home

Giving the Terrorists What They Want

Bruce Schneier writes about how the U.S. is giving the terrorists what they want by reacting with fear.

I'd like everyone to take a deep breath and listen for a minute. The point of terrorism is to cause terror, sometimes to further a political goal and sometimes out of sheer hatred. The people terrorists kill are not the targets; they are collateral damage. And blowing up planes, trains, markets or buses is not the goal; those are just tactics. The real targets of terrorism are the rest of us: the billions of us who are not killed but are terrorized because of the killing. The real point of terrorism is not the act itself, but our reaction to the act. And we're doing exactly what the terrorists want.

I made a similar argument here when discussing the London attacks and proposed racial profiling programs as a response.

Why do we need terrorists to destroy the cornerstones of democracy with bombs when governments are willing to do it themselves out of fear? Isn't that a sign that the terrorists have won? First the U.S. with its Patriot Act and warrantless NSA surveillance and now Britain, which is considering a new racial profiling program aimed at Muslims based on behavior, ethnicity, and religion.

who needs the terrorists to take down America when the Government is doing such a better job of it by eradicating the civil liberties that are the hallmark of this great nation? At one time we were the beacon of liberty in the free world. That light has been dimming since September 11, and unless we clap three times for Tinkerbelle, it's about to go out.

The next question is who will it be after the Muslims? My answer: no one important, just you and me.

< CNN Reports Israel Could Fight Iran Alone | Go to the Back of The Bus is Alive and Well in Louisiana >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#1)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 03:03:21 PM EST
    The real point of terrorism is not the act itself, but our reaction to the act. And we're doing exactly what the terrorists want. Jeralyn, you and nearly everyone here have been trying to tell the world exactly this for who knows how long. To my way of thinking it relates directly to the level of approval of bushco and the GOP, and Schneier's essay's first appearance was on Wired{dot}com. How long will it be before the (rest of? )MSM starts to realize and actually try to report the truth about what most people really think?

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#2)
    by Gabriel Malor on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 03:38:24 PM EST
    I don't think that the point of Islamist terrorism is to get us to beef up security at airports and train stations. I also kinda doubt it was their purpose to induce the fall of the Taliban or the freezing (and seizing) of assets around the globe. The suggestion that "we're doing exactly what they want!?!" misses the fact that international terrorism has taken a serious beating the last few years. It is much more realistic to recognize that war (and diplomacy, and economics, and government, and life) involves trade-offs. The ability to fly with nail-clippers against the ability to fly, the freedom to carry a bag onto the subway against the convience of using a subway, and so on. Once again, I just want to emphasize that it's just plain ignorant to say "we're doing exactly what the terrorists want!" Somehow, OBL forgot to mention that he'd really like it if we started profiling at airports. How could he have missed such an obvious goal of globe-wide terrorism?

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#3)
    by Sumner on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 03:44:45 PM EST
    Unitary executive, or, One size fits all. A cuspide corona (L.) - from the spear, a crown; from martial achievements, glory. (Because that's where the oil is.) "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." --George W. Bush (Dec 19th, 2000) Since Ronald Reagan, all presidents have compassed for my station. During Ronald Reagan's tour, I got marginalized like never before, having undertaken a project for the Bicentennial of the US Constitution, having been instructed by the wife of none other than Thomas Mann. It became clear that administrations do not want people to know their rights. As all avenues for funding became blocked I turned to UNESCO. Reagan promptly attacked UNESCO and withdrew US participation. I petitioned foreign countries for help with the project, including the (former) Soviet Union, which I petitioned to explore beyond "party line", and encouraged to novellæ , - new constitutions. They responded with glasnost and perestroika. I clamored to any that would listen that these were real. While "ability" is generally regarded as capacity, efficacy, skill, talent, knack, aptness, power, strength, aptitude, intelligence, ingenuity, forte, competence, proficiency, understanding, mastery, faculty, adroitness, dexterity, readiness: The ability to accept responsibility is the measure of a man. But, as Casey Stengel had said, "The art of getting credit for all the home runs that somebody else hits." And, as Lee Simonson said, "Any event, once it has occurred, can be made to appear [in]evitable by a competent historian." So as R.W. Emerson said: "Take notes on the spot, a note is worth a cartload of recollections." I have notes. Prior to that I had faxed an urgent message to the Immediate Office of the Secretary of Defense, instructing against military cuts (in the face of looming reductions): PRIDE = Planned Real Increase Defense Expenditure, and SHAME = Shorting Hurts Our Military Effectiveness. Reagan took credit for having planned all this. When Robert Bork was nominated, he was immediately known to me. I objected. Bork supporters called it a "lynching". I called Orrin Hatch's office and asked why, if Bork was being lynched, that there wasn't more in the news about it. His LA said "Oh, that's just figuratively". I responded, "Well figuratively, he should be drawn and quartered". Bork lost. Orrin Hatch has been compassing against me ever since. I suspect that is the why of Hatch's "Protect Act", et al. As Sun Tsu said "Attack where the enemy must defend". As I have run a pornography commission for nearly 20 years, I have seen a vast number of pix. Much like the Office of National Drug Control Policy has used taxpayer funds to illegally fund against State Medical Marijuana Initiatives, huge sums of public funds have illegally gone to generate the current anti child pornography hysteria and push California's initiative (further attempting serious felony criminalization for such) on the next ballot. Disclosure: Fighting the battle at CP level has prevented them from fighting garden variety porn, and more. Except for that, I would have much rather remained invisible, endeavoring to work behind the scenes, invisibly and seamlessly. Now they have blown my cover. Cf. The NSA Handbook, (Google for it), and their feelings about staying anonymous. Wins, whether by coincidence or design, are wins. Losses are failures, and are chargeable as a want of ability. I have been asked to prove my station many times. I always do so in a different manner. In this case, as in Newton's Third Law, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction". I suspect that much of hysterical morals war is simply about compassing against me. So, such a proof might consist of: Deprived of desire, people will make war. If I stop pushing desire there will be a lag period of repression only, and the result may well be massive war. After all, such would be a contest of mine vs. Reagan's "ability": "Maybe the Lord brought down the plague because illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments." -- US President Ronald Reagan, 1989

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 03:48:47 PM EST
    GM I'm inclined to agree. Beefing up airport security and curtailing civil liberties certainly show's the U.S. is reacting negatively to terrorist attacks, but increasing airport security and making life harder for brown folks has to be a long way down on the list of terrorist goals. I'm not sure that "international terrorism has taken a serious beating the last few years" though. We've certainly killed a lot of terrorists and broken up a lot of terrorist infrastructure, but terrorism as a whole seems to be enjoying a renaisance. From my perspective it's at an all time high.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#5)
    by Gabriel Malor on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 03:51:37 PM EST
    hues, yeah, I agree that it would have been better had I said "terrorists have taken a serious beating" instead of "terrorism." Still, I wonder if terrorism has had a rennaisance or if we're just more aware of it.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#6)
    by Sailor on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 04:14:21 PM EST
    I don't think that the point of Islamist terrorism is to get us to beef up security at airports and train stations
    Nice strawman, no one has said that.
    The suggestion that "we're doing exactly what they want!?!" misses the fact that international terrorism has taken a serious beating the last few years.
    The taliban is resurgent in afghanistan, hezbollah are considered heroes in Lebanon for 'defeating' the israelis and rebuilding the infrastructure, recruiting is way up for AQ, and Iran's Mideast influence boosted by "war on terror" No doubt GM thinks things are going well in iraq.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 04:20:07 PM EST
    Any terrorists taken a beating are being easily replaced...I see no decline in terrorist acts. I think the definition of terrorism is what changes...the act of terrorizing people is as old as mankind. Plundering a village like the Vikings, clusterbombing a village, or suicide bombing a village pizza parlor...all terrorize, no?

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#8)
    by Sumner on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 04:49:39 PM EST
    "War on _____________". "Terrorist" is the flavor of the day. It easily morphs with "sex offender" or "commie" or "drug pusher" or yada yada yada. The fever pitch of public angst is what remains constant in the face of whatever the "War on ___________" is said to be at any given moment. One problem with hyper vigilance is that it commonly leads to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 05:45:47 PM EST
    Sumner - You certainly have a lot of high powered friends.... er make that enemies. You also throw out a supposed quote, with no link.
    "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." --George W. Bush (Dec 19th, 2000)
    Now could you link us to a source? I put the statement in Google and it went no where. et al - So we don't beef up and we don't investiage and we lose a couple of planes, and maybe a drty bomb gets half of DC... You think maybe the radical moslem terrorists wouldn't think that was a win? And that maybe the "moderate" moslems would be kinda hestitant on jumping in our our side?

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 06:01:37 PM EST
    I don't think the point of the post was that we should not be mindful of the threats of "terrorists" who are like an earlier era's anarchists but that once we surrender to hysteria and fear over remote risks the terrorists have won. What this government by Bush has done is foment hysteria and fear of terrorists to expand government intrusion into our private life and to engage in unlawful practices. I assume that many of the intrusions at airports and other public places are probably necessary but I am skeptical of their efficacy and question the competence of these measures to make us truly secure as opposed make us feel secure. Like the war in Iraq which bolstered people's confidence and perceptions of being string and tough, I question whether so much of this is simply creating false illusions. Remember the TSA simply hired back a lot of the same minimum wage people who were criticized for letting the 911 bombers through.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#11)
    by jondee on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 06:05:45 PM EST
    Go ahead and say he's lying Jim. You're on a streak. Or, as someone else used to say, "riding the crest of a slump." Che Guavera said that if he hadn't witnessed the U.S engineered coup in Guatamala in the early fifties, he would have continued to practice medicine. So much for your intimidate-them-into-passivity theory.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#12)
    by Sumner on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 06:11:36 PM EST
    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#13)
    by Sumner on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 07:42:48 PM EST
    Hard to say why the string drew no results for JimakaPPJ Usually KEY words are sufficient for effective searches. "Bush" + "dictator". Other ideas for better Google search results can be found here. And my response to JimakaPPJ's question would have been better if I had also quoted it:
    "You also throw out a supposed quote, with no link. ... "Now could you link us to a source? I put the statement in Google and it went no where."
    Google assigns particularly higher weight to SERPs when backlinks link to Google. The string in discussion will probably yield links to this page, ranking higher than ordinarily, by virtue of the Google component. Think of it as their sort of special sauce algorithm. Similarly, these remarks (because of the future Google hits) will likely viewed and evaluated also in the Middle East. Do I make a lot of enemies, JimakaPPJ? The first rule of war is to know friend from foe.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#14)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 07:57:43 PM EST
    It is hard for them sometimes, Sumner. Or maybe just priapic.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#15)
    by Sailor on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 08:26:13 PM EST
    edger, I think they just have limp excuses.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#16)
    by Sumner on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 08:51:51 PM EST
    What really humbles me, is not just this community's contempory wisdom of JM and TChris but also like can be found here. We can maybe also help one another. Few if any are endowed with the entire bounty of gifts such as looks, friends, fortune, family, faith, happiness, good health, wisdom, good sense, humor, etc. After all, as Plutarch records and someone once said: "An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics."

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#17)
    by jimcee on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 10:10:17 PM EST
    James Fallows had an interesting artical in the most recent Atlantic Magazine that made some honest arguments about western reaction to terrorism and its sponsers. The odd part was he believes that the WOT as presented by the Bushies is wrong but he also thinks that Patriot Act surveilence might not be as bad as some would have it. Mr Fallows is not some right wing nut and it is time that civil libertarians exert some pressure against the Bushies but also push knee-jerk Lefties away from thier panicky nonsense. Nothing is worse for civil liberties than the ACLU Leftist crying wolf at the drop of a hat. The Bushies kind of suck but the Kerry/Dean folks are nothing more than the Chamberlens of our time. I would hope that the Left has some positive answers to the Islamic problem but they seem to prefer dhimmitude to Western classical liberalism. Go Figure.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#18)
    by Repack Rider on Thu Aug 24, 2006 at 10:31:52 PM EST
    The Bushies kind of suck but the Kerry/Dean folks are nothing more than the Chamberlens of our time.
    The evidence is certainly in that Bush sucks, but the other is pure unsupported strawman, throw sh!t against the wall, mindless rambling of a loser in the eighth grade debate. Evidence? Other than those voices only you hear?

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#19)
    by Slado on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 06:41:57 AM EST
    I can appreciate the arguemnt that running around scared helps the terrorists but what the terrorists want is not for us to be scared but for our way of life to end. The real way the terrorists win is when we are too scared to confront them. We can argue over tactics but too often the appeasement crowd uses TL's argument as an excuse to give in. See Isreal vs. Hezzbollah for a prime example. The terrorist won by not being destroyed. Doesn't matter how many of their own die because they don't care. They don't think like us. They use our way of life against us becasue they know that we will more often then not give in when the going ets tough while they simply don't care how many people die if it acheives their goals. They want our way of life to end and they play by a different set of rules. You can't reason with someone who wants to kill you. Its fine to say that allowing the terrorists to affect our lives lets them win but do we win when they blow up an airplane?

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 06:51:21 AM EST
    They want our way of life to end and they play by a different set of rules. You can't reason with someone who wants to kill you.
    I'm sure they say a variation of the same about us.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#21)
    by Slado on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 06:51:38 AM EST
    I will correct myslef, apparently Hezzbollah didn't win... WSJ

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#22)
    by jondee on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 08:03:57 AM EST
    Who the hell is "winning" anywhere in that insane asylum? The east wing has temporary advantage over the west wing. Till next week when the west wing launches yet another counter-offensive.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#23)
    by soccerdad on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 08:11:23 AM EST
    I can appreciate the arguemnt that running around scared helps the terrorists but what the terrorists want is not for us to be scared but for our way of life to end.
    No, in general. If that was their selling point there would be very few terrorists. What most terrorist supporters want if the US out of the ME. That is why terrorist recruitment has gone up since we invaded Iraq. Bombing Iran will recruit even more terrorists. So Bush is the best recruiter for the terrorist groups. What OBL wanted and got thanks to Bush was the US mired down in an unwinnable costly war in Iraq/ME (See Russia in Afghanistan for the model) Our policies are the major reason for the existance and health of terrorist networks.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#24)
    by soccerdad on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 08:14:16 AM EST
    The proponents of calling this "WWIV" or "clash of civilizations" are just trying to lay down the justification for the slaughter of innocent people.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 08:49:12 AM EST
    They want our way of life to end and they play by a different set of rules. You can't reason with someone who wants to kill you. Slado how on earth do you really know what terrorists think like or want? If you were one, would you give a flying f*** about the way of life of someone named Slado thousands of miles away? And why would you sacrifice your life to kill him or wouldn't care about a fellow brother-in-arms of yours being killed in the process? Maybe by saying "they don't think like us" you mean they are plain dumb stupid. Do you really believe that? No man, the so called terrorists are on war with the U.S because they simply want to be left alone. As well as the U.S declared war on them because THEY wouldn't leave U.S alone.(wtc, obl, e.t.c) Only thing is that U.S doesn't win s**t by just being left alone,without any terrorist attacks that is. U.S does win by achieving stronger military presence in the middle east.Or by exploiting foreign natural resources (oil). That is being left alone in political terms. So i would say that it takes more than your way of life to piss someone of so much...

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 08:52:19 AM EST
    Sumner - Do you have enemies? I haven't the vaguest, but you did write:
    Bork lost. Orrin Hatch has been compassing against me ever since. Did Hatch call down hordes of LDS or just your usual CIA assassins?. Now that we have the link, we also have the context and we can easily see that what he is doing is pointing out that he isn't a dictator, and that dealing with the various issues is harder because of that. Kind of some self depreciating humor. BTW - Thanks for taking the bait and providing a link, because it leads to this question. Were you, or were you not, trying to create a false impression by not including a readily available link? And don't you just love it that your desire to show how clever you are tripped you up? Do you really think I didn't know? I'm LOL. ;-) Sailor, Edger - Dream on. Jondee - Keep making things up. Jimcee - Nice point. Sadly, there isn't a Churchill in sight. RePack - On the issue of security, the Left, blinded by its hatred of Bush and with the common sense of a 1000 Lemmings, reminds me of a man who jumped of the Empire State building, determined to prove he could fly. As he fell by the upper floors he was asked how he was doing...to which he replied.. "So far so good......." Jonerik writes:
    but that once we surrender to hysteria and fear over remote risks the terrorists have won.
    The question is, what remote risks? 9/11 happened. So did the USS Cole. So did the recent killings in Seattle by a radical Moslem of a perfect innocent person. So did the attack on the El Al terminal at LAX. We actually did capture Moslem males trying to come across the border from Canada with explosives and plans to attack. WTC I did happen in '93. Our embassy was seized in 1979.... And I could go on and on. The Brits did just arrest about 12 or so Moslem you men who were planning on blowing to 10 or so airliners... The Germans just arrested... It's a pin prick war, designed to make us cower until we slowly give up our western civilization values for the dark bloody ones of the 7th century. But you must fight it, and if you are not going to fight it with killing thousands of innocents, then you must fight it with technology and searches. Waiting in an airport security line is aggravating. Being killed on board is much, much worse.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#27)
    by jondee on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 08:56:21 AM EST
    pokerputz- Such as?

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#28)
    by soccerdad on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 09:29:50 AM EST
    and right on cue PPJ laying the groundwork for genocide says
    It's a pin prick war, designed to make us cower until we slowly give up our western civilization values for the dark bloody ones of the 7th century.
    BS as we all know.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#29)
    by Edger on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 09:48:23 AM EST
    Soccerdad, I thought he was describing bushco's wot and goals. No??? ;-)

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#30)
    by jondee on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 09:48:28 AM EST
    The other relevant question is: even if it were true, how could this lurid scenario of "cowering" hysteria-mongers ever come close to being accomplished? I must have missed all the inordinate interest thats cropped up recently in the U.S, Western Europe, the rest of the Americas, and (even though Rooskies and Chinks dont count) Russia, China, India etc, in converting to fundamentalist Islam.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#31)
    by Edger on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 09:48:45 AM EST
    Soccerdad, I thought he was describing bushco's wot and goals. No??? ;-)

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#32)
    by Bill Arnett on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 11:30:39 AM EST
    PPj- I was going to tell you to enter this search into Google to get the dictator quote: bush + quotations + dictatorship, which takes it straight to the info, but NOW I read that your objection was a trick to test the person making the comment. Is it necessary to point out that, since you knew the quote was genuine and insisted on a cite just for kicks, it is the very LAMEST attempt to "best" someone I've ever seen.: "BTW - Thanks for taking the bait and providing a link, because it leads to this question. Were you, or were you not, trying to create a false impression by not including a readily available link? And don't you just love it that your desire to show how clever you are tripped you up? Do you really think I didn't know? I'm LOL. ;-)" Are you now going to sink to the level of a third-grader? Na,na,na,na,na I know the answer! I know the answer! You're just a dummy! You're just a dummy! How is someone making an accurate quotation, albeit without citation, somehow trying to creat a FALSE impression when TELLING THE TRUTH? I assure you that the laughter you hear is from all the people who recognize that this indeed one of your lowest, and most puerile, postings ever. And don't ya just love how far down the evolutionary ladder you just slipped? C'mon, ppj, too sophomoric, even for you.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#33)
    by Sailor on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 12:19:13 PM EST
    I told all four that there were going to be some times where we don't agree with each other. But that's OK. If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.
    Even in context the meaning doesn't change.
    Kind of some self depreciating humor.
    pretzel logic to justify anything the dictatortot says. kinda like the compassionate conservative saying 'please don't kill me' of Karla Fay Tucker.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#34)
    by desertswine on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 12:28:52 PM EST
    Bush should stand trial says Nuremburg prosecutor. I guess he knows what he's talking about. I like this part - "...Bush signed a new law prohibiting any U.S. cooperation with the International Criminal Court. The law went so far as to include a provision authorizing the president to "use all means necessary and appropriate," including a military invasion of the Netherlands, to free U.S. personnel detained or imprisoned by the ICC."

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#35)
    by soccerdad on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 12:52:53 PM EST
    Soccerdad, I thought he was describing bushco's wot and goals. No??? ;-)
    As you know there is no WOT, there is however a war for resources and a war for world dominance, i.e. remaining the world's only superpower. Can a superpower be financially broke? That large pop you heard was the housing bubble which will be followed in 5-7 months by a recession.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#36)
    by Edger on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 01:29:56 PM EST
    Can a superpower be financially broke?
    National Debt of $8.4 Trillion count?

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#37)
    by Edger on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 01:32:59 PM EST
    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#38)
    by Sumner on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 01:50:56 PM EST
    Following the popularity of Steven W. Mosher's 2000 book, Hegemon: China's Plan to Dominate Asia and the World(ISBN 1-893554-08-2), Bush had his spy plane snooping Chinese military intelligence, which I suspect included evaluation of Chinese capacity to resist American expoitation of oil from the South China Sea. Bush's first significant military skirmish on April 1, 2001, resulted in the forced downing of a US EP-3 spy plane in reconnaissance over the South China Sea. My guess is that Bush quickly realized the scope of the probable crisis and so instead, set his sights on Middle Eastern oil. Key evidence to the Bush presidency remains hidden within the Cheney Energy Task Force, (formed May, 2001) minutes, notes and records. The discussion last night on Hardball between Chris Mathews and guest, presidential hopeful Joe Biden, revealed the very real volatility confronting the ME region. Biden never once even hinted that US presence in the ME is for any other reason than in response to terrorist events. To paraphrase Joe, we've got a tiger by the tail. Consider that at some point, the nouveau riche of those desert lands began fancying military weapons, as they suddenly had much more to protect. There is probably vastly more money yet headed their way.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 06:29:44 PM EST
    Bill A - True. A mean and nasty trick. Almost as bad as quoting something out of context in an attempt to make it appear as if he meant something else. Sumner - Are you sure you're not SD in disguise? Sailor - I write not for you but for the rational folks who drop by for a visit. Ta Ta.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#40)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 07:39:23 PM EST
    Sumner - Are you sure you're not SD in disguise? You should have your neurologist change your meds if you're suffering from confused thinking, PPJ. I write not for you but for the rational folks who drop by for a visit Because you know what a kick they get out of the nonsense you post here, PPJ. TTFN

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#41)
    by Sailor on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 08:12:07 PM EST
    ppj has nothing but insults as usual. just like he's never addressed why we are meddling in the ME to begin with. Gee, if we hadn't propped up the ireanian dictatorship and sold them weapons and traing on how to suppress their own people, themthe revolution would never have happened. Or like if we hadn't given saddam weapons and chemicals to fight iran he wouldn't have remained in power. Or like how without arming the taliban to resist the russians we wouldn't have had AQ in afghanistan and they wouldn't have stinger missiles to down our aircraft. So all along 'we've' been giving the terrorists what they want. Arms.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#42)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 09:59:59 AM EST
    Sailor - If you are such a dove of peave, I await you extending your hand... You turn. Dark Avenger - Halloween approaches. Sumner writes:
    Bush's first significant military skirmish on April 1, 2001, resulted in the forced downing of a US EP-3 spy plane in reconnaissance over the South China Sea.
    Your lack of knowledge of military terms is on display. The forcing down of an unarmed patrol plan, the venerable and ancient P3A, while said plane was in international waters on a routine patrol by armed fighters was not a skirmish, but could have, if we had wanted to, been seen as an act of war.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#43)
    by Sailor on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 10:39:38 AM EST
    I have extended my hand ... talk to it. BTW, ppj, the thread is about terrorists, try to stay on topic.

    Re: Giving the Terrorists What They Want (none / 0) (#44)
    by Bill Arnett on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 11:47:59 AM EST
    Sailor- Since now, apparently, anyone who doesn't agree with bush and his republican guard is automatically a terrorist, I suppose that means that the 61% of Americans against the folly of bushwar in Iraq have unwittingly become terrorists. And, according to ppj and rightwing-types, it is awfully rude to point out the truth - 'cause they can't handle the truth! They will never admit to all the debacles of America in setting up dictatorial regimes and arming them. Much easier to claim we did nothing wrong - like train, equip, and provide support to Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. The fact that we now classify these former employees and friends of American administrations "terrorists" simply confirms the arrogance of our "foreign policy". Also, PPj, just 'cause bushco CLAIMED that the plane was in international waters doesn't mean that it is true. After all, we denied spying on Russia from the air until the shooting down of Gary Power's U2 proved the U.S lied. We also regularly violated the airspace of almost everyone with the venerated SR71 Blackbirds. Only the fact that the SR71 was so incredibly fast that, through the years of its use, it survived having over 7-thousand surface-to-air rocket launchings against it by simply outrunning the rockets.That does not, however, vitiate the fact that we routinely violate international boundaries and laws anytime we so choose. And, ppj, if you assert that this is untrue, why did bush not only withdraw America from the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court at the Hague, but also force our allies and any nation to which we give aid to sign an agreement that American troops are immune from prosecution by those countries? There is only one logical assumption to be drawn from this: bush and the neocons of his republican guard have always fully intended to violate international law at will, damn the consequences, and doesn't want to risk an appearance in the ICC and the certainty of convictions for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Strange, isn't it, since as bush says, "If you're not breaking the law you don't need to worry about anything."