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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill

9.11.2006

Five Years Later, Are We Any Wiser?

That's the real question on the anniversary of 9/11/01.

Aaron Mannes reminds us this type of terrorism began in 1970---with Bill Clinton's pal Yasir Arafat.

Peter Kirsanow knows who's really responsible for America not having been attacked in the past 5 years---the real Jack Bauers.

Mario Loyola reminds us of recent history, undistorted by the LWM or Doris Kearns Goodwin's research assistants.

David French must not be a chickenhawk---he joined the Army at 36. I guess the Lefties will heed him now, right? Right?

James S. Robbins would like to know how "victory" is defined in the GWOT.

Stephen Stalinsky recalls media reaction to 9/11.

Byron York reveals the real Clinton antiterror record. Funny, that's not how Bill Clinton puts it, "obsessed" with Osama as he claimed to be.

Andrew Cline takes on the conspiracy-mongers who see conspiracies everywhere except where they actually occur, in mosque and camp.

Thomas Joscelyn exposes another gang of "see no evil"ers---the Senate.

Philip Klein pulls the curtain back on the Clinton "approach" to counterterrorism:

But despite Clinton's tough talk, that was, in fact, the end of his struggle against terrorism as far as military action was concerned. An astute observer would have gotten a better sense of things to come by listening to Ambassador Bill Richardson justify America's actions to the UN that day. Richardson defended the attacks by saying they were designed to "comply with international law, including the rules of necessity and proportionality." He went on to say that, "It is the sincere hope of the United States government that these limited actions will deter and prevent the repetition of unlawful terrorist attacks against the United States and other countries."

Unfortunately, taking "limited actions" and "hoping" was not an effective policy for deterring terrorist attacks, as America found out all too well on Oct. 12, 2000, when the attack on the U.S.S. Cole killed 17 sailors and wounded 40 more. Clinton, on his way out of office and focused on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, did not respond militarily (he told the 9/11 Commission that there was inadequate evidence pointing to al Qaeda at the time).

The point is not that President Clinton completely ignored the threat of terrorism. More accurately, Clinton confronted it in much the same manner that today's liberals urge President Bush to approach it. The Clinton administration didn't "overreact," it made sure Americans were not too fearful of terrorism, it was conscious of "international law," it limited itself to low-scale military operations and was also actively involved in mediating a negotiated peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Today's liberals want us to withdraw from Iraq out of a belief that the war is un-winnable and counterproductive. But that is precisely the same attitude that prompted the Clinton administration to withdraw from Somalia, an event of which bin Laden said, "our boys were shocked by the low morale of the American soldier and they realized that the American soldier was just a paper tiger."



Jed Babbin would like to see less Monday-morning quarterbacking and more Sunday quarterbacking with the War:

Today will be wasted in measuring one set of blunders against another. Could 9-11 have been prevented? Probably. Have we done everything right in Iraq? Of course not. For the past few days, the media has been consumed by the left's political hysteria over the historical accuracy of a television drama that would -- but for the Clintonistas' whining -- never be viewed on any screen capable of showing NFL football. Variety says ABC's The Path to 9-11 is "scattered and a little plodding." Well, so was the Clinton White House, and so is the way the Bush administration has fought this war for half a decade. Every ounce of energy squandered on recriminations would be better used to steer the path from the fifth anniversary of 9-11 to the tenth.


Christopher Hitchens, as usual, doesn't like creamy Oprahisms:

The time for commemoration lies very far in the future. War memorials are erected when the war is won. At the moment, anyone who insists on the primacy of September 11, 2001, is very likely to be accused--not just overseas but in this country also--of making or at least of implying a "partisan" point. I debate with the "antiwar" types almost every day, either in print or on the air or on the podium, and I can tell you that they have been "war-weary" ever since the sun first set on the wreckage of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and on the noble debris of United Airlines 93. These clever critics are waiting, some of them gleefully, for the moment that is not far off: the moment when the number of American casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq will match or exceed the number of civilians of all nationalities who were slaughtered five years ago today. But to the bored, cynical neutrals, it also comes naturally to say that it is "the war" that has taken, and is taking, the lives of tens of thousands of other civilians. In other words, homicidal nihilism is produced only by the resistance to it! If these hacks were honest, and conceded the simple truth that it is the forces of the Taliban and of al Qaeda in Mesopotamia that are conducting a Saturnalia of murder and destruction, they would have to hide their faces and admit that they were not "antiwar" at all.


Michael Ledeen remembers the death of his good friend (and wife of U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson) Barbara Olson and gets angry:

Certainly nobody in my house has reverted, and my sense of the American people is that they have not either. But many of our opposition leaders, journalists, broadcasters, and editors, and, apparently, the overwhelming majority of the professoriate, clearly have. Otherwise it would not be possible for them to actively undermine the war. It is wrong to say they have forgotten the significance of 9/11, because they never grasped it. For them, patriotism has always been unworthy of sophisticates like themselves, and fighting enemies on foreign battlefields is something that rubes and rednecks do. They understand neither the world nor their fellow countrymen. They think we can achieve peace by being nice–did you hear Senator Biden prattling on and on about the need to talk to our Iranian enemies?—and they don’t know that our commissioned officers are college graduates, many of them from the best universities. I doubt more than a small fraction of leading journalists know that you need a college degree to get a Marine commission. Their ignorance about, and contempt for our military, fester beneath the surface of their reportage.

How I wish Barbara Olson had the chance to confront them, live and in color. She knew them well, these self-satisfied, self-indulgent ignoramuses whose misunderstanding of the world was acquired at overpriced universities and at elegant dinner tables where they dined with like-minded people. How she would have ridiculed them and their alma maters, the Harvards, Georgetowns, Virginias and Chicagos who have just given their stages to Mohammed Khatami, the mass murderer who is pimping for the evil regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

She would not restrict her acid wit to those schools. She would also direct it at an administration that has failed so miserably to explain the urgency we need to destroy her murderers. She would surely demand an accounting from all those who signed off on Khatami’s visa. How could you? she would ask. You know–you say all the time–that Iran is the greatest supporter of the terrorists. You know–everybody knows–that the villains who organized my murder found sanctuary and support in Iran when they slinked out of Afghanistan. How could you then open our country to its former president? Have you no shame?

I have plenty of time to listen to constructive criticism of our war strategy; I have done plenty of it myself. I crave revenge, as do most Americans. But I have no time for the fools and fabricators who invert reality, who warn that the greatest threat to a decent world is a bloodthirsty America that is actively planning an invasion of Iran, when the truth is that this administration is so feckless that it will not even support the millions of freedom fighters already there.


We should all be this angry. We should hate the enemy with white-hot fury for what they did, what they are doing, and what they intend to do. The time for "understanding", for "tolerance", for "exchange" is after we have won, not before. Once they have laid down their arms, surrendered, and forever cast aside terror and jihad, then we can display all the magnaminity that Americans are renowned for. That comes later.

Now, we need to kill them painfully and in great number. That is how to eliminate the threat they pose.

Until we find our spines, we will not this war. And until we win this war, we dare not show mercy or compassion to our enemies.

For those of you who can't figure out who they are, review the 9/11 footage and write down the names of the areas where people danced in the streets to footage of the Towers falling. They are our enemies.

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