy scaring off our friends.

Or letting us do that for them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 28, 2006 9:42 PM
Comment #171585

Tim,

The Israeli policy of massive retaliation has been in place for 30 years. The article shows a really warped view of the mideast.

myles,

Good blog, I’m sure the (r)wingers will have a stroke trying to bash you. Doonesbury has been great all week.

Posted by: Dave1 at July 28, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #171604

Thanks, Tim…3,000 years of “mine’s bigger than yours” has failed…time for women and brains to take over the world.

Posted by: Lynne at July 28, 2006 10:29 PM
Comment #171609

Dave1,

Thanks, and yeah, Doonesbury has been really cutting this whole week… loved it ;)

I welcome any and all responses to my blog (I don’t get many) so reply and I will publish. (I have it set up to allow me to publish before showing due to spams I was getting on it.)

Posted by: myles at July 28, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #171698

Why did we go to war with Germany in WW2? They NEVER attacked us!

Posted by: Bodat at July 29, 2006 10:27 AM
Comment #171699

bodat,

Are you serious?

Posted by: Dave1 at July 29, 2006 10:29 AM
Comment #171730

Bodat, Germany was sinking U.S. ships and attacking our allies, invaded Poland, Spain, France, Russia, attacked England, and took over Austria, Saar, the Rhineland, Czechoslovakia (and Italy joined with Nazi Germany). Attacking Russia was a huge mistake. Russia inflicted 80% of all casualties of Hitler’s armies.

Posted by: d.a.n at July 29, 2006 12:10 PM
Comment #171740

d.a.n.

Not to be an apologist for Hitler, but we were shipping arms to Britain on our own ships, making them liable to sinking under the rules of war. We probably should’ve gone to war with Germany before we did, but we didn’t. Whether or not it would’ve made an immediate difference is open to debate, but I imagine it would have.

As an interesting aside, attacking Russia may not have been a mistake in and of itself, but the timeing was off. Operation Barbarosa was supposed to have begun 6 weeks earlier than it did, but was delayed when Hitler got pissed with Yugoslavia and invaded them then bailed out Italy in Greece. If Germany had invaded Russia on their original start date and had the same pace, they might very well have taken Moscow, Leningrad, and Stalingrad on the fly. Key to a German victory would’ve been capturing the oilfields of the Caucuses and taking Gorki, the only major east-west and north-souh rail hub east of Moscow. Had they done this, the Russians would’ve had no way to move the massive numbers of men and equipement they needed to defeat the Germans, nor the fuel.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 29, 2006 12:42 PM
Comment #171755

Bodat, Dave1 et al

I saw sometning about Roosevelt and WWII on the history channel. Like Bush, he saw the need to protect our security with wiretaps, monitoring foreign agents etc. And like today’s liberals, isolationists (back then including many conservatives) called the president all sorts of names. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, many said that it was Roosevelt’s provocation and the also wondered why we were so agressive to Germany. They would have prefered appeasement. The situations then and now are similar.

Back then the Chicago Tribune leaked secrets in order to embarass the president. Now it is the NYT.

Posted by: Jack at July 29, 2006 1:08 PM
Comment #171915

Jack,

Did the article say the wiretaps were universal, without warrants, and on American citizens, not just “foreign agents”? Are you equating Nazi Germany, Empirical Japan, and 12/7/41 with Al Queda and 9/11/01? Of course, there is not now or was there ever an actual connection between 9/11 and Sadaam. Nor was there a domestic threat from Hezbollah, neither did sadaam have WMDs. And what “secrets” are you refering to? were these secrets about extra-constitutional abuse of power by a unitary presidency?
BTW: I support Bushies stance on Lebanon. These are the fights we should be fighting, not the stupid ill concieved lie based nation building in Iraq.

Posted by: Dave1 at July 29, 2006 10:14 PM
Comment #171942

Lucas—

Like you personally have had one of oyur conversations listened to? The only conversations being listened to are those of suspected terrorists who are most likely either actively planning or attempting to plan other attacks. I seriously doubt that any of YOUR conversations have been listened to, nor would anyone in Washington want to. Sorry dude, but you just ain”t that important!

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at July 29, 2006 11:48 PM
Comment #171947

I agree with Luis. Someone…one of you alarmists liberals…provide some example of how YOU PERSONALLY have had your freedoms infringed upon since 9/11. If you aren’t a terrorist, or if you aren’t planning to overthrow the government by force, you have nothing to worry about.

I doubt any one of you can cite even one personal example of how YOUR Constitutuional rights have been infringed upon. AND I am sorry…if you have to wait a little longer to get on a plane in an attempot to make air travel safer, then I see that as a good thing. You don’t have a Constitutional right to fly…the choice is yours, and any security measures being put in place to help make that safer are NOT an infringement on your rights.

Get a grip people.

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at July 29, 2006 11:54 PM
Comment #171974

I wonder how many of you people who keep referencing the number of illegals entering our country also support amnesty for the folks already here and DO NOT support stronger enforcement or laws against illegals? I would bet it is most!!


Dave1—

“The sad fact is that despite the nations who used to claim we were the bad guys; most of their people liked Americans, they admired our culture, they desired our freedoms, they looked to us as an example of what-could-be.”

They still do…else why would we have so many illegals paying hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars and risking their very lives to enter this country?


Steven D—

“…our surveillance on al-Qaeda is going blind. They’ve figured out that people who make wire transfers, talk on cellphones and do other business over telecommunications get caught.”

They didn’t “figure it out”…big-mouthed newspapers like the New York Times, under the guise of freedom of speech, TOLD THEM!! Maybe they would have eventually found out for themselves, but then again maybe not. We’ll never know now, will we??


“The trouble with the NSA issue is fourfold:
1)Constitutional Violations.”…”They mind surveillance of themselves when they’re minding their own business.”

Again I will ask…when has this happened to you or anyone you know? Provide concrete examples…not just a bunch of alarmist whining.


Myles—

“…I feel like my “own” government would snatch me up in a minute with little or no provocation… I am turning into a hermit all because of what bush & co. are doing.”

Yeah, I have read so many news stories about people just disapperaing never to be heard from again…Oh wait, that would be the former Iraq under Saddam…sorry, I got confused there. Or maybe that would be Waco and Ruby Ridge under Clinton…is that what you are talking about?

Be serious!! You are blowing things way out of proportion. Like the federal government doesn’t have enough to worry about…they are going to come “snatch you up”? If you are “…turning into a hermit…” it is because your own conspiracy theory alarmist mentality is making you so.

Like I said to Lucas earlier…sorry to bust your big swollen headed ego…YOU ain’t that important!!


Woody, j2t2 and others—

If you don’t hate him, but only hate his policies, then stop calling him names. You guys, and/or your liberal buddies, have used every negative name you all can come up with to paint him in a bad light, then you try and backpedal by claiming “Oh, we don’t hate him…just his policies”. Then stop callng him Bushco, emperor, “King” Bush, etc. Focus on the policies and stop name calling the man. You can’t very well throw nasty monikers around and then call foul…makes you look a little disingenuous.

DaveR

Posted by: DaveR at July 30, 2006 3:18 AM
Comment #172009

Myles,

If you’re so afraid, why are you posting here? Don’t you know that Big Brother monitors this, that the conservatives are only moles posting to try and draw out the liberals….. Perhaps I’ve said to much. Seriously, get over yourself. If this were a truly totalitarian regime, you wouldn’t be posting that nonsense, you’d be in a gulag or a shallow grave. If you get a chance, talk to a Holocaust survivor about what totalitarianism is. I was lucky enough to, and it gave me some real perspective.

Posted by: 1LT B at July 30, 2006 10:56 AM
Comment #172014

Bodat, the US did not declare war on Germany. After Japan bomb Pearl Harbor, and declared war on the US. Germany declared war on the US as part of their treaty with Japan/Italy, but prior to that the US was helping out England witht he lend-lease act etc.

Damn school system for the Politically correct. They don’t teach history. Next thing will be Satan should have never been kicked out of Heaven because he was just a misunderstoond angel…

Posted by: KT at July 30, 2006 11:25 AM
Comment #172036
tony wrote: Let’s sum it all up:

RIGHT: Things are better than they seem… really, they are. Trust us. Bush has said so himself.

LEFT: Bush sux. We’re mired down in a war based on lies and the Middle East is boil into a “crockpot shit stew.”

IND: They’re all a bunch of corrupt power mongers.

Funny.
But sad.
That’s pretty darn close.

Ulterior motivations skew the rhetoric, clouds the important issues, and obscures the truth.

The truth is, things could be worse, always.
The path we are on (just the facts) now will accomplish that.

All parties and groups have some nutcases, but the following is a generalization.

The “In Party” say: “we always have problems, but we always muck through somehow. The sky isn’t falling. You are an alarmist, chicken-little, sky-is-falling nut case.”

The “In Party”, being the current majority in power, have an ulterior motivation to paint a picture rosier than reality. You can see it here on the blog daily. It is so predictable. And, they also don’t want anything else on their plate. Therefore, many problems go ignored. Politicians will pay them lip service once in a while, but they rarely accomplish anything. This frustrates voters of that party, but they keep re-electing the very same incumbents.

The “Out Party”, being the current minority, always have the ulterior motivation to paint a picture that is worse than reality. But, that is harder to do than ignoring real problems. The perceived lack of ability to accomplish anything frustrates the voters of that party, but their politcians blame it on the other party, fan the flames to fuel the partisan warfare, and voters keep re-electing them.

Both perpetuate the partisan warfare. Politicians love it, because it distracts their voters from their own incompetence and malfeasance.

Most “Independents” (not all), being the outsider mostly, see things a little better. They do not have the same ulterior motivations that plague and sabotage the “In Party” and the “Out Party”. They don’t feel as motivated to twist and spin things, no matter how flimsy the argument is. Independents are a bit more open minded, and may vote for candidates from either party, or even a third party candidate. However, the “Independents” are a small minority, and probably always will be. Their motivation is often to just get to the truth and see the most pressing problems resolved. The problem with Independents is that often believe what is needed is yet another party, or candidate. Sure, more choices is good, but that’s not really the solution either. This frustrates Independents. They are frustrated that there is little chance of an independent getting elected.

But, while we are all bickering about this and that, there is possibly a much bigger disaster that is not far away. Currently, the U.S. (with 299 million people) produces 25% of carbon dioxide emmissions (the most of any nation). But, China (2nd after the U.S.) and India, each with about 1 billion people, are about to change that drastically. China is starting the construction of a coal/oil power plant once per week.

We should have started doing something about the emmissions 50 years ago, but we had better start doing something about it now (immediately). Otherwise, it may not be long before we can not avoid causing all coastal cities to become submerged as the ice caps melt.

It’s like we are trying to fix a burned-out light bulb on the ship, while the ship is sinking. It makes no sense.

But, how can reforms ever take place when government is corrupt and irresponsible, and voters keep re-electing them?

Do voters have to always learn the hard way? The next hard lesson may be the worst yet? Education is needed to understand why voters keep re-electing irresponisble incumbent politicians. For one thing, 83% of billions of political donation money (at the federal level) comes from a mere 1% of the U.S. population. The remaining 99% of the U.S. population are disadvantaged. Their only real (but elusive) solution is to stop re-electing bought-and-paid-for, irresponsible, corrupt incumbent politicians. But, too many voters have been tricked into voting straight party ticket, pulling the party lever, demonizing the other party, wallowing in the partisan warfare, and letting incumbents of both parties take turns using and abusing the people.

Only Education can change it.
Parties are not the solution, because all still consist of too many irresponsible incumbents.

That Education will come in one of two forms:
(1) before it is too late.
(2) or the hard way, after it is too late.

Only Education will lead to a solution.
The motivation to acquire that Education will come some day, but probably not in the near future. Most likely, the painful way. Misery is a good teacher, even if the lesson has to be re-learned.

Only Education will convince voters that what they are doing isn’t working, government is FOR SALE, irresponsible, and unaccountable.
Only Education will remind voters what it was they were supposed to be doing all along. Don’t re-elect irresponsible incubments. Who can argue with that? Who thinks most are responsible? Can anyone name at least 268 (half of 535) in congress that are responsible? That don’t look the other way? That don’t peddle influence? That embrace common-sense, no-brainer reforms?
Only education will convince voters to do the one simple thing that they were always supposed to do, the one simple thing that’s been right under their very own noses all along. The one thing that many have suffered and died to secure.
_______________________________________

  • Education = an understanding of the importance of: Education, Transparency, Accountability, Power, Responsibility, Corruption, and the fundamental human desire to seek security and prosperity with the least effort and pain, and that some will resort to dishonest, unethical, or illegal methods to obtain it;

  • Transparency = visibility and simplification of cleverly over-complicated processes to reveal and identify abusers, create outrage, reduce opportunities for abuse, and discourage abuse and dishonesty;

  • Accountability = consequences needed to encourage law enforcement, encourage ethical behavior, and discourage abuse and dishonesty;

  • Power = force required to enforce the laws, discontinue abuse, ensure consequences, punish abusers, and discourage abuse and dishonesty; but unchecked Power without sufficient Education, Transparency, and Accountability breeds Corruption.

_______________________________________
  • Responsibility = Power + Education + Transparency + Accountability

  • _______________________________________
  • Corruption = Power - Education - Transparency - Accountability

  • _______________________________________
    Voters can not arrive at a solution, until voters understand the basics, and how to account for the human factor at the root of the problem. Only then will voters do the common-sense, no-brainer, responsible thing they were always supposed to do, to peacefully force government to be Transparent, Responsible and Accountable too !
    • Stop Repeat Offenders.

    • Don’t Re-Elect Them !

    Posted by: d.a.n at July 30, 2006 1:05 PM
    Comment #172065

    I believe that we are safer now, but the work is not done. I also believe that we cannot claim to win and run away, thats a mistake that can cost millions of lives. No war has ever been won by negotiating with a Dictatorship, and Islamo- Nazism is the new Dictatorship. These evil charachters are repeating a part of world History that was a serious mistake. They are using appeasment by some of us as a weapon to subvert and destroy anyone that stands in their way, just as Hitler did. The first ones to get terminated will be the ones willing to negotiate with them. I believe we are living in a repeat of the pre-war mentality of WW-2, and if appeasment prevails, and these Islamo- Nazis get WMDs, millions will die and 99% of those will be civilians, and hopefully appeasment will die with them! Keep up the fight and don’t give in to Liberalism, Communism, Socialism and Islamo- Nazism, they are all the same.

    Posted by: George at July 30, 2006 4:00 PM
    Comment #172077

    “Keep up the fight and don’t give in to Liberalism, Communism, Socialism and Islamo- Nazism, they are all the same.”

    Wow, if that isn’t a bit of a stretch, I don’t know what is.

    “Liberalism”, is what this country was founded on.
    So, it must follow that conservatives are the true anti-Americans.

    Posted by: Rocky at July 30, 2006 4:36 PM
    Comment #172095

    In my opinion, Liberalism is the stretch. It has never won a majority, and its beliefs haven’t accomplished anything but death and surrender.

    Posted by: George at July 30, 2006 6:08 PM
    Comment #172099

    George,

    Goodness knows, right or wrong, you’re entitled to your opinion.

    Posted by: Rocky at July 30, 2006 6:35 PM
    Comment #172106

    Thank you for stating I am right. I do believe that the Liberal way is the wrong way for the USA. Besides, This country is safer since 9/11, because of Republican policies that protect the people. Not like the proposed Liberal policies that protect the enemies. Appeasment, Isolationism and negotiation will never take the place of victory over Dictators or threats. I don’t believe this country was founded on that type of Liberalism.

    Posted by: George at July 30, 2006 7:07 PM
    Comment #172109

    George,

    “This country is safer since 9/11, because of Republican policies that protect the people. Not like the proposed Liberal policies that protect the enemies.”

    Please, pray tell, other than enhanced airport screening, what policies are in place that actually protect people from what happened on Sept, 11th?
    It certainly isn’t the “Patriot Act”.
    You can’t possibly mean the “capture” of those morons in Florida.
    It sure isn’t border security either.

    All the Republicans have done is talk, and run up the debt, and so far that doesn’t seem to have changed much of anything, except the bill our children and grand children will pay in the form of taxes.

    So please, feel free, elucidate.
    Just how are you safer?

    Posted by: Rocky at July 30, 2006 7:20 PM
    Comment #172134

    Anyone else notice Jack is not even defending the You Are Safer BS. He says it’s because he’s got to work and make some money. Remember how good you had it 10 years ago, J. Anthony?

    Posted by: ray at July 30, 2006 8:54 PM
    Comment #172145

    Ray

    I got it okay today. Better than ten years ago. But sometimes I have work to do. Is that a surprise? I had to work ten years ago too. I just made less money doing it.

    I wrote most of what I had to say in the intial part anyway. We have not been attacked again in the U.S. since 9/11. We have been breaking up terror rings. You could say it was luck. I do not think so.

    It was fun in the 1990s. We thought everything wsa safe. The bad guys were building up. As you know, I don’t blame Clinton, but it was all building during the later Clinton years. We were living in an illusion.

    You cannot compare the feeling of the late 1990s with the reality of today.

    Posted by: Jack at July 30, 2006 9:54 PM
    Comment #172226

    Jack,

    We have not been attacked again in the U.S. since 9/11. We have been breaking up terror rings. You could say it was luck. I do not think so.

    How much US soldiers have to die or be wounded for that? And how many collateral damage due to that?
    I think people in charge make their best so that you could FEEL safer. But nobody is.

    Meanwhile, the rest of the world was put at risk.

    It was fun in the 1990s. We thought everything wsa safe. The bad guys were building up. As you know, I don’t blame Clinton, but it was all building during the later Clinton years. We were living in an illusion.

    You cannot compare the feeling of the late 1990s with the reality of today.

    During “illusion years”, several warnings was heard and reported in counter-terrorism circles worldwide. The 90s in France, for example, were islamist terrorism years. US were not living in an illusion but in apathy.
    Today US live in war. Everybody could see how the “bad guys” are activelly building up every day on TV…

    Today is tomorrow’s illusion.

    PS: I read your link about french bloggers. Love it. I do disagree with some of their arguments, though, and I don’t blog myself, just post comments.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at July 31, 2006 8:04 AM
    Comment #172343

    Phillipe

    I don’t think it was apathy. It was just the idea that the world had passed through the dangerous bad times of the cold war and that now it would just be more or less peaceful competition. It was very convenient and not all wrong. Despite all the troubles of today, we are better off (as a world) than when we had Soviet and American missles aimed at each other and either of us could destroy the world with 20 minute notice.

    Re bloggers, I think that making comments qualifies as blogging.

    Posted by: Jack at July 31, 2006 3:05 PM
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