Tim Kaine

Tim Kaine Invokes bin Laden While Trying To Sell Hillary Clinton's Big ISIS Plan

But taking out al Qaeda's leadership probably didn't make the world any safer.

|

Still not a plan
Bao Dandan Xinhua News Agency/Newscom

During a brief exchange about national security at last night's Vice Presidential debate, moderator Elaine Quijano asked the candidates, "Do you think the world today is a safer or more dangerous place than it was eight years ago? Has the terrorist threat increased or decreased?"

Democratic VP nominee Tim Kaine immediately responded, "The terrorist threat has decreased in some ways, because bin Laden is dead." He soon segued into selling Hillary Clinton's plan to defeat ISIS:

First, we've got to keep taking out their leaders on the battlefield. She was part of the team that got bin Laden, and she'll lead the team that will get Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of ISIS.

Kaine repeatedly invoked the 2011 assassination of Osama bin Laden as evidence that Hillary Clinton's actions as Secretary of State helped make the world "safer," and also declared that al Qaeda was all but crippled by the death of bin Laden—despite the fact that he died while holed up in a house in Pakistan with his feuding wives, years after he ceased to be involved in any kind of operational leadership role with al Qaeda.

While Kaine might have a point about the fact that Trump's pledges to "bomb the shit out of ISIS" and re-institute waterboarding of terror suspects are not much of a plan, the Democratic ticket's reliance on the go-to line of "We're going to go after Baghdadi" is a classic example of shallow election-year sloganeering.

Clinton herself promised to go after ISIS' leader at the first presidential debate, as well as at the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) forum, and many times on the campaign trail. If that's the number one priority, then it's worth asking: Is the Obama administration not going after Baghdadi now? Are they just letting ISIS' leader wander the self-declared Islamic State caliphate free from the threat of U.S. airstrikes?

Of course not, but as noted in The Guardian last month, Clinton intends to put a "concerted focus" on "going after" Baghdadi. But why does anyone believe decapitating the leadership of ISIS would "defeat" them?

Furthermore, reports of al Qaeda's death have been greatly exaggerated. Though it may not bear much resemblance to the top-down organization bin Laden lead over a decade ago, al Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsula (AQAP) controls a major port city in Yemen—in large part thanks to U.S. ally Saudi Arabia's war against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. AQAP also claimed responsibility for the 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris and has proven capable of launching terror attacks via smaller cells in Burkina Faso. Other al Qaeda "franchises" control significant amounts of territory in Syria, North Africa, and Somalia.

Even ISIS itself is an offshoot of al Qaeda, and with their billions in oil revenue and U.S.-made weapons pilfered from the Iraqi army and Syrian rebel groups, they seem to be doing just fine without bin Laden around.

In an essay published around the time of the five-year anniversary of bin Laden's killing last May, the RAND Corporation's Brian Michael Jenkins wrote that targeting a terrorist group's leadership can disrupt its operational abilities in the short term, but also noted that a number of studies show taking out terror leaders "affected neither the rate of terrorist attacks nor the likelihood of organizational collapse. And however careful the targeting, such strikes can produce civilian casualties, provoke anger, and incite further terrorist attacks in revenge." Jenkins concludes, "Was al Qaeda hurt by the demise of its charismatic leader? Certainly. Is the world a safer place because of it? Probably not."

Ultimately, the more the U.S. engages in bombing foreign countries, the easier it is for any Islamist extremist groups to recruit. Young men born the same year as the 9/11 attacks are now old enough to be commissioned to engage in jihad and are much more likely to be motivated by a family member's death in a drone strike meant for someone else than by any allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi or Osama bin Laden.

When Clinton and her surrogates brag about killing symbolic leaders as "smart power," we should remember that pithy campaign talking points do not a sound foreign policy make.

NEXT: Mom Asks Cops to Help Persuade Her 12-Year-Old to Go to School. They Arrest Her.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. We already know Hillary’s plan for ISIS, Timah. Sell US weapons to both sides at wonderful profit, continue and expand bloody quagmire, resettle the living in a small village near you. Did I miss anything?

    1. Blame Republicans?

      1. Oh, yeah, Boosh, right? I almost forgot about the guy after 8 years.

        1. George W. Hitler-Boosh, the man almost too dumb to breathe unassisted and yet also the secret evil mastermind behind all the world’s evil.

          1. yet also the secret evil mastermind behind all the world’s evil.

            Alternative conspiracy theory: dumb as a rock, but a genial figurehead for the real evil mastermind, Karl Rove (or maybe Dick Cheney).

            1. Don’t forget about Rummy.

  2. This is somewhat OT, but I’ve been busy at work and not really keeping up:

    Has Reason (or any major publication, really, but I’m pretty certain I know the answer that one) covered the prosecution and subsequent dismissal of charges against Marc Turi?

    It’s kinda a big deal and, if your interested in the actual scandal surrounding Libya/Benghazi, this is where you should be looking. But of course, no one wants to actually talk about that because it’s some pretty serious shit.

    1. I read about that. So now, all you need to blackmail the US justice system is some damning stuff on Hillary? I guess that will be big business for the next 4 years.

    2. I had not heard of him. From Politico:

      A Turi associate asserted that the government dropped the case because the proceedings could have embarrassed Clinton and President Barack Obama by calling attention to the reported role of their administration in supplying weapons that fell into the hands of Islamic extremist militants.

      Under the deal, Turi admits no guilt in the transactions he participated in, but he agreed to refrain from U.S.-regulated arms dealing for four years. A $200,000 civil penalty will be waived if Turi abides by the agreement.

      1. he agreed to refrain from U.S.-regulated arms dealing for four years.

        yeah, no back door in that one. Turi’s lawyer earned the fee just for this one phrase.

    3. Google his name. You’ll get one Politico story and some reports from alt-media. That’s it. That’s all you’ll see about the biggest gun-running scandal since Iran-Contra.*

      *excluding Fast and Furious, which has apparently gone down the memory hole even though it should have resulted in dozens of prosecutions and impeachment.

      1. That’s the thing about Benghazi. There were two real scandals associated with it, and neither got proper coverage. The first was that the media basically ran interference for Obama because it occurred in the lead up to the election. Barry went to a fundraiser in Vegas the evening after it happened, and the media gladly went along with the “video protest” story.

        The second, and bigger scandal, was that the U.S. was basically using Benghazi as a base to illegally funnel arms to the Syrian rebels, which included ISIS, to oppose the Assad regime. Early reports claimed that hundreds of surface-to-air missiles had been seized in the attack, but these quietly went away with no follow up.

        1. Connected to your second point is the notion that Chris Stevens was the garden-variety, dinner-hosting ambassador instead of an operative involved in serious spook shit. Think about it – a nation is on the brink of either civil war or mass chaos, maybe both, and your “ambassador” goes to very dangerous outpost far more the embassy with virtually no protection?

          1. Connected to your second point is the notion that Chris Stevens was the garden-variety, dinner-hosting ambassador instead of an operative involved in serious spook shit.

            yeah. What very few reports ever talk about is, “What was Amb Stevens job BEFORE the Libyan civil war?”

            He was a liason to rebel groups, and helped arm them. His role “afterward”, going back to recover weapons and ship them to others, makes a lot more sense in that context.

            1. I just find it odd that no one questioned what an “ambassador” was doing in a hot zone. It’s like the natural skepticism that used to be part of journalism has been hammered out of those in the industry. It should not be hard to call bullshit when something looks out of place.

              1. ‘ It’s like the natural skepticism that used to be part of journalism has been hammered out of those in the industry.’
                Journalism used to be a craft, learned on the job, now its a profession. Today’s university credentialed journalists often look more like PR hucksters.

        2. Early reports claimed that hundreds of surface-to-air missiles had been seized in the attack, but these quietly went away with no follow up.

          I think because that’s not actually true.

          There were no weapons @ the CIA annex. The CIA’s mission in the region was as “facilitators” of transactions between other 3rd parties.

          They “monitored” the process of weapons buybacks/transfers – many weapons they’d previously smuggled to Libyan rebel groups via Egyptian/Qatari/Saudis… others which had been stolen from Libyan arsenals, MANPADs etc, which the CIA, others, were “officially” there to see destroyed.

          All of this was available from open records before the attacks ever happened. The funding for the mission to “recover/destroy weapons in libya” was all open-book stuff.

          Feb 2012=

          Once the stalemate broke and the fighting rapidly shifted in the TNC’s favor in August, we immediately deployed a State Department expert from the MANPADS Task Force to Benghazi. Mark Adams, who you will hear from shortly on the panel, is the head of our MANPADS Task Force and spent considerable time on the ground in Libya and can talk more about his experience. The initial primary objective was to reach an agreement with the TNC to set up a MANPADS control and destruction program that would enable us to set up what we call our Phase I efforts. …

          1. its just that they didn’t “recover/destroy” shit. they gave money to one group who claimed to be recovering the stuff, and oversaw them handing the stuff to group B who would then make them disappear on Boats to Turkey

            The Senate report on the Benghazi aftermath basically confirmed this stuff while pretending that because “no weapons were housed in the CIA annex” that meant (via congressional “answer questions no one asked” technique) that somehow the US was completely innocent of the gun-smuggling that was going on. The report confirmed that the CIAs role there was “monitoring weapons movements by 3rd parties”.

            anyway, the idea that there were some “Weapons at the annex which were “covered up”” is a red-herring. It suggests that the proof of the CIA smuggling was “hidden” when the process by which it occurred all pretty much out in the open already. Looking for (literal) “smoking guns” basically undermines the case that is already demonstrable given what’s known about what went down there. It pretends that “more proof” is somehow needed when its not, really.

    4. Reason has a strange blindness to a number of stories that have major civil liberties implications.

      1. Very odd, the silence of Reason on the massive damage done to the rule of law by the corruption of the FBI and the DOJ in connection with Hillary Clinton.

        These are much more consequential events than almost anything else happening right now. The DemOp Media will, of course, ignore it as hard as they can. Which is one reason why Reason should not – its an opportunity to differentiate itself and, hopefully, gain stature.

  3. “Kaine repeatedly invoked the 2011 assassination of Osama bin Laden as evidence that Hillary Clinton’s actions as Secretary of State helped make the world “safer,”

    Even if it did make the world safer, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State gets no credit whatsoever for it being accomplished. Neither does Obama for that matter.

    The military and intelligence personnel who actually did the work to find him and kill him get the credit. They just happened to succeed while Obama was prez and Hillary was SOS. Those two clowns added no value to the process.

    1. Oh, you silly baggers. Nothing has ever been accomplished without TOP. MEN!

    2. Goddammit do NOT turn this into another clown thread.

      1. Any thread discussing politicians is automatically a clown thread.

    3. And when Obama did have an opportunity to “add value,” he chose to golf while on vacation instead of authorize a commando raid to recover hostages. Oh, yeah, those hostages are now dead.

      http://tiny.cc/sf1kfy

  4. Good article.

    When Clinton and her surrogates brag about killing symbolic leaders as “smart power,” we should remember that pithy campaign talking points do not a sound foreign policy make.

    Smart power worked when they got rid of Bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi, and it will work when they get rid of al-Baghdadi. Bashar al-Assad can stay in power, though…for now…

      1. [vomits]

    1. Yeah Gaddafi was sodomized with a bayonet before they shot him in the head. And Hilary gloated about it and takes full credit for the accomplishment. She’s a real hero.

    2. Bashar al-Assad can stay in power, though…for now…

      Really? That, seems to go against everything Clinton’s done throughout the whole Syrian clusterfuck. If anything, it’s been her insistence that Assad had to be deposed (One of the very few things I’ll give Barack Obama credit for is not following her advice to ramp up intervention in Syria.) that has been the major driver in the war.

      1. One of the very few things I’ll give Barack Obama credit for is not following her advice to ramp up intervention in Syria.

        Not for lack of trying. He didn’t want to spend all of his remaining political capital on a Syrian intervention that Congress wouldn’t get behind. He promised to do to Assad what they had just done to Gaddafi if chemical weapons were used, then within a week the rebels staged a chemical attack to make it look like Assad so that they could get an air force. Obama is indirectly responsible for that chemical weapons attack as far as I’m concerned.

        1. Possibly true. I’ll still give the guy just enough credit for, at least once, not doing the fucking stupid thing.

          1. Possibly true. I’ll still give the guy just enough credit for, at least once, not doing the fucking stupid thing.

            It’s almost certainly true. And he doesn’t deserve credit. That’s like saying John Wayne Gacey deserves credit for not killing his last victim because the dude escaped. He didn’t choose to do the right thing, he just wasn’t able to do the wrong thing.

            The Syrian Clusterfuck would be over by now if Obama hadn’t stuck his tiny dick into it.

          2. Okay if your contention is that Obama intended to actually do anything. I think he believed the bluster of his words would be enough, that his own hubris guided him to think that just stringing some words together would cause Assad to piss himself.

            1. Obama is a narcissist of the first order, he wouldn’t jeopardize his credibility unless he thought he had very realistic prospects for following through on that promise.

              1. and in trying to not jeopardize his credibility, he lost it altogether.

      2. Oh. I assume no one has an actual policy other than, “I will kill terrorists.”

  5. Didn’t bin Laden die in December 2001? I remember the most in the media believed as much, Michael Moore was pretty vocal in his belief of such, and the Bush Administration stopped talking about him around that time. I think it’s farfetched to think a man on kidney dialysis could live in, essentially, a medieval cave for 15 years.

    1. He was living in a compound in Pakistan in pretty much plain site, besides a wall around it, not a cave. They probably killed him as the story goes, but it probably had zero effect on Islamic terrorism. Michael Moore is a moron.

      1. It’s not unthinkable that they knew where he was the whole time and just sacrificed him to get a PR boost.

  6. Since he’s bragging, why doesn’t some reporter ask him about Clinton participating in the extrajudicial assassinations of American citizens Anwar al Alwaki, Samir Kahn and Jude Mohammed. Maybe the fact that SHE PARTICIPATED IN THE EXECUTION OF AMERICAN CITIZENS THAT HAD NEVER EVEN BEEN CHARGED WITH A CRIME is more newsworthy than what her major opponent called a fat person 20 fucking years ago.

    Or ask him about her gun-running op in Libya that has spread to Syria and engulfed the entire region into a religious war with modern weaponry.

    Or better yet, throw him a few more softballs like “why is Trump so bad?” That’s what we expect from today’s media shitheads.

    1. I don’t think Goober Kaine is competent enough to answer questions of any degree of complexity. Probably, how do you spell M-O-O-N is about as complex as you can get with Timah the Goober. And to think, this guy is going to be President of the USA! LOL, Idiocracy, you ain’t got shit on reality!

      1. That’s the fucked up part. Clinton is knocking on deaths door. And once her body’s resistance to the cocktail of drugs she’s on starts to shut her organs down, sometime between Christmas and Easter, this fucking imbecile will end up as President unless Trump wins.

        Plus he pretty much looks like what I’d have envisioned Eddie Munster to have grown up and looked like if he chose to become a serial rapist.

        1. As opposed to the health of a 70-year-old that primarily eats fast food and self-tanner.

          Letting the mediocre governor of the worst state be President is no better choice.

          1. I’m confident that Pence is not as bad as Kaine should Trump OD on self tan. In fact, I’m sure that Pence is better than Trump. Pence is a boring m’fer, which is maybe exactly what we need for a while.

            1. I just don’t trust anyone from Indiana.

              But either way, a hamstrung VP might be a good option. Neither of them could claim a mandate and both of them would just be placeholders for the next election.

              Clinton sent Kaine out to be an attack dog last night and all he managed to do was look like a yippy little purse rat. Pence had a far easier job to just deny everything knowing they weren’t going to run any tape on him.

              1. But either way, a hamstrung VP might be a good option. Neither of them could claim a mandate and both of them would just be placeholders for the next election.

                Generally true but not always.

                1. Yeah. Tyler did inflict Texas on the rest of us. 🙂

                  1. A ceremonial cruise down the Potomac River was held aboard the newly built USS Princeton on February 28, 1844, the day after completion of the annexation treaty. Aboard the ship were 400 guests, including Tyler and his cabinet, as was the world’s largest naval gun, the “Peacemaker.” The gun was ceremonially fired several times in the afternoon to the great delight of the onlookers, who then filed downstairs to offer a toast. Several hours later, Captain Robert F. Stockton was convinced by the crowd to fire one more shot. As the guests moved up to the deck, Tyler paused briefly to watch his son-in-law, William Waller, sing a ditty.[116]

                    At once an explosion was heard from above: the gun had malfunctioned. Tyler was unhurt, having remained safely below deck, but a number of others were killed instantly, including his crucial cabinet members, Gilmer and Upshur. Also killed or mortally wounded were Virgil Maxcy of Maryland, Rep. David Gardiner of New York, Commodore Beverly Kennon, Chief of Construction of the United States Navy, and Armistead, Tyler’s black slave and body servant. The death of David Gardiner had a devastating effect on his daughter, Julia, who fainted and was carried to safety by the president himself.[116] Julia later recovered from her grief and married President Tyler.[117]

                    Damn, Tyler. You a dog.

            2. He was talking about Bill Weld.

          2. Are you really comparing Clinton’s health with Trump’s and calling it a draw?

            1. No, I’m saying he’s an overweight 70-year-old that primarily eats fast food by his own admission. That’s not a paragon of health, even if he’s not being loaded into cars like a passed out freshman.

              1. I wouldn’t trust Trump to run a 5k. I wouldn’t trust Clinton to walk up a flight of stairs.

                There’s a big difference in the two.

              2. For a guy in such allegedly bad shape, he’s been a campaign appearance machine.

          3. Also, nobody from Michigan is on either ballot, so I don’t understand your “worst state” claim.

            1. Let us all take a moment and join in the refrain…

              Fuck Michigan.

                1. 42-13, Jimmy boy. 42-13. And it’s gonna be worse this year.

                  1. Yes indeed. Can’t wait!

          4. Alabama’s governor is not running for anything. (I assume you’re not referring to California simply because their governor is terrible, rather than mediocre.)

          5. the mediocre governor of the worst state

            Kasich has been out of this race for a while. Let it go.

            1. Oh wait, you mean pence. He was governor? I thought indiana was just, like, Chicago’s backyard where they burned tires and bought guns.

              1. He still is governor. And you are not wrong, but it somehow is also allowed to elect Senators and Congressmen.

    2. I don’t have cable, and didn’t watch the debate last night, but I assume it went something like this:

      Moderator: Senator Kaine, isn’t Trump a dick?
      Kaine: Oh yeah, he’s a total dick.
      ::Trump scowls::

      Twitter: Kaine is so brave!
      Headlines: Kaine LITERALLY EVISCERATES Trump! Trump cannot stand criticism of horrible agenda!

      1. It sounds more like Kaine pulled a Kennedy on steroids and the moderator was too dumb to do anything except be dumb. Pretty sure Kaine did not do Hillary any favors.

      2. I watched the first episode of Westworld last night instead. I enjoyed it, although I’m a little nervous that they’re not going to dig deeply enough into the really interesting questions about AI and stuff like epistemology.

  7. Look, the plan is simple. Just keep drone-bombing Number 2 leaders of al Qaeda and ISIS. Guys will be promoted to replace them, and then you drone-bomb them. Eventually you will run out of Number 2 men and the war will be won.

    1. Don’t forget to intentionally hit a few hospitals, day care centers, and wedding parties while you’re at it.

      1. Who cares? Our actions have no repercussions. Bomb away.

        1. Oh yeah, that’s right. They already proved that nutty old Ron Paul guy was wrong about blow back. People totally don’t mind when you kill their families. It makes them like you more.

  8. Hildog doesn’t have a plan for ISIS! Her primary foreign policy objective is she wants to take out Assad, which will not only make the world even safer for ISIS than it already is, but will insanely put us at substantial risk of armed confrontation with Russia there.

    Hillary is the Islamic State’s second biggest friend in America after Obama.

    1. Basically, this.

  9. The idea that bombing makes it easier to recruit is just a load of bullshit. Reason and many others refuse to face the truth about radical ideologies and why they appeal to people. They really seem to believe that people joining these groups are all real life Outlaw Josey Wales, taking the only available option after seeing their family murdered by the evil US. Sorry, that is a fucking fairy tale.

    People join these groups because they offer people meaning and the chance to be a part of a larger cause. Radical Islam is a Utopian movement for world revolution and transformation that is in many ways akin to Communism. The ideology appeals to people looking for meaning and who for whatever reason are pissed off or dissatisfied with their lot in life. Personal revenge doesn’t usually play into it. What drives it mostly is ideological anger about injustice and corruption. People join these groups as crazy as they are mostly because they see it as a way to be a part of a cause that ushers in a better and more just world. No shit.

    So bombing these people isn’t going to make them more attractive. What makes them more attractive is being nice to them and pretending they can be reasoned with. That just makes us look weak and them look strong. The stronger a cause is and the more of a winner it is, the more attractive it is. No one wants to die for a hopeless cause.

    1. “They really seem to believe that people joining these groups are all real life Outlaw Josey Wales, taking the only available option after seeing their family murdered by the evil US. Sorry, that is a fucking fairy tale.”

      That might not be the main reason, but really, you don’t believe that seeing your family murdered by US forces is not going to exactly make you want to start waiving around an American flag and start eating apple pie and wanting to dress like a cowboy?

      The USA is practically doing ISIS recruiting for them. I’m not sure what else we can do. Hand out fliers for them?

      1. Hyperion has outed himself as an America-hating liberal moonbat!

        1. Well, I hid it for as long as possible.

      2. Actually no. Life doesn’t work that way. Not everyone is willing to die for revenge. Revenge is less seductive than Hollywood makes you believe. We burned entire cities to the ground in World War II. Did the Japanese and Germans spend the rest of their lives in search of revenge? Or did seeing their families burned alive and their cities leveled cause them to decide war with the rest of the world wasn’t a very good idea?

        People don’t join murderous death cults or Utopian movements, which is what ISIS is because they want personal revenge. They join them because they want to make the world a better place and to be a part of the struggle to purify it. The road to hell really is paved with good intentions.

        1. John, put your feet in their shoes for a minute, just one minute here. Picture the following scenario.

          You’re a poor 3rd worlder, living in your 3rd world shitty country. All you have is family, some hummus, and maybe if you’re one of the more wealthy, your very own camel. You’re just living your simple life. Because there’s nothing else to do. You’re not journeying any further than the local well, or you cousin’s house. Then all of a sudden, while out on a run to the well, your house explodes and all your family is dead. So then you find out, that it’s the USA that blew up your family. Now, this USA, it may as well be on fucking Mars as far as you’re concerned. You know nothing about it. You don’t know why this happens. But then some angry armed guys come to your village to tell you that it’s because USA is the great Satan who wants to wipe out your people, for no good reason. You don’t have a TV, or radio, you can’t even read. What are you supposed to think?

          I mean that’s a great simplification. But it’s very easy for me to believe that if I’m in that situation, I’m going to be wanting some revenge and will do anything to get it, including joining up with some psychos who have weapons, which I cannot get my hands on otherwise.

          1. I mean that’s a great simplification

            And it bears no resemblance to reality. The people who have joined ISIS are not people who were living in huts and were bombed by the US. The people who are joining ISIS are coming from all over the world. And they are not waging war just against the US. They are waging war against other Muslims they view as heretics and anyone who happens to not be a Muslim.

            And the people’s complaints in Syria and Iraq largely have nothing to do with the US. Their complaints are about their own governments and their own societies being unjust. Let me give you an hypothetical.

            Imagine the US government were as brutal and corrupt as Assad’s or Saddam’s. And then a Christian fundamentalist movement arose that said they were going to replace the rule of money with the rule of God and go to Washington and hang every single person associated with the government and murder everyone who helped bring it into existence. And when they were done there, they were going to move on to the rest of the world and usher in a golden age of the rule of God.

            You don’t think that wouldn’t appeal to a lot of people? More importantly, don’t you see how its appeal has nothing to do with whether Mexico or the UK were bombing us? Sure, we will get around to going after them, but that is not what is driving the movement. ISIS is pretty much to Syria and Iraq what this would be to America.

          2. I can understand your point. But, the actual empirical fact is that the poor third worlder generally doesn’t join groups like ISIS or Al Quaeda. They’re generally too busy trying to eke out a living. These groups tend to have more of their recruiting from the local middle and upper middle class.

            1. Bingo Bill. And they join these groups for the reasons I describe above.

              1. I do take a more cynical view of their motives than you seem to.

                (see below).

          3. Let’s consider a different scenario. Your kid is out playing with friends and some cops stroll by and confuse his phone for a gun and kill him. Do you file a lawsuit and get involved in activism and go on with your life, or do you plot a suicidal revenge attack against the cops? Before answering, remember that it’s a situation people, probably including people much like yourself, face all the time. But I don’t see much on the news about terrorist attacks by people with direct, personal history with police violence.

            Now, sure, if there was an actual revolution that started taking out cops, you might be on board earlier than most, but then it’s a lot harder to disentangle mass-movement psychology from personal motivations.

      3. What are you talking about, Hyperion? We have an anti-ISIS Twitter account! This demonstrates how serious we are! No one will join ISIS once they see all the negative re-tweets!

      4. But again: if blowback is a real thing, why don’t we see it from people in other regions we’ve bombed?

        1. Exactly. Moreover, if blowback is a real thing, how did anyone ever win a war? How do you win a war when killing your enemy just gives them more will to fight instead of breaking it?

          1. You win a war when the enemy is either too exhausted to fight any-more, or decide that fighting leads to worse outcomes than surrender.

            And people sign up to fight when the converse is true, when they see not fighting as worse than fighting.

            Germans volunteered to fight during the early days of WW-II because they saw their cause as righteous, to recover honor, protect their families and country, to avenge wrongs etc. They deserted at the end when fighting meant certain death, when they knew their families back home were starving and vulnerable to attacks by bandits or occupying troops.

            Very few people fight for ideology. When you get masses of people going to war, the cause is simple, they feel that if they don’t fight bad things will happen to them, their families, their country and their possessions and that the risk of death or serious injury is worth bearing to avoid these bad outcomes. Or perhaps they feel that the benefits of fighting – in plunder slaves etc makes the risk worthwhile.

            And if people like you are randomly getting killed by foreigners far away in a war that is endless, it’s pretty intolerable – far more intolerable than having your country occupied by a force that is offering peace and security if you follow some simple rules.

            1. You win a war when the enemy is either too exhausted to fight any-more, or decide that fighting leads to worse outcomes than surrender.

              To some degree yes. What you are missing is that a certain portion of any society either likes violence or is so committed to the cause that death is a preferable outcome to surrender. You cannot win a war until you have killed all of these people. Once they are gone, the rest of society can be reasoned with and will quit once they see surrender as a preferable option to war.

              People talk a lot about what it means to “break a society’s will to fight” but they never really explain what that means. What it means is kill all of the people who are either so committed to the cause or benefit from the war (some people are only good at violence and thus only important when violence is needed and have no interest in peace as a result) such that the remaining people are able to choose the sensible option of peace if it is offered. Unless and until you kill all or most of the first type of person, you are not getting peace.

            2. In terms of breaking an enemy’s will to fight, I would posit that Nazism and Islam are qualitatively different motivators. Adherents of Islam will not stop fighting just because they run the risk of social and personal ruin. These are people who strap bombs on their own children.

        2. What other regions that we’ve bombed? Who else have we bombed since Vietnam, which is a country?

          1. We bombed Vietnam and Korea to a much greater extent and effect than we have ever bombed the middle east. Over a million North Vietnamese died during the US involvement in that war. Yet, we don’t seem to have a Vietnamese revenge terrorist problem now do we?

            1. Those are countries. We aren’t exactly bombing countries, we’re bombing ‘people’, where there is not any clear cut distinction about exactly what the end goal is, and what constitutes victory. There is absolutely no way to compare this to Vietnam or Korea.

              This is a forever war without sides.

              1. We bombed people in Vietnam. Why would us bombing someone in Vietnam have a different effect than bombing someone anywhere else?

                And as I say elsewhere, there is nothing magical about destroying an army and a government. That doesn’t necessarily bring you peace. If the population decides to continue the wary by other means, meaning terrorism, you are not getting peace.

            1. What country are we at war with right now?

    2. As with all wars (and that’s what this is), the reasons for joining are numerous, but more or less the same throughout history:

      Patriotism/belief in higher calling
      Seeking adventure
      Drafted
      An opportunity when there are no better options
      “Those goddamned [whatever] did [whatever] and we gotsta make’em pay for it!”

      I’m probably leaving a few off…

      But all that aside, bombing nations we’re not at war with and that aren’t an imminent threat to the U.S. is illegal and wrong. Blowing up city blocks to assassinate one or a small group of people, thereby killing innocents in the process, is wrong and does nothing to help our standing in the world. Murdering U.S. citizens without due process is wrong and illegal.

      1. Sure but that doesn’t mean that doing those things is necessarily ineffective. Just because something is immoral doesn’t mean that it is not effective at winning a war. Reason’s problem is that it wants to pretend that bombing and doing anything that offends its sensibilities isn’t just wrong in their view but counter productive. And that is just a load of horseshit that turns causality on its head and pretends that the only way to win a war is by not killing the enemy. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.

        1. You’re treating global Islamic terrorism, a phenomenon, as if it’s WWII. Bombing the shit out of a country works because you have a government which is theoretically in control of the military and which is the sovereign power within its borders. Damage to infrastructure and injury to citizens and soldiers not only diminish the government’s wealth and power but erode its legitimacy, so there’s motivation to sue for peace if it can’t win or fight to a stalemate.

          Terrorists aren’t tied to borders and don’t deal with issues of legitimacy in the same way. Getting killed a lot is considered a regular day at the office, so casualties don’t really matter provided they’re incurred as a result of attacks, and leadership isn’t really much of an issue because these groups are loosely organized and disparate.

          1. You fail to understand that armies and governments are just one way to wage war. We destroyed the Army of Iraq but didn’t destroy the population’s will to fight. So they just continued the war by other means via terrorism.

            We got peace in Germany and Japan not because we destroyed their Army and governments. We got peace because we destroyed their population’s will to fight. Germans and Japanese could have become terrorists too. They could have continued the war by other means. They didn’t. They didn’t do that because we destroyed their will to fight. And we didn’t destroy it by never bombing or killing them.

          2. ^this^

            What country are we at war with?

            Forever war with no clear set goals or determination of victory. It doesn’t get any better for war profiteers like Hillary Clinton and her toadies.

            1. Hyperion,

              We are at war with an ideology. You beat an ideology by making it so that it is no longer attractive for people to join. The fact is people are not becoming radical Muslims because the US is bombing them. They have many other reasons. So pretending that us no longer defending ourselves is going to stop it is folly.

              1. Illegally bombing the shit out of their homes is doing nothing to alleviate the other causes of radicalization.

    3. The idea that bombing makes it easier to recruit is just a load of bullshit.

      Are you sure?

      How do you explain all the volunteers who joined the Army after 9/11?

      1. Or Pearl Harbor. Or the Lusitania. Or the Maine. Or Fort Sumter.

        1. That was different, cause MURIKA FUCK YEAH!

      2. We are not a utopian death cult. We are a nation. Does attacking a nation cause those people who are loyal to that nation to rise in its defense? Sure. There is of course a limit to that. Enough bombing and people decide defending the country is no longer worth it.

        That being said, ISIS is an ideology that happens to have made itself into a quasi nation state. People don’t join ISIS because they see it being attacked like they join the army when their nation is attacked. They join ISIS because they see ISIS as a vehicle to purify the world and usher in a Utopia. Our bombing has nothing to do with that.

      3. That was different! Somehow!

        1. Yes it is. And again, at some point enough bombing stops the recruiting. If it didn’t, no one would ever win a war.

          Do you really think the way to win a war is by not killing the enemy? You guys always think everyone else is just like you. You would never aggressively attack someone without a reason, so apparently no one else would either. Therefore, if we just don’t give anyone an excuse, no one will attack us.

          How the fuck can you believe life works like that? I just can’t understand how anyone could think that given well the entire history of mankind.

          1. “Killing the enemy” has been working for the past fifteen years.

            1. We just haven’t hit the nail hard enough, Crusto.

            2. Sometimes life is like that. Who says wars can never last more than a few years? Moreover, to the extent we haven’t defeated radical Islam, perhaps it has to do with something besides how many of them we have killed?

              Our bombing them is not what is driving this. What is driving it is how utterly broken Arab society is. These countries are utterly corrupt and unable to offer their people any sense of justice. They turn to radical Islam because it offers a way to end that.

              The only way to stop it from being appealing is for these societies and governments to somehow fix themselves such that people no longer feel such radical measures are necessary to fix things. I don’t know how the hell you do that. Understand giving everyone a TV and a cellphone isn’t going to do it. If it wasn’t for our own Muslim population and their tendency to bust a gasket and start murdering for the Jihad or the possibility that they could get chem or nuclear weapons and do real damage, this really wouldn’t be our problem. At some point, the only solution may be to just stand back and let the Muslims murder each other until they get tired of it.

              There are not good or easy solutions to this. But we should understand that it is not being driven by our bombing and just stopping defending ourselves isn’t going to solve it.

              1. Bombing has not worked, and bombing will not work. How much more evidence is needed?

                A full-scale military incursion into Syria and Iraq would decimate ISIS (until a new sect would form somewhere), but that is not being discussed. Special ops secretly fighting and targeting potential enemies for bombs has not worked for the past eight years, because it is useless and retarded.

                1. The evidence is that radical Islam will not stop until and unless the Muslim world recognizes that it has a problem. Or believes it has a problem, because there seems ample evidence that jihad is not bothering the Saudis, Iranians, and assorted others.

                  So, what can the US do? How about we cut them the fuck off economically. Other places provide oil. Stop selling arms to any of those nations. And make clear from the Oval Office level that any further attack on the US, its interests, or its allies will be met by wholly disproportionate force. The latter, of course, has to come from someone with credibility on the matter. But you’re right about more of the same not being a good means of generating different results.

                2. Bombing has not worked, and bombing will not work. How much more evidence is needed?

                  Bombing hasn’t ended the war. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t worked. You assume that not bombing would have somehow made things better. I see no reason to believe that. In fact it would have been much worse. First, if we refused to defend ourselves, how many very dangerous people would be alive and able to harm us? Second, if we refuse to defend ourselves, the price of making war against us would be very small. It is a very dangerous life being a terrorist or working for ISIS. If we followed your advice that would not be the case.

                  Do you not think risk of death affects incentives? Sure some people don’t care if they die, but a lot of people do. Refusing to defend ourselves makes joining ISIS a lot less risky and more attractive than it is now.

                  All you can say Crusy is that “bombing hasn’t ended the war”. And my response to that is, who says every war must end on our time table? Wars end when one side gets tired of fighting and gives the other side what it wants. If you are tired of fighting, then give these guys what they want and convert to their brand of Islam. Otherwise, you are pissing in the wind if you think you are getting peace. You are not. They will at some point show up and come to kill you.

                  1. “They will at some point show up and come to kill you.”

                    Maybe so. But for the while, al qaeda is a friend. The US is not attacking it in Syria or Yemen, but allowing it to thrive. If all goes to plan it will turn on Russia and China before al qaeda gets around to killing Crusy.

            3. We just have to go harder for the children’s hospitals and wedding parties. Maybe some training from that psycho goon that trains cops to not care if the target is an old woman or little kid? Victory is at hand!

              Kill terrorists, create more terrorists, kill terrorists, wash, rinse repeat. Victory!

              1. We just have to go harder for the children’s hospitals and wedding parties

                That is just a complete fucking lie. You want to debate this issue, fine. But be serious about it. The idea that we only bomb weddings and funerals is just complete fantasy horseshit. Stop it. There is a whole lot of very dangerous people who would have caused all kinds of harm had they not had the excuse to go fight and die in Iraq or Afghanistan and instead come to Europe or the US to fight.

                You want to bitch about weddings and pretend that anything the Taliban or ISIS claims must be true, fine. But stop pretending that that is all that is going on here.

          2. Explain the IRA within that framework.

            1. That is easy. The IRA is an example of what happens when you don’t eliminate the sub segment of a population that has no interest in peace. The British actions in Ireland are not what drove recruitment to the IRA. The British sent the army in initially to protect the Catholics who were being terrorized by the Protestants. What caused the IRA to grow and continue was that once the violence started, people who were good at violence and who saw that as their way to be important, suddenly had a vehicle to do that by joining the IRA. The IRA was a mafia more than anything.

              What drove the IRA were the Ulsterman restarting the war with the Catholics not the British showing up and trying to keep the peace.

              1. “That is easy. The IRA is an example of what happens when you don’t eliminate the sub segment of a population that has no interest in peace”

                The British tried that back in the 1700s with us. Didn’t work.

                1. The British tried that back in the 1700s with us. Didn’t work.

                  They didn’t stay long enough and didn’t have the will necessary to do it. What saved us was the fact that we were fellow Englishman and they really didn’t have the stomach to resort to the means necessary to subdue an unwilling population. In other place like India and Africa where their enemies were not fellow Englishman they did and they were quite successful.

    4. What drives it mostly is ideological anger about injustice and corruption.

      You’re more idealistic than I am. I suspect they’re mostly driven by the same thing that drives people to support the communism you compare radical Islam to – the desire for power. The wish for a “better and more just world” is largely a rationalization. That’s why, much more often than not, you find that the people most inclined to take up radical Islam aren’t the poor and downtrodden that have cause to wish for a better and more just world, but the upper-middle to upper classes that, if anything, benefit from the injustices in their societies.

      1. “You’re more idealistic than I am. I suspect they’re mostly driven by the same thing that drives people to support the communism you compare radical Islam to – the desire for power.”

        The desire for power that manifests itself in a suicidal attack on Western societies? Power surely means having others doing the suicidal attacks. I think you are confusing desire for power with being overwhelmed by a feeling of powerlessness.

        Upper classes? You think any of the recent terror perpetrators are upper class? The unemployed security guard who was involved in the Orlando operation? The guy in New York caught sleeping in a doorway couple weeks back? These are not upper class people.

        I heard of a study that showed that medicine and especially engineering were the fields that most prominently filled terror’s ranks with loyal members. Those who studied the arts and humanities were less likely to join and more likely to renounce terror.

    5. Hoffer should be required reading for any libertarian.

    6. “People join these groups as crazy as they are mostly because they see it as a way to be a part of a cause that ushers in a better and more just world. ”

      I pretty much agree with you. I’m surprised that you recognize the lack of importance of religious faith or spiritual teachings of Islam. It arises from mostly young people craving justice. OWS tapped into the same desires. Only al quaeda pays a healthy wage, an attractive feature you forgot to mention.

  10. If Bush had managed to get bin Laden we would be seeing the finishing touches of his head on Mt. Rushmore. John would still be orgasming to this day.

    It is however true that the way our government frames the problem of terrorist groups (as adversaries in war) is unhelpful across several dimensions.

    1. For once Tony you are right. If Bush had not listened to Rumsfeld and conducted a proper invasion of Afghanistan with US troops rather than the Northern Alliance, we would have likely caught and killed Bin Ladin at Tora Bora and things would be a lot differently.

      But if we are going to play ifs, remember, if Bill Clinton hadn’t run away in Somalia, Bin Ladin would have never gotten the idea that the US was weak and the way to run them out of Saudi Arabia and abandon the Saudi Royals was to conduct a big terrorist attack in the US. And even if he had gotten the idea, he wouldn’t have done it had Bill Clinton taken any one of the numerous opportunities he had to kill Bin Ladin.

      1. Not pointlessly and disastrously invading Iraq is a pretty big if.

        1. The invasion of Iraq wasn’t pointless.

          The U.S. had a huge army in Saudi Arabia to defend it against attack from the North. That army was the stated casus belli in Al Queda’s declaration of war.

          Invading Iraq, toppling Saddam Hussein and installing a government that was a U.S. client (and therefore really a Saudi client because the U.S. policy in the M.E. is to do whatever the Saudi’s want) was a way to eliminate the need for that army. Withdrawing that army from Saudi Arabia would eliminate Bin Laden’s claim that he was protecting the Saudi peninsula from infidel occupation and eliminate his moral authority.

          It was a foolish plan, and one that had no chance of succeeding, but it wasn’t pointless.

          1. Tony just randomly throws out adjectives that have negative connotation without actually understanding their meaning. Iraq = bad. Pointless = bad. Therefore Iraq = pointless. Herpaderp.

          2. By pointless I mean in retrospect. Presumably they had their reasons.

      2. Tony|10.5.16 @ 10:59AM|#

        If Bush had managed to get bin Laden we would be seeing the finishing touches of his head on Mt. Rushmore. John would still be orgasming to this day.

        John|10.5.16 @ 11:06AM|#

        For once Tony you are right.

        Just want to make sure everyone sees this….

        1. The truth is what it is. Bush and Rumsfeld fucked up the initial invasion of Afghanistan. Just because he is Tony and nearly always wrong, doesn’t mean you should not admit it when he is right.

        2. If Tony was ever right about anything, it was an accident. Broken clock theory.

          1. That’s what the entire rest of the world thinks about libertarians.

            Slow clap for your brilliant idea that we shouldn’t lock people for smoking weed. How impressive.

          2. I was more laughing John’s admitting that he’d splooge over Bush on Mt. Rushmore…

    2. My gawd, you are fucking stupid.

  11. MY PRESIDENT KEELS TERRRISTS MORE DEADERER THAN YER PRESIDENT

    1. Warty is much better at this stuff than you are. Up your game or leave it to him.

      1. Yeah, but he’s posted like three times in the past six months. I’ve posted more often than him recently, and I’m barely past lurker status.

      2. That was not at all an attempt to steal from Warty’s ‘stereotypical yokel’ M.O.

        That was just my own mockery of the juvenile nature of the debate between the Veeps.

        I understand that when others use the all-caps thing it can be confusing. Its not patented, last i checked.

        For the record, i was doing a “REAL AMERICAN” routine as far back as ~2006 or so. It was sort of a counter-point to Dondero et al., by amplifying the dumbest arguments people on the Right made and throwing them back at them.

  12. My gawd, you are fucking stupid.

    So say we all.

    1. That’s it, I’m writing in Mary McDonnell for President. Hillary thinks she’s the most qualified candidate ever because she was First Lady? Well, McDonnell was Bill Pullman’s First Lady during a damn alien invasion, then managed to serve almost a full presidential term while dying of cancer. We also know she’s the candidate we can trust most on cybersecurity from when she was Robert Redford’s girlfriend in Sneakers.

  13. I’m moving this over from the linx-

    I watched that “debate” last night.

    I have a suggestion for the people who operate those shows. Equip the moderator with a light, whippy walking stick, and give him/her full authority to whack the participants energetically with it, while admonishing them to, “ANSWER THE GODDAM QUESTION, YOU YAMMERING CRETIN!”

  14. Semi OT: The Onion on Tim Kaine. From a few months ago. Still damn funny.

    1. More Onion.

      “For the last time, Senator Kaine, when Governor Pence is speaking, please refrain from making any sounds like a dog, race car, or monkey into the microphone,” said Quijano, appearing visibly exasperated after the Democrat, who had previously been reprimanded for swinging the microphone around by the cord and calling it his “grappling hook,” declared loudly in a monotone voice, “I am a robot named Tim, beep bop beep,” and then proceeded to lick the microphone like an ice cream cone.

  15. How many people has that pussy Trump killed?

    VOTE HILLARY.

    1. I bet he’s never droned a single wedding. What a little bitch, amirite?

  16. HILLARY- AN IRON FIST IN AN IRON VAGINA.

  17. [Bin-Laden] died while holed up in a house in Pakistan with his feuding wives

    Shit, motherfucker was probably secretly hoping for SEAL Team 6 to kick in his door and put him out his misery. Amiright, fellas?!

  18. Let’s be clear.
    This means we keep droning the random weddings?
    Right?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.