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Tilting at Windmills

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April 16, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

BENN ON TERROR....Here's an interesting upcoming comment from a rising member of Britain's Labor Party:

President George W Bush's concept of a "war on terror" has given strength to terrorists by making them feel part of something bigger, Hilary Benn will say....And Mr Benn, a candidate for Labour's deputy leadership, will confirm that UK officials will stop using the term.

....Mr Benn will say: "In the UK, we do not use the phrase 'war on terror' because we can't win by military means alone. And because this isn't us against one organised enemy with a clear identity and a coherent set of objectives."

...."What these groups want is to force their individual and narrow values on others, without dialogue, without debate, through violence. And by letting them feel part of something bigger, we give them strength."

OK, OK, this is only very mildly interesting. Still, getting rid of the phrase "war on terror" is probably the first step toward developing a coherent policy against....um....whatever it is, and it would be welcome news if Benn really is speaking for the British government, not just for himself. But I wonder if he's going to suggest a replacement?

Kevin Drum 12:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (66)

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developing a coherent policy against....um....whatever it is,

The terrorists who attacked us? (And those who'd like to follow their example?)

As with the War on Drugs and even the War on Poverty, the "war" metaphor is generally unhelpful, especially if it suggests a purely military, coercive response. These sorts of problems aren't likely to be solved that way. Instead, the "War on X" construct is more about PR and making those proclaiming the "wars" seem all serious and manly.

Posted by: jimBOB on April 16, 2007 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

He's Tony Benn's son! What a terrific F.Y. to Bush.

Any other Mekons fans out there?

Posted by: abe on April 16, 2007 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

How about, "religiously-motivated violence?"

Or does that hit a little too close to home for some?

Posted by: Josh Yelon on April 16, 2007 at 1:56 AM | PERMALINK

You're right Josh - it should be "religiously required violence."

I think we need a War Label Czar to figure this out.

Posted by: craigie on April 16, 2007 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

How about the War on Republicans?

They are without a doubt the biggest danger Democracy faces.

Posted by: craigie on April 16, 2007 at 2:01 AM | PERMALINK

Why isn't anyone blogging on the 15th?

When's the last time PolAn skipped a day?

Posted by: Crissa on April 16, 2007 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

Bring back GSAVE, I sort of liked the one. Certainly better than GWOT.

Posted by: washerdreyer on April 16, 2007 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

I prefer The War Against Terror...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 16, 2007 at 2:12 AM | PERMALINK

GWOT is and was never anything more than a brand for domestic consumption. That it is having blowback is not only predictable but desired by those seeking permanent war.

Posted by: Disputo on April 16, 2007 at 2:24 AM | PERMALINK

Hilary Benn is the son of Tony Benn. Tony Benn was the famous left winger, who dogged every Labour Party leader before Blair with demands for unilateral nuclear disarmament, mass nationalisation of key industries, etc. Jim Callaghan, Neil Kinnock and John Smith fought running battles against him running over decades.

Call Tony Benn the Dennis Kucinich (sp?) of the Labour Party.

The son is trying to position himself as much more of a moderate, and a 'coming man' in Labour politics. But beware that background.

Posted by: Valuethinker on April 16, 2007 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

No blogging on April 15th?

Maybe Kev had to do his taxes?

Posted by: trixi on April 16, 2007 at 3:12 AM | PERMALINK

Btw, I forgot to say to Kevin:

Hahahah!

Chicago beats LA for the US Olympic bid.

Posted by: Disputo on April 16, 2007 at 3:25 AM | PERMALINK

The son is trying to position himself as much more of a moderate

He's been a Blairite since before the vast majority of Americans had ever heard of Tony Blair. Suggesting Hilary Benn is some kind of Manchurian Candidate of his Dad's is just asinine.

Posted by: Alan de Bristol on April 16, 2007 at 3:37 AM | PERMALINK

The Democrats in Congress seem to be moving in this same direction (WARNING! Link to FoxNews):

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,264008,00.html

Posted by: Daryl Cobranchi on April 16, 2007 at 3:37 AM | PERMALINK

Disputo:

GWOT is and was never anything more than a brand for domestic consumption. That it is having blowback is not only predictable but desired by those seeking permanent war.

Yes, exactly, and for exactly the same reasons Benn cites wrt their counterparts:

"What these groups want is to force their individual and narrow values on others, without dialogue, without debate, through violence. And by letting them feel part of something bigger, we give them strength."
Posted by: latts on April 16, 2007 at 3:52 AM | PERMALINK

Hilary James Wedgwood Benn, son of "Tony Benn," is a member of the China dinnerware dynasty, and, thus, presumably is related to Charles Darwin. In England, center-left intellectuals have been inbreeding since the 18th Century, so it's common to come upon prominent people like Hilary Benn who are related to some combination of Darwin, Keynes, the Huxleys, Matthew Arnold, and so forth, with marriages to Wedgwoods providing money. For instance, child actor Skandar Keynes of Chronicles of Narnia is a direct descendant of Charles Darwin and of the brother of economist J.M. Keynes.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on April 16, 2007 at 4:59 AM | PERMALINK

...."What these groups want is to force their individual and narrow values on others, without dialogue, without debate, through violence. And by letting them feel part of something bigger, we give them strength."

What am I missing here? Saying they are the enemy in the war on terror elevates their status and gives them strength and dialogue and debate won't?

Disenfranchisement is probably high on their list of complaints in their own country. Their status will be elevated no matter what is done, but dialogue and debate should result in far fewer deaths.

Posted by: SPIIDERWEB™s on April 16, 2007 at 6:44 AM | PERMALINK

...a "war on terror" has given strength to terrorists by making them feel part of something bigger...

Reminds me of an old British comedy routine where a police inspector refused to call robbers "criminal masterminds" because it demoralized the police.

Posted by: 2.7182818 on April 16, 2007 at 7:24 AM | PERMALINK

Another problem with using the word "war" in the "War on Terror" is that -- unlike the War on Drugs or the War on Poverty -- it resulted in the passage of the Patriot Act which curtailed freedoms. Arguing that we are in a perpetual state of "war" against a hidden enemy allowed for more damage to our democracy than the hijackers did.

While the attack on Afghanistan and the Taliban had merit in a "war on terror" because they were providing support for Osama Bin Ladin, nothing else that I have seen in the past six years seems to merit being identified under that name. Certainly the attack on IRaq had nothing to do with 9/11 or any aid being given to terrorist organizations.

Posted by: Bobbi on April 16, 2007 at 8:03 AM | PERMALINK

How about: "the global war on those who hate us because we are free" (GWOTWHUBWAF -- pronounced as it appears), or "the vast atheist/muslim/liberal conspiracy to destroy America" ?

Posted by: amerlcan buzrd on April 16, 2007 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with the guy. I would call the campaign "Pity for Losers" or something like that. For I have read about FBI agents and experienced police officers interviewing the prisoners and then saying that these guys are no different from the types they have to deal with all the time: druggies, alcoholics, small-time crooks, all of whom have excuses and blame others, etc.

Religion should not enter into any naming policy. It offends without any benefit. Strategically, it is much easier to laugh at a Drunken Osama (good name for a drink) or to link him to the heroin trade. It doesn't piss off the Islamic world for one thing, and his secret admirers can't defend him in that depiction.

The military stuff just glorifies everyone by definition: the President and the the pols, the soldiers, the columnists, Internet bloggers even. All feel part of a noble enterprise.

It ain't. In fact, if you look on them as insect pests, say, then you can think much more clearly about solutions. It is mathematical more than anything.

Posted by: Guy Banister on April 16, 2007 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

How about Action Against Ideological Fascism?

I know it's not catchy, but I think it's accurate. We've seen ideologies used to justify atrocities over and over again, including Soviet Communism, Chinese Communism, Nazism, umpteen religious wars in Europe and jihadism. It's not about religion. It's about using violence to enforce ideological beliefs that aren't persuasive enough to persuade on their own. It's also about fooling oneself into believing it's about the ideology when it's really about sexual sadism, ethnic hate, greed, lust for power and/or revenge.

Whatever your religious beliefs, it's obvious that religion is constantly used to rationalize behavior with its roots in the lizard brain. But so are other comparable ideologies. It's the Believer we must fear--not just the Religious Believer.

Posted by: cowalker on April 16, 2007 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

Bobbi Another problem with using the word "war" in the "War on Terror" is that -- unlike the War on Drugs or the War on Poverty -- it resulted in the passage of the Patriot Act which curtailed freedoms

It's not a bug, it's a feature. It was quite appropriate for us to suffer the minimal curtailment of freedoms in the Patriot Act, given the nature of our enemy.

Note that al Qaeda has been making war on the US and the West for decades. It was past time that we declare war on them.

I disagree with Benn's idea that the name "War on Terror" helps our enemy recruit. They have their own internal reasons driving their hatred of us and our ways.

As this thread has shown, although War on Terror is vague about who we're fighting, it's not easy to come up with a universally supported alternative. How about: "War on Islamic Fascism, Especially When Supported by Saudi Arabian or Irani Iterests."


Posted by: ex-liberal on April 16, 2007 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

how about the War Against Religious Violence? it's the long-sought common thread between al qaeda and the iraqi civil war.

the WARV!

Posted by: benjoya on April 16, 2007 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

oh, and i love them mekons.

Posted by: benjoya on April 16, 2007 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

"But I wonder if he's going to suggest a replacement?" - K Drum

There doesn't need to be a replacement. Every problem doesn't need an MSM approved catch phrase to make it real. As Benn is saying, the existence of a catch phrase only lends legitimacy and group cohesion to would be thugs across the globe.

"What am I missing here?........Their status will be elevated no matter what is done" - SPIDERWEB

First, I think group cohesion is a huge concern - and being a member of the "WAR ON TERROR" gang against the oppressive US is a pretty effective strategy for generating cohesion. Individual thugs beat people up and do a bit of vandalizing. When they are caught, the terror is over. As we have learned since 9/11, groups of thugs identify larger targets and potentially do the kinds of damage that can shake the foundational elements of an entire society. And what could make groups of thugs even worse? How about groups of groups of thugs loosely connected across the planet with the only real ideological element connecting them being a desire to mess shit up. We have already thoughtlessly done far, far too much to bring these groups together around a common enemy.

Second, and perhaps just as damaging, is the dangerous way that "WAR ON TERROR" thinking makes Americans see this as a black and white problem. There are no ethnicities or religions to consider. No tribal alliances to worry over. No need for historical background. Just some drunk guys in a bar saying shit like "Kill them all and let God sort them out." Dealing with lots of little brush fires around the world requires a lot of individual attention and it's hard work. It's also not very exciting in political debates - so much more fun to beat one's chest and say we are going to eliminate terrorism. And, no, I didn't just make that up - go back and listen to the rhetoric following 9/11. Our leaders really did act like they were going to run around with a big stick and route out terrorism - of course, it might take a few years and they were the only ones that could be trusted, but they were going to do it!

We have all been gamed - badly. The whole globe is unstable because of WAR ON TERROR thinking. We invent these slogans because we are lazy - they allow us to think that something is being done, IN BOLD!! We must either rediscover our critical facilities or it won't be long until WAR ON TERROR is all that we have left to hurl at our enemies.

Posted by: HungChad on April 16, 2007 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Banister gets it; grim that Bush doesn't.

Ain't it sorta Statecraft 101 to define a war so it is POSSIBLE to win it? "Terror" is an emotion, after all.

So much of what these guys have done wrong revolves around spin over substance -- the first MILITARY principle is The Objective. You want to have just one. When you achieve that, when you reach "mission accomplished", you can move on to the next one. But Bush didn't have a single, clear, defined objective in Iraq -- it wasn't to knock off Saddam, it was to find WMD that didn't exist (so we couldn't achieve that objective), AND it became to install a democracy in Iraq (not going well), THEN to achieve stability so we could leave (not looking good either).

That's what progressives should do -- return to the fundamentals. What's our objective?

And how do we define the broader war so that we CAN win it?

It's too late to insist that it isn't a war, it's just global law enforcement against criminals. That's what we shoulda done in the first place, but time marches on and we gotta recognize that, having declared "war on terror", now we gotta figure out how to make it as much a progressive war which is, in fact, the only way to win it.

Banister is right -- and so was the guy who insisted back in 2002 that we need a theological component, just as we had an ideological strategy to win the Cold War.

Bin Laden (and the Saudi's) take on Islam is obviously false. Hell, Saudi influence is pretty much entirely based on a form of ribbah, unearned income without risk.

Let's go AFTER these guys, already, in the most effective ways possible.

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 16, 2007 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

A rational name might be 'World Campaign Against Violence". However, this doesn't really fit very well with the actual policies of the US Government and [some of] it's allies.

Violence is violence.

Toss a bomb from an airplane = hero.
Toss a bomb from a taxicab = terrorist.

Osama has said his inpiration for becoming an anti-american was watching video of US warplanes bombing apartment buildings in Beruit during the incursion there under Regan.

>"Note that al Qaeda has been making war on the US and the West for decades. It was past time that we declare war on them."

Too funny... the west has been making war on the Arab world for far longer than that.

How many times has GB invaded Iraq? (Answer 3).
How many times has Iraq invaded GB. O.

Terrorism = violence not approved by the US government.

Posted by: Buford on April 16, 2007 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

I've been calling it the BWOT...the bogus war on terror

Posted by: Stewart Dean on April 16, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Great "ex-liberal" parody at 9:45 am. I especialiy liked the approval of "minimal curtailment of freedoms," since "ex-liberal" pretends to be in favopr of freedon unless his fellow neocons are doing the curtailing. This post discredits "ex-liberal" almost as on as his/her/its actual posts do. Great job!

Posted by: Gregory on April 16, 2007 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

HungChad has it. We don't need a replacement term, because the problem is the "it" that the term refers to. Are we (menaing an idealized us gvt. run by, you know, adults) opposed to terrorism? yes. Will we use every diplomatic, law enforcement and military means necessary to prevent the spread of terrrorism as a tactic? yes. Especially if it's likely to be used against us or allies? yes. Does this require massive integration and coordination of effort? yes.

Does that mean that that, beyond our interest, all of the efforts involved are linked into some conceptual idea of what that struggle "is"? No. In fact, fighting this kidn of thing effectively requires being able to recognize the differences in smaller battles, and not,a s Bennn suggests, encouraging cohesion among our enemies. duh.

the "war on terror" is a catch phrase used by Republicans to win elections. that's it. It's a cynical and wrongheaded concept in any number of ways and he most useful thing it does is it allows the gvt. in power here to say "see, we're doing something."

Posted by: URK on April 16, 2007 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe we could go back to Bill Clintons Global Police Action against terror.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on April 16, 2007 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

I've been calling it the BWOT...the bogus war on terror
Posted by: Stewart Dean

"This is an eternal war against terrorism. It’s like a war against dandruff. There’s no such thing as a war against terrorism. It’s idiotic. These are slogans. These are lies. It’s advertising, which is the only art form we ever invented and developed." - Gore Vidal

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 16, 2007 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

From "The Global War on Error"...

This is not a case, as Shakespeare might have said, of a rose by any other name smelling as sweet. The United States is not engaged in a twilight struggle against a concept. The United States is fighting Al Qaeda, an organization with political and military goals, one that declared war on America in 1996 and attacked its homeland in 2001. Bin Laden's organization and its network of loosely affiliated cells and followers must be beaten back politically, diplomatically, ideologically - and militarily.

Posted by: AngryOne on April 16, 2007 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK
Still, getting rid of the phrase "war on terror" is probably the first step toward developing a coherent policy against....um....whatever it is

It seems to me that Benn's major point is that it is not useful to behave as if the things against which the "War on Terrorism" is notionally directed are, in fact, a unified whole against which a single policy or strategy is appropriate or desirable.

So, no, I don't think he's going to be suggesting a single integrated policy against "it", since he is saying that "it" is not an "it", but a diversity of largely unrelated things, which need to be addressed by their own policies. The common thread, as the article you link to points out, in the approach to dealing with these problems appears to be, in Benn's view, seeking common ground with potential enemies before the extremists succeed in propagandize them into becoming actual enemies. The policies that acheive that, of course, will vary considerably in heading off different extremists groups, rather than being a simplistic, cookie-cutter approach.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 16, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

mhr: "Millions of ignorant but fanatical islamic men with nothing to do except kill and die and then go to their eternal reward is a problem- except for liberals. For them it's all Bush's fault."

That's funny, because to you, nothing is Bush's fault.

Posted by: Kenji on April 16, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe we could go back to Bill Clintons [sic] Global Police Action against terror.

Since global terrorism was hundreds of order of magnitude smaller during Clinton's time, and since Clinton did not allow 9/11 to happen on his watch and did not bog us down in two losing land wars in Asia, then sure. And while we're at it, I'd also love to get back the Clinton economy as well.

Posted by: Stefan on April 16, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory" I especialiy liked the approval of "minimal curtailment of freedoms,"

Gregory, to see how minimal these are, I suggest you try listing the names of people whose freedom has been curtailed by the Patriot Act.

Note that those who fought against renewing the Patriot Act provided no actual instances of abuse under the act. Their objections are all theoretical and hypothetical. They couldn't find any actual infringements on civil liberties, and neither can you.

Then compare your list with the huge number of civil rights workers who were wire-tapped by Bobby Kennedy, the huge number of anti-war folks who were wire-tapped during LBJ's administration, and the imprisonment of thousands of Japanese Americans by FDR.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 16, 2007 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe we could go back to Bill Clintons Global Police Action against terror.

McVeigh - convicted and executed

Nichols - convicted and imprisoned

Perpetrators of the 1993 WTC attack - imprisoned.

Smarter trolls, please. Christ that was too easy - I haven't even had my coffee yet.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 16, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe we could go back to Bill Clintons Global Police Action against terror.

If you treat terrorism as a police problem, then terrorists are seen as what they are -- common criminals deserving of punishment. If you treat terrorism as a war, then terrorists are elevated into war fighters, romanticized into warriors and guerillas. Calling it a "war" gives terrorists a status that they don't deserve. Far better to call them what they are, and treat them on a par with other criminals such as murderers and kidnappers and gangsters.

Posted by: Stefan on April 16, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, egfraud... still waiting to see if you got your marching orders. Or are you a lying coward like your hero?

Posted by: Kenji on April 16, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Are we (menaing an idealized us gvt. run by, you know, adults) opposed to terrorism? yes. Will we use every diplomatic, law enforcement and military means necessary to prevent the spread of terrorism as a tactic? yes. Especially if it's likely to be used against us or allies? yes. Does this require massive integration and coordination of effort? yes." - URK

YES! Implicit in URK's quote is a very important concept - we don't have to endlessly state the obvious. Of course we are going to address our problems, but endless chest thumping and empty rhetoric addresses nothing.

Posted by: HungChad on April 16, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Chest thumping is the point of the war on terrorism! If we had a better way of addressing terrorism, it would be less of a threat, and there would be less of a reason to thump chests.

Posted by: Boronx on April 16, 2007 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Here's two attempts to change the branding:

'War in Iraq' = Invasion and Inhabitation of Iraq (I-Cubed)

'Global War on Terror' = Operations Against Terrorist Aggressors (OATA, pronounced O-wah-tah).

I think that the White House's labelling of our misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan a 'War' is the only thing Dubya has that lets him claim War Powers authority..

Posted by: grape_crush on April 16, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

"Note that those who fought against renewing the Patriot Act provided no actual instances of abuse under the act. Their objections are all theoretical and hypothetical. They couldn't find any actual infringements on civil liberties, and neither can you." - ex-liberal (thankfully)

Absurd - of course there are no examples. There has been no way to examine what these people have been doing with these powers. It's ALL "Executive privilege." Further, it is intellectually dishonest to claim that representatives from either side of the aisle fought against the Patriot Act without further context - these representatives clearly objected to particularly loathsome provisions within the act. For some, they felt that particular provisions were so bad that the whole act needed to be reworked. Still others held their nose and voted for it in spite of these horrible provisions. Both sides had principled people, Democrats and Republicans, who genuinely care about this country and dealing with terrorism.

"Then compare your list with the huge number of civil rights workers who were wire-tapped by Bobby Kennedy, the huge number of anti-war folks who were wire-tapped during LBJ's administration, and the imprisonment of thousands of Japanese Americans by FDR." - ex-liberal

Great point - both Democrats and Republicans are prone to misuse excessive powers. This is why we have a Constitution and laws. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are above the law. The laws are in place to avoid abuses and to have a proper mechanisms for dealing with abusers. Nothing has happened either before or after 9/11 that requires these basic principals be abandoned.

Posted by: HungChad on April 16, 2007 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Perpetrators of the 1993 WTC attack - imprisoned.

How's the WTC doing lately?

Clinton was still in office as 9/11 was being planned. Obviously, the arrests and trials weren't much of a deterrent.

This is a larger issue than simply arresting perpetrators after the crime is committed, or assuming police are enough to take out terrorists inside nations protecting them.

Posted by: barrett on April 16, 2007 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Bush on the August 6 PDB that warned bin Laden was determined to strike inside the US:

"Good. You've covered your ass now."

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 16, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

I think this expression is fundamental to what's going on. It should have been challenged from the first moment it was used. It is an example of Bush's stupidity and the extreme cynicism and duplicity of the neo-cons. "War on Terror" God, I'm sick of those 3 words. The "war on poverty" and "war on drugs" were used as rhetorical bludgeons to make social and political points, but they are relatively harmless next to the "war on terror" - the emptiest conceit of an emptyheaded leader. There is no "war on terror". It is an utterly meaningless phrase and it has helped lead us to a number of bad judgements. War on terror ? What, after all, was "shock and awe" when we bombed the hell out of Iraq and invaded ? What was the bombing of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden ? What is any war ? You win when you extinguish in your enemy any hope of success and frequently that means scaring the crap out of them with superior force and a willingness to use it. War is terror. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, McCain, Lieberman and most of the armchair military strategists in the Fox green room waiting to go on Hannity and Colmes, have all abused this term.
I am not a pacifist, but war should be a last resort and you need a more precisely defined enemy than "terror". Otherwise you're just kidding yourself or trying to pull an Orwellian fast one. The expression "war on terror" is the language of children, or fools or madmen. We are not children and we should stop being fools and get rid of the madmen .

Posted by: Ralph on April 16, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz,

None of whom ever put their 'other priorities' asses on the firing line.

'The administration apparently finds a war to sustain our oil dependence preferable to the exercise of leadership to reduce that dependence. It can muster the political will to go to war, but it can't muster the courage to tell the American people the truth about what is required of each of us to break our oil addiction. So it is enabling that addiction.' - Bill Bradley

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 16, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

In the next few years we will be in the process of a big reassessment of our role as global cop. We will be under spending constraints which will force us to cede some of the responsibility and financing to others (I think that's a good idea). Clearly we are paranoid about oil production-but what producer and consumer in the world isn't? Surely we can *cooperate* with the rest of the world to maintain stability?

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on April 16, 2007 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK
Chicago beats LA for the US Olympic bid. Disputo at 3:25 AM
Fobbing all that traffic off on Chicago is snatching victory from near defeat.
Then compare your list with the huge number. ex-lax at 12:06 PM
That is even more phony than your usual spew. Compare the past with the Post 9-11 Bush violations, is quite meaningless. Past battles can no longer be fought, present abuses of power demand attention. Bush is claiming and using the power to imprison any American any time for any duration. No real American should stand for that and nothing in America's history can justify it. Posted by: Mike on April 16, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

How's the WTC doing lately?

Not so good since Bush got into office.

Clinton was still in office as 9/11 was being planned.

Ah yes, the "it's Clinton's fault!" cry of the loon.

Obviously, the arrests and trials weren't much of a deterrent.

They were certainly a deterrent to the actual perpetrators of the 1993 WTC attacks, who sit in jail still. The 1993 WTC attack was not carried out by al Qaeda, but by an unrelated group.

Or are you saying that it's useless to capture, try and punish people who've committed a crime unless doing so deters all other people at all times who might commit a similar crime from ever doing so? In that case let's empty Guantanamo, since it obviously isn't functioning as a deterrent to the other terrorists still working. Obviously the kidnappings and torture of our prisoners there aren't much of a deterrent....

Posted by: Stefan on April 16, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

This is a larger issue than simply arresting perpetrators after the crime is committed, or assuming police are enough to take out terrorists inside nations protecting them.

The 9/11 plotters were from or inside Germany, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Florida, among other places. How exactly would we have used the military to capture them? Invade Germany, perhaps?

Posted by: Stefan on April 16, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

This guy cannot take away the pet phrase of the Bush administration without repercussion from across the pond.

The War on Benn's Lauding.

Posted by: Zit on April 16, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Justice Department Says F.B.I. Misused Patriot Act NYTimes March 9, 2007

The F.B.I. has improperly used provisions of the USA Patriot Act to obtain thousands of telephone, business and financial records without prior judicial approval, the Justice Department’s inspector general said today in a report that embarrassed the F.B.I. and ignited outrage on Capitol Hill.

Posted by: cowalker on April 16, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

How about calling it "Scare the Rubes"??

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 16, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan: The 9/11 plotters were from or inside Germany, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Florida, among other places. How exactly would we have used the military to capture them? Invade Germany, perhaps?

We could have done then what Bush has done now: destroy the al Qaeda leadership infrastructure. They're too busy hiding in caves in Waziristan to plan and carry out another 9/11.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 16, 2007 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

As usual "Faux-Lib" is fast and loose with "facts" - Robert Kennedy, as the Attorney General, did authorize limited wire tapping against Rev King and his church workers - It was brought about because J Edgar Hoover had made an allegation against Rev King saying that he had Communist ties - Hoover, as was his norm, extended the taps on his own and went beyond the original limited scope and began looking into his marital and personal relationships.

Do not besmirch the efforts of Bobby Kennedy in the field of civil rights, oh, never was a liberal one. He was a giant - You are a lowly Oregon type slug, that is, a disgusting predator of the truth.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 16, 2007 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Sooooooo How about calling it The Battle against Terrorism. OOps forgot if we fight the terrorists we'll never win.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on April 16, 2007 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Drives me nuts when you change the spelling of a proper noun to suit your American central world view. The LABOUR party is not ever, never, the Labor. It's as annoying as if you decided that my name, Vicki, should be spelled Vicky. Sorry, but that's just wrong.

Posted by: Vicki on April 16, 2007 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Rove must be rolling on the floor, crying with laughter. War on Islamofacism is renaming the Crusades to be waged by the Xianfacists and supervised by american mercenaries ( Blackwater ) under the guidance of corporate masters, while indoctrination is handled by the moonies - rebranded as always. We're in the money ! and have bases in Iraq to terrorize the rubes, who have been reduced to thirsty starved tribes shooting each other on sight.

Posted by: opit on April 16, 2007 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

I'll go with Vicki (Vickie, Vicky, Labor) that, for people who complain and edit those who call the Democratic Party the Democrat Party, it is the LABOUR Party, no choice. Thank you.

And he's totally right. You can't wage war on terrorism. It's a civil act and comes under the law. That's why the US is the ONLY nation at war on terrorism.

That's why there is no "waronterra" and never will be. If you think there is a war you belong the delusional right.

Posted by: notthere on April 16, 2007 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib: They're too busy hiding in caves in Waziristan to plan and carry out another 9/11.


there were 8.5-years in-between the last 2-attacks inside the US..

(feb. 1993 and 9-11-01)

weird huh...

and also...

since no americans have died inside the US from al-q terror in the last 5.5-years...

is that why the terror alert system is on green or blue?

oh sorry....its never been on green or blue..

Posted by: mr. irony on April 17, 2007 at 6:03 AM | PERMALINK

Pat is a coward. Pat is an anonymous coward like the DLC organization Americans for Jobs, who smeared Dean. DLC illiterates like Pat have no difficulty harrassing Nader voters and anti-war advocates, but love Murtha while he jets around in a defense contractor's plane on his way to a beach house vacation paid for by another defense contractor. Pat you are a DLC stalker. Pat is such a coward he cannot comment about what he thinks. Pat is a DLC backstabber.

Posted by: Brojo on April 17, 2007 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

We could have done then what Bush has done now: destroy the al Qaeda leadership infrastructure.

Bush had nine months from when he was sworn in until 9/11 to do so. Why didn't he? Too busy clearing brush on his 2,000 acre private estate?

They're too busy hiding in caves in Waziristan to plan and carry out another 9/11.

OK, now you're just being silly.

Posted by: Stefan on April 17, 2007 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Hilary is a Benn but he is no Bennite. His politics are much more centrist than his father. He has been a faithful follower of Blair. His father supports him out of family loyalty, not out of political sympathy. It is worth pointing out that Hilary is not anti- American. His mother was, afterall an American.

Posted by: Noel McGivern on May 18, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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