Larry Posted June 19, 2003 Share Posted June 19, 2003 The thing that is really disturbing is that you and ASF come from the mindset that 9/11 is our fault. Funny. Why is it that there seem to be so many people here who're able to come to conclusions like that about me, without me even once making such a statement? I recommend that, before you announce that "that type of attitude is exactly what led to 9/11.", that you first bother to actually find out what my "attitude" is. I haven't said there shouldn't be a response. I've said that the first response shouldn't have been military, because that's not where the enemy is attacking us. One of the difficulties with fighting terrorists (or guerillas) is that (unless you have a great deal of intel about them), you can't tell who they are, and therefore they have what's called initiative. (This means, they get to pick the time and place for the battle.) (It's sort of like the observation that, when you get mugged, there won't be a cop there: It's not because cops know how to avoid crimes, it's because the mugger looked to see if there were cops around, before he decided to rob you.) And, that means that you're sort of stuck responding in the arenas where they are. And, where they've chosen to attack is in the political arena. It's also the only arena where they can win. They don't have the ability to cripple our economy, there aren't enough of them. All they can do is scare the people into hurting our economy. The bottom didn't fall out of the airline industry because of the loss of four aircraft, it happened because of a loss of customers. (Although, I also recall thinking that the airlines reaction to 9/11: cutting back flights and raising prices, didn't help them, either.) (As a side note: The Challenger explosion didn't cripple our space program, either. Congress' decision to completely shut down our entire capability for over two years while they talked about it (without ever mentioning that the explosion occurred because of the failure of a joint that wouldn't have been there in the first place if it weren't for pork-barrel politics) did. Fortunately, we're not going to make that mistake again, right?) Yes, the attacks of 9/11 had an economic cost. But the value of the items destroyed was trivial compared to the effects of peoples emotional reaction to what they percieved as a dire threat. When Bush was traveling around the world, trying to bribe countries into supporting his war in the UN, Carville, (that irritating cajun political guy on Crossfire), asked a question that stuck in my mind: "How do you lose a PR war to Saddam Hussein?" (The answer that came to my mind was that, the reason the countries of the UN weren't behind us was, there are a lot more countries scared of us than there are of Iraq. And telling these countries that "you'd better say you support us, or you might be next", doesn't make them less scared.) But, the best answer I've come up with for that question is that: He's already lost a PR war to Osamma Bin Laden. (Because he chose not to fight it.) I don't think W Bush got where he is today by not knowing how to win a political fight. But, he seems determined to deny that he's in one. I'm not saying we should turn the other cheek, forgive them, and send flowers. I'm saying we should fight where the war is. ----------------- And, as I've said before: I don't know if there was enough of a link to prove that Iraq was supporting terrorism. Frankly, my feelings are rather mixed. It certainly wouldn't surprise me if Iraq was supporting terrorists. I would be amazed if we could prove it. It's too easy for somebody like Saddam to set things up in a way that he can later claim that, say, Ollie North did it, it wasn't an official act of the government. I absolutely believe that Saddam wanted to get WMDs. Eventually. But, Scott Ridder (I think: Former weapons inspector now talk-show guest) at least has some evidence that suggests that Saddam has, for the last few years, been trying to cover up his WMD program by destroying the evidence (including the weapons). And, since, he's also destroying the records that the weapons ever existed (and the records that they were destroyed), he now can't prove, to Bush's satisfaction, that they've been destroyed. I don't think the President is obligated to prove his link to the American People. (I do think he's obligated to tell them about it as soon as he can.) If he had what he thought was good enough evidence, (I've stated: My standard of "good enough" is: would it stand up to a jury, if the jury could see it. Yes, it's a tough standard of proof to meet. But, I think a War should require a high standard of proof.), but he can't go public with it, then go ahead and start the war, sir. He's the guy who gets paid to make that call. (He's not the guy I would've picked, but some decisions are too important to be decided by a committee.) (And, if he never gets to go public with his evidence, and he has to go to his grave with the people thinking he screwed up, then that's the price he has to pay.) However, based on the behaviour I've seen of this administration, I'm also not willing to blindly assume that the reasons were there, and I just haven't seen them. The more things leak out (and, yes, I know how easy it is to come to wrong conclusions when your "evidence" is Washington leaks) the more it looks like the decision was made that we needed another war about now, Iraq is the patsy who'll look best in a frame, so let's see what we've got, that will support the objective. Unfortunately, it's tough to claim "self defense" when you spent two years announcing your intentions to have a war. It's kind of like the women who claim their husbands were beating them, so I killed him in self defense, while he was asleap. It's one thing for Israel to claim that Egypt was going to invade next week. It's another thing for Bush to claim that Saddam would've gotten WMDs someday. (Especially when you're also claiming that he's already got them, and hasn't used them.) No, I haven't judged these decisions. (Or, at least, the opinions I've got are open for more evidence.) All I'm saying is, if I were betting right now, on the question "Did Bush have a good enough reason for this war?", I'd be betting against. (Since he won't give us enough facts to decide, all I can go on is hunch and circumstantial evidence.) But, if he wants to change my mind, he's still got over a year to do it. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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