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That quote really typifies why America is great. I wish I could write that more eloquently.
This is the system which he fought so hard against. This is the system he pledged his life to destroy. Buyer's remorse, Salim?
That quote really typifies the fundamental error made by Bush when he chose to wage a vicious war until the last person with anti-American attitudes is dead, dead, dead.That quote really typifies the tragedy that is the Bush Administration.Yes Simple Simon, the pen is mightier than the sword. Isn't that why you became a lawyer?
"Fought so hard against"? "Pledged his life to destroy"?You must know a lot more about Hamdan than the rest of us.Getting tips from the Bush intelligence community, Simon?
You must know a lot more about Hamdan than the rest of us.That was my reaction too. The guy's a chauffeur/bodyguard. Probably was thrilled to get a job driving a rich guy around. Whether or not he was conspiring to do anything else has yet to be shown in court.
Yeah, Simon, where did you get the preposterous notion that al Qaeda wants to kill Americans and destroy our system? (s/o).
Joe - I don't know what I could have been thinking. ;)
Yeah Simon, help a brother out! "Driving Bin Laden"I'm sure he got the job because he was good behind the wheel.Like that poor guy from France that went on vacation to Afghanistan with his brother and got caught up in the WOT, just another innocent victum.
Note to Ann, an interesting post would be your analysis of Sun Tzu. What would he say about how the Administration and you are fighting this war?
"This is the system which he fought so hard against. This is the system he pledged his life to destroy."That's what makes it such great PR for the rule of law.
I don't think Hollywood is going to be casting "Driving Bin Laden" for a while.Joe, are we talking about AQ or about Hamdan? I'm sure a chauffeur/bodyguard was a vital cog in the AQ organization, but as I said already, how he was a conspirator has yet to be shown in a court of law. Perhaps you and Simon know more than the rest of us, however.
Am I missing something here? The decision doesn't free the prisoner, it doesn't save him from trial -- Congress can pass a law granting the President the authority to create the trials -- and it actually prolongs his detainment and opens the possibility that he'll be detained indefinitely. Just because the decision can be read as a rebuke of the President's creation of military commisions doesn't mean that the actual subject of the issue - Hamdan - gets any advantages out of it; in fact, he appears to royally get the short end of the stick, because trials are now not even on the horizon, and he will have no idea when he gets released. So how exactly is this a victory for this detainee?
America's looking good on the world stage. BDSers can have all the fun they want, but the fact remains that the branches of American government have not only talked the talk, but walked the walk. This president from the get-go has said that his primary job is to protect the American people. Perhaps he should've all along been more explicit that "protection" begins with keeping the physical body alive. Bowing to the primacy of law--once that law is decided--is another form of protection, and anyone listening to the administration's commentary will understand that no one knows this better than the president. But in this case, it has been entirely proper to work from war exigency and let the courts sort out the law.Casting this as a defeat for the administration is as expected as it is way oversimplified.
--idea being that on 911 we realized we were in a deep hole and had to first before anything else try to stop digging--
Jacques: Sun-zi would undoubtedly say something completely unintelligible in ancient Chinese.
"I think he was awe struck that the court would rule for him, and give a little man like him an equal chance."Wow, I'm kind of choked up here. As we speak, George Clooney is rushing that "Mr. Hamdan Goes to Washington" script into production!
Jacques Cuze said..."Note to Ann ... What would [Sun Tzu] say about how the Administration and you [Althouse] are fighting this war?"Somehow I'm not surprised that Quxxo envisages Ann as some sort of Army Drill Sgt. The weird obsession, the compulsive attacks...Yep, this picture is coming into (horrific) focus.
BDSers can have all the fun they wantDon't you mean BSDers?
Spell it out, JC, what's the "D" stand for? Don't spare the wit--
Don't be sexist and simple, Simon, Ann is every bit a member of the fighting 101st keyboarders brigade as you are. It's also clear she outranks you in every way, so becareful or she may not invite you to live in her basement this summer.
It's a throwaway computer joke. Don't worry about it.
JC, your 10:17, I'd break my own fingers before I'd post something so silly.
Hamdan and the rest of the Gitmo prisoners were captured in the field, in arms against the coalition forces. As guerrillas, irregulars, banditti, terrorists, whatever you want to call them, they were subject to summary execution under traditional laws of war. We chose not to, most likely to try gaining intelligence from them.I would think Hamdan, as bin Laden's driver, was in a position of trust, given that he would have been privy to conversations in Osama's Benz.He is just as much a jihadist as any other al Qaeda, and probably more so than most.
JC, your 10:17, I'd break my own fingers before I'd post something so silly.Ooh, be careful with that, I wouldn't want you to harm your dick.
The quote is why the West loves Western thought, and why Islamofascists (and before them, the Soviets) think we are weak, easily defeated, and deserve to be destroyed.1. I very much doubt Hamdan is any less guilty than the getaway driver in a bank robbery. Please, don't think me so stupid as to believe he's a mere cabby. 2. The left still thinks the law and lawyers can somehow save the West, that strictly adhering to our rule of law, even when dealing with people who mean to dismantle it by any means necessary, puts us above it all. In my view, he's no different than the man who murders his parents, and then asks for mercy because he's an orphan.3. Our lumping of anarchic fascist combatants in with common criminals (trial by jury vs. firing squad) maybe makes us virtuous to the West, but just Useful Idiots to the combatants. It's al Qaeda's version of the West willing to sell the Soviets the rope by which they'd hang us.4. They'll use our laws to defeat us if necessary. Don't kid yourself that Hamdan or his brothers will now gain respect or awe for those laws merely because they weren't killed. It's just another day to plan. This wasn't a victory for the US, I'm afraid.5. In a war, I'll stand by the guys with the guns. You can stand by the attorneys with writs, demanding proof the other guy is a combatant, ...if you so desire.6. JC bot: "YrPrezIsLying, YouCannotWin,Resistance IS Futile" followed by wierd humor attempt that makes you think "ick".
Pogo, I think you are overly optimistic about the allure of Islamofascism. Just as the Soviets crumbled under their own corruption and repression, so too will Islamofascism. When that happens, I prefer that the USA will have remained somewhere that Rule Of Law is something to be proud of, not considered a tool of the enemy.
MadMan, don't forget the part where the Soviet collapse was helped along - considerably - by their inability to compete with us in the arms race. Mr. Reagan's SDI had much to do with it. The USSR would probably still be with us absent that factor, it did not collapse entirely of its own weight. Just as Jihadism will not die without help.
Just as Jihadism will not die without help.You mean like starving them of oil money?
MadisonMan,I think -and fervently hope- you are right. I think I understand the desire to remain as virtuous as possible, and as close to our Western ideals as circumstances permit. For example, while the US had its share of blame for inhumanity in WW2, our record is preferred, I think (Chomsky objection noted), to that of the Soviets, Japanese, and Nazis.But I do not believe our success is a foregone conclusion (nor predestined), so I worry very much about foolish consistency, retaining our virtue but losing the war, fighting by Queensbury rules when our adversary has none, and mistaking the Constitution for a suicide pact.Nevertheless, I hope you are correct.
I think I understand the desire to remain as virtuous as possible, and as close to our Western ideals as circumstances permit.Many of us would argue that our free and open society, transparent government, civil liberties, free speech, freedom to perform research, science, meritocracy is how we obtained and maintain our position of strength.No surprise Pogo to find that you are so lilly livered and foolish as to abandon our society for the awesome good looks of a brute wielding a sword.
I worry very much about foolish consistency, retaining our virtue but losing the war, fighting by Queensbury rules when our adversary has none, and mistaking the Constitution for a suicide pact.Well put; Pogo draws a line where our internal disagreements have to be articulated again and again, as Americans try to define where exactly we believe consistency becomes foolish rather than effective and principled, where virtue is needlessly set by out of fear or where it helps delineate our way of life in our own eyes and to the eyes of the world. I'm with MadisonMan in believing that when Islamofascism dies under its own weight, and our concrete and abstract resistance, we better be standing on the right side of our ideals, but I recognize the value of a dynamic, sometimes confrontational debate on how those ideals are best preserved. In this case, I'm happy to see our court play its role. I'm not as sanguine as Buddy that this administration is always acting in good faith, but I'm open to persuasion, as events unfold.
Many of us would argue that our free and open society, transparent government, civil liberties, free speech, freedom to perform research, science, meritocracy is how we obtained and maintain our position of strength.To me, that argues more strongly against Liberalism, especially as practiced in academia, than it does the Bush Administrations attempts, albeit clumsy at times, at defending the nation.
What makes the quote even better is that it is from Hamdan's Navy lawyer -- Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift. The fact that military-assigned defense lawyer took his charge this seriously is a credit to America as well. I know where Simon is coming from but I think MadisonMan's first comment is on the money.
Via Kos:Guardian finds Afghan witnesses US couldn'tDeclan Walsh in GardezThe US government said it could not find the men that Guantánamo detainee Abdullah Mujahid believes could help set him free. The Guardian found them in three days.Two years ago the US military invited Mr Mujahid, a former Afghan police commander accused of plotting against the United States, to prove his innocence before a special military tribunal. As was his right, Mr Mujahid called four witnesses from Afghanistan.But months later the tribunal president returned with bad news: the witnesses could not be found. Mr Mujahid's hopes sank and he was returned to the wire-mesh cell where he remains today.The Guardian searched for Mr Mujahid's witnesses and found them within three days. One was working for President Hamid Karzai. Another was teaching at a leading American college. The third was living in Kabul. The fourth, it turned out, was dead. Each witness said he had never been approached by the Americans to testify in Mr Mujahid's hearing. Whether Congress in the end officially authorizes the military tribunals, directs the cases into the U.S. justice system or uses the court-martial template, the kind of shoddy and quarter-hearted attempts to locate witnesses and evidence on display in the Guardian story make a mockery of the ideal of justice. Perhaps while Congressional Republicans are busy coming up with CYA options for the Bush administration, they could also legislate a requirement to supply a vigorous and thorough defense.Otherwise, like so many things the Bush administration tackles, no matter what the venue or rules decided upon by legislators, it's all only window dressing.Please don't tell me So it appears that Bush was seeking a way to get these guys their day in court but were thwarted by SCOTUS.Try not telling me how virtuous we are, or how we are endangering ourselves through foolish consistency.You could tell me why Conservatards hate and fear our Constitution though.
Kirk: Liberty and freedom have to be more than just words.Kirk: Look at these three words written larger than all the rest, and with special pride never written before or since -- tall words, proudly saying "We the people" .. these words and the words that follow ... must apply to everyone or they mean nothing.Sirah: Yes, it is written. Good shall always destroy evil.Cloud William: ... freedom ... is a worship word...Kirk: It is our worship word too.
Henry, that Navy Commander has been interviewed here and there on tv over the last few days, and is a very impressive spokesman for the system itself. He said it took awhile before his client would trust him, because the whole notion of a government defense lawyer was just so utterly alien.
Here it is: Do you understand?
Lt. Cmdr Swift is the real story. For all the America haters, would you recieve this opportunity in NK or Iran?
Freedom isn't free."our free and open society, transparent government, civil liberties, free speech, freedom to perform research, science, meritocracy is how we obtained and maintain our position of strength."Well, not exactly. We maintain it by being ready to defend it. We won our freedom from England by shedding blood. We ended slavery and preserved the Union by means of war. So the nice platitude by JC is empty and meaningless. Our system is strong enough to withstand the temporary sacrifices of a degree of liberty necessary to preserve it. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus; the nation survived.
Re: "In this case, I'm happy to see our court play its role."As am I. As with political races, it's always nice to see that, even in losing, swords aren't drawn, and the streets aren't stormed. Just the thought, "well, tomorrow then".The differences I see are, as you seem to say, more about where to draw the line, rather than whether to do so. And saying here rather than there does not define one as unpatriotic, racist, weak, murderous, frightened, or a war criminal...As for "the awesome good looks of a brute" .... Do tell. Got anyone in mind?
Lonely Victory for U.S. Navy Lawyer -- Convinced that denying his Yemeni client Geneva Convention rights posed a dangerous precedent, the officer bucked military brass. By Carol J. Williams, Times Staff WriterJune 30, 2006After more than 100 meetings at the remote U.S. naval base in southeastern Cuba, Swift said, he and Hamdan have developed a trusting relationship, and he would gladly represent the Yemeni in any future trial, military or civilian.Colleagues attributed the high court ruling to what they considered to be Swift's determination to protect the integrity of U.S. jurisprudence against a Pentagon bent on retribution for terrorism attacks on U.S. forces."It took exceptional courage. He had to risk himself being alienated from the larger military establishment," said David Scheffer, law professor and director of the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern University. "He must have known when he took this on that he was risking his career, and sadly he may have done that within the U.S. Navy."Though Swift's successful challenge of the tribunal's legitimacy will probably open doors in the private sector and academia for the Navy lawyer, Scheffer said, Swift has reportedly been passed over for promotion."It was a gutsy move, and he did it with complete dedication and devotion to the cause," Benjamin Sharp of the Washington office of Perkins Coie said of Swift, with whom the Seattle-based law firm collaborated in Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld.Sharp speculated that Swift's military career was probably damaged by his defense of Hamdan, a possibility the naval lawyer also alluded to."I love the military. I love my career and I'm proud of it," Swift said, noting he would be eligible for early retirement in nine months and would leave the Navy unless he was promoted. "One thing that has been a great revelation for me is that you may love the military, but it doesn't necessarily love you."How many of you lawyers would sacrifice your career and pension for your client and your own vow to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic... that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter. So help me God.
Sun-tzu : Warfare is the greatest affair of state, the basis of life an death, the Way to survival or extinction.Sun-tzu takes pre-emptive war for granted, the only limits being the agressors realistic ability to win.I like this one: "Do not rely on their not attacking, but depend on us having an unassailable position"And this is nice:"Thus generals have five dangerous attributes: One committed to dying can be slain. One committed to living can be captured. One angered and hasty can be insulted. One obsessed with being scrupulous and untainted can be shamed. One who loves the people can be troubled.Now these five dangerous traits are excesses in a general, potential for disaster for employing the army. The army's destruction and the general's death with invariably step from these five, so they must be investigated."Oh, and special for the news media... "Warfare is the Way of deception. Thus although capable, display incapability to them. When committed to employing your forces, feign inactivity." and "These are teh ways military strategists are victorious. They can not be spoken of in advance."On spies, Sun-tzu can't imagine the technology of today but is very clear about the absolute necessity of spies. "Thus of all the Three Armies' affairs no relationship is closer than with spies; no rewards are more generous than those given to spies, no affairs are more secret than those pertaining to spies." Getting intelligent spies and good information "is the essence of the military, what the Three Armies rely on to move."And lest we forget... "If before the mission has begun it has already been exposed, the spy and those he informed should all be put to death."What point did you want to make about Sun-tzu?
Synova--I may be totally off base, but I doubt seriously if our friend Jacques has read Sun-tzu. That was simply a throw-away line.
One flattering quote by an alleged terrorist should not exonerate him.This is typical of the liberal patronism of terrorists - that they are noble savages, with simple hearts and simple minds, whose hatred of America can be corrected with grace and understanding.Terrorists aren't stupid. This is a well-placed, self-interested quote. We have over-estimated their humanity for far too long, to disastrous consequences.While it is in the nature of good men to be generous, this is one instance where our charitability would be tragically mistaken.
RogerA, I'm sure you're right. Sun-tzu is great, though. "The Art of War" is almost entirely about abstract principles. He wasn't instructing how to fight "this" war, but common principles to fight any war. Because of that most of it makes almost as much sense now, even with the huge technological differences involved.The most important factor to victory in The Art of War is what I interpret as national will (Sun-tzu places this in the person of the ruler.) So many people today act like the will to prevail is irrelevant so that undermining that will to prevail is without consequence.(And, argh... I'm looking at all the typos. Why do fingers just type whatever the heck they want to type so that whole words come out different words?)
SUN TSU MAKES THE ARGUMENT THAT BUSH IS A GREAT WARRIORA military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective.SUN TSU ON THE OUTING OF VALERIE PLAMEOf all those in the army close to the commander none is more intimate than the secret agent; of all rewards none more liberal than those given to secret agents; of all matters none is more confidential than those relating to secret operationsSUN TSU ON BUSH'S FUNDAMENTAL INCOMPETENCEKnow thy enemy and know thyself, find naught in fear for 100 battles. Know thyself but not thy enemy, find level of loss and victory. Know thy enemy but not thyself, wallow in defeat every timeThe general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdomThe general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehandSUN TSU ON BUSH'S INCOMPETENCE IN WAR ON TERRAThus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy.And therefore those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him.For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skillNow the reason the enlightened prince and the wise general conquer the enemy whenever they move and their achievements surpass those of ordinary men is foreknowledgeThe good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfareSUN TSU ON FAILING TO ACT IN TORA BORAWhen the enemy is at ease, be able to weary him; when well fed, to starve him; when at rest, to make him move. Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy's unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where he has taken no precautions.SUN TSU ON ABU GHRAIB AND GITMOIf words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, the general is to blame. But if his orders ARE clear, and the soldiers nevertheless disobey, then it is the fault of their officers.A leader leads by example not by force.SUN TSU ON PROVIDING ENOUGH TROOPS, MATERIEL, ARMORA skilled commander seeks victory from the situation and does not demand it of his subordinates.SUN TSU ON FIRING ARABIC TRANSLATORS BECAUSE THEY ARE GAYTo know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.SUN TSU ON FIRING THE ENTIRE IRAQI ARMYTo a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape.Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.SUN TSU ON GIVING OUT SO MANY MEDAL OF FREEDOM AWARDS TO INCOMPETENT BUSH ADVISORSToo frequent rewards indicate that the general is at the end of his resources; too frequent punishments that he is in acute distress.SUN TSU ON BUSH's INCOMPETENCE IN IRAQWhat is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operationsVictorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victoriousHence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.SUN TSU ON LIBERALISMThe more you read and learn, the less your adversary will know.SUN TSU ON ILLEGAL WIRETAPPING OF AMERICAN CITIZENSKeep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
This is typical of the liberal patronism of terrorists - that they are noble savages, with simple hearts and simple minds, whose hatred of America can be corrected with grace and understanding.Your average liberal believes we should have killed Osama Bin Laden at Tora Bora.Your average rethuglican congressman wants to give amnesty to Iraqi insurgents that killed Americans.
Video from C&L: Lt. CMDR. Charles Swift speaks out: LT. CMDR. CHARLES SWIFT, SALIM AHMED HAMDAN‘S LAWYER: At stake was the rule of law. The president had staked out a position that was contrary both to international law and to our domestic statutes in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. What the court did was say that even the president has to follow the law. And that if we‘re going to try people, we‘re going to do it under the law, not under an ad hoc system.MATTHEWS: ... Let me ask you, do you believe that people who fight us as terrorists deserve Geneva Convention treatment?SWIFT: It‘s not whether they deserve it or not. It‘s how we conduct ourselves. It has to do where if we say that our opponent can cause us not to follow the rules anymore, then we‘ve lost who we are. We‘re the good guys. We‘re the guys who follow the rule and the people we fight are the bad guys and we show that every day when we follow the rules, regardless of what they do. It‘s what sets us apart. It‘s what makes us great and in my mind, it‘s what makes us undefeatable, ultimately.
"SUN TSU ON FIRING THE ENTIRE IRAQI ARMYTo a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape.Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across."How does sending the Iraqi army home equate to not allowing them to escape? "Your average rethuglican congressman wants to give amnesty to Iraqi insurgents that killed Americans."Which would actually seem to apply to allowing a way to retreat rather than creating desperate ground for the enemy. Which would be, you know, bad.Seriously, jacques, I think you just made all this stuff up.
SUN TSU ON FIRING THE ENTIRE IRAQI ARMYTo a surrounded enemy, you must leave a way of escape.Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.Sun Tsu is not advocating that you leave them untouched and ready able to fight you another day. He is saying don't make them fight to the finish.If you have captured an army, you don't send them home with no jobs with their guns, and no ability to work in the new Iraq, rather you keep them in their barracks and feed them, pay them, make them rebuild the country and retrain them. That would be the golden bridge that you want them to escape across.Speaking about giving amnesty at this point to insurgents that shoot and kill Americans gives insurgents an incentive to shoot and kill Americans and not an incentive to put down their weapons.When the insurgents and you are in talks, and their is a provisional cease fire, and both sides are taking actions that establish some amount of trust, then maybe you can talk about amnesty for PAST actions, and certainly not amnesty for FUTURE actions.So Synova, how did the Air Force work out for you?
Damn, if only we had JC in the Pentagon--this li'l ole wawuh would all wapped up by now.
Disbanding the Iraqi military is one of those things that might actually be a legitimate criticism. It certainly had it's downsides, though the impossibility of going back and trying it the *other* way means that we can't find out if the anticipated problems of leaving the military intact would have been less... or more.Which is how a person can separate valid criticism from invalid criticism. Valid criticism takes into account that each possible choice has upsides and downsides and that it's a matter of best-guessing the future and chosing one or the other.The idea that Sun-tzu's advice to leave the enemy with a way of retreat dictates the nature of that retreat in 2003 is just silly.The Air Force worked very well for me, thank you, though Clinton was paying people to leave so I decided to stay home and have babies. Not that it's relevant to anything whatsoever. It's not as though a Communications Operator would be involved with policy. (I do, however, whole heartedly recommend military service to anyone who qualifies. It's something very different from anything else you will ever do.)Anyhow, why is it that people of the political persuasion that claims that the "right" are various sorts of elitist have such a compulsion to look to authority? If I'd never served at all it would be no more relevant than if I was an officer in Iraq as I type.I mean, seriously, jacques, why bring it up?(Buddy, you're quite right... we should send him to fix stuff... pronto.)
well, synova, he IS quite a fighter--he "believes we should have killed OBL at Tora Bora." If only the thousands of genius-IQ military academy graduates in our senior command echelons had been able to make contact with JC! He could've told them that, and then they'd've been able to nail the guy easy. "Tora Bora" is, after all, only a word with 8 letters in it. The whole freaking Himalaya Mountain Range, for that matter, ain't all that tough--it has, what, 20-22 letters in it, max? "Antidisestablishmentarianism" is EVER so much harder. And just try to say "Red Leather Yellow Leather" three times, fast! Or "she sells seashells by the seashore"!
JC-I'm curious, do you have a job?Is there a creepy love thing for ms Althouse?How much more repetitive are you gonna get?
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