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Author Topic: "You go to war with the citizens you have, not the citizens you want."  (Read 2625 times)
G M
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« on: September 09, 2007, 11:57:03 AM »

Sunday, September 9, 2007
No terrorism, just war?

MARK STEYN
Syndicated columnist

Oh, it's a long, long while from September to September. This year, the anniversary falls, for the first time, on a Tuesday morning, and perhaps some or other cable network will re-present the events in real time – the first vague breaking news in an otherwise routine morning show, the follow-up item on the second plane, and the realization that something bigger was under way. If you make it vivid enough, the JFK/Princess Di factor will kick in: you'll remember "where you were" when you "heard the news." But it's harder to recreate the peculiar mood at the end of the day, when the citizens of the superpower went to bed not knowing what they'd wake up to the following morning.
Six years on, most Americans are now pretty certain what they'll wake up to in the morning: There'll be a thwarted terrorist plot somewhere or other – last week, it was Germany. Occasionally, one will succeed somewhere or other, on the far horizon – in Bali, Istanbul, Madrid, London. But not many folks expect to switch on the TV this Tuesday morning, as they did that Tuesday morning, and see smoke billowing from Atlanta or Phoenix or Seattle. During the IRA's 30-year campaign, the British grew accustomed (perhaps too easily accustomed) to waking up to the news either of some prominent person's assassination or that a couple of grandmas and some schoolkids had been blown apart in a shopping center. It was a terrorist war in which terrorism was almost routine. But, in the six years since President Bush declared that America was in a "war on terror," there has been in America no terrorism.
In theory, the administration ought to derive a political benefit from this: The president has "kept America safe." But, in practice, the placidity of the domestic front diminishes the chosen rationale of the conflict: if a "war on terror" has no terror, who says there's a war at all? That's the argument of the left – that it's all a racket cooked up by the Bushitlerburton fascists to impose on America a permanent national-security state in which, for dark sinister reasons of his own, Dick Cheney is free to monitor your out-of-state phone calls all day long.
Judging from the blithe expressions of commuters doing the shoeless shuffle through the security line at LAX and O'Hare, most Americans seem relatively content with a permanent national-security state. It's a curious paradox: airports on permanent Orange Alert, and a citizenry on permanent … well, I'm not sure there's a Homeland Security color code for "Gaily Insouciant," but, if there is, it's probably a bland limpid pastel of some kind. Of course, if tomorrow there's a big smoking hole where the Empire State Building used to be, we'll be back to: "The president should have known! This proves the failure of his policies over the last six years! We need another all-star commission filled with retired grandees!"
And that would be the relatively sane reaction. Have you seen that bumper sticker "9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB"? If you haven't, go to a college town and cruise Main Street for a couple of minutes. It seems odd that a fascist regime that thinks nothing of killing thousands of people in a big landmark building in the center of the city hasn't quietly offed some of these dissident professors – or at least the guy with the sticker-printing contract. Fearlessly, Robert Fisk of Britain's Independent, the alleged dean of Middle East correspondents, has now crossed over to the truther side and written a piece headlined, "Even I Question The 'Truth' About 9/11." According to a poll in May, 35 percent of Democrats believe that Bush knew about 9/11 in advance. Did Rumsfeld also know? Almost certainly. That's why he went to his office as normal that today, because he knew in advance that the plane would slice through the Pentagon but come to a halt on the far side of the photocopier. That's how well-planned it was, unlike Iraq.
Apparently, 39 percent of Democrats still believe Bush didn'tknow in advance – or, at any rate, so they said in May. But I'm confident half of them will have joined Rosie O'Donnell on the melted steely knoll before the Iowa caucuses. If Iraq is another Vietnam, 9/11 is another Kennedy assassination. Were Bali, Madrid and London also inside jobs by the Bush Gang? It's no wonder federal spending's out of control.
And what of those for whom the events of six years ago were more than just conspiracy fodder? Last week the New York Times carried a story about the current state of the 9/11 lawsuits. Relatives of 42 of the dead are suing various parties for compensation, on the grounds that what happened that Tuesday morning should have been anticipated. The law firm Motley Rice, diversifying from its traditional lucrative class-action hunting grounds of tobacco, asbestos and lead paint, is promising to put on the witness stand everybody who "allowed the events of 9/11 to happen." And they mean everybody – American Airlines, United, Boeing, the airport authorities, the security firms – everybody, that is, except the guys who did it.
According to the Times, many of the bereaved are angry and determined that their loved one's death should have meaning. Yet the meaning they're after surely strikes our enemies not just as extremely odd but as one more reason why they'll win. You launch an act of war, and the victims respond with a lawsuit against their own countrymen.
But that's the American way: Almost every news story boils down to somebody standing in front of a microphone and announcing that he's retained counsel. Last week, it was Larry Craig. Next week, it'll be the survivors of Ahmadinejad's nuclear test in Westchester County. As Andrew McCarthy pointed out, a legalistic culture invariably misses the forest for the trees. Sen. Craig should know that what matters is not whether an artful lawyer can get him off on a technicality but whether the public thinks he trawls for anonymous sex in public bathrooms. Likewise, those 9/11 families should know that, if you want your child's death that morning to have meaning, what matters is not whether you hound Boeing into admitting liability but whether you insist that the movement that murdered your daughter is hunted down and the sustaining ideological virus that led thousands of others to dance up and down in the streets cheering her death is expunged from the earth.
In his pugnacious new book, Norman Podhoretz calls for redesignating this conflict as World War IV. Certainly, it would have been easier politically to frame the Iraq campaign as being a front in a fourth world war than as a necessary measure in an anti-terrorist campaign. Yet who knows? Perhaps we would still have mired ourselves in legalists and conspiracies and the dismal curdled relativism of the Flight 93 memorial's "crescent of embrace." In the end, as Podhoretz says, if the war is to be fought at all, it will "have to be fought by the kind of people Americans now are." On this sixth anniversary, as 9/11 retreats into history, many Americans see no war at all.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2007, 01:12:52 PM »

War, Psychology and Time
September 11, 2007 17 15  GMT



By George Friedman

There are moments in history when everything comes together. Today is the sixth anniversary of the al Qaeda attack against the United States. This is the week Gen. David Petraeus is reporting to Congress on the status of the war in Iraq. It also is the week Osama bin Laden made one of his rare video appearances. The world will not change this week, but the convergence of these strands makes it necessary to pause and take stock.

To do this, we must begin at the beginning. We do not mean Sept. 11, 2001, but the moment when bin Laden decided to stage the attack -- and the reasoning behind it. By understanding his motives, we can begin to measure his success. His motive was not, we believe, simply to kill Americans. That was a means to an end. Rather, as we and others have said before, it was to seize what he saw as a rare opportunity to begin the process of recreating a vast Islamic empire.

The rare opportunity was the fall of the Soviet Union. Until then, the Islamic world had been divided between Soviet and American spheres of influence. Indeed, the border of the Soviet Union ran through the Islamic world. The Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union created a tense paralysis in that world, with movement and change being measured in decades and inches. Suddenly, everything that was once certain became uncertain. One half of the power equation was gone, and the other half, the United States, was at a loss as to what it meant. Bin Laden looked at the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and saw a historical opening.

His problem was that contrary to what has been discussed about terrorist organizations, they cannot create an empire. What they can do is seize a nation-state and utilize its power to begin shaping an empire. Bin Laden had Afghanistan, but he understood that its location and intrinsic power were insufficient for his needs. He could not hope to recreate the Islamic empire from Kabul or Kandahar. For bin Laden's strategy to work, he had to topple an important Muslim state and replace it with a true Islamist regime. There were several that would have done, but we suspect his eye was on Egypt. When Egypt moves, the Islamic world trembles. But that is a guess. A number of other regimes would have served the purpose.

In bin Laden's analysis, the strength of these regimes also was their weakness. They were all dependent on the United States for their survival. This fit in with bin Laden's broader analysis. The reason for Muslim weakness was that the Christian world -- the Crusaders, as he referred to them -- had imposed a series of regimes on Muslims and thereby divided and controlled them. Until these puppet regimes were overthrown, Muslims would be helpless in the face of Christians, in particular the current leading Christian power, the United States.

The root problem, as bin Laden saw it, was psychological. Muslims suffered from a psychology of defeat. They expected to be weaker than Christians and so they were. In spite of the defeat of the atheist Soviets in Afghanistan and the collapse of their regime, Muslims still did not understand two things -- that the Christians were inherently weak and corrupt, and that the United States was simply another Crusader nation and their enemy.

The 9/11 attack, as well as earlier attacks, was designed to do two things. First, by striking targets that were well-known among the Muslim masses, the attack was meant to demonstrate that the United States could be attacked and badly hurt. Second, it was designed to get a U.S. reaction -- and this is what bin Laden saw as the beauty of his plan: If Washington reacted by doing nothing effective, then he could argue that the United States was profoundly weak and indecisive. This would increase contempt for the United States. If, on the other hand, the United States staged a series of campaigns in the Islamic world, he would be able to say that this demonstrated that the United States was the true Crusader state and the enemy of Muslims everywhere. Bin Laden was looking for an intemperate move -- either the continued impotent responses to al Qaeda attacks in the 1990s or a drastic assault against Islam. Either one would have done.

For the American side, 9/11 did exactly what it was intended to do: generate terror. In our view, this was a wholly rational feeling. Anyone who was not frightened of what was coming next was out of touch with reality. Indeed, we are always amused when encountering friends who feel the United States vastly exaggerated the implications of four simultaneous plane hijacks that resulted in the world's worst terrorist attack and cost thousands of lives and billions in damage. Yet, six years on, the overwhelming and reasonable fear on the night of Sept. 11 has been erased and replaced by a strange sense that it was all an overreaction.

Al Qaeda was a global -- but sparse -- network. That meant that it could be anywhere and everywhere, and that searching for it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. But there was something else that disoriented the United States even more. Whether due to disruption by U.S. efforts or a lack of follow-on plans, al Qaeda never attacked the United States again after 9/11. Had it periodically attacked the United States, the ongoing sense of crisis would not have dissipated. But no attack has occurred, and over the years, actions and policies that appeared reasonable and proportionate in 2001 began to appear paranoid and excessive. A sense began to develop that the United States had overreacted to 9/11, or even that the Bush administration used 9/11 as an excuse for oppressive behavior.

Regardless of whether he was a one-trick pony or he did intend, but failed, to stage follow-on attacks, the lack of strikes since 9/11 has turned out to be less damaging to bin Laden than to the Bush administration.

Years of vigilance without an indisputable attack have led to a slow but systematic meltdown in the American consensus that was forged white hot on Sept. 11. On that day, it was generally conceded that defeating al Qaeda took precedence over all other considerations. It was agreed that this would be an extended covert war in which the use of any number of aggressive and unpleasant means would be necessary. It was believed that the next attack could come at any moment, and that preventing it was paramount.

Time reshapes our memory and displaces our fears from ourselves to others. For many, the fevered response to 9/11 is no longer "our" response, but "their" response, the response of the administration -- or more precisely, the overreaction of the administration that used 9/11 as an excuse to wage an unnecessary global war. The fears of that day are viewed as irrational and the responsibility of others. Regardless of whether it was intentional, the failure of al Qaeda to mount another successful attack against the United States in six years has made it appear that the reaction to 9/11 was overblown.

The Bush administration, however, felt it could not decline combat. It surged into the Islamic world, adopting one of the strategies bin Laden hoped it would. There were many reasons for this, but part of it was psychological. Bin Laden wanted to show that the United States was weak. Bush wanted to demonstrate that the United States was strong. The secretary of defense at the time, Donald Rumsfeld, used the term "shock and awe." That was precisely the sense the United States wanted to deliver to the Islamic world. It wanted to call bin Laden's bet -- and raise it.

That was more than four years ago. The sense of shock and awe, if it was ever there, is long gone. Rather than showing the Islamic world the overwhelming power of the United States, the United States is now engaged in a debate over whether there is some hope for its strategy. No one is arguing that the war has been a slam dunk. Whatever the complex reasons for invading Iraq, and we have addressed those in detail, time has completely undermined the psychological dimension of the strategy. Four years into the war, no one is shocked and no one is awed. The same, it should be added, is true about Afghanistan.

Time has hammered the Bush administration in two ways. In the first instance -- and this might actually be the result of the administration's success in stopping al Qaeda -- there has been no further attack against the United States. The justification for the administration's measures to combat al Qaeda, therefore, is wearing thin. For many, a state of emergency without any action simply does not work after six years. It is not because al Qaeda and others aren't out there. It is because time wears down the imagination, until the threat becomes a phantom.

Time also has worn down the Bush administration's war in Iraq. The Islamic world is not impressed. The American public doesn't see the point or the end. What was supposed to be a stunning demonstration of American power has been a demonstration of the limits of that power.

The paradox is this: There has been no follow-on attack against the United States. The United States did dislodge Saddam Hussein and the Taliban, and while the war goes badly, the casualties are a small fraction of those lost in Vietnam. Most important, bin Laden's dream is gone. No Muslim state has been overthrown and replaced with a regime that bin Laden would find worthy. He has been marginalized by both the United States and by his rival Shiite radicals, who have picked up the mantle that he dropped. His own jihadist movement is no longer under his effective control.

Bin Laden has been as badly battered by time as Bush. Unable to achieve any of his political goals, unable to mount another attack, he reminds us of Che Guevara after his death in Bolivia. He is a symbol of rebellion for a generation that does not intend to rebel and that carefully ignores his massive failures.

Yet, in the end, Guevara and bin Laden could have become important only if their revolutions had succeeded. There is much talk and much enthusiasm. There is no revolution. Therefore, what time has done to bin Laden's hopes is interesting, but in the end, as a geopolitical force, he has not counted beyond his image since Sept. 11, 2001.

The effect on the United States is much more profound. The war, both in Iraq and against al Qaeda, has worn the United States down over time. The psychology of fear has been replaced by a psychology of cynicism. The psychology of confidence in war has been replaced by a psychology of helplessness. Exhaustion pervades all.

That is the single most important outcome of the war. What happens to bin Laden is, in the end, about as important as what happened to Guevara. Legends will be made of it -- not history. But when the world's leading power falls into the psychological abyss brought about by time and war, the entire world is changed by it. Every country rethinks its position and its actions. Everything changes.

That is what is important about the Petraeus report. He will ask for more time. Congress will give it to him. The president will take it. Time, however, has its price not only in war but also psychologically. And if the request for time leads to more failure and the American psychology is further battered, then that is simply more time that other powers, great and small, will have to take advantage of the situation. The United States has psychologically begun tearing itself apart over both the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq. Whatever your view of that, it is a fact -- a serious geopolitical fact.

The Petraeus report will not address that. It is out of the general's area of responsibility. But the pressing issue is this: If the United States continues the war and if it maintains its vigilance against attacks, how does the evolution of the American psyche play out?

stratfor.com
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G M
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2007, 01:45:24 PM »

http://www.theneweditor.com/index.php?/archives/816-What-If-The-September-11-Attack-Was-Thwarted.html

What If The September 11 Attack Was Thwarted?
By Tom Elia

(A version of this parody was originally published in the Vallejo (CA) Times-Herald on September 11, 2002)

19 Arrested In 'Terrorist Plot'

New York, September 12 (AP) -- In what it called "an unprecedented operation in the history of the US intelligence community," the FBI today announced that yesterday it had arrested 19 men from the Middle East in New York and Boston in connection with what was called "a terrorist plot to blow up the World Trade Center, the White House, the Capitol, and the Pentagon."

A spokesman for the FBI said that the men, 15 Saudi Arabians and 4 Egyptians, were carrying "box-cutters, flight-manuals, copies of the Koran, and death shrouds" at the time of their arrests and had booked flights bound from New York and Boston to the West Coast intending to hijack the flights and use them to "crash into various federal buildings."

The FBI said that the group comprised part of the al Qaeda terrorist network run by the Osama bin Laden, a wealthy Islamic fundamentalist and Saudi dissident.

In an interview broadcast on CNN, a spokesman for the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington said, "these men were arrested because they are of Middle Eastern descent. It’s an outrage."

When reached for comment, a spokesman for the Arab-American Anti-Defamation Committee called the arrests "an outrageous example of racial profiling."

Ari Fleisher, President Bush’s press secretary, said the White House would make no comment about the arrests until more was known.


Protests Over The 'Arab 19'

New York, September 17 (AP) - In response to the arrests of 19 men of Middle Eastern descent suspected of terrorism on September 11, protests popped up across the nation.

The New York police department estimated that protesters outside of the United Nations numbered in the "low thousands."

"This is yet another example of the injustice of racial profiling in the United States," said Tiffany Suit, a protester and law student from New York University. "And I’m tired of it."

In Washington, DC, hundreds of protesters gathered across from the White House, in Lafayette Park. Some carried signs that read, "Bush is a Fascist," "Free The 'Arab 19,'" and "The United States of Racism."

Speaking at the rally, Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) said, "as a woman of color, I am all too familiar with the horrific reality of racial profiling in America. This Administration wants you to believe that just because these men are of Middle Eastern heritage, they are suspects in some diabolical plot. Box cutters? Get serious. What could anyone do with box-cutters - take down a plane? The Republicans are paranoid. Bush has got to go."

In Boston, a crowd estimated around three thousand showed up to listen to a short speech by MIT linguistics professor, Noam Chomsky.

"The US government wants you to believe that because these men were taking classes at flight training schools that they are somehow dangerous and in need of incarceration. They had flight manuals with them? Of course they did. They were student pilots! The United States is a terrorist regime bent on world hegemony."

In Berkeley, California police, donned in riot gear, were pelted with crumpled pages of the US Constitution by students chanting, "shame, shame, shame."

Some in the crowd said they thought that President Bush was to blame.

Student leader Nathan Cabbage, an anti-globalization activist and environmental studies major at the University of California at Berkeley, said, "Bush is the problem. This is what happens to a country that kills innocent animals for food - they become paranoid nuts. Bush stole the election and now he wants to throw all of us in jail because we are different from him and his rich oil buddies. I stand in solidarity with my Arab brothers. So they had copies of the Koran with them. So what? Bush claims to be religious. Should we throw him in jail because he reads the Bible? America is a racist country."


McAuliffe Calls for Investigation

Chicago, September 21 (AP) -- In a speech at a fundraiser, Terry McAuliffe, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, called for an investigation into the arrests of the "Arab 19." "It is time to put an end to racial profiling in America… the airlines should apologize to Arab-Americans," he said.


United, American Apologize: To Start Scholarships

Chicago, September 24 (AP) - United Airlines apologized to all Arab-Americans today and offered to fund a scholarship for the training of pilots of Middle Eastern descent. "We want to correct the false impression that we are anti-Arab. We are not," said a spokesman for United Airlines.

In Dallas, American Airlines announced that it would match the United offer "because we care," said a company spokesman.
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G M
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2007, 02:02:35 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/09/11/and-the-beat-goes-on-2/

Manufacturing dissent.
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G M
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2007, 10:50:37 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/09/11/photos-truther-rats-infest-ground-zero-on-911/
Scum.
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G M
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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2007, 02:58:18 PM »

http://www.redstate.com/stories/war/what_if_moveon_org_existed_65_years_ago

They didn't, because treason wasn't cool back then.
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G M
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2007, 01:20:36 AM »

Terrorists disclose: We LOVE liberals!
Jihadists respond to Rosie, Clinton, Penn, Pelosi, Fonda, Boxer, Murtha
Posted: September 19, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern


© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

 
Klein, left, with the senior West Bank leadership of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, including Ala Senakreh, second from left, the terror group's West Bank chief. The Brigades took responsibility together with the Islamic Jihad terror group for every suicide bombing in Israel the past three years. The Brigades, the most active West Bank terror group, also carried out hundreds of shootings and rocket attacks.
Many analysts and commentators have speculated what America's enemies might think about liberal politicians, celebrities and activists who protest the war in Iraq, call terrorists "freedom fighters," express solidarity with terror-supporting countries or even question who was behind the 9/11 attacks.

In a shocking new book, author and WND Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein actually petitions Muslim terrorists to respond to the statements and actions of American public figures such as anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Rep. John Murtha, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and entertainment personalities Rosie O'Donnell, Sean Penn and Jane Fonda. The jihadists overwhelmingly applauded the liberal leaders.

In "Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land Jihadists Reveal their Global Plans – to a Jew!," Klein in one chapter assembles a panel of senior terrorist leaders and asks them to sound off about high-profile liberals. He also asks about conservative personalities from Ronald Reagan through Rush Limbaugh.

The terrorists were familiar with some of the names, while for others the jihadists were provided with a series of statements and speeches to which to respond.

Klein, for example, had a speech made earlier this year by Penn translated into Arabic. In the speech, Penn, who in 2005 paid a solidarity visit to Tehran, called Iran a "great country," slammed President Bush and Vice President Cheney as "villainous and criminally obscene people" and suggested Iran had the right to obtain a nuclear weapon since the U.S. has a nuclear arsenal.



In "Schmoozing" Klein also read to the terrorists statements from O'Donnell in which she argued terrorists are people, too.

"Don't fear the terrorists. They're mothers and fathers," said O’Donnell.

The former daytime talk host also has raised questions about whether al-Qaida was responsible for 9/11; implied the Iranian seizure of 15 British sailors in March was a hoax to provide Bush with an excuse to attack Tehran; and doubted whether confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed really planned the attacks.

Klein discussed with the terrorists demands for a quick U.S. withdrawal from Iraq by politicians such as Boxer and Murtha.

He asked jihadists what they thought of Pelosi's visit last April against the recommendations of the White House to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad.


Klein with Eiman Abu Eita, chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Beit Sahour

During a photo opportunity, a smiling Pelosi stated, "We came in friendship, hope and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace."

Syria openly hosts Palestinian terrorist leaders, signed a military alliance with Iran and is accused of arming and funding the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group and aiding the insurgency against U.S. troops in Iraq.

Klein also read to the terrorists speeches and statements by Sheehan, who has called terrorists "freedom fighters" and has accused Bush of waging war in Iraq for Israeli interests.

Why schmooze with the professed enemies of Western civilization?

States Klein: "In the midst of America's war on terror, in the midst of our grand showdown with Islamofascism, with our boys and girls deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world to defend liberty, it is crucial for all of us to understand the adversary we are up against and how some of our policies and personalities are emboldening the terrorists to think they are winning."

Klein explains he believes America is in trouble. While the U.S. has made enormous advances in the war on terror the past few years, it is encouraging terrorists to attack, and people don't even know it, he professes.


Klein with Muhammad Abu Tir, the No. 2 Hamas leader in the West Bank, suspected of attempting to poison Israel's water supply

"If the American approach to identifying, understanding, and dealing with terrorism is not re-examined in the very near future, if we don't immediately begin to understand how the terrorists think and respond to our policies, we face a devastating reality, with global jihad beating down our doorstep before we even realize what happened," states Klein.

Among the highlights of "Schmoozing with Terrorists:"

Madonna and Britney Spears stoned to death? What life in the U.S. would be like if the terrorists win.
Jihadists list their U.S. election favorites, mouth off about politicians and even threaten to kill one 2008 presidential candidate.
Klein and friends confront well-armed senior terrorists about whether suicide bombers really get 72 virgins after their deadly operation.
A shocking expose on how YOUR tax dollars fund terrorism!
Bibles used as toilet paper, synagogues as rocket launching zones? Meet the leaders of the most notorious holy site desecrations in history.
The under-reported story of Christian persecution in the Middle East as told by the antagonists and victims.
Terrorists offer tips on how to win the war on terror!
Klein has been interviewing terrorists since age 19, when he spent a weekend with a group connected to al-Qaida. He reports daily from Israel, going where many of his media colleagues dare not tread.

Klein is known for his regular appearances and segments on top American radio programs, where he has many times interviewed terrorists live on air. He served as a co-host of the national "John Batchelor Show," currently on hiatus.

The oldest of 10 children, Klein attended Jewish schools from kindergarten through college at Yeshiva University in New York, where he served as editor-in-chief of the undergraduate student newspaper.

To interview Aaron Klein, contact M. Sliwa Public Relations by e-mail, or call 973-272-2861 or 212-202-4453.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2007, 08:03:02 AM »

Even though I strongly agree with the underlying proposition, as I finished reading that I had a sense of "Where's the punch line?" -- or having read an advertisement , , ,
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G M
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2007, 12:41:04 PM »

It's more of a press release touting the book, but Aaron  Klein is a sharp guy. I used to listen to him on the John Batchelor show. He did great reporting on the middle east based out of Israel.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2007, 07:49:42 AM »

12 Myths of 21st-Century War
Unaware of the cost of freedom and served by leaders without military expertise, Americans have started to believe whatever's comfortable.
 The American Legion Magazine  November, 2007, By Ralph Peters
Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer, strategist and author of 22 books, including the recent "Wars of Blood and Faith: The Conflicts That Will Shape the 21st Century."

  We're in trouble. We're in danger of losing more wars. Our troops haven't forgotten how to fight. We've never had better men and women in uniform. But our leaders and many of our fellow Americans no longer grasp what war means or what it takes to win.
 Thanks to those who have served in uniform, we've lived in such safety and comfort for so long that for many Americans sacrifice means little more than skipping a second trip to the buffet table.  Two trends over the past four decades contributed to our national ignorance of the cost, and necessity, of victory.
  First, the most privileged Americans used the Vietnam War as an excuse to break their tradition of uniformed service. Ivy League universities once produced heroes. Now they resist Reserve Officer Training Corps representation on their campuses.
  Yet, our leading universities still produce a disproportionate number of U.S. political leaders. The men and women destined to lead us in wartime dismiss military service as a waste of their time and talents. Delighted to pose for campaign photos with our troops, elected officials in private disdain the military. Only one serious presidential aspirant in either party is a veteran, while another presidential hopeful pays as much for a single haircut as I took home in a month as an Army private.
  Second, we've stripped in-depth U.S. history classes out of our schools. Since the 1960s, one history course after another has been cut, while the content of those remaining focuses on social issues and our alleged misdeeds. Dumbed-down textbooks minimize the wars that kept us free. As a result, ignorance of the terrible price our troops had to pay for freedom in the past creates absurd expectations about our present conflicts. When the media offer flawed or biased analyses, the public lacks the knowledge to make informed judgments.
  This combination of national leadership with no military expertise and a population that hasn't been taught the cost of freedom leaves us with a government that does whatever seems expedient and a citizenry that believes whatever's comfortable. Thus, myths about war thrive
.
Myth No. 1: War doesn't change anything.
  This campus slogan contradicts all of human history. Over thousands of years, war has been the last resort - and all too frequently the first resort - of tribes, religions, dynasties, empires, states and demagogues driven by grievance, greed or a heartless quest for glory. No one believes that war is a good thing, but it is sometimes necessary. We need not agree in our politics or on the manner in which a given war is prosecuted, but we can't pretend that if only we laid down our arms all others would do the same.
  Wars, in fact, often change everything. Who would argue that the American Revolution, our Civil War or World War II changed nothing? Would the world be better today if we had been pacifists in the face of Nazi Germany and imperial Japan?
  Certainly, not all of the changes warfare has wrought through the centuries have been positive. Even a just war may generate undesirable results, such as Soviet tyranny over half of Europe after 1945. But of one thing we may be certain: a U.S. defeat in any war is a defeat not only for freedom, but for civilization. Our enemies believe that war can change the world. And they won't be deterred by bumper stickers.

Myth No. 2: Victory is impossible today.
  Victory is always possible, if our nation is willing to do what it takes to win. But victory is, indeed, impossible if U.S. troops are placed under impossible restrictions, if their leaders refuse to act boldly, if every target must be approved by lawyers, and if the American people are disheartened by a constant barrage of negativity from the media. We don't need generals who pop up behind microphones to apologize for every mistake our soldiers make. We need generals who win.
 And you can't win if you won't fight. We're at the start of a violent struggle that will ebb and flow for decades, yet our current generation of leaders, in and out of uniform, worries about hurting the enemy's feelings.
  One of the tragedies of our involvement in Iraq is that while we did a great thing by removing Saddam Hussein, we tried to do it on the cheap. It's an iron law of warfare that those unwilling to pay the butcher's bill up front will pay it with compound interest in the end. We not only didn't want to pay that bill, but our leaders imagined that we could make friends with our enemies even before they were fully defeated. Killing a few hundred violent actors like Moqtada al-Sadr in 2003 would have prevented thousands of subsequent American deaths and tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths. We started something our national leadership lacked the guts to finish.
  Despite our missteps, victory looked a great deal less likely in the early months of 1942 than it does against our enemies today. Should we have surrendered after the fall of the Philippines?
  Today's opinionmakers and elected officials have lost their grip on what it takes to win. In the timeless words of Nathan Bedford Forrest, "War means fighting, and fighting means killing."  And in the words of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, "It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it."

Myth No. 3: Insurgencies can never be defeated.
  Historically, fewer than one in 20 major insurgencies succeeded. Virtually no minor ones survived. In the mid-20th century, insurgencies scored more wins than previously had been the case, but that was because the European colonial powers against which they rebelled had already decided to rid themselves of their imperial possessions. Even so, more insurgencies were defeated than not, from the Philippines to Kenya to Greece. In the entire 18th century, our war of independence was the only insurgency that defeated a major foreign power and drove it out for good.
  The insurgencies we face today are, in fact, more lethal than the insurrections of the past century. We now face an international terrorist insurgency as well as local rebellions, all motivated by religious passion or ethnicity or a fatal compound of both. The good news is that in over 3,000 years of recorded history, insurgencies motivated by faith and blood overwhelmingly failed. The bad news is that they had to be put down with remorseless bloodshed.

Myth No. 4: There's no military solution; only negotiations can solve our problems.
  In most cases, the reverse is true. Negotiations solve nothing until a military decision has been reached and one side recognizes a peace agreement as its only hope of survival. It would be a welcome development if negotiations fixed the problems we face in Iraq, but we're the only side interested in a negotiated solution. Every other faction – the terrorists, Sunni insurgents, Shia militias, Iran and Syria - is convinced it can win.
  The only negotiations that produce lasting results are those conducted from positions of indisputable strength.

Myth No. 5: When we fight back, we only provoke our enemies.
  When dealing with bullies, either in the schoolyard or in a global war, the opposite is true: if you don't fight back, you encourage your enemy to behave more viciously. Passive resistance only works when directed against rule-of-law states, such as the core English-speaking nations. It doesn't work where silent protest is answered with a bayonet in the belly or a one-way trip to a political prison. We've allowed far too many myths about the "innate goodness of humanity" to creep up on us. Certainly, many humans would rather be good than bad. But if we're unwilling to fight the fraction of humanity that's evil, armed and determined to subjuga te the rest, we'll face even grimmer conflicts.

Myth No. 6: Killing terrorists only turns them into martyrs.
  It's an anomaly of today's Western world that privileged individuals feel more sympathy for dictators, mass murderers and terrorists - consider the irrational protests against Guantanamo - than they do for their victims. We were told, over and over, that killing Osama bin Laden or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, hanging Saddam Hussein or targeting the Taliban's Mullah Omar would only unite their followers. Well, we haven't yet gotten Osama or Omar, but Zarqawi's dead and forgotten by his own movement, whose members never invoke that butcher's memory. And no one is fighting to avenge Saddam. The harsh truth is that when faced with true fanatics, killing them is the only way to end their influence.
  Imprisoned, they galvanize protests, kidnappings, bombings and attacks that seek to free them. Want to make a terrorist a martyr? Just lock him up. Attempts to try such monsters in a court of law turn into mockeries that only provide public platforms for their hate speech, which the global media is delighted to broadcast. Dead, they're dead.
  And killing them is the ultimate proof that they lack divine protection. Dead terrorists don't kill.

Myth No. 7: If we fight as fiercely as our enemies, we're no better than them.
  Did the bombing campaign against Germany turn us into Nazis? Did dropping atomic bombs on Japan to end the war and save hundreds of thousands of American lives, as well as millions of Japanese lives, turn us into the beasts who conducted the Bataan Death March?
  The greatest immorality is for the United States to lose a war. While we seek to be as humane as the path to victory permits, we cannot shrink from doing what it takes to win. At present, the media and influential elements of our society are obsessed with the small immoralities that are inevitable in wartime.
  Soldiers are human, and no matter how rigorous their training, a miniscule fraction of our troops will do vicious things and must be punished as a consequence. Not everyone in uniform will turn out to be a saint, and not every chain of command will do its job with equal effectiveness.
  But obsessing on tragic incidents - of which there have been remarkably few in Iraq or Afghanistan - obscures the greater moral issue: the need to defeat enemies who revel in butchering the innocent, who celebrate atrocities, and who claim their god wants blood.

Myth No. 8: The United States is more hated today than ever before.
  Those who served in Europe during the Cold War remember enormous, often-violent protests against U.S. policy that dwarfed today's let's-have-fun-on-a-Sunday-afternoon rallies. Older readers recall the huge ban-the-bomb, pro-communist demonstrations of the 1950s and the vast seas of demonstrators filling the streets of Paris, Rome and Berlin to protest our commitment to Vietnam. Imagine if we'd had 24/7 news coverage of those rallies.
  I well remember serving in Germany in the wake of our withdrawal from Saigon, when U.S. soldiers were despised by the locals – who nonetheless were willing to take our money - and terrorists tried to assassinate U.S. generals.
  The fashionable anti-Americanism of the chattering classes hasn't stopped the world from seeking one big green card. As I've traveled around the globe since 9/11, I've found that below the government-spokesman/professional-radical level, the United States remains the great dream for university graduates from Berlin to Bangalore to Bogota.
  On the domestic front, we hear ludicrous claims that our country has never been so divided. Well, that leaves out our Civil War. Our historical amnesia also erases the violent protests of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the mass confrontations, rioting and deaths. Is today's America really more fractured than it was in 1968?

Myth No. 9: Our invasion of Iraq created our terrorist problems.
  This claim rearranges the order of events, as if the attacks of 9/11 happened after Baghdad fell. Our terrorist problems have been created by the catastrophic failure of Middle Eastern civilization to compete on any front and were exacerbated by the determination of successive U.S. administrations, Democrat and Republican, to pretend that Islamist terrorism was a brief aberration. Refusing to respond to attacks, from the bombings in Beirut to Khobar Towers, from the first attack on the Twin Towers to the near-sinking of the USS Cole, we allowed our enemies to believe that we were weak and cowardly. Their unchallenged successes served as a powerful recruiting tool.
  Did our mistakes on the ground in Iraq radicalize some new recruits for terror? Yes. But imagine how many more recruits there might have been and the damage they might have inflicted on our homeland had we not responded militarily in Afghanistan and then carried the fight to Iraq. Now Iraq is al-Qaeda's Vietnam, not ours.

Myth No. 10: If we just leave, the Iraqis will patch up their differences on their own.
  The point may come at which we have to accept that Iraqis are so determined to destroy their own future that there's nothing more we can do. But we're not there yet, and leaving immediately would guarantee not just one massacre but a series of slaughters and the delivery of a massive victory to the forces of terrorism.
  We must be open-minded about practical measures, from changes in strategy to troop reductions, if that's what the developing situation warrants. But it's grossly irresponsible to claim that our presence is the primary cause of the violence in Iraq - an allegation that ignores history.

Myth No. 11: It's all Israel's fault. Or the popular Washington corollary: "The Saudis are our friends."
  Israel is the Muslim world's excuse for failure, not a reason for it. Even if we didn't support Israel, Islamist extremists would blame us for countless other imagined wrongs, since they fear our freedoms and our culture even more than they do our military. All men and women of conscience must recognize the core difference between Israel and its neighbors: Israel genuinely wants to live in peace, while its genocidal neighbors want Israel erased from the map.
  As for the mad belief that the Saudis are our friends, it endures only because the Saudis have spent so much money on both sides of the aisle in Washington. Saudi money continues to subsidize anti-Western extremism, to divide fragile societies, and encourage hatred between Muslims and all others. Saudi extremism has done far more damage to the Middle East than Israel ever did. The Saudis are our enemies.

Myth No. 12: The Middle East's problems are all America's fault.
  Muslim extremists would like everyone to believe this, but it just isn't true. The collapse of once great Middle Eastern civilizations has been under way for more than five centuries, and the region became a backwater before the United States became a country. For the first century and a half of our national existence, our relations with the people of the Middle East were largely beneficent and protective, notwithstanding our conflict with the Barbary Pirates in North Africa.
  But Islamic civilization was on a downward trajectory that could not be arrested. Its social and economic structures, its values, its neglect of education, its lack of scientific curiosity, the indolence of its ruling classes and its inability to produce a single modern state that served its people all guaranteed that, as the West's progress accelerated, the Middle East would fall ever farther behind.
  The Middle East has itself to blame for its problems. None of us knows what our strategic future holds, but we have no excuse for not knowing our own past. We need to challenge inaccurate assertions about our policies, about our past and about war itself. And we need to work within our community and state education systems to return balanced, comprehensive history programs to our schools. The unprecedented wealth and power of the United States allows us to afford many things denied to human beings throughout history. But we, the people, cannot afford ignorance.
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