Why Now?
Monday, December 06, 2004
  Liberals & Terrorism

Kevin Drum needs to start Catblogging again to harmonize his thought processes before commenting on an article by Peter Beinart and the liberal problem with terrorism.

As near as I have been able to tell liberals don't like terrorism. I would venture to say that your average liberal has a general aversion to all types and kinds of violence. For some, their dislike of violence leads them to pacifism, which rejects any war.

Liberals could adopt the view of the Republican Party towards Communism in the 20th Century, when they called Communists nasty names but undermined any attempt at taking real action. Hold hearings and destroy innocent people with innuendo, but actually do something that didn't involve thugs and payoffs, not a chance.

I think all liberals might get behind a movement to call Osama bin Laden nasty names, but allow him to roam free - except that's Bush's program.

I think the war against Afghanistan was the right thing to do. I think it would have been the right thing to do when Bill Clinton wanted to do it, but couldn't because of the Republicans in Congress. I think it would have been the right things to do when it was determined that bin Laden was behind the attack on the USS Cole. The reality is that it took the death of thousands of Americans to get the Republicans off their tired butts and finally take action.

I think that an attack on the enclave of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the Kurdish area of Iraq prior to this stupid war would have been the right thing to do any of the three times it was suggested. Instead, with the Republicans in charge, nothing happened.

Why should liberals waste any brain cells telling people how to combat terrorism when the voters in the US re-elect those who have proved beyond doubt that they don't have a clue: the Republicans were in charge on September 11th, 2001 and the voters have rewarded them for their incompetence. Not one individual has been penalized for that catastrophic failure, and the only person who has rendered a meaningful apology for the failure was a holdover from the Democratic administration.

For the record: both communism and fascism were state-sponsored, while Islamic terrorism has no territorial base. Conventional military tactics and weapons can be quite useful in combating state-sponsored terrorism - you attack the base.

There is no shortcut for dealing with the distributed nature of Islamic terrorism: you have to pick up a thread and follow it back to its origin. This is not something you can do from a cockpit or a tank turret; this is not a military mission. This is best accomplished by those who are trained for it: detectives and spies.

Here's an analogy that bloggers should be able to understand: state-sponsored terrorism is like those who use Blogspot: if the Blogspot server is taken down everyone who uses it is silent. Al-Qaeda is like the independent bloggers, you have to locate individual servers by backtracking on the 'Net and even then they can evade you with mirror sites.


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