Monday, January 26, 2009

The Next Phase of the War

My Sunday night viewing included a look into Air Force One. It began with the story of the plane's activities on 9/11. It included the mission to Baghdad, Thanksgiving 2003. And it ended with the changing of the guard and of a president.

And this was just after I had pulled up some articles and decided to address some of the things the Obama administration will be doing in the War on Terror.

Now I'm going to avoid screaming about every wrong decision I think the president has made so far. But I do feel it is fair to talk about what his goal in defeating this threat is.

First, we go back to the inaugural speech:
"We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."
So after the speech was made, he's put trials for the terrorists on hold for a few month, prompting 9/11 families to ask him to get the trial mooving. He's signed the order to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, leaving unanswered so far what will be done with the terrorist (I'm for just shooting them). He's limited everyone to Army field manual interrogation rules (or castrated intelligence gathering). And I'm still not sure what will happen with Iraq, although I think he's going to annoy his radical base and not kneecap our troops at a time when we can leave their with all objectives accomplished.

I'm not completely sure how this will affect our fight. And I do not yet know what his election will add to our security. Perhaps his popularity abroad will bring more support where we need it. And perhaps there will be some people that will view us better because George W Bush is now gone, and therefore turn from their support of terror.

But I know our enemy. They don't give a flying fuck who the president is. They don't care if we are honorable or savage. They learn our legal system, they monitor our politics, they hunt for loopholes. And they are relentless. They seek to destroy us by any means available. And our only option to stop them is to kill them dead.

Someone (who shall be unnamed so I don't have to listen to the whining) has been saying that "elections have consequences." And the consequence of the 2008 election is that the mantle of fighting this war is on president Obama's shoulders. And should we face attack again, every statement and decision that Obama has made since he began campaigning is going to be diemboweled.

However, as I live far enough away from a high-casualty target, I'm not too worried for my family.

25 comments:

Shaw Kenawe said...

"And the consequence of the 2008 election is that the mantle of fighting this war is on president Obama's shoulders. And should we face attack again, every statement and decision that Obama has made since he began campaigning is going to be diemboweled."

It's a good bet that we will be attacked in some way--remember, we were attacked twice during Bush's administration.

I also remember how not a few people loudly protested that it was the PREVIOUS administration that bears the burden of blame for the allowing the circumstances of the 9/11 attacks. Remember?

But in the end, blaming doesn't solve problems, and I'm guessing if we are attacked again, Obama won't do that.

But hear me out--I expect the country to be as supportive of Obama as it was of Bush after we were attacked twice. Bush had a 90% approval rating after 9/11, and it stayed pretty high as we began our war in Afghanistan [and later in Iraq--his support was high then, too] against al-Qaeda, the group who hit us.

We were a very united country then.

However, as I live far enough away from a high-casualty target, I'm not too worried for my family.

I DO have a very close, immediate family member who works in Manhattan, and who bearly missed being in the Twin Towers that awful day. He had traveled the week before, and his boss decided to send another colleague in his place. His co-worker was on the 60th floor of Tower 2 (I get the 2 mixed up) giving a presentation to the New York Port Authority. The guy escaped, but shorty thereafter, quit his job--the horror of the day never left him, and he struggled for a long while with psychological problems.

I knew one other person who perished that day--a husband and father of 3 children.

So when you say you're not too worried about your family, it sounds as if you're saying that if a high target area DOES get hit again, it deserves whatever happens, since the country voted for Obama.

It sounds like what a lot of people, rightly or wrongly, perceive the mindset of conservatism to be "I got mine; screw you."


That's how I read your remark.

Mike's America said...

Are you afraid to mention the name of RUSH HUDSON LIMBAUGH III because of the carping and whining of folks like Shaw and Toadbat?

Tsk...tsk..tsk..

There is a commenter at Flopping Aces who has a personal stake in Obies first big decision. His son was killed aboard the USS Cole and some of the men who planned that attack are being held at Gitmo. I believe that one of those we released to Yemen got away and is now free to kill again. His family is devestated by this news that somehow their son's killer may go free or that justice would once again be denied.

As with the 9/11 families... it is personal.

Al Queda has already put out their latest propaganda accusing Obama of being just as bad as Bush. These people could care less that the U.S. "news" media swoon over Obama.

Some of those who voted for Obama thinking that if we only got rid of Bush people around the world will love us are in for a shock.

The shock will be compounded when they learn that after we close Gitmo (even though Obama offered NO details when announcing his deadline)and promise to use harsh interrogations only in extreme circumstances (just like Bush... quick quiz: how many terrorists were waterboarded?) that terrorists, as well as every other brand of America hater still hates the U.S.

A perfect cartoon illustration:

http://www.floppingaces.net/wp-content/uploads/varv01232009a20090123031700.jpg

Shaw Kenawe said...

There is a commenter at Flopping Aces who has a personal stake in Obies first big decision. His son was killed aboard the USS Cole and some of the men who planned that attack are being held at Gitmo. I believe that one of those we released to Yemen got away and is now free to kill again. His family is devestated by this news that somehow their son's killer may go free or that justice would once again be denied.

Mike, this is confusing.

You say: "One of those we released to Yemen got away and is now free to kill again"

[Who set him free?]

And in the next sentence you say "their son's killer MAY go free" amd "that justice would once again be denied."

In the previous sentence you say the killer "got away."

Also, President Obama hasn't set anyone free yet--so what's this all about?

Isn't it amazing that Patrick manages to run a very popular, interesting, smart blog while at the same time allowing people with opposing points of view to have their say.

And he does it all without having to call his opponents "Communists" and other vile names.

PS. Asshat isn't vile, it's kinda funny, and lots of us here sometimes deserve it.

What I mean to say is that I tried coming to your blog and giving you an opposing point of view, and what I got in return was name-calling [I believe "Commie Shaw" was your favorite epithet for me] and then finally deleting my comments altogether.

Patrick's blog will grow and do well.

It's called having class.

Gayle said...

Mike got it right. LOL! I've heard Rush Limbaugh say that too. I was going to say that people are going to be in a shock, but Mike beat me to it. Dang!

Boy, do elections ever have consequences! Now our taxes will pay for abortions abroad, thanks to Obama. It looks like we're in for a truly rough four years. I too am not living in a high target area, but I pray to God we aren't attacked again. Still, it does appear that the writing is on the wall, doesn't it?

Gayle said...

Oops, I should have read Shaw's comment before I commented, Donald. Shaw, I don't think that Donald wanting his family to be safe is any proof that he wants us to suffer another attack. How can you possibly conclude such a thing?

Donald's blog is doing just fine by the way. If he doesn't want to suffer fools he has every right not to.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Donald's blog is doing just fine by the way. If he doesn't want to suffer fools he has every right not to.

Who is this Doanld?

I'm quite pleased that he's doing well and that, through your acquaintance with him, you've been able to ascertain that he does not suffer fools.

repsac3 said...

I suspect I know who Donald is... ...and he and Patrick are nothing alike.

I'm frankly a bit tired of having to repeat that Patrick has class in almost every one of my comments here. He does (particularly when compared with Mike or Donald, and either one's ability to rationally discuss points of view other than their own), but damn... This thing's just gettin' silly. (No matter what happens, I'm NOT complimenting Patrick in my next comment here. The guy could discover a cure for cancer & the common cold simultaniously, but I'll have nothin' good to say him. That's it!!)

Me, I like our legal system, and I don't think we should change it, even if we're doing so in an effort to protect ourselves. Like it or not, the scumbags at GITMO are suspected terrorists, not terrorists. After we try them, maybe we can shoot them (or at least hang them, like we did Saddam), but until then, we probably should show the world that we believe in all aspects of our legal system, including that "innocent until proven guilty" business.

I agree with Shaw that we likely will be attacked somewhere, somehow at some point. And just like 911 fell on Bush's watch but was Clinton's fault somehow, I've no doubt that if an attack happens anytime during or within 3.75 years after the Obama presidency ends, it will clearly be his fault. What else is new?

It's the same foolish tripe as "He kept us safe after 911... There were no more attacks on US soil." There were no attacks for a good long period before 911, too. Before WTC 93, the last terrorist attack on US soil was... homegrown, as I recall--not that we didn't initially blame it on "the ragheads," anyway...

I think the guy's doing fine, so far... He's made it a goal to more closely follow us law both in fact & in spirit. He's not rushing in & doing anything stupid without weighing all the possible consequences. I'm willing to see where that takes us GITMO/Torture/Military Trials-wise.

Toad734 said...

Our current enemy doesn't care who our president is only in the sense that Obama doesn't prove to be as an effective recuriting tool as Bush has been. So no, Bin Laden isn't going to change his mind about us until we stop giving lopsided aid to Israel, get out of the Middle East, stop invading Muslim countries and convert to Islam....Wait, wow, all but one of those are actually obtainable. Anyway, he doesn't care but someone like Obama wont encite as much hatred as someone like Bush and wont do as many things to piss people in other countries off. Bush had a shoot first, ask questions later view of foreign policy which doesn't sit well with either liberal Europe or with the people being shot.

Arthurstone said...

I wonder if the Saudi 'jihadist rehabilitation program' is based on a twelve step model?

dmarks said...

"lopsided aid to Israel"

There is nothing lopsided about it, and it should not be stopped. Nor should we stop retaliating against terrorists just because they are Muslim. While both of these are "attainable", they are both very unwise.

" Bush had a shoot first, ask questions later view of foreign policy"

Not in the real world. In the real world, Bush gave Saddam Hussein a long time to comply with the cease-fire requirements. Afghanistan was also given an ample time to turn over the 9/11 terrorists. The real situation was more like "shoot only after the terrorists insist on continuing aggression."

Satyavati devi dasi said...

He's limited everyone to Army field manual interrogation rules

What's this mean? No more torture? God forbid we should stop torturing people!

...family is devestated by this news that somehow their son's killer may go free or that justice would once again be denied.

Is keeping someone in a prison for years without charging them with any crimes a way of meting out 'justice' to a family whose son was killed?

If there's accusations, let them be brought. If there's evidence for charges, let indictments begin. If there is enough evidence to support a trial, let there be one. If there's a conviction, let a sentence be laid and commensurate punishment be given.

If there are no accusations, no charges, no indictments, and no trial, what the hell is someone sitting in prison for?

If Americans were held overseas under those identical conditions we'd be pitching fits, and rightfully so. (This doesn't even count the torture.)

If justice needs to be done, let it be done. But being tortured for years in a prison without formal charges ever levied against you is not 'justice', nor should it be euphemised as such. If there have been crimes committed, then let's shit or get off the pot about it, not just let things linger for years with no real goal or resolve to actually see justice served.

Patrick M said...

Shaw: So when you say you're not too worried about your family, it sounds as if you're saying that if a high target area DOES get hit again, it deserves whatever happens, since the country voted for Obama.

Let me clarify: The last thing I want to see happen is another attack. But I have less of a stake in this than you and many others do. And if Obama's actions directly allow an attack to happen, it will be a major city that gets it, and it goes back to the consequences of elections.

Mike: Not afraid to ID Rush. Just didn't want to make it a post about Rush, resulting in yammering about Rush as opposed to Obama's War on Terror.

Not that that would stop you.

Gayle: Who's Donald?

Saty: God forbid we should stop torturing people!

Actually, I was thinking about this prior to sitting down to the comments (when I was imagining what I was going to find.

I'm more for taking captured terrorist who were shooting at us and torturing the shit out of them. And sending the vid to every Arab news network with a promise that we will come and burn their babies if they continue attacking.

Simply put, this is not an enemy who will stop until they have incentive to do otherwise. Last time we faced a fully committed enemy and won, it was by dropping nukes.

Arthurstone said...

Speaking of reccession proof employment Patrick. Blackwater is undoubtedly hiring. I bet you could find a way to get into the 'torture the shit out of them' department.

I think they call it Human Resources.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

The nature of terrorism is such that it can never be wholly defeated. It's one of those things. There will always be some person or group of people who are willing to resort to extremes to make their point. There will always be some person or group of people who feel committed enough to their cause and desperate enough to resort to terrorist tactics to either defend or advance it. No amount of nukes, unless you are prepared to wipe everyone but your immediate family off the earth, can wholly eradicate this.

Sure, you might diminish it, for a while, but remember: every person killed becomes a martyr whose memory just adds to the list of things worth dying and fighting for. The children they leave behind will be raised with that memory and a commitment to avenge what is seen as a wrongful murder and a glorious martyrdom. Thus it moves through the generations.

You will never, and can never, wholly eradicate such a group using violent means. The only way to truly end this is to change the perceptions: to teach those that believe us and our way of life that it isn't a threat or an enemy, that there are ways to come to peaceful coexistence, that there are better options than martyring your kids, your wife, or your nextdoor neighbour.

Many people belive this to be an impossible task because people in these groups have stated they will never stop until the entire world conforms to their vision of how it should be. This basically means that they view the encroachment of other societies' beliefs as a threat to their own, and that an acceptable way to share the planet hasn't been outlined yet.

Misinformation and self-serving propaganda exist on both sides of the coin. Just as the United States is often portrayed in misleading or downright untruthful ways to push the perception of the 'enemy' into gory technicolour (although I believe a single night of 'reality tv' would do enough to accomplish that without much embellishment; have you seen even a commercial for 'Rock of Love'? That's enough to make me believe that our society is shot to hell), in this country misleading or downright untruthful propaganda is circulated about Middle Eastern society to further enhance their 'enemy' status. I read the other day the perorations of a person who claimed that the Christian (read: Catholic, which many Christians will avow isn't a Christian church at all) church, not Persian society, discovered astronomy and higher mathematics and was solely responsible for the preservation (and subsequent dissemination) of all ancient wisdom through the Middle Ages. This is patently untrue and diminishes those great cultures, who in fact were the main link and distributors of this knowledge, who learned the principles of algebra, who raised poetry to the highest of arts, and who did preserve the knowledge of arts, mathematics, literature and sciences that were so vigourously repressed by the Western world. This one untruth is designed to undermine the value of this culture (and by descent, all those that followed it). No good deed or act, no admirable trait, nothing beneficial to society is allowed to be credited to those construed, even by a gap of millenia, to those whose descendants are 'the enemy'. Irrational fears are circulated about the contents of the Koran by those who have never read it, and the misinformation they spread is repeated, believed, and magnified to panic-inducing proportions. Most people don't even know the Koran's stance on Jews and Christians, or realize that the acts of terrorists in no way conform to the message it contains.

It is both the stubborn determination and ignorance, propagated by those who seek to further their own aims on both sides (even if that aim is moral justification for actions) that prevent the true solutions to ending terrorism. As long as preachers teach that the Koran is a work of unadulterated evil, as long as Middle Eastern radicals teach that Western culture is and will always be an active threat towards their way of life and religious beliefs, as long as there are children, on both sides, who are raised in the belief that their parents died in martyrdom against an evil power that still needs to be overthrown, terrorism will never cease. Whether it be the suicide bomber or the secret prisons in which torture is SOP, state-sanctioned or completely individual, this fight will never completely cease as long as these beliefs circulate among the people.

This is not to strictly say that tactics used by American forces can be classified in exactly the same pigeonhole as a suicide bomber. It is also not to discount or whitewash individual events and actions (Abu Dhabi, for example), especially the widely reported and common knowledge that the disrespect and violence towards the Koran by service personnel, which is viewed as more abominable and worthy of acute revenge than violence to one's own person. Terrorism is not strictly relegated to suicide bombers in busy metropolitan areas; it comes in many forms. As long as the populace, on either side, is convinced that the 'enemy' is so terrible, so awful, and so without any redeeming characteristics or values whatsoever (which, regardless of what any even rudimentarily educated person thinks, is widely believed by a great number of our own compatriots, what to speak of those on the other side and their beliefs), the atrocities will be considered acceptable, and will continue.

It's early. The salt mine calls. I could go on about the terrorism, atrocities, and unadulterated evil without redeeming characteristics of those who run it, but beatings and further torture ensue for those who aren't there with shovel in hand by the time the second bell rings.

dmarks said...

"Most people don't even know the Koran's stance on Jews and Christians"

SDD: Are you thinking of the requirements for "Shariah" law, under which Christians and Jews are punished and persecuted in an attempt to force them to convert to Islam?

I think that part of the problem is with the creator of Islam. A man who (for example) presided over the elimination of the substantial Jewish population of what is now Saudi Arabia. In keeping with his precedent and teachings, Saudi Arabia still pretty much bans Judaeism. The expansion of his empire was noted by extermination of populations, plunder, and the crushing of numerous indiginous cultures. Like with any of the worst empires, really.

Alexander, Napoleon, Genghis Khan and others similarly soaked the earth with blood as they expanded their empires and accumulated wealth and power. The difference is that these others did not have the genius notion to found a religion to justify their rule and to increase their personal glory.

Patrick M said...

Saty: No amount of nukes, unless you are prepared to wipe everyone but your immediate family off the earth, can wholly eradicate this.

So genocide won't work? Oh well. Guess that means the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will rage forever.

My point is that you have to make the enemy understand that we don't want to kill them all, but in the name of surviving, we will kill them all.

Toad734 said...

Shaw:

Mike is an idiot, he doesn't know what he is talking about. That's all you have to know. Sometimes I dont' think even he believes what he is saying.

DMarks:

Do you realize that Israel is the largest recipient of US welfare, I mean aid. They receive more aid than we give to Jordan, Palestine and Egypt combined and they are a far wealthier nation than all the ones I just mentioned. In fact, most Israelis have a higher standard of living that people in the rural south or in many American urban areas. And for what? So we can be hated by the Muslim world and they all want to fly their planes into our buildings? Israel has attacked our ships, spied on us, stolen nuclear secrets and we still give them more money than all the starving nations dying of Aids in Africa. They can take care of themselves, they proved that in '48,'67,,73, etc.

Why do they need that money which could be used to pay teachers?

Your head is in your ass again.

dmarks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dmarks said...

Toad: "Do you realize that Israel is the largest recipient of US welfare, I mean aid. They receive more aid than we give to Jordan, Palestine and Egypt combined"

That's fine, because only Israel faces numerous enemies actively seeking to exterminate its people.

"And for what? So we can be hated by the Muslim world"

No. Those in the Muslim world who are haters hate Jews regardless any aid to Israel. The extremists hate us because we aren't Muslims.

The US's insistence that Jews, too, have a right to live, was only one of the "reasons" that Osama ordered the 9/11. As with everything that angers Osama, the US has been doing the correct thing and Osama only wishes we'd be evil instead.

The hatred against Jews is rabid, without reason, and goes back centuries. The "for what" is to stave off another Holocaust of 5.5 million Jews. That is what Israeli's enemies are openly boasting that they seek.

Both Hamas and Iran insist that the Israelis do not have a right to exist, and they openly pursue their goals of genocide.

"Your head is in your ass again."

Nice lame insult. It goes without a response, as all it said is that you have no ideas.

"Why do they need that money which could be used to pay teachers?"

And the teachers are getting plenty of money. There are so many larger things in the US budget which could also be cut to give even more money to the teachers without causing such a humanitarain catastrophy as the elimination of a nation, i.e. "Well, we lost a few million Jews, but hey, our teachers are better paid now. So it was all worth it."

I think you have found a plan to improve education funding that even Pat Buchanan can approve of.

Thankfully, President Obama is too wise to give in to the antisemites. All indications are that he thinks that extermination is not acceptible, so he keeps the aid going. As he should. It is sensible for so many reasons.

dmarks said...

Good for Obama:

"US aid in form of $3 billion annual arms package likely to remain unchanged"

Arthurstone said...

dmarks typed:

'Thankfully, President Obama is too wise to give in to the antisemites'

Actually one can disagree with Israeli actions and US policy toward the Middle East without being an anti-semite.

dmarks said...

It is possible, yes. But those who disagree that the Israelis have a right to exist are certainly anti-semites. And those who think the Israelis don't have any right to fight back at those who attack them might possibly have questionable motives.

A good way to determine those whose disagreement with Israel crosses into some sort of hatred is to look at those who marched to protest Israeli action against Gaza, but did not march at all to protest Gaza firing all those thousands of missiles at Israeli civilian targets.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

Are you thinking of the requirements for "Shariah" law, under which Christians and Jews are punished and persecuted in an attempt to force them to convert to Islam?

No. Actually, I wasn't thinking about the interpretations of people regarding the Koran.. I was thinking of what the Koran itself says:

002.062
Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.

002.087
And verily We gave unto Moses the Scripture and We caused a train of messengers to follow after him, and We gave unto Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah's sovereignty), and We supported him with the Holy spirit. Is it ever so, that, when there cometh unto you a messenger (from Allah) with that which ye yourselves desire not, ye grow arrogant, and some ye disbelieve and some ye slay?

002.130
And who turns away from the religion of Abraham but such as debase their souls with folly? Him We chose and rendered pure in this world: And he will be in the Hereafter in the ranks of the Righteous.

002.190
Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors.

The point I'm making is that there is a difference between what Islam IS and what people believe it is. The fanatics who perform terrorist acts in the name of Islam are no more Muslim than Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps is Christian.

Unfortunately, it's the fanatics who get the airtime. Fred Phelps is in the news a lot more than Billy Graham. People who don't know about Billy Graham might mistakenly conceive that all Christians are like Fred Phelps. They'd be very wrong, but if all they ever saw were people at funerals carrying 'God Hates Fags' signs, that'd be all they knew. In the same way, if the fanatics get all the air time, people will never realize that Islam is a religion that recognizes and honours its common source with Judaism and Christianity through Abraham.

See?

Satyavati devi dasi said...

Alexander, Napoleon, Genghis Khan and others similarly soaked the earth with blood as they expanded their empires and accumulated wealth and power. The difference is that these others did not have the genius notion to found a religion to justify their rule and to increase their personal glory.

The Khans used Islam as a tool to unite the various cultures they conquered in the same way that the Romans made their state-approved worship universal through their empire.

The Vatican, on the other hand, did basically the same thing by proxy through their influences on kings, emperors, and other rulers. And the Inquisition. And of course, they DID have the genius wrote their own laws to the extent that it could be considered founding their own religion.

It just occurred to me.

dmarks said...

Good point about the Vatican. However, the founder of Christianity (whether you count him as Jesus, Peter, or Paul) was not a genocidal war criminal, unlike the founder of Islam.

Nor was Buddha, for that matter. And that seems to be the most "gentle" of the major religions, with the best record, as there is the least of the problem of violence and oppression existing at (and inspired by) the source compared to the other major faiths.