'world is better off' vs 'america is less safe'
thats the quality of debate in todays political climate gentlepeople of CoT.
if this trend continues soundbites from the next presidential campaign will include 'Ill make something good happen' and will be rebutted by 'He is a bad person'.
but seriously, if this trend continues, Ill kill the next president myself, using a complicated plan involving a time machine, a small nuclear device and the sharp end of an arrow.
September 11th, 2006 5:25am
"Vice President Dick Cheney says the fact that there has not been another attack on U.S. soil shows "we've done a pretty good job" of protecting the country against terrorists."
"What's in the can?"
"There are no elephants in England!"
"Shows you that it's working, then."
FINALLY, somebody has said "Look! The idea that you can GUARANTEE there will NEVER be another terrorist attack on the US by Islamic terrorists is a stupid idea."
You want to see a society in which that is true? Look at North Korea. This idea justifies "pre-emptive action", or "I'm going to kill your brother, while I'm pretending that you wanted to kill my brother."
This idea has also justified, and CONTINUES to justify, a trillion dollars of expenditure in Iraq! Damn, we can't justify fully funding Social Security, but we can SO easily justify bankrupting Social Security to invade a country percieved as a "threat". The INTEREST PAYMENTS on that Trillion dollars could make Social Security secure forever.
September 11th, 2006 6:44am
Seriously, when you see this kind of stuff, you know that the major parties (primarily the Republicans) have succeeded in polarizing the debate. It's safer to present the American voter with an either-or choice, rather than a spectrum of choices, because you know that all you need is 50.1% of the total vote to get into office.
September 11th, 2006 7:14am
Grab a beer and watch a movie.
September 11th, 2006 8:05am
I think the Democrats should run ads listing the recommendations of the 9/11 commission that the Bush administration has ignored.
It'd be surprising if they missed that gambit.
September 11th, 2006 9:29am
I'm not sure how one can say that the lack of subsequent attacks on American civilians does not mean that the current tactics are working. That the Bush administration deserves no credit.
I guess it's possible to say that other tactics would have also been as secure as the ones the administration has taken. But this statement has the obvious demerit of being a hypothetical with not corroborating evidence. (That I personally believe it, doesn't mean what I believe is correct.)
"But any honest appraisal has to recognize that President Bush has indeed played a role in keeping the United States free from another attack. To say this is not to say that his policy choices have been wise or that they have truly made America safer over the long term, but simply that our avoidance of domestic terrorism over the past five years is not entirely coincidental."
September 11th, 2006 10:17am
But up until 9/11 there had been no terrorist attacks by a foreign national on American soil, so presumably whatever tactic had been in operation for the 200-odd years up to that point had been working. Perhaps there have been no attacks because no attempts have been made, and the Patriot Act and stuff has had no bearing on anything. Elephant repellant, dude.
I'm missing your argument, Matt. If there had been no elephants for 200 years, why would anyone require elephant repellant? But once elephants (aka, 9/11) appeared, doesn't it makes sense to get yourself some elephant repellant?
September 11th, 2006 10:49am
You could try a different brand...
a cynic writes...
September 11th, 2006 10:52am
My argument is that as we have no idea whether any terrorist attacks were planned and averted, or plans that would have been made were not made due to the current tactics, it is impossible to judge whether the tactics work or not, so claiming they *are* working requires an awful lot of assumptions to be treated as fact.
>But up until 9/11 there had been no terrorist attacks by a foreign national on American soil...
You must be forgetting the first attack on the WTC , the sniper attacks out front of Langley , Alpha 66  in South Florida during the 60s, 70s and 80s, and the Puerto Rican Separatists back in 1954 .
Matt, perhaps you've read too much wingnut propaganda
1 - KSM was the architect of this one in 1993 and the 2001 attack as well.
2 - In 1993, Mr Kasi purchased an AK47, went to a stoplight where folks would make a left turn into the CIA HQ and shot some.
>"When his body arrived in Quetta, Pakistan, many of his hometown residents welcomed him like a hero."
3 - Alpha 66 has engaged in assassinations and firebombings in South Florida. The quickest way to die as an ex-cuban in the 60s and 70s was to fail to condemn Fidel Castro enough.
4 - 5 members of congress were wounded when separatists opened fire in the House of Representatives on March 1, 1954.
FALN has since been involved in bank robberies, assassinations and other crimes.
September 11th, 2006 11:07am
That doesn't diminish my main point -- you've had attacks before but they were quite widely spaced timewise, so just because nothing's happened in the past 5 years is no reason to crow that you've won. That's like saying "I've had no colds since I started wearing green socks, therefore my green socks must be working to prevent me getting a cold". Without knowing if I would have got a cold anyway, I'm just making wild and baseless speculations.
Of the two statements ..
(1) Bush counterterrorism tactics cause (ie, imply) lack of terrorist attacks.
(2) Less harsh counterterrorism tactics cause (ie, imply) lack of terrorist attacks.
Statement (1) has the advantage of being logically correct (it's logically true because both the antecedent and the consequent of the implication are true). While statement (2) - it's impossible to know. We simply don't know what the truth-value of the consequent is, and so, using propositional logic, we don't the truth-value of the implication.
Now I *believe* the current counterterrorism tactics have been too harsh. I just have a hard time proving it. Unless abscence of evidence is evidence of abscence ....
September 11th, 2006 1:05pm
(3) The current counter-terrorism tactics have no net effect on terrorism.
(4) Any counter-terrorism tactics have no net effect on terrorism.