Beinart: No, we’re not at war with radical jihadist terrorism

posted at 11:36 am on January 4, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Peter Beinart makes an interesting, if somewhat contradictory, argument at the Daily Beast regarding Dick Cheney’s argument that the Obama administration doesn’t really think it’s fighting a war against terrorists.  On one hand, Beinart argues that the Obama administration successfully rebuked Cheney through its reference to its own rhetoric, in which they used the term “war” as recently as the inauguration almost a year ago.  Beinart then argues that Cheney was right after all, and that Barack Obama should embrace the idea that he isn’t fighting a war against radical jihadist terrorism:

It was your garden-variety partisan smackdown. After the underwear-bomber attack, Dick Cheney accused President Obama of “trying to pretend we are not at war” with jihadist terrorism. The White House responded by quoting Obama’s inaugural address, in which the president declared that “our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred” and his Nobel Prize speech, in which he reiterated that “we are at war.” Democrats congratulated themselves for making Cheney look like an ass, again.

But they missed the larger point, which is that while America is obviously at war in Afghanistan and Iraq, it isn’t actually at war with jihadist terrorism. Rather than proving Cheney wrong, the White House should have done something more audacious: Prove him right. …

Why doesn’t the White House recognize this? Because while Cheney and company love the word “war” precisely because they define it as military conflict, Americans in recent decades have gotten used to employing the word to mean something more like “national mobilization.” As a result of Washington’s “wars” on poverty, drugs and cancer, the word’s meaning has grown fuzzy. It is this fuzziness that allows the Obama administration to try to have it both ways. On the one hand, they claim that for them, war means mobilizing the economic, diplomatic, and ideological aspects of American power, with the military playing only a supporting role. On the other, they can brandish the macho-sounding “war” to deflect Republican charges that they’re soft on national security.

This makes for an interesting and provocative argument, which should be read in full.  If I could boil Beinart’s argument down to its essential, he says that we should use the word “war” for explicit and total military involvement.  Using “war” in the context of poverty, cancer, and drugs cheapens the term and makes it much too broad for application in a variety of efforts.  Later in the piece, Beinart states that only those who have been impacted by foreign wars and foreign attacks understand the death, destruction, and horror of actual war, and if we understood that much, we wouldn’t apply the term to the present conflict or domestic issues like poverty.

I hate to state the obvious, but the US actually does qualify for Beinart’s contrasting case.  What was 9/11 if not an attack on the US by foreign forces that left massive death and destruction?  Almost 3,000 people died in the attacks, and more would have died had not the passengers of United 93 courageously took action to prevent it.  In the smoking pit of death at the World Trade Center, Americans understood that war had been declared on the US, and that we had failed in preventing the first offensive on our home soil.

Beinart makes a good point about the use of “war” on domestic policy issues, but neglects to provide the full etymology of its use.  The “war on poverty” didn’t come from reactionary neocons, but from the rhetoric of the anti-war Left and its political leaders.  They demanded that the resources the US used in fighting its (imperialist) wars be used instead to fight the ills of humanity, starting with poverty.  Lyndon Johnson adopted that rallying cry for his Great Society, and it passed easily into the political lexicon from there.

But on the Cold War, Beinart is on shakier ground.  While it is true that the US and the USSR did not fight a war on a battlefield, both mobilized as though at war with the other.  We fought active wars in places like Vietnam and Korea, proxy wars in South America, and near wars in Europe.  We did fight ideological and economic battles as well, but Beinart misses the fact that it was a massive military expansion that finally broke the back of the Soviet economy and forced the Russians into retreat in Europe.  And it was covert war in Afghanistan that broke the Soviet military, although in the words of former Rep. Charlie Wilson, we managed to “f* up the end game.”  Without their defeat in Afghanistan and their economic exhaustion from keeping pace with the American military buildup, would the Soviets still have crumbled in Eastern Europe?

In the present case, we are most definitely at war.  War also involves ideological and diplomatic efforts, as any student of World War II, the last truly “total war” could attest; those are not mutually exclusive.  In fighting and killing jihadis in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere, we are using our military to fight straight-up battles against foreign networks of terrorists before they get a chance to use those resources against our citizens here at home, and we use our intelligence assets to find them there and elsewhere (Pakistan, mainly) and root them out through less public means.  We’re not serving subpoenas and warrants on the end of Predator drone missiles, after all.  Instead of pretending that we’re not at war because we’re not marching the entire 4th Infantry Division across Waziristan, we should start recognizing that war for us will be almost entirely asymmetrical but will require the same level of commitment to victory — and not in a courtroom.


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Comment pages: 1 2

So now the Daily Beast is getting top billing?

logis on January 4, 2010 at 11:39 AM

The sad part is: If Obama thought we were at war, he might surrender.

Tommy_G on January 4, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Nits make lice.

a capella on January 4, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Please distribute this video to as many people possible.

OmahaConservative on January 4, 2010 at 11:43 AM

I’m in the middle class, and believe me Obama and his democrat cronies are at war with me!

SouthernGent on January 4, 2010 at 11:45 AM

It depends on what your definition of is is.

Nice stab with the “imperialist” mention. If the U.S. is even remotely imperialistic, then we suck at it. Can’t seem to get the whole grab-the-resources-suppress-the-populace concept.

John the Libertarian on January 4, 2010 at 11:45 AM

“and that we had failed in preventing the first offensive on our home soil.”

a little theatrical and completely false…

Kaptain Amerika on January 4, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Ogabe’s war on the middle class.

1921 C DRUM on January 4, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Like so many ideas that come from the left, Beinart’s ideas about war are deceiving and not fully thought through. Thanks Ed for taking the time to expose this shallow thinking about warfare.

rhombus on January 4, 2010 at 11:47 AM

The way to win is by using military force sparingly, and massively leveraging America’s greatest assets, which are economic, diplomatic, and ideological.

I am pretty sure that our greatest assets are no longer economic. WE ARE BROKE, LEARN AND ACCEPT IT!!!!!! I want to see these people’s tax returns, do they even understand the concept of earning a salary, paying taxes and bills?

Cindy Munford on January 4, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Obama’s war against the American people is the only thing he’s interested in.

Knucklehead on January 4, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Why doesn’t the White House recognize this? Because while Cheney and company love the word “war” precisely because they define it as military conflict, Americans in recent decades have gotten used to employing the word to mean something more like “national mobilization.”

In my book, this statement invalidates anything this guy ever says, or pens, again. This is a negligently naive and stupid statement. I assume Mr. Passivist has never worn a uniform.

BKeyser on January 4, 2010 at 11:47 AM

Obama thinks he’s fighting the ‘Moderates’,er,or
he thinks he can deal with Taliban ‘Moderates’,no
wait,that doesn’t sound right either,oh ya,i got
it,

Hopey/Changey,in the War on Terror is at war with
all ‘Moderates’,there,now no one is offended!!

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Main Entry: ji·had
Variant(s): also je·had \ji-ˈhäd, chiefly British -ˈhad\
Function: noun
Etymology: Arabic jihād
Date: 1869
1 : a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty; also : a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline

What part of this does Barack The Magnificent not understand?

kingsjester on January 4, 2010 at 11:50 AM

The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them….To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.[

definition of “doublethink” from Orwell’s, 1984

ted c on January 4, 2010 at 11:50 AM

The ROE here in Afghanistan changed again today. If we don’t revert from this one, there is a whole mission set my Detachment will not be able to execute. I really wonder now whether we’re still serious about winning.

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 11:53 AM

But “radical jihadist” is at war with us.

Dandapani on January 4, 2010 at 11:54 AM

How George Patton would deal with the present Islamic Problems.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHjaGAYQbRo&feature=PlayList&p=67C5BF19C050AD51&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=61

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Please distribute this video to as many people possible.

OmahaConservative on January 4, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Thank you, OC. Excellent, great beat, you can dance to it. I give it a ten.

In November, let’s have the left dancing at the end of a rope.

Metaphorically speaking, of course.

1921 C DRUM on January 4, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Nice stab with the “imperialist” mention. If the U.S. is even remotely imperialistic, then we suck at it. Can’t seem to get the whole grab-the-resources-suppress-the-populace concept.

John the Libertarian on January 4, 2010 at 11:45 AM

That word is the same as racist. It has totally lost any meaning with normal people, however, it continues to be used by liberals as one of their core buzzwords.

Johnnyreb on January 4, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Actually Beinart’s definition of war as total mobilization against a national security threat is historically inaccurate. The French Revolutionary Armies reintroduced total national mobilization after the hiatus of the Peace of Westphalia. Between Waterloo and the Marne European wars were short run things and while the Prussian reserve system institutionalized the levee en masse throughout continental Europe wars continued to be limited in time and scope. The culmination of the industrial revolution at the end of 19th Century produced wars of total mobilization during the first half of the 20th Century but the introduction of nuclear weapons in 1945 pushed armed conflict back to the 19th Century form of warfare. Most wars are like the GWOT small scale fought with limited forces that do not require total national mobilization.

Like most Americans, Beinart only remembers the “big” wars like the Civil War and the two World Wars. All of America’s other wars were small in scale and limited in objectives.

jerryofva on January 4, 2010 at 11:58 AM

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Do you know why it changed again? Probably a reaction to the Undiebomber./

Cindy Munford on January 4, 2010 at 11:58 AM

If we aren’t, we should be.

And, hey, who are you going to believe? A member of the pinko msm or Dick Cheney?

Blake on January 4, 2010 at 12:01 PM

I guess it is time to learn a new language. Liberal Speak.

fourdeucer on January 4, 2010 at 12:03 PM

The bigger problem I have with the use of the term “war” is that this is asymetrical “warfare” where the blunt tools of war are less effective, the enemy is loosely defined, and the battles often fought by single combatants.

We indeed are fighting enemies. Whether the term war is used or not, VP Cheney is right on the substantive point. This is a President and administration who does not put much of a priority on fighting terrorism and terrorists.

highhopes on January 4, 2010 at 12:06 PM

It’s the easy way out to try to retract the use of the term “War on Poverty” especially when there is no exit strategy for this failed endeavour.

J_Crater on January 4, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Another view from an Ostrich who seems to forget that AQ started this WAR and that our removing AQ and their filk, forcefully if necessary, is only way for the ME to even begin contemplating a new normal. Hewitt shoul have fun with this one next time Beinart has guts to show up on his program. Here is Mr. Beinart’s solution: “The way to win is by using military force sparingly, and massively leveraging America’s greatest assets, which are economic, diplomatic, and ideological.” – me thinks he’s forgotten that we have a full blown political whore/hack in WH – see 30,000 in Afghanistan that he has no faith in, merely sacrificing to get Independant vote – and that our #1 Diplomat seems to be MIA.. and that we are fucking broke.

Shivas Irons on January 4, 2010 at 12:07 PM

The ROE here in Afghanistan changed again today. If we don’t revert from this one, there is a whole mission set my Detachment will not be able to execute. I really wonder now whether we’re still serious about winning.

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 11:53 AM

hawkdriver:Thanks for the heads up on Rules of Engagement!

Hawk,I hope when your crew is traveling,that you
defend yourselfs at any cost!!!

And,is this mainly,so Obama won’t have collateral
damage on his hands,wink-wink:)

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 12:08 PM

United 93 courageously took taken action to prevent it

Grammar police.

mr.blacksheep on January 4, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Another view from an Ostrich who seems to forget that AQ started this WAR and that our removing AQ and their filk, forcefully if necessary, is only way for the ME to even begin contemplating a new normal. Hewitt should have fun with this one next time Beinart has guts to show up on his program. Here is Mr. Beinart’s solution: “The way to win is by using military force sparingly, and massively leveraging America’s greatest assets, which are economic, diplomatic, and ideological.” – me thinks he’s forgotten that we have a full blown political whore/hack in WH – see 30,000 in Afghanistan that he has no faith in, merely sacrificing to get Independant vote – and that our #1 Diplomat seems to be MIA.. and that we are broke-ish.

Shivas Irons on January 4, 2010 at 12:08 PM

O/T Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush!

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 12:09 PM

O/T Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush!

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Loved when he said MegaDittoes to God!

OmahaConservative on January 4, 2010 at 12:10 PM

By the way, has anybody seen our No. 1 Diplomat? You know, Bubba’s wife. What was her name again?
Stay safe, Hawk.

kingsjester on January 4, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Using “war” in the context of poverty, cancer, and drugs cheapens the term and makes it much too broad for application in a variety of efforts.

Interesting this argument comes from a lib. The moral equivalence of war is a cornerstone of modern liberalism.

Essentially, the progressives saw the great success the US had in re-ordering society with WWI and decided that that was the way to bring us their Utopian national socialist state.

To quote Goldberg;


Ever since philosopher William James coined the phrase “moral equivalent of war,” self-described progressives have sought to galvanize the masses for collective purposes. They have loved the idea of war-without-war precisely because they want a public that follows in lockstep and individuals who will sacrifice their personal ambitions for the “greater good.” This is what John Dewey, James’s disciple, called the “social benefits of war.” Dewey, later a famous pacifist, supported WWI because he believed it would usher in an age of collectivism and crush laissez-faire capitalism.

18-1 on January 4, 2010 at 12:13 PM

We indeed are fighting enemies. Whether the term war is used or not, VP Cheney is right on the substantive point. This is a President and administration who does not put much of a priority on fighting terrorism and terrorists.

highhopes on January 4, 2010 at 12:06 PM

President Obama is fighting terrorism more broadly and, arguably, more intelligently than the Bush-Cheney administration ever did. He has escalated the war in Afghanistan (which was being lost before last January) expanded U.S. actions in Pakistan and Yemen and acted to in symbolic ways to calm anti-U.S. sentiment in the Muslim world.

Bush and Cheney worked to define their administration by the war on terror because 1) they had to cover their failure on 9/11 2) it played well politically for them 3) it gave them excuses for their extra-Constitutional “unified executive” theory of governance, in which the President can assume unregulated power in the name of national security.

Obama’s agenda includes actually making America a more just and affluent nation, therefore he underplays efforts against terrorism while actually stepping up the battle, so people will also pay attention to things like health care.

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Islam has been at war with the entire non-Muslim world since 622 A.D.

We, as a nation, have been at war with terroristic, Imperialistic Islam since the Barbary pirates, during the presidency of Jefferson.

Obama is more concerned with his war against America, and is intent on reducing it to second world country status, while more realpolitik nations like China, Russia and India ignore his p.c., multiculti apologistics and press forward to their own national advantages.

War is the king of all things” as Heraclitus put it 2500 years ago.

Those who fail to appreciate this essential reality are doomed to be overthrown by those who do understand the fundamental nature of the animate world.

Kumbayaa” will make a nice funeral dirge for the naive like Barack and crew.

Although no one will be left to sing it.

profitsbeard on January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM

I really wonder now whether we’re still serious about winning.

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 11:53 AM

I understand your duty to country and duty to your mission. But if it comes down to it, screw the ROE, we want our military home ALIVE! America has your back.

PappaMac on January 4, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Cindy Munford on January 4, 2010 at 11:58 AM

No, it’s one from clear out in left field and we’re still trying to figure out why and what it means.

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 12:19 PM

By the way, has anybody seen our No. 1 Diplomat? You know, Bubba’s wife. What was her name again?
Stay safe, Hawk.

kingsjester on January 4, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Kingsjester: Just did a quick search,for HilRod,and
I bumped into this!

HILLARY CLINTON’S AGENCY ISSUED THE TERRORIST’S VISA

http://newswithviews.com/Cutler/michael177.htm

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 12:19 PM

i just tuned in and steyn is on a rant about liberty…

ted c on January 4, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Kind of OT: Obama trying to alter the balance of power in the mideast? http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1139700.html /h/t WrathofG_D at the Blogmocracy

theTarCzar on January 4, 2010 at 12:21 PM

This is a President and administration who does not put much of a priority on fighting terrorism and terrorists.

highhopes on January 4, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Their priority is on fighting U.S. citizens over health care, cap and trace, card check, etc. I’d bet fighting terrorism is way down the list!

donh525 on January 4, 2010 at 12:22 PM

i just tuned in and steyn is on a rant about liberty…

ted c on January 4, 2010 at 12:20 PM

ted c: Yup,and the Newark Nightmare!:)

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Your comments have become ridiculous, pure fantasy and not even worth reading. Again I ask you, poll the military who they would rather be led by. Bush, Cheney, Cheney’s daughter Liz over this incompetent leftist.

9-11 was not a failure of Bush’s. The intelligence community was decimated under the Clinton Administration. The 9-11 report bears that out.

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 12:23 PM

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 12:19 PM

I hadn’t thought about that. The State Department issued the Nigerian Lad’s VISA. She will probably lay low for a couple of days.

kingsjester on January 4, 2010 at 12:24 PM

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Everything this administration does seems to be pulled randomly from their a$$. Excuse my language. Everything they do is a slap in the face.

Cindy Munford on January 4, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Kind of OT: Obama trying to alter the balance of power in the mideast? http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1139700.html /h/t WrathofG_D at the Blogmocracy

theTarCzar on January 4, 2010 at 12:21 PM

theTarCzar: This is nuts,Team Obama wants to de-fang Israel,
and arm the Arab states!:)

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Obama’s agenda includes actually making America a more just and affluent nation, therefore he underplays efforts against terrorism while actually stepping up the battle, so people will also pay attention to things like health care.

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Just and affluent? Can you point that out in the Constitution for me?

Cindy Munford on January 4, 2010 at 12:28 PM

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 12:19
—————————-

I hadn’t thought about that. The State Department issued the Nigerian Lad’s VISA. She will probably lay low for a couple of days.

kingsjester on January 4, 2010 at 12:24 PM

kingsjester: Well,I was looking for HilRods itinerary,
and that popped up,this needs to be exposed,
somehow,someway:)

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 12:28 PM

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Tell me if I’m wrong, I don’t see “making America a more just and affluent nation” anywhere in there.

“and will to the best of my ability“…this is what’s really scary.

PappaMac on January 4, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Obama’s agenda includes actually making America a more just and affluent nation, therefore he underplays efforts against terrorism while actually stepping up the battle, so people will also pay attention to things like health care.

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Pollyannish, crossed fingers and casting your defenses to the wind believing you make yourself more likable to the Islamic world will only make you look weaker to men who would gouge your eyes out. They just did that to two Afghani Commandos we were trying to get back. You deal with these people by passing health care. I’ll keep stocked up on .223.

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Your comments have become ridiculous, pure fantasy and not even worth reading. Again I ask you, poll the military who they would rather be led by. Bush, Cheney, Cheney’s daughter Liz over this incompetent leftist.

9-11 was not a failure of Bush’s. The intelligence community was decimated under the Clinton Administration. The 9-11 report bears that out.

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 12:23 PM

The buck stops in the Oval Office.

Cheney is a bitter and paranoid old man whose comments are ludicrous on their face. If he knew a damn thing about winning wars, he might have won one when he was in power. Obama has stepped up as needed and is running a broader, more intelligent war against terror than the previous administration did.

And, more on topic, Beinart makes some excellent points. We won’t win this war simply by killing people.

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Interesting this argument comes from a lib. The moral equivalence of war is a cornerstone of modern liberalism.
18-1 on January 4, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Liberals treat everything in the world like war — except actual war itself.

It’s not just a giant series of coincidences that liberals turn every aspect of common sense precisely upside-down. Liberalism isn’t a political philosophy at all. It’s a gut-level rejection of philosophy itself.

At its core, liberalism is really nothing but institutionalized perversity; the narcissistic drive to make one’s self FEEL smart by reflexively gainsaying everything “the common folk” believe.

All of the so-called “liberal political issues” are nothing but a by-product of that one urge.

logis on January 4, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Bush and Cheney worked to define their administration by the war on terror because 1) they had to cover their failure on 9/11 2) it played well politically for them 3) it gave them excuses for their extra-Constitutional “unified executive” theory of governance, in which the President can assume unregulated power in the name of national security.
Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Delusion such as yours deserves no answer. The above statement puts you in wacko land.

donh525 on January 4, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Bush and Cheney worked to define their administration by the war on terror because 1) they had to cover their failure on 9/11

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Yeah, it really burns my buttons that in the late 90s, when Osama Bin Laden was repeatedly offered up to the US, the president was more interested in pursuing petty partisan posturing. They should have impeached that guy for his failure to do anything about Al Qaeda, don’t you think?

18-1 on January 4, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Obama’s agenda includes actually making America a more just and affluent nation, therefore he underplays efforts against terrorism while actually stepping up the battle, so people will also pay attention to things like health care.

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM

The only thing obama is making more “affluent” are non-existent zip codes.Where do YOU think that money is actually going?And when are the MSM and congress going to look in on this??

theTarCzar on January 4, 2010 at 12:31 PM

“Paper Tiger” – mew!

Shiny_Tiara on January 4, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Delusion such as yours deserves no answer. The above statement puts you in wacko land.

donh525 on January 4, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Notice how libs suddenly have no problem with”expanding the war into other countries”

theTarCzar on January 4, 2010 at 12:32 PM

I understand your duty to country and duty to your mission. But if it comes down to it, screw the ROE, we want our military home ALIVE!

PappaMac on January 4, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Seconded.

If your hands are tied too much, I’d much rather you come home alive, sane, and in one piece than die for a campaign that may become a moot point at any moment.

Dark-Star on January 4, 2010 at 12:33 PM

9-11 was not a failure of Bush’s. The intelligence community was decimated under the Clinton Administration. The 9-11 report bears that out.

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 12:23 PM

hawkdriver:You got that right!!

The Path to 911.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zam4EWvU_Hs&feature=PlayList&p=89933335DDBDBABE&index=1

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 12:36 PM

And I should be interested in what Beinart and the Daily Beast have to say? Why?

docdave on January 4, 2010 at 12:36 PM

One of many open declarations relying on Islamic sharia and jihad theology. The famous one from Bin Laden in 1998:

The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies — civilians and military — is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, “and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,” and “fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God.”

This is in addition to the words of Almighty God: “And why should ye not fight in the cause of God and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? — women and children, whose cry is: ‘Our Lord, rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will help!’”

We — with God’s help — call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan’s U.S. troops and the devil’s supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.

Many imams, mullahs, ayatollahs, sheiks, and muftis agree and have issued similar orders and edicts based on the same Islamic traditions of waging war.

Point being, it’s a declared war on their side.

Beagle on January 4, 2010 at 12:37 PM

President Obama is fighting terrorism more broadly and, arguably, more intelligently than the Bush-Cheney administration ever did.

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Wipe your chin off, kid.

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2010 at 12:37 PM

In the smoking pit of death at the World Trade Center, Americans understood that war had been declared on the US, and that we had failed in preventing the first offensive on our home soil.

Ed, I would also like to point out the fact many Americans (those that are not in denial or blinded by their leftist ideology) knew we were at war prior to 9-11 all the way back to the time Iran invaded our embassy (an act of war) when other US embassies were bombed, and the USS Cole was attacked (another act of war) not to mention when Osama himself declared war on the US.

It is the far left that continues to be in denial that we are at war and they continue their denial for several reasons; a strict adherence to their “peace at all costs” ideology and/or because of outright fear that there are people that want to destroy our way of life and take away the very freedoms we enjoy and often take for granted.

The far left will never admit we are at war, instead they will continue to believe that if we talk, negotiate, sing koombaya, hold hands and share a coke we will be loved again and the jihadists will stop attacking us when the truth of the matter is fascist Islam will not stop until they accomplish their goal of a world dominated by Sharia or they are thoroughly defeated.

While I agree the war against fascist Islam cannot be won my military action alone the truth of the matter is we must through military action degrade them to the point where their jihad has ever decreasing returns and their Jihad is no longer viable for them, then and only then should we even consider any type of talks.

There is no middle ground in war, once war is thrust upon a nation they must fight until their enemy has surrendered unconditionally but the only way that will happen is if said nation admits they are at war and I don’t see that happening any time soon with the Obama administration or the far left.

Liberty or Death on January 4, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Bush and Cheney worked to define their administration by the war on terror because 1) they had to cover their Clinton’s failures in the 5 years after bin Laden declared war on him and America. After all, they inherited 9/11 from him and him alone.

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM

FIFY

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Remember,ROE,was also changed with Bill Clinton,

BlackHawk Down,and the USS Cole,were victims of this,
and now Obama is playing russian-roulette with the US
Military,

and,with another Liberal President,its Deja-vu,once again!

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 12:41 PM

O/T Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush!

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 12:09 PM

His best line? This morning when he was flying down from New Hampshire to do the show, he “flew into Newark in the crotch of a Yemeni terrorist”.

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Halliburton, blah, blah, blah.

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Barack Hussein Obama is waging jihad against America!

DougDavis on January 4, 2010 at 12:45 PM

O/T Mark Steyn is filling in for Rush!

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 12:09 PM
——————————————
His best line? This morning when he was flying down from New Hampshire to do the show, he “flew into Newark in the crotch of a Yemeni terrorist”.

Del Dolemonte on January 4, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Del Dolemonte: Missed that,gawd thats funny!:)

canopfor on January 4, 2010 at 12:46 PM

The buck stops in the Oval Office.

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:29 PM

I don’t want to EVER see you post ANYTHING again about how the current economic crisis is BUSH’s fault.

PappaMac on January 4, 2010 at 12:48 PM

President Obama is fighting terrorism more broadly and, arguably, more intelligently than the Bush-Cheney administration ever did. He has escalated the war in Afghanistan (which was being lost before last January) expanded U.S. actions in Pakistan and Yemen and acted to in symbolic ways to calm anti-U.S. sentiment in the Muslim world.

Bush and Cheney worked to define their administration by the war on terror because 1) they had to cover their failure on 9/11 2) it played well politically for them 3) it gave them excuses for their extra-Constitutional “unified executive” theory of governance, in which the President can assume unregulated power in the name of national security.

Obama’s agenda includes actually making America a more just and affluent nation, therefore he underplays efforts against terrorism while actually stepping up the battle, so people will also pay attention to things like health care.

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Pure unadulturated troll sputum.

highhopes on January 4, 2010 at 12:49 PM

In the eyes of leftists…

We are at war with
- Fox News
- Tea Parties
- Rasumssen

We have a slight disagreement with
– Iran
– Osama
– Al Qaeda

angryed on January 4, 2010 at 12:49 PM

OmahaConservative on January 4, 2010 at 11:43 AM

OC, thanks for that video. May it go viral.

ConservativeTony on January 4, 2010 at 12:50 PM

angryed on January 4, 2010 at 12:49 PM

spot on

cmsinaz on January 4, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Bleeds Blue=No Clue

1921 C DRUM on January 4, 2010 at 12:52 PM

The buck stops in the Oval Office.

Except for your man who has not taken responsibility for a single misstep he or his administration has taken.

Cheney is a bitter and paranoid old man whose comments are ludicrous on their face. If he knew a damn thing about winning wars, he might have won one when he was in power. Obama has stepped up as needed and is running a broader, more intelligent war against terror than the previous administration did.

Iraq was very close to being completely defeated even at the beginning. Liberal newspapers and liberal politicians are as much to blame for the resurgence in hostilities as anything through their very words and actions. With every condemnation against the Bush Administration with every accusation, they gave the insurgents the impetus to go on. You side pretty much told them, hey, just stay in the news and you could win this. You blow up a vehicle or two every day and that’s what we’ll print in our papers. We’ll ignore or even outright ridicule your countries most momentous events; like peaceful elections and a constitutional referendum. But we’ll cover the American war dead numbers like a score board that we’ll lick our chops over as we celebrate a new death toll milestone. We’ll even turn on our own men and women to get at this bastard in the White House. We’ll accuse them of war crimes and say that their behavior is Bush’s fault. Your side told them to fight on. You side showed them that we were absolutely split politically and that returning to power was more important than the war. Your side as much as anything else turned an almost certain victory to something that we nearly lost. And by the way, we’ve won in Iraq and we did it before your sorry excuse for a CinC even won his primary.

And, more on topic, Beinart makes some excellent points. We won’t win this war simply by killing people.

And we won’t win it by making impossible ROEs to abide by and getting me and my men killed either.

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Sir, the bottom line is you and your side know nothing of war. You know nothing of evil people. When you can look to comments here and see people you hate, but can look to the most wretched murderers in the world and see people you want to reach out to you doom yourself to ultimate extinction.

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Pure unadulturated troll sputum.

highhopes on January 4, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Such eloquent rebuttal.

The way to win is by using military force sparingly, and massively leveraging America’s greatest assets, which are economic, diplomatic, and ideological.

I hate to say this…but we have exactly NONE of those assets in sufficient amounts to have any leverage over Iran.

Economic assets? WTH? We’re in debt to the tune of trillions, enough that our military efforts could be halted by an economic collapse if we have to pay the piper in the next few years.

The only diplomacy they listen to is the sound of gunfire, something we have neither the will nor the resources to deliver as our forces are tied up trying to ‘nation-build’ Iraq and Afghanistan.

And as for ideological, our respective mindsets are utterly alien to each other. They see our way of life as abhorrent and we theirs.

Dark-Star on January 4, 2010 at 12:56 PM

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 12:54 PM

+1,000,000

As always, we’ve got your six.

kingsjester on January 4, 2010 at 12:57 PM

We won’t win this war simply by killing people.

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:29 PM

What do you mean, “we,” Keemo-sabe?

james23 on January 4, 2010 at 12:59 PM

“our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred

So you went from being at war on a tactic of the enemy to being at war with a violent emotion. As long as you steer clear of Islam you will stave off unpleasantness but continue losing.

BL@KBIRD on January 4, 2010 at 1:00 PM

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Hawk, You are talking to someone who thinks that not living in a city makes you a redneck… no matter who you are or what you do.

The guy doesn’t understand life in rural communities, where people get their food nor the fact that it is people like you or I that take care of each other when the going gets tough.

Bleeds is just another CityBilly Bumpkin… dumb as the days are long in the summer.

upinak on January 4, 2010 at 1:00 PM

kingsjester on January 4, 2010 at 12:57 PM

DITTO!!

give ‘em hell hawkdriver!!!!

cmsinaz on January 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM

We won’t win this war simply by killing people.

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:29 PM

But we’ll definitely lose it if we don’t kill those who need it.

thomasaur on January 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM

President Obama is fighting terrorism more broadly and, arguably, more intelligently than the Bush-Cheney administration ever did. He has escalated the war in Afghanistan (which was being lost before last January) expanded U.S. actions in Pakistan and Yemen and acted to in symbolic ways to calm anti-U.S. sentiment in the Muslim world.

How’s that working out? Mr. Undeprants Bomber sure didn’t seem to think all of Obama’s apologizing for America mattered very much. This is such a nice theory, and it would be wonderful if humility and symbolism would really make these people close up their bomb-making workshops. But there is not a shred of evdience that it has, or will.

Bush and Cheney worked to define their administration by the war on terror because 1) they had to cover their failure on 9/11 2) it played well politically for them 3) it gave them excuses for their extra-Constitutional “unified executive” theory of governance, in which the President can assume unregulated power in the name of national security.

And how did that work out for them? What happened to that permanent Republican majority? What about that 2008 election that Bush was suppsedly going to cancel in the name of national security? Where are all the political prisoners the Bush Regime was supposedly going to throw in jail in the name of national security? Your stale talking points fail once again to provide a shred of evidence that your theory actually worked. The hyperbolic shrieking about Bush’s “unified executive” approach looks rather silly now that we have a President who actually has unilaterally taken over the automobile, banking, and mortgage industries, doesn’t it?

Obama’s agenda includes actually making America a more just and affluent nation, therefore he underplays efforts against terrorism while actually stepping up the battle, so people will also pay attention to things like health care.

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM

This I believe. But it sure doesn’t make me feel safe.

rockmom on January 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM

From what you said I think the only intelligent information we can get out of this piece is that the writers at The Daily Beast can’t correctly form an opinion and write about it.

Rbastid on January 4, 2010 at 1:02 PM

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 12:54 PM

I guess you next ROE will be dumping money out of the helicopter. Bribes seem to be the weapon of choice for the current administration…..and their little dogs to.

Cindy Munford on January 4, 2010 at 1:03 PM

I understand your duty to country and duty to your mission. But if it comes down to it, screw the ROE, we want our military home ALIVE!

PappaMac on January 4, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Seconded.

If your hands are tied too much, I’d much rather you come home alive, sane, and in one piece than die for a campaign that may become a moot point at any moment.

Dark-Star on January 4, 2010 at 12:33 PM

If I am no longer allowed to use “escalation of force” effectively because we are no longer allowed to fire warning shots, I may not have a choice.

I am faced with trying to accomplish a very specific mission which must be taken through very exact steps to be legally executed under the articles of war and they’ve taken the one step I can use to show the enemy we mean business without actually engaging them directly. I am deprived of the small chance of prosecuting the maneuver by making him surrender before he decides to fire. I am not even sure how to legally try to do that mission now.

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Obama’s agenda includes actually making America a more just and affluent nation
Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM

By bankrupting it?

By devaluing the dollar?

By destroying the private sector?

By nationalizing industry?

daesleeper on January 4, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Bush and Cheney worked to define their administration by the war on terror because 1) they had to cover their failure on 9/11 2) it played well politically for them 3) it gave them excuses for their extra-Constitutional “unified executive” theory of governance, in which the President can assume unregulated power in the name of national security.
Obama’s agenda includes actually making America a more just and affluent nation, therefore he underplays efforts against terrorism while actually stepping up the battle, so people will also pay attention to things like health care.

Bleeds Blue on January 4, 2010 at 12:14 PM

I have been waiting for a mention of the “unified executive” theory (more properly called the “unitary executive” theory) as it pertained to the prior administration.

If this theory (which holds that not-specifically-excluded powers of the executive branch devolve to them in cases of extreme urgency) is considered wrong by progressives, how then do you justify:
1. The takeovers of GM and Chrysler, and the attendant b!itch-slapping of their bondholders.
2. The continuing use of extraordinary rendition by this administration.
3. The appointment of unaccountable czars, in numbers that dwarf all previous admininstrations.
4. Drone incursions into countries that we are not in a declared state of war with (unless you think the present administrations accepts, and finds useful, one tenet of the Bush doctrine)

The current administration has grabbed more power, in the name of crisis management, than the Bush administration dreamed of…

Your hypocrisy is showing.

massrighty on January 4, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Cindy Munford on January 4, 2010 at 1:03 PM

My doorgunners kidded today about throwing rocks at windshields after I briefed my unit on the change.

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Using “war” in the context of poverty, cancer, and drugs cheapens the term and makes it much too broad for application in a variety of efforts. Later in the piece, Beinart states that only those who have been impacted by foreign wars and foreign attacks understand the death, destruction, and horror of actual war, and if we understood that much, we wouldn’t apply the term to the present conflict or domestic issues like poverty.

Huh does he want us to use “Police Action” like Vietnam? SNICKER.

Dr Evil on January 4, 2010 at 1:08 PM

What do you mean, “we,” Keemo-sabe?

james23 on January 4, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Ronald Reagan had a term for people like Bleeds Blue- Pastel Patriot.

highhopes on January 4, 2010 at 1:09 PM

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Do the terrorists have the White House Red Phone number to call Obama if they think they were shot at wrong and want to “tell on someone”?

Good grief Hawk. I feel for you

upinak on January 4, 2010 at 1:11 PM

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Spot on.Look how the left whines about the Tea Party movement being”Anti-american,borderline treasonous,hateful,etc etc”(that includes Big Media and top dems).
Yet when they said Bush lied,he betrayed this country,compared him to hitler,”This war is lost”,”Screw ‘em”,compared our troops to nazi’s,”General Betray-us”,called them murderers,”airraiding women and children”,etc etc.Hey,that was when “Dissent was Patriotic”.The former is just about politics,the latter extended the war,cost more lives than it should have,emboldened our enemies,and put citizens in danger.
The former are fed up citizens exercizing their rights.The latter were top Dems,Top media outlets,and “mainstream” lib groups.

theTarCzar on January 4, 2010 at 1:12 PM

My doorgunners kidded today about throwing rocks at windshields after I briefed my unit on the change.

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Good Lord.

Would pneumatic rock-shooters be too hard to build and deploy? I’m not even kidding.

Dark-Star on January 4, 2010 at 1:14 PM

hawkdriver on January 4, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Good Lord. Not only do you have to dodge bullets from the front, but also knives from the back.

DAMN!

PappaMac on January 4, 2010 at 1:14 PM

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