Iraq

Headline Inversion: The Consequences of a Jennifer Rubin Mindset on Terrorism

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Neocons
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Washington Post neoconservative and big government cheerleader Jennifer Rubin published her latest bit of agitation for a renewed War in Iraq under the misleading headline: "The consequences of a radical mindset on jihadist terror." The word radical is evidently code for anyone who disagrees with Jennifer Rubin, which she makes much clearer in the Twitter version of the headline: "The consequences of the libertarian/leftist view of terror fighting."

According to Rubin, those consequences include foreign fighters flocking to ISIL's cause. Rubin cites some instances of this—American Douglas McAuthur McCain was killed in Syria fighting for ISIL last weekend—before deciding:

This should put radicals who object to effective anti-terrorism on defense. We don't know whether this specific jihadist killed anyone, but he reportedly had taken up arms in league with an enemy of the United States. So let's play out what would happen at various stages in his evolution as a jihadist if anti-government extremists got their way.

Rubin then concludes that we should all be grateful for the NSA, drone strikes against American citizens, torture, and Guantanamo Bay:

But if we rip out the National Security Agency surveillance program or make it so cumbersome that intelligence officials can't detect developments in real time, any chance to stop the jihadist wannabe before he left the country would be lost. I suppose the libertarians would shrug and say that's acceptable.

Shrug? Last I checked, the NSA was still merrily spying on American citizens, obviously failing to catch McCain in time. (According to this report, McCain even tweeted to another jihadist, "I will be joining you guys soon," so he clearly hadn't passed terrorism 101.) As my colleague Jesse Walker points out on Twitter, it is hard to say which of Rubin's intrusive, unconstitutional, statist policies would have actually stopped McCain, given that most of them are currently in effect and none of them did.

But this gets at the larger point: We are not living with the consequences of a libertarian foreign policy. We are living—right now, at this moment—with the consequences of a Jennifer Rubin foreign policy. The new bad guy, ISIL, has arisen from the situation her neoconservative policies created when the U.S. deposed the old bad guy, Saddam Hussein.

At the close of her screed, Rubin sneeringly asks:

What, then, do they favor — more ambulances for the next 9/11-type attack on the homeland?

We favor fewer body bags, how about that? Not because we are ideological or naive, but because we were around the last dozen times the war-agitators got their way.

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  1. Silence, Radical Libertarians!

  2. …any chance to stop the jihadist wannabe before he left the country would be lost. I suppose the libertarians would shrug and say that’s acceptable.

    Actually, you dumb bitch, I would prefer wannabe jihadists leave the country. Please, by all means, go get killed in Syria.

    1. I’d chip in for the next one’s plane ticket.

      1. I’ll buy him a vest he can stuff with explosives.

  3. American Douglas McAuthur McCain was killd in Syria fighting for ISIL last weekend

    Was he “killd” ded?

    /pedant

    1. Everyone knows it’s “kill’d”.

      1. But it still is “some people just need killin’” right?

      2. or, if you are rural (or Scottish), kilt!

        1. Or if you are a ceramics artist in Big Sur, it’s kiln.

  4. What, then, do they favor ? more ambulances for the next 9/11-type attack on the homeland?

    Oooh, BUUUUURRRNNN!!!

  5. We are living?right now, at this moment?with the consequences of a Jennifer Rubin foreign policy.

    No no, it just wasn’t implemented properly. Next time I swear it will work!

  6. I don’t know, how about we just kill him after he takes up arms against the United States? I am not really seeing how listening to his phone calls is going to help. It would annoy him maybe. But I think killing him will work better.

    1. And why bother listening to his phone calls? He announced his intentions on public Twitter account multiple times.

      1. There is that. Of course the Boston bombers did the same thing and the Russians told us they were dangerous nuts. But the NSA and FBI were too busy doing whatever it is they do to do anything.

        It is almost as if listening to every phone call isn’t a very good way to deal with this or something.

        1. The FBI was too busy constructing and then subsequently busting their own terror “plots,” as documented extensively at Reason.

  7. But this gets at the larger point: We are not living with the consequences of a libertarian foreign policy. We are living?right now, at this moment?with the consequences of a Jennifer Rubin foreign policy. The new bad guy, ISIL, has arisen from the situation her neoconservative policies created when the U.S. deposed the old bady guy, Saddam Hussein.

    Yeah because there were never any terror networks before 2003. And ISIS didn’t arise because of the fall of Saddam. That is a complete lie. ISIS arose because of the Syrian civil war. Last I looked the US didn’t intervene there. ISIS is an outgrowth of the civil war in Syria. The radicals came in and took over the resistance against Asaad and thus ISIS was born. They were then able to invade Iraq. Could they have invaded Iraq if Saddam was still in power? We will never know. But given the state of the Iraqi military and Iraqi society in general in 2003, it is a pretty good bet they would have. Chances are Saddam would be dead by now and Iraq would have long since turned into what Syria is now as his idiot sons and the various ethnic factions fought it out.

    Whatever you think about the invasion of Iraq, blaming the rise of ISIS on it is just not true. That is a complete lie. Reason isn’t helping its cause here by lying. Try getting your facts straight and arguing from there. If you are right, you shouldn’t have to lie.

    1. That’s right folks. Anyone who disagrees with Red Tony is a liar.

      1. if ISIS is due to neo-cons, what caused AQ? And what caused prior terrorist groups in various parts of the world?

      2. The facts are what they are. It is not an opinion that Isis is the product of the Syrian civil war not the US invasion of Iraq.

        If you don’t like that, I don’t know what to tell you. Move to another universe where it isn’t true I guess.

        1. “Situation” doesn’t necessarily mean that the organization wouldn’t have existed. It could mean that they couldn’t have steamrolled over Iraq had the strongman been left in power. Oh, and what about all that US equipment they’re using? Are you saying they would have gotten it even if we hadn’t left it there?

          1. It could, but for the reasons I give it is highly unlikely. It is funny how the view of the facts changes by the expediency of the argument.

            One of the few valid points the anti Iraq invasion people ever made was that Saddam’s Iraq was a complete mess and no longer a threat to anyone but the people of Iraq. That is unquestionably true. Bush totally over estimated the capabilities of the Iraq regime.

            But now that that no longer fits the narrative, Saddam had this fabulous intelligence service and rock solid regime that could have never let Isis in the country. Ah, not exactly.

            1. His regime was rock solid compared to everything we’ve seen since we knocked it down.

              1. No it wasn’t. And it was getting worse every year. Eventually Saddam would have died and the country would have had the civil war that it had been waiting to have for 50 or so years.

                1. They had functional infrastructure, thriving higher education, no car bombs going off every day… But yeah, it was just as bad as it is now. Sure. Keep sucking that military cock like a good socon. Can’t admit that maybe life would be better for Iraqis had we not gone in there and destroyed everything because that would make the military look bad. Good socon. Suck it.

                  *slurp slurp*

    2. come on, John; you know how it works – nothing happens anywhere anytime without being attributable to Team. Even if it happens half a world away. Without neocons, there would no ISIS just like without some other Team derivative, there would have been no AQ. Because Team is just that powerful.

    3. John,

      If Saddam Hussein was in power, there would be no ISIS. He was a Sunni who maintained his power by keeping all the Sunni clan leaders on board. ISIS wouldn’t have been able to coalesce outside Syria because Saddam’s intelligence services were pretty expert and detecting and breaking up every rebellious conspiracy of more than, say, three guys.

      I expect that he and Assad the younger would have been able to, between them, destroy the Arab Spring.

      With that having been said, one can argue that ISIS *is* the product of U.S. non-intervention. Remember, when Obama was flip-flopping about providing military support to the rebels fighting Assad, the Saudi monarch was forcefully insisting that the U.S. start providing air cover for the rebellion.

      When that failed, ISIS suddenly started killing off rivals and being able to conduct succesful campaigns on multiple fronts with well equipped reinforcements pouring into their ranks.

      My take on this is that had Obama bombed, the gulf arabs would have seen no need to bankroll ISIS, and the take over of Syria by Sunni islamists would have had less dramatic head-sawing.

      But, an islamist take over of Syria, and an eventual Sunni dominance of Syria and Iraq living under Saudi style sharia law is the goal of the people backing ISIS, and regardless of whether the US intervenes to bomb the Allawites or not, that is what those people will get.

      But in a way one can argue

      1. All of that assumes that Saddam would still be alive and in power. Both of those things are highly unlikely. It has been 11 years since we invaded Iraq. Saddam’s health was failing then. He was living as a fugitive in his own country. He had shockingly little control over Iraq itself. Basically he staid in power by playing off various tribes against each other and using the threat of WMDs to keep people in line. That wasn’t going to last forever.

        More importantly, once he died, even the Sunis hated his sons’ guts. No way were the idiot sons going to keep the country together. And unlike Egypt the Army was completely broken and wouldn’t have been there to step in and save the country. Assadd in 2010 was a hundred times more secure than Saddam was in 2002. And Saddam was getting weaker every year.

        Your view of pre invasion Iraq is just not true. The Arab spring was going to happen. The days of keeping these conflicts under wraps by supporting your local thug are over. Saddam couldn’t have maintained control of Iraq much less done anything to help Asaad.

        The best thing you could argue is that if we hadn’t invaded Iraq, we could have intervened in Syria and taken control of the resistance there and prevented ISIS from taking it over. That might be true but it doesn’t make the “if we just went home they would love us” point that you want to make.

        1. “if we just went home they would love us”

          Keep beating that straw man Red Tony.

          Saying “if we just stopped poking them in the chest they might not want to punch us in the face” is much different than that man of straw you keep arguing against. Asshole.

          1. And keep whining and missing the larger point that the snark makes.

            It is called hyperbole sarcasmic. No, no one thinks that you actually believe the Middle East will love us if we just go home. But that is not the point.

            1. No, no one thinks that you actually believe the Middle East will love us if we just go home.

              You sure do. You argue against that straw man whenever the subject comes up. Every. Single. Time.

              If you don’t think that, then try not arguing against it for once.

              1. It is not a strawman sarcasmic. It is an insult. There is a difference between the two.

                1. No, Red Tony, it’s a straw man. Insults have a bit of truth to them. Like when I insult you by saying you fellate the military like a good socon, or when I call you Red Tony for promoting fallacies. Those are insults.

                  Accusing libertarians of saying the Middle East will love us if we go home is not an insult, it’s a straw man.

        2. That might be true but it doesn’t make the “if we just went home they would love us” point that you want to make.

          Since I have never made that point, I suggest you turn your attention away from the voices in your head and actually read what people are writing…

          1. How about you respond to the substance of my post rather than whining about how my snark offended your precious little ears.

            Do you not have a response and just won’t admit it so instead fixate on my snark so you can at least say something?

            Again, your argument assumes a state of the old regime that just didn’t exist. If you think that is not the case, I would be curious to hear why.

            1. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with your argument as to why I was wrong about Saddam being able to keep ISIS from forming. He was old. Qusay was headed to an embarrassing violent death. Uday’s succession definitely wasn’t assured. I think the Hussein clan would have been able to retain power, because Uday was really good at terrorizing people and that it would follow a dynamic like Kim Jong Il taking over from his dad.

              And their army did manage to crush the Shiite uprising, and would ahve handled uprisings by civilians even if it never could stand up to a professional army like the USA.

              As to the Arab Spring, I agree that it is inevitable. i think it’s essentially the result of a populace tired of being ripped off. And they are going islamist, because to them the secular guys are thieves, western republicanism is a fucking lie, and Islam provides morality and order. I think they are doomed to disappointment. Like our other disagreements, whether they can ultimately be repressed by the people they are rebelling against is open to argument. I argue that a totalitarian regime lead by a student of Stalin (which Saddam was) can pull it off, you argue that in this case Saddam Hussein’s grip on power was too weak to do so.

              But I think your opinions as to what would happen is defensible, and I figured I would agree to disagree.

              1. Now as to my argument that supposedly that ISIS is our fault for not intervening in syria, I think you misunderstand my point. So I will expound on it.

                The Gulf arabs want the land that is currently called Syria and Iraq to be ruled by Sunni Arabs imposing Wahabist Shariah law. When they lost the option of U.S. air support making it happen like id did in Libya, they decided to do it themselves while maintaining plausible deniability. So they gave one group money, guns, ammo, and allowed recruits to transit their territory to participate in the fighting.

                ISIS is the mask coming off. It’s what the Wahabbists’ ideas of paradise. They wear masks to keep from scaring off the Westerners, because the West provides them useful things like weapons, money, technology, and occasionally bombing shit they want bombed.

                I am strongly of the opinion that the U.S. should not be allied in any form with Saudi Arabia. I don’t think they will love us if we leave them alone. I opine that they will hate us for our freedoms as long as they draw breath. In this regard they are no different than the Maoists, the Commies, the Nazis and another thousand stupid ideologies. Fortunately, such hateful ideologies tend to kill themselves off – the more backward and savage they are, the quicker they commit suicide.

                1. The TLDR version – regardless of what the US does, the gulf arabs are going to try to impose their flavor of sharia law in the region. They don’t love us. They see us as useful idiots to be manipulated into doing their dirty work for them. Personally, I think doing their work for them is a sucker’s game.

    4. ” ISIS arose because of the Syrian civil war.”

      And it grew powerful from its operations in Iraq (remember how it acquired American-provided military equipment and giant piles of $$$?)

      And why was it able to steamroll Iraq and obtain the equipment needed for its surge in power?

      1. Forget it. Those pussy Iraqi soldiers who couldn’t stand up to M1A Abrams tanks didn’t stand a chance against rebels with AKs. They would have abandoned their Soviet tanks and ran away.

    5. John, unlike a bunch of Reasonoids, I think you make some very good comments here. This is not one of them.

  8. Rubin then concludes that we should all be grateful for the NSA, drone strikes against American citizens, torture, and Guantanamo Bay:

    So after more than a decade of such things, how come they didn’t identify McAuthur-McCain…or Tsaraneav…or anyone else in advance?

    1. NSA is listening to sexy calls and stalking grilfriends. No time for terrorists.

  9. does she not recall all the bombing and wars and terrorism in the late 60’s and the 70’s thru the 90’s”.High jackings,planes blowing up,attacks all over Europe and the middle east.OPEC attacked,ect.This is nothing new.Oh 9 uh 11.One large attack justifies continuous war and a security state that treats every one as suspect.

    1. Back when I lived there in the 70s, the Arabs actually respected the US government. It had tossed out the British and French imperialists. The US stood in the way of Soviet expansion. Over time the Arabs began to sense that the US was just another imperialist regime. A lot of this had to with the US behaving like an imperialist: fomenting coup d’etats, stationing troops in holy lands, ordering Arab states as if vassals, etc. By the mid-80s, the sentiment had changed. Some important events changed everything: Iran Revolution, Camp David Accords, and seizure of the Grand Mosque. One is of these is overwhelmingly to doing of USG, one is an example of blowback to USG shenanigans, and one really is largely unrelated to USG. The USG cannot make Arabs like America, but it can quit giving them reasons to hate it by staying the hell out of there.

  10. American Douglas McAuthur McCain

    Is that his real name? He was named after a WWII general, and has the last name of a well known Navy pilot/ senator/ asshole, and he ends up a terrorists. That sounds like the plot to a bad made for TV movie.

  11. This should put radicals who object to effective anti-terrorism on defense.

    If the government says it’s effective, who are we to argue?

    As long as you have that rock in your pocket, you’ll never be eaten by a tiger.

  12. It is well past time that we let the neotards go do what they fucking want to do. Please, somebody give her, McPain, his sidekick and the rest of them an AR, some ammo, a tank or two and air drop them into Iraq and Syria.

  13. “Douglas McAuthur McCain”

    FFS

  14. Are there currently investigations going on, one wonders, inside the NSA to figure out why they missed the alleged jihadist, given what now seem to be obvious social media clues? If such an inquiry did occur, might they reach the conclusion that trying to monitor everything is, in fact, inefficient and is causing them to miss clues buried within the mounds of data? If they did so decide, would they have the political cojones to revise their way of doing things to be more efficient, even it meant cutting their budgets?

    #iamdouglass

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