I was making the exact same argument that you are: that we should not handle every problem the same ways. My examples were meant to illustrate the different ways we deal with different situations. There seems to be an assumption by some people that full invasion is (a) easy, (b) cost-free, and (c) the first, last, and ONLY viable solution to any problem. I refute that, and I reject those claims that our failure to invade Iraq meant that we had to do nothing.
Finally, I certainly reject the claim that invading Iraq helped the United States in any way, shape, or form. It has damaged our relations with other countries, provided an inexhaustible base of recruitment where it was not as strong before, diverted resources away from the hunt for Al-Qeada, and hampered our ability to utilize our military in any large scale way elsewhere in the world where it might be needed. You talk about invading Iran as if it is some simple matter, and as if our arrogance and threat of brut force is the only leverage the United States has at its disposal. Israel destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1982 wihtout having to invade. Are they that smarter than us?
Richard Henry Morgan – 6/
Saw a report on CNN from David Ensor last night. There was an interview with a fomer NSC staffer — we weren’t even told when he served, or what his area was. He said “apparently” the Czechs don’t believe there was a meeting. No source or argument for that claim, and the use of the word ‘apparently’ struck me as odd. No mention of Epstein’s interview with the head of Czech intelligence, where he confirms the Atta meting. Then he pointed out that ‘phone records’ had Atta in Florida, without pointing out it was cell phone call records, not intercepts — it could have been anybody on the phone. No mention of al Ani’s calendar, of course. Then he said there were two Shakirs. No source offered. Great “reporting” all around.
Allow me to elucidate why I believe the Bush policy of combating terrorism is incorrect, and let me start after the invasion of Afghanistan, which was certainly the moral and strategic first step in the war on terror.
I do not
Terrorism, unlike guerrilla warfare or traditional warfare, is stateless. That is, it can exist and flourish even without the knowledge or consent of any state government. It is also small in operation, containing only a handful per cell, with very little hierarchy. That is to say, bin Laden might be the leader, but he is not the commander. If Wisconsin fast cash bin Laden dies tomorrow, does anyone believe that it will end the Al-Qeada cells in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and America that have no real contact with him anyway? Decapitation of the leadership is necessary to fight terrorism, but it is not sufficient, as different cells have different leaders.
I see two mutually reinforcing ways therefore to confront terrorism: 1) Law Enforcement: Create an international network whereby law enforcement activity can be coordinated across different nations. The EU already has such a systems in place, allowing Italy to arrest terrorists that otherwise only Spain knows about. After 9/11, the United States is beginning to create such a network within our own country. As terrorism is a global threat, it requires global coordination (or as close as we can get). The idea of stopping terrorism before it hits us is thus a law enforcement issue, as the State of Israel knows only too well. Terrorist attacks are not planned in the war room of some military base that we can bomb or infiltrate. It is planned via the internet, in apartment buildings, perhaps a few blocks away from where you are sitting right now.