Observations on the world today.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Would That 'Twere True 

OpinionJournal - Extra

Dick Cheney in the WSJ:
Against this kind of determined, organized, ruthless enemy, America requires a new strategy--not merely to prosecute a series of crimes, but to fight and win a global campaign against the terror network. Our strategy has several key elements. We have strengthened our defenses here at home, organizing the government to protect the homeland. But a good defense is not enough. The terrorist enemy holds no territory, defends no population, is unconstrained by rules of warfare, and respects no law of morality. Such an enemy cannot be deterred, contained, appeased or negotiated with. It can only be destroyed--and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the business at hand.

We are dismantling the financial networks that have funded terror; we are going after the terrorists themselves wherever they plot and plan. Of those known to be directly involved in organizing the attacks of 9/11, most are now in custody or confirmed dead. The leadership of al Qaeda has sustained heavy losses, and they will sustain more.

America is also working closely with intelligence services all over the globe. The best intelligence is necessary--not just to win the war on terror, but also to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. So we have enhanced our intelligence capabilities, in order to trace dangerous weapons activity. We have organized a proliferation security initiative, to interdict lethal materials and technologies in transit. We are aggressively pursuing another dangerous source of proliferation: black-market operatives who sell equipment and expertise related to weapons of mass destruction. The world recently learned of the network led by A.Q. Khan, the former head of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program. Khan and his associates sold nuclear technology and know-how to outlaw regimes around the world, including Iran and North Korea. Thanks to the tireless work of intelligence officers from the United States, the U.K., Pakistan, and other nations, the Khan network is now being dismantled piece by piece.
Um, I thought we were at war on terror. Isn't this just the same old policing that we had been doing under Clinton?

Kevin Drum at Political Animal said it pretty well.
I don't get it. What's new here? Everyone agrees that we should strengthen homeland defense, dismantle terrorist funding, capture or kill the 9/11 terrorists and the leaders of al-Qaeda, work with intelligence services around the world, and fight weapons proliferation. None of that is either new or controversial.
But the most telling observation is that we are not engaging in a war at all. Not on terrorism anyway.

But you'd never know that to hear it from Condaleeza Rice:
I think it's simply a statement of fact that prior to September 11, our policies as a nation, going really all the way back to the bombing of the Lebanon barracks or perhaps even before that, to the Iranian revolution, were not in a mode of the kind of war that we were fighting; that we believed for a long time that law enforcement would get this done, that we did not have to roll them back in terms of territory. That's really the debate we're going to have. When the al-Qaeda committed an act of war against the United States on September 11, what was the appropriate response? Was it an appropriate response to not just rely on law enforcement to try and bring them to justice, but to also mobilize the military power of the United States to take down their base in Afghanistan and to begin to make their world smaller by dealing with the long-time problem that had been there in Iraq?
But is that really what we did? Have we been effective under this administration in shifting from a law enforcement philosophy to an aggressive war posture? Not according to Paul Krugman:
Polls suggest that a reputation for being tough on terror is just about the only remaining political strength George Bush has. Yet this reputation is based on image, not reality. The truth is that Mr. Bush, while eager to invoke 9/11 on behalf of an unrelated war, has shown consistent reluctance to focus on the terrorists who actually attacked America, or their backers in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
He continues:
After 9/11, terrorism could no longer be ignored, and the military conducted a successful campaign against Al Qaeda's Taliban hosts. But the failure to commit sufficient U.S. forces allowed Osama bin Laden to escape. After that, the administration appeared to lose interest in Al Qaeda; by the summer of 2002, bin Laden's name had disappeared from Mr. Bush's speeches. It was all Saddam, all the time.

This wasn't just a rhetorical switch; crucial resources were pulled off the hunt for Al Qaeda, which had attacked America, to prepare for the overthrow of Saddam, who hadn't. If you want confirmation that this seriously impeded the fight against terror, just look at reports about the all-out effort to capture Osama that started, finally, just a few days ago. Why didn't this happen last year, or the year before? According to The New York Times, last year many of the needed forces were tied up in Iraq.

It's now clear that by shifting his focus to Iraq, Mr. Bush did Al Qaeda a huge favor. The terrorists and their Taliban allies were given time to regroup; the resurgent Taliban once again control almost a third of Afghanistan, and Al Qaeda has regained the ability to carry out large-scale atrocities.
In my opinion, the truth is that law enforcement actually is the best way to handle terrorism. Declaring war on it is just silly political posturing. Terrorists are criminals, not a national political enemy. The war on drugs, for example, is a law enforcement war, i.e. a war in the rhetorical sense only. So is the war on terror. Only Bush and his gang of thugs don't seem to realize that. And because they actually engage us in real war in the diplomatic sense, we have no choice but to see it that way too.

What we really need to do is stop seeing it through Bush's eyes, and start seeing it for what it really is, a botched criminal investigation. Like- oh - I don't know - Waco for example.

Sorry for my bad english. Thank you so much for your good post. Your post helped me in my college assignment, If you can provide me more details please email me.
Sorry for my bad english. Thank you so much for your good post. Your post helped me in my college assignment, If you can provide me more details please email me.
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