Blowback from the Blowback Debate

Glad to see I'm not the only blogger who noticed Giuliani's dishonesty last night. Here's Andrew Sullivan:

Giuliani, interestingly, openly lied about Ron Paul's position on 9/11. Paul specifically did not make a statement, as Giuliani immediately claimed, that the U.S. invited 9/11. I rewound to double-check. It was the Fox questioner who ratcheted up the stakes on that question, not Paul. Paul demurred on a specific answer and switched the question to the general issue of blowback. As to who's right, the answer is both. Bin Laden - still at large and operating within the territory of Pakistan, an alleged ally which Cheney recently visited - both justified the 9/11 attack on those grounds but has a theology that doesn't require such a casus belli. But now he doesn't even need the theology. We have, alas, made more terrorists by our bungling in Iraq than Bin Laden could have dreamed of just six years ago.

Sullivan also concludes that as far as he's concerned, "the debate winnowed the field of candidates down to two: McCain and Paul." Talk about your odd couples -- those two don't have much in common besides opposition to torture and to pork. But I suppose they represent in distilled form two radically different options for the country: an intrusive state at home and empire abroad, or liberty and non-intervention. Take your pick, GOP.

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  • ||

    I think the answer is a foregone conclusion, sadly.

    Goodbye, GOP.

  • ||

    First H&R begins quoting Yglesias, now Sullivan.

    These folks aren't the great thinkers H&R needs to be linking to.

    The fact that broken clock is right twice a day isn't reason enough to point to it at those two moments if someone happens to ask you what time it is.

  • ||

    Maybe Ron Paul should have whipped out America's sealed juvenile court records.

    Didn't deserve it, huh? Have you seen what kind of country we're talking about here?

  • ||

    Of all the candidates on the stage, I agreed most with Ron Paul.

    However, I think his ideas will never get through. Most people vote for whom they are told to simply because they are not interested in ideas. They are interested in other things, football, their cars, their home, painting, their businesses etc.

    They trust gate-keepers to winnow the field down to some small list of acceptable options, and then they make their selection from that, usually based on poorly thought through highly emotional decisions.

    Again, this is normal. People buy cars in much the same way.

    The gate-keepers don't like Ron Paul. He has nothing to offer them. No state subsidies, no exciting military adventures to report on, no managed competition.

    Just as they promoted George Bush in the run up to the 2000 election, (who if you recall came out of relative obscurity to become the GOP's most "reasonable" choice), the gate-keepers will make a choice soon and engineer consent to make him the Republican candidate.

    Incidentally, the reason why the gatekeeper system saddles us with such a lousy set of choices, as opposed to cars and food where it works pretty well is because of the unique nature of the politics.

    There will always be one and only one president. For consumer goods the consumer has a choice of not buying anything at all. Additionally multiple choices can succeed on the market. There is no power to refuse to have a president (although there should be), and only one candidate can win.

    If we made it mandatory for every adult to buy a car, and the regulations were set up so that only one model of car would be offered any year, we'd see the automobile industry provide similarly poor service.

  • ||

    "We have, alas, made more terrorists by our bungling in Iraq than Bin Laden could have dreamed of just six years ago."

    Where is the evidence of that? Further, how many terrorists did the U.S. create by having 1000s of troops stationed in the Muslim holy land in the name of containing Saddam? There are of course thousands of foreign terrorists in Iraq there to fight the jihad against the U.S. and anyone else who happens to get in the way. But there were 1000s of young Saudis and Syrians who joined the jihad in places like Chechnya and Afghanistan before Iraq. What Sullivan is saying is that there are large numbers of terrorists in the world who wouldn't have otherwise been terrorists if not for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

    If that is true, why then haven't there been an increase in attacks on U.S. interests throughout the world? The U.S. suffered a series of attacks on its interests in the 1990s, WTC 1, Kobar Towers, the African embassy bombings, the USS Cole and ultimately 9-11. Since 9-11, there hasn't been anything like that. Perhaps measures that the U.S. took domestically post 9-11 has made it harder to attack U.S. soil, but what about embassies and U.S. tourists and companies and other interests abroad? It would seem to me that if the U.S. created all of these new terrorists by invading Iraq, there should have been some noticeable increase in terrorism against U.S. interests since the invasion of Iraq. There hasn't been.

    Now, of course you can say that all of those new terrorists are just going to Iraq and not other places. That is flypaper theory, something that Sullivan denies. Moreover, that is not what Sullivan is saying here. He is saying that Bin Ladin is getting more powerful and getting more recruits worldwide because of Iraq. Where is the evidence?

  • thoreau||

    Maybe Ron Paul should have whipped out America's sealed juvenile court records.

    Didn't deserve it, huh? Have you seen what kind of country we're talking about here?



    Can you point to the place on the doll where they bombed you?

  • Mike Laursen||

    Since 9-11, there hasn't been anything like that. Perhaps measures that the U.S. took domestically post 9-11 has made it harder to attack U.S. soil...

    OK. If, god forbid, we do have another attack on U.S. soil, would you be convinced our loss of civil liberties were ineffective in preventing terrorism? Or would you call for more severe measures?

  • ||

    According to John's reasoning, if we can go just two more years without an attack on American soil by Muslim terrorists, we can declare that Bush's counter-terror efforts to be as successful as Clinton's.

  • ||

    "OK. If, god forbid, we do have another attack on U.S. soil, would you be convinced our loss of civil liberties were ineffective in preventing terrorism? Or would you call for more severe measures?"

    That wasn't my point. My point was to say that even if you agrue that post 9-11 measures are what explain the lack of attacks on U.S.soil despite this "explosion of new terrorists" resulting from the invasion of Iraq, you still can't explain the lack of attacks abroad. I wasn't commenting one way or another on whether those measures actually reduced the risk.

    To answer your question, it depends on how bad and how frequent the attacks are. Civil rights are only good if you are alive to enjoy them. You don't have any rights if you are dead.

  • ||

    "According to John's reasoning, if we can go just two more years without an attack on American soil by Muslim terrorists, we can declare that Bush's counter-terror efforts to be as successful as Clinton's."

    No Joe. My reasoning is "where is the blowback"? Smug jackasses like Sullivan make statements like the one I referenced and never bother to point to any evidence. If invading Iraq created all of these new terrorists, then why hasn't there been a corrisponding increase in terror attacks? That is the question.

  • ||

    Forget Paul and McCain, Sullivan is excited by both Paul and Obama. And Richardson. I think it's Paul for his principles, Obama for his thoughtfulness and Richardson for his experience. IOW, the three qualities that the current commander-in-chief seems to lack.

  • ||

    John,

    Your quote, "Perhaps measures that the U.S. took domestically post 9-11 has made it harder to attack U.S. soil" is what I was responding to. Admittedly, a small part of your argument.

    "If invading Iraq created all of these new terrorists, then why hasn't there been a corrisponding increase in terror attacks?"

    Um, the CIA, State Department, and UN have all reported substantial increases in terror atttacks since the invasion of Iraq.

    Are American troops, and civilians living in the cities of our allies, no longer "American interests?"

  • ||

    "Um, the CIA, State Department, and UN have all reported substantial increases in terror atttacks since the invasion of Iraq.

    Are American troops, and civilians living in the cities of our allies, no longer "American interests?"


    Bullshit. Does that include Iraq? Because if it does, then you have to buy into the flypaper theory. Show me a link to that. Further, in the seven years between 1993 WTC bombing and the 2000 Cole bombing, the US suffered, Khobar Towers and the African Embassy bombings. Name even one terrorist attack on U.S. interests since 9-11, not part of the Iraq war, that is anywhere near as deadly as any of those? You can't. Further, what soldiers in foreighn cities have been the victims of terror attacks? What the fuck are you talking about? There hasn't been one soldier attacked in Europe or Korea in a terrorist attack since the Berlin nightclub bombings back in the 1980s. Do you just make this shit up?

  • ||

    After he acted like a complete jerk, I think Giuliani is off my list of possible candidates. He acted exactly like George W. Bush. He heard something that he could manipulate into a soundbite for himself, even though what was actually said differed substantially. Hey Rudy, when you're president are you going to disregard what people are saying in favor of something flashier, something that requires a sexier response? Mission Accomplished, Rudy, you disingenuous prick.

  • Fluffy||

    So John is essentially arguing that terrorism against US interests has gone down, if you just don't count the dozens of attacks a day on US interests in Iraq.

    When did the lives of US servicemen in Iraq stop being a US interest, John?

  • ||

    "where is the blowback"?

    While the US interests (outside of Iraq and Afghanistan) haven't suffered any terrorist attacks, our allies have. Spain and the UK have suffered severe domestic terrorism directly related (at least claimed by the terrorists to be related) to their support for the war in Iraq. I seem to recall that there have been several attacks foiled in Italy before they could take place. All three of these countries have either pulled their support for the Iraq war (Spain and Italy) or declared victory and set a date for troop withdrawal (Britain). It seems that the blowback may have been focused on undermining support for the US in it's mideast (mis)adventures.

  • ||

    More importantly Joe, do we have to have the old correlation does not equal causality lesson? "Terror attack" increasing could mean anything. Terror attacks where driven by what? Muslim radicals killing people in Kashmir or the Phillipines is not the result of the Iraq war, but of course count as terror attacks. Stop cherry picking facts and think for once.

  • Fluffy||

    To further answer John, one has to ask what the PURPOSE of Al Qaeda's previous attacks were.

    If the PURPOSE of those attacks was to provoke the US into committing grounds troops to a Middle Eastern theatre, in order to have the opportunity to attrit us the way they did the Soviets, then the reason the attacks stopped is because they accomplished their goal.

    The attacks should only have continued if you believe that the purpose of the attacks was to terrorize us into changing our policies directly. That's the Palestinian terrorist model, not the Algerian one, and Al Qaeda shows every sign of playing by the Algerian playbook.

  • ||

    Spain and the UK have suffered severe domestic terrorism directly related (at least claimed by the terrorists to be related) to their support for the war in Iraq.

    Emphasis on claimed. Europe had enormous problem with radical Islam long before Iraq. The 9-11 highjackers got their start in Hamburg. Even if Iraq had not occured, Europe would still have that problem. Further, Spain, despite pulling out of Iraq has stopped several terrorist attacks coming from Morroco. Pulling out of Iraq hasn't bought Spain one bit of peace.

  • ||

    "More importantly Joe, do we have to have the old correlation does not equal causality lesson?"

    Apparently so, since that's the core of your argument.

    We haven't had an attack on American soil. The Iraq War happened. Ergo...and that's pretty much all you've got.

    As far as the rest, it looks like you've been slapped down pretty good, before I even got here.

    BTW, 'Are American troops, and civilians living in the cities of our allies, no longer "American interests?"'

    Do you see that little thingy after "troops?" The thing that separates, "American troops" from "civilians living in the cities of our allies?" What do you think that thingy is? Why do you think it's there?

    Learn some English, "miletery lawyer."

  • ||

    The point that none of the candidates made is that Fox News intentionally created the hypothetical situation to involve "known terrorists," people who were caught in the process of executing a terrorist plot. Those aren't the only sorts of people at Gitmo, and it's disingenuous to ask a smug question relating to what we would do to known terrorists in order to get information that could save American lives vs. what we would do to people about whom we have little to no information to validate that they had any connection what-so-ever with a terrorist plot or organization. It made me nauseous because... DUH, the answer to "you caught this guy trying to kill your wife, what are you going to do to him" is 100% different from "you sent out a warrant for an unspecified person whom you suspect of maybe plotting to do something that would harm your family, but you don't know who it is. Someone is surrendered to you on suspicion of thinking something bad about your wife. What are you going to do to him?"
    Really, it's underhanded and manipulative.

  • ||

    If the PURPOSE of those attacks was to provoke the US into committing grounds troops to a Middle Eastern theatre, in order to have the opportunity to attrit us the way they did the Soviets, then the reason the attacks stopped is because they accomplished their goal.

    The attacks should only have continued if you believe that the purpose of the attacks was to terrorize us into changing our policies directly. That's the Palestinian terrorist model, not the Algerian one, and Al Qaeda shows every sign of playing by the Algerian playbook."


    Bin Ladin has said what the purpose of the attacks were and that was not it. The purpose of 9-11 was to get the U.S. to do just the opposite, pull out of the middle east, stop supporting Israel and more importantly Saudi Arabia. Bin Ladin's big beef is with the Saudi Royal family more so than even the U.S.. Bin Ladin wants to establish a new caliphate accross the middle east. The idea was that the U.S. was weak and won't take casualties, as demonstrated by Somalia, and if you kill enough AMericans, the U.S. will go home and Bin Ladin will then be free to deal with the Saudi Royal family and the other governments in the region. The last thing Bin Ladin wanted or thought would happen was the U.S. invading Afghanistan over 9-11. Life is a hell of a lot harder for him now, if he is even alive, then it was before 9-11 when he had free run of Afghanistan.

  • ||

    oops, wrong thread :)

  • ||

    Again Joe, where is the evidence? The only terror attack I can think of that killed American civlians in any number since 9-11 is the Bali bombing which happened pre-Iraq. I don't beleive any AMericans were killed in Madrid or London. I can't think of one terror attack on American civilians overseas in the last seven years. I really can't. Not one embassy bombing, not one hotel bombing where Americans hang out, none. The closest thing I can think of is Bali, which mostly killed Austrailians and was before Iraq.

  • VM||

    corrisponding

    firefox.com
    plug ins
    spell check
    Select English-US.

    that little red squiggle is not the sign that you've typed a word a commie would understand. It is a signal that you misspelled a word.

    /resume.

  • stephen the goldberger||

    john's talking some sense here. Much of the pain caused by the Iraq war isn't the blowback (at least not currently) but the massive costs of resources, financial, human, and diplomatic. Ron Paul's blowback rhetoric is perhaps a big reason why the Iraq war was a mistake (especially if you consider terrorist attacks in iraq on american troops blowback) but the biggest most apparent reason is that it's cost a shitload of money and gotten us very little to show for it.

  • ||

    John,
    If you take into account the consistent claim by neo-cons that Al Qaeda and other "Islamofacists" are in it because of their cah-raaaaaaazy religion, what difference does it make what material damage do you do to Osama Bin Laden?

    You say "The last thing Bin Ladin wanted or thought would happen was the U.S. invading Afghanistan over 9-11. Life is a hell of a lot harder for him now, if he is even alive, then it was before 9-11 when he had free run of Afghanistan"

    Is life harder for him and/or his legacy now that we invaded Iraq? Or is it a lot easier because we have succeeded in making so many of the young Muslims ripe for being molded into enemies of the United States? We don't know how these people think, and Ron Paul drew on that point several times during the debate. "Unintended consequences" were definitely the theme of his responses... they just weren't consolidated into a sound bite.

  • ||

    "Bin Ladin has said what the purpose of the attacks were and that was not it. The purpose of 9-11 was to get the U.S. to do just the opposite, pull out of the middle east, stop supporting Israel and more importantly Saudi Arabia."

    Those were, indeed, his public statements. If you were attempting to goad a more powerful enemy into a misstep, you wouldn't advertise that strategy, but try to conceal it. He also talked about Afghanistan as where Muslims destroy global powers, and had his people assassinate Masood, the leader of the Northern Alliance just before 9/11, in preparation for our expected invasion. If the "last thing" bin Laden wanted and expected was an invasion of Afghanistan, why was he preparing for it BEFORE 9/11?

    "The idea was that the U.S. was weak and won't take casualties, as demonstrated by Somalia, and if you kill enough AMericans, the U.S. will go home..." That makes sense as an explaination of why they would support attacks on American interests overseas, but not on New York and Washington. Where were we supposed to go home to, England?

    Ultimately, bin Laden does want to drive us out of the Middle East. As long as we were in secure bases where the terrorists couldn't do much damage, and our capacity to stay was untouchable, that would never happen. Now that the Iraq War happened and is going so badly, however, there is a chance it might.

    bin Laden miscalculated in thinking that his side could win a war against us in Afghanistan. It's too bad we gave him another bite at the apple by invading Iraq.

  • Cesar||

    John, I think the fact that two of our allies in the Iraq war (Spain and Great Britain) have been attacked since the Iraq war by suicide bombers says that increased awareness in the US makes it harder to attack American soil. If the Iraq war makes the countries that participate in it safer, why did Spain and Britain get attacked and not Germany or Switzerland?

  • ||

    "Is life harder for him and/or his legacy now that we invaded Iraq? Or is it a lot easier because we have succeeded in making so many of the young Muslims ripe for being molded into enemies of the United States?"

    If life is so much easier for him, why hasn't that translated into him being able to launch more and deadlier terror attacks against the United States? People like Ron Paul and Andrew Sullivan say that but there doesn't seem to be any evidence of it. Everyone just assumes it to be true because it confirms their preconceived notions that invading Iraq was bad.

  • ||

    John,

    The evidence is easily found by googling for the reports from the State Department, the UN, and the CIA on terror trends. You can do that yourself, thanks.

    I'm not distinguishing between attacks on American civilians and those against our troops, or our allies' civilians. We've been hit overseas even more than during the 1990s - 3400 dead Americans in Iraq alone - while being hit on American soil exactly as much post-9/11 as during the equivalent period of time after the first WTC bombing. What's changed is that our allies are seeing their civilians killed in much greater numbers.

  • ||

    "the Iraq war makes the countries that participate in it safer, why did Spain and Britain get attacked and not Germany or Switzerland?"

    That wasn't my point. The point was that the UK and Spain both had real problems with radical Islamists independent of Iraq. Indeed, Spain is still under constant threat of attack even though they pulled out of Iraq and reputiated their involvement. If Iraq is the issue causing terrorism, why is this happening?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4829440.stm

  • Cesar||

    My point was just that when people say "The US hasn't been attacked since 9/11 because we are fighting them over there" the same logic can be turned around to say, "Spain hasn't been attacked since 3/11 because they got out of Iraq".

  • ||

    "Life is a hell of a lot harder for him now, if he is even alive, then it was before 9-11 when he had free run of Afghanistan"

    It would have been harder still if we'd had enough troops at Tora Bora, as John Kerry was saying during the battle.

    Somem people think that the Republicans' failed state-centric view of terrorism first undermined the fight against Al Qaeda when we invaded Iraq, but don't forget - at the time bin Laden, his top guys, and hundreds or thousands of his fighters were being escorted to freedom by the people we hired to guard the back door at Tora Bora, we had 30,000 troops garrisoning Kabul.

  • ||

    "We've been hit overseas even more than during the 1990s - 3400 dead Americans in Iraq alone "

    If you are going to count Iraq, then you better start buying into the flypaper theory. Further, not all of those 3400 were killed in combat, that figure counts accidental deaths, or buy al quada terrorists. Your position on any thread involving IRaq is that it is a civil war that has nothing to do with the war on terrorism or Al-Quada. Now, when talk turns to Al-Quada, you list all 3400 casualties as the result of the terror blow back caused by the invasion. Which is it because it can't be both.

  • ||

    Spain hasn't been attacked since 3/11 because they got out of Iraq".

    No that is not true, they just have been able to stop them before they were attacked.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4829440.stm

  • Cesar||

    "That wasn't my point. The point was that the UK and Spain both had real problems with radical Islamists independent of Iraq. "

    So does France and Germany. When I see suicide bombers blowing up these countries mass transit systems, I'll reconsider my opinion on the relationship between interventionism in the Middle East and terrorism.

    Terrorists seem to attack two targets--Autocratic dictatorships in their own neighborhood, and states that are interventionist in the Middle East outside of it.

  • Dave W.||

    The only terror attack I can think of that killed American civlians in any number since 9-11

    Well, on 9-11 Vice Presidents Cheney's took CIPRO, fearing anthrax attacks. Sure enough, there were anthrax attacks. I do not know if it has been officially disclosed how many died in those attacks. We know the names of some of the people, and it was a few.

    Then there is that jet brought down on Long Island by turbulence. They always forget to add "in the Middle East" to the end of that sentence.

    Then there were the DC snipers. If you don't think that was terrorism, then check the wiki:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltway_sniper_attacks
    (scroll down to where it discusses the May 2006 trial in MD)

    Note on the DC Snipers for the gunnuts here:

    "Civil legal action also resulted. Neither shooter was legally allowed to acquire firearms in the U.S. The dealer responsible for the rifle used in the attacks had an extensive record of firearms violations, and had not reported the gun missing (after it had apparently been shoplifted by Malvo) as required by law. A civil lawsuit alleging negligence against both the gun dealer and the manufacturer who made and distributed the weapon resulted in a US$2.5 million out-of-court settlement for survivors and families of victims."

  • ||

    "If life is so much easier for him, why hasn't that translated into him being able to launch more and deadlier terror attacks against the United States?"

    Because he's found it in his interest to take us on in Iraq. Step One, goad us into fighting on his turf. Step Two, defeat us there.

  • ||

    Joe,

    There is real doubt that Bin Ladin is even alive. He hasn't come out with an authenticed video or tape in years. The whole, we failed at tora bora dog won't hunt anywhere outside your mind.

  • Fluffy||

    Wrong-o, John.

    You didn't ask if attacks by Al Qaeda had increased.

    You asked if attacks by TERRORISTS had increased.

    Run of the mill unaffilated Sunni groups planting bombs in markets in Iraq are, you know, TERRORISTS. It doesn't matter if they are part of Al Qaeda or not.

    Al Qaeda has the strategic disaster for the US it dreamed of. One measure of that strategic disaster is the extent to which we have inspired terrorism that is not directly related to Al Qaeda's efforts.

  • ||

    "So does France and Germany. When I see suicide bombers blowing up these countries mass transit systems, I'll reconsider my opinion on the relationship between interventionism in the Middle East and terrorism."

    There are few countries on earth who interfere more in Islamic countries than France. Further, did you miss the Islamic riots there last year? Again, look at the plots against Spain. Why are terrorists still targeting Spain? Because terrorism and radical Islam is a lot more complex than what you portray.

  • ||

    "If you are going to count Iraq, then you better start buying into the flypaper theory."

    Flypaper doesn't stop being sticky as soon as you walk out of the room, and doesn't cause the total number of flies in the neighborhood to increase.

    The first part of the flypaper theory - that invading Iraq has caused Al Qaeda to fight us in Iraq - is beyond dispute. It's that second bit - that this somehow prevents them from carrying out attacks across the world - that has been definitively refuted by the continuing increase in terror througout the world since the Iraq invasion.

    "Your position on any thread involving IRaq is that it is a civil war that has nothing to do with the war on terrorism or Al-Quada." No, that's the liberal in your head. My position is that the civil war in Iraq was caused by Al Qaeda, and has greatly enhanced their ability to do us harm. YOU, John, keep arguing on other threads that the civil war had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, and that it would have happened regardless of how the Hussein regime fell.

  • ||

    Riddle me this:

    Suppose Bin Laden et al (qaeda) did manage to launch another attack on US soil, on the scale of 9/11.

    What would our response be? IOW, what more could we do?

    If you have a good reply to that, answer part two: why aren't we already doing that?

  • ||

    "There is real doubt that Bin Ladin is even alive. He hasn't come out with an authenticed video or tape in years. The whole, we failed at tora bora dog won't hunt anywhere outside your mind."

    Didn't you say the same thing about a civil war breaking out in Iraq, four years ago?

    Didn't you tell me bin Laden was dead back in 2004, just before he released a tape talking about the Bush/Kerry election?

    Don't lecture me about which dogs hunt, John. You haven't gotten a disputed question about these wars right in years.

  • ||

    did you miss the Islamic riots there [France] last year?

    I've pointed this out before, but maybe not to you, John. The riots in France were Islamic youth, yes, but they weren't acts against the French. They were in protest, and exacerbated by a 50% unemployment rate for their demographic. The French are less tolerant of Muslims practicing their religion than we are (they passed that law prohibiting Muslim children from wearing head-scarves in school, because THAT'S necessary....).

  • VM||

    Brother Rein -

    he'd be lucky to find France on a map, let alone comprehend the cultural conditions that contributed to the social problems they have.

    Besides spelling, thinking is not his strong suit.

    BATIN, on the other hand... let's just say that the Who should do a version of BATIN WIZARD for him.

  • Cesar||

    I was about to say the same thing as Reinmoose. Those riots had very, very little to do with religion second and third generation in immigrants are more secular than their parents.

    They are, however, pissed off by a ossified socialist economy that offers them no room for self-improvement.

  • Grotius||

    Cesar,

    I'd just like to point out that the reason France hasn't suffered a major terrorist attack since 9/11 is due in large part to the detection of efforts to commit such acts. This is in part due to the french government's response to a series of attacks in the mid-1990s Paris' metro system.

  • Grotius||

    Cesar,

    The reason one hasn't witnessed any large terrorist attacks on France is due in part to France's efforts to detect such efforts before they come to fruition. In the mid-1990s Paris suffered a series of attacks on its Metro system and France created a fairly effecient system to deal with the issue as a result of that.

  • Cesar||

    Grotius-

    Then that would suggest that detection and security is effective at preventing terrorist attacks, and costs a lot less in money and lives than invading and occupying entire nations.

  • ||

    Be prepared for the leadership of Ron Paul. Research the untold stories in history and know how false flag terrorism is more common than you think. See "Terrorstorm" on Google video for free. Ron Paul was being kind when he mentioned "blowback". He is very aware of false flag incidents in history and will entertain a new independent investigation into 9/11. Be prepared for a pardigm shift. It will be painful for some and enlightening for most.

  • ||

    "He is saying that Bin Ladin is getting more powerful and getting more recruits worldwide because of Iraq. Where is the evidence?"

    It's just common sense. John, why do you think there are terrorist actions against Americans? Do you really believe it's because they're jealous of us? Bin Laden said himself that 9/11 was because of our support for Israel, our sanctions against Iraq, and our stationing of troops in the Saudi holy land.

    True, there have been no attacks on American soil since 9/11, but it's not because they haven't wanted to attack us. I believe they have big plans in store for us. They're patient in bringing it about because they want to make sure it comes off right.

  • ||

    "You don't have any rights if you are dead."

    And our chances are greater of being dead because of terrorism influenced by our meddling foreign policy.

  • ||

    Rattlesnake Jake | May 16, 2007, 12:20pm | #

    "You don't have any rights if you are dead."

    And our chances are greater of being dead because of terrorism influenced by our meddling foreign policy.


    WHOA! That's way too complicated for me! You mean.. you can make arguments for or against something based on complex arguments, not just on immediately identifiably related statements?

    Clearly, this kind of thinking is much too advanced for the average voter, and we should simplify every intelligent argument into a dumb-sounding term. How about calling this "strategic intervention for life preservation?"

  • ||

    "That wasn't my point. The point was that the UK and Spain both had real problems with radical Islamists independent of Iraq. Indeed, Spain is still under constant threat of attack even though they pulled out of Iraq and reputiated their involvement. If Iraq is the issue causing terrorism, why is this happening?"

    Nobody is saying that all terrorism is because of Iraq and our meddling foreign policy.

  • ||

    John: The last thing Bin Ladin wanted or thought would happen was the U.S. invading Afghanistan over 9-11.

    Actually, that's exactly what he wanted.

    But of course I realize you have no interest in reality. Carry on.

  • ||

    Ron Paul was the only real American up there.

    All the others are would be dictators.

  • ||

    Not to undercut the whole argument, but... blowback as a CIA term is generally used to describe unintended consequences that appear over a long timespan. 6 years (since 9/11 and Afghanistan) is not a very long time to watch for blowback. "Retaliation" would be a better word to describe an increase in terror attempts. Dr. Paul used "blowback" to describe a GRADUAL buildup of anger, over 50 years of militant intervention in the middle east.

    Actually, whether you believe Dr. Paul (and Bin Laden, the 9/11 Commission, George Tenet, and a variety of Middle East scholars too) about the reasoning behind 9/11 is irrelevant to the discussion. By saying that "blowback" is a myth, you assert that we can do whatever we want with our military, wherever we want to, and no one will get upset, or even have their opinion of the US negatively affected.

    This is a difficult position to defend. It seems to require that everyone else in the world act lobotomized, or at least are all rooting for a distant country they've never seen. "My home has been bombed! Hooray for the USA!"

  • Robert||

    "Terrorists seem to attack two targets--Autocratic dictatorships in their own neighborhood, and states that are interventionist in the Middle East outside of it."

    And Jews. And unstable democracies.

  • ||

    The bad guys probably do hate our way of life because it's different than theirs (likewise we don't really like their way of life). They also certainly hate that we're meddling in their affairs, occupying their holy lands, and killing many of their people with bombs and sanctions (Ron Paul's point was that we wouldn't like to be on the receiving end of these things either).

    To those who ask 'where is the evidence that the war in Iraq is increasing hatred and recruitment?' I guess there are the many interviews with ME experts and ordinary citizens on the ground in those countries. I guess you have the situation where many people are still sympathetic to OBL and his cause. I guess you also have the fact that we keep killing Al Quaeda operatives, but yet there are still more coming (where do they come from?). So there's plenty of proof that our policies are not diminishing hatred toward us or support for the bad guys.

    Now, I don't want to discount the reality of global jihad. But the way to fight that is not with bombs but with interaction, leading by example and showing people a better way of modern life that they might prefer to medieval tribalism. That's really what OBL and the mullahs fear most, is that their people might prefer our way of life to the one that gives them full control over people's thoughts and lives. By continuing our sabre rattling and aggressive military intervention, we give credence to those who say the U.S. is out to kill all Muslims and steal their resources.

    My bottom line is that war is wasteful and exposes the fact that we (nor anyone else) can conquer people in their own lands. It deprives our own country of resources that we need to protect our homeland and build for a better future. How many solar installations in the American southwest could the war in Iraq have bought? How many college educations for American children? How many new waste treatment and nuclear power plants? How about better flood protection for coastal cities? Or tax cuts? Or funding social security? By choosing war we are rejecting these other worthwhile investments, because as it is we're horribly in debt. This war is simply the worst possible use of public resources, and there are credible arguments that it makes us and the world less safe in the long run.

    It's time we started thinking about America and Americans first, and Ron Paul is the best hope for policies that seek such an end.

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