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Old 12-31-2009, 08:16 PM   #151
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But you'd give up flying with no fuss if you were told it was necessary to save the planet?
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Please quote me where I said that.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:50 AM   #152
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War? What War?
Charles Krauthammer
Friday, January 01, 2010

WASHINGTON -- Janet Napolitano -- former Arizona governor, now overmatched secretary of homeland security -- will forever be remembered for having said of the attempt to bring down an airliner over Detroit: "The system worked." The attacker's concerned father had warned U.S. authorities about his son's jihadist tendencies. The would-be bomber paid cash and checked no luggage on a transoceanic flight. He was nonetheless allowed to fly, and would have killed 288 people in the air alone, save for a faulty detonator and quick actions by a few passengers.

Heck of a job, Brownie.

The reason the country is uneasy about the Obama administration's response to this attack is a distinct sense of not just incompetence but incomprehension. From the very beginning, President Obama has relentlessly tried to downplay and deny the nature of the terrorist threat we continue to face. Napolitano renames terrorism "man-caused disasters." Obama goes abroad and pledges to cleanse America of its post-9/11 counterterrorist sins. Hence, Guantanamo will close, CIA interrogators will face a special prosecutor, and Khalid Sheik Mohammed will bask in a civilian trial in New York -- a trifecta of political correctness and image management.

And just to make sure even the dimmest understand, Obama banishes the term "war on terror." It's over -- that is, if it ever existed.

Obama may have declared the war over. Unfortunately al-Qaeda has not. Which gives new meaning to the term "asymmetric warfare."

And produces linguistic -- and logical -- oddities that littered Obama's public pronouncements following the Christmas Day attack. In his first statement, Obama referred to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as "an isolated extremist." This is the same president who, after the Ford Hood shooting, warned us "against jumping to conclusions" -- code for daring to associate Nidal Hasan's mass murder with his Islamist ideology. Yet, with Abdulmutallab, Obama jumped immediately to the conclusion, against all existing evidence, that the bomber acted alone.

More jarring still were Obama's references to the terrorist as a "suspect" who "allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device." You can hear the echo of FDR: "Yesterday, December 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- Japanese naval and air force suspects allegedly bombed Pearl Harbor."

Obama reassured the nation that this "suspect" had been charged. Reassurance? The president should be saying: We have captured an enemy combatant -- an illegal combatant under the laws of war: no uniform, direct attack on civilians -- and now to prevent future attacks, he is being interrogated regarding information he may have about al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Instead, Abdulmutallab is dispatched to some Detroit-area jail and immediately lawyered up. At which point -- surprise! -- he stops talking.

This absurdity renders hollow Obama's declaration that "we will not rest until we find all who were involved." Once we've given Abdulmutallab the right to remain silent, we have gratuitously forfeited our right to find out from him precisely who else was involved, namely those who trained, instructed, armed and sent him.

This is all quite mad even in Obama's terms. He sends 30,000 troops to fight terror overseas, yet if any terrorists come to attack us here, they are magically transformed from enemy into defendant.

The logic is perverse. If we find Abdulmutallab in an al-Qaeda training camp in Yemen, where he is merely preparing for a terror attack, we snuff him out with a Predator -- no judge, no jury, no qualms. But if we catch him in the United States in the very act of mass murder, he instantly acquires protection not just from execution by drone but even from interrogation.


The president said that this incident highlights "the nature of those who threaten our homeland." But the president is constantly denying the nature of those who threaten our homeland. On Tuesday, he referred five times to Abdulmutallab (and his terrorist ilk) as "extremist(s)."

A man who shoots abortion doctors is an extremist. An eco-fanatic who torches logging sites is an extremist. Abdulmutallab is not one of these. He is a jihadist. And unlike the guys who shoot abortion doctors, jihadists have cells all over the world; they blow up trains in London, nightclubs in Bali and airplanes over Detroit (if they can); and are openly pledged to war on America.

Any government can through laxity let someone slip through the cracks. But a government that refuses to admit that we are at war, indeed, refuses even to name the enemy -- jihadist is a word banished from the Obama lexicon -- turns laxity into a governing philosophy.
Again Krauthammer nails it.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:35 AM   #153
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Again Krauthammer nails it.
**sigh**

I've long had a great distaste for Krauthammer's extremely hawkish approach to well. . .everything. I have no respect for people who make their case by demonizing their ideolgoical opponent.

I can't argue with his critiquing Janet Napolitiano's statement about "the system worked." That was utter nonsense, unless the system includes the passengers and crew that subdued him. The system utterly failed and if I criticize anything about the Obama administration's handling of this, its the sense I get that they wanted to deny that this was the case. This, if anything, is the reason for the "downplaying" of this incident. They wanted us to believe that the security failure wasn't really "that big a deal." I don't buy that for a mintue.

What I disagree with Krauthammer, Cheney et al is trying to frame this as "if Obama doesn't adopt our neocon ideology and language then he's not taking the threat seriously." As I've said before, opting not to embrace "war on terrorism" is in my opinion, a legitimate way to approach the jihadist threat.

This quote from Krauthammer's article is a good example of what I'm talking about:

"But the president is constantly denying the nature of those who threaten our homeland. On Tuesday, he referred five times to Abdulmutallab (and his terrorist ilk) as "extremist(s)."

This is a disagreement over language! "Extremists" is not an acceptable term for Krauthammer because if you've read enough of his other writing, Krauthammer tends to feel that Islam itself is dangerous whereas Obama, when he uses the term "extremists", wants to reinforce the idea that jihadists do not represent mainstream Islam. I read Krauthammer's statement above, and I'm like: "Well, what is the nature of Abdulmutallab and his terrorist ilk if not extremist?" Perhaps Krauthammer would respond with: "Their nature is the true face of Islam."

INDY, I invite you to make an argument for why wars on ideology such as the "war on terrorism" or the "war 0n poverty" are workable.
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:03 PM   #154
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**sigh**

I've long had a great distaste for Krauthammer's extremely hawkish approach to well. . .everything. I have no respect for people who make their case by demonizing their ideolgoical opponent.......


INDY, I invite you to make an argument for why wars on ideology such as the "war on terrorism" or the "war 0n poverty" are workable.

I think those two approaches (demonizing an opponent and framing something in an abstract so that it is difficult to disagree with the concepts and almost impossible to sort out the details but as Sean so aptly implied the devil is in the details) work hand in hand in disingenuousness. Whoever controls the language frames the perception.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:58 PM   #155
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Again Krauthammer nails it.
What a joke...

You've done a bang up job avoiding the real quesions and issues pointed out to you though, is that the point of wars on idealologies?
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:07 PM   #156
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If we find Abdulmutallab in an al-Qaeda training camp in Yemen, where he is merely preparing for a terror attack, we snuff him out with a Predator -- no judge, no jury, no qualms.

Trumpeting this shows how the enemy has won by making us equal to or less than what we claim they are.

They are not winning. we are losing.
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:44 PM   #157
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That's the problem with your stats.
Does Coulter realize that if they did extra security searches on muslim looking people, this guy wouldn't have counted because he's black?

Ann Coulter is not good at anything aside from getting attention (and money).
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:47 PM   #158
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**sigh**

I've long had a great distaste for Krauthammer's extremely hawkish approach to well. . .everything. I have no respect for people who make their case by demonizing their ideological opponent.
Krauthammer makes his points in a different way than the Becks and Limbaughs of the world. Most of the time I think Krauthammer does the opposite of demonizing and that's part of why he's generally respected as a conservative thinker.
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:55 PM   #159
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Kraut a little better educated and better spoken than the Becks or Limbaughs
plus I think he gets a little more cred for being a quadriplegic

lately, I have been finding him predictable and schrill.
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:16 PM   #160
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Does Coulter realize that if they did extra security searches on muslim looking people, this guy wouldn't have counted because he's black?
Airport security should also be able to take into account a passenger's given name and country of origin. You can call it profiling or targeted screening or whatever you like. I call it common sense.
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:24 PM   #161
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Airport security should also be able to take into account a passenger's given name and country of origin. You can call it profiling or targeted screening or whatever you like. I call it common sense.
So xenophobia = common sense?

Wow...
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Old 01-01-2010, 06:16 PM   #162
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They could always go back to altitude-detonated bombs in checked luggage or an "isolated extremist" on the ground with a shoulder-fired rocket launcher.
But those can get explained away.

like TWA Flight 800.
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Old 01-01-2010, 06:18 PM   #163
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One of the problems I have with racial profiling is what happens when terrorists begin to recruit people outside of those being profiled?
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Old 01-01-2010, 06:22 PM   #164
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We should include all of "their" facebook friends, too.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:25 PM   #165
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Airport security should also be able to take into account a passenger's given name and country of origin. You can call it profiling or targeted screening or whatever you like. I call it common sense.
It's called racism. My Malaysian friend shouldn't have to be threatened with deportation because of his name. He's in America to study business. He is not a threat. Yet he gets treated like one just because he has a foreign name. That's not common sense at all.

All this attack has shown me is that at their very most successful, terrorists aren't doing damage on planes. He lit his pants on fire. Passengers stepped up and stopped him. End of story. We don't need to do more, because what we're doing is clearly working.
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