In response to 911, the US had to do something, but what?

By Ted Belman

The liberal left were very critical of Pres Bush, Rumsfield and the neocons for getting the US into war with Iraq and sometimes even with Afghanistan. When such criticism was voiced to me, I would always ask what should the US have done as a result of 9/11 and never got a satisfactory answer.

Douglas Feith’s recent book War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the dawn of the war on terrorism, is a fascinating account of the days immediately following 9/11 and the intellectual debate which underscored the decision making process. Feith was the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from the beginning of the George Bush presidency and as such was in the thick of things enabling him to write this first-hand account.

In the beginning of the book, he lays out his career trajectory which is worth noting. His father escaped from the Nazi killing machine and came to America just after Pearl Harbor. His grand-parents, three aunts, and three brothers were not so lucky and died in the Holocaust. Feith took an interest in diplomacy at an early age and was particularly interested in studying how Britain attempted to manage the rise of Adolf Hitler through diplomacy. He writes “It was also obvious to me, with hindsight, that nothing short of war could have stopped, let alone reversed, Nazi aggression”. He, was at the time, a liberal, like all “good” Jews.

Feith studied international relations at Harvard College in the early seventies. A big issue at the time was how to promote peace through diplomacy between Israel and its Arab neighbors. He came “to distrust conventional wisdom and its optimistic assumption that negotiations and treaty relations could produce peace and stability between deadly enemies.” Smart man.

Other memorable quotes included:

    “But the ‘peace process’, I recognized suffered from the same lack of mutuality that impaired detente [with the USSR]. The Israelis and the Arabs were playing the game with incompatable motives. The Israelis intended to purchase peace and security; their Arab interlocutors were seeking territorial concessions without recognizing Israel –let alone urging their people to accept – Israel’s right to Exist.”
    “Diplomacy, it occured to me, was unlikely to produce good results if one party saw the talks as a continuation of war by other means.”
    “I believed that history and common sense, both warned against relying on international legal agreements to moderate the behaviour of totalitarian rulers who were unconstrained by even their own domestic laws.”

Before being appointed by Bush at the beginning of his Administration to the position of Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, he obtained a law degree at George Washington U, served in the Reagan administration for five and a half years with Richard Allen and practiced law for 15 years. As such he was Donald Rumsfield’s right hand man.

At the outset of the book he takes pains to debunk the narrative of the main stream media about the “war mongering, pro democracy neo-cons”, of which he was one, who populated the Bush Pentagon. Contrary to popular belief, the neocons, he writes, urged Bush to tone down his democracy rhetoric and stressed the downsides of going to war more so than did the CIA or the State Department.

He was in Russia with other Pentagon military and civilian personnel on Sep  11, 2001 when he received word of the attack. In order to return to the US as quickly as possible he and his entourage had to take a commercial flight to Germany the next day where a US military plane was waiting to take them together with other high ranking personnel to Washington. The flight time was not wasted, as those on board took the opportunity to consider the terrorist challenge and how to deal with it. They understood that they had to deal with a terrorist network and a host of countries that were aiding and abetting them. But the problem was that there were at least a dozen such countries and the US couldn’t declare war on all of them.

They arrived in Washington at 5:00 PM on September 12th and Feith had to sprint to arrive at a meeting at 6:00 PM chaired by President Bush. Bush, he tells us, had a reputation for locking the doors promptly at the appointed time thereby denying entrance to late comers. Bush set the stage by saying: “We believe we are at war and we will fight it as such. I want us to have the mindset of fighting and winning a war.” and “We won’t just pound sand”.

The next day, the President met with the National Security Council and other important players, including Feith, to give more definition of the task at hand. It had to be determined if the war was just against those culpable for the attack, namely al Qaeda, or against a wider target, namely, the jihadist network globally. The latter option was favoured by Rumsfield. Powell put in his two cents by advising that we should make it clear to the UN and the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) that “we are after terrorists, not Arabs and Muslims.” Feith also noted that Powell advised that the US should get Palestinian-Israeli diplomacy going “so we can show we remain engaged”. Evidently the OIC had been applying pressure on Bush to pick up where Clinton had left off.

Ultimately this “engagement” took the form of the Roadmap which was released one week after the invasion of Iraq.  This was the price the Saudis were demanding for “cooperation”. See Perfecting the Unifying Theory

Sadaam Hussein, who had been a thorn in the side of the Clinton administration for eight years, was also discussed. Was he in any way involved?  Should the US attack Iraq also? The problem with Al Qaeda and Afghanistan was that there were few if any targets to destroy so it was hard for the US to make a statement. Iraq on the other hand had much to lose and attacking them would send a big message to other countries to desist from supporting terrorism. It was assumed at the time that Iraq had WMD’s. No one questioned this assumption. Bush insisted that the US go beyond just making a statement in Iraq and insisted on bringing about a change of government. Bush challenged those in attendance to define the mission. It should not be a “photo-op war” he said. He stressed that time was of the essence.

In the decades preceeding 911, the US had suffered many attacks in which hundreds had been killed but none of them, individually or collectively, was enough to be considered an act of war instead of a terrorist attack. The US treated the latter as a criminal act requiring prosecution in the courts. This was different. This was war. But what did that mean

Feith writes:

    “Administration officials continued to use law enforcement terms like ‘punishment’, ‘justice’ and ‘perpetrators’ publically and in National Security Council discussions. In the interagency debates about the way ahead, the National Security Council Principals would test the President’s willingness to break with the standard law enforcement frame of mind. Americans and others instinctively understood that 9/11 was not an ordinary event in the decades-long history of terrorism and counterterrorism.. Bush got broad, bipartisan support when he announced that 9/11 meant war. But fighting terrorism strategically was little more than a notion. Having coined the term ‘war on terror’, the President now had to flesh out the idea that international terrorism was more than a conspiracy of provably guilty individuals.”

Because Iraq had been a center of terrorism for many years, there was no need to link it to al Qaeda or 9/11.

Secretary Rice presented three option; 1) attack al Qaeda only, 2) attack al Qaeda and the Taliban and 3) also attack Iraq. Paul Wolfowitz was against all three and insisted that “The chief purpose of the military action was not punishing those behind 9/11 but attacking those who might launch the next 9/11. Gen Myers, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, counseled caution; “Many of our NATO allies were beginning to move backwards demanding evidence before they would support military operations”.

The next day, Rumsfield announced that there was pressure on the president to “go soon” but this created a danger that we might do “something hollow, inefficient or embarrassing”. He wanted the US to plan for a “sustained broad campaign” that would surprise people and include “economic, political and other moves, not just military action”. Rumsfield wanted to determine “[h]ow we should think about this?” before deciding “[w]hat do we do?”.

Feith was in agreement. It fell to Feith and Rodman to prepare a memo for the Sept 15th meeting of the NSC at Camp David.  He writes, “The US had more than an al Qaeda problem, it had a terrorism problem. It was incumbent on the US to determine what action – military or otherwise – to take against which targets and on what timetable.” And again: “we considered identifying the enemy as an ideology and using a term like “radical Islam” or “Islamist extremism”. “But we were reluctant to do so before the origins of the 9/11 attack were certain and in any event we did not want to suggest that we were at war with Islam”. Nevertheless he believed that all terrorists and their enablers must be confronted because “the US cannot tolerate continued state support for terrorism.” “The objective is not punishment but prevention and self-defense.” But when you think about it, what right did the US have to invoke preemption against a network of terrorists, not all of whom were targeting the US.

Rumsfield explored the idea that the war on terrorism was in part a civil war within the world of Islam.

    “The Al-Qaeda terrorists are extremists whose views are antithetical to those of most Muslims. Their actions threaten the interests of the world’s Muslims and are aimed in part at preventing Muslim people from engaging the rest of the world. There are millions of Muslims around the world who we expect to become allies in this struggle.”

Rumsfield was proven wrong on both accounts. Muslims remained loyal to Islam and did not become true allies.

Bush added to this when he said Al-Qaeda members were practitioners of “a fringe form of Islamic extremism”. That being the case, what is mainstream Islamic extremism?

What the Bush administration was attempting to do was to attack the practitioners and the countries that supported them without taking on the ideology that motivated and informed them. But if they were to declare war on Islam just as previous administrations had declared war on Communism or Fascism, what exactly would that mean? In the latter case, America had set out prove and demonstrate that her capitalistic system and “we the people” form of government was better. In the former case, the US would have to utterly reject that part of Islam that imposes sharia and Jihad preferring instead the Judeo-Christian value system. This was a war Bush was not prepared to wage.

In hindsight, nothing permanent was accomplished but the cost in American lives and treasure exceeded many times the costs of 911. Afghanistan is returning to the Taliban. Pakistan is destabilized. Iraq is heavily influenced by Iran and Russia. The Islamists have gone from strength to strength and have infiltrated the US government.

October 27, 2012 | 51 Comments »

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  1. @ Donald freyman:

    Your comment, dingleberry, is offensive enough for me to report it to Ted. After all, he doesn’t like personal insults…but since you brought up the Klan, boychik, a few salient facts might sober even you up.

    One, The Democratic Party not only spawned the Confederacy, it also spawned the Ku Klux Klan. Confederate General and mass murderer of Black Union POWs, Nathan Bedford Forrest was both a prominent Democrat and Klan founder.

    Two, Who did Obama openly admire – and said so in “Audacity of Hope” AFTER he dissed Abraham Lincoln?

    NONE OTHER THAN SENATOR RICHARD C. BYRD, the late, unlamented Grand Kleagle of the West Virginia Ku Klux Klan, and noted for his 14 hour filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a measure that was passed due to Republican votes and good men like Hubert Humphrey, but NOT Racist Dems like Byrdie.

    Obama wrote of sitting reverently at Byrd’s knee. Guess Obama had this thing for RACISTS AND ANTI-SEMITES…first Wright, then Byrd.

    Third, you don’t know my personal history, Donny, so your ignorance can be forgiven – but when I was 11 I was fighting to end discrimination in Southern California against Blacks. If I had been older I would have gone to Selma, and said all this in my school classroom. Evidently it didn’t sit too well with our Junior Klansmen who called me a “JEWISH NIGGER LOVER” and beat me up on the schoolyard. Unlike Obama who cavorted with a Racist for twenty years, I walked the walk and my blood still stains a schoolyard in Southern California.

    I also went to Skokie in 1978 to confront the Nazis and the Klan. Funny, I don’t recall seeing you – or Obama there. Much more, boychik, but in your juvenile rantings and support of Ovomit, I’ll just leave it at that. You obviously don’t like Israel, though, if you’re voting Obama.

    So, shove your Klan garbage someplace else, as it seems YOU are much closer to them than I’ll ever be. After all, your blessed Obama befriends Racists – and Anti-Semites of all stripes.

  2. @ Donald freyman:

    Spoken like a true Ovomit supporter. Spews, vomits, lies – but nothing substantial as usual.

    Say Donny, why don’t you ask Chimpie to come clean on Benghazi?

    First it was a movie no one ever saw.
    Then it was a demonstration.
    Then it was (maybe) an “act of terrorism”…
    Then it was (six weeks) we’ll still investigating” (shades of OJ Simpson vowing to track down who dunnit to Nicole and Goldman)

    (and all the while Ovomit ran to fundraisers and celebrity shows. Presidential – not him, that’s for sure!)

    Meanwhile the material coming in is almost enough to indict Ovomit, Shrillary, Susie Rice, Donilon, Carney, Panetta and the rest of the Islamoappeasing stooges.

    But Donnie Freyman like Catamarin will continue to make excuses. Like the one he makes not scoring Ovomit on keeping us dependent on BIG ARAB OIL, but trying to smear Romney. Hint – smearing someone for your own failures doesn’t work.

    In fact, if by some miracle Ovomit is re-elected, he will be Impeached. Benghazi will do it.

  3. @ Alan:
    Romney will not disappoint his big oil backers by cutting off the Saudi tap which benefits the Chevrons of this world.

  4. We have all been (eagerly) awaiting the October surprise. We just got it. The surprise is the “Sandy” hurricane. It was a gift to Obama. To date he has handled the enormous challenge superbly in strong contrast to Dubya Bush’s inept management of katrina. This might just be that important development that will give the edge to Obama. Note how Republican Governors have complimented Obama for his masterful performance. To repeat a much cliched expression, he was most Presidential.

  5. @ catarin:
    So Catamarin,

    Are you now going to vote for Romney…because you’ve just validated what he has been saying all along – and what HE intends to do, not chimpie who keeps us dependent on his BIG ARAB OIL friends…

    Romney has the plan to get us off Arab oil and energy independent. Your pal, on the other hand is either clueless or maliciously wanting America to stay dependent on his brothers.

  6. We need to remember that the oil men looked exclusively to their own interest regardless of the consequences for the country or any one else. They were in bed and still are in bed with the enemy of the whole world since the leaders of Islam (Shia as well as Sunnis) have repeated ad nauseam that their goal is to conquer the world through violence unless it submit. Not to take them at their own words under the pretext that we believe that they are irrational is madness. Were Hitler, Stalin and Mao rational! In their own world, yes. We did not belong to their world then and we do not belong to the world of the leaders of Islam now.
    Failure to confront the mad soon or later exposes the rest of humanity to great peril.

  7. An article in the newspaper said America is fast approaching to being one of the biggest energy producers in the world. We have found so much natural gas the price has fallen, the pipeline from North Dakota to refinerys in the south is under construction again after a route was found that will not damage the Nebraska aquifer, and coal companies have stepped up their advertising about their “clean coal” projects because of public outrage over the environmental damage they cause.

  8. We’ll know if Romney means business in standing up to Islam if he appoints John Bolton as his Secretary of State.

    God forbid he chooses Senor. Feith “lite” and married to the obnoxious Campbell Brown who before she decided to marry a Jew was in service to Abdul El-Jubeir, the Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister and apologist for Saudi complicity in 9/11.

  9. @ Ted Belman:
    Ted,

    The problem here, and I’ve spoken to a few people whom you know, Bill Wolf, Steve Carol, is that U.S. policy in the Middle East, while (with notable exceptions especially the current occupant of the White House) supportive of Israel, is tied to the Saudis because of the energy, and herein what infuriates me with the Catamarins and the other supporters of the first OPENLY anti-Semitic (and – not you, Ted, but Yamit, Catamarin, don’t you dare tell me about the JINO scum who work for him, the Axelrods, Emmanuels, Lews who will gladly kiss his – and the anti-Semites like Power and Rice – asses)occupant of the White House.

    Obama is DELIBERATELY keeping us dependent on BIG ARAB OIL. If not, he would sign off on building refineries, drilling, putting in Keystone and other pipelines. The little bastard refuses to do this -and meanwhile if he isn’t already their puppet (I think he is), he plays right into their hands.

    Now, I don’t know what Romney will be like,and whether or not he will follow the Saudi line. But what he has said is refreshing. He is WILLING to do those things Obama refused to do even when Americans suffered, and outside of that “peaceful Palestinian state” comment, he has been unequivocally pro-Israel. We may finally have a President who is willing to tell the Saudis to clean up their act or else. Obama won’t because he is in deep with them, and that is clearly obvious except to the blind and dumb.

    Bush? Good and Bad. And yeah, while I also disliked the allowing the Saudi princes to flee and a few other things, He was extremely supportive of Israel after 9/11 – especially with the influence of “omigod, those Neo-Cons (Goyim, like you, Catamarin – and your Obama) Cheney and Rumsfeld. in ascent. Furthermore, when Israelis show weakness, i.e., Sharon’s disengagement, Olmert’s blundering in Lebanon, Bibi’s Paly state garbage, what do you expect from any American President?@ Ted Belman:

  10. Everything that mattered was decided in the first 35 hours after the attack. Feith entered the picture at 6:00 PM on Sept 12th. Already it had been decided that it was war. Also it was decided in that time to not name Saudi Arabia as the culprit. Although all of America was a no fly zone in that period of time, Bush permitted planes to transport Saudis out of the country. This was astounding considering that 15 of the highjackers were Saudis and it was well known that Ben Laden was being financed by certain Saudi princes. It was also decided that the US was not at war with Islam.

  11. That Feith’s reasoning is just inept as that of the rest of the American government then and now.

    Feith misses to mention the real enemy – islam.

    Feith misses to mention that even then there was an understanding that the main ideologue behind the attack was the Saudis. According to Walid Shoabat, not only did the government realize who was really behind, but they did assassinate some of the Saudi’s princes as a retaliation.

    Yet indeed the most proper reaction then (the reaction expected perhaps by the entire world) was nuking Mecca and Medina already on 9/12/2001

    http://www.resonoelusono.com/Imminent.htm

  12. @ Donald freyman:

    So…what are you trying to say here? Please make some sense.

    President Bush may have made one or two bad mistakes…contrast that with four years of not just mistakes but damnable lies and putting this country in jeopardy…that is the legacy of the most incompetent ass, not to mention the biggest lying son-of-a-bitch in more ways than one to ever occupy the White House!

  13. @ the phoenix:
    I was ref to 9/11/2001.
    The standard modus operandi for the US is shoot then ask questions.
    Sometimes a delay response may be more appropriate because more info become available and the target can be better identified. But it was very murky.

  14. @ Alan:

    The farmer returns to his house after a day working in his fields. To his horror he finds his farmhouse on fire. In desperation he notices a bucket filled with liquid and pours it over the flames. Rather than putting out the fire the situation worsens and the fire rages on. A bystander notices, walks over and says- You fool don’t you see there is gasoline in the bucket, you are just accelerating the fire.

    The farmer responds, don’t you realize -I had to do something.

    Blame Bush, Blame Obama for doing something and f–ck–g up America and the west and the world.

  15. @ steven l:

    It is a lot easier to criticize

    agreed. no question about it.

    than to offer constructive ideas

    if we sit and wait for THE magic idea…we miss the boat.
    i offered (fwiw) yesterday four ideas. they all have a common denominator: ‘identify the enemy, and call him by name’ this is no time to pussyfoot.
    yes. a FEW muslims MAY get hurt and unjustly punished…
    this would be the kindest collateral dammage
    let’s not be frozen in the paralysis by analysis.
    we’ll learn from mistakes after they are made (and there will be mistakes….make no mistake about it!)
    there is really not THAT MUCH time available to reverse the tides.
    the enemy (islam) is very organized and FOCUSED.
    we are not united, and we are unfocused…
    not only is the enemy at the gates, it is DEEP WITHIN!
    i would urge those that are stilll not familiar with the 2008 holy land foundation trial, to look up its strategic goal for the group…

    The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.

    and here we have now a bastard (literally and figuratively)that believes that the wailing of the muazin call to prayer to be the prettiest sound on earth….he demands to ‘respect it!’ (speaking of islam), he is speaking of ‘his muslim faith’ when interviewed….

    i hope it is not too late.

  16. It is a lot easier to criticize than to offer constructive ideas.

    @ catarin:
    In this case, neocom, neo = new and com = communist = far left.
    The left has been hijacked by the far left.

  17. Catamarin demonstrating once more what an awful anti-semite she really is, not to mention a disgusting groupie for Ovomit.

    Neo-Con, as most of us now know, is the Left, especially the ANTI-SEMITIC Left’s euphenism for calling out Jews who don’t go along with the self-haters, Red Diaper babies like Axelrod, and regressives who tow the Democratic Party and other Lefty parties, MOVEON.ORG especially, line.

    She scores Feith, but as usual not a word about what Obama, Clinton, Biden, Panetta, Donilon, Rice, Carney, Clapper, Cutter and other Ovomit admin scumdid or DID NOT Do in Benghazi. It’s business as usual for the Catamarin’s of the world. Ignore Ovomit’s appeasement and truly illegal war on Libya and blame Bush.

    Note to Catamarin – If Gaddafi had been allowed to stay in power, just like your boyfriend is allowing Assad and Ahmedinejedad to do the same, we wouldn’t have had four dead Americans right now, and he might even have had a chance to save his ass. The more revelations come out, the more he is toast, as he should have been 4 years ago when the Rev. Wright news broke.

    p.s. all of the men named by Catamarin were and are honorable American patriots who may not have done the right thing, or may very well have. In contrast all of those I’ve just mentioned are toilet bowl scum, lying about a movie, going to fundraisers, and six weeks later the POC NOT C-i-C still claims he doesn’t know what happened.

    He lies, even more so than his cronies.

  18. Ted, I don’t understand how such a brainy, handsome lawyer as you keeps falling for Republican explanations that are filled with lies, deceptions and buls**t. Douglas Feith is a Neocon, along with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowiz, Rice and other unsavory Republicans who manufactured the reasons to go to war with Iraq. Feith was #3 at the Pentagon and sources said it was he who suggested using Iraq’s (imaginary) WMDs, and Rice, who described them as causing “a huge mushroom cloud”, who among the other Neocons lied to congress and the American people about the need to attack Iraq. General Colin Powell, to his everlasting dismay, fell into the trap of obeying his Commander-in-Chief when he made the speech at the UN, but I think he smelled a rat even then. (BTW, he has endorsed Obama–he knows something still stinks.) I believe this was the first time in America’s history a President used lies to convince the country a war was necessary. It’s not a lie to say there were some damned dumb Jews involved in this.

    Whatever Feith’s book says, he is a monster who contributed to our downfall. All the Neocons, I think, have written books to glorify themselves and their decisions, but history will tell the truth on them. George Bush knows what he did, he has stepped out in public very few times. Cheney dare not go to Canada, where he is despised for all the lives lost by his frivolity. Europe will not welcome either of them. They will forever be a black eye on America.

    As for the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, one of the first mistakes was relying on the Ansar al-Shariah militia to protect them. The militia had extremists with evil hearts who attacked the consulate. This is how the West was repaid for freeing them from a tyrant, giving them provisions and military help, and a chance at Democracy. A witness said they convinced some boys standing nearby to chant to protest the anti-Mohammed video to obscure the issue. I tell you, these Muslims will not reach Islamic heaven. Their brains have fallen into their asses. It’s as Mohammed said, “It’s hard to be loved by idiots.”

    The last thing I wanted to post is about France’s entry into the matters of Jewish and Christian religious shrines. Who in the hell do they think they are? Do they plan to share Notre Dame with us? They treat French Muslim immigrants like crap, then come to the Holy Land of Jews and Christians and dole out our shrines to our enemy? As far as I can tell, they have done nothing to insure equal access to Jews and Christians to the Patriots Cave. Now they will pay for repairs to the Church of the Nativity which is under Muslim control? France, you will pay for giving other peoples’ religious sites to an enemy who will not sign a peace treat with Jews and Christians.

  19. yamit82 Said:

    The price of oil on Sept 08, 2001 was about $15 bbl. after 9/11 it climbed steadily to over $$100bbl Hmmm and nobody smells a skunk???

    Yamit, thanks for the links you posted, they are excellent, especially the money trails and bush saudi connections. I have suspected these ties but the extent and detail given is enormous. Bush senior was active in CIA since mid 1970’s. I now see the Noriega connection with BICC(his totally secret detention showing fascist abilities of govt) and the timing of first iraq war with BICC scandal. I am now convinced that 9-11 and many prior operations were false flag setups. The links are too enormous to deny. My wager is that the americans initiated the shadow relationship. What are the Saudi links with Romney, I suspect they are there; I know there are links between Saudi and Obama? Is there any difference in reality between Romney and Obama, or is it all futility? Have the saudis the same connections in the dem party? With the CIA in the bag for at least 40 years you probably dont need much more. This is all dangerous for Israel, does mossad have a handle on this? Does this explain accusations of Israelis taking photos at 9-11 time? What’s your take?

  20. @ yamit82:

    Dempsey needs to be fired by President Romney – and the sooner, the better. We’ll see what tone his administration will make if he does – or doesn’t do this.

  21. My response to you, Ted, is on my Facebook page.

    I think Bush meant well, and for a time we did have a moderate regime in Lebanon that was not controlled by Hezbollah. The criminal incompetence of Olmert and the ascension of Obama doomed the Hariri government. Bush at least stood by Mubarak and because of Bush’s determination to smash our enemies Gaddafi had moderated his tone. If Gaddafi was still alive and in power, four Americans would not be dead today – and Obama would not have been able to lie through his teeth. Hopefully that’ll be the nail in the bastard’s re-election coffin.

  22. yamit82 Said:

    If the US and Bush Admin were serious about terror they would have gone after the Saudis who were and still are the main movers and financiers of Islamic terror.

    I agree with this
    Ted Belman Said: Ted, I agree with Yamit which makes any approach other than an internal purge of the players somewhat irrelevant. However, as an exercise I would 1- not declare war on Islam becuase it would be a self defeating tactic(islami nations would collaborate in the war or be cut off, recognize threat as a covert strategy)), 2- declare a war on terror and those nations supporting terror against the US unless the nations hand over their terrorists and clean out their terror nests(bush started this and got fatigue) ,3- continued the abandoned principle of “you are with me or against me” and employed US sanctions against those who violate this principle(there is no reason to do business with nations funding and facilitating terror against the US(this would include the saudis). 4- “hearts and minds” would not be a policy and neither nation building except for establishing a puppet govt in martial law. The problem is that is is all a sham whereby the enemies are in collaboration with our businesses and govt. Sadams attempted assasination of bush father is not mentioned as a motive for iraq war

  23. @ bahmi:

    I agree and disagree. I agree that the American Admin uses Islam (radical ones at least to create their existential bogeyman). In this case Islam replaces the Red menace of the past generation and not specifically defining who and what the radical Islamic threat is except some non-descript and vague concept of who and what Islamic terror is about. Thus Islamic Terror or specifically Al-Qaeda becomes the surrogate for all terrorism and all Islamic terrorism. Any act by any Muslim is automatically associated with one specific bogeyman group.

    I disagree, Islam is a threat, to America, the West in General as they are indeed to the whole of the non Muslim world. If you refuse to recognize The threat of Islam you cannot fight it. If you because of misplaced moral compass and self defeating PC refuse to recognize the threat you will lose the fight, the battle and the war. Yes a war, declared by Islam against all non Muslims and whether you choose to recognize the fact or not; They are at war with you whether or not you choose to concede that you are also at war with them.

  24. yamit82 Said:

    If the US and Bush Admin were serious about terror they would have gone after the Saudis who were and still are the main movers and financiers of Islamic terror.

    I agree. That would be like striking the head of the snake.

  25. The US.ARMY has capitulated to Islamic pressure again.

    Army Bows to Islamists, Sacks Lt. Colonel

    Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley’s career has been effectively destroyed by General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, various complicit members of the Pentagon and the military and, most of all, political correctness on the part of the U.S. government.

    Col. Dooley, who was awarded the Bronze Star, the fourth-highest combat decoration, is a West Point graduate and highly rated armor officer who served in Iraq, Germany, Bosnia and Kuwait. He was, until recently, the instructor of a course to fellow officers on the dangers of radical Islam at the Joint Forces Staff College (part of the National Defense University).

    His downfall came at the hands of 57 Islamic groups who began complaining a year ago that the U.S. military and intelligence counter-terrorism training instructors and materials were anti-Islam. Read More

  26. I go with Phoenix:

    1. Declare war on Islam. In other words call a spade a spade.
    We are already at war whether we acknowledge it or not. Do we really have to wait for ANOTHER muslim-caused atrocity to acknowledge that koran 9:5 is alive and well in the hearts and minds of these stone age savages.
    Have we REALLY not learned anything from history???

    2. Bring to an immediate halt ALL immigration from musloid countries
    this hijrah (make no mistake, this is what it is) does not bring ANY benefit to the (stupid)host country

    3. insist on ZERO tolerance for any slight from this group, punishable immediately and ‘disproportionately’ (not really for imho they deserve it, and there is some retribution element as well)

    4.Rx:
    deport ad lib!

    The Administration were uneducated about what Islam is all about. They failed to see how Muslims conquered and murdered millions of South Asians and the Buddhists in the ‘Hindu Kush’ and will do the same in the West, if they haven’t already started. The blinders are still ON. It is amazing that academics have also been rather quiet on this serious issue!!

  27. @ yamit82:
    The current US government will never be serious about terror because they personify terror. Terror is the catch-all, it’s the word the US uses to keep people frothing at the mouth, in fear, ready to spend trillions on armaments so they can aid the money folks with deaths of soldiers but mere collateral damage. We can say our enemy is Islam, we can say it’s underground weevils from outer space, we can say anything we want. Chasing the boogeyman has worked for eons and it will work for as long as the world exists. And, currently, that time period is getting shorter and shorter. Mankind, of which we are a part, is coming apart at the seams and to think we can readily point the finger at x, y, or z and not ourselves for our little contributions from time to time is really the height of folly. Let’s make ourselves feel good if fiction is our game. Truth? What’s that?

  28. If the US and Bush Admin were serious about terror they would have gone after the Saudis who were and still are the main movers and financiers of Islamic terror. Then Iran. Iraq enriched American companies who received preferred non tender fat contracts and the opportunity for American oil companies to get a piece of the Iraqi action.

    Cheney’s Halliburton and other industrial corps friends of Bush Cheney and Codi rice(served on the board of directors for the Carnegie Corporation, the Charles Schwab Corporation, the Chevron Corporation, Hewlett Packard, the Rand Corporation, the Transamerica Corporation, and other organizations.) made out like Bandits which they were.

    The price of oil on Sept 08, 2001 was about $15 bbl. after 9/11 it climbed steadily to over $$100bbl Hmmm and nobody smells a skunk???

  29. From Asian Times
    US policy on Taliban influenced by oil – authors
    By Julio Godoy

    the US government saw the Taliban regime “as a source of stability in Central Asia that would enable the construction of an oil pipeline across Central Asia” from the rich oilfields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean. Until now, says the book, “the oil and gas reserves of Central Asia have been controlled by Russia. The Bush government wanted to change all that.”

    But, confronted with Taliban’s refusal to accept US conditions, “this rationale of energy security changed into a military one”, the authors claim.

    “At one moment during the negotiations, the US representatives told the Taliban, ‘either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs,'” Brisard said in an interview in Paris.

    Read More

  30. ENRON GAVE TALIBAN $MILLIONS

    The Enron Corporation gave the Taliban millions of dollars in a no-holds-barred bid to strike a deal for an energy pipeline in Afghanistan — while the Taliban were already sheltering terror kingpin Osama Bin Laden!

    Enron executives even met with Taliban officials in Texas, where they were given the red-carpet treatment and promised a fortune if the deal went through. Read More

  31. @ the phoenix:
    The detractors were against the wars and would be even more so against going to war with Islam. The people on the right saw the war on terror as not enough. They wanted Islam to be taken on. But just like the war on terror, the war on Islam had to be fleshed out.

  32. Ted — what i mean about Iran is that any discussion about the mid-east, terror, geo-strategy that does not include Iran as a central actor is an incomplete conversation. To say it more militantly, if we were going to go in to Iraq, we should have been prepared to take out Iran too. Craving the approval of the “international community” — an entity that does not actually exist, and which is a fantasy construct — is neurotic – and I mean “neurotic” in the classical psychotherapeutic sense of pretending falsehood is true for the sake of gaining acceptance, or love or approval, etc.

  33. Rumsfield explored the idea that the war on terrorism was in part a civil war within the world of Islam.
    “The Al-Qaeda terrorists are extremists whose views are antithetical to those of most Muslims. Their actions threaten the interests of the world’s Muslims and are aimed in part at preventing Muslim people from engaging the rest of the world. There are millions of Muslims around the world who we expect to become allies in this struggle.”

    Bush added to this when he said Al-Qaeda members were practitioners of “a fringe form of Islamic extremism”.

    These ideas are total nonsense. As long as we refuse to acknowledge the true nature of islam, Americans will continue to be endangered and killed.

  34. Feith was in agreement. It fell to Feith and Rodman to prepare a memo for the Sept 15th meeting of the NSC at Camp David. He writes, “The US had more than an al Qaeda problem, it had a terrorism problem. It was incumbent on the US to determine what action – military or otherwise – to take against which targets and on what timetable.” And again: “we considered identifying the enemy as an ideology and using a term like “radical Islam” or “Islamist extremism”. “But we were reluctant to do so before the origins of the 9/11 attack were certain and in any event we did not want to suggest that we were at war with Islam”. Nevertheless he believed that all terrorists and their enablers must be confronted because “the US cannot tolerate continued state support for terrorism.” “The objective is not punishment but prevention and self-defense.” But when you think about it, what right did the US have to invoke preemption against a network of terrorists, not all of whom were targeting the US.

    America has an islam problem.

    islam is certainly at war with us.

  35. dear ted,
    you ask

    what should the US have done as a result of 9/11 and never got a satisfactory answer.

    for the life of me i do not understand which part of islam is not clear…
    when the idiot from texas, appeared on national tv after 9-11 to explain that ‘we are not at war with islam. islam is a religion of peace…’ the die was cast for more killings, more bloodshed more terrorism inflicted upon us…
    for you do not wage war on a tactic , but on the ideology behind it!!!
    sorry. my background is in the health science.
    were i to recommend to treat an abscessed tooth, that is draining as an orofacial fistula, by declaring war on the draining pus and apply antibiotic creams on the skin, and perhaps some make-up too, to blend things in….i would have my license revoked so fast that my head would spin (and rightly so)

    so tackhless:

    1. declare war on islam. in other words call a spade a spade
    we are already at war whether we acknowledge it or not. do we really have to wait for ANOTHER muslim-caused atrocity to acknowledge that kkkoran 9:5 is alive and well in the hearts and minds of these stone age savages.
    have we REALLY not learned anything from history???

    2. bring to an immediate halt ALL immigration from musloid countries
    this hijrah (make no mistake, this is what it is) does not bring ANY benefit to the (stupid)host country

    3. insist on ZERO tolerance for any slight from this group, punishable immediately and ‘disproportionately’ (not really for imho they deserve it, and there is some retribution element as well)

    4.Rx:
    deport ad lib!

  36. In the lead up to Bush’s speech on Sept 20th, Feith makes no mention of Iran in discussion. But you are right, Iran, was named as part of the “axis of evil” in the speech.

  37. Ted — Very interesting. But not explained is the decision to go after Saddam, and not Iran. After all, we took out Iran’s biggest enemy for them. And, yes, Saddam could be rationalized by virtue of breaking UN resolutions, etc., but strategically we gave a gift to the mullahs.

    And second, why bother with “hearts and minds?” Why didn’t they take out the Taliban and leave? Surely that would have gotten the message out loud and clear.