James Hall, From the Left
Okay, we pretty much did what we came to do in Afghanistan--we destroyed
the Al-Qaeda camps, its infrastructure and much of its leadership. We got rid of its Taliban hosts so that the Al Qaeda
will no longer find a convenient home there, and we've collected some prisoners and a lot of documents that will help us roll
up the hidden Al Qaeda cells scattered around the world. As of this writing, we've not captured Usama bin Laden or his Taliban
ally Mullah Omar, and for many people that makes the effort incomplete, but for all intents and purposes, the focus of Mr.
Bush's war on terrorism will soon be off of Afghanistan and poised to go somewhere else. Where will that be?
Some say the war's focus will shift to Iraq. It's clear that the
Bush administration looks on Saddam Hussein as unfinished business, and would dearly love to take care of that business.
Problem is, the current and future new UN sanctions are still working to keep Saddam from being a threat to his neighbors.
He isn't doing anything right now that would compel us to go after him, and if we do, we'll lose a lot of support from European
and Islamic allies that may be crucial to fighting future terrorists elsewhere. Despite the urgent desire of the Bush
administration, our best approach to Iraq at this time is to uphold the status quo.
A better focus for the next stage of the war, and one that certainly
won't go away, is the situation in Israel and Palestine. As a result of recent attacks on civilians in public areas,
including Israel's largest shopping mall, the Bush administration now lists the Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad
as terrorist organizations. The administration now supports the right of Israel to defend itself against these attacks,
which it must do be consistent with our own policy of attacking nations that support or sponsor terrorism.
It's clear that the Bush people want Yasser Arafat to make the same decision
that Pakistani leader General Mussharif was forced to make. Support the coalition, even though a lot of Palestinians
back Hamas and Islamic Jihad, or be lumped in with them. But it's less clear that if Arafat makes Mussharif's decision
that it translates into US support for the Palestinian Authority. Will the US--or even Israel--support Arafat if a civil
war or large scale civil unrest takes place in Palestine, or will they stand aside and watch? And will Arafat's support
of the coalition lead to a better deal in a future Israel/Palestine peace accord? These questions must be answered before
progress can be made.
The Israel/Palestine conflict is important to Bush's war on terrorism,
and may be the key to winning that war. So long as it goes on, the conflict diminishes Arab support for the anti-terror
coalition and fuels the recruitment of terrorists for a war against Israel and maybe even the United States. Bush can't
hope to win the war on terrorism unless he can help bring about peace in the Middle East. But that's going to be a much
more difficult effort than rooting Al Qaeda out of Afghanistan.
It's also possible that the focus of the war will shift to the home front
after Afghanistan. What about the Anthrax Mailer? What Al Qaeda cells remain in operation here? What information
can we gather about their plots? Ironically, the best information we've gathered about plots and the most promising
suspects that have been arrested comes not from the US but from Europe, which seems to have been a favorite staging area for
Al Qaeda. Most of the September 11 terrorists, for example, came to the US from Europe. Other information that
proved valuable to understanding Al Qaeda came from the Philippines and the Sudan.
The implications are obvious. The isolationist and unilateralist foreign
policies of the past no longer apply in a war on terrorism. We need the support of nations abroad, both now and in the future,
to track and arrest terrorist cells before they can strike at Americans and American interests abroad. What's called
for is increased cooperation from the world to defeat terrorism--and this may mean forgoing our desires to try terrorists
caught abroad with the death penalty or in military tribunals--a concept of justice that our European allies especially have
A focus on the US might prove problematic to the Bush administration.
Because the administration made a conscious decision to arrest any and all potential terrorists before they could act, it
has no track record of surveillance, little evidence, and little chance to make strong cases against those arrested.
Because of this, the chances of breaking up new plots and successfully prosecuting Al Qaeda operatives is small. Looking
at the quick success achieved by our military in Afghanistan, the efforts by the Justice Department here in the US will inevitably
appear paltry by comparison.
For now the focus of the war on terrorism remains on Afghanistan, and
it's sure to be a headline area for quite some time. But soon that focus will change, and where it rests next will have
a major impact on the war's continued success--or on its failure.
Sartre complains that the "war on terrorism" will never end.
But it would be foolish to believe that terrorism will go away permanently all by itself--and especially if we do little to
prevent it from returning. Before too long we can move from a full military mobilization against a well-known national
threat, as Afghanistan was, to a different state of readiness where law enforcement carefully tracks down and eliminates outlawed
terrorist organizations. The use of FBI investigators, instead of military personnel to interrogate captured Al Qaeda
fighters shows that we are already moving in this direction.
Sartre asks if we've failed to learn the lessons of 1983. Has
he himself forgotten the lesson of 9/11? Usama bin Laden's stated intention was to destroy the very ideals of liberty
and freedom that Sartre cherishes. Sartre seems to think that if we bring home US forces, the terrorists will be satisfied.
But how will he deal with terrorists whose idea of "US intervention" is seeing a McDonalds on their street corners or American
television shows on the local television? Will Sartre insist we cut off all contact, including trade with the rest of
the world in order to keep terrorists happy?
I will agree with Sartre that an indefinite military presence overseas
isn't desirable or even required. Once we've eliminated states that sponsor terrorism, terrorism becomes a matter of
law enforcement flushing out groups from their hiding places. But it would be foolish to believe that withdrawing from
the world will make us safe. That will be seen for what it is--a sign of fear and weakness, not the isolationist principle
that Sartre would like to set for America's dealings with the rest of the world..
Ultimately, we must understand that the best response to terror attacks
is not to run and hide, but to promise and deliver retaliation to any terror group who wages war against civilians, Americans
or otherwise. This demands from us a vigilant defense, but also a strong offensive capability. When terrorists
know they can't sink back into anonymity after an attack, they will think twice about attacking. Americans do not cower
in their basements, fearing attacks--they go about their business. Let the terrorists do the cowering.
James Hall, From the Left
|Bring on your Bombs . . .
How Many More Afghanistan's?
By your thinking this 'so called' War on Terror will be endless. Any
group that is designated as opposed to American Foreign Policy will now become the target of the wrath of overwhelming power.
You are content with this formula for continuous turmoil, because it allows for a perpetual intervention, throughout the world.
Did you not learn anything from the tragic 1983 outcome in Lebanon when countries impose themselves in the middle of a civil
The advocacy of another "stage of the war", falsely accepts that identifying
and holding those responsible for the crimes of 911, can be expanded into a holy cause against selected groups that menace
the interests of other countries, while not posing a direct threat against America. Visions of removing any potential organization
that hates the United States will keep the military mission in high gear indefinitely. This kind of madness that runs the
circuit within the Beltway, has no party restriction. The 'War Party' is a bipartisan equal opportunity society . . .
Only dreamers in a distorted fantasy, can claim that a resolution can
be imposed upon the combatants in the Middle East. Their war is not ours; but by adopting your tactics, we will be thrust
into their conflict with inevitable consequences. Under the guise of wanting peace, your thinking guarantees the continuous
shedding of more American blood. If significant numbers of Palestine people support Hamas, as you state; does that make them
all terrorists? Ridiculous as that extrapolation may seem, that is exactly what your policies demand. It rivals the lunacy
that Bush can help bring peace to this feud, when both clans reject conciliation.
In the hysteria after 911, people's views are clouded with emotion. As
tragic as the attack was, America suffered a bloody nose. By contrast, your rabid expansion for eliminating selected terrorists,
will never bring real security to our shores. If one is serious to avert further carnage, the U.S. must be accepted as an
honest broker; not a partner of only one side. This campaign of will, requires a bridging of cultural biases, if it really
seeks to be successful. What we have is closer to a war to win minds, than for bombing remote hideouts.
Our mutual defense will be secured on the home front. At least the 'internationalist'
has room for domestic focus. Cooperation with EU nations to identify and track down criminal terrorists is certainly part
of the solution. The American First perspective eagerly advocates working with any and all nations, to secure mutual interests.
Reducing global terrorist networks, to impotent dissent is a worthy goal. Bring justice to criminals for their crimes, is
proper. So why demean your positive appeal, by falsely accusing supporters for America's own interests, as opposing beneficial
cooperation among lawful nations?
The death penalty has no deterrent value on radical terrorists. Achieving
justice requires accountability, but it also is well served by discrediting the actions behind the crimes. If our rules of
evidence are so restrictive that persons, who have not committed a crime, but have ill will towards America; cannot be prosecuted,
that is our system. The answer to foreign infiltrators, is simply keeping them out of the country. This approach works, so
why not wage your need for war, against the unrestricted entry of undesirables?
What aspect of smugness requires the interventionist to embarrass themselves,
when they rally round the UN flag, while they should be saluting the red, white and blue? If peace is so important to the
warrior, why is their trade soaked in the blood of an internationalist policy? We all should seek punishment, appropriate
to the offense, for the criminal. But what is seen by the Council on Foreign Relations member as an opportunity to further
their power, is viewed by much of the world, as just a sophisticated form of a different kind of terror.
The debate always is reducible to the same question: "What is the best
interest for the American Nation?" Note that the quiry does not say 'government'. The standard response of the interventionist
is to send the troops to foreign soil. In the process, the risk is real that our own form of Hamas 'American Style', is created
to achieve the objectives of CFR elites. If you doubt this conclusion, then answer why your support of the current foreign
policy, never produces any real security for our Nation? Could it be that your goal, is not really one of peace, but one directed
to force any dissenting country back into the fold of the International Community?
In your world, the more Afghanistan's the better. So why should we believe
that the terror will stop under your plan? We have suffered under this policy for over a hundred years. How much more success
can we stand, since body counts are seldom reported . . .
James Hall aka SARTRE
It is always amusing to hear the silliness of world experts, when their
international experience is confined to their lazy boy, watching 60 minutes. If the 'Guru of the Left' wants to be taken seriously,
travel outside your neighborhood and see for yourself the appreciation that the Third World has for American military presence.
As usual, the basic point of a positive foreign policy escapes the internationalist.
Securing your own borders with stringent visa approvals, from potential
high risk entries, is the single most important step to bring real security to the U.S. Such a measure certainly doesn't resemble
a cower in the basement, but a vigilant defender of the home front. The illogical inference that terrorism can be eliminated
by rounding up the current crop of outlaws, while magnifying further resentment that accelerates the ranks of replacement,
is typical of these myopically challenged; interventionists.
If the protectors of the failed empire fear bin Laden, so much; what
is your response to the millions that hate the U.S., as much, if not more? You can't eliminate all the sponsor states with
your bombs, even though you wish. For a bleeding heart that loves democracy, why are you so eager to destroy such expressions
of self determination? If you want real solutions, drop the nonsense and discover the aspects of effective protection that
will secure our national interests.
You are better served with asking questions, than consistently failing
to provide useful answers. When you can master asking the correct question, you might start to get it. Al Qaeda didn't attack
Ireland or Switzerland! Those who support the NWO empire enforcement machine, identify themselves as the next bull's-eye for
attacks and inspire future generations of terrorists. Human conflict is the nature of the beast. Current methods to eliminate
the animal, only wounds it, and makes the brute more dangerous. Extinction is forever! What you are killing is not the untamed,
but the worthiness of the society which you claim to be protecting.
James Hall - 'The Right'