War on Terror

War: What Is It Good For? (Cont'd)


In the wake of last week's attempted airplane bombing, former Vice President Dick Cheney is once again complaining that President Obama avoids using the word war in connection with Al Qaeda:

As I've watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low-key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won't be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won't be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of Sept. 11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won't be at war.

He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core Al Qaeda-trained terrorists still there, we won't be at war. He seems to think if he gets rid of the words, "war on terror," we won't be at war. But we are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren't, it makes us less safe.

This is stupid for several reasons. First, as I've noted before, Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have repeatedly described the struggle against Al Qaeda as a "war," although they may not say the word as often as Cheney or Bush did. (Responding to Cheney, White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer cites "numerous…public statements that explicitly state we are at war" with Al Qaeda.) Second, the Obama administration uses martial rhetoric in the same way the Bush administration did, as an excuse for legal shortcuts. Despite Obama's symbolic (and broken) promise to close Guantanamo by January 22, it is far from clear that his policies regarding detention of terrorism suspects will be substantially different from his predecessor's. But the stupidest thing about Cheney's comments is the notion that an insufficiently martial attitude explains the intelligence screwups that prevented the would-be underwear bomber from getting the scrutiny he should have—at the very least, a secondary screening that probably would have discovered the explosive device under his clothing. Does Cheney really imagine that if only Obama said war more often, the information about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab would have been properly shared and utilized? Does competence require a declaration of war?

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  1. O is a putz.

    1. A putz who wants to be all kissy with the people who want to kill us.

  2. Cheney is absolutely correct. If Obama had any sense he'd be waterboarding Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to find out everything he knows to prevent future Al Qaeda attacks. Instead, he wants to give them civilian trials and give them all the rights of American citizens. Cheney wants Obama to use the word "war" to show that he is serious about dealing with terrorism. Both Obama's words and behavior show that he is not the leat bit serious. He's too busy destroying out health and energy industries.

    1. I imagine everytime a torture advocate uses the word waterboarding he gets a boner.

      1. damn--how did you know?

      2. I imagine affenkopf was touching himself while he wrote that snark.

      3. Everytime Obama ..er.. Cheney an
        American uses the word "war" a virgin gets fucked.
        - George Bailey

        1. Even better if the virgin is fucked by a pig.

          That'll teach 'em!

    2. How many people have died on American soil from terrorism since Obama's inauguration? A hell of a lot fewer than by this point in Cheney's administration. Maybe, just wild speculation, Cheney is completely incompetent? In fact the only terrorists incidents so far that have killed people are the ones by white guys against Jews and abortion doctors.

      1. Go fuck yourself Tony. We were not asking for attacks on our embassies in Africa. When that happened our metaphysical soil was invaded. The people (I'd like to call them dead men) who think that was a good idea would chop your head off if they could get their hands on you.

      2. How many people have died on American soil from terrorism since Obama's inauguration?

        I guess you think that little incident at Fort Hood didn't count as terrorism?

        1. See mathematics: 30 < 3000

          1. See mathematics: 30 < 3000

            Yeah, see it yourself. Also see this remark: In fact the only terrorists incidents so far that have killed people are the ones by white guys against Jews and abortion doctors.

            You figure those people at Fort Hood were Jews and abortion doctors?

          2. Yeah that's right - a not-so-clever math retort without concern for timing, knowledge, societal pressure (the military is still civilian controlled), and a number of other factors, is just meaningless.

    3. To show who that he is serious about dealing with terrorism? I don't think people willing to blow themselves up will be detered by the threat of torture. That being said, some of our strongest allies wont back us up because they have perieved our leadership as being crude, irrational, and short sighted. Obama's rhetoric is designed to persuade foreign governemnts into giving us money, troops, and permission to use their soil in the fight against al-qaeda. A global effort is necessery to defeat al-qaeda. Many powerful nations in the world did not respond well to the rhetoric of bush and cheney. That cost us legitimacy and funding. This is why Obama is trying a different tact.

      Speak softly and carry a big stick.

  3. Obama and Cheney... Which one is Giant Douche and which one is Turd Sandwich?

    1. From the look of the picture, I would say Cheney is Giant Douche and he ate the Turd Sandwich.

  4. This notion that they don't have rights because they're "lawyered up" is ludicroius. Even if we kept the terrorists in military courts under the UCMJ, the suspected terrorists would still have rights.

    But this is the guy who didn't even want to give them the UCMJ, he just wanted to pull people out of foreign nations that had been fingered by an angry neihbor and lock them up indefinitely.

  5. "What do you mean, you don't serve babies here? Go get some; I'm starving!"

  6. A weak post. Sullum chose a stupid interpretation of Cheney's comments. Cheney talked about the difference in mindset, that is whether the airplane bombing attack should be treated as a criminal act or an act of war. You can argue that treating it as a criminal act is the right way to do or even the American way, but why do you pretend that Cheney just talked about the war rhetoric?

    1. If we went to war over airplane terrorism, you would think we would have declared one sometime in the last 8 years.

      1. When an enemy attacks you, no declaration of war is necessary.

        1. The immediate response to the attack does not require a war declaration, but a prolonged conflict does. It's not like Congress just hasn't had a chance during the past eight years.

          In fact, didn't Ron Paul introduce a full-fledged declaration of war against Iraq in the House, only to have the Republican leadership strangle it in the crib?

          1. Yep.

            We declared war on Japan (and Germany and Italy) after Pearl Harbor.

    2. Because a basic element of reason is surrender?

      1. Unless you are on someone's lawn.

  7. Sullum: The use of the word stupid is stupid. You sound like an 6th grader.

    1. You sound like an 6th grader

      Whose law is this?

      1. Either Joez or one of those other ones.

      2. I don't know, but I've seen many supposedly well-educated and literate people on the Internet who don't seem to know the rule about when to use an and a. It's maddening to read their stuff when they get it wrong. Use an when the word immediately following it begins with a vowel or a letter that has the sound of a vowel; use a when the word immediately following begins with a consonant.

        1. The irritating thing about that rule is that it's ambiguous when dealing with abbreviations, such as

          a SCSI port

          an SCSI port

          The first would be correct if the abbreviation is pronounced "scuzzy", while the second would be correct if it is spelled out. Problem is, you don't know which way the reader will treat the abbreviation, so you're definitely going to be wrong according to someone.

          1. Yes, that's similar to the dilemma faced when using a word like history. Should it be an history, or should it be a history? Depends one whether one is British or American, I guess.

            1. I thought the rule there was that if the "h" is silent, then "an" is to be used. So you would have "an hour" but also "a history".

              Again, it depends on pronunciation...do the Brits leave the "h" silent in "history"?

              1. Yes, some I've heard speak do so - that or they pronounce it so fast the hard "h" sound is missed - depends on the particular dialect, I think. If you're old enough, you may remember an old British invasion group called Herman's Hermits. They once had a hit record that went something like "I'm Henry the eighth, I am." They pronounced the word Henry as 'enry or 'enery in that piece.

  8. Calling it WAR gives greater political cover for much more overt use of force -- say in Yemen (if we could locate the Enemy there). Clinton fired rockets at Al Qaeda base camps in Afghanistan without claiming to be at WAR with anybody ... surely crying WAR is not a substantive issue.

    Warmonger much?

  9. o is a putz

  10. Just again yesterdy, 8 school children were killed by NATO troops in Afghanistan. The "War" on terror continues to produce more deaths from terrorism than terrorism.

    If you do a GOOGLE search on this news item, it is interesting that it is big news in all the foreign news sites, but more or less "Ho-Hum" in the U.S.

    The difference between Farouk and NATO troops, is they are much more professional and effective as terrorists. He is definitely not professional.

    1. Just again yesterdy, 8 school children were killed by NATO troops in Afghanistan.

      How? Were their "freedom fighting" relatives hiding behind them whilst shooting at our Soldiers and Marines?

      1. Its entirely possible that the schoolchildren were firing at the troops as well, you know.

        How old were these kids? 6? or 16?

    2. There is a difference between accidentally hitting someone with your car and running down an innocent because you're pissed. Maybe if you enlisted in the marines you could prevent these mistakes.

    3. Q: What's the difference between a dentist and a sadist?

      A: Newer magazines.

    4. There is an ongoing dispute of what happened.

      (and most of the 'schoolchildren' had beards)

      1. Why do you keep calling him "a baby Jesus", he was a grown man with a beard!

  11. I say we try them all. If they are found innocent they are released. If they are found guilty they are released. With a glow in the dark bulls-eye tattooed on their forehead. If we are going to wage a war and piss people off it should be a selective and surgical endeavor. And a glow in the dark bulls-eye on the forehead would help facilitate that in spades.

    1. If we fought WWII like that you would seriously have a perpetual war world now.

      1. That would make sense if fighting terrorism was anything at all like fighting WW2.

        1. Thank you, Les, for showing yet again how fake girlfriend of John Taglia is a fucking moron.

      2. And then we wouldn't have proud moments like this


      3. This is going to be a perpetual war too. At least until Terror agrees to a peace treaty, I guess.

        1. I agree there should be some end so success can be defined, but what you're saying is true. In a free country, random, violent ideologues, can cause major havoc.

          So long as the risk can be reduced by targeting larger organizations, we have to be prepared for some risk to remain a free country.

          But I'm thinking of the war on terror as more of a foreign policy war than domestic.

          Because freedom has its prices - prices we should be ready to pay.

          1. Because freedom has its prices - prices we should be ready to pay.

            You've got this backwards. The price of freedom is living with the extremely unlikely possibility that one will be the victim of a terrorist attack. Only totalitarian societies can completely squelch terrorism.

            Waging eternal war against a tactic hardly protects freedom. In fact, it destroys it as every encroachment on liberty here at home is justified by saying we're at war.

  12. There are 100,000's of terrorist leads as suspicious as this guy Umar, 99.999% of which will never commit a terrorist act. It's difficult to pick guys like this out of the noise.

    1. With decent airport security, we could have picked him out just fine.

      1. No, we wouldn't. Read Bruce Schneier's commentary on the subject of airport security sometime.


  13. I've been arguing with a guy all day over this very issue, and it is utterly exasperating. The very same twisting of common English words. I am coming to the conclusion that the gulf between conservatives and libertarians on this issue dwarfs any other difference. I really do think that conservatives would agree to fully legalized narcotics and prostitution, if only they got to keep their "war on terror".

    1. Some of them will do anything to keep their war on terror. Or kickstart it.

      1. These people are neoclowns (neocons), not conservatives

        1. I'm getting this attitude from nearly all conservatives I know. In fact, the more libertarian leaning they tend to be, they worse they are. I can't figure it. They can be right on everything from healthcare to gay marriage to drug legalization, but when it comes to a criminal trial for a gitmo detainee they freak.

    2. Well, I think that the choice of winning the war on terror vs prosecuting the war on Terror needs to be more clearly expressed.

      The DEA in Afghanistan are hurting the cause much more than Gitmo, or anything else.

      They really DO need to chose what is more important, winning the war or asserting the governments authority to tell people what drugs then can and can't do.

      1. I have no knowledge and just thought of this - but I wonder if the DEA in Afghanistan is more a nod to the UK to continue their support. I think something like 90% of their heroin comes from Afghan poppy fields.

        & it's not that we need their military help all that much, but their intelligence help and for marketing reasons - a public ally in the war itself.

        Again, I have no idea if this is true, but it would help explain their continued support for military actions even after their change in leadership.

        Of course other explanations exist and are possible as well.

      2. I believe the Obama administration has said they plan to scale back the poppy eradication programs. Why they just don't end the damn things immediately is a question I don't have an answer to.

  14. Who this Umar guy, did something happen in Detroit.

    All i get is the faint impression that woman will soon be told to take off their panties. Security!?!?!?

  15. Just in case you're wondering, i put the extra question marks at the bottom.

  16. War is the health of the state. Duh. That's what it's good for, and why Obama isn't doing a damn thing to stop it.

  17. I say we start the real war on terrorists. And require all people flying to carry a handgun.

    1. Someone needs to do a tad bit of housekeeping to burn off some aggression.

    2. The ABS has been used on several threads already.

    3. Do you have any idea what happens when you fire handguns into the fuselage of an airliner at 32,000 feet? Do you have the slightest idea what you are talking about? Has turning the world into Dodge frickin' City done anything to justify the wet dreams of gun nuts? Kids are afraid to go to school because of guns, so you figure the way to make the skies friendly is to extend that wisdom to pressurized jet planes?

      1. 1) Dodge City wasn't nearly as bad it was dramatized to be.

        2) Mythbusters owned the explosive decompression myth. (not that a little physics calculation wouldn't have proven the same, but the show was kool)

        3) Kids aren't afraid of guns. They are afraid of gang members with guns. I know I work with a few every Saturday for the last 3 years.


      2. If you handed everyone a loaded 9mm, 15 round handgun on a plane, you'd have a very polite fucking flight.

  18. If we agree to back to talking about the Global War On Terror, will Cheney agree to admit that he and Bush lost it?

    1. Bush lost the war on terror the moment it became an occupation instead of a 3-month invade-and-string-up-the-fuckers-responsible-on-live-tv mission.

    2. When we've lost the war on terror, we'll be living under Sharia law. Trust me, you'll know.

      1. The way Obama is, we'll be there soon.

      2. We're never going to be living under Sharia law, you fucking bedwetter. The best a-Q has been able to pull off -- when absolutely every lucky break went their way -- was a tiny pinprick attack that killed 0.001% of our population. Heck, our military has killed far more Iraqi and Afghan civilians than they did on 9/11.

        The devastation of our economy, the crippling of our military readiness, and the erosion of our relationship with our old allies have all been self-inflicted wounds. We can't blame aQ for that, though I'm sure they're happy to see it. Our reaction to 9/11 has been similar to a herd of elephants stampeding and trampling each other in terror because they see a mouse.

        1. The reason why we're not going to live under sharia law is because of people like Dick Cheney. Let me guess: you didn't think Communism was a threat either, and the Japanese were provoked into attacking Pearl Harbor.

          You are a total moron.

    3. Really Tim? Because it seems Bush won it, and it is being somewhat unwon now.

      1. What's your metrics for the term won?

        1. Reduction in the overall risk of terrorism and terrorist attacks on the American people and their interests.

          Which can only happen with a true focus on destroying those organizations propping up world wide terrorism.

          Which isn't to say Obama isn't focused, though the language changes are obvious and politically motivated, what he says and what he does are so separate in reality only real intel analysis on those risks would be useful in answering that question.

          1. Kwais made the claim that it seems like Bush won the war. So I'm curious about the metrics used by him to make the assessment.

            The risk of terrorism has always been low. Exactly how much lower would constitute a win? And can you say you've won if they attack again?

  19. How long must we wait for the word, "war" to become as archaic as "dueling"?
    To think that any war can produce positive results is crazier than thinking terror can produce positive results.

    1. A quick perusal of world history shows that wars often have very successful results for the winning side.

    2. World War 2 produced no positive results?

      1. Some teriffic board games like Axis and Allies for starters. Moving onto computers, Panzer General was a classic too.

    3. John Stuart Mill said it better than most:

      War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

  20. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans

    Rights are inalienable and come from our creator. Americans and non-Americans have the same rights, regardless of what various governments recognize.

    1. Rights are inalienable unalienable and come from our creator.

      There's a big difference.

      1. There's a big difference.

        Don't they mean the same thing, like flammable and inflammable? Boy did I find that out the hard way.

    2. Due process of law, part of the unalienable Right to Liberty, and the Magna Carta.

      1. But it is waivable. So when the prosecutor stacks you with charges, what the fucking point.

        1. There's a big differnce between you waving your right to due process, and you being denied due process.

          But let's say that government can deny due process because they determine you are a hazard to the state. How is that different than what tyrants and kings do?

  21. Do you include the right to health care regardless of your ability to pay?

    1. I believe the UN, and almost every other industrialized nation does.

      1. TP, I guess you haven't heard the special Libertarian rule about health care: f off and die.

        1. Yes, because we all know that history has shown centralized control of large parts of the economy leads to more efficient processes and increases the aggregate supply of whatever they control.

          Oh yeah, almost forgot - never happened.

          If you honestly care about people - then wanting to increase the aggregate level of health care supply would be your primary concern as lowering it will lower it for everyone.

          But your concern isn't about people, but about some sense of fairness without respect to the actual facts.

          1. g4m3th3ory, "history has shown centralized control of large parts of the economy leads to more efficient processes and increases the aggregate supply of whatever they control." So then you agree that insurance companies have too much control or are you under the mistaken impression that the government is not being led by the nose. My concern about people is concrete in the way I live and I am sure your concern is has abstract as your contention.

    2. there is no right to health care

      How do you inherently obtain something that requires an act by someone else?


      1. Just for arguments sake...

        How do you obtain the protections of the police, firefighters and military? Everybody pays for everybody else. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it is a Right, but that shouldn't be used as an excuse to let people suffer and die.

      2. Hmm, Blah, blah, blah. Slavery! You obtain it through payment but government should intervene when it cannot be made through your owns means due to age, infirmity or lack of resources.

        1. So you can buy rights? That's interesting. Not sure you will find much backing for that theory of yours. In classical or modern philosophy.

          The bleeding heart route is an interesting argument. Of course, it completely ignores the institution proposed to end this suffering has generally caused more suffering than any other. I mean we are pretty good at making brown people suffer, historical speaking.

          1. Hmm,"So you can buy rights?" The right is to be treated and not the process of the treatment. "the institution proposed to end this suffering has generally caused more suffering than any other." Are you speaking of medicine itself?

            1. Being treated requires that someone else do the treating. So one person's "right to be treated" requires that another person be forced to treat him. aka, slavery.

              1. Wrong. The right is separate from the process. The medical treatment or drugs do require payment and is therefore free of slavery.

                1. So as long as I pay you I can force you to give me a blowjob (or less crude mow my lawn) and not violate your rights?

                  After all the treatment is separate and payment means it's not slavery.

                  1. There's a reason relief under the law (in theory and practice for the most part) can not force a person to action. It's fucking slavery.

                    1. Hmm,so when you order a scotch in a bar is the server enslaved? No, it is her/his profession and does that work willingly. You pay for the service and there is presumably no dispute (applies to having your lawn cut/salad tossed) The only enslavement per say in medicine is to insurance companies and that is contractual.

                    2. When the government tells that bartender that they will now be purchasing 60% of all their services and the bartender has no choice but to take the newly enforced "lesser" payment or don't get the 60% - that is slavery.

                      When the government's intrusion is so great as to be able to affect a doctor's livelihood (as it stands now, it's true today) through force of law - that person has been injured whether you like it or not.

                    3. g4m3th3ory, Let's talk healthcare and get right to the point. The doctor has a contract for his services with the insurer and not with the patient or the government. They are perfectly capable of refusing any unacceptable deals (medicaid,Tricare) and are not forced and hence not enslaved. I love the "doctor's livelihood" because it is such a red herring that opponents love to use. Frankly, I haven't noticed any of their kids leaving private schools or quitting golf clubs. Any injury a doctor receives is self-inflicted by not competing with the consumer instead of taking the deal from the insurer.

                    4. The bartender can refuse to give you a scotch if you don't pay the price he or she chooses. Under single payer health care, doctors and other medical professionals are forced to work for the pay the government decides upon, even if there are patients who would be willing to pay them more.

                    5. Tulpa,under the current system, doctors acquiesce to what the insurer agrees to pay them. They refuse to negotiate better deals directly for cash patients and continue the master-slave relationship with insurance companies. If doctors had any prescient ability they would be eliminating any need for government intervention.

      1. In answer to "Do you include the right to health care regardless of your ability to pay?"

      2. In two words:yes yes

        1. Which will do nothing more than incentivize an exacerbation in demand to such as extent as to require drastic cuts in supply.

          This is historically & through economic research proven to be true.

          So anyone claiming to care about other's healthcare, would do better at trying to expand the aggregate supply (give people more freedom, more options, get out of the way), not aggregate demand.

          As supply increases, price decreases.

          Just a food, an industry without the all encompassing regulation as health care makes more food now at less cost in both real terms and in terms of percentage of household income, while healthcare is continuing to rise in cost as the government gets more and more involved.

          How do you think they'll control costs? Or is that just part of the "process" and not a right either?

          1. g4m3th3ory "As supply increases, price decreases." that is with the exception of good/services that are not consumer optional. Medical care is not avertible with the exclusion of laser eye resurfacing or plastic surgery. The food industry is a great example of having to comply with consumer taste or dissipate market share. That is why we see so many 0 trans-fat packages or 100% natural ingredient labels. How does medicine control costs? They can when they select to eliminate the insurer.

  22. The War brought us Obamacare. 'Conservatives' threw out any small govt/lower spending cred they might have had because opposing Bush on anything would give ammo to those who oppose The War. Civil liberties? That would give ammo to those who oppose The War. Nominating someone who at least pretended to believe in the free market? Nope, McCain was good on The War, and that's all that matters. Screw everything else.

    Thank you, RCD. You and your war gave us a Dem supermajority and a GOP that's totally unable to articulate any actual small govt objections to it, as they offended almost, but not quite as much.

  23. How fun! You found the *angry* photo on Cheney! That really helps make your point!

    1. Has anyone ever seen a picture of Cheney smiling?

      1. Yeah. The day that SOB shot me.

  24. Cheney must have gotten a nice warm feeling in his loins this Christmas. Can anyone imagine the joy this rabid warmonger would get from another 9/11?

    I'd really like to see someone take a honest look at addressing the "illness" that's recruiting the terrorists rather than just trying forever to bandage the symptoms. It's funny how it's the US (and it's blindest/staunchest allies) that seem to be the targets of terrorism. No terrorism in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, South America, even Canada, etc..

    Of wait Russia too... but when considering what they're doing in Chechnya the cause and effect is a little clearer.

    1. When radicals have a clear misunderstanding of the world, their place in it, their rights, their duties, their responsibilities, the addressing the "illness" is only one part of the plan.

      The other has to be attacking those organizations which are prepared to do you harm to help act as a deterrent to others who would do the same.

      & In Denmark, lest you forget, riots and all kinds of things due to cartoons and a movie.

      South America is full of terrorists, they are just socialists and not Islamic fundamentalists so right now they are just happy screwing up everyone's life on that continent... therefore a threat we deal with, but not in the same way.

      Russia and Chechnya is a much tougher deal - much more complicated than it appears.

      What if say, CA wanted to just drop out of the union in order to promote a government that hated the US? Would we do nothing? Should we do nothing?

      I'm not saying Russia is correct and in fact understand their irrational need to reassert their influence in the region is likely the main motivation behind their actions, but it's not as simple as you make it appear.

  25. What about that Van-go guy?

  26. Obama: Hey Dick. Guess you heard I was in a bit of a jam up?

    Dick: Yep. I heard. How can I help?

    Obama: I need you go on the shows and denounce me.

    Dick: I assumed that is why you called me. I'll go the full nine yards, even Limbaugh will feel for you after I get through. I'll be as patronizing and obnoxious as humanly possible.

    Obama: I need you go a little further this time, Dick. That dumb bitch I put up at DHS really left me hanging by a thread this time.

    Dick: What are saying, Barry?

    Obama: I need you to be vaguely racist.

    Dick: Oh, come on --

    Obama: You owe me. You know Eric wanted to obtain a search warrant.

    Dick: That secret room is just for mine and Lynn's pleasure, only! Sometimes we have friends over, Elliot Gould, his wife, but we have never gimped out terrorist back there.

    Obama: I DON'T wanna know. Just do this for me, okay?

    Dick: Alright, dammit.

  27. i agree with grizzly. cheney's point was not that obama should use the word 'war' more frequently, but that he should treat terrorists as enemy combatants and not as common criminals. while both groups have rights, the latter groups has less rights. it is a perfectly reasonable position.

    1. It's not reasonable at all because there's nothing in the Constitution (written with the intention of preventing as much as possible the evil and injustice that every government inevitably commits) that says a person who kills one person has fewer rights than a person who kills 20 people. It's not reasonable at all because terrorists have been treated as criminals and successfully convicted and locked away. It's not reasonable because it allows the state to treat terrorist suspects differently than other suspects, giving innocent individuals less opportunity to protect themselves from the state.

      It's not only an unreasonable position, it's a purely emotional position. It's a quivering, childish, cowardly, un-American position.

      1. You're correct that there isn't a difference between murdering one or twenty from a rights perspective, but murdering one or twenty rival drug dealers or one or twenty prostitutes is different from murdering one or twenty for the specific goal of causing domestic destabilization in an effort to enforce your views on others.

        One is murder - one is an act of war.

        You can state if you'd like that we should treat both the same, but it's not unreasonable to disagree with your assessment.

        It appears that your emotions are causing you to not perceive any difference and not the other way around.

  28. War: What Is It Good For? (Cont'd)

    War is the health of the State

    War is good to increase the size of the State, so war should be a good thing for Statists of every ilk - which has been the case, historically.

  29. I would actually prefer Cheney as president to Obama. But that's mostly because he's going to die sooner.

    1. So, in this fantasy, is Biden still the VP?

  30. [In the green room ten minutes before the show starts]

    Chris Mathews: So you are really going to let him have it?

    Dick: You seem excited. Got a thrill running up your leg?

    Chris: Now, Dick, is that really necessary? You act like you don't want to be here.

    Dick: I don't, but he's the Prez, so how can I say no.

    Chris: I was surprised when Rahm called up my boss to demand that you get pushed on to the front end of the schedule tonight. I was happy to oblige, but Rahm twisted my arm anyway.

    Dick: I can't really complain, besides it's all my fault.

    Chris: Really? You recommended Janet?

    Dick: God no. I said get some one butch. I thought he needed someone tough. I was thinking Chuck Norris when I said that, he was thinking ugly chick, combat boots.

    Chris: Wow, that is some misunderstanding. Well, we are on in five. I got to go make some interns feel uncomfortable. Knock'em dead, Dick.

  31. Come on now people, this miscreant Cheney ought to be dragged before a court of law, be found guilty of both federal and international laws concerning torture (not to mention burying the Constitution),and be sentenced to life in prison... Of course, this presupposes the existence of an actual "Rule of Law" in this once great nation...

  32. Actually, there is something much more basic at play here.

    It's very, very closely related to the drumbeats in the press saying that Obama should have urgently flown back from Hawaii for "symbolic" reasons even though the event in question boils down to one asshole working out his issues with his family by turning to radicalism, as any number of our own assholes did during the 60's.

    There are many, many people in this world who need to be led, because they're fucking slaves. They'll use different words, of course; they'll say they want to be "inspired" or "reassured" or want to make sure "the right messages are sent" or whatever. But the bottom line is they are fucking born slaves who need to be led around by the nose to feel secure.

    I don't think they're faking being upset with Obama about his reaction to his incident for political purposes. It's tempting to think that, because they'll feign being upset for political purposes any other time about any other shit. But I think this is genuine. They quite literally find it easier to sleep at night if in response to an event which is over, Obama jumps up like he's the Brinks Home Secuity guy, flies back to Washington, gets his picture taken lots of times looking busy, and makes a speech with lots of martial overtones. Hysterical bedwetters feel better if Daddy says he's doing something to make the monsters go away.

    1. Yeah, I was wondering if the gap in event versus Presidential discussion was specifically designed to reduce anxiety felt over terrorist attacks?

      IE - if we don't make a huge deal out it, no one else is likely to?

      This doesn't mean they aren't doing anything about terrorists mind you, just wondering if that was the motivation behind the delay.

  33. There's something to what you're saying, Fluffy, but I believe there is also a much more fundamental issue here:

    Should terrorists be treated as common criminals, or as war criminals?

    The common criminal route was basically our approach up until 9/11. To my mind, it pretty comprehensively failed.

    The war criminal route has been partially implemented, up until the point we actually get our mitts on them. As war criminals, they should be tried at that point (military commission is my preference), and if found guilty, shot (sentence suspended pending cooperation with our inquiries).

    1. """The common criminal route was basically our approach up until 9/11. To my mind, it pretty comprehensively failed."""

      Why do you say it failed? The mere fact they still exist and keep trying? Hell, then our criminal justic system as a whole is a failure because criminals still exist.

      1. The criminal justice system theoretically lowers the risk of violence through actively going after organized crime - they can never minimize the lone nut without serious infringement on rights, but treating conspiratorial coordinated attacks on the US as individual acts is foolish.

        1. Spending a stupid amount of money chasing maybe a couple of hundred guys across the globe until the end of time is somehow less foolish?

    2. I was a child in Turkey where there was a *real* terrorism problem, with the state ruthlessly suppressing civil liberties, crushing dissent, torturing the odd political prisoner.

      The U.S. system of treating terrorism as a criminal matter involving the actual perpetrators is *much* superior in outcome. The U.S. suffers far fewer terrorist incidents than one would expect, given ts population and the huge number of people the U.S. fucks with directly or via proxies like the Savat or the Egyptian security service.

  34. Am I only person who sees Dick Cheney as the last true leader we have had? I am not saying he led in the right direction, but pure alpha-maleness, he is it. If he entered a room with the current power holders, I have no doubt they would piss themeselves, including Rahm the ballet dancer.

    Watch the debates, or when he is interviwed - people just make way for him. You don't see that trait very often.

    1. no, you're not the only one.

      1. Just one of the few.

  35. Does anyone else remember a formal declaration of war? Me neither. It's strange because the constitution says we can't go to war without a formal declaration of war - so presumably the justification for this is that this is a "military operation" and not a "war." Yet if we don't call it a war, we suddenly aren't taking it seriously even though by definition it is not a "war"?

    1. Exactly, Cheney didn't throw a fit when a republican controlled congress only gave POTUS a use of force authorization.

  36. Does anyone else remember a formal declaration of war? Me neither.

    It might have something to do with the fact that our recent military engagements have not necessarily been with nation-state/sovereigns. Traditionally, war requires a sovereign on both ends. You can't really declare war on AQ, because its not sovereign.

    There are plenty of exceptions, of course.

    Iraq should have been a declaration of war, although I'm not sure there's any substantive difference between a Declaration of War and Authorization to Use Military Force.

    1. """It might have something to do with the fact that our recent military engagements have not necessarily been with nation-state/sovereigns.""

      Did we have a formal declaration of war for Korea and Vietnam?

    2. """I'm not sure there's any substantive difference between a Declaration of War and Authorization to Use Military Force.""

      There's a reason why they choose one over the other. I'm thinking it has to do with government powers and funding schemes when war is authorized. IOW, less red tape, and fewer government regulations for a use of force.

    3. No, the U.S. doesn't declare war anymore because signatories to the U.N. charter cede the power to declare war unless it is declared upon them.

    4. The Taliban was the sovereign government of Afghanistan, recognized by the US and many other nations. So by your own logic that should have been a declaration of war too.

    5. """You can't really declare war on AQ, because its not sovereign."""

      You can't effectively win a war against a non-state either.

      The terroist issue is more like a very small worldwide insurgency. Insurgencies are hard to win against in a small area, much more difficult trying to defend the world from a few yahoos, than trying to defeat the insurgency in a single country.

      The best success we have had with insurgencies in recent times was when we paid them to not fight us in Iraq.

      Insurgents usually win by stalemate. For them winning, is denying the occupiers a victory. This forces the occupiers to spend a great deal of resources, including money, until it's no longer worth the costs. Home team always wins in the long run. It costs them next to nothing to operate, it's costs us a lot. Insurgencies use a common tactic. Force the occupiers to overextend their resources by having to defend everywhere. The insurgency has the advantage of by defending nothing and attacking at a time of their choosing. We run to the south, they attack in the north, we run to the north, they attack in the south. That can go on forever, at least until the occupiers decide the expense to fight is too great for the lack of outcome.

      There's a really good book on Counterinsurgency warfare called "Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice" by David Galula


  37. I'm fine with just killing them all. I'm sick of this shit. Playing nice doesn't do a damn thing but get us dissed like a white girl country singer winning an MTV award. Bring on Dick Cheney any day instead of this piss-ant, GQ following, social whiner we have now.

  38. Right, because that worked, right, Leon?

    We have had such magificent successes the last eight years.

    The problem with using a military approach is, as I have pointed out over and over, that there is no way to achieve a military victory total enough to stop 19 guys who are willing to die from launching a terror attack.

    We spent a trillion dollars, conquered two countries, tortured, rendited, exploited blood debts from allies, trashed our Constitution, trashed rights that predate the Constitution like habeus corpus, and Al Qaeda can still launch attacks.

    "Oh, if we just conquer Somalia and Yemen too, they'll stop."

    No, they won't. Because they can launch a terror attack with between 1 and 19 guys. ONE MOTHERFUCKING GUY tried to set off a crackerjack prize explosive on a plane, and you'll all wetting yourself, so that lowers the bar down from the 9/11 standard to a 12/25/09 standard, as far as I am concerned. What military victory do you imagine can be achieved that will make it impossible for one motherfucking dude to get it into his head to commit a terror attack?

    1. I don't think a simple military victory or conquering will stop them either.

      I say level them to nothing but sand and rock. If we're going to go to war, then go to war to win and be done with it.

      What do you suggest?

      1. Level who to "nothing but sand and rock"?

        Define "victory" in either of these wars.

        1. Apparently, we're supposed to level Terror to sand and rock.

          1. Since drugs are a thing and not an emotional state, it should be much easier to rid the world of drugs than terror. How's that working for us?

  39. What military victory do you imagine can be achieved that will make it impossible for one motherfucking dude to get it into his head to commit a terror attack?

    *Total*, if you get my drift.

    1. Indeed. If we kill every person on earth who is suspected of harboring anti-US thoughts, we will be safe.

      1. But for everyone you killed, another will takes his place, so you might as well level the US rubble.

  40. Fuck.

    As a prisoner at Guantanamo, Said Ali al-Shihri said he wanted freedom so he could go home to Saudi Arabia and work at his family's furniture store.

    Instead, al-Shihri, who was released in 2007 under the Bush administration, is now deputy leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, a group that has claimed responsibility for the Christmas Day attempted bomb attack on a Detroit-bound airliner.

    1. http://www.mlive.com/news/detr....._hask.html

      Let the conspriacy theories begin.

  41. Duct Tape Remember Cheney Bush Administration Advised Duct Tape the doors and windows to prevent Nuclear Attack Terrorist prevention.
    American Deserve way better than this Mr. Dick Cheney, enough of your insulting
    the American.

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