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2007-04-28 Home Front: Politix
Edwards: No Terror "War"
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Posted by Steve White 2007-04-28 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [1033 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 CENTER FOR NONPROLIFER STUDIES > FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH: UNRAVELING AL QAEDA's TAGRGET SELECTION CALCULUS. Gist- Osama + Boyz wanna destroy the US economy, directly andor indirectly, and to knowingly induce the USA to spend Spend SPEND, regulate Regulate REGULATE, gubmint Gubmint GUBMINT, etc like there's no tomorrow [for USA]. Also, to "BLEED" THE USA DRY.
Posted by JosephMendiola 2007-04-28 00:21||   2007-04-28 00:21|| Front Page Top

#2 Well, I don't really think there is a War on "Terror." I've seen that a war "on" something-or-other never seems to work out very well. Then, "terror" is s tactic, not an ideology. A war against Jihad might work. A war against Islam would probably work OK. A war against Syria, Iran, the Magic Kingdon, and Pakiland would do very well.
Posted by Jackal">Jackal  2007-04-28 00:23||]">[]  2007-04-28 00:23|| Front Page Top

#3 Binny talked about how he and his were going to cause our economic collapse, dwelling on the billions of dollars 9-11 had cost us. I came away with the impression that Binny had no idea of the size and resilience of our economy, kind of like those ladies who envision the atom as being the size and shape of a frozen pea.
Posted by Fred 2007-04-28 00:23||   2007-04-28 00:23|| Front Page Top

#4 Masterful, Steve. I find myself unable to believe that a total non-entity like Edwards (or Obama) could get anywhere near the WH, in a "normal" time, much less these troubled times. Then I recall the odd, alienating whininess and unseriousness of much of the country these days, and the astoundingly bad political/Beltway class we're currently saddled with, and I get further discouraged.
AoS note: the yellow hilite was Fred, not me. I was going to go back and do some inline comments, but Fred got to it first -- and much, much better.
Posted by Verlaine 2007-04-28 00:36||   2007-04-28 00:36|| Front Page Top

#5 I agree. We have been successful where we were willing 'go it alone'. And we have accomplished a great deal despite what our self-hating media wants us to believe. We have only failed where we are working within the 'international community.'

Certainly our enemies think they can wait us out. They must be emboldened by the current clown show in Congress wherein they are trying to define exactly how long they will have to wait.

Still, I have to think that the desire of Congress to reopen and second guess every decision of the past 6 1/2 years, ranging from the Pat Tillman coverup to the Iraq intelligence that supposedly exhonerated Sammy, will backfire.

We just announced we caught the 7/7 bomber, who was an Iraqi al Queda jihadist transiting Iran to fight us in Iraq. We sent him to Gitmo after he apparently spilled his guts during what must have been a coercive period of questioning.

Stories like these occasionally pop up to remind us that Saddam supported terror, we are fighting and killing al Queda in Iraq so, Iran is helping al Queda, Gitmo works as does slapping terrorists around a bit to gain information. Other stories, like the 7/7 bombings, remind us of the utter depravity of the enemy we face. I think most voters are guilty merely of lacking attention rather than suspension of belief or stupidity and therefore the enemy may be overestimating their political prospects.

Bush, being human and a politician, has many flaws. However I think his worst two mistakes were not directly related to Iraq (where we destroyed Sammy's Army in 3 weeks with barely 100K troops and have killed 1000s of terrorists even as we failed to transform a backward culture overnight) or Katrina (where the Coast Guard and ANG made the mistake of saving most everyone off camera despite an incompetent local government). Instead, I believe that the 2 biggest mistakes were not to create some sense of shared sacrifice on the home front to remind us that we are at war and allowing the media to completely misrepresent the facts -- from Joe Wilson to Saddam's WMD program -- and create the impression that all is lost. In other words, PR matters a lot in a society where the media elite has contempt for the values of the nation. As an individual politician, Bush could be dismissive the the media but as a war leader he cannot. People watch it and, lacking a sense of involvement in the war, can easily be distracted by Dannilyn's daddy and believe the headlines to articles they do not read.

Though I feel this way, I really do not know what we should have done to provide a sustained sense of involvement with the war. A large scale draft is not really needed. To me the next best thing would be to have what amounts to a volunteer fire department approach to disaster preparedness/border security/etc. with broad based participation, training, drills, etc. Still, if we did this, some people would eventually get bored rehearsing for something that never seems to happen (like a bioterror attack) and this particular measure might actually erode respect for the enemy not support it.

Ironically, the only sense of 'shared sacrifice' we get is seen by those of us who fly regularly. The intusive incompetence of the TSA, where little old ladies are searched to make sure their toothpaste tube is 3.4 not 4oz, is a weekly reminder that we are at war.
Posted by JAB 2007-04-28 00:50||   2007-04-28 00:50|| Front Page Top

#6 Yep. Like I expect some trial lawyer to know anything about this stuff. Semantics, verbage, etc.

Whatever John. Go tend to your Wife.
Posted by newc">newc  2007-04-28 00:53||   2007-04-28 00:53|| Front Page Top

#7 One measure not taken that would have got the electorate's attention & would have possibly contributed toward an improvement in the economic vulnerability of the USA: a $50 a barrel tariff on imported oil. Tell everyone it's either a war tax or a way to promote energy independence. It would certainly be a shared sacrifice.
Posted by Anguper Hupomosing9418 2007-04-28 03:06||   2007-04-28 03:06|| Front Page Top

#8 "In other words, PR matters a lot in a society where the media elite has contempt for the values of the nation."

This is the biggie, W's greatest miscalculation and/or weakness.

The bulk of humanity does not yet have a handle on mass media, a phenomenon which, after all, is only around a century old. Like it or not, in the television age (mass media's most common iteration, despite the growing power of the 'net) good ideas are not enough. You need telegenic excellent communication skills as well.

The body politic cannot simply be fed good ideas in a dry way. As unfortunate as this might be, it's the truth. Even though I like W more than any of the Republicans running (well, maybe not more than Thompson), I can guarantee that if ANY of them, including McCain, were in office and had done EXACTLY the same things policy wise (I know, it's a fantasy, but work with me here) as W - but were allowed to have at the microphones and cameras - we'd be in a very different place right now.

Despite Rathergate etc., TV is still the most dominant information dispersal means. The cracks in the monolith are there and widening. But the monolith is still a powerful presence.

W's style would have been fine pre-television, but today, you need telegenicity. I don't like it, but that's how it is. It's the only way Reagan was able to overcome the bigotry towards himself and conservatism generally that exists in the infotainment industry.
Posted by no mo uro 2007-04-28 06:02||   2007-04-28 06:02|| Front Page Top

#9 One measure not taken that would have got the electorate's attention & would have possibly contributed toward an improvement in the economic vulnerability of the USA: a $50 a barrel tariff on imported oil.

Oil is already the highest taxed commodity on the planet. Why is a tax, which would hammer this economy and do absolutely nothing to reduce our so called "economic vulnerability", considered a good idea. Almost as good an idea as "investing in alternative fuels.

Oh wait. The federal government does that and has been doing that since the 70s without any, as in no candidate ever having reached market based on market viability, the only standard we should even be applying to any "energy policy."

And where would the money from the tariff go? To the one sector of society, given its power and size, doesn't need any more money: the federal government.

Per barrel tariffs didn't work back in the seventies, and they won't work now, just like "investment" in alternative fuels.
Posted by badanov 2007-04-28 06:43||]">[]  2007-04-28 06:43|| Front Page Top

#10 If you really want to get Edwards' attention, tell him that under the Taliban, he wouldn't be ABLE to get a $400 haircut. That'll wrinkle his pretty brow!
Posted by Frank G">Frank G  2007-04-28 06:58||   2007-04-28 06:58|| Front Page Top

#11 ...or a shave.
Posted by tu3031 2007-04-28 09:38||   2007-04-28 09:38|| Front Page Top

#12 Great inline comments, too.

"Marxism sounds like it should make sense. After all, it's expressed mostly in polysyllables."

YJCMTSU. Nailed it with that one.
Posted by Jules 2007-04-28 09:43||   2007-04-28 09:43|| Front Page Top

#13 I've always thought Edwards was "stuck on stupid." This just confirms it.
Posted by JohnQC 2007-04-28 10:44||   2007-04-28 10:44|| Front Page Top

#14 Heck, they're ALL stuck on stupid.

The Democratic Party simply doesn't "do" national security anymore; it's not in there repertoire, not part of their portfolio. The pro-American, pro-defense Democratic Party of old-- the party of "Cold Warriors" such as John F. Kennedy, "Scoop" Jackson, et al, is long gone.

All that's left in their place is a collection of wealth redistributionists and scam artists practicing the art of what I call "Parasite Politics": taking tax money from you and me, and handing it over to freeloaders in exchange for votes.

They're damn good at keeping themselves in power with this racket-- but it's the ONLY thing they know how to do anymore. And they want this war over, PRONTO, so they can get America's attention again and run their con without any distractions.

And for some of them, like Edwards, the easiest way to accomplish that is pretend the war simply isn't necessary because the threat isn't real.

Posted by Dave D.">Dave D.  2007-04-28 10:54||   2007-04-28 10:54|| Front Page Top

#15 The commentary is better than the original article. Thanks Steve White.
Posted by JohnQC 2007-04-28 11:14||   2007-04-28 11:14|| Front Page Top

#16 The far left believes that all the attacks from 9/11 on are 'false flag' operations perpetrated by Bush and the Joooooossss (Mossad). All Muslims are peaceful practitioners of the 'Religion of Peace'. We attacked Afghanistan so Cheney could make money building a pipeline, and attacked Iraq for oil. We're planning to do the same in Iran for the same reason. All the head-hackers, suicide bombers etc., are liberation fighters reacting to American Imperialism.

This is the nature of the 'reality-based community'. Looks like they're well represented by the Democrat contenders. God help us all if one of these asshats ever becomes President.
Posted by DMFD 2007-04-28 11:16||   2007-04-28 11:16|| Front Page Top

#17 He was one of the hairdressers and doornob polishers from The Hitchhikers Guide

You know that ship of worthless monkeys tricked into voyaging to earth. That explains the dem pols and socialists too.

Posted by 3dc 2007-04-28 11:26||   2007-04-28 11:26|| Front Page Top

#18 Excellent rant on economics and energy, badanov. One that needs to be pounded into the public, the political class - and even many of the fine folks around here. People for some reason arbitrarily dispose of basic economic logic when dealing with energy, with predictable results in their analysis.

To go put it in geek speak, accounting for the imprecision of the analysis due to the lack of objective measurement yardsticks, the "externality" or market failure represented by "dependence" on imported energy cannot be efficiently addressed through govt. intervention (taxes, subsidized R&D). And the issue of energy has confused many, since even before globalization we had a direct stake in regional order - now that stake is huge. Thus we would need to take steps to protect our interests abroad regardless of the % of oil that's imported, or the price. Aside from both these points, the economics of the situation (even before China and India became huge players, now it's a "slam dunk") mean that no conceivable amount of "savings" in use of imported energy would have a meaningful impact on the intended targets (oil producers and their friends).
Posted by Verlaine 2007-04-28 12:15||   2007-04-28 12:15|| Front Page Top

#19  Certainly the US needs to secure its overseas connections for oil imports. I don't mean that is not necessary.
The "market" for oil exports has failed several decades ago due to the nature of the product & its marketing. Any further restriction in the oil markets will hammer the US economy, no matter its source, and this is the "economic vulnerability" I referred to. The taxes we pay for our oil imports certainly must include our war dead and injured, something that can't be measured in dollars. The "highest taxed commodity on the planet," indeed. A tariff (aka "External Revenue") is one of the oldest measures for governments to raise money, as opposed to "Internal Revenue" -- a tax on your income. I know a lot of Rantburgers are viscerally opposed to any taxation whatsoever while they also support foreign military adventures which must be paid for somehow. Badanov seems to be dismissing the very thought of "economic vulnerability" as a ridiculous concept. Osama bin Laden has/had a different idea on this, and I believe OBL's on to something. The Great Depression was a most "viable market," even though it was the kind of market few of its victims wanted. Verlaine seems to be saying the US Govt is completely helpless to deal with this vulnerability except by somehow changing the governments responsible for much of the world oil export capacity. Throwing slogans and pet ideas & phrases around is no substitute for thinking & strategy. If these are the best ideas we're capable of, we have already lost.
Posted by Anguper Hupomosing9418 2007-04-28 14:59||   2007-04-28 14:59|| Front Page Top

#20 John thank you for being my bitch.
Posted by Bin Laden">Bin Laden  2007-04-28 16:08||   2007-04-28 16:08|| Front Page Top

#21 I know a lot of Rantburgers are viscerally opposed to any taxation whatsoever while they also support foreign military adventures which must be paid for somehow. Badanov seems to be dismissing the very thought of "economic vulnerability" as a ridiculous concept.

Way to stay on one side of the ledger. It must be your Enron moment, I guess.

Your sneering term "foreign military adventure: we know as the Global War on Terrorism, a defensive War initiated by the Islamists of Iran and continuing under other auspices as well.

It's a tough fight, and one we will eventually win, but we won't win it easily if we impose tariffs on oil or increases in income taxes.

Taxes kill investment and they kill new job creation. Taxes, even oil import tariffs kill economic incentives to continue to invest, and they never, ever, accomplish the goals they set out to accomplish because, simply put, they are a dishonest attempt to transfer wealth rather than to pay some a common goal such a national defense.

That is why I am opposed to taxes and increases in all their forms, because those who sneeringly refer to a war for our very survival as a "foreign military adventure", have no sense of common good, only of retribution and redistribution of wealth necessary to achieve that retribution, and the means to create wealth.

Our "forign military adventures" are being paid already by taxes but then so is NPR, which is certainly not defense related and which can be cut anytime, as well any number of items so that we can win this war, and you can go back to tranfering wealth from those who create it to those who never will, aka the federal and state governments.
Posted by badanov 2007-04-28 17:44||]">[]  2007-04-28 17:44|| Front Page Top

#22 As it stands, the miltary budget is a small percentage of GNP. It's highly unlikely this theoretical tariff would have been spent supporting 'foreign military adventures' or substantive weaning off the foreign-oil teat.

More likely this would have been spent on more palatable 'domestic security'. This could range from projects directly connected to national security, to things connected only because their proponents say it is (and my money would be on the latter), to paying off favors and thus buying votes.
Posted by Pappy 2007-04-28 23:00||   2007-04-28 23:00|| Front Page Top

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