Saturday, February 24, 2007

Bin Laden no big deal

The Army's highest-ranking officer says getting bin Laden is not important.
"So we get him, and then what?" asked Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the outgoing Army chief of staff, at a Rotary Club of Fort Worth luncheon. "There's a temporary feeling of goodness, but in the long run, we may make him bigger than he is today.
I agree with that. Any psychological advantage to killing him was lost years ago and getting him "dead or alive" now would only elevate Osama to legendary martyrdom and probably inspire legions of new recruits anxious to avenge his death. But here's the quote that rankles.
Schoomaker pointed to the capture of Saddam Hussein, the killings of his sons, Uday and Qusay, and the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as evidence that the capture or death of al-Qaeda's leader would have little effect on threats to the United States.
Excuse me, but my attention span isn't quite so short that I don't remember all of these guys being held up by the White House at one time or another as the bogeymen that justified the continuing occupation of Iraq. We had to take them out in order to bring peace and posperity to Iraq and protect the homeland from "terrorist types." Now he's admitting they were straw men thrown up to bamboozle Americans into supporting the war?

Schoomaker merely echoes Cheney who last year remarked that taking out Osama wouldn't solve the problem of terrorism.
"He's not the only source of the problem, obviously. . . . If you killed him tomorrow, you'd still have a problem with al-Qaeda," the vice president said.
I'd agree with that as well but it does raise the question that if killing the kingpins doesn't solve the problem, how does killing the lowly henchmen under them do any more good? It's simply not possible to kill every single AQ member. Which raises the further question, how then can the White House justify escalating our presence in Iraq in order to "fight terrorists there," rather than bringing our troops home in order to bolster our defenses here?

The fact is we're not fighting terrorists in Iraq. We're acting as referees in a civil war. You don't have to be a military tactician to see the folly in deploying the bulk of our military might into that role rather than employing them in our own defense. At the least, our National Guard should be immediately brought home to do the job they signed up for -- defending the nation and our regular troops should be redeployed to where they would be fighting real terrorists, instead of being burdened with the impossible task of preventing the Iraqis from killing each other.

[cross posted to The Reaction]
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4 Comments:

Anonymous rockync said...

Seems like it would have been much more productive if we had kept our troops at home and put them all to work ferreting out illegal aliens who were part of terrorist cells in this country and using them to tighten security at our ports of entry. At least then the Patriot Act might have made some sense. We had the sympathy and support of the world. We could have used this to condemn Al Q for their unprovoked attack and demanded that Pakistan and Afghanistan clean their own houses. So much killing and to what end? I can't say I feel any safer today than I did on 9/11.

9:03:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I feel less safe myself Rocky.

10:26:00 PM  
Anonymous romunov said...

I probably said this, but I'll say it again. Go to the FBI page - www.fbi.gov, click on "Wanted by the FBI" and check out "Most wanted terrorists". Read the "bio" they have on Osama. Show me where exactly do they seek his ass for the 9/11 bombing.

I'm not trying to be a smart ass, I'm just pointing out something the FBI has admited - they've got nothing.

3:14:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

That's so true Romunov. That's why they're downplaying him now.

4:26:00 PM  

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