« Scenic Niger Needs Help | Main | Not Quite. »

July 27, 2005

Comments

Don't forget the other part of the plan: declare victory and go home.

"Concluding that the conflict cannot be fought by military means alone--or by the United States acting alone...."

Jesus, they sound like that pansy John Kerry. Why does the Pentagon hate America so much?

it took them four years to get to this point. maybe in another four years we can start to hope for results.

Popstar down! Popstar down!!

This seems to be another moment like the one earlier when the administration suddenly switched from blaming the CIA for burying evidence of Iraqi WMDs to blaming them for exaggerating it. As I recall, one conservative had a CIA-bashing book coming out (using the old approved talking points) just at that moment and was caught on the wrong side of the argument. I wonder what books will suffer this time.

For years we've had talk about how this is war, and anyone who suggests it isn't all about military action has been dismissed as someone who doesn't take the terrorist threat seriously. The same with anyone who suggests the US can't go it alone. Now the administration decides it's no longer a war and we might need to pay attention to the rest of the world after all, and Bush supporters pivot 180 degrees. Beliefs that were once traitorous are instantly converted to patriotic, without any acknowledgment that a change has taken place.

We have alway been at war with East Asia, and Eurasia has always been our ally.

They really are mad at the CIA, aren't they. Guess Porter couldn't whip them into line fast enough.

"Ideological support, weapons, funds, communications and movement, safe havens, foot soldiers, access to targets, and leadership."

This doesn't strike me as the kind of information MI would be suited for, unless the plan is to send large numbers of soldiers out of uniform into the field. And the CIA and NSA as branches of the Pentagon makes me queasy.

Some of us would still really like to see a serious effort made to capture and, if possible, try the man who masterminded the actual attack on us back in 2001 (and a bunch of others before and since on us and the people of other nations), and as many of his followers as possible, and do what we can to bring effective pressure to bear on their backers and supporters. It's nice to have a grand vision, but the folks I really want to see kill or jailed are Osama bin Laden and the adherents of Al Qaeda. Please let me know when this becomes of interest to those doing the strategizing, or to anyone they might listen to.

I suppose it's valid to suggest that a plan like this may have taken so long because that's how long it takes to evaluate a "new" situation (based on the idea that post 9/11 we completely revised our perspective on our role in combating "violent extremism").

That makes a certain amount of sense. Gather information, examine past deployments and effectiveness, look at existing structures and revise them...all good. And it seems like this plan is much more in tune with what this global war is all about.

The problem? Our government acted, sacrificing thousands of our soldiers (I'm counting severe injuries as well as deaths) and billions and billions of dollars, developing this plan -- but sold its actions on the basis of certainty.

The truth is that Iraq was based on the theory of a small group of people who apparently didn't have the slightest regard for the details (what do you do with a divided country after you invade it?) and who didn't seem to care about the hypocrisy it would present to the rest of the world (Iraq/Iran = enemies; Pakistan, Saudi Arabia = friends).

So hurray for carefully formulated plans, but pardon me for not patting everyone on the back and saying, "good job!"

waiting with baited breath

"bated", Edward.

Coming back anytime soon?

"bated?"

are you sure?

deleted the comment, anyway...thought better of it.

most likely back in September...

keep thinking of posts I want to do, but when I sit down to research and then consider the time commitment for comments, it's not a good idea yet.

The truth is that Iraq was based on the theory of a small group of people

COrrection: "The truth is that Iraq was based on the theory of a small group of people with a dismal track record"

Going after bin Laden and Zarqawi are still high priorities

Why do you think going after bin Laden is a high priority when the President said, "I truly am not that concerned about him."? Has he said something different since then?

Why do you think going after bin Laden is a high priority when the President said, "I truly am not that concerned about him."?

Perhaps because there are other concerns. The war won't end with bin Laden's or Zarqawi's capture.

Charles: have you ever in your life simultaneously described something as "a high priority" which you "truly are not that concerned about"?

Charles,

rhetorical question:

Do you see much difference in the strategy you're advocating above to the "police action" strategy liberals have been advocating since about 9/12?

I mean other than the fact that we're a**-deep in a horrible mess right now, a life/money siphon that's actually caused hostile nations to pursue WMDs with even more alacrity.

Seriously, are you admitting the prior plan was a failure and that you're shifting over to the liberal point of view on how to combat terrorism? If so, I welcome the change in attitude.

OT, but I thought it worth quoting Judge Coughenour -- a Reagan appointee to the W.D. Washington -- at the sentencing today of millenium bomber Ressam:

The message I would hope to convey in today's sentencing is twofold: First, that we have the resolve in this country to deal with the subject of terrorism and people who engage in it should be prepared to sacrifice a major portion of their life in confinement.

Secondly, though, I would like to convey the message that our system works. We did not need to use a secret military tribunal, or detain the defendant indefinitely as an enemy combatant, or deny him the right to counsel, or invoke any proceedings beyond those guaranteed by or contrary to the United States Constitution.

I would suggest that the message to the world from today's sentencing is that our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart. We can deal with the threats to our national security without denying the accused fundamental constitutional protections.

Despite the fact that Mr. Ressam is not an American citizen and despite the fact that he entered this country intent upon killing American citizens, he received an effective, vigorous defense, and the opportunity to have his guilt or innocence determined by a jury of 12 ordinary citizens.

Most importantly, all of this occurred in the sunlight of a public trial. There were no secret proceedings, no indefinite detention, no denial of counsel.

The tragedy of September 11th shook our sense of security and made us realize that we, too, are vulnerable to acts of terrorism.

Unfortunately, some believe that this threat renders our Constitution obsolete. This is a Constitution for which men and women have died and continue to die and which has made us a model among nations. If that view is allowed to prevail, the terrorists will have won.

It is my sworn duty, and as long as there is breath in my body I'll perform it, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. We will be in recess.

Seattle values.

This is absolutely my favorite part: a Reagan appointee. I love my blue states.

Well then, if the Republican military strategists and the Party they come from, don't know their heads from their butts, why do the American people trust them with the job?

This may be horrible, in Iraq, but it certainly doesn't bother Americans enough to change course.

Torture, mass murder, chaos, religious fundamentalism and religio-ethnic cleansing on a small scale--these things may be immoral, but not immoral enough for Americans to force those who allowed it to happen to take responsibility.


It seems the average American is very comfortable with this type of immorality.

Sorry, Charles: color me wildly underimpressed with the Pentagon's New and Improved! counterterrorism plan. For one, as others here have pointed out, it is basically an admission -without actually admitting anything- that the country's (actually the Bush Adminstration's, but this point will no doubt be tidily buried) prior policies were either misguided, or failures. In particular, the chesty, flag-waving, "kick-ass tough-guy" military-based memes our stalwart "War President" has insisted (to great approbation from the likes of, oh, say, YOU, and the rest of the right-wing commentariat) were the only proper means of dealing with the threats from Islamist radicals.
Secondly, maybe it's just another flashback from the Sixties - but when I see official spokesmen outline plans like this:

"The new approach emphasizes "encouraging" and "enabling" foreign partners, especially in countries where the United States is not at war."

the only parallel that leaps to mind is how the US dealt with purported "radical" threats to our interests in Latin America back in the day: support whatever local strongman will make the most pro-American noises, and turn a blind eye to whatever repressions he applies in "rooting out Islamic extremists" (or suppressing his political rivals: whichever comes first). While this approach may work in the short run (see Uzbekistan), the fight against Islamic extremism is going to be (as ALL parties agree) a long struggle, and if protecting the United States' "interests" in the Middle East/Islamic world contains this much of an element of "Somozanization", it's hard to see where this will truly help us. Now or ever.

If you read the http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/26/politics/26strategy.html?ei=5090&en=22b94b0298c1ca6a&ex=1280030400&adxnnl=1&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1122512552-sspvZ6GtEcXU4RvlmvAWmw>NY Times story, you'll see the real reason behind this. It's all about the acronym: G-SAVE (global struggle against violent extremism) Much sexier than the old GWOT.

Charles,

I asked you why you think OBL is a high priority, and your answer is because there are other concerns? That would be why he's not a high priority. Did you change your opinion of OBL's prioritization in this administration between when you wrote the article and when I asked the question?

Wasn't OBL responsible for 9-11?

Do you see much difference in the strategy you're advocating above to the "police action" strategy liberals have been advocating since about 9/12?

Depends if the liberal perceives this as a war or as a crime problem. This is more than just a gang of international criminals we're dealing with.

I asked you why you think OBL is a high priority, and your answer is because there are other concerns? That would be why he's not a high priority.

You can have more than one high priority, Kyle.

I don't know what is going on, but this is deeper and more interesting than snark about OBL. DOD and the intelligence community have always had different agendas, methods, portfolios and what actual practices arise from this can be critical to Natioal Security.

Will the President still get his daily briefings? One can imagine Cheney/DOD saying Syria has tons of al Qaedas/WMDs, CIA saying wait a minute, response being "New Rules:you don't get access to the President." Cut-outs to ensure deniability and fall-guys.

Charles: Depends if the liberal perceives this as a war or as a crime problem.

1993 attack on WTC: perceived as crime: perpetrators caught, tried, and jailed.

2001 attack on WTC: perceived as war: perpetrators still at large, and thousands of innocent people killed.

You can have more than one high priority, Kyle.

Mind answering my question?

1993 attack on WTC: perceived as crime: perpetrators caught, tried, and jailed.

Co-conspirators still at large.

2001 attack on WTC

Perpetrators dead. Co-conspirators harbored by the government of the country in which they resided, which refused to cooperate in capture and extradition.

Depends if the liberal perceives this as a war or as a crime problem. This is more than just a gang of international criminals we're dealing with.

...and also less than a discrete country we can wage war with.

Actually, I'd consider them more of a crime syndicate that should be dealt with the same way the FBI currently infiltrates and subverts crime syndicates and hate groups in the US. There are reasons why the mafia and white supremacist groups have largely been neutered of their influence and effectiveness.

Of course, there'd need to be more international cooperation than with the methods used to break the mafia and that'll take some time given the poor state of our current relations.

Mind answering my question?

Read the transcript of the press gaggle where Bush spoke those words, Anarch, and you'll see the context. He understood back in early 2002 that the War on Terror wasn't just about bin Laden, yet his capture or killing remains a high priority. Amazing how an administration can have more than one high priority.

The comments to this entry are closed.