Skip to comments.The left hasn't learned a damned thing from 9/11
Posted on 02/19/2006 10:17:46 AM PST by oxcart
The left hasn't learned a damned thing from 9/11 February 19th, 2006
Every once and a while over the last few years, I have come very close to saying to hell with it and tossing George Bush and the Republicans over the side. Thats when the left comes to Bushs rescue and proves all over again why even allowing them to get a whiff of regaining power is extremely hazardous to the collective health of the west not to mention the personal safety and well-being of hundreds of millions of people.
Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.
The problem with liberals isnt only Bush Derangement Syndrome. If that were the case, they would be easy to dismiss. The ragamuffins who mindlessly mouth their hatred of all things Bush and the intellectual dilettantes who enable them have become caricatures, cardboard cutouts of a political opposition. They are as relevant to the political debate in America as a flight of quacking ducks.
The real problem with serious leftist critiques of the Administration is that they actually get some things right but start from the cockeyed premise that Americas response to 9/11 has made things worse.I sympathize with some of these critiques on a couple of levels. The choices made by the Bush Administration have indeed sharpened sectarian tensions between Shias and Sunnis in the Middle East, provided fodder for radical Islamists to preach their vision of Holy War against the Crusaders, given Iran an opening to acquire influence in the region, and threatened the stability of the corrupt, autocratic regimes who are sitting on top of about 20% of the worlds oil.
By sane or rational, Im talking about the curiously myopic notion advanced by liberals that if only we had done exactly the same things to prevent terrorism after 9/11 as we had done before, none of the problems brought about by going to war in Afghanistan and Iraq would have happened. The belief by the left that the Clinton/Albright law enforcement approach treating terrorists as criminals could have been sustained in the face of bin Ladens massive success on 9/11 shows that liberals have learned absolutely nothing from that event and indeed, continue to downplay its significance or ignore it altogether.
For example, to say that Iraq was an elective war is correct. But by struggling to effectively refute the idea that our liberation of Iraq was the next logical step in the war against the Islamic radicals, their criticism only points to the overarching problem with all serious liberal analyses of the War on Terror; either 9/11 for all intents and purposes didnt happen or we have overreacted to that seminal event.
This is the We are doing exactly what Osama wants critique which may be satisfying on a political level in that it makes for an excellent-sounding riposte to Administration arguments. But deluded enemies often wish for disastrous confrontations. Think of the Japanese militarists who pushed for a knockout blow with the Pearl Harbor attack. They wanted war, but they didnt suspect our strength of resolve.
Osamas learning the truth of the old infidel saw: be careful what you wish for.
By any yardstick, bin Laden has been hurt and hurt badly over the last 4 years. His ranks have been thinned considerably. His financial resources have been targeted relentlessly (one of the most underreported successes of the war). His operatives have been killed or captured in dozens of countries. According to recent polls, his popularity has waned considerably throughout the Muslim world. The fact that he himself is still alive and kicking (we think) is almost irrelevant. I say almost because obviously, killing or capturing the maniac would be a victory of sorts. Whether our liberal friends would recognize it as such is doubtful even though they themselves, by their criticism of the Administration for not capturing him, have set the destruction of bin Laden as a major benchmark in judging the success of the war.
But beyond what weve done to him, are we really doing what bin Laden wants or are we doing what he predicted would happen?The proof is in the pudding. As a terrorist, bin Laden may be a mastermind. But as a strategic planner, he is an utter failure. While predicting some of the reactions in the Middle East to American countermeasures against terror, he failed to see a host of other, more detrimental outcomes which are in the process of making his dream of a worldwide Islamic Caliphate less probable and in fact, a pipe dream.
While bin Laden foresaw the overthrow of the old order in the Middle East as a result of American policies, the forces at work to affect change are not of his making or choosing. In fact, they are the antithesis of what he desired. Even with an ascendant Hamas on the West Bank and a powerful Hizballah in Lebanon, radical Islamists are being either contained or defeated elsewhere in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Egypt, and even Syria. And the admittedly dangerous situations in Iraq and Lebanon where sectarianism threatens the tiny steps made toward democracy nevertheless ignores the huge opportunity to deal bin Ladens dreams a death blow from which he could not possibly recover.
Where the left correctly sees chaos and confusion, there are also tidal historical forces at work that regardless of what kind of governments emerge in Iraq and a Lebanon, are going to change the face of the Middle East to the detriment of bin Laden and his plans. In the short term, he may gain from the violence and despair wrought by both the resistance of the old order and his al Qaeda minions. But in the end, he loses due to either the emergence of a new kind of Arab nationalism friendly to democracy and democratic countries or a new kind of hybrid government with a justice system based mostly on Sharia law but also containing elements of western democracy like freedom of the press and tolerance for secular political parties.
In the end, bin Laden may indeed have wanted the kind of response from America to 9/11 but I doubt very much hes sitting in his cave gloating.
Dont tell that to Simon Jenkins of the Times Online. Jenkins has written a scathing critique of the Bush/Blair Axis of Evil. And while making some salient points (many of which I outline above), Jenkins analysis suffers from a breathtaking naiveté that more than 4 years after 9/11 sounds almost quaint in its old-fashioned, ostrich-like tendency to belittle the impact of 9/11 as well as criticize the American response to it:
On any objective measure, terrorism in the West is a trivial crime. True, New York and London saw outrages in 2001 and 2005 respectively. Both were the outcome of sloppy intelligence. Neither has been repeated, though of course they may be. Policing has improved and probably averted other attacks. But incidents genuinely attributable to Al-Qaeda rather than domestic grievances are comparable to the IRA and pro-Palestinian campaigns. Vigilance is important but only those with money in security have an interest in presenting bin Laden as a cosmic threat.
Indeed if ever there were a case for collective restraint it is in response to terrorism. The word refers to a technique, usually a bomb, not an ideology. A bombing is an anarchic gesture calling for police and medical services. It becomes a political weapon only if publicised and answered with hysteria. A killing is so staged as to cause over-reaction, violent response, mass arrests and a decay of civilised values. Bin Ladens intention in 2001 was to portray the West as scared, emotionally vulnerable, over-reactive, decadent and careless of liberal values. The West has done its damnedest to prove him right.
Every liberal canard about the War on Terror is contained in those two paragraphs. Despite the rest of Mr. Jenkins article which accurately sums up many of the problems engendered by our response to 9/11 (sans his statements about latent authoritarianism in democratic leaders), his only alternatives restraint and policing precisely proves my point: That the left has learned nothing from 9/11 and that following the lead of Jenkins and others of his ideological ilk would be extraordinarily dangerous.
For at bottom, the alternative strategy being pushed by Jenkins and most of those on the left is one of reaction waiting for the terrorists to strike before committing ourselves to countering them. In an era where weapons of mass destruction are becoming more widespread and easier to manufacture and/or acquire, this policy is not only suicidal, but morally reprehensible. It condemns hundreds perhaps thousands of innocent people to death all in the name of a simpering kind of internationalism, a belief that most countries are on the same page when it comes to combating terrorism.
Nothing could be further from the truth. There are many countries Russia and China come to mind immediately that would not be averse to seeing a catastrophic attack on America. Mr. Jenkins and his reactive strategy would make such an attack more likely by several degrees of magnitude. I daresay that Beijing especially wouldnt mind seeing America severely weakened as it would probably mean affecting our ability to block their designs on Taiwan and establishing economic hegemony over the rest of East Asia.
September 11, 2001 has become a date that marks a great divide in American politics. The fact that we are arguing about its significance more than 4 years later should not be surprising given the polarization of our politics. But what is surprising is that the only conclusion the left seems to have drawn from that awful day is that everything the Administration has done after it has been wrong headed and only made the situation worse.
Thats not much of a critique. But given the paucity of ideas coming from liberals about how to stop the terrorists from destroying us, maybe it shouldnt really surprise us after all.
Rick Moran is a frequent contributor and is proprietor of the blog Right Wing Nuthouse
"The left hasn't learned a damned thing from 9/11"
Yes they have - they have learned that their hatred of this country is real. Sadly that seems to be around 40 million people that voted for them.
The left? Well, some who claim they are on the right aren't a whole lot better. (Note: I used the word "claim" deliberately, many of the ones I'm thinking of are RINOs.)
History will be the witness if there are any other men with courage who are up to the job in the future.
Very interesting article!
I also like his thoughts on Russia and China.
bump for later
Ive learned that the left puts politics ahead of all, ahead of country, ahead of all things moral and right, ahead of facts, ahead of the lives of our troops and the security of our nation. Ive learned I will NEVER forgive them for what they have done.
If a Democrat President had made the same decisions, we all know they would be calling him the second coming.
They are mad. Gone from reality in their own Matrix-like world they have constructed.
Captain Ahabs all. And that kind of thing will not win elections.
Questions on DOCEX
17 questions the Senate Select Intelligence Committee should ask Negroponte, Maples, Goss, and Mueller.
by Stephen F. Hayes
02/01/2006 8:35:00 PM
THE SENATE SELECT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE meets at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday for an open hearing on worldwide threats. Among the attendees will be director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and DIA director Michael Maples.
For months, these officials have refused to answer questions about the ongoing exploitation of documents (known as DOCEX) recovered in postwar Iraq. While much of the questioning will rightly focus on current issues such as Iran, terrorist surveillance, Hamas, and Syria, these hearings present senators with an opportunity to press these intelligence officials on the DOCEX project--both its process and its results. Questions regarding DOCEX should be directed to Negroponte and Maples; others queries should be asked of Negroponte, Maples, CIA director Porter Goss, and FBI director Robert Mueller. If the intelligence community continues to block the release of recovered documents, its representatives should at least be required to provide reasons for their stonewalling and a sense of what we are learning from our limited exploitation thus far.
Here are some questions they should be required to answer:
(1) Intelligence officials who have worked on document exploitation tell us that there are roughly 2 million "exploitable items" captured in postwar Afghanistan and postwar Iraq. Of that number, they say, some 50,000 have been fully exploited. To the best of your knowledge, are those numbers accurate?
(2) Some of the documents are believed to contain intelligence that may have a direct bearing on the current insurgency in Iraq. If those numbers are accurate, why has the U.S. intelligence community exploited less than 3 percent of the overall document take?
(3) What can be done to expedite this process?
(4) Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Pat Roberts and House Intelligence Committee chairman Pete Hoekstra have recommended that the U.S. intelligence community "release these documents to the general public" and that we should "explore the establishment of one or more international academic commissions or institutes dedicated to the study of these documents and media." This request was sent to DNI Negroponte and dated November 18, 2005. The DNI press office will say only that the proposal is being studied. Will the documents be released publicly? If so, when? If not, why not?
(5) Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld recently asked the DIA for a plan detailing how, exactly, the documents could be released in the event that a decision was made to release them. Has the DIA responded to Secretary Rumsfeld's request? If so, what is the plan?
(6) Have you seen evidence that the former Iraqi regime trained jihadists, including, but not limited to, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian Liberation Front, the GSPC from Algeria, and an organization known to the Iraqi regime as the Sudanese Islamic Army? If so, can you describe this evidence?
(7) Does the U.S. intelligence community, based on the very limited exploitation of documents performed to date, have an estimate of how many terrorists the former Iraqi regime trained between the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom? If not, why not?
(8) Among the documents reported in the press was an Iraqi Intelligence document from some time after January 1997. The document, first reported on June 25, 2004, in the New York Times, described the former Iraqi regime's outreach to Saudi opposition groups, including what it called the "Reform and Advice Committee" run by Osama bin Laden. The document further discusses the desire of the Iraqi regime to "continue the relationship" with bin Laden after he left Sudan for Afghanistan in 1996. Is there additional evidence that sheds light on that relationship?
(9) Reporters from the Toronto Star and Sunday Telegraph found documents in the Iraqi Intelligence headquarters indicating that a "trusted confidant" of Osama bin Laden traveled to Iraq on March 5, 1998 for meetings with Iraqi Intelligence. According to the documents, the bin Laden envoy stayed at the expense of Iraqi Intelligence at the Mansour al Melia Hotel; he was scheduled to stay for one week but extended his visit to sixteen days. Does the DIA believe the documents are authentic? Does the U.S. intelligence community have evidence that corroborates the information in that document? If so, can you share it publicly? And if not in public, can you share the corroborating intelligence in closed session?
(10) Based on documents a reporter found in an Iraqi Mukhabarat safe house, the San Francisco Chronicle reported in April 2003 that the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) was training Iraqi Intelligence operative as late as September 2002. Are those documents authentic? If so, what can we learn about Russian behavior with respect to Iraq that might be applicable to Russia's role on Iran?
(11) The U.S. military reportedly found Iraqi documents that indicate support from the former Iraqi regime to 1993 World Trade Center bomber Abdul Rahman Yasin. Despite the fact that Yasin is still listed as a "Most Wanted Terrorist," the FBI has refused to make these documents public. Why?
(12) In his recently released book, Ambassador Paul Bremer described a document written before the war by the director of Iraqi Intelligence. The memo described plans for an insurgency in the event of a U.S. invasion. Bremer received the document in July 2003. What other documents were found with this document? Will you release the document Bremer described to the public?
(13) Is there documentary evidence to suggest that the Iraqi regime provided support--financial and otherwise--to Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the Philippines? Is there other such evidence?
(14) Is there documentary evidence to suggest that the Iraqi regime provided support--financial and otherwise--to Ansar al Islam terrorists in northern Iraq? Is there other such evidence?
(15) There was much prewar discussion of the activities at Salman Pak, a facility identified by U.N. weapons inspectors as a terrorist training camp. What has the U.S. intelligence community learned about those activities since the March 2003 invasion? Has the intelligence community interrogated the military officials who ran Salman Pak? If so, what did they say? Can the intelligence community release to the public a declassified version of these debriefings? If not, why not?
Then, there are two final questions: On November 6, 2005, the New York Times published an article based in large part on a February 2002 DIA assessment of al Qaeda terrorist Ibn Sheikh al Libi. The redacted DIA assessment was provided by the DIA to Senator Carl Levin, who had requested its declassification. (The DIA also sent the assessment to the full committee.)
* Does the DIA make it a practice to declassify and release documents directly to individual senators? If not, how did that happen in this case?
* Senator Levin released the February 2002 DIA assessment to show that analysts had identified Ibn Sheikh al Libi as a likely fabricator even before Bush administration officials used his testimony in their public statements. What did other intelligence assessments of al Libi say? Were DIA assessments of al Libi between February 2002 and March 2003 consistent in their findings that al Libi was a likely fabricator? In short, was the passage Senator Levin released representative of the consensus view of the intelligence community with respect to Ibn Sheikh al Libi? Was there a consensus view?
With information collected by Operation Able Danger and the Docex Project being purposely blocked by the left who would ever know anything?
The "Left" "Progressive" "Democrats" are a bunch of America-hating Communists that would jettison what's left of our Constitution - they not so secretly want America to be smited so that it can be rebuilt in Mao Tse Stalin's image.
It's a first principle: The Dims never learn.
Difference is that the "RINOs" don't call for his impeachment. They still want him as president just don't agree with everything he is doing. No need to call them traitors. It is OK to question what our president is doing with our country regardless if we are at war or not. If you don't agree then just imagine Hillary in office.
Please point out where I called anyone a traitor. I'm just saying that they don't yet understand what and who we're up against. Stupid maybe, useful idiots, maybe--but most would not be traitors.
Even before the CLINTONS refused three free offers from the Sudan during the 1990's to give us our No. 1 terrorist enemy OSAMA bin LADEN on a silver platter before he could hit us real hard here at home, there was...
The Man Who Predicted 911: RICK RESCORLA, ..R.I.P.
After we were fooled into leaving the Free People of a then Free South Vietnam behind to their fate at the hands of Soviet-backed invading Communist bullies from the North, came:
Pictures of a vietnamese Re-Education Camp
And those who fooled us then are back at it again trying to fool us into leaving the Free People of a now Free Iraq to a similiar fate.
The Enemy is now within...
...and always has been.
"waiting for the terrorists to strike before committing ourselves to countering them. In an era where weapons of mass destruction are becoming more widespread and easier to manufacture and/or acquire, this policy is not only suicidal, but morally reprehensible. It condemns hundreds perhaps thousands of innocent people to death all in the name of a simpering kind of internationalism, a belief that most countries are on the same page when it comes to combating terrorism. "
I worry about the same thing.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.