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7/5/2007
NEW JIHADI VIDEO GIVES HEART TO TERRORISTS

To mark Independence Day, al-Qaeda #2 Ayman Zawahiri (just another country doctor turned terrorist) has issued a 90 minute video with a stirring call for Muslims to back the terrorists in Iraq. In fact, the tape also includes a piece from the Islamic State of Iraq terror group - an al-Qaeda “inspired” outfit that Zawahiri seems to be supporting and urging the entire Muslim world to help. This despite assurances by some in the west that al-Qaeda has no presence in Iraq and that every time someone in the Administration says so, they are lying.

Who to believe? Those lying Bushies or the country doctor?

As Americans celebrate the 4th of July today, Al Qaeda’s top deputy Ayman Zawahiri is appearing in a new internet video praising jihadi fighters in Iraq and elsewhere. Dressed in all white and sitting before a news studio background, Zawahiri warns Americans that “Today, the wind - by grace of Allah - is blowing against Washington.”

In the hour and half long video, which surfaced today on the website Strategic Translations, a translation and terror analysis firm, Zawahiri urges his followers to hurry to Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Somalia.

He also offers a message of confidence to the jihadi fighters in prison saying that victory in Iraq and Afghanistan will come soon.

“You must be patient and steadfast,” he says. “Rejoice, for victory is near, with Allah’s permission, and the herds of crusaders have begun to split up and their sole concern has become searching for a way out.”

Entitled “The Advice of One Concerned,” the video has English subtitles and includes clips from other videos and news broadcasts, including one from Al Furqan, the video production arm of the Islamic State of Iraq.

Thankfully, we don’t have to “search” very hard for a way out at all. Just do what the Democrats want and all will be well.

Beyond the words on the tape - and coming on the heels of several botched terrorist attacks in the UK and here - there’s always the thought that this particular tape will trigger a cell somewhere to go into action. And given we’ve already had some warnings about attacks this summer, one certainly hopes that DHS Director Chertoff has a little different attitude about terrorists operating in this country than his rather laid back approach to illegal immigrants. Given some of his recent statements, I’m not so sure.

Meanwhile, the Brits are waking up to the fact that warnings about these recent failed attacks were coming from some very interesting sources. Canon Andrew White, the president and CEO of the Foundation for Reconciliation in the Middle East and the vicar of St. George’s (Anglican) Church in Baghdad came face to face with pure evil at a meeting in Jordan two months ago where a specific warning was issued regarding the most recent attacks in the UK:

Dear Friends,

Just over two months ago I wrote in my Update that I had the worst meeting in my life. I said I have seen the Devil today. I met this awful man in Amman prior to our last major meeting in Baghdad.

I referred to him as the Devil and I even refused to continue the meeting and told the Sheikh who had brought him to me never to let me meet him again.

He told me that they were going to start killing in the UK then the USA. One sentence I remembered but did not understand was “those who cure you will kill you”.

I did not understand this then but in the last two days since the terrorist activities in the UK were brought to a head I was not surprised when there were reports that those arrested were all involved in the health services.

Those terrible words “those who cure you will kill you” suddenly made sense.

The litany of planned killing was horrendous. I do not know why I was told this by an Iraqi Sunni living then in Syria. I passed on this information to our FCO. I then learned that this person was a senior Al Qaeda figure and so was indeed bent on the destruction of innocent lives.

I will never forget this meeting. It remains the worst I have ever had. I hope I never have one like it again.

I find it interesting that this gentleman of the cloth - a liberal’s liberal judging by his record of opposing US-UK actions in the entire Middle East - would easily make the leap of faith and have the intellectual honesty to identify this al-Qaeda agent as “the Devil.” That puts him one step beyond 95% of the liberals in this country who can never seem to make that determination of evil regarding the nature of the enemy. Such black and white concepts aren’t “nuanced” or complicated enough. And what’s the point of being a liberal if you can’t trivialize the momentous and complicate the obvious>?

And as information continues to emerge about the UK terror plotters, one is struck by the prescience of the last National Intelligence Estimate from Iraq that predicted these kind of “do-it-yourself” terror cells that would use al-Qaeda ideology as an inspiration rather than receiving direct aid from the terrorist groups. It should be noted also that the NIE predicted that terrorists trained or blooded in Iraq would begin to inspire and perhaps even advise these homegrown jihadis. Judging by some of the remarks by Zawahiri on this new video, it appears that the al-Qaeda leader is trying to claim these groups as al-Qaeda’s own despite the fact that they have not given them any assistance. What that portends for the future can only be guessed at.

This brings up an issue that I’ve wrestled with since the beginning of the War on Terror: Does confronting the terrorists in and of itself breed more terrorists?

This question has not received the attention it deserves from either the right or the left. At the heart of the query is a big “what if;” if we had not gone into Afghanistan and subsequently Iraq and either responded as a President Gore might have by lobbing a few cruise missiles into al-Qaeda training camps following the 9/11 attacks (Gore may very well have invaded Afghanistan also) or done virtually nothing, what would the state of the worldwide jihad be today? In other words, would it have been better to simply acknowledge that we are going to be attacked every once and a while and concentrate our efforts on policing and prevention?

I throw this out simply to start a discussion not as an indication of what I believe. Given the success we’ve had worldwide in cracking al-Qaeda cells in many major cities around the world, as well as stifling their funding mechanisms, would essentially non-violent methods have worked just as efficiently while, at the same time, not creating additional terrorists for us to deal with?

One might think this is a sophomoric intellectual exercise given we can’t go back and change history. But very soon, following at least a partial withdrawal from Iraq, we are going to have to take a step back and figure out “what’s next?” I doubt very much whether this current crew in charge of our security has done much thinking along these lines so perhaps we should goose them a bit to start seriously considering our options.

For myself, I have no doubt that once we are hit again - and hit again we will be - we will be faced with decisions perhaps more momentous than our decision to go for regime change in Iraq. If confronting terrorism will always breed more terrorists anyway, perhaps continuing to attack the state sponsors of terrorism would be an exercise in futility given the nature of jihad today - not centrally organized and largely home grown. But can the will be summoned to resist what will surely be enormous pressure to hit back at one of these terrorist sponsors?

I’m not the answer man here - just someone with a lot of questions and who is very uneasy given our experiences with fighting terrorism so far. I’d be pleased if as many of you as possible shared your thoughts on this.

I have removed comment moderation to get a discussion going.

By: Rick Moran at 8:11 am
37 Responses to “NEW JIHADI VIDEO GIVES HEART TO TERRORISTS”
  1. 1
    ed Said:
    8:54 am 

    I will confess to not knowing the answers either. I can look at history and see that Israel strikes back at every attack coming from Islamic foes and terrorists. The results appear to be only an ebb and flow of attacks (and attackers)on Israel.

    During the 40 years I have been watching,Israel’s instant responses have not stopped attacks from terrorist-type groups or stopped the notion that Israel must be destroyed in the minds of their foes. My suspicion (based on the above history) is that large scale retaliation for the coming attacks on the U.S. will not temper Islamic inspired terrorism in the U.S. or reduce the number of future terrorists.

    That said, we must invest heavily in intelligence and border and port security, and be prepared to punish any state supporting terrorist actions in the U.S., including our so-called Arab allies. By punish, I mean bomb their oil production capacities. Our best defense against terrorists will be an Apollo-type effort to end our dependence on oil in the next decade, with our major oil companies given massive incentives to lead the way in finding alternative energy sources.

  2. 2
    SShiell Said:
    9:07 am 

    “Does confronting the terrorists in and of itself breed more terrorists?”

    To hear the Liberal Narrative as spoken by the Democrats and the Far Left, you would have to believe it is true. Statments such as:
    “We are generating more terrorists with our even being in Iraq.”
    “They don’t hate us for what we are, they hate us for our actions.”
    Etc.

    I remember as a child being faced with a bully in the local school yard. I was tall for my age and with that tallness came awkwardness. But being tall also brought problems different than others may have - I became a target. The little punks and the bullys wanted to assert themselves.

    My Grandfather took me aside one day and gave me some advice. He said, “Make the bully look to other targets other than yourself. And the way to do that is not cringe from him in fear but stand up to him. Make it cost him to deal with you. You may not be able to beat him but you will make him think twice, even three times to mess with you. He will see easier pickings and turn to them for his power. Don’t let him. Stand up not only for yourself but for the weak around you. Together, you and the weakest there will turn him away.”

    It worked. I got my nose bloodied a couple of times but after a while the effort became too much for him. He turned to easier targets. I stood up for them also. Slowly, the tide turned against him. One by one even the weakest amongst us, by standing together, stood up to the bully and he finally just left the playground - looking for an easier place to dominate.

    And that is what nobody wants to talk about - domination. Terror is all about the collective caving into the horror of terror. We may not even know what they want but we can’t wait to please them in hopes they will turn away from us and go to another target. But that becomes a never ending circle of fear. Terror cannot be appeased. You literally give them an inch and they will demand a mile. Why not? You have given them nothing to guard against. You have virtually told them you will give in if only they won’t hurt you. What’s to stop their demands? Nothing! Appeasement feeds their need for domination and costs them nothing in return.

    It is my belief that appeasement breeds far more terrorists than any confrontation could do.

  3. 3
    Drongo Said:
    10:11 am 

    I think that we need to come to terms with two things with regard to terrorism;

    1) We will always have some people who believe in their ideology so much (whether it is insane or reasonable) that they will be willing to kill innocents.

    2) Terrorism is almost an irrelevance to our lives.

    I imagine that (1) Is generally accepted, but that (2) would be contentious, but looked at dispassionately, terrorism’s effects on our lives (except for the very few directly involved in the attacks in question) is largely economic and convinence based.

    I know that stats are extremely tedious and not a sufficient way to deal with this sort of emotional issue, but compare it with real, significant threats to life. Compare it to road deaths, cancer deaths, hell, deaths due to lack of rubberised bathmats and you start to get an idea of the real term risk involved. It is managable and, it it were less emotionally incendiary, it would be broadly ignored like so many other risks to our lives.

    But that’s the point. Terrorism, by its very nature, is emotionally incendiary. We focus on it, we add our own little horror stories to it. Even if we do try to think statistically, we end up thinking “But what if they got hold of a nuke?!?” And that’s where not getting excitied about it counts. Terrorism is a pretty poor tactic at the best of times (I can’t think of a good example of a terrorist group that actually achieved its aims, certainly not one that didn’t do so *after* renouncing violence). It is rendered almost totally pointless when the perpetrators are regarded not as mad geniuses, but as idiots with a grudge.

    So, what’s the long term solution? I’ve got an opinion like anyone else, but I don’t claim expertise.

    1) Stop building up the terrorists, in media, public statements and even in our own minds. They are sad deluded, usually hopelessly anachronistic savages, generally. Stop painting them as the apocalyptic threat to society that we seem to want them to be. They really aren’t. Hell, just call them criminals in the media, it debases them. Don’t give them the credit they so badly crave.

    2) Yes, hit states that are clearly supporting terrorist groups that attack us hard. I don’t regard a state funding a group of idiots to come over and blow up a nightclub as qualitively different from that same state firing a guided missile at that nightclub. I think that the war in Afghanistan was wholly justified (though I think that we should have gone in, shot as many Al-Q as we could and then left again in short order). But hit them in proportion to the attack on us times, say, 10. They blow up a nightclub and we have good evidence that a state was involved, well, blow up, say, 10 government buildings with appropriate 10 minute warnings. Attack the personal property and persons of the governors of those countries, not the populace. But, before you do this, you have to publically expose all of the evidence that points you to the country in question, and make it incontrovertible that they were responsible. If you can’t do this then you can’t do the airstrikes. Otherwise you end up with more conspiracies drifting about which lead more idiots to conclude that you’re the evil one that should be fought.

    3) The flip side to that : Don’t use the threat of terrorism to feather any other nests, or push any other agendas. Don’t use the miniscule threat of terrorism to justify billions in public money being funneled to your mates in security businesses. Don’t use it to justify your pet world changing ideologies. Don’t use it to justify your (non-specific ‘your’)preexisting dislike of foreigners. Don’t use it to justify giving up Isaelli’s a hard time about Palestine. Use it for what it is, a bunch of savages who are living in an imaginary world where their actions actually mean something.

    4) Keep doing what we are doing in terms of security. Tap the phones of genuine suspects. Monitor suspicious activities. Arrest, expose and imprison people who actually get beyond the “I wish someone would do something” stage onto the “I should do something” stage. But watch for (3), don’t start tapping the phones of your opponents using terrorism as the justification.

    5) Above all, don’t push people who are on the borderline over the edge. In the long run catching the people who actually plan to do something is a lot less important than stopping people who might want to do something from getting that far. That is not achieved by police action (though that may play its part) it is achieved by making it clear to those on the borderline that our side really does hold the moral highground, that the terrorist’s arguments and appeals are shockingly false, and that there is no glory in going that way.

    That means that rather than just paying lip service to ethics in politics, foreign policy and our own lives, we have to actually practice what we preach. You have to be so painfully open and honest about your actions and intentions that it is obvious that you are not the bad guy. So, when you do (2) you have to do it openly, regretfully, and in a way that gains the moral high ground. When you imprison people you have to do it in accordance with our values even if it hurts. And above all, avoid (3).

    Aned, when all is said and done, and another idiot who *really, really* hates Jews, Gays, Women who show their arms, or who buys into some other historical or moral grievance enough that it justifies blowing up a bunch of school children, remember the initial point (1), You’re always going to have these idiots. Regard them as part of the general background cost of being alive in the 21st century.

  4. 4
    Sirius Familiaris Said:
    10:13 am 

    If confronting terrorism will always breed more terrorists anyway, perhaps continuing to attack the state sponsors of terrorism would be an exercise in futility given the nature of jihad today – not centrally organized and largely home grown.

    The facts belie yor assertion. The United States has not (yet) implemented military solutions for dealing with the major state sponsors of terrorism, such as Iran and, yes, Saudi Arabia. Iraq and Afghanistan were arguably soft targets, and it remains to be seen whether ongoing military committments in these places will be tenable for the long haul. Given the current condition of out military, anything short of a nuclear attack won’t persuade conuntries like Saudi Arabia and Iran to cease the gloabl war by terrorist proxy they’ve been waging against the United States for teh last 30 years.

    If it seems like I’m rambling here, please excuse me. My point is, terrorists like those who executed the September 11 attacks don’t just appear out of nowhere. They continue to enjoy logistical and financial support from even those states our government tells us are our allies. And as far as terrorists assuming the mantle of super-empowered individuals is concerned, they’re not exactly islands in a sea of humanity. They also need the cooperation and/or complicity of others to achieve their objectives. So the President’s pledge to not distinguish between terrorists and those who aid and abet them rings hollow when he refuses to confront a state like Saudi Arabia.

    Whether a tenable soultion consists in military action, law enforcement measures or diplomacy, no solution will work until there’s concensus among the people of this country that a) we are at war whether we like it or not and b) we recognize that it’s an endeavor that results either in victory OR defeat.

  5. 5
    AnalogBoy Said:
    10:40 am 

    I’m not sure anyone disagrees with the idea of an attack on a state sponsor of terrorism should another attack occur here at home. I think that there maybe were 5 people in the US who objected to the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 on the grounds that the Taliban was instrumental in protecting al-Qaida while they planed and executed the attacks.

    And I believe that if an Iranian or Syrian or Libyan or whoever -backed group carries out an attack, a retaliatory attack on that state will be necessary. I agree with SShiell above that we, as a nation, will need to retaliate.

    My worry is, that while fighting two wars (one legit, the other one…debatable), will we have the military resources to carry out a third one? Or will we be forced to just lob some cruise missiles at a terrorist training camp? (which of course would result in political crucifixion by warmongers - especially if the next president is a Democrat).

    State sponsors of terrorism SHOULD be held accountable for their actions. I think that the question will be less a SHOULD we attack (assuming of course that there is conclusive evidence of state support), and more of a CAN we attack - with our military stretched as it is nowadays and political support for the wars that we’re currently engaged in waning.

    And on a related note…what do we do about terrorists that aren’t explicitly sponsored by a state? It appears that the would-be terrorists in the UK this past week aren’t affiliated with any sort of state - and I would guess that the trend is going to be towards non-affiliated nutjobs rather than a centralized state sponsored organization…how do you deter these more “random” acts? Surely bombing the crap outta Iran isn’t going to deter those guys??

  6. 6
    Bill Arnold Said:
    10:42 am 

    Drango, I’m with you almost entirely, however “2) Terrorism is almost an irrelevance to our lives.” is a statement about current terrorist activities. Terrorism involving WMDs (and here I mean real WMDs, e.g. nuclear weapons, not a definition used to make it easier to prosecute wanabees) is qualitatively different - it could be a real threat to civilization.

  7. 7
    Mark H. Said:
    10:48 am 

    “And what’s the point of being a liberal if you can’t trivialize the momentous and complicate the obvious>?”

    I’m not sure I’ve heard it put just that way before, I like it!

    “In other words, would it have been better to simply acknowledge that we are going to be attacked every once and a while and concentrate our efforts on policing and prevention?”

    We tried that from 1783 to 1815 via tribute payments to the host nations of the Barbary pirates, and still our ships were attacked and citizens imprisoned. It wasn’t until we responded with great force that that problem was solved.

    Too, to have a president of the US stand up and say we’re going to throw a certain number of our citizens under the bus, because we don’t want to rile the enemy up by fighting back is simply not palatable to me (to others it might be).

    Interestingly, to me anyway, in 1805 (22 years from 1783) we almost broke the backs of the pirates, but it was 10 years later before we got entirely serious. Our current hostilities began in 1979 with the taking of the hostages in Iran and we tried ignoring them again — add 22 years and we get to 9/11 (and all the losses in the interim).

    Still (amazingly enough) we’re not fighting all out. Will it take another 4 years (1805-1815; 2001-2011) before we do what has to be done? And how catastrophic an attack will it have to be to shake us into action?

  8. 8
    JohnMc Said:
    10:52 am 

    The ideology is breed in the sermons and people who follow Islam. For the most part, it transcends national boarders and will exist in a nation as long as the people who follow it, believe in it with a fiery passion. The only way to change this behavior is to crush the will of the people who believe in it.

    The only way to “total victory” of a world free of Islamic terrorism, is wage Sherman’s Total War concept against the followers (civilians included) and the infrastructure who support it. You must destroy their homes and land so that nothing can sustain living, much less a will to fight. Every man has a breaking point to where he will quit the fight if pressed hard enough.

    But, nothing short of a total mobilization of the US Military and it’s allies can this war be won.
    This country (and the other nations) doesn’t have the stomach for such a fight. So, we can look forward to a world where we always wait for the next attack and pray that its far from our homes.

    You must break the will of the people to support the teachings of this perverted, blood thirsty religion. Nothing short of that will win this war. Don’t believe me? Show me a “compassionate” war that won us an unconditional surrender from the enemy… I’m waiting…

  9. 9
    tHePeOPle Said:
    10:57 am 

    “Does confronting the terrorists in and of itself breed more terrorists?”

    Not at first. What breeds terrorists initially, is HORRIBLE FOREIGN POLICY. They hate us for all of the stupid counterproductive things we’ve done “over there.” Not because of our supposed freedoms. That argument is laughable, but is convenient to believe for the ignorant “over here.” Break it down to a simple lie, repeat it over and over, put it on bumper stickers, and the masses will believe you enough to elect you.

    Now, when our horrible foreign policy makers turn their attention to the terrorists they’ve created, they create (surprise) even more horrible foreign policy (read: Iraq War).

    Ah, ok, so take away everything from the 13-30 year old males and what would you expect to happen? Those raving Islamic fundamentalists who are pissed off about our initial horrible foreign policy start to make sense to the disgruntled youth. What’s even cooler for the 13-30 year old is the feeling of being in a ‘club’ or ‘gang’, which is what the Islamic Insano’s provide. Thus, the cycle starts.

    So, on the first go-round, it’s horrible foreign policy that breeds terrorists. On the second go-round, it’s the horribly thought out response to the terror that breeds more terrorists. So, until we stop making such stupid decisions, we’re basically screwed.

  10. 10
    Drongo Said:
    11:05 am 

    “My worry is, that while fighting two wars (one legit, the other one…debatable), will we have the military resources to carry out a third one? Or will we be forced to just lob some cruise missiles at a terrorist training camp?”

    Sure you have the military resources. Just don’t go to war with them in the “Invade them and occupy them” sense. We’re talling punitive attacks, which should be against (a) Terrorist training camps) and (b) The homes and offices of the people in charge of the countries.

    In this world, knocking down states is a bad idea because they are so damn hard to put back together. Leave ‘em alone but make the retaliation personal to them, the leaders, not general to the population.

  11. 11
    Geoffrey Leach Said:
    11:14 am 

    Returning to the qriginal question.

    First, it does not matter what motivates people to become terrorists. They are evil and must be killed. Sooner rather than later, which means “there” rather than here.

    Second, if killing them motivates new terrorists, so what? Should we believe that absent Iraq the perps in the Doctor’s Plot would go on to lead a life of service to humanity? I very much doubt that. They’re evil. See point above.

    Third, consider the goals of those who provide motivation for the terrorists. (Those who get the motivation are probably not arround long enough to have much in the way of a secondary effect.) They desire to destroy — or at least subjugate — liberal democracy. That is their life. The only way that they can do it is to kill as many of us as possible. It is well to be subtle about how we go about dealing with the problem, but see the first point.

  12. 12
    Drongo Said:
    11:19 am 

    “Terrorism involving WMDs (and here I mean real WMDs, e.g. nuclear weapons, not a definition used to make it easier to prosecute wanabees) is qualitatively different – it could be a real threat to civilization.”

    Well, at present they haven’t and short of vigorous nuclear controls I don’t see what anyone can do to improve our chances of them not managing to get them.

    I would, of course, note that to date no terrorist group has even got close to owning a nuke, and that, even if they did get hold of, say, a kiloton level nuke and flattened London, it would hardly be civilization ending anymore than the Hiroshima bomb was civilization ending.

    To end civilization you are looking at a general nuclear exchange between great powers.

    (Obviously I am not being glib about the massive and horrific loss of life involved, just trying to keep it all in perspective. Virtually nothing terrorists can do could ever be civilization ending)

    But you see what I mean about reaching for the worst case scenario. We are talking about a bearded git in a cave releasing the occasional video and Al-Q types bragging about a couple of doctors who set themselves on fire, and we leap from there to nuclear weapons.

  13. 13
    Big Kahuna Said:
    11:19 am 

    Islamic culture, most particularly the Arab and Semitic variety, respects above all else power and the willingness and ability to use it. Islam, by its very canon, cannot and will not make common ground with the West and its dominant religious principles, founded upon Judeo-Christian tenets. The Islamist would look at a typical Western diplomat, who seeks to make some sort of peace, shake his head, and take him for a fool. His religion alone, which demands subservience to Allah and brooks no other form of worship, make it impossible to compromise. I have personally observed this in Beirut, among the old Amal militias (the forerunner to Hezbollah), and in many other places in the Middle and Near East.

    In the end, the simplest way to rid the world of terrorism is to go out and eliminate all those who would commit terror. Without remorse or chance of parole for those who resort to it.

    You don’t bargain with barbarians. If you do, and you give them what they want, they’ll take it, thank you politely, and boil you in oil anyway.

  14. 14
    Drongo Said:
    11:25 am 

    Just something I’d like to throw into the mix,

    Why do people here think that the threat from Jihadi terrorism is increased over the last, say 100 years?

    Can these factors be reduced?

    We could look at alternative forms of terrorism through the years and look at why they eventually decreased, or did not. Say, IRA, Far Right White Supremacist, German Red Brigades.

    Why did they start and why did they slow down?

    I think that broadening the description “Terrorism” to include other beliefs than Salafi Jihadis may be instructive.

  15. 15
    ed Said:
    12:27 pm 

    Big Kahuna Said:

    “In the end, the simplest way to rid the world of terrorism is to go out and eliminate all those who would commit terror. Without remorse or chance of parole for those who resort to it.”

    Since we have been unable to do this in Iraq, with four years effort by the U.S. military and our coalition partners, how do you see this happening worldwide?

    I’m not sure your idea is all bad, it is just that the logistics of such action don’t seem to be feasible.

  16. 16
    Wramblin' Wreck Said:
    1:11 pm 

    James Lileks, a writer for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has an interesting blog about this yesterday that fully supports your position here. You can read it at http://www.lileks.com/bleats/archive/07/0707/070407.html

  17. 17
    kreiz Said:
    1:15 pm 

    I tend toward Sshiel’s view at #2 that appeasement breeds far more terrorists than any confrontation could do. But that probably has more to do with us than them. My hunch is that their form of religious zealotry feeds on any approach utilized by non-believers. Confrontation may breed as many terrorists as appeasement- but it does make their life more difficult. In that vein, Bill Arnold’s long-range at #6 makes a lot of sense.

  18. 18
    kreiz Said:
    1:19 pm 

    To be fair, my belief is that a President Gore, H. Clinton or Obama would’ve taken action against the Taliban in Afghanistan post 9/11.

  19. 19
    mannning Said:
    2:10 pm 

    Terror

    Let us first label what we are seeing to be Islamic terrorism. Thus our enemy is Islam, including all individuals who profess to be dedicated followers of the teachings of Muhammad. That is, we must consider as enemies those who believe that jihad against the infidel is a sacred duty, which encompasses most Muslims should they be commanded to participate by their leaders.

    Whether we withdraw from the confrontation or not, we will be attacked. Whether we fight on their lands or not, we will be attacked. These attacks will be of ever increasing ferocity and deadliness as the Muslims acquire the means for mass destruction and delivery. The attacks will evolve into ever more sophisticated forms, including financial, and inflaming of populations worldwide to disperse our military resources. Oil is a weapon of increasing importance.

    Terror therefore is now the norm. Increased terror will be perceived as the norm as the years go by, until we find the right set of solutions to the problem. This set of solutions must be a total response to the Jihadists, including: military, social, economic, political, geographic, and psychological warfare, and involving our full resources. The very posing of the question by this thread indicates that the necessity for total worldwide war against Islam is not well-understood—not yet, in any event.

    It will take a major attack with loss of life far in excess of 9/11 to bring the sleeping public, and the passive minds we are beset with, properly into the fray.

    I’ve decided to let your comment stand despite the fact it oozes bigotry from every pore. We are certainly not fighting the entire religion of Islam. Making war on a billion people is suicide - unless you plan on employing nukes.

    In the future, if you are going to leave a comment here, I suggest you leave the hate and idiocy behind.

    Rick Moran

  20. 20
    tetvet68 Said:
    2:14 pm 

    Some very good discussion with many good points being made here, less the few over the edge comments about exterminating every living thing in the Middle East. Here is my take on some of the comments:

    Drongo – I agree with virtually everything that you have said, but – unfortunately – yours is an almost “utopian” view
    .
    “We will always have some people who believe in their ideology so much (whether it is insane or reasonable) that they will be willing to kill innocents.”. Undeniably true.

    “Terrorism is almost an irrelevance to our lives”

    It may be at the moment for most of us, but I totally agree with Bill Arnold’s comment that “Terrorism involving WMDs is qualitatively different – it could be a real threat to civilization.” Whether or not the threat from Jihadi terrorism has increased over the last 100 years, the WMD’s make it a whole different ballgame. What “nuclear controls” do we really have???? Even with the most advanced satellite technology that is available to us, we clearly do not know everywhere the production of nuclear weapons may be going on in the world today. I remember when we were first alerted to the Iranian nuclear site at Natanz. We were blown away by how much they had done. And now, much of the production of WMDs can be mobile, making it even more difficult to really know what’s going on. While we might not be looking at “the end of civilization”, a worst case - or close to worst case - scenario” is not that far-fetched.

    “Stop building up the terrorists, in media, public statements and even in our own minds. They are sad, deluded, usually hopelessly anachronistic savages, generally. Stop painting them as the apocalyptic threat to society that we seem to want them to be. They really aren’t. Hell, just call them criminals in the media, it debases them. Don’t give them the credit they so badly crave.”

    A great idea, but certainly not realistic in the US, where violence is glorified and played up – not down. The media here is all about sensationalism and greed – who can sell the most newspapers, have the most watched programs and the most viewed internet pages. When a mentally ill maniac goes on a killing spree at Virginia Tech University and kills 30 people, we glorify it by putting his pre-killing video – complete with him dressed in full battle gear – on the home page CNN, FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC etc., with an oversized “PLAY NOW button.

    “Don’t use the threat of terrorism to feather any other nests, or push any other agendas. Don’t use the threat of terrorism to justify billions in public money being funneled to your mates in security businesses. Don’t use it to justify your pet world changing ideologies.”

    Great ideas all, but we would have to eliminate the Democratic & Republican parties before these ideas would have a chance.

    “Islamic culture, most particularly the Arab and Semitic variety, respects above all else power and the willingness and ability to use it. Islam, by its very canon, cannot and will not make common ground with the West and its dominant religious principles, founded upon Judeo-Christian tenets.” The Islamist would look at a typical Western diplomat, who seeks to make some sort of peace, shake his head, and take him for a fool.”

    I couldn’t agree more with this comment. I remember seeing Bibi Netanyahoo on CNN a few years ago speaking about dealing with terrorism. His comment was: “The only way they will respect you is when they fear you. You have the power, but you have to find the will to use it. If they had the power, they would use it on you in a heartbeat”

    “Just don’t go to war with them in the “invade them and occupy them” sense. We’re talling punitive attacks, which should be against (a) Terrorist training camps) and (b) The homes and offices of the people in charge of the countries.In this world, knocking down states is a bad idea because they are so damn hard to put back together. Leave ‘em alone but make the retaliation personal to them, the leaders, not general to the population.” (the Israeli method)

    Another very good idea. I don’t know why people constantly talk about “invading and occupying” Surely, there are MANY creative ways to use our power and put serious pressures on governments that sponsor terrorism, but you don’t see this talked about much.

    Finally, we should all remember that the truly Radical Islamists - and their views - represent only a tiny fraction of the people in the countries that support terrorism. Outside of Israel, there are no democracies, nor have there been any democracies, in the Middle East. It is the leaders of these countries – not the common people – who provide the support for terrorists, manipulate the media, etc. And unfortunately – as was the case in Nazi Germany, a maniac – with a small group - who is loud enough, can change the course of history. I truly believe that the great majority of “common people” in a country like Iran would rather come to America than chant “Death to Americans”.

  21. 21
    Bill Arnold Said:
    2:15 pm 

    Drongo, Well, at present they haven’t and short of vigorous nuclear controls I don’t see what anyone can do to improve our chances of them not managing to get them.
    Agreed that it’s hard to estimate the chances that terrorists will acquire WMDs (which included biologicals). I think you may be overestimating the resilience of civilization, but that’s a deeper and rather speculative discussion.

    Decreasing the odds that terrorists (or their state partners) acquire WMDs should be one of our primary focuses IMO; the endgame involving them is simply not acceptable. They also need to understand that the response to use of WMDs is likely as not to be closer to genocidal in scale than not.

  22. 22
    mannning Said:
    2:51 pm 

    Suicide bombers are the perfect illustration of what we are up against. Hamas has ordered a number of passive Muslims, who never had any thought of fighting, to strap on a bomb and go do death to infidels. So the mass of Muslims can be corrupted into the fight against the infidel with relatively little effort by the leadership. Merely the threat of killing their families to the last man and child appears to work miracles on their aversion to war and suicide. If you think this is rare, you might take the President of Iran’s statement more seriously that he has 10,000 suicide bombers ready for action. Bombast, maybe, but the US is not in the business of ignoring major threats, or are we?

  23. 23
    mannning Said:
    3:08 pm 

    Bigotry is it? I disagree. I am basing my remarks on the Koran, Haddith, and Fatwas of Islam, that have not been abrogated since the 7th century. Plus the analysis of Jihadist statements logged onto the web (Google: jihad)of which there are hundreds worldwide. It would take a fool to ignore the pure hatred of Christianity and Judaism that pours from the Islamic world daily. This cannot, in my opinion, be simply dsmissed.

    As to taking on the entire Islamic world, surely one must bite off what one can chew, and not rush out to fight the entire billion or so at one time. What do you think is happening in Iran and Afghanistan? We are killing Muslims.

  24. 24
    mannning Said:
    3:35 pm 

    That was : Iraq, not Iran

  25. 25
    ed Said:
    3:38 pm 

    mannning:

    “Hamas has ordered a number of passive Muslims, who never had any thought of fighting, to strap on a bomb and go do death to infidels. So the mass of Muslims can be corrupted into the fight against the infidel with relatively little effort by the leadership.”

    This is arguing with anecdotal evidence. Just because some Muslims were convinced to become suicide bombers by Hamas, this does not speak at all concerning the mass of Muslims.

    It is also a non sequitur. 1) Some suicide bombers are Muslim, 2)masses of people on Earth are Muslims, therefore, 3) all Muslims are suicide bombers.

    Wrong and wrong. Even a bigot can be logical with a little effort. Work on it.

  26. 26
    Gregdn Said:
    3:44 pm 

    Your question “Does confronting the terrorists breed more terrorists”
    My answer is: our military presence on the ground in the ME is definitely breeding terrorists. Every time Al Jazeera shows a 500 lb American bomb crashing into a house and killing women and children it probably creates 10 more Jihadis.
    Please understand that I’m not saying it’s the right interpretation of events- the terrorists clearly use women and children in this cynical manner, but that is the interpretation in the region.
    If we leave Iraq and Afghanistan we would deprive AQ of its best recruiting tool.
    The biggest disappointment for me is that all of the front running GOP candidates seem to want to continue what is (IMO) a failed foreign policy. “Taking the fight to the Enemy” makes a good sound bite, but lousy foreign policy.

  27. 27
    Drongo Said:
    4:09 pm 

    “Drongo – I agree with virtually everything that you have said, but – unfortunately – yours is an almost “utopian” view”

    Sadly, I agree with virtually everything you said, particularly the above.

    I was offering an approach that might reduce terrorism without resorting to genocidal wars. I have a fear that if we continue on the treadmill we are walking at the moment we will eventually end up at a point where the more extreme in all our societies will end up being the dominant force. This thread adequately demonstrates what sort of views will come to the fore then.

  28. 28
    SlimGuy Said:
    4:41 pm 

    It is simply borne out by the facts that we were hit multiple times before 9/11 and still they carried on their agenda.

    The bully concept an earlier poster talked about is applicable.

    Some think AQ is the whole end all be all but that is proving wrong simply because there are over a billion muslims to draw from and the numbers are not actually showing real grassroots support for AQ or their wannabe copycats.

    More to the point is differences even between the terrorist elements we see today.

    Where most get this whole situation wrong is they buy into the MSM generalizations about the whole Mideast.

    Some could advise you well that this is not the binary choice Sunni/Shiite stuff the media is peddling.

    There are many sects involved other than them.

    AQ is based on the most radical sect of Wahabbiest (SP) teachings where the only goal is total conquest with not a bit of quarter given and no political accommodation of any kind.

    All of the groups that try to work the combination of terrorism and politics to take over areas like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Fatah, and even Hezzbolah are totally against their grain and sellouts as far as they are concerned.

    Iran which has no love for Iraq only wishes destabilization of what they don’t want to have back as a potential enemy.

    They will use religious divisions and AQ as a useful tool to keep Iraq weak and will do the same with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    Iran will use their puppet players to gain political power by whatever means to control their zone of influence they wish to create.

    Even worse Russia and China will play the game with them up to a point using them as puppets to confront and confound the west.

    It is a complex mixture of religious and political gamesmanship which some think they can control, and for all our sakes, somebody better hope they can or it could end up really not pretty at all.

  29. 29
    Drongo Said:
    4:44 pm 

    “It is a complex mixture of religious and political gamesmanship which some think they can control, and for all our sakes, somebody better hope they can or it could end up really not pretty at all.”

    Amen.

  30. 30
    winston07 Said:
    4:59 pm 

    Dear Rick,
    I was intrigued by your worry about confronting the terrorist. We have no choice in my view. I believe the threat we face is existential for several reasons.

    The Islamist ideology claims universal jurisdiction, offers the terrorist redemption beyond this life, and challenges the very essence of our system of government as an affront to God. Its combination of moral certainty and the appeal to a nebulous sense of grievance seems to be very attractive to some young men. Its adherents are making their presence felt, through violence, on every continent, and appear to be growing rapidly in numbers. The religious terrorist believes his violence is holy, and knows no moral boundary to his destructive aims. Coupled with access to highly destructive technologies, this makes the threat to us existential. They will find us whether we like it or not.

    In response to this assertive ideology, our politicians, academics and journalists have failed to articulate a coherent and inspiring alternative. On the one hand, Islamist ideology offers to the impressionable youth, the percieved opportunity to engage in an apocalyptic struggle against the embodiment of evil (US/UK/Israel), with eternal salvation as the prize for martyrdom, and the recognition of peers meanwhile. The West is presented as vacuous and degenerate, Islam as modest and holy. We, on the other hand, have presented them with no clear reply. Indeed many of our most prominent academics seem only to ready to agree, in their hysterical desire to apologise endlessly for the imperialism and colonialism of previous generations.

    It seems to me, however, that we cannot hope to defeat Islamism and Jihadism by force of arms alone. War is won in mens minds. The confident assertion, by prominent political leaders, of the philosophical values which distinguish western democracies, would be a good start. They might remind the world that only in the west can we speak freely, associate freely, acknowledge no ruler but the law, and dismiss our governments. From these values we derive our collective strength. We must speak to Islamists as well as potential recruits, and point out loudly the paradoxes in their world view. Unpalatable though it may seem, this might require us to challenge directly Islamic theology and cultural assumptions, as well as the violence. The doctrine of waqf is easily challenged, as is the intolerance inherent in Shari’a. It is not good enough for all discussion of the theology which inspires Islamists to be left to other Islamists, and when they cease to believe in the cause, they stop fighting(Ed Hussain, Hassan Butt).

    We can of course lose spectacularly by the failure to deploy arms where necessary - the forthcoming nuclear arming of the Islamic Republic of Iran offers us the opportunity to be spectacularly defeated by opening up the possibility of nuclear terrorism. Indeed the maxim that war is won in mens minds, might come to apply to us in defeat, if a nuclear attack were to occur in the context of our current mood of confusion and defeatism. Interdicting the spread of weapons of highly destructive character is something we cannot avoid. If you think this is alarmist and imagine that a nuclear armed terrorist would stay his hand, ask yourself this: why would the jihadist not strike? I can’t think of a reason either. Iran must be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons by all necessary means.

    I think we face a long, hard conflict, which will be physical and intellectual. It should start with trying to persuade friends who fail to perceive the problem.

  31. 31
    grognard Said:
    8:47 pm 

    You will not learn any thing by stereotyping the “Liberal” 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 “atrocities” that do serve as a recruitment tool for AQ. AQ seems to be winning because we can’t get Osama and we can’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 don’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 don’t think this administration can make that case.

  32. 32
    mannning Said:
    9:48 pm 

    Ed
    That was your syllogism, not mine. You obviously miss the point. Any group, sect or government that has the kind of power of life and death over its adherents that Islam has over Muslims is an anathema to Christianity. That power has been demonstrated over and over, and my anecdote is merely one illustration of this power.

    You need to work on your knowledge of Islam.

  33. 33
    mannning Said:
    10:05 pm 

    My syllogism:

    All Muslims swear fidelity to Islam.
    Islam demands unconditional jihad against infidels.
    ————————
    Thus, all Muslims, to be faithful to Islam, must support jihad against the infidel.

    Infidels….that is us.

  34. 34
    Linbar California Said:
    12:04 am 

    We are where Europe was in 1939.Chamberlain attempted appeasement with Hitler. We know how successful that was.The Western Countries need to organize in opposition to the Islamic Fanatics & destroy them. The Muslim Fanatics are telling us we will become Muslims or die, It’s time to take them at their word!!

  35. 35
    Pajamas Media Trackbacked With:
    5:26 am 

    A Sporting Chance: The NFL’s Dirty Little Secret…

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  36. 36
    Drewsmom Said:
    6:38 am 

    Another comment from the dumb blonde, you don’t confront terrorists. you blow the hell outta them and keep blowin em up till you get em all.
    Manning, we are not infidels, the real infidels are our congressmen and senators who won’t let this war be fought properly. I’m sick to death of people blaming us for everything under the freaking sun. Britian is learning their lax immigration stance is doing them great harm and here in Ala. we are gonna take another look at all our foreign docs at the University of Alabama in Birmingha (UAB) since its one the finest health facilities in the world. The foreign docs that come to train are now outnumbering the American interns and residents for pete’s sake.

  37. 37
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    10:14 am 

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