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Gayle in MD
09-11-2010, 09:59 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> <span style='font-size: 14pt'>Ted Koppel: Nine years after 9/11, let's stop playing into bin Laden's hands

By Ted Koppel
Sunday, September 12, 2010; B01



The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, succeeded far beyond anything Osama bin Laden could possibly have envisioned. This is not just because they resulted in nearly 3,000 deaths, nor only because they struck at the heart of American financial and military power. Those outcomes were only the bait; it would remain for the United States to spring the trap.

The goal of any organized terrorist attack is to goad a vastly more powerful enemy into an excessive response. And over the past nine years, the United States has blundered into the 9/11 snare with one overreaction after another. Bin Laden deserves to be the object of our hostility, national anguish and contempt, and he deserves to be taken seriously as a canny tactician. But much of what he has achieved we have done, and continue to do, to ourselves. Bin Laden does not deserve that we, even inadvertently, fulfill so many of his unimagined dreams.

It did not have to be this way. The Bush administration's initial response was just about right. The calibrated combination of CIA operatives, special forces and air power broke the Taliban in Afghanistan and sent bin Laden and the remnants of al-Qaeda scurrying across the border into Pakistan. The American reaction was quick, powerful and effective -- a clear warning to any organization contemplating another terrorist attack against the United States. This is the point at which President George W. Bush should have declared "mission accomplished," with the caveat that unspecified U.S. agencies and branches of the military would continue the hunt for al-Qaeda's leader. The world would have understood, and most Americans would probably have been satisfied.

But the insidious thing about terrorism is that there is no such thing as absolute security. Each incident provokes the contemplation of something worse to come. The Bush administration convinced itself that the minds that conspired to turn passenger jets into ballistic missiles might discover the means to arm such "missiles" with chemical, biological or nuclear payloads. This became the existential nightmare that led, in short order, to a progression of unsubstantiated assumptions: that Saddam Hussein had developed weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons; that there was a connection between the Iraqi leader and al-Qaeda.

Bin Laden had nothing to do with fostering these misconceptions. None of this had any real connection to 9/11. There was no group known as "al-Qaeda in Iraq" at that time. But the political climate of the moment overcame whatever flaccid opposition there was to invading Iraq, and the United States marched into a second theater of war, one that would prove far more intractable and painful and draining than its supporters had envisioned.

While President Obama has recently declared America's combat role in Iraq over, he glossed over the likelihood that tens of thousands of U.S. troops will have to remain there, possibly for several years to come, because Iraq lacks the military capability to protect itself against external (read: Iranian) aggression. The ultimate irony is that Hussein, to keep his neighbors in check, allowed them and the rest of the world to believe that he might have weapons of mass destruction. He thereby brought about his own destruction, as well as the need now for U.S. forces to fill the void that he and his menacing presence once provided.

As for the 100,000 U.S. troops in or headed for Afghanistan, many of them will be there for years to come, too -- not because of America's commitment to a functioning democracy there; even less because of what would happen to Afghan girls and women if the Taliban were to regain control. The reason is nuclear weapons. Pakistan has an arsenal of 60 to 100 nuclear warheads. Were any of those to fall into the hands of al-Qaeda's fundamentalist allies in Pakistan, there is no telling what the consequences might be.

Again, this dilemma is partly of our own making. America's war on terrorism is widely perceived throughout Pakistan as a war on Islam. A muscular Islamic fundamentalism is gaining ground there and threatening the stability of the government, upon which we depend to guarantee the security of those nuclear weapons. Since a robust U.S. military presence in Pakistan is untenable for the government in Islamabad, however, tens of thousands of U.S. troops are likely to remain parked next door in Afghanistan for some time.

Perhaps bin Laden foresaw some of these outcomes when he launched his 9/11 operation from Taliban-secured bases in Afghanistan. Since nations targeted by terrorist groups routinely abandon some of their cherished principles, he may also have foreseen something along the lines of Abu Ghraib, "black sites," extraordinary rendition and even the prison at Guantanamo Bay. But in these and many other developments, bin Laden needed our unwitting collaboration, and we have provided it -- more than $1 trillion spent on two wars, more than 5,000 of our troops killed, tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans dead. Our military is so overstretched that defense contracting -- for everything from interrogation to security to the gathering of intelligence -- is one of our few growth industries.

We have raced to Afghanistan and Iraq, and more recently to Yemen and Somalia; we have created a swollen national security apparatus; and we are so absorbed in our own fury and so oblivious to our enemy's intentions that we inflate the building of an Islamic center in Lower Manhattan into a national debate and watch, helpless, while a minister in Florida outrages even our friends in the Islamic world by threatening to burn copies of the Koran.

If bin Laden did not foresee all this, then he quickly came to understand it. In a 2004 video message, he boasted about leading America on the path to self-destruction. "All we have to do is send two mujaheddin . . . to raise a small piece of cloth on which is written 'al-Qaeda' in order to make the generals race there, to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses."

Through the initial spending of a few hundred thousand dollars, training and then sacrificing 19 of his foot soldiers, bin Laden has watched his relatively tiny and all but anonymous organization of a few hundred zealots turn into the most recognized international franchise since McDonald's. Could any enemy of the United States have achieved more with less?

Could bin Laden, in his wildest imaginings, have hoped to provoke greater chaos? It is past time to reflect on what our enemy sought, and still seeks, to accomplish -- and how we have accommodated him.

</span> </div></div>

Sid_Vicious
09-11-2010, 12:53 PM
GWB was just the tool for BL's plan...OH, Bin Laden was just the tool for Bush's plan. Just think how we'd be here if the real winner of the 2000 election hadn't been robbed by the Rep Supreme Court! I'll say it plain and simple. George Walker Bush is the most destructive American this country has ever had, and BL ate his election up like gravy on a chicken fried steak. What was sadder though was the nutty followers Bush attracted. Our country had to look so stupid to the rest of the world, and IMO, I don't know at all if this can be fixed without us actually losing a war against a bunch of thugs. You can bet your ass one thing for sure. It'll be at least another Democratic, not Republican administration, possible several, before this is fixed. I fear it's too late. Bush really did this country IN! What a f-up. sid

Bush is fully, totally to blame. sid

pooltchr
09-11-2010, 01:05 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Sid_Vicious</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> George Walker Bush is the most destructive American this country has ever had,

Bush is fully, totally to blame. sid </div></div>

You've got to be kidding! Have you been asleep for the last year and a half?????????


Steve

LWW
09-11-2010, 02:52 PM
Being spoon fed can cause that.

LWW

Sev
09-11-2010, 05:10 PM
Good article by Kopple. However Hindsight is 2020 and his argument comes from that perspective.

Gayle in MD
09-12-2010, 07:47 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Sid_Vicious</div><div class="ubbcode-body">GWB was just the tool for BL's plan...OH, Bin Laden was just the tool for Bush's plan. Just think how we'd be here if the real winner of the 2000 election hadn't been robbed by the Rep Supreme Court! I'll say it plain and simple. George Walker Bush is the most destructive American this country has ever had, and BL ate his election up like gravy on a chicken fried steak. What was sadder though was the nutty followers Bush attracted. Our country had to look so stupid to the rest of the world, and IMO, I don't know at all if this can be fixed without us actually losing a war against a bunch of thugs. You can bet your ass one thing for sure. It'll be at least another Democratic, not Republican administration, possible several, before this is fixed. I fear it's too late. Bush really did this country IN! What a f-up. sid

Bush is fully, totally to blame. sid </div></div>


No quesstion! Our own sixteen National Securitiy agencies told us the story of how much more danger we were facing because of Bush's ignorant decisions, for one, his unAmericans torturing of innocent people.

Greenspan and Bush exascerbated the disaster of Republican spending, borrowing to pay for tax cuts, and wars, ignoring the warnings of the coming Wall Street exascerbated mortgage amnd lending criminal actifity, corrupt corrupt predatory activities, by keeping interest rates illogically low, they threw gas on the fire, and provided more opportunity for corrupt CEO, free for all, which blew up the econoomy, as they were borrowing more money than all previous administrations combined.

Then they think any president, facing extreme obstructionism from the opposing party, should have been able to turn it all around in less than two years, after Bush left us on the brink of the worst Depression in history, and two F-ed up wars in the Middle East, meanwhile bin Laden is still out there recruiting, and celebrating over how great Republicans, and Bush were at promoting his cause, and aiding his recruitment. Not my opinion, but the National Security Estimate!

Only under this president, for examjple, has Gates begun to address corrupted military cronyism, and address and prevent more of the wasted money spent to pay the cronies of the Military Industrial Complex, to produce obsolete multi million and even billion dollar military equipment, and planes.

I only wish others could understand how much the radical RW religious nutjobs, play into bin Lden's hands, and how much Bush and Republicans advanced it, and still do, as they spread divisions and hatred through failure to speak against all of the UnAmerican activities, financed by the same corporate pigs who stole from us throughout the entire fleesing of America. the "Tea Party's" radical hate, has never been addressed by Republicans. Their "Reload" BS, is dangerous. People like Sharron Angle, calling for the second amendment remedy, to "Take out" another Senator, is proof of their radical views. Palin, using crosshairs to target Democratic representatives. All of it equals the O'Reilly rehtoric, "Tiller the Killer" which contributes to more acts of domestic terrorism, compliments of their own home grown militias.

Sorry, Martin, but that pastor in Florida, and the recent attack on religious freedom for all Americans, including moderate, American Muslims, gave bin Laden the biggest thrill he's had since Bush began torturing prisoners.

Believe me, there isn't a Mosque in this country, that doesn't have America loving, Muslims, working undercover among their own, to monitor everything that goes on.

None of the 9/11 terrorists practiced Islam, in public. Those Islamists who are out there condemning the radicals who have distorted their religion, need our support. They are the most important tool we have, in stamping out the enemy. Our domestic secret agents would surely know about it, if the Imam was a danger to America, as would the FBI. The Muslim Mosques are the most observed locations in this country. The Imam in NY, has the very same disdain for the radicals who have besmirched his religion, as ydu and I do.

And BTW, the fact that you and I can have a drastically different view on a poliitical issure, such as the burning of the Qu'ran, and the Mosque in NY, yet still remain close friends, for ever, is a commentary to the value of our friendship, and also a statement, which highlights the difference between the dictatorial radical right, and the thoughtful left, Liberals of many opinions, who embrace one another in the interest of honest communication....and respect the philosophy of Freedom OF Speech, as long as it does not equal yelloing fire in a crowded theater, which is exactly the effect of that nutjob in Florida, IMO.

As one of our most intelligent founders stated,

"I never considered a difference of Opinion, in philosophy, in politics, in religion, as cause for withdrawing from a friend."
But I couold never support any action that further endangers our soldiers, or aids bin Laden's recruitment. Only through remaining dedicated to our principles and our Constitution of Freedom of religion for all, and Freedom of Speech, with limits, will we win....we do not want to mimic the
senselessness of radical Islam, IMHO.
Love,
Gayle


G.

pooltchr
09-12-2010, 08:50 AM
Considering the majority Obama has enjoyed in both houses for the last two years, trying to blame republicans for his failures is a waste of time. As we have seen, they have the numbers to do anything they want to do on their own. The problem is, he can't even get everyone in his own party to support him.

The dems can ram through bills simply by "deeming" them to be passed. They can write up 2000 plus page bills, and force a vote before anyone can even have time to read it.

Your party stinks every bit as much as you think the Reps do.

Face it. Obama is no better than the last president, and the dems are no better than the reps.

Steve