The next president has to create a sophisticated and supple blend of soft and hard power to isolate the enemy, to fight where necessary, but also to create an ideological template that works to the West's advantage over the long haul. There is simply no other candidate with the potential of Obama to do this. Which is where his face comes in.
Consider this hypothetical. It's November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man--Barack Hussein Obama--is the new face of America. In one simple image, America's soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm. A brown-skinned man whose father was an African, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, who attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy, is now the alleged enemy. If you wanted the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology, Obama's face gets close. It proves them wrong about what America is in ways no words can.
Rather than call Sully an ideological ass-hat, let's just say he is charmingly naive and overlooks some fundamental facts as to why B-HOs supposed advantages aren't. To wit: Black people don't seem to get much respect in the ME, likely a result of centuries of Muslim slave raiding in Africa. Second, being born a Muslim (his father's religion), but ostensibly now a Christian, B-HO is an apostate. The punishment for that under Sharia law is death. Not exactly the guy you would pick to redeem the Great Satan in the eyes of the Islamic world, eh?
Its possible that "sam" put a lot of the $5M in his pocket. Based on the trailer, it couldn't have cost anywhere near that much.
Posted by: lord garth ||
The question has been raised as to whether the film is a hoax. Link
The question is if it is a hoax what would be the motivation and who would have done it? There was a Christian girl who was accused of defiling the Koran. It turned out to be an imam who blamed her for what he had done. He must have had a thing against Christians-hard to imagine (sarc).
It was a beautiful day. I remember that. I got up to check email, and the AOL homepage had something about a plane flying into a building. I thought it was a goofy thing, like that idiot who had earlier flown into -- was it the Empire State Building? -- in a small plane.
It was a beautiful morning, and I had a kid to take to school. His older brother could walk on his own the five blocks to elementary, but Marshall -- in Kindergarten -- went in an hour later, and at any rate was too little to walk alone. (And too sleepy. I used to get him up, bathe him, shovel breakfast into his mouth and walk him to school and if I were very lucky, he'd wake up when we got there.)
So I walked him to school, waited till the teacher took him in and walked back home, under a cloudless sky, across our little mountain village, looking forward to our writers' group meeting that Saturday, feeling financially stable for the first time in my adult life (I'd just sold my first book) and thinking "This is when we reached adulthood. From now on, it's the easy part. Things will only get better."
When I got home, I went to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee before going up to write. And the phone rang. It was Rebecca Lickiss and she was screaming for me to turn on the news.
...And part of me thinks of the psychological twisting that has taken place since then: people who blame their own country for the actions of barbarians; people who kowtow to the barbarians and claim to be multiculturalists because that sounds so much better than vile cowards; people who think that a country the size of ours, as wealthy as we are should do nothing to deter attackers because we'd be protected by our halo of purity and goodness.
In all the years since D-Day, there are three occasions when the president failed
to go to the D-Day Monument that honors the soldiers killed during the Invasion.
The occasions were:
1. Barack Obama 2010
2. Barack Obama 2011
3. Barack Obama 2012
For the past 68 years, all presidents, except Obama, have paid tribute to the fallen soldiers killed on D-Day. This year, instead of honoring the soldiers, he made a campaign trip on Air Force 1 to California to raise funds for the upcoming election.
And after 911 why the Iran/Pak were permitted rescue of AQ forces in Kunduz has never been explained.
Posted by: Water Modem ||
Totally agree Water Modern.Bush and Cheney say they were duped by Perv re AlQ/ISI escaping Kunduz.
Pakistan was the enemy pre 911 and are still the enemy post 911.
Countries that need sorting asap are Pakistan,Iran Govt,Eygpt and Saudi Arabia in that order!
Posted by: Paul D ||
Countries that need sorting asap are Pakistan,Iran Govt,Eygpt and Saudi Arabia in that order!
I would reverse that order. I would go for the money men first who finance the the training of these fundamentalist thugs.
The largest direct funder of radical islamic terrorism in the world is Saudi Aramco the national oil company of Saudi Arabia.
Factored into the price of every barrel of crude oil sold is a levy of US$1.00 which is donated to the Islamic Boarding School of Aramco's choosing.
They only fund Boarding Schools that preach their sick brand of Islam, Wahhibism.
Saudi Arabia has caused/funded intolerance in Pakistan,Egypt,Balkans,Libya,Sudan,Nigeria,Thailand,Chechyna etc etc.Now they are looking to take over Syria and fund the most extreme/intolerant mosques in the West.
The West need to be less reliant on their oil so we can bankrupt this hell of a country.
11 years later, remembering the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001
In the days immediately following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, many assumed that it would be difficult to lure people back to downtown Manhattan either to live or work. Today, there are more people living downtown than ever before. As people return, small businesses return to serve them.
The twin towers were attacked twice by Islamic extremists. America's financial center will always be a target. That's what makes the resurgence of lower Manhattan all the more impressive. We have demonstrated the resiliency that's one of the greatest defenses against Islamic extremist terrorism.
Take a walk in Manhattan below Canal St. The bustling shops and crowded streets are testimony to the spirit of a strong democracy.
On 9/11, we looked at all of the death and destruction and wondered, "Why? What were the terrorists hoping to achieve? We know they can't defeat us militarily. So what was the point of creating such pain?"
There are no easy answers.
I've devoted a lot of thought and study to what motivated the terrorists and what motivates those who follow in their footsteps. They're insane, but they're not crazy -- there was a motive for the attack. It was carefully planned to undermine our political, military and financial institutions, with the idea that success against those targets would undermine our willingness to stand up for our way of life.
As time has passed and our government has grown very effective at thwarting further strikes, a very natural thing has occurred. People tend to forget. As indelible as that day remains for the people who experienced it firsthand, it is understandable that memory fades and Sept. 11 becomes like Pearl Harbor, a day consigned to our history.
That is a mistake. The fact is, this isn't over. We don't have the luxury of forgetting about it.
The forces that planned and executed the attacks on Pearl Harbor were vanquished. After World War II, peace treaties were signed and alliances were forged -- durable, productive alliances. The same cannot yet be said for all those who planned and executed the attacks of 9/11.
A lot has been made over the words "War on Terror." But whether we call it a "war" or not, they do. And they continue that war. The many thwarted strikes in the past 11 years demonstrate that the same motives of 2001 are very much alive today.
Much more at the link, from the man who tore up the check from Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal after 9/11.
You're right Besoeker. I read a quote from another blog that I think is fitting: "I've said for years that the GWOT is in stalemate for the moment because the equation is in balance -- we have the means to destroy the enemy, but we lack the will to do so. The enemy has the will to destroy us, but they lack the means to do so. one day, one side of that equation will go out of balance, and the stalemate will end.
What is my (depressing) prediction? That the enemy acquires partial means, which, in turn, finally gives us the will." - RD Meyers, 9/12/12
[Dawn] NOTHING can be more frustrating for a state than the vast majority of jugged Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un! hard-core gunnies being set free by courts for lack of evidence.
It presents a potential nightmare when some 2,000 alleged snuffies are awaiting trial for being involved in terrorist activities, many of them accused of criminal masterminding suicide kabooms and causing scores of deaths. It will be hard to convict them under Pakistain's existing laws of evidence.
What is most worrisome is that many released suspects return to militancy, making it extremely difficult for security agencies to break the cycle of violence. It is not surprising that some of these released suspects are believed to be behind the latest surge in terrorist attacks.
The proposed new anti-terrorism laws seek to remedy this situation. The Investigation for Fair Trial Bill, 2012, if passed by parliament, would not only allow security agencies to monitor phone calls and other communications of suspected terrorists, but the evidence collected through such surveillance would be admissible in a court of law. Security agencies could also hold any suspect for investigation for six months on a warrant issued by a court. Another proposed piece of legislation, the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2012, contains provisions for freezing, seizing or forfeiture of property used for funding terrorism.
The long-awaited legislation will certainly provide more effective measures for law-enforcement agencies to investigate terrorism-related offences. But there is also a concern that the laws could be misused by intelligence and security agencies, who could end up violating the privacy of citizens. Then there is also the question of whether the new anti-terrorism laws can be effective without a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy in place.
Such extraordinary measures are not uncommon since the rise of terrorist threats across the world in the post-9/11 landscape. Countries facing serious terrorism challenges like the US, the UK and India strengthened their laws long ago. Notwithstanding some valid criticism of human rights ...which are usually entirely different from personal liberty... violations and excesses, the tough anti-terrorism laws have helped smash terrorist plots and prevent attacks in those countries.
For Pakistain, the Fair Trial bill is not only important for prosecuting terrorists, but also for stopping extrajudicial practices. The proposed legislation seeks to make investigation more transparent and security and intelligence agencies accountable to the courts.
Security agencies are tempted to resort to extrajudicial measures in the absence of the rule of law and judicial oversight. Thousands of people have disappeared in past years, presumably taken away by intelligence and security agencies. The rise in extrajudicial killings by security agencies to some extent reflects their lack of faith in the judicial process. The issue of custodial deaths and missing persons has also become a key source of tension between intelligence agencies and the Supreme Court.
This predicament was highlighted in the case of the Adiala 11. It was a heartbreaking scene when seven emaciated young men, most of whom could barely stand on their feet, were produced before the Supreme Court earlier this year. They were among 11 suspected gunnies who were taken away by security agencies after they were released from Adiala jail by an anti-terrorism court for lack of evidence. Four of the detainees died in jug, presumably because of torture.
What happened to the Adiala 11 has exposed a dangerous faultline between our judicial system and the workings of security agencies. While the court ordered the release of the accused purely on legal grounds, security officials insisted that investigations had clearly established their involvement in the 2007 suicide attack on ISI's Hamza camp in Rawalpindi. But the evidence provided by intelligence agencies was not accepted by the court.
It is not just the lack of evidence, but also threats to their lives which deter judges from convicting gunnies and sectarian leaders facing multiple murder charges. How can witnesses be expected to give evidence when intimidated by gunnies thronging the courtroom? The failure of the state to provide security to judges and witnesses is also a reason for offenders not being convicted.
Pakistain's terrorism problem is, perhaps, more complex than that faced by many other nations. The country is confronted with a full-blown Taliban insurgency in the tribal areas and parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... . There is a direct connection between the insurgency and terrorist attacks in the rest of the country. Most jihad boy attacks target the symbols of the state: military bases, offices of intelligence agencies and the government, and defence installations. It is an armed militia that has declared war on the state. This situation requires extraordinary measures.
Last June the president signed an act giving retrospective legal protection to the actions of security forces in the tribal areas. This may have been necessary to avoid any potential legal complications in military operations against turbans. But the Action (in Aid of Civil Power) Regulation, 2011 also raises questions about giving legal cover to alleged extrajudicial killings by the military in conflict zones.
Indeed, laws form a critical part of a counterterrorism policy, but they cannot be effective in the absence of a multidimensional approach to the problem. Laws by themselves are not enough to handle the grave challenge Pakistain is presently confronted with. What is most important is whether there is the political will to establish the rule of law in the country. The main purpose of the proposed legislation is to deny breathing space to terrorists, but there is a much greater need to put in place an effective security and intelligence mechanism to get to the gunnies before they strike.
I've been out of the intelligence business for many years now, so I've stayed out of the debate over Iran's nuclear program. I learned a long time ago that when people who don't have access to highly classified intelligence about an issue like this one prattle on about what they think is happening, or is likely to happen, they tend to get it wrong. But the debate over Iran's nuclear program has become so feckless -- so disconnected from reality -- that perhaps it's time to inject a dose of what those of us who served on the national security side of the Reagan administration used to call "real-world intelligence."
The rest is informatively scathing, and includes a story explaining why you, dear Reader, were not invited to the barbeque everyone else enjoyed thoroughly.
Oh, wait. It was someone else who wasn't invited. Really. Now go read the whole thing.
Herbert E. Meyer served during the Reagan administration as special assistant to the director of Central Intelligence and vice chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council. He is author of How to Analyze Information and The Cure for Poverty.
I realize that it's disturbing to read that this kind of gamesmanship takes place at the upper levels of our intelligence service.
BLUF: The engire Klingon organization needs an extreme makeover.
Information is power, and we all know what power can eventually create. Witholding information or providing watered down or incorrect assessments assisted in bringing us 9/11 (and quite possibly some of the crap that happened yesterday). Little wonder Rumsfeld set up his own intelligence assessment cell within the Pentagon. Parallel government decision making stuctures are not needed. Good artikel, but I never trusted the bastids anyway. I never trust anyone who says:
"No need to count it, I've got all the money and I've got your 0600."
It's been my experience that when people tell you they are going to do bad things to you, they mean it. Moreover, when they start to do things that indicate they are going to do bad things to you, do what you have to do quickly, decisively, and overwhelmingly.