Bush Lost The War Against Al-Qaeda

by Ben Hoffman

Bin Laden’s goal was to bankrupt America. The real target of the 2001 attack was our economy, as revealed in a videotape released in 2004.

“We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah,” bin Laden said in the transcript.
Source

The U.S. was in a mild recession before the 9/11 attack, but the fear caused by the attack caused our economy to really tank. Our government’s over-reaction to the attack cost our country trillions of dollars and allowed Bush to implement his radical agenda, including his massive tax cuts where Republicans couldn’t even get a simple majority in the Senate. Cheney had to cast the deciding vote.

With the irresponsible tax cuts and increased spending due to the two wars, Bush doubled the U.S. debt. Our federal debt is now over 12 trillion dollars and Osama bin Laden is still at large.

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34 Comments to “Bush Lost The War Against Al-Qaeda”

  1. 100% correct Ben. I remember a few obscure writers and journalists at the time begging us not to fall into the trap. It was right out there. The choice of the WTC for the 9-11 attack was meant to further that message; it was seen as the center of the Western economy. That they saw what we represented – full bore consumerism which leads to secularism – as the enemy.

    Well, plus the US troops in Saudi Arabia. That turned him from activist to warrior.

    And nobody wants to admit that they’re doing very well at is so far.

    • Bush knew it was coming. That’s why he went on vacation for a month and then went to Florida rather than return to Washington.

      • You really think so? It’s easy to say they ignored the threat; it’s massively documented that they ignored the threat. But time? Place? Do you think they knew those things?

        (I have always found two things weird as hell: that there were military exercises the same exact time; and that it took so long to get planes into the air. )

      • If you believe Bush “lost” the war, then do you believe Obama started it up again?

      • [If you believe Bush “lost” the war, then do you believe Obama started it up again?]

        No, they’re just trying to salvage something from all the mess.

      • Hmmm… risking 40,000+ American lives for a “salvage operation”? What’s there to “salvage” – America’s reputation? I would hope he was going in there to fight, and win (i.e. marginalize Al-Qaeda and the Taliban).

        Anyways, if you’re saying the war was over (i.e. “lost”) in Bush’s term, you’d have to admit that Obama is in fact starting it up again – or it was never actually lost.

      • [Anyways, if you’re saying the war was over (i.e. “lost”) in Bush’s term, you’d have to admit that Obama is in fact starting it up again – or it was never actually lost.]

        First of all, it would be political suicide for Obama to give up on Afghanistan — especially if there was another attack.

        Second, at this point, we owe it to the people of Afghanistan to provide some level of security and even employment. Most of the population is dirt poor and the Taliban provides jobs harvesting the poppies for heroin. If we provide a means of earning a living, that will win their hearts and minds, although I’m not sure that’s our strategy.

        Third, how do you define victory in Afghanistan? If we completely rid the country of al Qaeda, they’re still in Pakistan, Yemen, and Africa. Afghanistan has one of the two most corrupt governments in the world. The other is Iraq. So it’s not like we’ve spread democracy to that part of the world.

        This “war on terror” has cost us over a trillion dollars, thousands of lives, and has made us less safe. After all that, there’s still no way to define “winning.” I’d say that’s one for the lost column.

      • Not to nitpick, Ben, but that kind of avoids my question on whether or not you acknowledge that Obama has started another war.

        I agree he can’t give up. Imagine the retaliation by the extremist pigs on the civilians who supported us. The second we went in there, we owned that problem.

        To your third point, I’ve never bought that “spread democracy” crap that we always try to push. Politics is business, business is money. Unless we get full-on into the drug trade, the business in Afghanistan is oil, and/or access to it. That’s why the Russians were there, that’s why Bush went there, that’s why we’re staying there (primarily). We’re not trying to buy the world a Coke – this is about acquiring and defending resources like every empire has done since the beginning of time.

        Thankfully, a safe and secure Afghanistan has multiple benefits, including important humanitarian ones, but if we were really “taking the fight to the terrorists” we would have followed the money trail through Pakistan first and also never would have let Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden escape from Afghanistan.

        Unfortunately the war on TerrorISM has to be fought on many fronts, and it’s an uphill battle. It’s not America’s fight alone – truly winning that war requires an entire glue-sniffing fringe of a religion to stop believing in mythical fables and wake up to the current century and realities of daily life.

        I don’t think that will happen on EITHER side any time soon, so how does America make due? In my opinion, by cutting off Al Qaeda’s air (money, propaganda) and always hitting them back twice as hard militarily. The military solution, although harshest, is fastest, sorry to say.

      • [Not to nitpick, Ben, but that kind of avoids my question on whether or not you acknowledge that Obama has started another war.]

        It depends on how you define “war.” We’re occupiers of Afghanistan since most of al Qaeda has relocated to other countries.

        [The military solution, although harshest, is fastest, sorry to say.]

        That only works with wars against other countries. The war against terrorism is more like dealing with a giant gang problem. You can’t go in and just bomb the neighborhoods where there are gangs. It’s a law enforcement effort and you need to get the general population to stop tolerating it.

        We need to work with the countries that are providing safe havens for the terrorists and provide incentives to get rid of them. It needs to be a world-wide law enforcement effort.

        We also need to get off our oil dependency and stop interfering in Middle Eastern affairs. That’s one of the sources of hatred for the U.S. We need to get out of there and just let them fight each other.

      • [It depends on how you define “war.” We’re occupiers of Afghanistan since most of al Qaeda has relocated to other countries.]
        Trying to understand how you define war. So it’s Obama the Occupier? 😉

        [That only works with wars against other countries. The war against terrorism is more like dealing with a giant gang problem. You can’t go in and just bomb the neighborhoods where there are gangs.]
        I agree with this statement, however in your next one the scope is different. Gangs don’t mount up and attack police stations with RPG’s or use IED’s on cops. Those are military weapons dictating a military response (although I agree from the start that the bombs were the wrong weapons – we tried to do it the easy way, and failed).
        Plus, the extremists don’t need to be arrested, they need to be dead. SWAT isn’t the answer here.

        [We need to work with the countries that are providing safe havens for the terrorists and provide incentives to get rid of them.]
        They have more than enough incentives already without us having to grovel or buy their support.

        [It needs to be a world-wide law enforcement effort.]
        That sounds warm and cozy, but law enforcement requires a desire for peace, which they don’t have, a respect for law, which they don’t have, and a value placed on human life, which they don’t have.

        It’s a psych warfare effort. We need to convince the extremists that Allah wants them to return to the Mothership on the next comet, and to drink their poison all at once.

        [We also need to get off our oil dependency]
        Again, warm and cozy, but it’s all talk. Won’t happen in our lifetime. When it does, though, who do you think they’re going to hate (and yet again want to attack) when the asset that was once under their feet is now worthless? How are we going to apologize for that, send them sacks of flour?

        [stop interfering in Middle Eastern affairs.]
        We can’t. They have too much of a resource we need, and they’re too vulnerable to our political economic adversaries. Third, they couldn’t run a stable economy or society if their life depended on it. If they could, we could trade for it properly like we do with every other country.

        [That’s one of the sources of hatred for the U.S.]
        It’s not a source, it’s an excuse. The source of their hatred is their twisted religion which America was never at fault for, nor is responsible for. It was meant to be oppressive and needed a Devil (sound familiar?!)

        [We need to get out of there and just let them fight each other.]
        That would be great, but unfortunately as we’ve seen they screw that up, too.

      • BEN: [It needs to be a world-wide law enforcement effort.]
        VERN: [That sounds warm and cozy, but law enforcement requires a desire for peace .which they don’t have, a respect for law, which they don’t have, and a value placed on human life, which they don’t have.]

        Vern – the desire for peace is ours. We want to swat these flies out of our faces. We enforce the law against them, not with them.

    • I think the WTC’s economic symbolism was just a bonus to the fact that it was one of the easier targets in NY to hit.

      I know you make your point as a matter of perspective, Moe, so I’m not jumping on you with this, but your explanation of their attacks brings up an important point to me which is how quickly we will attach some sort of rational or sympathetic meaning to a terrorist act – even just to try and understand it. Yours is harmless, but how many “explanations” have a subtext of, “Well, we kind of deserved it”?

      This plays right into their hands, and furthers their cause. Look at the concessions we’re already giving these clowns (Miranda rights, for one).

      • Vern – you’ve made two points that I missed till now and find quite compelling. One about WTC being an easy target to hit. The other how we try to attach rational explanations to such events and try to hammer them into a frame we can better understand. On the first point, you’ve hit a home run with me, which makes the second point pretty strong as well. I will add however, that Osama saw our materialism as a source of evil in the world and the WTC as a symbol of that.

        So when you ask “how many explanations have a subtext of, Well, we kind of deserved it?, I will say we absolutely do not ever ‘deserve’ it.

        But if we envisage ourselves as pure and innocent victims whenever the Third World strikes out, the chasm between us will only grow. The western powers have a long, ugly and bloody history of exploitation. And that is something I cannot but be aware of, especially in calculating answers to questions like ‘Why?’. That history is never the only reason and may not even be the main reason, but it has played an important role in the myth that is us. Dealing with all this would would be easier if I could put all that away, but I can’t and it’ll always be part of my understanding of the world.

        And as for concessions, I think what we’re giving them is the fruits of their strategy of terrorism. We act terrified. That was their intention.

      • Hi Moe,

        Missed your reply here in the long thread!

        You said,
        [I will say we absolutely do not ever ‘deserve’ it.]
        Very glad we agree there! 🙂

        You also said:
        [But if we envisage ourselves as pure and innocent victims whenever the Third World strikes out, the chasm between us will only grow. The western powers have a long, ugly and bloody history of exploitation…]
        I agree that just because these extremists are brutal and evil, it doesn’t give us a “free pass” to play the innocent victim and bomb whatever we like. We always must be considering our place in the world and our contribution to human society and evolution as a whole.

        Where I disagree with many (most?) is the connection between our actions and the terrorists. They do what they do independent from us.

        The west’s hands aren’t clean, but neither is any other country’s. I will argue that it is the price of the freedom in a world where scarce and diminishing resources exist. I will also argue that America is probably the least brutal of those nations who can be, and that unlike other countries in history they have always chosen war as a second option rather than first – even if guys like Bush were frantically trying to rush those first options off the table!

        [And as for concessions, I think what we’re giving them is the fruits of their strategy of terrorism. We act terrified. That was their intention.]
        Agreed. It is also their intention and strategy to prey on our kindness and endless guilt.

      • You know Vern, I’ve never understood that ‘charge’ of guilt. I hear it all the time and absolutely do not understand it. It’s like a made up word.

        As an example – I don’t feel guilty about slavery – I wasn’t even here. But even if I felt some sort of ‘guilt’, what would be wrong with that? As an American, I celebrate the genius and courage of people who died before I was born; I am proud of them. So why not feel shame or guilt or whatever we call it, about slavery?

        Thinking about that subject, let’s remember we didn’t manage to shut down the “Jim Crow’ South until the mid-1960’s. I was out of college by then. It was living history; an entire people, my fellow citizens, then began the climb out of virtual slavery, 100 years after actual slavery ended. If you were 60 years old in 1964, you were born in 1904 and could easily have been the child of slaves.

        It’s all very much still with us, but the marvel is that we overcome it every day. In terms of tolerance, this country has traveled so much further than almost any other society. We have made astonishing progress since we made the decision in the ’60’s to pursue a more just society.

        So – why is ‘guilt’ a charge and not just a fact if and wherever it exists?

      • PS to above. Vern, I am not suggesting for a minute that you feel any differently than me on the subject of slavery/race, whatever. I was using that as an example so I could ask the question, ‘what do you mean by guilt?’ A bit long winded!

  2. I’m not one of those 9/11 Conspiracy nuts, but if Bush and Cheney DIDN’T know anything they would have played ball with the 9/11 Commission. They didn’t, and there can be only one reason why.

    As for “Bush Lost The War Against Al Qaeda”, Ben – last time I checked, the war’s still on! 😉 (Thank you for actually calling it a “war” though!)

  3. Yep the war is lost. Harry Reid said the Iraq war was lost in 07. Obama went on his blame America apology tour and yet somehow we are still being attacked in the US and around the world.

    Obama and Joe went to great pains to let the terrorists know that Bush is gone. They are also now, taking great pains to let the terrorists know where they made their mistakes on Christmas.

    Neville Chamberlin never figured out why Hitler wasn’t happy with Czechoslavakia. Why he still wanted to kill people.

    I wonder which woman will unseat Obama in 2012. Hillary or Sarah? Either one has more spine than Barry.

  4. [Obama and Joe went to great pains to let the terrorists know that Bush is gone. They are also now, taking great pains to let the terrorists know where they made their mistakes on Christmas.]

    Terrorists read newspapers and probably noticed we had an election and that Obama looks nothing like Bush.

    And should we not be talking about the Christmas bombing? Like we never talked about any of the others? Like the creation of Homeland Security didn’t happen in full view of the world? Come on.

  5. Ms. Holland,

    “And should we not be talking about the Christmas bombing? Like we never talked about any of the others? Like the creation of Homeland Security didn’t happen in full view of the world? Come on.”

    You are going to hate this because Mr. Limbaugh pointed it out. The government did not have to reveal that the State Department failed to revoke the bomber’s Visa, because they could not determine if he had one. His name was misspelled in their data base.

    That might just be valuable information to Al Queda the next time they try to get a terrorist past security. Just by accident misspell your name by a letter or two. It might work.

    Your guys brief Al Quida so that next time they can do better, yet the American public is too stupid to get briefed about how bad Nancy and Harry are screwing them on health care. Maybe C-Span can televise CIA meetings instead.

    • That might just be valuable information to Al Queda the next time they try to get a terrorist past security. Just by accident misspell your name by a letter or two. It might work.]

      Or maybe they could just wear glasses with a fake nose and mustache as a disguise next time so the CIA won’t recognize them. Oh, damn! I just gave away valuable information to terrorists!

    • [That might just be valuable information to Al Queda the next time they try to get a terrorist past security. Just by accident misspell your name by a letter or two. It might work.]

      This is like the third time that a misspelling was implicated in identifying a terrorist – the first was, famously, one of the 9-11 gang. (and I know that cuz it was in all the newspapers.)

  6. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” Or maybe they could just wear glasses with a fake nose and mustache as a disguise next time so the CIA won’t recognize them. Oh, damn! I just gave away valuable information to terrorists! ” 🙂

    Not bad, but the more truth you put in to the joke, the better it is. The CIA would hopefully apprehend the potential man caused disaster causer ahead of time or at least spell his name correctly to the State Department. The State Dept. could detect that the potential man caused disaster causer is a bad speller and revoke his Visa on that premise.

    Now the Dutch airport screeners, even though they won’t have the new fangled full body screen doowallies yet, will stop everybody who looks like Groucho Marx. This won’t cause longer lines at the boarding ramps because there will still be an express line for all of the liberals dressed as Groucho’s more celebrated brother Karl.

    • [The State Dept. could detect that the potential man caused disaster causer is a bad speller and revoke his Visa on that premise.]

      If bad spelling is cause to revoke someone’s visa, mine would be gone in a second! If it wasn’t for the built in spell checker in Firefox, my posts would be illegible.

  7. Moe said: But if we envisage ourselves as pure and innocent victims whenever the Third World strikes out, the chasm between us will only grow. The western powers have a long, ugly and bloody history of exploitation

    Well said Moe.

    Taking the time to establish a bigger contextual frame about these issues is so vitally important in understanding how they work and how they fit into the global world of politics.

    • We should not forget, too, that what has in effect kept the Third World The Third World is the long, ugly, and bloody history of exploitation of their people by their OWN people. Whatever America has ever done in the name of freedom or prosperity pales in comparison.

      [Taking the time to establish a bigger contextual frame about these issues is so vitally important]
      Absolutely, but just look at what goes on in these blogs (mine included) – we can’t get past arguments about Democrats and Republicans and who’s a more direct decedent of Satan!

      I think America has had a very hard time thinking globally and realistically at the same time.

      • [I think America has had a very hard time thinking globally and realistically at the same time.]

        Amen. There’s a terrific book on ‘realist’ public policy co-authored by Brent Snowcroft and Zhignev ?)Brezinski called “America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Policy”. Very good book.

        I also think America has a very hard time thinking about more than one thing at a time. And the media – TV mostly – can take the credit for that.

      • I’ll check out the book. 🙂

        [I also think that America has a very hard time thinking about more than one thing at a time]
        Yes, which is why we should be ALL thinking about the Dallas Cowboys winning the Superbowl instead of this pesky political stuff!!!!!!! 🙂

      • Dallas Cowboys? Do you realize you’ve just gone and enraged half the country?

      • Then I’ll be celebrating with the other half. 🙂

  8. Arbourist,

    ” The western powers have a long, ugly and bloody history of exploitation”

    “Well said Moe.

    Taking the time to establish a bigger contextual frame about these issues is so vitally important in understanding how they work and how they fit into the global world of politics.”

    More Liberal BS. You two can have all of the cultural guilt you want, I’ll accept none of it.

    That our generation should be murdered by someone who believes we should pay for the sins of those who went before us, that this someone thinks he personally was wronged by us. No way.

    You think that bowing before terrorists will save you, it won’t. Not even you two.

    • someone who believes we should pay for the sins of those who went before us,

      Passing down sin should not be a particularly new trick for you Alan, as you have in previous threads expressed that you are a christian. Christians are all about ‘teh sin’. Of course, if by your statement above we should ignore Original Sin as well, then perhaps you will at least appear consistent in your beliefs?

      No way.

      My sentiments exactly, at least when talking about floods,magic books, burning bushes, and the assorted steaming piles of guano that religion expects people to believe.

      Let’s look at what was said, and your frothing at the mouth, wrapped in the flag, wacky answer.

      I said:Taking the time to establish a bigger contextual frame about these issues is so vitally important in understanding how they work and how they fit into the global world of politics.”

      AS said:That our generation should be murdered by someone who believes we should pay for the sins of those who went before us

      What? What part of establishing a bigger contextual frame (aka looking past the bridge of your nose) when examining global political issues has to do with our entire generation being murdered by an outside party?

      Have you been taking lessons on how to make unhinged assertions from MJ?

      To clarify my point allow me to reiterate my assertion.

      To better understand why events happen in the world one should try to enlarge ones own point of view. Acknowledging historical bias, being able to see history from opposing points of view and being able to gain some distance from ones own bias are all *good* things.

      It would go along way in avoiding such naively myopic statements as ‘why do they hate us?’ or bowing before terrorists’ (which ones? Or do you assume that we are incapable of terror and are always the ‘good guys’) is a wise plan of action?

      Again, your discourse Mr.Scott, presents itself as a view of history and events wrapped and blinded by the american flag.

      As the false narrative goes, you are the righteous people who can only bring peace and prosperity to the the various underdeveloped lesser nations of the world. Those who reject globalization, aka jackbooted corporate fascism, are are labeled ‘evil-doers’ and must be destroyed. This narrative is not only grievously wrong, it is inherently self-destructive, as it the path of empire.

      Empires that believe that they can do no wrong, can never do any right.

  9. Arbourist,

    You might just be the only one on this board who could keep up with me arguing history.

    ” To better understand why events happen in the world one should try to enlarge ones own point of view. Acknowledging historical bias, being able to see history from opposing points of view and being able to gain some distance from ones own bias are all *good* things.”

    Is the US blameless in world history? No. Are the terrorists merely paying us back for our sins in the past? Hell no. This is all about power. Our sins of the past are only justification for brain washing impressionable young men and women in to human robot suicide bombs.

    Adolf Hitler and Germany had all kinds of grievances against the world. Some had merit. Particularly the reparations of post WW1 that helped bankrupt Germany. So what. These were excuses, not valid reasons for launching WW11 and committing the Holocaust.

    ” Those who reject globalization, aka jackbooted corporate fascism, are are labeled ‘evil-doers’ and must be destroyed. ”

    So that’s what the Taliban, Al Queda, Ahmadinijhad, Saddam Hussein, the Somali Pirates, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Evo Morales have against me and my fellow Americans. All along these guys were merely freedom fighters.

    Here I was thinking of incorporating myself to guard against lawsuits, now I see the fascist in corporation.

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