"I cannot stand by and watch truly ignorant, reflexive, bashing of President Bush over a situation that is not his or the governmentâ€™s fault. The problem of Pakistan is one of geography. It is one of sovereignty. It is one of history that occurred long before George Bush became President. It is about radical politics that Iraq has only marginally affected â€“ that, in fact, our invasion of Afghanistan roiled the streets of Pakistan far more than anything that happened in Iraq."
While I totally agree with your analysis, no one can tell me that we could not have killed bin Laden and al-Zawahiri a long time ago if we REALLY wanted to. I just cannot understand why these guys are still alive, and - "God forgive me" - sometimes I start going to that dark place where I wonder if Bush - for propaganda purposes - does not really want them dead. Not to argue that al-Queda would not or could not have continued without them, but we would definitely have bought ourselves more time vis-a-vis what is now happening in Pakistan......Comment Posted By tet-vet68 On 19.02.2007 @ 14:25
This is an interesting topic, and although I agree that a policy of targeted assassinations has its own set of problems, letâ€™s not forget that the Israeli's have â€“ and continue â€“ to do this with SUCCESSFUL OUTCOMES. I actually like the idea of a clandestine, â€œall-Muslimâ€ super-elite MOSAD-type unit, who believed (and rightly so) that the work that they were doing was for the benefit of Islam throughout the world.Comment Posted By tet-vet68 On 14.02.2007 @ 15:24
This post also brought to mind your earlier post of 1/31/2007: â€œWhat Do We Do About Iran?â€, on which some interesting propositions were put forth in the comments section by piscivorous and others; i.e. somehow provoking Iran (via their actions in Iraq) into some overt action against us and then retaliating (in defense of our soldiers in Iraq, of course), by going after their oil platforms or something similar. Personally, I am long past worrying about hurting the feelings of the Iranian people â€“ or any other peoples for that matter. The reality is that we have FEW OR NO REAL ALLIES in the world anyway, as you have correctly pointed out in other posts. CHIRAC is a clueless moron, PUTIN is the biggest weasel on the planet (sells anti-tank weapons to Hezbollah, sells anti-missile defense systems to Iran and proposes to â€œmanageâ€ Iranâ€™s nuclear program), and CHINA is only interested that 99.9% of all of the products that Americanâ€™s buy are â€œMade in Chinaâ€. And we can wait until doomsday before a revolution overthrows the Mullahs in Iran.
Frankly, I really cannot believe that Osama Bin Laden is still alive and walking around this planet somewhere.
While our intelligence community may be inept, no one can tell me that we couldnâ€™t have found and killed this guy a long time ago if we really wanted to. The point to be made here is clear and simple. I remember watching Bibi Netanyahu on CNN just weeks after we went into Iraq. Wolf Blitzer was asking him about how Israel deals with terrorists and somehow brought up the question of â€œrespectâ€. Netanyahu kind of smirked and simple stated; â€œTHE ONLY WAY THEY WILL RESPECT YOU IS WHEN THEY FEAR YOUâ€ . This is our problem with IRAN, AL-QUEDA, HEZBOLLAH, etc.
We are not giving them any reason to fear usâ€¦â€¦â€¦.
I'm glad to see that you are getting a good deal of positive feedback for your excellent post.
It's reassuring to see that there are people with brains out there who understand insightful and "reasonable" comments....
I agree that Ed Morrissey's piece was outstanding as well, and he's right on the money with this comment:
"Radical Islamists want to divide Americans in order to defeat us. They will play on our differences, stoking the fires of resentment and generating more hatred between us than we have against our enemies. AQ understands that the only way they can possibly beat the US is to get us to grind to a halt with partisan warfare at home, paralyzing our ability to fight them on the battlefield and sapping our will to put them out of business. This video is transparently calculated to give enough ammunition to both sides of the political divide to do that job."
It's unfortunate to see the way most of the commenters jumped all over him like a pack of hyenas at feeding time to the point where he felt he had to write TWO UPDATES, such as the following:
"UPDATE: One more time -- I'm not advising that we let the Democrats do whatever they want. I'm not advising we remain silent. I'm not advising that we stop promoting our own agenda or deviate from our principles. I am advising that we base our criticisms on what the Democrats say and do rather than what Abu Hamza says about them. They have to govern now and be responsible for their agenda, and that responsibility will almost certainly force them towards the center on foreign policy and the war. When they do not act responsibly, then we must act to correct them with all due diligence."
While it is understandable - with the election only five days past - that there are a lot of bitter people out there, it is none the less unfortunate to see them attacking respected conservative bloggers as if they had thrown in the towel and sold out their party...
It's equally frustrating to see in many of these negative comments how the commenter begins with some statement like "We (the Republicans) have always taken the high road"....and on and on, then quickly descend to the "low road" and attack the writer.
I believe that another important point to be made here is that many of these critical comments are coming from people who are not old enough to remember and understand the tremendous power of propaganda. The in-fighting that comes from responding to every calculated tape and comment from AQ and other terrorist groups is EXACTLY what they want; it's the basic principle of "DIVIDE AND CONQUER"
Let us not fall into this trap...Comment Posted By tet-vet68 On 12.11.2006 @ 11:56
A quick comment before I go out and march in the Veteran's Day Parade.....
IMHO....Despite the results of this election, the Republicans still have one major thing going for them:
The Democrats - at this point anyway - DO NOT HAVE a viable presidential candidate for 2008.
Polls have consistently shown that 30% of the electorate will not vote for either a woman or African American for President. Nominating either Clinton or Obama would mean starting 30 points down and having to win at least 51% of the remaining votes (over 70%).
I also believe that Kerry is no longer a viable candidate.
Considering this, and looking at the straw polls, I believe that the best ticket the GOP could put up would be:
Giuliani for President
Gingrich for VP
I like Gingrich, but he has too much baggage for the Presidential nomination. But he would shore up the already solid South, and has some popularity in the Midwest and West as well....
McCain has lost respect, and as for Romney, I believe that fact that he is a Mormon will not sit well with a large voting block - both right and left.
I believe that Giuliani's Pro-Choice views - which are not a deal breaker - will bring in both
moderate democrats and woman.
That's my choice for a winning 2008 GOP ticket....Comment Posted By tet-vet68 On 11.11.2006 @ 12:33
Let me be the first to say BRAVO!!
Early on in my initiation to the "blogs" about six months ago, I was directed to your site, and have been an avid reader ever since. Now, after immersing myself in the blogosphere and checking out just about everything out there, I know why your words hit a nerve with me...
I guess I would sum it up as honesty and integrity. Even when I felt that your some of your comments supporting this administration were a little over the top, I could see through the words that there was an inner struggle going on...
Yours is the kind of honest commentary that we need on the blogs: insightful and thought provoking. Not the moronic dribble that many of the bloggers - both left and right - continually lapse into.
"I donâ€™t blame the press for the lack of support for the war among the people. I donâ€™t blame bad luck or the exigencies of war. I donâ€™t blame Clinton holdovers at State, or the intelligence community, or at the Department of Defense."
"I still believe that going to war in Iraq was the right course of action, the next logical step in the War on Terror. Those who point to how things have turned out as â€œproofâ€ that it was an incorrect or immoral decision are idiots. That is pure Monday morning quarterbacking and Iâ€™m having none of it."
I couldn't agree more with both of those statements. Let's look forward, not backward. Let's admit the problems and failures and fix them!
I'm sure that you will have continued support from your regular readers, and - if you dont - new readers looking for something more will find you, as I did.
Much continued success!Comment Posted By tet-vet68 On 9.11.2006 @ 09:50
I'm a Vietnam vet, and I think that you're missing the point here....
Rumsfeld had to go!
It has nothing to do with appeasing the left, appeasing the Islamofascists, appeasing the "world community' or appeasing anyone else. And as for our brave men and women in the field, they HAVE ALREADY BEEN BETRAYED.
Rumsfeld had to go for two simple reasons:
1. HE WAS INCOMPETENT!
2. HE COULDN'T ACCEPT CRITICISM
Service to our country means that you respect the people that you are serving. And I dont mean George Bush, but the American people that elected him.Comment Posted By tet-vet68 On 9.11.2006 @ 10:19
I never saw that respect in Rumsfeld
Iâ€™m enjoying your post-election analysis and comments; as usual, you always provide plenty of food for thought;
Iâ€™ve also been reading the posts â€“ and the comments - at Hot Air and LGF, and itâ€™s beginning to become clear to me why the GOP got itâ€™s ass kicked in this election. (Itâ€™s also becoming clear to me why you said:
â€œCommenters on any site â€“ right or left â€“ are meaningless. Thatâ€™s why I quoted from bloggers only.â€ That may sound a little pompous, but alas, Iâ€™m afraid that itâ€™s true.
I keep looking for some confirmation of your comments that there must be â€œsome hard and brutal introspection by GOP leaders and an acknowledgement of their total and complete failureâ€, but Iâ€™m finding little or none. All Iâ€™m seeing is a lot of whining and an incredible amount of comments mourning Rumsfeldâ€™s resignation, praising his service and the great job that he did. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Republicans in denial out there. Maybe someone can explain to me how Rumsfeld, nasty, pompous and condescending to everyone including his own military, party and supporters â€“ not to mention totally inept â€“ as evidenced by the ZERO PROGRESS that has been made in Iraq â€“ can be looked upon as someone who has served his country well. Many respected conservative bloggers - such as yourself â€“ as well as many respected conservatives and neocons have been calling for Rumfield to step down for months; and what about all of the now retired Generals who have been calling for his resignation??? are they all now on the payroll of the Democratic party????????
As for Bush â€“ â€œthe deciderâ€ â€“he deserves most of the blame for the election results. After looking for a couple of weeks as if he were actually moderating his tone, he completely changes course and sticks the final fork in any Republican election hopes by declaring that Rumsfeld will be in for the duration of his term; then today â€“ he sticks a fork in Rumsfeld and we find out that he had already planned to replace him regardless of the election results??????? As a result, a lot of good and well respected Republicans were thrown out with the bathwater last nightâ€¦Sorry to say it, but Bush is starting to get that same smell which will put him in the company of Bill â€œI never had sex with that womanâ€ Clinton and Pete â€ â€œI never bet on baseballâ€ Rose. I think that you may be cutting Bush too much slack when you sayâ€¦â€¦.â€We canâ€™t just abandon Bush â€“ not when the Democrats are sharpening their knives to come after him, the Presidency, the war, tax cuts, and the entire conservative agenda.â€ Youâ€™re right â€“ the Democrats will come after him, but I donâ€™t think it will be primarily for the reasons you site above. They will probably focus on ineptitude, corruption, and a general failure to listen to anyone â€“ particularly the American people â€“ who - as this election and the voter breakdown has shown - are not fools. And if his idea of bipartisan cooperation with the Democrats means accepting an Immigration bill which will open the borders and put our country at risk, we might not be protesting those impeachmentComment Posted By tet-vet68 On 8.11.2006 @ 23:09
Great piece Rick!
A real breath of "fresh air" as opposed to the "hot air" (Michelle Malkin excluded of course...) that is stagnating the blogosphere as the election approaches.Comment Posted By tet-vet68 On 2.11.2006 @ 19:44
Great topic and analysis. This is the type of post that has always attracted me to your blog:
well thought out and thought provoking. For what theyâ€™re worth â€“ here are some of my thoughts on these issues:
INTELLIGENCE EQUALS ????
I have always personally believed that the primary reason that we went into Iraq was to SECURE THE OIL.
WMDs, overthrowing a dictator and trying to establish a democracy and strategic location (between Iran and the rest of the Middle East) were important, but secondary. Iâ€™ve never been sure of what role the â€œIntelligence Communityâ€ actually played in the decision to invade Iraq. Either the intelligence community â€“ at the time â€“ was a total failure, or the intelligence was intentionally manipulated to justify the invasion. I now tend to believe the latter. It follows, therefore, that ANY Intelligence Assessments, no matter which â€œgovernment officials and outside expertsâ€ participated, must be taken with several grains of salt. Who knows what anybodyâ€™s agenda really is??? For me personally â€“ and I consider myself as an independent thinker â€“ the overriding question at the time was: â€œWhy wasnâ€™t Saddam Hussein â€“ despite twelve years of sanctions and threats â€“ allowing inspectors to verify what he did or did not have in terms of weapons. Logic said â€œwhere thereâ€™s smoke â€“ there must be fireâ€ That proved to be WRONG! I now believe that there were NO WMDS and NO CONNECTIONS with Al Queda. Of course, â€œno one can guarantee that Saddam never would have established operational ties with al-Qaeda?, but I do not believe that this would have happened. After 40+ years of total and complete control in Iraq, why would Saddam have wanted to enter into an alliance with Al Queda â€“ or anyone else for that matter??? What did he have to gain?? Rather, Saddam was just being a defiant pain in the ass. Agreed he was a nasty SOB, but he was also his own man and a perfect counter point to Iran.
â€œâ€One can argue that the timing was wrong in confronting Iraq. But as something we eventually would have been forced into doing as a result of a general conflict with terror and terror states, it is very difficult to see how we could have avoided itâ€. I totally agree with this assessment.
Of course, hindsight is always 20-20, but I do now believe that in fact we did have Saddam â€œin a boxâ€, and he would have stayed that way for as long as he remained in power. After he was out of power is a different story. If Qusay would have replaced him, I believe the status quo would have continued. Uday would have been another story. He was a psychopath, and I believe that with him in power operational ties with Al Queda or other terrorist organizations would have been a given. So I do believe it was just a matter of time before we would have had to go into Iraq.
â€œIraq War creates more terrorists and terrorismâ€
â€œThe estimate concludes that the radical Islamic movement has expanded from a core of Qaeda operatives and affiliated groups to include a new class of â€œself-generatingâ€ cells inspired by Al Qaedaâ€™s leadership but without any direct connection to Osama bin Laden or his top lieutenants.â€
I believe the above statements to be true. There is no doubt that Osama bin Laden and Al Queda were HELPED by our invasion of Iraq. Bin Laden had hoped to draw us into an extended war in Afganistan (as he did with the Soviets) but he failed. Our actions in Afganistan â€“ while being a no brainer â€“ were swift and decisive. This was a big failure for Bin Laden.
He and his ideology were also â€œin a boxâ€, with no cause to champion. But everything changed â€“ and he got exactly what he had hoped for in Afganistan â€“ when we invaded Iraq and got caught up in the long, protracted war. And the worst part is he didnâ€™t have to do anything â€“ we handed this to him on a silver platter. MOST IMPORTANTLY, the promotion of the IDEOLOGY of groups like Al Queda were helped enormously because of our invasion â€“ and subsequent failures in Iraq. This is what I believe to be the main reason why these independent cells have grown throughout the world. The more DRAMA that we create, the more drama will be created in return. Which leads me to my next point:
DRAMA, ATTENTION & MANIPULATION:
Dealing with leaders of terrorist groups and their blind followers is very much like dealing with my 17 year old daughter.
This is why: She was diagnosed at age 7 with ADHD, which has now progressed to ADHD with mood disorder.
Everything that affects her life â€“ no matter how small â€“ is always blown greatly out of proportion. She thrives on DRAMA, because drama will get her attention that she craves. If this doesnâ€™t happen quickly enough, she DEMANDS attention. Once the drama has been created, and the acting-out behavior has escalated to a fever pitch, comes the MANIPULATION. She will typically say something like: â€œIf I calm down and stop acting-out , what do I get? whatâ€™s in it for me? what will YOU do differently??? So how do my wife and I deal with these issues on a daily basis??? The textbooks â€“ and we have read many â€“ are uniform in recommending the correct approach: DOWNPLAY everything as much as possible, BE CONSISTENT, BE FIRM and BE IN AGREEMENT. If we do not follow this advice, our daughter will drive a wedge right through us every time. Bin Laden, Ahmadinejad, Nasrallah, Chavez, they all have this in common. They require DRAMA and ATTENTION to thrive, and we give them plenty of it.
So how have we applied these concepts in Iraq???
DRAMA â€“ weâ€™ve had 3+ years of it - all bad â€“ and it continues.
CONSISTENCY??? FIRMNESS??? AGREEMENT??? Draw your own conclusionsâ€¦â€¦.
RESPECT EQUALS FEAR
I remember seeing Benjamin Netanyahu interviewed during the first week or two of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The question was about why terrorist groups and their leaders do not respect us. His response was very clear:
THEY WILL ONLY RESPECT YOU WHEN THEY FEAR YOU. But how is this accomplished???
Anyone would have to admit that the Israeliâ€™s have been very successful in targeting their enemies for assassination. Why donâ€™t we form a clandestine group that we can call â€œAMITEFâ€, ( All Muslim Islamic Terrorist Elimination Force).
This would be a highly trained and highly paid â€œMuslim Onlyâ€ group, who believed â€“ as I do â€“ that the ideology, hatred and activities of the Muslim Extremist Groups will eventually have dire consequences for all Muslims around the world, and that they are truly helping all fellow Muslims by eliminating these elements. Letâ€™s do a little â€œinfiltratingâ€ of our own. This force could work both within the USA (like the FBI) and outside of the USA (like the â€œoldâ€ CIA). In other words, DOWNPLAY the rhetoric and the military force, and operate like the Stealth Bomber â€“ quiet, lethal and under the radar.
WHAT DO WE NOW DO IN IRAQ
One of the commenters to your post said,
â€œLook at Iraq NOW, it is indeed a failed state and I donâ€™t see anything we can do to change that fact. The massive input of troops and material that would be needed to FORCE stabilization of Iraq are simply not available to us. We simply donâ€™t have those resources to â€˜â€™commitâ€™â€™ to that taskâ€.
I agree with his assessment. If the #1 reason that we went into Iraq was for the OIL â€“ as I believe it was, letâ€™s now make our #1 PRIORITY to SECURE THE OIL FIELDS. (which we are in effect doing already), and start to withdraw our troops.Comment Posted By tet-vet68 On 24.09.2006 @ 20:06
Why donâ€™t we put some pressure on the current Iraqi government to work out a â€œbusiness dealâ€ re the oil fields??
The agreement could go something like this:
1. The United States military would provide 100% security for ONLY the Oil Fields throughout the country.
2. The United States would provide technology, equipment, maintenance and training to maximize the oil production.
3. ALL PROFITS from oil sales â€“ which would be substantial - would go to the Iraqi government to use as they wished: to rebuild their country, pay decent wages to their police and army, etc. â€“ with the United States paid only an agreed upon percentage (in oil and/or dollars) for the security, technology, equipment, management of and training at the oil fields.
4. This agreement would remain in effect ONLY if a coalition government remained in power in Iraq. If the coalition government were to collapse â€“ no one in Iraq but the US would have access to the oil. Kind of a political blackmail for the betterment of Iraq. When we were satisfied that Iraq had a stabilized government and stabilized security forces, we would withdraw completely. If the best that we can do for the Iraqis at this point is to â€œhelp them to help themselvesâ€, then so be it.
â€œIndicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement,â€ cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology. The report â€œsays that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse.â€â€
â€œIf only we had not confronted the jihadists or worked to solve the root causes of terrorism, none of this would be true today.â€
â€œI totally reject that notion. In fact, I believe it delusional thinking to say that weâ€™d be any safer if we hadnâ€™t invaded Iraq or if we had just lobbed a few cruise missiles at Osama Bin Laden following 9/11, or even if we had put enormous pressure on Israel to come to an agreement with the Palestinians. All of this ignores the one overarching truth about the nature of our enemies (and their tens of millions of supporters around the world); what they seek, we cannot give them.â€
In summary, I agree with all of these statements. The die had been cast long before 9/11, when the colonial powers withdrew from the Middle East, left a vacuum, and opened up a free-for-all for who ever had â€œthe biggest stickâ€. There is no going back. With or without our invasion of Iraq, NOTHING WOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT with regard to the Israel â€“ Hamas â€“ Hezbollah situations, NOR WOULD ANYTHING HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT with regard to the spread of the Global Jihadist Movement and the diffusion of jihad ideology. And as long as there is DRAMA, LACK OF CONSISTENCY, LACK OF FIRMNESS and LACK OF AGREEMENT in dealing with these movements, nothing will change. The War in Iraq â€“ which has encapsulated all of the above â€“ has only sped up the inevitable.
I just went to "Think Progress" (big mistake) and read the complete interview. Then I read some of the 350+ comments. (much bigger mistake - I could'nt keep my breakfast down). Where were all of these people fawning over this guy on Think Progress when â€œThe Big Dogâ€ went on National and International TV - in front of hundreds of millions of people - pointed his finger straight at the cameras and said: â€œI dont know anyone named Monika Lewinsky!â€???????? And I actually believed him!Comment Posted By tet-vet68 On 23.09.2006 @ 11:48
Right! and Pete Rose never bet on Baseball! The lefties are now calling him "classy"â€¦â€¦ an American hero". Try low life, lying slime ballâ€¦â€¦â€¦
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