US better off with the middle east since 9/11?

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Postby el3so » Sat May 06, 2006 11:29 am

Someone else already said it better http://www.exile.ru/2005-July-28/victor_hanson.html
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Postby Qwazy Wabbit » Sat May 06, 2006 1:17 pm

It takes a very special perspective to write an article about progress made since 9/11 and never mention the name 'Bin Laden' once. Surely the US failure to capture the mastermind behind the attacks is enormously damaging. It shows the clear limitations of US power, just as the attacks themselves vividly displayed the country's vulnerability. Some dusty training camps have been destroyed in Afghanistan but do people really think that the US is safer because they've captured a few old block houses and some well-thumbed CIA manuals from the 1980s?

Of course, the large number of extremely expensive domestic measures that the US has introduced since 9/11 could be regarded as progress. I don't know if the US is genuinely safer because of the Department of Homeland Security, because you can have your phone tapped or because I get my fingerprints taken if I go to Florida on holiday. It's certainly a major ommission from the article.

Instead the article seems a perfect illustration of the failures in the response to 9/11 - It singularly fails to address the fundamental issues. Instead it chooses to focus on totally unrelated countries and claim totally unrelated successes. Libya? Iran? Syria? What do these countries directly have to do with 9/11? Nothing. If I remember correctly, the Iranians held candle-lit vigils in Tehran after the WTC and Pentagon attacks.

Libya is an interesting case in point. Its return from international isolation is indeed indirectly linked to 9/11 but it certainly isn't because of the US military crack-down on Islamic terror - quite the opposite. Libya may have supported terror and Gadaffi may be a bit crazy BUT that was some time ago and, more importantly, he is also a major opponent of Islamic fundamentalism. In the changed world after 9/11, this puts him on the same side as the US and so America has had to swallow its pride and do a deal with someone formally condemned as an international menace. This is eminently sensible and far more effective in combating the threat of Islamic terrorism. This is indeed progress - but it would be naive to think this that it has been achieve by military threats or military action. It is purely a diplomatic triumph and they have been as scarce as the military and political ones since 9/11.
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Postby jamesy » Sat May 06, 2006 3:04 pm

If I remember correctly, the Iranians held candle-lit vigils in Tehran after the WTC and Pentagon attacks.


this reminder highlights the collosal diplomatic breakdown that has occurred with Bush & Co.

My children will pay for it.

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Postby Kurt » Sat May 06, 2006 5:30 pm

It takes a very special perspective to write an article about progress made since 9/11 and never mention the name 'Bin Laden' once.


Now THAT is a good quote Qwazy.

And the war Nerd was right on as well.

To add, I am reading a two volumn set on the History of the Medieval Balkans by John V.A. Fine (a History Proffessor in Ann Arbor Michigan). When you read a real Hsitorian like Fine, you see that things are not all cut out. He will quote sources and then pick the difficult task of finding other sources to see if they lied, or were just biased (he says Croat historians are notorious for ignoring facts whne it comes to their and the Serbian origins).

Of course he is not writing the book to make contemporary compasirons to Empires but hsi work could be used as such. That is why it is pleasant to read such a thorough person who takes on what could be a dangerous topic (dealing with Historical territories in the Balkans ..that is dangeous Hsitory) but he provides sources, he presents alternative claims by other historians. He makes it hard for some future despot to quote his work in context and use it to justify slaughter.

After Fine, Hanson reads like a wind-up toy.

If I can find an online English Translation of Lysenko I bet he would read like Hanson does when compared to Crick and Watson or compared to Sagen, Eisley, Quammen, or Diamond.
Last edited by Kurt on Sat May 06, 2006 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby illman » Sat May 06, 2006 5:36 pm

Hanson addresses the problems that still exist today. It is far from perfect.

However, no one addresses what should have been done after 9/11. Afghanistan has been a success. Iran would be where they are today regardless of 9/11. There has not been an attack on US soil since 9/11. Saddam is gone.

Al-qaeda is operationally stopped, its leadership either dead, in prison or in hiding.

Saddam and much of al-qaeda did not think the USA had the backbone to attack anyone. In particular, Saddam thought the US would abandon ship after it began to suffer casualties. Say what you want, but you don't hear the US referred to as a paper tiger.
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Postby coldharvest » Sat May 06, 2006 5:38 pm

Afghanistan has been a success.

How do you figure that?
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Postby illman » Sat May 06, 2006 6:01 pm

Afghanistan is more stable than it has been in decades.

Afghans are voting. Girls are going to school. Employment is greatly improved. Infrastructure is being rebuilt.
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Postby Kurt » Sat May 06, 2006 6:15 pm

I just chatted with an Afghan and folks who have been there recently last night.

re-built infrastructure was not a theme of the conversations, but what do I know? I have never been there.
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Postby illman » Sat May 06, 2006 6:21 pm

Did they talk about voting?

Missing the old days where public executions were held weekly?
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Postby Mikethehack » Sat May 06, 2006 6:25 pm

Did they talk about the days before the Taliban came when the country was virtually out of control with various clans, militias, armies, bandits and what not trashing the place?
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Postby Kurt » Sat May 06, 2006 6:28 pm

The Movie was about Voteing , yes.

The Poster Spen knows alot more about it than I do, in fact I would guess he is about the closest thing we have as an expert on the Afghan electoral process here on the board.

Some quick issues brought up with the movie that I could get.

1. The purple dye was washable.

2. There was serious voter intimidation

But on the plus side people there seemed to want to get rid of warlordism and have peace (with a few dissenters demanding "strenghth" ) and one guy Spen interviewed wanted to elect a woman, because men had done so poorly leading the country in the past (and he had a point).

Now I suppose to judge if the elections were a sucess , we would have to ask what they were supposed to accomplish and if that goal was achieved. Not exactly an easy question to ask or answer, but Spen could probably come closest to doing so.
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Postby Sri Lanky » Sat May 06, 2006 6:32 pm

The only nations that are better off are Russia,China,Brazil,and India....America's 'competition'.

The EU is essentially the same as they were...they've been dealing with this a lot longer than the US....this is old hat for them.
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