Closure for 9/11?

My theory of our recent wars–as I said at the time they started–is that after the 9/11 attacks, America was so enraged that we had to strike back.   We invaded Afghanistan, seizing control of the country in weeks.  But that was not enough.  We still needed to strike somebody.  So we attacked our old enemy Saddam Hussein and invaded Iraq.   It wasn’t that we thought he was involved in 9/11.  But we felt the need to fight.   I’m not saying this feeling wasn’t justified or that there weren’t objective reasons to conduct a war on terrorism.  But I contend that the need for revenge–or justice–was the primary factor.  After awhile, as wars will, they bogged us down, not so much in the combat phase as in the nation building phase, with the constant and maddening guerrilla warfare.   Now that Osama bin Laden is dead, can we finally close the books, emotionally at least, on 9/11?   Yes, terrorism will remain a problem and there will likely be jihadists who will pull something to try to avenge bin Laden.  But can we finally have closure for 9/11?   Will this help us end those other wars?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com Rev. Charles Lehmann

    I was at the Flight 93 memorial yesterday. For a lot of us who were there, I think that Bin Laden’s death had given at least a bit of closure.

    Here are two relevant news stories:

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_735127.html
    http://toledoblade.com/news/2011/05/03/At-Pennsylvania-crash-site-mood-is-sober-not-jubilant.html

    And here’s my blog post after coming home:

    http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com/835157.html

  • http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com Rev. Charles Lehmann

    I was at the Flight 93 memorial yesterday. For a lot of us who were there, I think that Bin Laden’s death had given at least a bit of closure.

    Here are two relevant news stories:

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_735127.html
    http://toledoblade.com/news/2011/05/03/At-Pennsylvania-crash-site-mood-is-sober-not-jubilant.html

    And here’s my blog post after coming home:

    http://chaz-lehmann.livejournal.com/835157.html

  • Tom Hering

    I listened to a radio interview with Rep. Mike Rogers this morning, in which he repeatedly referred to our “war on counter-terrorism.” Yes, that’s right, our “war on counter-terrorism.” And he’s the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee – some of the people leading us in our present wars, and very likely into new ones. God help us.

  • Tom Hering

    I listened to a radio interview with Rep. Mike Rogers this morning, in which he repeatedly referred to our “war on counter-terrorism.” Yes, that’s right, our “war on counter-terrorism.” And he’s the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee – some of the people leading us in our present wars, and very likely into new ones. God help us.

  • Cincinnatus

    “Will this help us end those other wars?”

    No. Mission creep stifled that possibility long, long ago. Once the euphoria clears, everyone will realize that this merely symbolic victory was merely symbolic.

  • Cincinnatus

    “Will this help us end those other wars?”

    No. Mission creep stifled that possibility long, long ago. Once the euphoria clears, everyone will realize that this merely symbolic victory was merely symbolic.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Do we have the will to destroy our enemies? I don’t think we do. I think we think that we just want it be like World War II where Germany and Japan rejoined the world as our allies but we don’t want 100,000,000 dead to get there. I think we lose sight of how we destroyed them first. Enemies must be broken before they can be converted. We seem to lack the desire to crush and humiliate. It seems a necessary step, unfortunately. Honestly, I don’t think it is worth it. So, I don’t think we should get involved much at all. It just escalates it. I was reading somewhere that it is pointless to look for solutions to things that aren’t correctly termed problems. Rather, it makes more sense to see them for the conflicts that they are and just try for an outcome we can live with.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Do we have the will to destroy our enemies? I don’t think we do. I think we think that we just want it be like World War II where Germany and Japan rejoined the world as our allies but we don’t want 100,000,000 dead to get there. I think we lose sight of how we destroyed them first. Enemies must be broken before they can be converted. We seem to lack the desire to crush and humiliate. It seems a necessary step, unfortunately. Honestly, I don’t think it is worth it. So, I don’t think we should get involved much at all. It just escalates it. I was reading somewhere that it is pointless to look for solutions to things that aren’t correctly termed problems. Rather, it makes more sense to see them for the conflicts that they are and just try for an outcome we can live with.

  • L. H. Kevil

    We needed to strike out at someone, anyone? We needed to fight?

    Could we get beyond the psychobabble, please? The Iraq war was continued by Pres Bush for sound geopolitical reasons. First, Saddam was thought to have weapons of mass destruction that could fall into the hands of terrorists groups. Second, Iraq’s geography made it a central player in the region. If it could be pacified, made into something like a democracy, that would have a stabilizing influence on the entire region. The recent Arab spring gives a measure of encouragement in this respect. But if Saddam did get the bomb, our hands would have been really tied as they are wrt Pakistan.

    This is of course a long-term project about which we should entertain no illusions.

  • L. H. Kevil

    We needed to strike out at someone, anyone? We needed to fight?

    Could we get beyond the psychobabble, please? The Iraq war was continued by Pres Bush for sound geopolitical reasons. First, Saddam was thought to have weapons of mass destruction that could fall into the hands of terrorists groups. Second, Iraq’s geography made it a central player in the region. If it could be pacified, made into something like a democracy, that would have a stabilizing influence on the entire region. The recent Arab spring gives a measure of encouragement in this respect. But if Saddam did get the bomb, our hands would have been really tied as they are wrt Pakistan.

    This is of course a long-term project about which we should entertain no illusions.

  • Tim T.

    To add to L. H. Kevil’s comment… There was another sound geopolitical reason to take on Iraq, one that is never acknowledged: It would place the biggest threat in the region, Iran, in a sandwich between two US-friendly countries, allowing us to plant a significant amount of intimidating power at their very doorstep.

    Assuming that was the original strategy, the ability to carry it out has been, perhaps fatally, undermined by political “friendly fire” here at home.

  • Tim T.

    To add to L. H. Kevil’s comment… There was another sound geopolitical reason to take on Iraq, one that is never acknowledged: It would place the biggest threat in the region, Iran, in a sandwich between two US-friendly countries, allowing us to plant a significant amount of intimidating power at their very doorstep.

    Assuming that was the original strategy, the ability to carry it out has been, perhaps fatally, undermined by political “friendly fire” here at home.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    By the way, I find it interesting that Barack Obama accomplished this by keeping George Bush’s policies.

    Interesting.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    By the way, I find it interesting that Barack Obama accomplished this by keeping George Bush’s policies.

    Interesting.

  • Porcell

    I agree with L.H. Kevil.

    Bush was concerned with the intelligence that Hussein was pursuing weapons of mass destruction and was advised by Bernard Lewis among other scholars that if Iraq in the heart of the Middle could develop an effective form of democracy then that would have in the long run a stabilizing effect in the region.

    Obama was convinced by his advisers that should the Taliban retake Afghanistan this would once again provide a safe haven for alQuaeda. Significantly, Obama, a severe critic of the Iraq war, when faced with hard daily intelligence on the threat of the Islamic militants has adopted Bush’s basic war stance and continued most of his policies. He by far has outdone Bush on the use of weaponized drone aircraft

    One may disagree with these views, though to claim that underneath they are based on some 9/11 rage is mistaken. Also, cloture on 9/11 won’t happen until radical Islamic groups are thoroughly defeated in their war to establish Shariah Law in the West.

  • Porcell

    I agree with L.H. Kevil.

    Bush was concerned with the intelligence that Hussein was pursuing weapons of mass destruction and was advised by Bernard Lewis among other scholars that if Iraq in the heart of the Middle could develop an effective form of democracy then that would have in the long run a stabilizing effect in the region.

    Obama was convinced by his advisers that should the Taliban retake Afghanistan this would once again provide a safe haven for alQuaeda. Significantly, Obama, a severe critic of the Iraq war, when faced with hard daily intelligence on the threat of the Islamic militants has adopted Bush’s basic war stance and continued most of his policies. He by far has outdone Bush on the use of weaponized drone aircraft

    One may disagree with these views, though to claim that underneath they are based on some 9/11 rage is mistaken. Also, cloture on 9/11 won’t happen until radical Islamic groups are thoroughly defeated in their war to establish Shariah Law in the West.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    It has provided some emotional closure I suppose. But I’m more or less with sg and L.H. on this.
    We went in, and once you do that you have to see it through. To just pull out and leave the area just as unstable as it was when we went in, if not more is simply foolish. That just invites us to replay the reel as it were.
    We stay and finish the job that needs to be finished. We learned that lesson after WWI. We like to think we can just have all the troops home by Christmas, but that would mean that we just have to send them back in and start all over again by next Easter.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    It has provided some emotional closure I suppose. But I’m more or less with sg and L.H. on this.
    We went in, and once you do that you have to see it through. To just pull out and leave the area just as unstable as it was when we went in, if not more is simply foolish. That just invites us to replay the reel as it were.
    We stay and finish the job that needs to be finished. We learned that lesson after WWI. We like to think we can just have all the troops home by Christmas, but that would mean that we just have to send them back in and start all over again by next Easter.

  • Stephen

    I would disagree that symbols are “mere” in that they signify something. In this case, they mean that we will carry through our national defense policies even if they take ten years. That, to me, symbolizes resolve and strength, both for the free world and for the terrorists. No other country has that kind of international resolve. Even though I’d argue that Iraq was Bush’s personal vendetta carried out under pretenses they knew were specious, that does not negate the symbolic value of obtaining this objective after so long.

    The world depends on our military and we came through after ten years. That is significant, if only symbolically. The world will continue to count on us, support us, look favorably toward us even if they sometimes speak grudgingly and complain. It is inevitable that they will when you are the big man on campus – you will get criticized. And yet everyone will want to still sit at your table and be invited to your party. It’s an enormous advantage and responsibility.

    This has to go on until the Islamic world becomes modernized and moderately democratic. That seems to be on the way, but it will take time. Emotionally it seems like this may be helpful for turning a page and closing a chapter, especially for victims. No one seems to be under any illusions that this is over.

  • Stephen

    I would disagree that symbols are “mere” in that they signify something. In this case, they mean that we will carry through our national defense policies even if they take ten years. That, to me, symbolizes resolve and strength, both for the free world and for the terrorists. No other country has that kind of international resolve. Even though I’d argue that Iraq was Bush’s personal vendetta carried out under pretenses they knew were specious, that does not negate the symbolic value of obtaining this objective after so long.

    The world depends on our military and we came through after ten years. That is significant, if only symbolically. The world will continue to count on us, support us, look favorably toward us even if they sometimes speak grudgingly and complain. It is inevitable that they will when you are the big man on campus – you will get criticized. And yet everyone will want to still sit at your table and be invited to your party. It’s an enormous advantage and responsibility.

    This has to go on until the Islamic world becomes modernized and moderately democratic. That seems to be on the way, but it will take time. Emotionally it seems like this may be helpful for turning a page and closing a chapter, especially for victims. No one seems to be under any illusions that this is over.

  • Porcell

    As to any cloture, we do have to face the fact that underneath the present radical Islamic war is the reality of Islam itself:

    John Adams, 1830: Between these two religions [Christianity and Islam], thus contrasted in the characters, a war of more than twelve hundred years has already raged. That war is yet flagrant; nor can it cease but by the extincture of that imposture [Islam], which has been permitted by Providence to prolong the degeneracy of man. While the merciless and dissolute are encouraged to furnish motives to human action, there never can be peace on earth and good will toward men. The hand of Ishmael will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him.

    Winston Churchill: Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.

    Hirsi Ali, 2007: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.

  • Porcell

    As to any cloture, we do have to face the fact that underneath the present radical Islamic war is the reality of Islam itself:

    John Adams, 1830: Between these two religions [Christianity and Islam], thus contrasted in the characters, a war of more than twelve hundred years has already raged. That war is yet flagrant; nor can it cease but by the extincture of that imposture [Islam], which has been permitted by Providence to prolong the degeneracy of man. While the merciless and dissolute are encouraged to furnish motives to human action, there never can be peace on earth and good will toward men. The hand of Ishmael will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him.

    Winston Churchill: Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.

    Hirsi Ali, 2007: I think that we are at war with Islam. And there’s no middle ground in wars. Islam can be defeated in many ways. For starters, you stop the spread of the ideology itself; at present, there are native Westerners converting to Islam, and they’re the most fanatical sometimes. There is infiltration of Islam in the schools and universities of the West. You stop that. You stop the symbol burning and the effigy burning, and you look them in the eye and flex your muscles and you say, “This is a warning. We won’t accept this anymore.” There comes a moment when you crush your enemy.

  • Steve

    “But I contend that the need for revenge–or justice–was the primary factor.”

    Are you equating revenge and justice, or do you think they are two separate–if not, at times, similar–concepts? In my mind I see differences, but I’m curious for your thoughts.

  • Steve

    “But I contend that the need for revenge–or justice–was the primary factor.”

    Are you equating revenge and justice, or do you think they are two separate–if not, at times, similar–concepts? In my mind I see differences, but I’m curious for your thoughts.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    All those in positions of power (on both sides of the aisle) BELIEVED that Saddam H. had WMD.

    So how could anyone just wait for him to use them against us, without doing anything about it.

    What would they have said if we did nothing and then he did attack us with chem. or bio. weapons?

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    All those in positions of power (on both sides of the aisle) BELIEVED that Saddam H. had WMD.

    So how could anyone just wait for him to use them against us, without doing anything about it.

    What would they have said if we did nothing and then he did attack us with chem. or bio. weapons?

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I think the need for fighting is that we judged, rightly, that Mr. Bin Laden was a genuine genius in tactics and motivation. It’s not everyone who can persuade hundreds of people to blow themselves up, thankfully, and for that reason, he needed to be “removed from the battlefield.”

    I personally would prefer, now that I think about it, for him to be in Gitmo right now getting sugar cookies and waterboarded, though. One can only wonder what he might have said.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I think the need for fighting is that we judged, rightly, that Mr. Bin Laden was a genuine genius in tactics and motivation. It’s not everyone who can persuade hundreds of people to blow themselves up, thankfully, and for that reason, he needed to be “removed from the battlefield.”

    I personally would prefer, now that I think about it, for him to be in Gitmo right now getting sugar cookies and waterboarded, though. One can only wonder what he might have said.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Porcell,

    Few people actually say what you said out loud, for fear of the “PC-police”. But it is true.

    We have characterized the “extremist” as being the outlier in Islam, as opposed to the silent majority of “moderates”. But I think that the opposite is closer to the truth. The “moderate”, who views themselves as a faithful Muslim, but denounces the violence of terrorism and does not harbor anti-Semitism and misogyny is really more of the outlier. The majority may not commit violent acts, but they support them in their hearts and cheer them on as much as they can within their environment. Watch and see the events in Egypt as they unfold and see if Islamists do not gain the upper hand.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Porcell,

    Few people actually say what you said out loud, for fear of the “PC-police”. But it is true.

    We have characterized the “extremist” as being the outlier in Islam, as opposed to the silent majority of “moderates”. But I think that the opposite is closer to the truth. The “moderate”, who views themselves as a faithful Muslim, but denounces the violence of terrorism and does not harbor anti-Semitism and misogyny is really more of the outlier. The majority may not commit violent acts, but they support them in their hearts and cheer them on as much as they can within their environment. Watch and see the events in Egypt as they unfold and see if Islamists do not gain the upper hand.

  • Mike Baker

    I think that the general public often confuses the public justification for a war with the command’s intent for it. It is a sad reality that wars have to be “sold” to the public and often those public reasons have little to do with reality. These public presentations often distort our memories of the events that lead up to a particular event (especially when it comes to war).

    Looking back almost a decade it looks like revenge and emotionalism in the wake of 9/11 was the primary motivator for the invasion for Iraq.

    …but let’s not forget that the intellegence agencies of the entire free world believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. He refused to prove us wrong and he had a history of using them on his own people in the past. He further confused the situation by allowing his military leadership to believe that they had the WMDs so that when we spied on them, they told us that they had them.

    …and let’s not forget that the Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) never ended. Saddam signed a cease fire agreement to keep us from invading Iraq and deposing him. That didn’t end the conflict but stopped the combat as long as the cease fire was in effect. That cease fire had conditions. For over a decade he refused to abide by those conditions and he flaunted his defiance in the face of those who had shown him mercy.

    International treateies are important. These agreements promote justice and save thousands of lives by keeping the world from breaking out at war and stabbing each other in the back… but they only work if they can be trusted and enforced. The enemies of the United States and her allies need to know that you do not sign a piece of paper and then ignore your obligations to it. There are consequences for defying your agreements… not always military consequences, but there must be consequences or our agreements with other nations aren’t worth the paper they are written on.

    …and let’s not forget the threat that Iraq posed to our national interests. We are a country that runs on oil. We have decided to get that oil chiefly from the middle east. A despot with a reputation for usurping and making war on his neighbors (which he had done twice already) casts a dark shadow over the reliability of our fuel supplies: fuel supplies that feed your children and give you the huge standard of living that you enjoy.

    For all these reasons and more, I submit that an armed conflict in Iraq would have happened sooner or later even without 9/11 as a catalyst and public justification. The threat had existed long before 2001 and talk of armed action against Saddam had been in place since we left the Kuwaiti-Iraqi border the first time. We must remember that, long before 9/11, President Clinton’s official position on Iraq was “regime change”.

  • Mike Baker

    I think that the general public often confuses the public justification for a war with the command’s intent for it. It is a sad reality that wars have to be “sold” to the public and often those public reasons have little to do with reality. These public presentations often distort our memories of the events that lead up to a particular event (especially when it comes to war).

    Looking back almost a decade it looks like revenge and emotionalism in the wake of 9/11 was the primary motivator for the invasion for Iraq.

    …but let’s not forget that the intellegence agencies of the entire free world believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. He refused to prove us wrong and he had a history of using them on his own people in the past. He further confused the situation by allowing his military leadership to believe that they had the WMDs so that when we spied on them, they told us that they had them.

    …and let’s not forget that the Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) never ended. Saddam signed a cease fire agreement to keep us from invading Iraq and deposing him. That didn’t end the conflict but stopped the combat as long as the cease fire was in effect. That cease fire had conditions. For over a decade he refused to abide by those conditions and he flaunted his defiance in the face of those who had shown him mercy.

    International treateies are important. These agreements promote justice and save thousands of lives by keeping the world from breaking out at war and stabbing each other in the back… but they only work if they can be trusted and enforced. The enemies of the United States and her allies need to know that you do not sign a piece of paper and then ignore your obligations to it. There are consequences for defying your agreements… not always military consequences, but there must be consequences or our agreements with other nations aren’t worth the paper they are written on.

    …and let’s not forget the threat that Iraq posed to our national interests. We are a country that runs on oil. We have decided to get that oil chiefly from the middle east. A despot with a reputation for usurping and making war on his neighbors (which he had done twice already) casts a dark shadow over the reliability of our fuel supplies: fuel supplies that feed your children and give you the huge standard of living that you enjoy.

    For all these reasons and more, I submit that an armed conflict in Iraq would have happened sooner or later even without 9/11 as a catalyst and public justification. The threat had existed long before 2001 and talk of armed action against Saddam had been in place since we left the Kuwaiti-Iraqi border the first time. We must remember that, long before 9/11, President Clinton’s official position on Iraq was “regime change”.

  • CRB

    As a fan of the military historian, Dr Victor Davis Hanson, I think this short piece is a worthwhile read on the matter:

    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson050311.html

  • CRB

    As a fan of the military historian, Dr Victor Davis Hanson, I think this short piece is a worthwhile read on the matter:

    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson050311.html

  • Stephen

    Steve @ 12

    “All those in positions of power (on both sides of the aisle) BELIEVED that Saddam H. had WMD.”

    That’s simply not true. Remember that whole Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson thing? The NRC pretty much knew his programs were inoperative and said so. There were certainly doubts. They cherry picked and knew they were doing it, and were not above outing a CIA agent to move ahead. Unconscionable. No wonder Colin Powell resigned. He’s probably still showering off.

    BB @13

    Waterboarding? Really? Sheesh!

  • Stephen

    Steve @ 12

    “All those in positions of power (on both sides of the aisle) BELIEVED that Saddam H. had WMD.”

    That’s simply not true. Remember that whole Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson thing? The NRC pretty much knew his programs were inoperative and said so. There were certainly doubts. They cherry picked and knew they were doing it, and were not above outing a CIA agent to move ahead. Unconscionable. No wonder Colin Powell resigned. He’s probably still showering off.

    BB @13

    Waterboarding? Really? Sheesh!

  • Pingback: A Sobering Celebration « The Shepherd's Study

  • Pingback: A Sobering Celebration « The Shepherd's Study

  • Stephen

    Mike@ 15

    Missed your comment, which I guess is in reaction to mine perhaps. Looks like you swallowed hard and bought what was being “sold.”

    I think it was more like this: “Now is our chance, come up with a reason, if anyone criticizes it call them unpatriotic or cowards. This is the perfect opportunity to get back some of what we’ve wasted on him and gain a foothold.”

    Was it strategically a bad move? I don’t know. Remains to be seen. Was it dishonest and thus harmful to our reputation in world, while also making our citizens that much more politically cynical? Yes. Did Iraq have anything to do with 9/11 as they claimed. Absolutely not.

  • Stephen

    Mike@ 15

    Missed your comment, which I guess is in reaction to mine perhaps. Looks like you swallowed hard and bought what was being “sold.”

    I think it was more like this: “Now is our chance, come up with a reason, if anyone criticizes it call them unpatriotic or cowards. This is the perfect opportunity to get back some of what we’ve wasted on him and gain a foothold.”

    Was it strategically a bad move? I don’t know. Remains to be seen. Was it dishonest and thus harmful to our reputation in world, while also making our citizens that much more politically cynical? Yes. Did Iraq have anything to do with 9/11 as they claimed. Absolutely not.

  • Tom Hering

    “Will this help us end those other wars?”

    No. We’re addicted to war. We got high off of victory in WWII, and we’ve been mainlining the stuff ever since. (Vietnam was a bad batch.) Like any addict, we come up with all sorts of justifications. And like any long-term addict, we can’t even imagine how we, as a nation, could possibly feel good NOT fighting a war. We’d feel lost, purposeless, not ourselves. And then there’s that rush, like the one we got on Sunday night. We’ve got to have it, again and again.

  • Tom Hering

    “Will this help us end those other wars?”

    No. We’re addicted to war. We got high off of victory in WWII, and we’ve been mainlining the stuff ever since. (Vietnam was a bad batch.) Like any addict, we come up with all sorts of justifications. And like any long-term addict, we can’t even imagine how we, as a nation, could possibly feel good NOT fighting a war. We’d feel lost, purposeless, not ourselves. And then there’s that rush, like the one we got on Sunday night. We’ve got to have it, again and again.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “harmful to our reputation in world”

    What do we want our reputation in the world to be?

    I don’t think there is consensus on that.

    What do you think?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “harmful to our reputation in world”

    What do we want our reputation in the world to be?

    I don’t think there is consensus on that.

    What do you think?

  • Porcell

    Stephen, while there were a few outlying positions, every major intelligence agency in the world concluded in 2002-3 that Iraq intended to develop and stockpile weapons of mass destruction. Colin Powell firmly understood this and said so before the UN Security Council. While no such weapons were found, the Duelfer report subsequently confirmed that Hussein had deliberately kept in place the infrastructure to develop these weapons

    As to Joseph Wilson, he in his report to the CIA confirmed that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger, based on a conversation he had with the Prime Minister of Niger. He later changed this story in a New York Times article based on ex post facto knowledge

    On water boarding, despite your moralizing view, Bush authorized it in the case of only three top al Quaeda detainees, yielding according to George Tenet crucial information on alQuaeda. Also, water boarding along with other aggressive techniques was carefully vetted by Office of Legal Council at the Dept. of Justice as within the bounds of international law on aggressive interrogation. You can emote Sheeesh!, though you would do well to back up your assertion with hard evidence that water-boarding is a form of torture under national or international law.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, while there were a few outlying positions, every major intelligence agency in the world concluded in 2002-3 that Iraq intended to develop and stockpile weapons of mass destruction. Colin Powell firmly understood this and said so before the UN Security Council. While no such weapons were found, the Duelfer report subsequently confirmed that Hussein had deliberately kept in place the infrastructure to develop these weapons

    As to Joseph Wilson, he in his report to the CIA confirmed that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger, based on a conversation he had with the Prime Minister of Niger. He later changed this story in a New York Times article based on ex post facto knowledge

    On water boarding, despite your moralizing view, Bush authorized it in the case of only three top al Quaeda detainees, yielding according to George Tenet crucial information on alQuaeda. Also, water boarding along with other aggressive techniques was carefully vetted by Office of Legal Council at the Dept. of Justice as within the bounds of international law on aggressive interrogation. You can emote Sheeesh!, though you would do well to back up your assertion with hard evidence that water-boarding is a form of torture under national or international law.

  • Mike Baker

    @ Stephen 18

    I did not buy what was being sold and had not even read your comments. If you knew me you’d know that I am an independent thinker.

    I wasn’t defending the position of one side or the other. I was presenting the reasons for invading Iraq (other than the revenge of 9/11 as the primary reason that was in the article). The powers that be had their reasons and those reasons were not 9/11.

    No matter what political stripe you may be, it is pretty hard to deny that an eventual conflict with Saddam in some fashion was unlikely until 9/11. Saddam had been pushing the world to that point for some time. That was all I was saying. You can disagree with every aspect of the decisions that were made about Iraq, but it is really hard to claim that 9/11 was the reason it happened given the historical evidence.

    No one was presenting Saddam’s support of terrorism as their main arguement. Was it mentioned? Yes. Was that the battle cry? Far from it. It was WMDs, oil, humanitarian crisis, UN violations, etc. It wasn’t until much later that everyone threw GWOT, OIF, OEF, and 9/11 into the same pot and confused everything.

    @All

    As a personal note, I think that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake and the fact that it was mistake could have been known prior to the invasion and not merely in 20/20 hindsight.

    I recommend this book on the subject of counter-terrorism: http://www.amazon.com/Accidental-Guerrilla-Fighting-Small-Midst/dp/0195368347

    It is written by true subject matter expert who, by virtue of not being an American, can take a step back from everyone’s political biases and attempt to be objective about how we engage terrorism. It is not the end-all-be-all on the topic, but I submit that if you do not at least know the information he presented in the book, then you don’t really understand enough to have an informed opinion on counter-terrorism.

  • Mike Baker

    @ Stephen 18

    I did not buy what was being sold and had not even read your comments. If you knew me you’d know that I am an independent thinker.

    I wasn’t defending the position of one side or the other. I was presenting the reasons for invading Iraq (other than the revenge of 9/11 as the primary reason that was in the article). The powers that be had their reasons and those reasons were not 9/11.

    No matter what political stripe you may be, it is pretty hard to deny that an eventual conflict with Saddam in some fashion was unlikely until 9/11. Saddam had been pushing the world to that point for some time. That was all I was saying. You can disagree with every aspect of the decisions that were made about Iraq, but it is really hard to claim that 9/11 was the reason it happened given the historical evidence.

    No one was presenting Saddam’s support of terrorism as their main arguement. Was it mentioned? Yes. Was that the battle cry? Far from it. It was WMDs, oil, humanitarian crisis, UN violations, etc. It wasn’t until much later that everyone threw GWOT, OIF, OEF, and 9/11 into the same pot and confused everything.

    @All

    As a personal note, I think that the invasion of Iraq was a mistake and the fact that it was mistake could have been known prior to the invasion and not merely in 20/20 hindsight.

    I recommend this book on the subject of counter-terrorism: http://www.amazon.com/Accidental-Guerrilla-Fighting-Small-Midst/dp/0195368347

    It is written by true subject matter expert who, by virtue of not being an American, can take a step back from everyone’s political biases and attempt to be objective about how we engage terrorism. It is not the end-all-be-all on the topic, but I submit that if you do not at least know the information he presented in the book, then you don’t really understand enough to have an informed opinion on counter-terrorism.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
    in The Atlantic

    “Bin Laden’s strategy’s initial phase linked terrorist attacks directly to economic harm. A prime example of this is the September 11, 2001, attacks, in which a major economic target (the World Trade Center) was destroyed. It’s clear that Sept. 11 was intended to create a serious economic setback for the U.S. In a wide-ranging interview conducted by Al Jazeera’s Taysir Allouni in the month following the 9/11 attacks, bin Laden spoke at length about the extent of the economic damage the attacks had inflicted. “According to [the Americans'] own admissions,” he said, “the share of the losses on the Wall Street market reached 16%. They said that this number is a record.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
    in The Atlantic

    “Bin Laden’s strategy’s initial phase linked terrorist attacks directly to economic harm. A prime example of this is the September 11, 2001, attacks, in which a major economic target (the World Trade Center) was destroyed. It’s clear that Sept. 11 was intended to create a serious economic setback for the U.S. In a wide-ranging interview conducted by Al Jazeera’s Taysir Allouni in the month following the 9/11 attacks, bin Laden spoke at length about the extent of the economic damage the attacks had inflicted. “According to [the Americans'] own admissions,” he said, “the share of the losses on the Wall Street market reached 16%. They said that this number is a record.”

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Stephen,

    That Valerie Plame thing was over yellowcake, and revealing that she was a CIA agent (which everyone already knew anyway).

    I could get you many youtube videos of the Clintons and Kerry and many other high ranking democrats who said that S. Hussein had WMD and needed to be dealt with.

    And since we had evidence of him ALREADY using WMD on his own people (the Kurds), then why take a chance? Hindsight is always 20-20.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Stephen,

    That Valerie Plame thing was over yellowcake, and revealing that she was a CIA agent (which everyone already knew anyway).

    I could get you many youtube videos of the Clintons and Kerry and many other high ranking democrats who said that S. Hussein had WMD and needed to be dealt with.

    And since we had evidence of him ALREADY using WMD on his own people (the Kurds), then why take a chance? Hindsight is always 20-20.

  • John C

    I doubt, Porcell, whether the CIA believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Only God knows why Cheney and Bush wanted to invade Iraq.There is only one certainty; the evidence was ‘sexed up’ to provide the political justification.
    From memory, Murdoch thought the price of oil would drop to $14 a barrel and gee, that has got to be a good thing.

  • John C

    I doubt, Porcell, whether the CIA believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Only God knows why Cheney and Bush wanted to invade Iraq.There is only one certainty; the evidence was ‘sexed up’ to provide the political justification.
    From memory, Murdoch thought the price of oil would drop to $14 a barrel and gee, that has got to be a good thing.

  • Porcell

    Steve Billingsley, at fourteen: Watch and see the events in Egypt as they unfold and see if Islamists do not gain the upper hand.

    Yes, today the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt regretted the assassination of “Sheikh” Bin Laden and excoriated evil America for linking Islam to terrorism. When the Muslim Brotherhood takes power in Egypt, it will make Mubarak look like a Boy Scout.

  • Porcell

    Steve Billingsley, at fourteen: Watch and see the events in Egypt as they unfold and see if Islamists do not gain the upper hand.

    Yes, today the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt regretted the assassination of “Sheikh” Bin Laden and excoriated evil America for linking Islam to terrorism. When the Muslim Brotherhood takes power in Egypt, it will make Mubarak look like a Boy Scout.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Madeline Albright, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Sandy Berger, and more Democrats, all said that Saddam Hussein HAD WMD…and that he had ALREADY used them!

    Here it is:

    Go ahead, naysayers…listen for yourself.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Madeline Albright, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Sandy Berger, and more Democrats, all said that Saddam Hussein HAD WMD…and that he had ALREADY used them!

    Here it is:

    Go ahead, naysayers…listen for yourself.

  • Cincinnatus

    Wait, Porcell, I thought you were firmly in favor of the overwhelmingly “democratic” revolution in Egypt, in which the Muslim Brotherhood played only a minor and mostly innocuous role.

    Now it’s only a matter of “when” the Muslim Brotherhood takes over!

  • Cincinnatus

    Wait, Porcell, I thought you were firmly in favor of the overwhelmingly “democratic” revolution in Egypt, in which the Muslim Brotherhood played only a minor and mostly innocuous role.

    Now it’s only a matter of “when” the Muslim Brotherhood takes over!

  • Porcell

    John C: the evidence was ‘sexed up’ to provide the political justification.

    Mortimer Zuckerman of US News and World Repot, eleven November 2005:

    Last year’s bipartisan report by the Senate Intelligence Committee stated the panel “did not find any evidence that [Bush]administration officials attempted to coerce, influence, or pressure analysts to change their judgment related to Iraq’s WMD.” Earlier this year, the Robb-Silverman report was equally clear, finding “no evidence of political pressure to influence the intelligence community’s prewar assessments of Iraq’s weapons programs” and no political pressure “to skew or alter any . . . analytical judgments.” Rather, the report said, “it was the paucity of intelligence and poor analytical tradecraft, rather than political pressure, that produced the inaccurate prewar intelligence assessments.”

    You hardly know what you’re talking about on this matter.

  • Porcell

    John C: the evidence was ‘sexed up’ to provide the political justification.

    Mortimer Zuckerman of US News and World Repot, eleven November 2005:

    Last year’s bipartisan report by the Senate Intelligence Committee stated the panel “did not find any evidence that [Bush]administration officials attempted to coerce, influence, or pressure analysts to change their judgment related to Iraq’s WMD.” Earlier this year, the Robb-Silverman report was equally clear, finding “no evidence of political pressure to influence the intelligence community’s prewar assessments of Iraq’s weapons programs” and no political pressure “to skew or alter any . . . analytical judgments.” Rather, the report said, “it was the paucity of intelligence and poor analytical tradecraft, rather than political pressure, that produced the inaccurate prewar intelligence assessments.”

    You hardly know what you’re talking about on this matter.

  • Stephen

    Just as I thought . . . nothing is settled.

    Porcell, there you go with your appeals to (at the time questionable) authority. That was under Gonzales for Pete’s sake!Maybe we should ask the “waterboarded.” I’ll say it again. Waterboarding. Sheesh!

  • Stephen

    Just as I thought . . . nothing is settled.

    Porcell, there you go with your appeals to (at the time questionable) authority. That was under Gonzales for Pete’s sake!Maybe we should ask the “waterboarded.” I’ll say it again. Waterboarding. Sheesh!

  • Porcell

    Cincinnatus, at twenty-eight, my earlier assessment of the situation in Egypt did not take into account the power and influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.

  • Porcell

    Cincinnatus, at twenty-eight, my earlier assessment of the situation in Egypt did not take into account the power and influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Nobody will listen to this very short youtube and say “I was wrong, everybody DID believe that he had WND.”

    Nope. We can’t let go of the notion that Bush wanted us their for his own selfish reasons. Hatred of Republicans, no matter what the facts ARE, is the way the Left operates.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Nobody will listen to this very short youtube and say “I was wrong, everybody DID believe that he had WND.”

    Nope. We can’t let go of the notion that Bush wanted us their for his own selfish reasons. Hatred of Republicans, no matter what the facts ARE, is the way the Left operates.

  • Cincinnatus

    Obviously, Porcell, which–not to gloat or anything–is something I did take into account. Furthermore, I urged you strenuously to do the same at the time.

  • Cincinnatus

    Obviously, Porcell, which–not to gloat or anything–is something I did take into account. Furthermore, I urged you strenuously to do the same at the time.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    WND? ‘weapons with a nasty disposition’ :D

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    WND? ‘weapons with a nasty disposition’ :D

  • Porcell

    Stephen, at thirty, actually Stephen Margolis of the Department of Justice cleared John Yoo and the office of Legal Counsel who wrote the guidelines for CIA interogation of alQuaeda detainees after 9/11.

    Dana Perino and Bill Burck in an article about this wrote:

    On February 19, [2010] Attorney General Eric Holder took part in the time-honored Washington tradition of dumping undesired news on Friday afternoons or evenings. After weeks of leaks, the Justice Department officially exonerated Bush-era lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the authors of the original legal opinions on the lawfulness of the CIA interrogation program, which are known pejoratively as the “torture memos” to critics.

    Your blithe reference to the supposedly evil Gozales era lacks nuance. You, also, are among those supinely conforming to the Left’s view of Bush’s “torture,” which is a patent myth, devoid of any substance

  • Porcell

    Stephen, at thirty, actually Stephen Margolis of the Department of Justice cleared John Yoo and the office of Legal Counsel who wrote the guidelines for CIA interogation of alQuaeda detainees after 9/11.

    Dana Perino and Bill Burck in an article about this wrote:

    On February 19, [2010] Attorney General Eric Holder took part in the time-honored Washington tradition of dumping undesired news on Friday afternoons or evenings. After weeks of leaks, the Justice Department officially exonerated Bush-era lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the authors of the original legal opinions on the lawfulness of the CIA interrogation program, which are known pejoratively as the “torture memos” to critics.

    Your blithe reference to the supposedly evil Gozales era lacks nuance. You, also, are among those supinely conforming to the Left’s view of Bush’s “torture,” which is a patent myth, devoid of any substance

  • Mike Baker

    I wish people would be more precise. I often hear about how Iraq had no WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction). This is a category of weapons that include Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical treaths.

    No matter what someone means to say, the sentence “We didn’t find any WMDs in Iraq” is just factually inaccurate. I must assume that people think that WMDs mean nukes… because there were several examples where other WMDs WERE found.

    In 2004, a roadside bomb was used against US troops that contained active Sarin nerve agent. Later that year, polish soldiers found Sarin and Mustard gas stock piles and US Marines found more Sarin in Fallujiah. We had documented evidence of the Iraqi government deploying these weapons against the Kurds (remember “Chemical Ali”?) In 2008, the Associated Press reported the removal of 550 tons of “yellowcake” uranium from Iraq.

    It is fair to say that an active WMD program in Iraq was nonexistent at the time of the invasion… but it is not accurate to say that there were no WMDs… or WNDs for that matter. :P

    …but the very fact that a post about the death of Osama bin Laden shifts over to Iraq and WMDs is a perfect example of the confusion of seperate geo-political issues that still exist in the public consciousness. The GWOT has become so abstract and lacking in precise language that it has become almost impossible to analyze the situation with any detail or objectivity.

  • Mike Baker

    I wish people would be more precise. I often hear about how Iraq had no WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction). This is a category of weapons that include Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical treaths.

    No matter what someone means to say, the sentence “We didn’t find any WMDs in Iraq” is just factually inaccurate. I must assume that people think that WMDs mean nukes… because there were several examples where other WMDs WERE found.

    In 2004, a roadside bomb was used against US troops that contained active Sarin nerve agent. Later that year, polish soldiers found Sarin and Mustard gas stock piles and US Marines found more Sarin in Fallujiah. We had documented evidence of the Iraqi government deploying these weapons against the Kurds (remember “Chemical Ali”?) In 2008, the Associated Press reported the removal of 550 tons of “yellowcake” uranium from Iraq.

    It is fair to say that an active WMD program in Iraq was nonexistent at the time of the invasion… but it is not accurate to say that there were no WMDs… or WNDs for that matter. :P

    …but the very fact that a post about the death of Osama bin Laden shifts over to Iraq and WMDs is a perfect example of the confusion of seperate geo-political issues that still exist in the public consciousness. The GWOT has become so abstract and lacking in precise language that it has become almost impossible to analyze the situation with any detail or objectivity.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Mike Baker,

    Exactly! There were plenty of WMD there. They may still be there. Many may have been shipped to Syria, or elsewhere.

    WMD does not mean NUKE only.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Mike Baker,

    Exactly! There were plenty of WMD there. They may still be there. Many may have been shipped to Syria, or elsewhere.

    WMD does not mean NUKE only.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Mike Baker @ #36
    Well said. Objectivity is greatly lacking in this discussion. One can disagree with the decision to go into Iraq or with specific aspects of the way operations were conducted there without ascribing nefarious motives or hare-brained conspiracy theorizing to Bush/Cheney/Rumsfield/Halliburton or whatever bogeyman exists in the fevered imagination.
    Likewise, one can also agree with the decision to go into Iraq without having to agree with every aspect of operations or every subsequent decision.
    Where is the appreciation that making these kinds of decisions are incredibly difficult and that one can only act on the intelligence has at the time?
    I am glad that OBL is dead, but the operation to get him took a lot of risks and could easily have gone very wrong. Credit to President Obama for making the call. Hopefully he will be right a lot more often than he is wrong in the weeks and months ahead, but I wouldn’t expect him to get every call correct. And if he doesn’t that isn’t proof of some sort of evil motive or grand conspiracy. It is just reality.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Mike Baker @ #36
    Well said. Objectivity is greatly lacking in this discussion. One can disagree with the decision to go into Iraq or with specific aspects of the way operations were conducted there without ascribing nefarious motives or hare-brained conspiracy theorizing to Bush/Cheney/Rumsfield/Halliburton or whatever bogeyman exists in the fevered imagination.
    Likewise, one can also agree with the decision to go into Iraq without having to agree with every aspect of operations or every subsequent decision.
    Where is the appreciation that making these kinds of decisions are incredibly difficult and that one can only act on the intelligence has at the time?
    I am glad that OBL is dead, but the operation to get him took a lot of risks and could easily have gone very wrong. Credit to President Obama for making the call. Hopefully he will be right a lot more often than he is wrong in the weeks and months ahead, but I wouldn’t expect him to get every call correct. And if he doesn’t that isn’t proof of some sort of evil motive or grand conspiracy. It is just reality.

  • Stephen

    So if we are being precise Mike, you’ve spilled more ink than anyone here on the subject. I wrote one sentence at post #8 and assumed (guess I better not do that again) that Steve Martin was responding to what I “mentioned” in passing. So I tried to clarify AND took a bit of umbrage. I also may have misunderstood your point, but you did go on with a number of things I simply disagree with about Iraq, and I think, for good reasons.

    Whatever. Better not criticize Bush or you are a Republican hater. Silly. And if anyone gives Obama so much as a peep of credit for the events of two days ago, they are a liberal. Let’s make it all about that.

    I’m not even going to try to defend myself further against things I haven’t said (nuke only! huh?) and labels that others are fond of placing on people (supine liberal coming from Porcell – oh if you only knew how silly that is)) because I do not believe the “intelligence” that the Bush Administration claimed it had and fed to us and the rest of the world, upon which they, in turn, based their intelligence.

    I do take care in writing posts. But I’m not here to recount all the arguments either. As I said, I think these are matters that will continue to go on and on. Claiming one may have some kind of hovering objectivity is really a fantasy though. It wasn’t my intention to get things off track, and at this point, trying to clarify where we agree and disagree is rather moot. The labels are slapped on and the litmus test has failed.

    The only thing settled it would seem by this action is that be have the best trained military in the world. I like that.

  • Stephen

    So if we are being precise Mike, you’ve spilled more ink than anyone here on the subject. I wrote one sentence at post #8 and assumed (guess I better not do that again) that Steve Martin was responding to what I “mentioned” in passing. So I tried to clarify AND took a bit of umbrage. I also may have misunderstood your point, but you did go on with a number of things I simply disagree with about Iraq, and I think, for good reasons.

    Whatever. Better not criticize Bush or you are a Republican hater. Silly. And if anyone gives Obama so much as a peep of credit for the events of two days ago, they are a liberal. Let’s make it all about that.

    I’m not even going to try to defend myself further against things I haven’t said (nuke only! huh?) and labels that others are fond of placing on people (supine liberal coming from Porcell – oh if you only knew how silly that is)) because I do not believe the “intelligence” that the Bush Administration claimed it had and fed to us and the rest of the world, upon which they, in turn, based their intelligence.

    I do take care in writing posts. But I’m not here to recount all the arguments either. As I said, I think these are matters that will continue to go on and on. Claiming one may have some kind of hovering objectivity is really a fantasy though. It wasn’t my intention to get things off track, and at this point, trying to clarify where we agree and disagree is rather moot. The labels are slapped on and the litmus test has failed.

    The only thing settled it would seem by this action is that be have the best trained military in the world. I like that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Much as I would love to rehash the entirety of the debates from the Bush administration’s, er, foreign policy, I have things to do today, and so must demur. A few responses to some comments before the fray, though.

    Stephen said (@9):

    We will carry through our national defense policies even if they take ten years. That, to me, symbolizes resolve and strength, both for the free world and for the terrorists. No other country has that kind of international resolve.

    Perhaps. But al-Qaeda has certainly demonstrated that it has — or at least had — such “resolve”, and are capable of taking the long view towards their actions. After all, they waited over eight years after their first attempt at attacking the WTC to try again. I have no doubt they will not be cowed by Osama’s death, either, but will attempt a response, though it may take many years.

    Bror said (@8):

    To just pull out and leave the area just as unstable as it was when we went in, if not more is simply foolish.

    True. Which is why we are still in Afghanistan. No President has yet wanted to admit that you can’t fix a failed state with our military. Bush punted. Obama doubled down and, so far, appears ready to punt, as well (to mix my metaphors). But when we leave Afghanistan — no matter which President eventually makes that order — we will leave it as unstable as when we went in, and it will provide a breeding ground for just the type of terrorists that prompted us to go in there in the first place. But as long as we stay there, we don’t have to admit that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Much as I would love to rehash the entirety of the debates from the Bush administration’s, er, foreign policy, I have things to do today, and so must demur. A few responses to some comments before the fray, though.

    Stephen said (@9):

    We will carry through our national defense policies even if they take ten years. That, to me, symbolizes resolve and strength, both for the free world and for the terrorists. No other country has that kind of international resolve.

    Perhaps. But al-Qaeda has certainly demonstrated that it has — or at least had — such “resolve”, and are capable of taking the long view towards their actions. After all, they waited over eight years after their first attempt at attacking the WTC to try again. I have no doubt they will not be cowed by Osama’s death, either, but will attempt a response, though it may take many years.

    Bror said (@8):

    To just pull out and leave the area just as unstable as it was when we went in, if not more is simply foolish.

    True. Which is why we are still in Afghanistan. No President has yet wanted to admit that you can’t fix a failed state with our military. Bush punted. Obama doubled down and, so far, appears ready to punt, as well (to mix my metaphors). But when we leave Afghanistan — no matter which President eventually makes that order — we will leave it as unstable as when we went in, and it will provide a breeding ground for just the type of terrorists that prompted us to go in there in the first place. But as long as we stay there, we don’t have to admit that.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Why go there? (Iraq)

    At least we have proof that those in power in both parties believed that there were WMD there, and that this dictator needed to be dealt with, even if the story was changed by one one the parties after the fact.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Why go there? (Iraq)

    At least we have proof that those in power in both parties believed that there were WMD there, and that this dictator needed to be dealt with, even if the story was changed by one one the parties after the fact.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, at forty, I for one am critical of parts of the Bush administration policy and am very impressed with Obama’s handling of the Bin Laden matter. Your attempt to reduce this thread to mere politics is mistaken.

    Also, I didn’t label you a supine liberal; rather that you were supinely influenced by the liberal myth of Bush’s “torture” and supposed duplicity regarding Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. I have no idea as to what is your basic poliitical stance.

  • Porcell

    Stephen, at forty, I for one am critical of parts of the Bush administration policy and am very impressed with Obama’s handling of the Bin Laden matter. Your attempt to reduce this thread to mere politics is mistaken.

    Also, I didn’t label you a supine liberal; rather that you were supinely influenced by the liberal myth of Bush’s “torture” and supposed duplicity regarding Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. I have no idea as to what is your basic poliitical stance.

  • Stephen

    And for the record, we were all lead to believe that Iraq had an active nuclear program that would be operating soon, stockpiles of weapons ready to go, that they were aiding terrorists, had mobile laboratories, etc. We’re not talking about some random leftovers from a bygone day after they were put out of business, something that WAS known by inspectors. This was something that was an iminent threat we were presented with. It doesn’t matter who believed it, it matters if it was true and if they knew it wasn’t and lead us and our allies into war under false pretenses. I think they did, and were willing to do some awful things to squash anyone who challenged them. That is why I brought up Valerie Plame. And what you say about her Steve M. is not true. “Everyone” did not know about her. That’s just not true. People died.

    And Porcell, I find you “quaint.” It’s waterboarding for everyone!

  • Stephen

    And for the record, we were all lead to believe that Iraq had an active nuclear program that would be operating soon, stockpiles of weapons ready to go, that they were aiding terrorists, had mobile laboratories, etc. We’re not talking about some random leftovers from a bygone day after they were put out of business, something that WAS known by inspectors. This was something that was an iminent threat we were presented with. It doesn’t matter who believed it, it matters if it was true and if they knew it wasn’t and lead us and our allies into war under false pretenses. I think they did, and were willing to do some awful things to squash anyone who challenged them. That is why I brought up Valerie Plame. And what you say about her Steve M. is not true. “Everyone” did not know about her. That’s just not true. People died.

    And Porcell, I find you “quaint.” It’s waterboarding for everyone!

  • Cincinnatus

    Porcell: Waterboarding, et al., being considered torture isn’t so much a “liberal myth” as it is a fact. The Department of Justice now officially classifies waterboarding, for instance, as torture, and the President is not permitted to authorize its use. The Department of Justice isn’t necessarily the arbiter of justice, but their opinion is relevant, wouldn’t you say? Does this make me “supine”?

  • Cincinnatus

    Porcell: Waterboarding, et al., being considered torture isn’t so much a “liberal myth” as it is a fact. The Department of Justice now officially classifies waterboarding, for instance, as torture, and the President is not permitted to authorize its use. The Department of Justice isn’t necessarily the arbiter of justice, but their opinion is relevant, wouldn’t you say? Does this make me “supine”?

  • Steve Billingsley

    Stephen @ #43
    Are you claiming that people died as a result of Valerie Plame being “outed”? Who? Covert CIA operatives? What are you claiming?
    In the years after the outing, Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame have become minor liberal celebrities, have published books, had a fawning Vanity Fair article/photo shoot and an agonizingly bad movie made about them. Whatever they are, they aren’t victims.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Stephen @ #43
    Are you claiming that people died as a result of Valerie Plame being “outed”? Who? Covert CIA operatives? What are you claiming?
    In the years after the outing, Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame have become minor liberal celebrities, have published books, had a fawning Vanity Fair article/photo shoot and an agonizingly bad movie made about them. Whatever they are, they aren’t victims.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    “The leak about Valerie Plame’s status was neither malicious nor deadly. The leaker was the State Department’s Richard Armitage, who was not a war hawk, not a White House favorite or insider and not accused of anything other than an inadvertent error.

    CIA spokesman Bill Harlow was the one who confirmed her identity – hardly the actions of an agency worried about an employee’s covert status.”

    From a Wash. post article

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    “The leak about Valerie Plame’s status was neither malicious nor deadly. The leaker was the State Department’s Richard Armitage, who was not a war hawk, not a White House favorite or insider and not accused of anything other than an inadvertent error.

    CIA spokesman Bill Harlow was the one who confirmed her identity – hardly the actions of an agency worried about an employee’s covert status.”

    From a Wash. post article

  • Stephen

    I don’t know what a minor liberal celebrity is, I don’t know what’s wrong with writing books when you get screwed over like that, and I’m not sure how they can be made responsible for the quality or tone of articles featuring them or bad movies about her story. She was a CIA AGENT who worked at chasing down stray nukes!!! Can she get a little credit? And I’m pretty sure the FBI investigated the leak about her and brought an indictment against Libby for a good REASON. C’mon!

    Beyond that, if I said anymore I would have to take all you guys in and waterboard the lot of you! ;)

    Look, I like all you guys (especially guys named Steve!) and this is getting way far from the topic. That was not my intention at all. Take your best shots now. But go easy. According to Porcell, I’m laying down right now and believing all the liberal myths.

  • Stephen

    I don’t know what a minor liberal celebrity is, I don’t know what’s wrong with writing books when you get screwed over like that, and I’m not sure how they can be made responsible for the quality or tone of articles featuring them or bad movies about her story. She was a CIA AGENT who worked at chasing down stray nukes!!! Can she get a little credit? And I’m pretty sure the FBI investigated the leak about her and brought an indictment against Libby for a good REASON. C’mon!

    Beyond that, if I said anymore I would have to take all you guys in and waterboard the lot of you! ;)

    Look, I like all you guys (especially guys named Steve!) and this is getting way far from the topic. That was not my intention at all. Take your best shots now. But go easy. According to Porcell, I’m laying down right now and believing all the liberal myths.

  • Jon

    I’m beginning to think that Obama is the best president we’ve had since FDR. He’s handling well the horrid economy and war. If we can turn the Iraq and Afghanistan efforts over the UN, we can increase our standing in the Muslim world to perhaps the heights it reached during Ike’s terms. Pray for this man.

  • Jon

    I’m beginning to think that Obama is the best president we’ve had since FDR. He’s handling well the horrid economy and war. If we can turn the Iraq and Afghanistan efforts over the UN, we can increase our standing in the Muslim world to perhaps the heights it reached during Ike’s terms. Pray for this man.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I’m finished. I feel better now.

    We should start a ‘Steve’ covention! “Hi my name is Steve”

    Signing off, for now…

    - Stephen Martin

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I’m finished. I feel better now.

    We should start a ‘Steve’ covention! “Hi my name is Steve”

    Signing off, for now…

    - Stephen Martin

  • Stephen

    Steve @ 48

    For the first Lutheran Steve’s Convention we can serve yellow cake, just so there’s no hard feelings! :)

    “Hi, my name is Steve, and I’m a supine liberal myth-believer . . .”

  • Stephen

    Steve @ 48

    For the first Lutheran Steve’s Convention we can serve yellow cake, just so there’s no hard feelings! :)

    “Hi, my name is Steve, and I’m a supine liberal myth-believer . . .”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But when we leave Afghanistan — no matter which President eventually makes that order — we will leave it as unstable as when we went in, and it will provide a breeding ground for just the type of terrorists that prompted us to go in there in the first place. But as long as we stay there, we don’t have to admit that.”

    Yup.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “But when we leave Afghanistan — no matter which President eventually makes that order — we will leave it as unstable as when we went in, and it will provide a breeding ground for just the type of terrorists that prompted us to go in there in the first place. But as long as we stay there, we don’t have to admit that.”

    Yup.

  • John C

    Porcell at 30
    “it was the paucity of intelligence and poor analytical tradecraft, rather than political pressure, that produced the inaccurate prewar intelligence assessments.”
    It was not us, it was the CIA.
    It’s not surprising that the organization that endorsed the invasion of Iraq does not take responsibility for the disaster it created.

  • John C

    Porcell at 30
    “it was the paucity of intelligence and poor analytical tradecraft, rather than political pressure, that produced the inaccurate prewar intelligence assessments.”
    It was not us, it was the CIA.
    It’s not surprising that the organization that endorsed the invasion of Iraq does not take responsibility for the disaster it created.

  • Porcell

    Cincinnatus, at 46: The Department of Justice now officially classifies waterboarding, for instance, as torture, and the President is not permitted to authorize its use.

    I’m having a hard time finding a Justice Department document that officially classifies water-boarding as torture. Could you provide the source for this?

  • Porcell

    Cincinnatus, at 46: The Department of Justice now officially classifies waterboarding, for instance, as torture, and the President is not permitted to authorize its use.

    I’m having a hard time finding a Justice Department document that officially classifies water-boarding as torture. Could you provide the source for this?

  • steve

    Sadly, I believe that in the eyes of the current administration, killing OBL was merely a table scrap. A diversion. I don’t want that to detract from the hard work of the intelligence agencies and armed forces who made it happen. I think it’s much more than that to them. But, this president carries his administration like he carries on a conversation; he gives easy lip service up front and then follows up with his real agenda. Look for him to use this as political capital in the coming months. He already has to some degree, claiming that we’re experiencing the same type of unity now as we experienced in the days after 9/11 (which is, of course, pure rubbish). He’ll use this so-called unity as leverage in upcoming fights over the debt ceiling, gas prices, defense spending, etc.

  • steve

    Sadly, I believe that in the eyes of the current administration, killing OBL was merely a table scrap. A diversion. I don’t want that to detract from the hard work of the intelligence agencies and armed forces who made it happen. I think it’s much more than that to them. But, this president carries his administration like he carries on a conversation; he gives easy lip service up front and then follows up with his real agenda. Look for him to use this as political capital in the coming months. He already has to some degree, claiming that we’re experiencing the same type of unity now as we experienced in the days after 9/11 (which is, of course, pure rubbish). He’ll use this so-called unity as leverage in upcoming fights over the debt ceiling, gas prices, defense spending, etc.

  • Carl Vehse

    Closure for 9/11?

    No matter which version of the story is told.

  • Carl Vehse

    Closure for 9/11?

    No matter which version of the story is told.

  • Porcell

    steve, excellent analysis at fifty-five. While Obama deserves credit for going ahead with this Navy Seal operation in the face of some high-level opposition, the American people are well aware that so far Obama has not effectively dealt with the fiscal issue that could bring the nation crashing down.

    If Obama thinks that the popularity of his decision to allow the Seals to take down Obama will overcome his negligence on the fiscal issue, he is delusive.

  • Porcell

    steve, excellent analysis at fifty-five. While Obama deserves credit for going ahead with this Navy Seal operation in the face of some high-level opposition, the American people are well aware that so far Obama has not effectively dealt with the fiscal issue that could bring the nation crashing down.

    If Obama thinks that the popularity of his decision to allow the Seals to take down Obama will overcome his negligence on the fiscal issue, he is delusive.

  • Mike Baker

    What is “closure” exactly?

    I’m sure that, for the families of 9/11, killing OBL provides a sense that everything has been tied off… not just the direct planners and executers of the attacks, but also the figure-head and leader of the organization that made it possible.

    But anyone who has sufferred trauma will tell you, closure is great in theory but not so cut and dry in practice… and I am not sure exactly how killing OBL provides emotional closure for the country as a whole. I’m not sure Hitler’s death and the defeat of Japan ever really resolved Pearl Harbor for those who lived through it and were alive when they heard the news.

    In my own little part of the world, I do not see a whole lot of people seeing this as a book end to the war on terrorism. If anything, most people are talking about how killing OBL is just one more step in a long process of dealing with islamo-facist fundamentalism and global terrorism.

    I just don’t see that many people moving on and putting the whole business to rest after this. To be honest, I don’t know if people could… or even if they should.

  • Mike Baker

    What is “closure” exactly?

    I’m sure that, for the families of 9/11, killing OBL provides a sense that everything has been tied off… not just the direct planners and executers of the attacks, but also the figure-head and leader of the organization that made it possible.

    But anyone who has sufferred trauma will tell you, closure is great in theory but not so cut and dry in practice… and I am not sure exactly how killing OBL provides emotional closure for the country as a whole. I’m not sure Hitler’s death and the defeat of Japan ever really resolved Pearl Harbor for those who lived through it and were alive when they heard the news.

    In my own little part of the world, I do not see a whole lot of people seeing this as a book end to the war on terrorism. If anything, most people are talking about how killing OBL is just one more step in a long process of dealing with islamo-facist fundamentalism and global terrorism.

    I just don’t see that many people moving on and putting the whole business to rest after this. To be honest, I don’t know if people could… or even if they should.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X