T Nation

Where the hell is Bin Laden?

With all this hoohaa about Iraq, what ever happened to Bin Laden? Is he not a threat anymore? Doesn’t North Korea matter, or is it better to focus on a back peddling Iraq…I am terribly confused. This “War on Terror” seems to be going the direction of the “War on Drugs” which is no where good. Thoughts? Unintelligent thoughts? Good Ideas? Dumb Ideas?

We’ve been down this road before.

Ooops…Sorry, it must of been during a hiatus that that thread occured. My apologies, please ignore…Don’t want to beat a dead horse.

I heard an interview with a Jewish intellectual from an Israeli University a while ago (the name of both now escapes me). What he said made a lot of sense to me. His position was that the war on terror is absurd. Terrorism is just a method of war (even if it is practically horrendous) just like tanks, bombs, rifles, chemical weapons etc. To declare war on terrorism makes a much sense as declaring war on tanks or a war on rifles etc. Thus the war on terror has no particular target. If you cannot define who or what you a fighting how can you possibly beat it? We are certainly under attack and thus at war. But the elements of the equation need to be defined if we hope to win the war and survive. Thus how are we? Who attacked us? Who are their allies either formal or informal (i.e. the enemy of my enemy is my friend)? Where do they attack us form (i.e. within our boarders or outside our boarders)? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What are our strengths and weaknesses? How do they use our strengths and weaknesses against us? How do we use their strengths and weaknesses against them? Or most important what are we fighting for? The decision makers of our society have not answered these questions. Without answers to these questions we cannot win.

I think this dead horse is important enough to beat. After all it is life or death.

Elliot, of course it’s technically true that you can’t really wage war on an intangible thing – that’s beside the point. The wording shouldn’t be parsed up and taken too literally, as everyone knows what Bush’s “War on Terror” effectively means: war on Al Qaeda, those that support them, those with similar plans/intentions to harm us, those who collude with or harbor them, etc. It doesn’t mean we’re at war with the IRA or the FARC, but it does mean that we reserve the right to use force against, for example, Hezbollah, or anyone who may not even be part of an official group, if we feel that they’re planning to do things similar to what Al Qaeda did, or are working with them. Nothing to get hung up about. (It is fun to watch ivory tower intellectuals shout on political talk shows, though, “You can’t wage war on ‘terror!!!’ Who is terror?? What is terror??! It’s an intangible thing!!! Bush makes no sense! What is the legality of such a declaration? Wars are between nations, not words . . . !” At which point everyone with a minimum of two brain cells to rub together collectively rolls their eyes at the sheer idiocy of those who waste their time worrying about the verbiage. We all know what it means).

I hate to say it but, even musliam nation wants Sadaam out of power. But if we do this we must remove him. If we don’t why go to war.

Iraq is a threat because Hussein has proven he will use weapons of mass destruction, while Moe from Korea has not. Many of the anti-war folks will be educated about the real world when Hussein’s arsenal is exposed; too bad terrorists can’t just single out the American Socialists who created this problem.

Rush made a good point today on the radio. He said he wasnt afraid of the countries who openly say that they have nuclear weapons. Hes afraid of the countries that secretly build them. They are the ones who will use them.

Fair enough. But why can’t Bush be open about it? If he is in the business of killing (i.e. war) why should he be afraid of offending people?s feelings? There are a lot of people (myself included) who really don’t understand the reasoning behind Bush?s actions. If he came out and said openly what he wanted he would garner a lot more support from people who also felt the same way. People who disagreed with him would not support him. But people would actually know what was going on.

Just a few more dumb question. Where are the battle lines of this war? Are they in some far off place, like Iraq or Afghanistan? Or are they on the streets of the cities of the west? Or both? Is this war most effectively fought militarily? Do best results come from using conventional armed forces? Or by using social and economic methods? Or both?

The only problem I have w/ this administration is if we do go to war how the hell are we going to kill Hussein, or remove him from power. I hope Mr.Bush doesn’t think we can bomb him out. We have try that before and had no success. I hope we achieve the objective to get him out of power.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/ pages/frontline/shows/binladen/ Reading the actual transcripts of Bin Larden?s interviews and statements is very interesting. As I understand it his main objections (which I assume most of radical Islam shares) are the presence of western soldiers in the Islamic world and the existence of Israel. The invasion of Iraq as opposed to assuring safety will likely set off a series of events that will kill millions. Would it be unthinkable for the west to cut its loses and sue for peace? Remove its solders from the Islamic world, remove its support for Israel and focus on repairing its societies. Also it would be wise to repatriate Muslims living in the West to the Islamic world before they can claim that parts of the Western world are historically part of the Islamic world.

You know what really pisses me off about other nations? They piss and moan about our presence in their countries and worldwide, but when they need something we are great. Who does everyone call when the masses are starving, who does everyone call when some rogue nation attacks? The good ole USA. Do they actually think we are not going to get something in return for our assistance? We are big brother to the world, wether we like it or not. If that means feeding somebody, or whipping some bully’s ass so be it. So hell no we ain’t going anywhere. If terrorists and rogue nations don’t like it: Piss On Them!!! What happened to the we are gonna stomp your ass attitude this country used to have? Now everyone wants to analyze and worry about what the world will think. In another thread they are discussing the WWII generation. They were the greatest. We could be if we could silence all the candy asses out there, and take care of business.

I think you need to look at what people have a problem with. I think most intellegent individuals know Hussein has Weapons of Mass Destruction.(He didn’t have them and then stop inspectors from searching for 4 years ,and all of a sudden stop.) The question is why didn’t he finish what he started, why didn’t he go in the day Hussein expelled the inspectors. Most of the world believes he’s going in for oil, and with everyone buying SUV’s hand over fist, that’s quite likely.

Elliot, in regard to your post immediately after my last one, I’m not sure what you mean regarding Bush saying what he means. What is it that you think he means that he’s not saying? I’m just not sure what you’re asking. Fitone, I think the short answer to your question about removing Hussein from power is that yes, we will try to kill him, both with bombs and bullets, but if we don’t actually catch him or kill him (or know what happened to him), we won’t care too much. We will have effectively changed the regime once we’ve taken control of the country and its infrastructure, hopefully with the help of some Iraqi generals and govt. officials who helped to get rid of Hussein. At that point, it doesn’t matter if he’s riding a scooter somewhere in Timbuktu – his gig is up. I DO, however, feel a bit more passion toward our need to find and mutilate (before he dies a slow, painful, sobbing death) OBL. I’ll be the first to admit that that won’t necessarily change anything tactically in the war with Al Qaeda, but it does send a powerful message to those that support him: “WE WILL GET YOU.” I have a feeling the Pakistanis aren’t letting us do everything we’d like to do in that hunt, but I may be wrong. Just my .02.

I get the feeling that the whole issue with hussein and Iraq is really over oil! Now logically everyone, if it is over oil, why the hell doesnt the US pump its money into alternative fuel supplies instead of the war cost. That would really stuff the middle east, and it would cease to really be of any concern tot he rest of the world and they can get on by themselves and be happy. I heard recently that the US is trialing 8 water / hydrogen buses any other info on these?

Why can’t Bush say that we are going to kill every member of Al Queda instead of saying we are at war with terror? Why can’t he say that Al Queda is the enemy instead of the axis of evil? Why can?t we avenge the attacks on us without engaging in wider conflicts? The US and the West are rich and powerful but they are not able to fix all of the world’s problems. I am confused and angry about what has already happened but am terrified about the future, especially if Iraq is invaded.