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What About 9/11?

It is extraordinary — just extraordinary — that George Will should write a column urging American and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan without mentioning the events of Sept. 11, 2001. It is as though Walter Lippmann urged his readers, in confronting the Japanese threat of the early 1940s, to forget Pearl Harbor.

It should be more difficult to forget 9/11 than it apparently is — the goodbye calls, the leaps from fire toward death, the continental economic consequences. The Afghan war was undertaken because the Taliban government, under Mullah Omar, sheltered a dozen al-Qaeda terrorist training camps that produced 10,000 to 20,000 fighters, some of whom were human weapons aimed at American citizens.

The 9/11 Commission concluded: “The Taliban seemed to open the doors to all who wanted to come to Afghanistan to train in the camps. The alliance with the Taliban provided al Qaeda a sanctuary in which to train and indoctrinate fighters and terrorists, import weapons, forge ties with other jihad groups and leaders, and plot and staff terrorist schemes. While [Osama] Bin Ladin maintained his own al Qaeda guesthouses and camps for vetting and training recruits, he also provided support to and benefited from the broad infrastructure of such facilities in Afghanistan made available to the global network of Islamist movements.”

Airstrikes from a distance — the anti-terrorism strategy of the previous decade — would not have sufficed. Both government and camps needed to be removed. It is likely that the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops, at this point, would leave a vacuum filled by radical, triumphant elements of the Taliban, allied with al-Qaeda. Nothing about this strategic reality has changed — except for the advance of American exhaustion and forgetfulness.

Will asks: Why Afghanistan but not Somalia or Yemen? The answer is 9/11. Presumably, a 9/11-type attack from either country — or the imminent possibility of such an attack — would require American action sufficient to the threat of state-sponsored terrorism. America’s willingness to take and sustain such action is a deterrent. Premature U.S. retreat from Afghanistan — even if it is called “reversing the trajectory of America’s involvement’ — would make that deterrent laughable.

By Michael Gerson  | September 1, 2009; 3:25 PM ET
Categories:  Gerson  | Tags:  Michael Gerson  
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Comments

Bravo!

Posted by: mefinamore | September 1, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"It is likely that the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops, at this point, would leave a vacuum filled by radical, triumphant elements of the Taliban, allied with al-Qaeda. Nothing about this strategic reality has changed — except for the advance of American exhaustion and forgetfulness."
Is it possible that we did not learn the lesson of war against guerillas similar to VietNam? Or the lesson of Russia's Afghanistan War?

Posted by: jama452 | September 1, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

You lying bastards used up 9/11 on Iraq.

Just shut up and contemplate your sins.

Posted by: st50taw | September 1, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

INcredible, this idiot has NO ***** BUSINESS COMMENTING ON ****, GERSON YOU ARE A FOOL. A CONTEMPTUOUS FOOL EGGED ON BY LAUGHING INTERESTS WHO CAR ENOTHING FOR YOUR "COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATISM", A SHILL, WHO'S WORDS LAUNCHED A THOUSAND WATERBOARDINGS. GO TEACH WRITING AT LOYOLA OR SOMETHING. TOAD

Posted by: jcck | September 1, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

My dear Mr. Gerson:

What special knowledge gives you the right to determine how we should proceed in Afghanistan. You sir, enabled Mr. Bush, certainly a war criminal, and therefore are partly responsible for the deaths of untold numbers of innocent Iraqis, Afghan citizens, and members of our own Armed Forces. There is no way to 'win' in Afghanistan, never was, but if you believe that you know how to do it, please go over there, strap on a weapon, and have at it. Chickenhawk.

Posted by: jkarlinsky | September 1, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Baloney! The lesson of 911 was two fold. 1. Airliners and other potential weapons need to be secured against use by nuts. 911 was a remarkably lucky shot in the dark not evidence of an ongoing threat.
2. Allowing a President to cast a wide net of war on poor information results in worse problems than the attack itself.

These fool writers and military men seem to have no clue what a proper ground war is: A ground war is proper when the American people will support it BY ACQUIESCING to a DRAFT. That's the true measure of when we should fight.

Lionizing a Presidential Praetorian Guard and sucking the money out of a middle class that can't afford it is a losing proposition that benefits an enemy.

If our government wants to bomb the daylights out of possible terrorist targets in Afghanistan so be it. But get the troops out!

Posted by: AIPACiswar | September 1, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

9/11 has nothing to do with why we are in Afghanistan. That is why Will did not mention it. On 9/11 Al Qaeda was based there, they have been driven into Pakistan. We invaded because the Taliban government would not turn over Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda leaders.

We have been there for eight long years. We have now decided to put more young Americans at risk. What is the end result? More dead Americans and a country that will continue in anarchy long after we have left. It is so like Vietnam that it is frightening but we hear the same voices saying we must have victory. Is victory keeping Karzai in power? Is victory stationing 150,000 troops there to build up a country while ours falls apart? If you can tell me how Afghanistan with a GDP equivalent to Boise, Idaho, is a threat to the United States then maybe it would be worth one American life. But I can see where this little landlocked country is nothing but a sad place for a captured people as it has been since the tmie of Alexander the Great.

Posted by: llyonnoc | September 1, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Gerson, you are no longer writing speeches for G.W. Bush. Why don't you and Kristol satisfy your bellicosity by taking fencing lessons? Then you can form a "Duels for Fools" club at the American Enterprise Institute. It would be a relief to see the WaPo's editorial pages returning to sanity.

Posted by: dangerosa | September 1, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

May if you dumb@ss boss at the time did some actual work and read the memo "Bin Laden planning to attack America using planes", we won't have had 9/11 in the first place. You couldn't protect America then, you'll never protect America in the future. Just sent our children to die for OIL.

Posted by: August30 | September 1, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, why did Bush let Saudi Arabians execute 911, let Bin Laden escape, and start 2 hopeless wars that have 0% to with Saudi Arabian terrorists?

Posted by: lichtme | September 1, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Gerson says we must invoke 9/11 to justify continuing action in Afghanistan, just as Gerson had Bush43 invoke 9/11 to justify action in Iraq.

Gerson is soooo the right messenger.

Posted by: MilitaryCommonSense | September 1, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

One of the consequences of wrecklessly squandering blood and treasure by invading countries that do not pose a threat to your vital interests is that, when the time comes, you lack the resources to confront those countries which DO pose a threat.

Lying your way into an unnecessary war also tends to make your own citizens less willing to follow you into the next war. It also annoys your allies -- other countries which can help out -- when you really need them in a fight.

Perhaps, Mr. Gerson, if your former boss hadn't led the world into his Iraq misadventure, and kept his eye on the ball, Afghanistan would have been solved by now. Who knows, he might even have succeeded in ridding the world of Osama bin Laden.

But no, he decided to attack a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 -- and now we're left to face the consequences.

Posted by: Gladiator2008 | September 1, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I'll avoid an axis of evil reference. Here is my take on Afghanistan. If it is a dead cinch that once we leave radical Islamist will run amok over the Middle East and destabilize the world, why are we the only ones that seem to want to fight? Shouldn't everyone in the West or all the economic powers be with us? Wouldn't they also be devastated, murdered, or worse? Why does everyone else see things we don't... or not see things that we do?

Posted by: steveboyington | September 1, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

The post below about says it all. And George Will ought to be ashamed of himself. He was probably one of the first to swear that WE WILL NEVER FORGET:

___________________________________________

You lying bastards used up 9/11 on Iraq.

Just shut up and contemplate your sins.

Posted by: st50taw | September 1, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jacktar2001 | September 1, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

In what sense, in what way, do Afghani citizens intend to make war on the United States? In what way is it their duty to die for what the Taliban do? And how is it that 9/11 is what they pay for, when it was the stationing of American troops after the first Gulf War, particularly in Saudi Arabia, that Bin Laden complains of? How incidental--and how many more Afghanistans there are now willing to harbor suicidal maniacs too...

Posted by: tennisist2 | September 1, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I agree that we need to take a different approach over there. But if anyone here thinks the threat from the Afghanistan/Pakistan border isn't real then they are just sadly mistaken.

Posted by: JRM2 | September 1, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Women's rights would go a long way to fighting terrorism in Afghanistan. Right now on average each woman has about 6 kids, that's 6 more uneducated angry people with no hope for a decent life, ripe for radicalization.

Iran has about 2 kids per women, they are educated and can hold high positions, there is no need or incentive for them to become radicalized.

Posted by: JRM2 | September 1, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

"But no, he decided to attack a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 -- and now we're left to face the consequences.

Posted by: Gladiator2008 "
---Yes, true but he did bring them universal health care!

Posted by: JRM2 | September 1, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Almost all the terrorists came from Saudi Arabia, with camps in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Actually, there really was no functioning government in the areas where Osama had his camps, and he took advantage of this. That's the way Afghanistan still is today.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | September 1, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

If the Taliban want to negotiate an end to the war in Afghanistan, they should be willing to disarm Al Qaeda and turn over its leadership, including bin Laden, to the United States.

Personally, I think it very sad that so many Americans have given up on Afghanistan. I blame neocons such as Gerson, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Bush who downplayed the importance of the Afghan conflict for the last eight years in favor of their little adventure in Iraq.

Posted by: maggots | September 1, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Gerson, let me remind you. Those planes took off from AMERICAN airports.

Those terrorists trained at AMERICAN flight schools, whose instructors repeatedly contacted security agencies because these was something amiss about these foreign students (like their not being interested in learning how to land). The instructors thought these guys should be checked out. The agencies (I forget now which agencies they were) ignored the requests.

These terrorists filled out their requests for visas in such a slapdash way that the forms should have alerted AMERICAN officials. They didn't.

Hadn't several of these guys overstayed their visas?

Weren't several of the terrorists using their own names, and weren't those names on a list of men who trained with al-Qaida? Well, they were only boarding domestic flights, ya see. No, I don't see.

What were these men even doing in the US?

Why are we bombing Afghanistan? The fault lies in Washington.

Every New Yorker knows to lock his apartment door because there are bad guys out there. We let the bad guys in, and now we're killing a lot of other people because we're pissed off and we want to show everyone how tough we are. We just end up looking dumb and impotent.

Killing people. Very Christian, Gerson.

Posted by: darling_ailie | September 1, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

In what sense, in what way, do Afghani citizens intend to make war on the United States? In what way is it their duty to die for what the Taliban do? And how is it that 9/11 is what they pay for, when it was the stationing of American troops after the first Gulf War, particularly in Saudi Arabia, that Bin Laden complains of? How incidental--and how many more Afghanistans there are now willing to harbor suicidal maniacs too...

Posted by: tennisist2 | September 1, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

#####################################

Excuse me, but we were the victims, not the perpetrators, of 9/11. I find your posting to be delusional and insulting to the memory of 3,000 Americans who died that day.

Posted by: maggots | September 1, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Will's point, which Gerson and Kristol simply miss or deliberately ignore, is that our continued presence in Afghanistan can't accomplish anything much no matter what we would wish it to accomplish, and that whatever reasons we had to go have gone, and there are no current objectives that are reasonably related to any means we have to achieve them. It is simply insanity to prattle on about not forgetting 9/11, or not admitting defeat, unless you have a better reason to stay than that.

Posted by: JoeT1 | September 1, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

George W. Bush's CIA, FBI, NSA, and the rest of his administration's "intelligence" community criminally FAILED the once-United States on September 11, 2001.

The likes of Dick Cheney and Michael Gerson bemoan the low "morale" of CIA employees, as reports of their agency's horrific torture of detainees are partially released.

But draft-dodger Dick and his craven cronies never mention the 200-million-plus Americans whose morale and sense of security were forever compromised by their government's failure to protect them from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Posted by: kinkysr | September 1, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Leaving Afganistan without Osama Bin Laden makes it look like this whole incident was staged just to go into Iraq, as if the conspiracy theories, and/or those who believe that 9/11 was an inside job, were right.

Otherwise, the terrorists will have learned that all they have to do is "wait us out".

So George Will thinks we should leave Osama Bin Laden to be King of the Pakistan Boarder huh.

What does George Will plan to say to the families of the 9/11 victims AND the rest of America and those of us who believed it was Osama Bin Laden that hit us on 9/11?

That we, what? Gave up the search for Bin Laden? I thought we were going to search until we find him.

So, I guess the terrorists would have to believe it's worth it to try to attack the United States because apparently everybody suffered except them.

How do you reconcile leaving Afganistan without Osama Bin Laden?

Posted by: lindalovejones | September 1, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Gerson:

It is extraordinary — just extraordinary — that YOU should write a column attacking Mr. Will for urging American and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Where in the H-LL were you in regard to "mentioning the events of Sept. 11, 2001" when we were being sold a war that had NOTHING TO DO WITH the attacks?

Oh. I forgot. Your false words helped sell that near-fatal misadventure as an appropriate response to 9-11.

Conservatives never used to practice the radical forms of "situational ethics" that folks like you now do.

Every word isuuing from your mouth or pen is an attempt at political manipulation and a further belittling of the American people.

Posted by: rogied25 | September 1, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I see, so now the wingnuts are going to fight about Afghanistan, the first war they botched. They have already given up screaming about Iraq, the second war they botched. And Wingnut Veep Cheney is all over the MSM defending torture. WHEN WILL WE BE RID OF THESE PEOPLE? It is time for Oxy Limbaugh to lead them all off a suitable cliff.

Posted by: gposner | September 1, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

So, from this article the only thing I can figure is that Gerson's only stated premise is that our reason for staying in Afghanistan is deterrent. Against whom?

Against the suicidal terrorists? Hardly. Us being in Afghanistan makes them giddy, in the same way we were happy when the U.S.S.R. invaded.

So aside from stupid revenge- which I suspect is the REAL reason behind Gerson's empty argument- the only thing he puts forth is deterrence against 'states' regarding terrorist harboring.

Okay, let's think about how bad of an argument that is:
1) Afghanistan had no real centralized government to be deterred. The Taliban allowed Al Qaeda, but the Taliban were an extreme minority in control of only some of the country.

2) Terrorists do not NEED governmental explicit support to exist in a country. By Gerson's idea, we should invade Pakistan, since they are 'harboring' the same terrorists that caused 9/11

3) We've been in Afghanistan for 8 years and killed thousands, many many more times those that were killed in 9/11. Exactly what ADDITIONAL deterrent value do we gain by staying there, killing more people and losing more U.S. troops? How many more people do we have to kill to make Gerson's magic deterrent equation become satisfied? Or how many years? Must we stay there forever?

It's easy to make an empty argument when you don't bother thinking it through to its logical conclusion.

Posted by: ihatelogins | September 1, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Gerson has no shame. He was the principal propagandist for Bush in getting us into the Iraq war on false pretenses. He has no standing to urge that we sacrifice still more American lives in Afganistan.

Posted by: esch | September 1, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

We must finish the job we started in Afghanistan of destroying the Taliban and Al-Qaeda to the point that they no longer present a threat to the United States. Thereafter, we must be ready to strike anywhere in the world at any time, if we have solid evidence that either of the two aforementioned groups are reorganizing to any degree. However, I find it pathetic to hear conservative fools like Will and Gerson argue either way about the war in Afghanistan, when they supported the former President in conducting his unnecessary "war of choice" in Iraq. The U.S. Armed Forces had bin Laden in their sights at Tora Bora, but were unable to complete the mission of killing him and his followers because Bush chose to engage in an invasion of Iraq, a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. Bush's exceedingly stupid misadventure sapped the strength of the U.S. Military, which could have quickly taken out bin Laden and the Taliban, if assigned that task as their primary, and only, mission. Now, President Barack Obama, met with the consequences of Bush's actions and a conservative base of the Republican Party that openly wishes that he fails in everything he does, must somehow finish the war in Afghanistan with the outcome mentioned above. If that is accomplished, and I believe it can be, then, and only then, should we leave the country, which is about in the same shape it was before we got there. The neocon stupidity of "nation building" must be abandoned as impossible. Our interest lie in protecting the United States, not attempting to bring Democracy to a part of the world that has never, and will never, embrace it. Meantime, Gerson and Will should shut up as they are nothing but traitors, who should be dealt with as such.

Posted by: Caliguy55 | September 1, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Kristol and Gerson at odds with Will, wow what next the sun supernova, Cheney act human what has our lil world come to? the lock step goose step trio has lost step for a moment. we will leave Afganistan like the Russians did in our sweet time and the puppet we installed will fade away and the opium will be owned by somebody else. You can buy(with blood) Iraq and Afganistan but you can't own them. Will has a short lucid moment and his pals begin to feast on his bones......haha who cares what these dishonest fool think.

Posted by: jpenergy | September 1, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

So, Gerson, why did you write the Bush lies that took us into a pointless and unnecessary war of choice in Iraq and took the focus off Osama bin Laden and 9/11?

What's your excuse, Gerson? (You should be begging for America's forgiveness.)

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | September 1, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

The post below about says it all. And George Will ought to be ashamed of himself. He was probably one of the first to swear that WE WILL NEVER FORGET:

___________________________________________

You lying bastards used up 9/11 on Iraq.

Just shut up and contemplate your sins.
___________________________________________
I 2nd that emotion.

Posted by: wturecki | September 1, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Gerson is right, but in addition we must invade Syria, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Algeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Jordan, (I am forgetting others) to prevent future attacks!

His logic is impeccable and that is why no one should pay any attention to what Gerson the fool says.

After all, he picked Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate. What more do I need to say?

Posted by: knutton | September 1, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Hear hear
What about Yemen and Saudi Arabia when Bin Laden and the hijackers came from?

What about Pakistan where your Lord Cheney made a deal with Musharraf to hide al-Qeada and Bush family friend Bin Laden?

Posted by: coloradodog | September 1, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Good grief, George Will is the sane one now?

I guess in a newspaper with a lineup consisting of Gerson, Kristol, Kagan, Krauthammer, and on and on with the Neocons, the extreme right wingers, the extreme-extreme right wingers, and then Fred Hiatt and David Broder and Kathleen Parker et al as only moderately insane right wingers, then yes, George Will is what passes for left of center.

God help us all.

Posted by: BillEPilgrim | September 1, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

What about 9.11? The only thing that could have possibly mitigated 9.11 was to catch Osama bin Ladin but George W. Bush preferred to catch Saddam Hussein.

Deterring terrorism in no way depends on our ability to stay in a country and lose more good people. You know what works? We destroyed two countries. That works. Good defense. That helps a lot.

By all means, Gerson, let's throw good bodies after bad. I think you can get a waiver for your age and join up.

Posted by: arancia12 | September 1, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

If I had participated in letting Afghanistan get out of hand like Gerson, I would probably feel guilty too. But I am not sure that it has anything to do with empathy for the people of Afghanistan. That never seemed to be one of Gerson's traits or the other neocons.

Posted by: repudar711 | September 1, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I was watching a program about bad the infrastructure of America is and how our country was rated a D, and that it would take 5 trillions dollars over 5 years to bring us up to par...The fall of the Soviet Union was mainly due to over spend in space and the 9 year war with Afghanistan. Initial Soviet deployment of the 40th Army in Afghanistan began on December 24, 1979. The final troop withdrawal began on May 15, 1988, and ended on February 15, 1989. Due to the interminable nature of the war, the conflict in Afghanistan has often been referred to as the Soviet's Vietnam; in relation to the Vietnam War....I believe this is why the Soviet Union fell, they ignored the crumbling of their infrastructure and wasted money on trying to obtain oil from Afghanistan...NO country has ever lasted in Afghanistan, not England, not France, not Germany, not Russia, and we will not be able to last there either....WE are a broke nation living on a Chinese credit card..... This business of Nation building is killing America and Americans....Stop the wars and bring our soldiers home....

Posted by: nallcando | September 1, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

"Every word issuing from your mouth or pen is an attempt at political manipulation and a further belittling of the American people.

Posted by: rogied25 | September 1, 2009 7:19 PM

---

Rogied, I couldn't agree more.

Unfortunately, Rove and the rest of the GOP have proven that political manipulation often works...the dittohead zombies and Hannity groupies eat this stuff up. Logic isn't exactly their strong suit.

I knew as soon as I read Will's article that the GOP circular firing squad would soon be taking aim, and Gerson was a prime candidate to take the first shot. It must be hard to sleep at night knowing you were instrumental in letting Bin Laden go when he was in our sights (Tora Bora).

Leaving now would shine a very harsh spotlight on their foolish decision, and the last thing anyone in the GOP ever wants to do is to acknowledge that they were wrong.

Oh wait, I just realized something...having trouble sleeping due to having blood on your hands only happens to people with consciences.

Never mind.

Posted by: wagner3792 | September 1, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

.
Mr. Gerson is trying, with this column, to trick us into believing he's not very bright.
But I don't believe it, not for a minute.
.

Posted by: BrianX9 | September 1, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Gerson, for the first time ever I support your position in reminding people that war in Afghanistan, unlike in Iraq, is directly and inextricably linked to 9/11.

The problem is that most Americans don't know the difference between Afghanistan and Iraq and don't want to be bothered with details.

Some people,however -- finally and at long last -- have figured out that you neocons scammed the American public on Iraq. They are slowly coming to understand that despite all GWB's BS, Iraq and Saddam had nothing at all to do with 9/11. NOTHING.

And now, with our under-funded, under-manned efforts in Afghanistan to get the real bad guys, the same public is wondering whether it's facing a second scam.

It's just too damn lazy to find out on its own.

Posted by: loulor | September 1, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Yea, the Republicans are kind of a mess. The conservative thirst for blood led us into this dead end, now they give advice as if it was the moderates and liberals who screwed this up.
9/11 is what it is. More people die every year from lack of access to health care than died on 9/11 but they aren't rich so they don't count.

Posted by: dijetlo | September 2, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Still using 9/11 to waste more lives? We dropped the ball years ago on Afghanistan. It's too late to claim it's the "real" target to engage. Neocons just don't get it, never did. You want this mess? Find the nearest recruiting office.

Posted by: jckdoors | September 2, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

The friends of mankind and the apostles of reason are at it again, running like the wolves after poor Mr. Gerson, howling, slavering and clacking their fangs at his heels for daring to express an opinion with which they do not agree. It would be easy to mistake such persons for intolerant and malicious fanatics if one did not know that their hearts were pure and their motives noble.

More incredibly nasty, personally abusive, vicious and demagogic hate speech from the usual suspects, the believers in fraternite' and egalite'. What on earth makes such nice people behave so badly? Whatever it is, it warns all sensible people never to trust such people with power if it can be avoided.

Posted by: Teleologicus | September 2, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Gearson,

By recycling 911 you only serve jews and AIPAC and help distract from the prime issue in the Middle East: israeli refusal to stop colonizing and stealing more of the little Palestinian land left-less than 8% of historic PAlestine.

why don't u and krauthy immigrate to Crawford, Tx-thers is room for both of at barn...

Posted by: asizk | September 2, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I too found Will idea dubious. But to be fair, he did not suggest plain withdrowal
===========
Airstrikes from a distance — the anti-terrorism strategy of the previous decade — would not have sufficed.
=============
How many? 2 missiles on some mud huts and another 2 on Sudam Aspirin factory? As I understood, Will suggests MASSIVE aerial campaigns, control of the skys with drones and active presence of Special Ops on the ground.

Basically, he suggests the war with very limited engagement on the ground and without any nation building. But like Gerson, I think it would be a road to failure.

Hey, asizk, explain to me how Muslims cutting heads of Christian girls in Indonesia can be blamed on Israel.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4387604.stm

Same goes for Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan killing 1000s, various Jihadist taking hostages and cutting their heads on TV from China to Chechnya.

As to Palestinians, if they started to do something other than producing suicide bombers and Quassam rockets, they would not have to suffer. World saw how they destroyed unique greenhouses in Gaza that were left to them when Israel pulled out of it. Victimhood and living on aid is their prefered way of life

Posted by: pihto999 | September 2, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

So, we went in there to stop the Taliban from sheltering al-Qaeda.

Now we can't withdraw because we might "create a vacuum filled by radical, triumphant elements of the Taliban, allied with al-Qaeda".

So, eight years in, we're no closer to creating an Afghanistan that wouldn't be a haven for al-Qaeda. And we still don't have OBL.

Perhaps it's time to try something else?

What you fail to understand is that we didn't start off eight years ago with, say, 50 Taliban members and 100 al-Qaeda members and that this will all be over once the death toll hits 150.

Every bullet we fire, every wedding party we bomb, every suspect we torture, every Palestinian who dies, and every inch we occupy adds to the hatred. They then fight back with the weapon they've got - terrorism.

The trick is to protect the homeland and stop pissing people off.

And you ask "What About 9/11?" Well, think about what we've just done to Iraq. Let's say 100,000 have died (military and civilian) so that we could rid Saddam of weapons he didn't have to stop him from providing them to terrorists he didn't have ties with.

Iraq has 1/15th the population of the US. That makes the Iraqi deaths the equivalent of 1.5m Americans. That's a 9/11 every day for 500 days. So, when the next bomb goes off, please don't ask "Why do they hate us?".

Actions have consequences.

Posted by: rw11 | September 2, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Afghans to Obama Get Out, Take Karzai W/ You

White people and their damn warmongering.

Take your useless war junk and GTFO of other peoples countries.

Afghanis have a lot more going on than most white folks. Morally and in every other way.

Posted by: Rubiconski | September 2, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Bush sent us to war looking for Bin Laden, then he tells the press he hasn't paid much attention to where Bin Laden was. He was the 9,11 mad-man that's not even wanted for 9,11. And Bush was so worried about an attack that he left the U.S. Mexican border wide open so anyone that wanted could walk right in. The terrorists could load their nukes on a ship, dock in Mexico and ride right in to the U.S. How did Bush think Saddam and AL Qaeda were going to attack the U.S.? Maybe with their ICBM's that are buried in the sand? Let them through airport security like all the other times? These people are no threat to us if we didn't want them to be. It's a hell of a lot easier to protect our country from here than screwing around in the Middle East. This isn't about terrorists, it's about oil contracts.

Posted by: HemiHead66 | September 3, 2009 2:16 AM | Report abuse

Excuse me, but we were the victims, not the perpetrators, of 9/11. I find your posting to be delusional and insulting to the memory of 3,000 Americans who died that day.

Posted by: maggots
--------------------

Though most who died that day were Americans, a significant number of the victims were citizens of other countries, people from over 90 nations, mostly employees of foreign businesses that had offices in the WTC and staff of Windows on the World. They were also some of the passengers on the American carriers that crashed that day. It was an American tragedy, and the world thinks if it as such. Nevertheless, the victims were citizens of many countries.

And maybe, just maybe, if the government and its agencies had been doing their jobs, 9/11 wouldn't have happened. Read what August30 | September 1, 2009 had to say in his comment here.

Reports, memos, warnings lay unread on desks. Why?

It’s the same with Bernie Madoff. The SEC ignored repeated warnings. Why?

The individuals caught up in these events are the innocent victims; I would never suggest otherwise. However, the government is complicit by its failure of due diligence. (Think of it as a sin of omission.)

It's your government, boyo. You voted it in. (And in this regard, the Dems are no better.)

Take your country back. Demand that you get something real, useful and tangible for the dollars you pay out in taxes. Demand that they do their job.


Posted by: darling_ailie | September 3, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Come on! The United States is cowering behind ridiculous security measures at airports and elsewhere, has launched two wars and is spending untold zillions on killing people on the other side of the world, and for what!? A handful of crazies living in caves that no one has ever been able to prove pulled off 911 in the first place. Eight years, and not a single person tried and convicted of the crime, just people tortured into saying they were involved. If the 'terrorists' did it, how come not enough evidence has been assembled to try anybody outside of a kangaroo court? What's wrong with this picture?

Posted by: shaman7214 | September 3, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

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