"But one thing both left and right better start thinking very hard about if we are attacked again is that the solution to security will eventually have to be found in unity and not in these tiresome partisan dust ups where the motives of both sides are questioned and the War on Terror becomes a weapon to be used by one side or the other for political gain.â€
There is so much bad blood between the two sides that I think Osama will politically tear part the country with another attack, and he knows it. As one of the detested moderates that has been trying on left and right websites to get some civility back into political discourse I have no hope that the two sides will step back and take a breath before letting rip. Some body will make some charged comment and the other side will take up the â€œwell you did it firstâ€ childish response and we will be off to the races. Add to the fact we are in the middle of a Presidential campaign where a lot of political capitol can be had for bashing the other side and our ability to find any common ground is dead and buried. One thing I try to point out to both sides is that you will never convince the other side of the rightness of you views, so why do you bother with â€œthemâ€? In order to win elections and advance your agenda you need the middle on you side, the other side does not matter. And what is the best way to get your point across to the middle? I will give you a clue, polarized partisan diatribes against the other side does not get the point across no matter how right you are. Not that it will happen, Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh have the big megaphones, not the centrists. OK, you can now respond and call me a moron, idiot, whatever, and no Iâ€™m not interested at all in what the other side did first.Comment Posted By grognard On 14.07.2007 @ 10:37
Rick, if I found this on a left wing site I would have blown it off a partisanship, I donâ€™t know if I agree but coming from you this is worth looking into. Since every administration has done this to some extent how would you make sure this does not happen again regardless of who is in power?Comment Posted By grognard On 11.07.2007 @ 14:58
Rick, yes he learned well from his father who killed thousands when The Muslim Brotherhood went to far. Never the less he is a, very much in the minority, Alawite along with his ministers and officer corps. That fact does complicate things for him in that members of other religious groups will always feel ostracized and resentful of being ruled by a very small minority sect, particularly when all of the top jobs [and the graft that goes with them] only go to Alawites. Another possible fly in his ointment is that if he tries to rule through Nasrallah as a proxie there is the potential the Nasrallah might decide to act independently, knowing he has Iranian support. I admit these things are long shots, but as we have seen in the witches brew of the Middle East even well laid plans can go very wrong very quickly. Good post by the way, very informative.Comment Posted By grognard On 11.07.2007 @ 12:36
I have to agree that Assad is moving on Lebanon. What would you do if you were in his position? The timing is perfect with the US tied down in Iraq and having problems with Iran. Assad has long made it known that Lebanon was a part of Syria, and now he is poised to make that happen. But this is not entirely a great idea for Syria. The region now becomes a hodgepodge of tribes, sects and religions seething under Syrian control. Long term, under a dictator less accomplished that Assad, this could very well fall apart.Comment Posted By grognard On 11.07.2007 @ 08:35
I think Rick hit upon an important point, the members of Parliament are acting in their own self interest and not in any national interest. The success of the operations in Anbar was the result of the Tribal leaders and groups like the 1920 Revolutionary Brigades coming together to eliminate Al Qeada. The Tribal leaders in particular were tired of AQ infringing on their time honored rights and privileges, note that Saddam with all of his power did not mess with them. The problem we face now is that these quasi militia groups will not necessarily want to disband after the AQ threat is eliminated, they will want to stay around until they see a national government that respects Sunni rights and ends the Shiite sectarian violence. No political solution and once again we see the specter of the nation breaking apart, with the US caught in the middle.Comment Posted By grognard On 7.07.2007 @ 00:28
You will not learn any thing by stereotyping the â€œLiberalâ€ response to 9/11, or by getting into the mindset that there were only two possible responses to dealing with Al Qeada.
The Bush, Cheney version, response to 9/11 was to take on any perceived threat regardless of level or resources available. That gives us the predicament we are now in, Osama is still alive, and at least an inspiration to AQ, and we are still mired down in Iraq. Month after month, year after year, the Arab media and Jihadist websites show a constant stream of IED explosions and American â€œatrocitiesâ€ that do serve as a recruitment tool for AQ. AQ seems to be winning because we canâ€™t get Osama and we canâ€™t seem to stop the violence in Iraq. Unfortunately this situation is the gift that keeps on giving for AQ recruitment.
The alternate version is the stereotype Liberal response of a wimpy Gore responding to the attack by letting fly a few cruise missiles and calling it a day. If this was the response some Arab governments would have been encouraged to give more support to AQ knowing the US lacked the will to retaliate. There would have been no constant Arab media stories on Jihadists resisting the US but the movement would have become even more dangerous with nation state support. With a Republican congress and Gore looking to re-election I donâ€™t seriously believe this would have been his response, but I can entertain it as a hypothetical situation.
The Bush, Powell version, is that Powell sets the response. Saddam is seen as a threat but is put on the back burner due to a lack of resources to go after him and Osama at the same time. The Afghanistan operation follows his doctrine of overwhelming force and the Taliban are swiftly defeated. Lets say that with the additional resources Tora Bora results in a slaughter of the Taliban but Osama still escapes to Pakistan. Musharraf is given the ultimatum that either he finds Osama or we go in. Seeing how quickly the Taliban folded the Pakistani government agrees to co- operate with the US and after several months of fighting the Pashtun forces fold and Osama is killed attempting to flee Pakistan. The Arab/Jihadist media has some anti American propaganda moments but also shows AQ being destroyed in a hopeless fight. Arab governments like Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Iran see that the US is now ready to take on the next threat, and none of these dictators would want to support AQ and give us the excuse to go after them. Without any safe haven AQ gradually fades as a movement.
With the Iraq situation the problem is convincing people that confrontation and the proper use of force, as in the last scenario, is still the way to defeat AQ. Quite frankly I donâ€™t think this administration can make that case.Comment Posted By grognard On 5.07.2007 @ 20:47
With the number of people killed I canâ€™t see any hope in national reconciliation. Splitting the country seems like the â€œbestâ€ option out of a selection of not very good options. But that is not why we went into Iraq and the administration will not go for it. The silver lining in this mess is that Islam will consume itself in the Sunni/Shiite religious war that is about to occur, by the time the smoke clears decades from now radical Islam will be seen as nothing but death and destruction. I still think this president fully intends to hand off Iraq to the next administration and make the claim that while they were in office they were winning, using the moderate success of the surge as proof. We will then have anther myth in the making that the despised liberals lost the war.Comment Posted By grognard On 27.06.2007 @ 15:02
In 1998 there were 181 [a pathetically low number] businesses or individual peoples charged with hiring illegals, in 2003 there were 4. Piling up new laws you are not going to enforce on top of old laws you already will not enforce is what is happening here. No matter what congress does the immigration problem will remain until things are brought to a head. There is talk now of allowing Mexican trucks to haul cargo throughout the US. into the US. That could be the spark that sets things off if truckers decide to retaliate with violence against people who are working for far lower wages.Comment Posted By grognard On 27.06.2007 @ 09:38
â€œMy bomb throwing is directed solely against the unreconstructed Stalinistsâ€¦â€¦.,â€
Here is my problem with a good deal of the political commentary, both sides like to take an extreme statement by someone on the other side and then proceed to make the grand statement that â€œallâ€ of the others believe the same way. This is nonsense, a good number people can hold a variety of views and do not fall into any convenient category. For example I believe fervently in gun ownership, that makes me a gun nut conservative right? At the same time I can se a valid argument for universal health care, so I am a tofu liberal. I donâ€™t like deficit spending an can see the elimination of the entire Dept of Education, back to gun nut. I think that government should stay out of determining who gets married to who [gay marriage], back to the tofu side. In short donâ€™t "fit" with either side. I despise Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh as poisoning the political debate and making debate of honest disagreements virtually impossible. If you are going to bomb throw at the Stalinists thatâ€™s fine but you might want to make clear who your target is and that you are not condemning all for the actions of a few.Comment Posted By grognard On 27.06.2007 @ 10:31
Carlyle has a good point, the CIA is now not only the cause of every problem but also a great excuse for cracking down on dissidents who are â€œobviouslyâ€ working towards some CIA objective. The other problem with these types of operations is that they invite retaliation, especially if it is political assassination.Comment Posted By grognard On 23.06.2007 @ 13:57