Terrorism

The Last Nine Years & The Next Nine Years

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Hot Air's Ed Morrissey reflects on the legacy of the 9/11 attacks:

What do the next nine years look like from this vantage point?  Terrorism has ceased being the top priority of Americans, who are more worried now about the economy and jobs — as it should be.  We should go about our business, but with the clarity that while we don't want to arrange our public lives around terrorism forever, we need to keep the danger in mind as we conduct that business.  Recent attack attempts remind us of the potential cost of complacency, but we no longer have the luxury of indulging in sheer ignorance as we did through September 10th, 2001. We may never "stamp it out," because this kind of lunacy doesn't take too many people to become a danger to the US and the rest of the free world.  We can stamp out the terrorists where we find them, and we can cut off their funding and resources.  That will be the new normal, and it will last a long time, and we finally appear to have realized it.

More here.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

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  1. Recent attack attempts remind us of the potential cost of complacency, but we no longer have the luxury of indulging in sheer ignorance as we did through September 10th, 2001.

    Had we remained “ignorant” and just ignored the events of 9/11 and gone about our business as usual, the past nine years would have gone a lot better than they did.

    I’m not of the opinion that we should have ignored 9/11…but overreaction is often even worse than no reaction.

    1. So other than a strongly worded letter, how would you have “gone about your busindess” without ignoring 9/11?

      1. a nice start would be not blowing up children’s toys outside of schools because they might be bombs.

        1. You’re right – take out the whole school – better safe than sorry.

      2. I wasn’t advocating either of the courses of action I mentioned.

        Ignoring it would have been a bad idea.

        Doing what we did turned out to be an even worse one.

    2. What in the f&*k are babbling on about!

  2. OMFG9/11BOOHOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!

    STFU

  3. The hope is that, the further we become removed from 9/11, the more we will act as the free society that we were designed to be, enjoying the benefits and accepting the dangers that come with that.

    1. I agree that focusing too much on the incident itself creates an atmosphere that easily tramples freedom while simultaneously missing the bigger picture.

      PC bullshit combined with bureaucratic ass-covering has far outpaced terrorism as a threat.

      That being said, I don’t honestly feel that, without openly and loudly examining the beliefs that led to the attacks, much will change in the conditions that produced them originally.

      1. That being said, I don’t honestly feel that, without openly and loudly examining the beliefs that led to the attacks, much will change in the conditions that produced them originally.

        I assume the beliefs that you refer to are those that the US government has any business maintaining a military presence in the Middle East.

        1. Well, after the barracks bombing in Lebanon, the US pulled it troops out – which is reportedly one of the actions OBL lists as evidence that the US is a ‘paper tiger’.

          Maybe all that’s bullshit. But it does seem that OBL has gained some notoriety by attacking the US abroad and at home. Could there be another element to the middle east balance of power and hostility to the US beyond American troop presence?

          Regardless, could you at least accept the possibility that there are consequences both to maintaining a presence and also to maintaining no presence?

          Look, I’d be fine with drawing out all troops and letting the chips fall where they will – but understand that those chips might mean wiping out an entire country if they shelter or house troops hostile to our national interests. Fair’s fair.

          What I’m adamantly against is some twisted version of PC behavior whereby the US cuts off all its options so as to ensure defeat in every scenario.

          Losing doesn’t make your cause correct.

    2. You got a prescription for that opinion?

      1. Perhaps I should have said an open society.

  4. ‘murica’s greatest strength is turning everything into mawkish kitsch:

    http://www.regretsy.com/2010/0…..-11-posts/

    1. To awesome, and beyond

    2. To awesome, and beyond

  5. Oh 9/11, 3000 people, oh no. Pussies!

    1. It’s like the captain of the high school wrestling team remembering the time he got suckerpunched by a computer club dweeb in front of the cheerleading squad. That’s how I explain it to foreign colleagues who ask me why I’m so embarrassed about this “Patriot Day” ceremonial bullshit.

      All this hallowed ground shit about our tragedy and our dead, and then we expect Iraqis and Afghanis to bow and scrape and thank us after we kill thousands more of their civilians in our national temper tantrum than we lost on 9/11.

      1. Not to mention the politicians using it as an excuse to further whittle away our rights while waving a gigantic flag.

        1. Do you feel safer?

      2. Moral equivalency FTL. Yea Afghanistan was a paradise that we ruined. It’s their country, let them ‘choose’ whatever government they want.

        1. Tell me…what has the war in Afghanistan accomplished?

          The 9/11 hijackers are obviously worse because their entire purpose was to kill thousands of people.

          But the US civilian command bears some level of moral responsibility for entering into a conflict where large-scale civilian deaths were inevitable (not to mention US military deaths and maimings) with unclear goals and no exit strategy. And that’s just AFG; in the case of IRQ the moral responsibility is even greater since the justifications for war were extremely dubious.

          I would say the ends don’t justify the means…but we don’t have the ends in our favor either.

    2. Israeli|9.11.10 @ 1:32PM|#

      Oh 9/11, 3000 people, oh no. Pussies!

      Hey demographically doomed, looking for a passport?

  6. We may never “stamp it out,” because this kind of lunacy doesn’t take too many people to become a danger to the US and the rest of the free world.

    I haven’t RTFA, but imagine the lunacy to which he refers is the bed-wetting “us vs them” War on Terror rhetoric used to justify everything from warrantless domestic wiretaps to flying killer robots in other countries.

  7. I still occasionally see bumper stickers that say “9/11/01: We Will Never Forget”, or something to that effect. I would like one that says “9/10/01: We May Never Remember.”

    1. I would definitely get that bumper sticker, but I prefer my windows and tires intact.

  8. People still give a shit about 9/11?

    1. Nine what?

      1. I think it’s the name of a mosque somewhere.

  9. I’m not against Islam, of course. I know lots of people who know Muslims. But couldn’t they move that mosque farther uptown? Like, in Harlem? Come on, you know they’d fit in better up there.

  10. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? We’re in Afghanistan. We’re in Iraq. We’re currently threatening Eritrea (look it up). We’ve targeted Americans (overseas Imans, but Americans nonetheless) for drone hits. Yet we have “processed” 9/11? I don’t think so.

    1. Nick was making a distinction between the American people, who after all, elected a congress in 2006 to reverse those same policies you mentioned, and then for emphasis, elected a President who said he was going to fix many of those things, and the political and chattering classes who seem to thrive on stoking tension and fear.

    2. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

      I finally looked it up and I must say I’m disappointed. What was wrong with WTF? Or even What The Fuck? I don’t get it. Slang is supposed to be getting smaller and stupider, not larger and stupider.

  11. The worst effects of 9/11 on the USA were:
    1) The Patriot Act and all that went with it
    2) The creation of the BHS and TSA
    3) The War in Afghanistan
    4) The War in Iraq

    1. 5) Rudy Giuliani becoming a national hero

    2. And note these are all self-inflicted wounds.

    3. Why was Afghanistan so horrible?

      1. Thousands of dead Americans and Afghan civilians, thousands of wounded vets who we’re going to be paying health care bills for for 50+ years, billions of dollars spent from our federal budget on one side of the ledger..

        and on the other, bin Laden still on the loose, a resurgent Taliban, and a government so fragile it’s going to fall apart as soon as we leave.

        Any other smartass questions?

  12. ^: Yep.
    Do you feel safer?

  13. The proper response to the 9/11 attacks was total war. We should have geared up and fought like we did in WW2. We did not.

    We have been fighting a namby-pamby war of bullshit that is driven by concerns over public opinion, PC hamstringing, and 60s generation stupidity.

    And we’ve done all this in the hopes of avoiding the much more horrible war that still looms in front of us.

    What our policies in this conflict have done is make it possible that we can lose–while having it blatantly obvious that we shouldn’t be.

    1. We should have geared up and fought like we did in WW2.

      Correct. Please list the nations/religions you would have declared total war on.

      1. Saudi Arabia. That is who we should have attacked.

        It is their madrassas that spread ‘islamism’.

        But we didn’t. They’re an ‘ally’.

        Instead we’re over there flailng around.

        There’s another reason we didn’t attack Saudi Arabia–it would have been seen as an attack on Islam itself.

        Which it would have been.

        Besides being a faith, Islam is a political ideology that has spread outward from it’s source(Saudi Arabia) since it’s beginning. Much of that expansion was coupled with conquest.

        Today, that ideology–and the faith that it contains–holds a billion people in it’s sway. They are not free to leave.

        And, let’s not forget, the ideology has not stopped trying to expand–by war or persuasion.

        On the godwin hand, we faced a similar foe in the past, an ideology, with quasi-religious overtones that wanted to expand over the globe, however many bodies it might take to get there. We fought it, destroyed it, and make the ideology the stuff of ridicule. But, if it had suceeded, how long would it have been before that quasi-religious nonsense codified into something indistinguishable from an actual faith?

        We tried to eradicate a second ideology with a similar quasi religious bent, but they collapsed under their own impossibility, rendering them not ridiculous, but something the soft-headed intellectual could romanticise. This is unfortunate, because this particular ideology is far more ambitiously murderous than either of the other two.

        My point here is that we have fought ideologues in the past–particularly when they’ve attacked us.

        We do not touch Saudi Arabia because this war is clearly a religious thing and the rulers of that ‘nation’ have denied they have anything to do with the terrorism–while funneling cash into terrorisms coffers. And, despite the obvious theocracy extant there, that has stymied us. We, for some reason, award respect to murderous ideologies when they call themselves faiths instead of seeing that dangerous ideologies are that first.

        So, to answer, Joyce, in short, Islam. We should have declared war on Islam.

    2. Azathoth : war :: Krugman : stimulus

      I must compliment you on choosing the moniker of the Blind Idiot God whose throne lies at the center of ultimate Chaos. It’s fitting.

    3. What our policies in this conflict have done is make it possible that we can lose–while having it blatantly obvious that we shouldn’t be.

      Of course we can lose (and we will now) when our objective is setting up stable democratic governments in parts of the world where they have never existed. That’s a tricky business, to say the least, and not one that can be accomplished by more ferocious warmaking.

      1. So my name is appropriate–and you agree with me? What, pray, does that say of you? Do you desire a pipe, and a place by the throne?

        Setting up democracies should never have been an objective. That part, if it comes at all, comes after the war is over.

        If we were fighting a ‘war on terror’, then our objective should have been to make it plain, all over the world, that any terrorist act would meet retaliation so severe as to render the point of that initial act moot. It would have been a long war, and it would have expanded our role as global cop(something that we should not have).

        But even in the beginning it was known what war we actually fought, even if they shot themselves–and us–in the foot trying to not admit it. No one wants to admit it. No one wants to face it. It’s a Crusade.

        The Crusades began in answer to Islamic wars of conquest. Those haven’t ended. But the idea of the Crusades embarasses us today. We’ve been taught that they were exercises in Christian extremism–and those lessons have taken so well that someone could hold up the treatment of a conquered people as an example of the ‘good’ of Islam–and expect no one to comment on the fact that those people were conquered, dispossesed, and treated as dhimmi.

        So no one wants to think about that type of war, much less fight it.

        1. “If we were fighting a ‘war on terror’, then our objective should have been to make it plain, all over the world, that any terrorist act would meet retaliation so severe as to render the point of that initial act moot.”

          So your point is that we haven’t killed enough people to terrorize the Islamic world into submission?

          1. That paragraph refers to terrorism–any terrorist act, why do you conflate that with Islam?

            My response distinctly seperates a ‘war on terror’ from the war I think we should have–and probably will–fight.

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