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Was 9/11 really that bad? (I KNEW IT WOULD COME TO THIS)
Los Angeles Times ^ | 1/28/07 | David A. Bell

Posted on 01/28/2007 10:29:05 AM PST by paulat

Was 9/11 really that bad?
The attacks were a horrible act of mass murder, but history says we're overreacting.
By David A. Bell
January 28, 2007

IMAGINE THAT on 9/11, six hours after the assault on the twin towers and the Pentagon, terrorists had carried out a second wave of attacks on the United States, taking an additional 3,000 lives. Imagine that six hours after that, there had been yet another wave. Now imagine that the attacks had continued, every six hours, for another four years, until nearly 20 million Americans were dead. This is roughly what the Soviet Union suffered during World War II, and contemplating these numbers may help put in perspective what the United States has so far experienced during the war against terrorism.

[snip]

Has the American reaction to the attacks in fact been a massive overreaction? Is the widespread belief that 9/11 plunged us into one of the deadliest struggles of our time simply wrong? If we did overreact, why did we do so? Does history provide any insight?

[snip]

The people who attacked us in 2001 are indeed hate-filled fanatics who would like nothing better than to destroy this country. But desire is not the same thing as capacity, and although Islamist extremists can certainly do huge amounts of harm around the world, it is quite different to suggest that they can threaten the existence of the United States.

[snip]

Even if one counts our dead in Iraq and Afghanistan as casualties of the war against terrorism, which brings us to about 6,500, we should remember that roughly the same number of Americans die every two months in automobile accidents.

[snip]

So why has there been such an overreaction?

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; democrats; elections; terrorism; wot
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To: Billthedrill

Excellent analysis.


101 posted on 01/28/2007 12:25:02 PM PST by Nuc1 (NUC1 Sub pusher SSN 668 (Liberals Aren't Patriots))
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To: paulat

Yep.


102 posted on 01/28/2007 12:35:31 PM PST by Religion Moderator
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To: paulat


...geez, how do you respond to this?


103 posted on 01/28/2007 12:38:34 PM PST by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
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To: Billthedrill
Modern terrorism counts on this. In order to combat this evil game the response must be disproportionate. Two buildings down, two governments taken down. And Iran's frothing at the mouth despite, nobody wants to take the third building down at the cost of being the third government. And that's one reason nobody has. Disproportionality is absolutely the answer against terror and it demeans the value in human life of its victims to imply that they're only worth so much in the grand scheme of things.

Outstanding response.

104 posted on 01/28/2007 12:42:03 PM PST by 91B (God made man, Sam Colt made men equal)
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To: paulat

>It's because the Bush Administration has kept us safe, you moron!!!<

Where were you raised? In a juvenile hall or a boys school?So you disagree with what the man has to say. Big deal, is that sufficent to call him a moron? Dig real deep and see if there's any manners down in your socks?


105 posted on 01/28/2007 12:57:10 PM PST by B4Ranch (Press "1" for English, or Press "2" and you will be disconnected until you learn to speak English.)
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To: DocRock
"And despite the even more nightmarish fantasies of the post-9/11 era (e.g. the TV show "24's" nuclear attack on Los Angeles), Islamist terrorists have not come close to deploying weapons other than knives, guns and conventional explosives."

The truth is they had and used HUMAN GUIDED CRUISE MISSILES, not just knives.... If Bush did not shut down air travel like he did, there would have been more attacks that day. If we weren't going after them like we are, there would have been more attacks since then.

These idiots who think the way this author does make me sick.

106 posted on 01/28/2007 12:59:25 PM PST by SteamShovel
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To: paulat

What an idiot. Does his mom know he's on the internet unsupervised??


107 posted on 01/28/2007 1:01:24 PM PST by Freedom4US (u)
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To: Nuc1
And despite the even more nightmarish fantasies of the post-9/11 era (e.g. the TV show "24's" nuclear attack on Los Angeles), Islamist terrorists have not come close to deploying weapons other than knives, guns and conventional explosives.

I don't suppose GWB should get some credit for that success?!

108 posted on 01/28/2007 1:01:34 PM PST by Cementjungle
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To: Religion Moderator; Admin Moderator; Lead Moderator; Sidebar Moderator
Hope I didn't forget anyone!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I won't do it again!

109 posted on 01/28/2007 1:03:15 PM PST by paulat
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To: DocRock
Saturday, 17 April, 2004

Jordan 'was chemical bomb target'

Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists planned a chemical attack on Jordan's spy headquarters that could have killed 20,000 people, officials have said.


BBC NEWS:Earlier this week King Abdullah said a massive attack had been thwarted by a series of arrests, but named no target.

Now unnamed officials say the suspects have confessed to plotting to detonate a chemical bomb on the Amman HQ of the Intelligence Services.

The plot was reportedly hatched by al-Qaeda suspect Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi.

Washington has accused the 38-year-old Jordanian radical of masterminding a string of spectacular suicide bombings in Iraq.

'Deadly gas'

An official involved in the inquiry in Jordan told AFP news agency: "We found primary materials to make a chemical bomb which, if it had exploded, would have made nearly 20,000 deaths ... in an area of one square kilometre.

...

Read on:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3635381.stm
110 posted on 01/28/2007 1:09:18 PM PST by coffee260 (coffee)
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To: paulat

Was 9/11 Really All That Bad?

How many more is he willing to have?


111 posted on 01/28/2007 1:10:25 PM PST by DakotaRed
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To: paulat

I don't care if the Islamist swine after 9/11 had no residual capacity whatsoever to do another thing, ever. The Islamists have been up to their @@@holes in terrorism at least since the Munich Olympics. They have certainly managed to convince me that Islam is the irreconcileable foe of Western Civilization, and that Islamism needs to be warred upon for the next one thousand years if that is what it takes to humanize the beasts. Like the old song of WWII said, "they started something, and we're going to end it, right in their own backyards." If the rest of Islam would prefer we not end it right in their own backyard it is about time somebody besides Pakistan steps forward and puts a stop to it so we don't have to.


112 posted on 01/28/2007 1:12:56 PM PST by mathurine (ua)
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To: Cementjungle
I don't suppose GWB should get some credit for that success?!

I agree with you! That's the point I've been trying to make. This can't be a case of "an eye for an eye."

This is a case of "don't EVER go there again!!!"

113 posted on 01/28/2007 1:18:26 PM PST by paulat
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To: paulat

I suppose this jerk would like to trade places with one of the dead guys ~ it can be arranged, in part.


114 posted on 01/28/2007 1:20:30 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: Clara Lou
They, the terrorists, were seeking to murder about 55,000 people in the WTC, plus another 25,000 at the Pentagon, and upwards of 800,000 working in the Postal Service (with their anthrax attack element), and maybe several million more in the general population as a consequence of anthrax.

In short, the terrorists targeted more people than this Bell puke can count.

115 posted on 01/28/2007 1:22:23 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: BronzePencil

Thanks for the info.


116 posted on 01/28/2007 1:38:19 PM PST by conservativepoet
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To: paulat

Who the hell is David Bell?

A moron, for sure.


117 posted on 01/28/2007 2:11:26 PM PST by Palladin (Life without music would be a mistake.--Nietzsche)
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To: Palladin
Who the hell is David Bell?

I can't post any more from the link, but if you hit it up, you can see he's a Johns Hopkins professor.

118 posted on 01/28/2007 2:13:35 PM PST by paulat
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To: FairOpinion
"I pity his students. No wonder people are so screwed up with professors like this one teaching them."

His students? You better pitty 90% of the kids in school today.
Look back in history when the Communist went into Cuba.
The first thing they go after is the schools.
It takes very little time to convert young "sculls full of mush".
Todays universities and colleges are overrun with guys like this, and much worse.
Other then a few decent schools like Hillsdale, the bulk of American education has gone down the tubes.
119 posted on 01/28/2007 2:19:16 PM PST by AlexW (Reporting from Bratislava, Slovakia)
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To: paulat

UNBELIEVABLE. Thank God the planes didn't hit an hour later; the deaths would've been thousands more. What total morons.


120 posted on 01/28/2007 2:20:51 PM PST by Paved Paradise
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To: paulat

The good professor omits that our reaction to 9-11 is trivial compared to our mobilization and tactics in World War 2, let alone those of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union went to a total war footing early on the first day of the Nazi onslaught, when the death tolll was in fact no higher than on 9-11. Is Bell suggesting that they should have waited?
I also wonder what the toll would have been by now if we had responded as leftists urged, send police agents to serve meaningless warrants on bin Laden and the Taliban.


121 posted on 01/28/2007 2:30:21 PM PST by atomic conspiracy (Rousing the blog-rabble since 9-11-01)
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To: paulat
IMAGINE THAT on 9/11, six hours after the assault on the twin towers and the Pentagon, terrorists had carried out a second wave of attacks on the United States, taking an additional 3,000 lives. Imagine that six hours after that, there had been yet another wave. Now imagine that the attacks had continued, every six hours, for another four years, until nearly 20 million Americans were dead. This is roughly what the Soviet Union suffered during World War II, and contemplating these numbers may help put in perspective what the United States has so far experienced during the war against terrorism.

For years the liberals have been harping on the poor Russians as the number one hero/victims of the Nazis even as the United States, whose young men poured out their lives like water to stop the Axis, has been treated as the continuation of the Nazi regime. I've about had it.

Unlike the pure hero/martyr Joseph Stalin, the United States didn't sign a non-aggression pact with Hitler and split Poland with him (and got the Baltics in the same deal). Moreover, this Communist alliance with the Nazis was not broken by the Communists but by the Nazis themselves. If Hitler had never stabbed his fellow monster in the back, does anyone really suppose the USSR would have ever been the martyr nation of WWII that the liberals today make it out to have been?

Meanwhile America's war with Japan on the other side of the globe is treated as an unprovoked act of white supremacy, even though Japan was formally allied with the Nazis.

Enough with the "poor Commies" line, already!

122 posted on 01/28/2007 2:33:45 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Ashirah leHaShem ki-ga'oh ga'ah, sus verokhvo ramah vayam!)
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To: DarthVader

The unfortunate thing is that with the liberals (or "progressives", as they have rebranded themselves)...by the time they finally comprehend the danger, it's almost always after lives have been lost and property destroyed.

To make things worse, they silence anyone else who sees what's REALLY going on (or attempts to do anything about it). Then, after tragedy strikes, they blame everyone but themselves.

Liberals and their ilk are a blight to Western civilization and a cancer of the human race. 'Tis a pity that I must characterize other human beings in this way, but it's the analogy of best fit.


123 posted on 01/28/2007 2:39:10 PM PST by rabscuttle385 (Sic Semper Tyrannis * Allen for U.S. Senate in '08)
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To: mjp



124 posted on 01/28/2007 2:41:15 PM PST by Sir Francis Dashwood (LET'S ROLL!)
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To: paulat
A history professor at JHU.
125 posted on 01/28/2007 2:44:08 PM PST by rabscuttle385 (Sic Semper Tyrannis * Allen for U.S. Senate in '08)
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To: paulat

If Bell is going to make this comparison, he should also compare the measures taken by the Soviets in response to the Nazi invasion.
- Suspected enemy sympathizers (like Bell) shot out of hand
- Entire population drafted into war service
- Ruthless food rationing
- Diversion of all resources to the war effort
- Rigid censorship of all media
- Indiscriminate bombing and shelling of civilians when expedient.
- Captured enemy combatants held without trial (duh!)

Bell's analogy falls apart without this comparison, since he is implying disproportionality in our response to 9-11. He is minimizing the provocation in comparison to that suffered by the Soviets. If so, he must also compare responses before he can assert that one is disproportionate.


126 posted on 01/28/2007 2:44:48 PM PST by atomic conspiracy (Rousing the blog-rabble since 9-11-01)
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To: paulat

127 posted on 01/28/2007 3:05:50 PM PST by Gritty (Business as usual is not a winning strategy - LTC J.C. Meyers, ACSC, Maxwell AFB)
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bookmark


128 posted on 01/28/2007 3:09:29 PM PST by AmeriBrit
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To: CTSeditor

Perhaps the terrorists can accomodate him in their next murderous attack on US citizens ... I'm sure such a high-minded liberal would be glad to die for their cause.


129 posted on 01/28/2007 3:10:19 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support. Promote life support for others.)
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To: paulat
Even if one counts our dead in Iraq and Afghanistan as casualties of the war against terrorism, which brings us to about 6,500, we should remember that roughly the same number of Americans die every two months in automobile accidents

Well I guess if it's really no big deal, why all the fuss about getting out without finishing the mission? Nancy and company obviously are the ones "over-reacting.

130 posted on 01/28/2007 3:23:10 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: Congressman Billybob
"Was 9/11 really that bad?" To which I reply, "Is David Bell really a tenured professor of history?"

Of course, only a tenured professor of history could ask such an obtuse question and get paid for it.

131 posted on 01/28/2007 3:27:13 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: hinckley buzzard

I guess I would just reiterate that we would have lost tens of thousands more on 9/11, plus maybe the Congress or the White House, had everything gone the way the terrorists planned.

This is not taken into account by Prof. Bell.


132 posted on 01/28/2007 3:44:27 PM PST by paulat
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To: Billthedrill
Disproportionality is absolutely the answer against terror and it demeans the value in human life of its victims to imply that they're only worth so much in the grand scheme of things.

Very well put.

That said, however, I cannot even believe that somebody would be idiotic to suggest that there's a "tolerable" level of terrorist attack. I think he can only say this because there hasn't been another one since then and he's gotten pretty assured that he, at least, has little chance of being a victim.

And what has kept him safe???? One of the many questions a liberal will never answer.

133 posted on 01/28/2007 3:47:43 PM PST by livius
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To: paulat
Individuals like this need to be treated as a deadly disease and eradicated ASAP if there's to be any hope for the survival of America and our future generations as we now know it.

President Bush, God Bless Him, has been too successful in his determination to keep us safe from further attacks since 9/11, as it's resulted in morons such as this to come out from under their rocks and brainwash the simple minded on the left.

Sad to say, I'm rapidly becoming to believe that nothing but another 9/11 disaster is going to wake America up and bring them to their senses.


134 posted on 01/28/2007 3:53:46 PM PST by AmeriBrit
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To: potlatch
Excellent post potlatch!

135 posted on 01/28/2007 4:02:34 PM PST by devolve ( ........"refresh" my (updated) graphics posts)
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To: paulat
Even if one counts our dead in Iraq and Afghanistan as casualties of the war against terrorism, which brings us to about 6,500, we should remember that roughly the same number of Americans die every two months in automobile accidents.

So why is the left so up in arms about the historically small number of casualties in Iraq and screaming for Bush's blood?

136 posted on 01/28/2007 4:15:48 PM PST by montag813
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To: paulat

Somehow, the author manages to ignore all the other attacks on US embassies, ships, etc. BEFORE 9/11.


137 posted on 01/28/2007 4:20:24 PM PST by 4Liberty ( forced charity = theft)
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To: devolve

Thank you, I added a couple more frames to my old 3 framer! This is a topic you have good material on!


138 posted on 01/28/2007 4:29:03 PM PST by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: AmeriBrit

No eradication talk, please.

I'm in enough trouble with the Mods as it is....


139 posted on 01/28/2007 4:31:39 PM PST by paulat
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To: Cementjungle
"I don't suppose GWB should get some credit for that success?!"

Of course he does. And not just GWB, our intelligence groups, armed forces, FBI, and police also.

One day the great evil will get through our defenses. Aided and abetted by the only slightly less evil Democrat Party.

In this area my only gripe is that I don't believe GWB is attacking this enemy hard enough. BTW, just read the police were ordered into a position during the protest in DC that allowed "protesters" to spray paint slogans on the capital steps. Orders were given not to arrest anyone. Their first amendment rights were protected. And the goal of no confrontation was met, to paraphrase a "spokesperson." The leadership b@stards allowed these vermin to deface the Capitol of the country I gave up years of my life defending. "Furious" does not capture my thoughts about this craven act. The left is doing it to us again and they still get away with treason.
140 posted on 01/28/2007 4:48:02 PM PST by Nuc1 (NUC1 Sub pusher SSN 668 (Liberals Aren't Patriots))
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To: paulat
Gee Russia, I'm sorry Hitler reneged on his non-agression pact with you. I'm sorry your leader slaughtered 150 generals on the eve of Barbarossa because Heydrich leaked a letter that played to his paranoia. I'm sorry you cleared minefields for tanks by sending the infantry through first. I'm sorry Stalin completely mismanaged the battle for Moscow until it rolled up to his doorstep and he couldn't delude himself any longer. I'm sorry you slaughtered German POWs and they repaid you in kind.

What does this have to do with 9-11-2001? Nothing. The entire force we have in Baghdad, roughly 150,000 troops is a drop in the bucket compared to the armies fielded in WWII. The roughly 2,685 hostile losses we've suffered in four years in Iraq almost equals our losses in the first three hours of WWII at Pearl Harbor. The whole article is bogus.

141 posted on 01/28/2007 6:18:46 PM PST by Dilbert56
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To: Billthedrill

Reminds me of the movie the “Untouchables” where they say if the criminals use fists use a stick, if they use a knife use a gun. Or from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, where Ted Cassidy says “There are no rules in a knife fight.”
We have been taught this rule for years, yet this low class slime dares to lecture us on what is the proper or proportionate response.
From Patton,
"There are all kinds of low class slime who are trying and will continue to try to wreck this country from the inside. Most of them don't know it, but they are actually working for the Russians. Some of them do know it, though. It doesn't matter whether they call themselves Communists, Socialists, or just plain foolish Liberals. They are destroying this country."


142 posted on 01/28/2007 9:32:52 PM PST by Exton1
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To: mjp

You missed the first World Trade Center attack.


143 posted on 01/28/2007 9:36:20 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: mjp

You missed the first World Trade Center attack.


144 posted on 01/28/2007 9:36:21 PM PST by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Clara Lou

The Twin Towers had 50,000 employees and who knows how many visitors at any given moment, but, as you stated, the terrorists were too early in the day. Perhaps the different time zones confused them. The terrorists were definitely hoping for more than what they got.

If the author were to apply the same logic to war casualties from WWII and now, he'd have to admit that the military is doing a great job.


145 posted on 01/28/2007 9:50:03 PM PST by skr (Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face. -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: B4Ranch

B4Ranch YES it is. The enemy is not due respect, and should be shouted down and humiliated.


146 posted on 01/28/2007 11:47:15 PM PST by Exton1
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To: paulat

Mr. Bell,
A problem that academics face today is that they live in a bubble where they only talk to those with similar views. Add that to the fact that most are for socialism and against conservative and religious viewpoints, and therefore see to it that no Republicans or Conservatives are ever hired. A result is that there is no exchange of ideas or challenging debates. No real world experience. No effort to put themselves in harms way.

As General George Patton said “When everyone is thinking the same, no one is thinking at all.”

Your article is intellectual garbage, it makes no sense in the real world except to weaken the President, this Country, and the war effort, by strengthen the enemy. Most true Americans feel we are UNDER reacting for 9/11, not over reacting. The real lesson from Viet Nam was to not fight a politically correct war where the enemy is not totally destroyed. It was only after both Germany and Japan were broken was there lasting peace. Had President Bush let go the dogs of war and ignored civilian casualties, the war would be over by now.

It could also be said if Clinton had reacted more strongly after the first WTC bombing in 1993, maybe we wouldn't have had 9-11. The terrorists will keep escalating, if we let them. I can see you are already promoting the new Dem policy -- the pre-9-11 let's keep ignoring terrorism one.

Ironically... It was the LA Times and their liberal leftist media sisters hammering every casualty number in our heads, to show how bad we are losing the war... BLAM ...and now it fits their political agenda to tell us, it isn't so bad at all... HYPOCRITES!
So is the fix in for the Democrat? I'm simply astonished at the kinds of articles that appearing in the papers this week. "9/11 wasn't all that bad" and "the aftermath of pulling out of Iraq prematurely won't be that bad" and on and on. Not to mention John Kerry's comments that Iran has the "right" to nukes. These are all comments of LOSERS and COWARDS. While real men were out fighting, the cowards stayed in school and became today’s teachers.

Worse, all their pompous egos will never let them realize it.

Again to quote Patton "There are all kinds of low class slime who are trying and will continue to try to wreck this country from the inside. Most of them don't know it, but they are actually working for the Russians. Some of them do know it, though. It doesn't matter whether they call themselves Communists, Socialists, or just plain foolish Liberals. They are destroying this country."


147 posted on 01/28/2007 11:50:10 PM PST by Exton1
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To: Generic_Login_1787

The author's primary point is that since the Enlightenment we have gotten ourselves into a state of mind in which our enemies are always the ultimate in evil and must not just be defeated, they must be destroyed. We have no mental mechanism for fighting a limited war in which we recognize
that we are fighting not for survival of all that is good and pure but rather for our own interests, while recognizing that the other side has equally valid interests from its perspective.

This is a very good point and I think accurate. It handicaps us because we seem psychologically unable to fight anything but a war to the death. IOW, we have to convince ourselves that we are in danger of being destroyed before we can fight back.

However, I think the author's mistake is assuming that Islamism does not constitute such a threat. The disconnect between their intentions and their capabilities is correct.

For Hitler to destroy DC he would have had to invade America, mobilizing all the resources of conquered Europe for at least a decade to build a sufficient fleet and army.

For Ahmed to destroy DC all that is needed is a million bucks and a corrupt Russian general who will sell him a nuke.

IOW, the disconnect between intentions and capability is much smaller than ever before. We cannot afford any longer to ignore those with malovelent intentions because they have not (yet) demonstrated their capability to destroy.


148 posted on 01/29/2007 3:37:27 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: CTSeditor
David A. Bell, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University

That explains a lot.

149 posted on 01/29/2007 3:40:18 AM PST by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: Tzimisce
...geez, how do you respond to this?

Excerpts from 9/11 tapes The tapes reveal the desperate minutes shortly after the attacks Excerpts from transcripts of emergency phone calls and radio transmissions made as people attempted to flee the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on 11 September 2001, as released by the Port Authority of New York

I'd play those recordings for starters.

150 posted on 01/29/2007 3:44:39 AM PST by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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