September 22, 2010

Obama to Bob Woodward: "We can absorb a terrorist attack... even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."

From Woodward's new book.

Obama also said that of course, he's trying to prevent any attacks, but his point about absorbing whatever hits us and getting stronger... it's true, isn't it?

If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.


It's true, right?

Classier version of the same: "What does not destroy me, makes me stronger."

(Hey, check it out: "Twilight of the Idols" has a Facebook page.)

AND: Make the Althouse blog stronger. Use this link if you buy the Woodward book.

252 comments:

1 – 200 of 252   Newer›   Newest»
Triangle Man said...

Damn straight!

Rialby said...

Uhh, it does not make us stronger. It makes us weaker. Creative destruction is a fallacy.

As for the - we can absorb these hits - I've heard this same argument from this side before. A friend shared this thought with me back in 2004 or so. He suggested that 9/11 wasn't that big of a deal because it only cost 3,000 lives and that number wasn't that high. I guess he was using Mao accounting.

exhelodrvr1 said...

So by 2012 we should all be supermen

Rialby said...

When I said, creative destruction is a fallacy, I meant that suggesting we become stronger when destroying capital and human lives is a fallacious argument.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Let’s be honest, shall we, 50,000 thousand people a year die in auto accidents, what was 3,000 dead on 9/11? After all, tens of thousands died of typhoid and diphtheria in the 1930’s, what were the losses of pearl Harbor as compared to that? I say our focus should have been/needs to be/andmust remain on domestic inequalities and social justice.

Mark O said...

So this is national defense? Obama lacks the imagination to contemplate a different, more lethal attack. He chooses to let Iran get the bomb but contain it. He would prefer not to take the fight to the religion of peace but to rely on the country's ability to absorb death and destruction. I suppose, as President, he feels safe. I don't.

SteveR said...

That's not a good strategy or contingency. Of course it may be true but at some point, you don't get stronger. For one thing the economic conditions in late 2001 were much different than today.

Paddy O said...

If we think of America as a collective, it makes us stronger.

If we think of America as a collection of unique individuals, the government gets stronger, but a whole lot of people face extreme suffering.

By "we absorb" he doesn't mean himself or his family or his friends feel the brunt of any attack. He means we, as a country, theoretically will not be undermined by any attack. Real people, real events, become secondary to the theory.

Law professor (oops, 'Instructor') as President means the theory never is understood as actual life-changing realities for all those who would be directly impacted.

ndspinelli said...

It certainly can be true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. However, it depends on the person, or in this case the culture. Some people and cultures[France and Spain come to mind] fold like lawnchairs. We came back, and we will again. My fear is we won't hit back hard enough, or possibly overreact. I could see Obama overcompensating to show "he's tough". It's more likely he'll not hit back hard enough.

Being a lover of history, I like to play different scenarios. Shortly after 9/11 I had a discussion w/ a few folks about how Al Gore would have reacted. We agreed there was a good chance he would have overreacted.

knox said...

All I can say is, nothing makes a thread weaker than a bunch of mobies. They're multiplying and mutating around here like possums in Brooklyn.

rhhardin said...

Terrorist attacks are entertainment, unless it gets to serious damage, like taking out a city.

The latter is the real point of the war on terror.

Namely to keep groups from organizing at a large enough scale to work serious damage in that sense.

The shopping mall bombings are aimed at the media and homeland security, both of which get audience benefits from them, as well as the terrorists.

The Palestinian Symbiosis Front.

Paddy O said...

Joe, there's no reason why it should be either one or the other. And until Democrats begin to take seriously the absolute degrading influence of corruption (especially in the poorest of neighborhoods) I don't really believe they care about either or.

madawaskan said...

We can absorb a terrorist attack...even a 9/11, EVEN THE BIGGEST ATTACK EVER..

What in the flyin' hell?

Well what does he care?

Democrat attacks on Bush after 9/11 fulfilled his destiny of becoming President.

He is stronger.

Jenner said...

If we all believed Obama was a cowboy like George Bush, then this comment might be inspiring (even maverick-y: "gimme your best shot!").

But since he's probably not anyone's first pick to share a foxhole with, it's telling in it's lack of compassion for us individually.

garage mahal said...

We know the right wing would strongly get behind our president in time of crisis though.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
All I can say is, nothing makes a thread weaker than a bunch of mobies. They're multiplying and mutating around here like possums in Brooklyn.
As a person who understand politics, and the dismal chances of the GOP in both 2010 and 2012, I don’t understand your point.

FloridaSteve said...

"We can absorb the hits" huh? Who is "we" exactly? I'm certainly not thrilled about the idea of my family having to "absorb" anything.

And what is "stronger"? If giving up some of our rights to fight terrorism makes us stronger then the logical conclusion is that we give them all up and just live in our perfect world? No thanks asshaole.

madawaskan said...

You people do get what he is alluding to?

Don't get distracted by the "philosophical" argument.

Ghee what's bigger than the H-bomb?

Wow.

You'd think he'd at least offend some "whole earth" environmentalist but nah-man is the real enemy.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
All We know the right wing would strongly get behind our president in time of crisis though..
Just like harry Reid did in 2006. Or the Democrats did in Afghanistan, prior to the success of the Northern Alliance. Don’t play that game, dood/doodette it’s lame and easily refutable, I mean “refudiated.”

ricpic said...

When the next Islamic attack occurs...and when Obama does not retaliate...will that be enough? Will he be removed from office BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY?! The answer is by no means clear.

Expat(ish) said...

It is easy to imagine an attack which would fatally wound our economy for a generation or more.

A nuke in LA harbor cripples our trade and our culture (such as it is). A nuke in NYC, ditto. A nuke in New Orleans cripples 1/3 of our petroleum.

Is Obama that clueless?

I would also not like to imagine the world after 20+ years of China as the sole super power.

-XC

traditionalguy said...

The vulnerability issue is also the "Strongest Horse" issue. Everytime another part of us is blown away by a sneaky and murderous Soldier of allah, the more tentative becomes our support among the rest of our Allies who see America's days of being the strong horse fading away. That has always been Obama's promise to the World. That is also Obama's anti-colonialist Kenyan thought pattern exposed for anyone to see that has open eyes. Obama is determined to end American Hegemony.

MrBuddwing said...

My favorite Nietzsche quote: "In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule."

Word verification: nocymza

Hoosier Daddy said...

Wait a minute...I thought Obama and the liberals were saying that Bush made us less safe after 9/11 not stronger.

Goddam it I really wish they'd stick with one narrative.

madawaskan said...

Absorb the radiation FloridaSteve!

It's the ObamaCares plan-

"X-rays for everybody!

Maguro said...

Ah...so instead of hitting back when attacked by terrorists, we should just say "Thank you, may I have another?"

Because it makes us so much stronger, you see.

Terrorism - The new cod liver oil.

Hoosier Daddy said...

We know the right wing would strongly get behind our president in time of crisis though.

Well it depends garage. If Obama's plan of action is to have a strongly worded resolution from the UNSC then no.

madawaskan said...

Let's see- just imagine....

Obama would go down in history as President during the biggest attack evah!!!

Notorious for life!

Again people-

ObamaCares.

Scott M said...

Any one localized region of the US can withstand just about anything because the rest of the country is available for resources and manpower.

A large EMP detonated in the upper atmosphere, say launched from a missile platform built inside a standard cargo vessel (the very type Iran has already been confirmed as testing) would be devastating due to the sheer size of the affected areas.

If you were Iran, why launch just one? Why not detonate two or three simultaneously in the middle of January when the loss of power across wide swathes of the country would be the most deadly and the most difficult to repair?

If you were Iran (or whoever), wouldn't about right now, when we're still in the grips of economic chaos with the world doubting our continued financial leadership (ie, on the ropes in all the ways that count), be the best time to deliver a knockout blow that would effectively remove the US from any semblance of world leadership for perhaps decades.

The scary part is that there shit-all we could do about it beside retaliate. The really scary part is that Congress already knows about it and has done shit-all to get ready.

c3 said...

There is truth in the statement. Hell, folks on the left and the right were adamant after 9-11 that we were/are stronger than this attack.

However, this has the flavor of de-emphasizing the concern for and protection from another attack. And when you juxtapose that with BO's recent statements about the "Ground Zero mosque" it displays a President who's sentiments seem terrible out of sync with the general public's.

edutcher said...

First off, what's this 'we' stuff?

We, after all, are the bitter clingers he despises.

Second, wasn't 9/11 Dubya's fault, according to him, which is why we needed his enlightened statecraft? So there should now be no danger of one. Kumbaya!

The biggest terror attack would be nuclear. Be interesting to see him absorb an A-bomb on DC.

Why do I get the feeling Mortuary Bob has been at the Ouija Board again?

holdfast said...

Putting aside the direct cost in lives, 9/11 made the otherwise pretty mild Clinton recession/dotcom bust a lot worse than it would otherwise have been. And we are still paying through the nose for 9/11 - War in Afghanistan, Department of Homeland Security, TSA slowing us down at the airport, security requirements adding to the cost of almost all travel, and pretty much everything else, etc. The additional of unproductive expenditures as a result of 9/11 is just staggering, and they ain't going away.

Imagine being hit with another similar or bigger attack today, with the economy just barely avoiding a double-dip by the skin of its teeth. We'd be seeing a whole new round of layoffs and bankruptcies, probably 12% unemployment. Ah well, just another crisis for Rahm and Obama not to let go to waste.

Rialby said...

Did World War II make Europe stronger?

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Did World War II make Europe stronger?
Oddly, enough yes it made EUROPE stronger…it may not have made Germany stronger, but it made the idea of “Europe” stronger….the EU, the WEU all emerged from the Second World War.

Bob Ellison said...

But we absorbed 9/11 and we are stronger because 9/11 provoked a broad, deep reaction in America that is opposite to Obama's tendencies.

It'd be like Ronald Reagan saying in 1980 that America is compassionate because it has a big welfare system. True, but he'd have been the wrong one to say it.

Original Mike said...

So is this going to be his attitude if an atomic bomb loaded into a van goes off on Pennsylvania Ave?

Christ.

AJ Lynch said...

Yeah Mr. President, our economy is so strong and the country's balance sheet so solid that we could easily absorb and afford to bail out what's left of Chicago [for example] after it has been nuked.

Like DBQ tells us, we are so fucked [my new tagline btw].

Robt C said...

What are "mobies"?

MadisonMan said...

I do a terrible job in these types of threads because I am an optimist, and it looks like pessimists are out in droves. Which of us is a realist?

I will agree that an attack does not make you stronger, notwithstanding your ability to absorb it. Rather, how you respond to the attack demonstrates your strength(s) -- or your weakness(es).

Rialby said...

"Make the Althouse blog stronger. Use this link if you buy the Woodward book."

According to some, the only way to make the Althouse blog stronger is to hack the Blogger site, erase all of your content and leave graffiti in our wake. 'Cause that'll make you more determined to be a better blogger right?

AllenS said...

Once your head is cut off, you're pretty much fucked. If 300,000 of you people are dead, big deal, right?

Bryan C said...

Don't mistake scar tissue for muscle.

The attack doesn't make anyone stronger. It's the response to the attack that matters. Punching bags are not stronger for being pummeled all day long.

Rialby said...

"Oddly, enough yes it made EUROPE stronger…it may not have made Germany stronger, but it made the idea of “Europe” stronger….the EU, the WEU all emerged from the Second World War."

And this "EU" concept you claim is so strong (don't tell the Greeks) was wholly cost-free, right? It didn't cost anyone anything or, for that matter, won't cost anyone in the future anything. Solid as a rock. In perpetuity.

bagoh20 said...

So logically, fighting back would also make your attacker stronger, I suppose.

It is good to be alive at a time when your nation is the strongest. Which must mean that we have been the most attacked.

Hit us again, we need it more than ever. We need to go to code green threat level Mr. President and stop that damned airport screening. Hell, we should send some treasury money to Bin Laden. This President refuses to act, even when it could make us stronger.

MrBuddwing said...

What are "mobies"?

A "moby" is someone who pretends to advocate a political viewpoint he or she doesn't really believe in, in an attempt to bait or provoke others.

A classic example was the person who called "Larry King Live" when Sen. Jesse Helms was a guest, sang Helms' praises, and proceeded to use the n-word on the air, prompting a defensive reaction from the North Carolina Republican.

Word verification: suplous. Which we don't have a lot of.

Sofa King said...

Althouse, quoting...Star Wars?!??!?!?!??!?? Never tell me the odds!

Hoosier Daddy said...

Althouse, quoting...Star Wars?!??!?!?!??!?? Never tell me the odds!

I know I was shocked too. Great, so she thinks Obama is the last of the Jedi.

Moose said...

I'll let Lileks speak to this: "And then you realize that the eulogy is just a preface. All that concern for the dead is nothing more than the knuckle-cracking of an organist who’s going to play an E minor chord until we all agree we had it coming.
I’ve no doubt that if Seattle or Boston or Manhattan goes up in a bright white flash there will be those who blame it all on Bush. We squandered the world’s good will. We threw away the opportunity to atone, and lashed out. Really? You want to see lashing out? Imagine Kabul and Mecca and Baghdad and Tehran on 9/14 crowned with mushroom clouds: that’s lashing out. Imagine the President in the National Cathedral castigating Islam instead of sitting next to an Imam who's giving a homily. Mosques burned, oil fields occupied, smart bombs slamming into Syrian palaces. We could have gone full Roman on anyone we wanted, but we didn’t. And we won’t.
Which is why this war will be long"

http://www.lileks.com/bleats/archive/03/0903/091103.html

shirley elizabeth said...

This says to me that Obama only ever pays attention to statistics. He talks all day long about "the people" he is trying to help, but never thinks more of them then as statistics.
Sure, making the statement that we need to work together in a tragedy to become stronger and wiser is a good thing to say in the wake of the tragedy, but not in the time when you are striving to stop other tragedies. It's like saying, "Well look, we got over it last time, so if we're fools and slip up and it happens again, it's okay.O K."

Terrorist attacks kill citizens. Those people will never recover. No one here wants to volunteer to be one of Obama's statistics.

Alex said...

We know the right wing would strongly get behind our president in time of crisis though.

Listen you little worm, you scumbag, you piece of crap. Obama is a traitor and not deserving of any American's support. Calling you pondscum is an insult to that bacteria!

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
And this "EU" concept you claim is so strong (don't tell the Greeks) was wholly cost-free, right? It didn't cost anyone anything or, for that matter, won't cost anyone in the future anything. Solid as a rock. In perpetuity.
There was some tongue-in-cheek word play. But WWII made “Europe” stronger, yes. Prior to 1939, it was Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, et al.. After 1945, well really the Marshall Plan and the European Coal and Steel Community, and the WEU it became, increasingly, “Europe.” That is, the individual nations that made up Europe began to act in concert, for Defense and Economics, be it the EU or EFTA. “Europe” became stronger.

And yes, even in the sense you mean it, Europe IS stronger. Greece received billions of dollars of aid, besides living beyond its means, from a number of EU adjustment funds, as did Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Europe and Europeans are richer and better off today, because of European cooperation than if there was no EU.

That is not a blanket endorsement of the EU, in fact, I preferred the Common Market, to the bureaucratic nightmare that is post-Maastrich Europe, but there is no gainsaying the advantages of Europeans banding together, for both defense and the creation of a single market for goods and many services.

Bottom-Line: Europe is stronger after WWII than before it….

madawaskan said...

Now we know what Stan McChrystal was up against-

"The Platitudes Philosophy".

It's almost like Obama is that general in one of those Russian novels-where he doesn't deal with the reality in front of him at the moment because he is sure God will give him the answer.

There are a few differences. Obama seems to justify his lack of inaction to Woodward-and whatever the fall out of that might be-because he-Obama knows that even the worst result of Obama's decisions would make us stronger.

Obama has full faith in his own knowledge and predictions like nothing else, and that excuses any of his mistakes.

Obama absolves himself preemptively.

MadisonMan said...

Althouse, quoting...Star Wars?!??!?!?!??!?? Never tell me the odds!

Heh. I'd forgotten how much she disliked those movies. I now recall that she 'fessed up when she came across the word Palpatinian.

edutcher said...

If Europe is stronger, why is it sinking by the bow economically?

I get the whole EU vs. Europe as separate nation states thing, but WWII basically has been a disaster for the continent. It had maybe a decade of real prosperity in the 60s before sinking into the socialism which is strangling it today.

Just can't buy it.

Scott M said...

Althouse, quoting...Star Wars?!??!?!?!??!?? Never tell me the odds!

The loss of not one, but two, Deathstars certainly did not make the Empire any stronger.

An airplane crash victim that ends up with horrible scaring and loss of limbs isn't any stronger.

Arguing about Europe being stronger after WWII requires that causality be proven...which is always a bitch. Europe got stronger the way a platoon of complete strangers in boot camp get stronger...they are presented with an outside, powerful antagonist.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

I long ago lost interest in Mr. Woodward's books. There's so much score settling and spin doctoring by his sources, and so much outright fabrication (by his sources, and perhaps by him), that I can't tell where the kernels of truth lie amid the piles of manure. And so I distrust it all. And the more the quote supports my preconceptions -- like this one does -- the less I dare trust it.

madawaskan said...

Obama is like Scarlet O'Hara...

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

I suspect that if a person had to walk through Penn Station, NYC, jammed shoulder to shoulder every day with a target on your back instead of a leafy college campus in Wisconsin, Obamas statement might have a different connotation.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Edutcher, I don’t deny Euro-Sclerosis or the Democracy Deficit or the like, but nonetheless Europe and Europeans have been and will remain better off with trans-national organizations than they would be as individual states. The EU does NOT have to be a socialist system…

Europe’s problems, in one sense, have been the EMU and the Euro. Europe was not ready for a single currency, agreed. Or if there was to be a single currency, there needed to be a single market for goods, services, and labour, so that when Greece lived beyond its means, a la California A.K.A.“Kahl-ee-Fornee-uh” people could simply move themselves and their business(es) to somewhere else. As that wasn’t an option, the results have been unpleasant.

If you look at defense Procurement you see my point, best. The EU, collectively, has an economy that is larger than the US’ and that, collectively, spends near the US on Defense, but the results of the expenditures is far less than the US’. Simply put, Europe could get more “Bang” from its “Buck” if it banded together even more tightly.

Bottom-Line: in a world with the US, India, and the PRC Great Britain will NEVER be of much importance, BUT banded together as EUROPE, then Great Britain can be more effective…however, the current banding together has been, at times, sub-optimal.

NewYorkBlahg said...

More like Heath Ledger's Joker: "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stranger."

sydney said...

Goethe said it before Nietzsche.

But it is only true about some things. I broken bone may repair itself, but it does not make it stronger. It often makes it weaker.

The human spirit certainly, however, can be made stronger by that which does not kill it. It is better to have the attitude that you will be made stronger by your adversities rather than weakened by them. It helps you survive. Isn't that why most of us are so disdainful of the victim movements? (Oprah, etc.)

sydney said...

But, to be clear, it is the wrong attitude for a leader of a country to have on behalf of the country he is supposed to defend.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

ScottM, Britain felt the need for integration, in the post-WII period…it and the Benelux countries were the genesis of the WEU. Britain realized that “splendid isolation” wasn’t workable, and that Britain could no longer defend itself against outside threats, so it began to form a EUROPEAN consortium to provide for the Common Defense. The Conventional Wisdom emerging that IF, the Europeans had banded together against Hitler in 1935/36 there would have been a much smaller war, if one at all. In the face of the USSR, they intended to get a jump on their potential opponent by aligning PRIOR a war. Compounded by the fact that Britain was bankrupt and could barely afford the national Service forces it had, AND to develop Nuclear Arms…..

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

On topic, I’m sure, OK, I HOPE that what the POTUS was trying to say was that, “Attacking the US will not defeat us. As the British said in the Blitz, ‘We can take it!’” However, sadly, it’s just as possible to spin this as saying that 9/11 was no big deal, and what was all the fuss about? At a minimum, Obama was, again, using inartful phraseology….For the Smartest, Best Communicator Ev-UH Barak Obama sure don’t kom-mew-nikate reel gude.

jr565 said...

WHen Obi Wan got struck down he didn't become stronger. Prior to being struck down he was a formidable swordsman with Jedi Powers. After he was struck down he was a voice in Luke's ear saying "Use The Force Luke!". In other words, just a reminder of things that Luke shoudl remember anyway. Luke couldn't remember to use the force without Obi Wan reminding him?
Obi Wan was like the character in all the Adam Sandler movies that says "You can do it!" (whatever the context) Is that guy powerful? Hell no. He's on the one actually doing anything. And if he didn't say "You Can Do it!" the main character would still be able to do what he was going to do anyway.

SMGalbraith said...

So, Bush's response to 9/11 has made us better and stronger? Like to hear him give that line in front of a liberal audience.

Anyway, it seems to me that after 9/11 we had all (or most of us) decided (didn’t we?) that our response to the terrorists would be offensively minded, and that we would fight terror abroad rather than merely react to it after we were hit. No more cruise missiles hitting empty huts in the middle of nowhere after they had attacked us.

If Obama now rejects that course, then I wish he would come right out and admit it.

SMGalbraith said...

Thus spake Obamathrusta?

Yeah, I shouldn't have even tried.

Total costs of 9/11? According to this group, almost $2 trillion (link: Attack Costs).

Seems to be a bit of a reach. Two trillion?

jr565 said...

Joe wrote:
Let’s be honest, shall we, 50,000 thousand people a year die in auto accidents, what was 3,000 dead on 9/11? After all, tens of thousands died of typhoid and diphtheria in the 1930’s, what were the losses of pearl Harbor as compared to that? I say our focus should have been/needs to be/andmust remain on domestic inequalities and social justice.

How many died in Katrina, or in the latest oil spill? So what's the big deal? How many have died due to global warming?
Lets all stipulate than anything that doesn't cause as many deaths as auto accidents is a non issue.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Lets all stipulate than anything that doesn't cause as many deaths as auto accidents is a non issue.
With certain caveats I’d agree. First children and 5 gallon paint buckets, those things are dangerous and I don’t care if only 5 kids a year die in them, they need to be banned! And ‘Cell ‘Phones, and power lines, though no reliable studies of their effects have been produced, I KNOW they cause cancer, so they are excluded from my tentative agreement….I can think of others, I’m sure. But overall I agree, UNLESS it kills 50K Americans per year or more, we won’t worry, unless it’s health care, fried foods, trans-fats, sugary drinks, cigarettes, No-Knock Warrants, or male domestic violence…..

garage mahal said...

I wish Obama would directly answer all these hypothetical questions in my head. Until then, I'm going to have to go with he is okay with H bombs going off in our cities.

Original Mike said...

Voices in your head? They have meds for that.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Voices in your head? They have meds for that.
Yeah but they don’t work…Yes, they do…do not…do too…Would you two just SHUT UP? I’m trying to think here….And what about tin-foil, will it mess up my hair, and is it worth the aesthetic down check to control the mind control rays? Yes…No…Not tin-foil, LEAD, you morons!

What were we talking about again?

Quaestor said...

garage mahal wrote: "We know the right wing would strongly get behind our president in time of crisis though."

And we know the left wing would strongly get behind our president in a time of crisis... hey, wtf?!?

wv: carmatr - the region of the brain connected with transportation.

bagoh20 said...

It's more accurate to say feeling safe makes you weaker.

Obama feels safe from physical attacks. He used to feel safe about political attacks. I expect he will become a tougher politician now, unless he is even lamer than I think, which is entirely possible. I already over-estimated him once, but proudly not as much as over 50% of the nation did.

jr565 said...

Back to Star Wars - you know what made the Rebellion stronger? destroying the Death Star!

You'd think that, following the liberal logic, if Luke had just let Darth Vader strike him down too that that would only have increased Luke's power. Also, by encasing Han Solo in carbonite Boba Fett only made Han Solo stronger.
Maybe if Yoda had NOT taught the Jedis how to use the force it would have made them stronger as Jedis.

Quaestor said...

Whether we as a nation are stronger or weaker after an "absorbed" terrorist attack is immaterial. The question is whether the terrorists are weaker or stronger.

jr565 said...

SMGalbraith wrote:
Anyway, it seems to me that after 9/11 we had all (or most of us) decided (didn’t we?) that our response to the terrorists would be offensively minded, and that we would fight terror abroad rather than merely react to it after we were hit. No more cruise missiles hitting empty huts in the middle of nowhere after they had attacked us.

I wonder why the anti war crowd kept hyping all those fake deaths in Iraq. 500,000 thousand dead in a month! Wouldn't those exaggerated deaths only make them stronger? So then why lament all the deaths.

Geoff Matthews said...

Striking at us may unite us, but anyone else remember the Dem's castigating Bush for not preventing 9/11?
What'll it be if an attack occurs and Obama's cavalier attitude about the attack (and resultant deaths) is known?
It'll drive us apart. Fingers will be pointed, and in this case, we have an admission of dereliction of duty.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Whether we as a nation are stronger or weaker after an "absorbed" terrorist attack is immaterial. The question is whether the terrorists are weaker or stronger.
The question is, why do they hate us, so? Because we didn’t sign Kyoto? Because we aren’t members of the International Criminal Court? Because of global inequality? Because of the failure to provide a homeland for the Palestinians? Why? And what can we do to make them hate us less?

You really are new to this whole counter-terrorism, I mean Man-Made Catastrophe Thing, aren’t you?

MayBee said...

This gives "the system worked" a whole new meaning.
We thought "they system" was supposed to make us safer. But no. "The system" is designed to make us stronger.

garage mahal said...

And we know the left wing would strongly get behind our president in a time of crisis... hey, wtf?!?

Like a 90% approval rating? Why I remember Democrats and Republicans holding hands on the Capitol steps singing God Bless America. Democrats gave Bush whatever he asked for.

c3 said...

In constrast

Rich B said...

"We know the right wing would strongly get behind our president in time of crisis though."

GM-

Are you (or have you) ever been capable of making a sustained argument, for at least one full paragraph?

I know you aren't Bill Kelly.


smuctica? I hope Ann hasn't designed the wv algorithm herself.

LarsPorsena said...

"....And what can we do to make them hate us less?"

Build more mosques, have women wear burqa's, eat only halal meat, re-establish the Caliphate,..

How's that for starters?
That should mellow them out.

Swede said...

We know the right wing would strongly get behind our president in time of crisis though.

Well, of course.

I like a good golf game as much as the next guy.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Like DBQ tells us, we are so fucked [my new tagline btw].

/bow

It is easy for Obama to talk about the death and destruction of thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands, of human beings in the abstract, because he really doesn't give a flying fig about people in reality. If he did, he would never have instituted these draconian economic measures and disaster of a health system which is guaranteed to cause unlimited pain and suffering. He really doesn't give a shit about the people.

The PREVENTION of a terrorist attack and the squashing of terrorists should be his focus instead of saying...we can take it.

We don't WANT to take it. We want the President to protect the country. He isn't of course. He is protecting his own political ass.

*note to self, buy more tuna,canned milk, dried fruit and lamp oil for the Armageddon Pantry.

Michael said...

Garage: The right wing would give full support to the president, any president, in a time of national crisis occasioned by an attack. To snark otherwise is to, again, reveal a deep lack of understanding.

Cedarford said...

There is some truth to Obama's words. We greatly overestimate the ability of terrorists to pose an existiental threat to us. Even the overhyped WMD fear.

(They aren't building their own. And a nation that gave them WMD would be signing their own death warrant as Geneva and Hague ended with the 1st mushroom cloud over a US city. And we have sorta passed the word on, along with Russia and China, that Geneva ends and full retribution will happen to any supporting nation if a terrorist WMD attack happens.)

Perhaps the stupidest, most pernicious saying is by military that want a 80 billion dollar increase in their branch, Homeland Security Empire builders, and fear mongering politicians to the effect:
"Our heroes have to be perfect everytime, because the bad guys only have to be lucky once. And if they ever do, game over! The terrorists win!"
"Or, no amount of money spend or wars of nation building is too much if it prevents civilian deaths."

1. We know the heroes aren't perfect against an intelligent, aggressive enemy. Our well-trained soldiers with vast amounts of force protection still have taken 40,000 casualties in Bush-Obama actions post 9/11.

2. We spent 1.1 trillion so far on "the heroes" that have "possibly stopped another 9/11". (Only a tiny amount of that vast budget is spent on the WMD threat - most is hearts and minds of noble Muslims stuff, and layers of security for garden variety attacks.)
If we "saved another 3,000!!" - it came at a cost of not just the trillion plus (366 million per life saved) but 40,000 military casualties.
And that 1.1 trillion (just on military, not even including the vast buildup Bush did funding civilian "heroes" with China loans) represents an opportunity cost loss. A complete revamping of US infrastructure. Or retraining the US work force to compete in the modern world. Or spending 50 billion of that to lower fatal medical errors and "misadventures" from 830,000 in the last 9 years down to 400,000 or less.

3. Cold War MAD studies show the US, trailing only China in survivability, could "take" 60 one-megaton bomb hits and recover. And be back to pre-strike population and GNP in under 20 years.
The Muzzies and the NORKs though, facing a vengeful nuked nation with 5,000 nuke weapons and ability to put them and any number of conventional bombs and missiles on target with in the day - would face Carthage scale destruction.
Deterrence exists.

prairie wind said...

I would have argued the same point, that America "absorbed" 9/11, but I really hate agreeing with the O. I would bet that he and I don't really agree, though. When he says "absorbs", I'd bet it means that America can take it and turn the other cheek. When I say it, I mean that we can take in the impact and use that energy to strike back. I DO think that 9/11 made America stronger--Americans realized that America was something to protect, something to take pride in, something precious. Perhaps that feeling drives some of the Tea Party in their zeal to protect the United States.

GMay said...

"I like a good golf game as much as the next guy."

In garage's favorite debating term - LOL

Alex said...

I think the single biggest problem in America is not the economy, terrorism or health care. the single biggest problem we have right now is that too many people believe "the other" is crazy and not worth listening to. It's poisoned our political culture and it's probably the root cause of this current mess.

AJ Lynch said...

SM Galbraith:

Let's guesstimate 911 cost us 2% in reduced GDP or slower GDP growth in 3straight years. That's $780 Billion right there [$13 Trillion x 2% x 3 years = $780 Billion] or 3/4 of a trillion. When you add the other items you offered, $2 Trillion may be in a large ballpark.

Alex said...

BTW I think Althouse would agree that the demonization on BOTH SIDES is the biggest issue preventing any solutions. She tries to foster debate, but all I see in these comment threads are more back-and-forth demonization, myself participating at times.

MadisonMan said...

Back to Star Wars - you know what made the Rebellion stronger? destroying the Death Star!

No it didn't. In Star Wars, the Death Star is destroyed. In Empire, the Rebellion isn't stronger at all.

The Death Star is destroyed in Return of the Jedi, but it's the death of Palpatine that's more important. Killing the Leader: that's what should be done.

garage mahal said...

Alex @ 11:40 AM
Listen you little worm, you scumbag, you piece of crap. Obama is a traitor and not deserving of any American's support. Calling you pondscum is an insult to that bacteria!

9/22/10 11:40 AM

Alex @ 1:06 PM
I think the single biggest problem in America is not the economy, terrorism or health care. the single biggest problem we have right now is that too many people believe "the other" is crazy and not worth listening to. It's poisoned our political culture and it's probably the root cause of this current mess.

9/22/10 1:06 PM

Haha.

Alex said...

the point garage is that you engage in demonization MOST of the time. I do it only in response to what I read on the Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, MSNBC, etc...

Alex said...

Here's an interesting test for liberals. Are conservatives worth listening to at all, or should they be blasted to oblivion Alinsky-style?

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

She tries to foster debate, but all I see in these comment threads are more back-and-forth demonization, myself participating at times.

It's rare for someone to pronounce a problem and admit that he's part of the problem. No quibbling, no qualifications, no excuses or tu quoque, just, "I do it, too." Kudos to you for such frankness.

Drew said...

Every time the President speaks, I wonder who he's talking to. Because it doesn't seem he's talking to the citizenry. He's aiming at the citizenry, but I get the sense that he's really talking to some other group whose approval he seeks.

The Political Class? Academia? Europe? The Muslim World? I really can't pin it down, but I think it's why he always seems disconnected. Pick an audience to whom he's speaking, and then presume that the point is really to speak to some other group he hopes is listening.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

the point garage is that you engage in demonization MOST of the time. I do it only in response to what I read on the Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, MSNBC, etc...

Oops! Never mind...

Proof said...

We can absorb it. And by "we", I don't mean me personally! I'll be in a bunker somewhere surrounded by Secret Service!

Rialby said...

And now for some levity from Family Guy:

Chris (Luke Skywalker): You don't believe in the Force, do you?
Peter (Han Solo): Oh, you mean the thing you just found out about three hours ago and are now judging *me* for not believing in?

jamboree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cedarford said...

From a European counterterror agent:
"In recent years we appear increasingly to have imported from the American media the assumption that terrorism is 100 percent preventable, and any incident that is not prevented is seen as a culpable government failure. This is a nonsensical way to consider terrorist risk and only plays into the hands of the terrorists themselves.".

Very true. We wanted to hear from The American Churchill and the "heroes" of the military and law enforcement and "terrorist threat mitigation contractors"e that they would keep us all "perfectly safe".....and they all rushed to exploit the power and money-making opportunities.
Another idiot "Zero Tolerance" culture was created.

And the public said, "Fine, keep us safe at any financial cost! Perfectly safe."

No one was thinking that clearly after 9/11, and some very flawed ideas and concepts and ever-expanding bureaucracies got very entrenched.

shoutingthomas said...

Hey, I'm in Manhattan, where the dirty bomb attack is likely to take place.

Does this mean I'm supposed to Take One For The Team?

Shit, I'm 60. Guess it won't be too big a deal if I make my exit a few years early.

What about the kids? A lot of them are still virgins, having been unduly influence by that O'Donnell witch.

Should they Take One For The Team, too?

After all, Islam is a religion of peace.

edutcher said...

garage mahal said...

And we know the left wing would strongly get behind our president in a time of crisis... hey, wtf?!?

Like a 90% approval rating? Why I remember Democrats and Republicans holding hands on the Capitol steps singing God Bless America. Democrats gave Bush whatever he asked for.


For about 10 minutes.

C'mon, garage. The Lefties only stood behind Dubya until it was politically safe to be obstructionist and anti-military, anti-America, anti-Dubya again.

Cedarford said...

There is some truth to Obama's words. We greatly overestimate the ability of terrorists to pose an existiental threat to us. Even the overhyped WMD fear.

The WMD threat is overhyped in the Leftist mind when it's politically convenient to make it appear so, but a lot of people are paid good money to work in the shadows to make sure it doesn't come to pass. As several have noted, 9/11 did tremendous damage to an already weak economy.

Original Mike said...

...the assumption that terrorism is 100 percent preventable, and any incident that is not prevented is seen as a culpable government failure.

I know the government cannot prevent 100% of attacks. I do, however, expect them to strive to make every person committing a terrorist act 100% dead.

Obama, apparently, thinks otherwise.

BJM said...

@FloridaSteve

Exactly - What you mean "we" Kimosabe.

Obama will not face this choice.

I also rather doubt he would be so glib had Flt 93 reached it's intended target.

@Joe

So by your reasoning the loss of life in the Holocaust equates to the amassed auto fatalities, epidemics and natural calamities for the past 75 years.

Unfortunately Stalin, Mao and the Khmer Rouge's totals don't fit your rubric, but I guess they might be shoehorned in under social injustice. Yes?

Since you're so keen for justice, perhaps you would care to address this inequity.

EDH said...

"You should see the other guy."

alko said...

There is nothing anyone can do that will unequivocally prevent another terrorist attack, DBQ. You’re wishes on this front are wholly unrealistic. He’s speaking to having the courage to withstand another blow, to learn from it, then to get up off the mat – to not give up. It’s about believing we will get back up.

And what is this, “We don’t WANT to take it”? Well, yeah, who ever WANTS to take it? It’s not about wanting to take it, it’s about what are we going to do if it ever happens again. His belief in that reaction, is what he’s trying to communicate.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ. You’re wishes on this front are wholly unrealistic.

I are not wishes. (your versus you're)

What wishes do you think I have regarding terroism?

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Whether His belief in that reaction, is what he’s trying to communicate.
And doing a poor job of doing it…how about, “We can take it.”?

So by your reasoning the loss of life in the Holocaust equates to the amassed auto fatalities, epidemics and natural calamities for the past 75 years.

Unfortunately Stalin, Mao and the Khmer Rouge's totals don't fit your rubric, but I guess they might be shoehorned in under social injustice. Yes?

Since you're so keen for justice, perhaps you would care to address this inequity.


Dood/doodette, the deaths that COUNT are AMERICAN deaths, not some bunch of counter-revolutionary Kulaks and peasants in the Ukraine, the PRC, or Kampuchea…I mean it’s bad and all, but was it really anyone’s concern except the governments involved?

BJM said...

@jamboree

Fresh as a daisy , eh.

My uncle would love to debate that point but he's in France at the moment.

BJM said...

Okay Joe...moby away.

holdfast said...

C4 - there are attacks and then there are attacks. The bigger and more spectacular the attack, the more work and coordination is involved, and the more chance there is for us to catch wind of it and stop it.

While in a perfect world where all Americans were hard-assed stoics, maybe we could suck up a bunch of 9/11s - but we don't live there, and the next politician who "allows" a 9/11 is going to pay for it, while the economy crashed and burns again. Maybe that's not fair, but it is our reality.

On the other hand, I do think we can, if we must, suck up a number of smaller attacks in the 10-50 deaths per incident range - one-man suicide bombings and the like. They take a lot less work and planning, and so are a lot harder to detect and stop.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Cedarford,
I don't think your analysis gives enough weight to the psychological effect additional attacks would have on the economy.

The Drill SGT said...

coming into this late:

1. as I said in the previous post, the "we can survive another 9-11" discounts the fact that 9-11 was a dud. They were trying for 100,000 dead and only got 2,700. What if both towers had come down immediately?

2. C-4 talked about Muzzie and NORK MAD. That assumes that the nuke comes in on an ICBM on a straight ballistic course rather than as a multiple orbit EMP device or more likely IMHO, in a container into NYC harbor. which container on which ship tied up at the pier contained the nuke? I can't see the FBI looking for fingerprints from a glassy residue at the bottom of the Hudson river.

BJM said...

@alko

His belief in that reaction, is what he’s trying to communicate.

Well then he's doing a piss-poor job of it.

We were told that Obama was the most intelligent, eloquent POTUS Evah...yet a blog commenter has to translate for him?

Puleeeze.

btw- you got a license for that koolaid stand or are you a freelance Obama apologist?

David said...

Sounds like Obama believes that we are in a War on Terror.

In wars, you can not insulate yourself from all attacks or all losses. Enemies have power too.

Bush said the same thing in one form or another numerous times.

But Bush acknowledged that we had a war on our hands.

Luckily for him, Obama is much more . . . uh . . . you know . . . "articulate" than Bush, so we . . . uh . . . you know . . . sorta get what Obama is saying.

You know?

exhelodrvr1 said...

The Drill Sgt,
Analysis of the material after a nuclear explosion gives a pretty clear indication of where the fissile material was produced, so it is highly likely they would know the point of origin of the material that went into a bomb.

David said...

From the WAPO article about the book:

"Obama told Woodward in the July interview that he didn't think about the Afghan war in the "classic" terms of the United States winning or losing. "I think about it more in terms of: Do you successfully prosecute a strategy that results in the country being stronger rather than weaker at the end?" he said.

Which country do you suppose he was referring to?

This is a book I'm going to read for myself, rather than relying on summaries by others. But man Obama looks bad in the summaries.

traditionalguy said...

Trying to be positive like Obama, I believe that Chicago should be offered to the Islamic Caliphate as a trade off American city to atone for the centuries of white male capitalists that have single handedly destroyed Africa, the middle east, and Asia ,and in their spare time, Cuba too. But they have to accept Jessie Jackson and Rham Emanuel in the deal. That should buy us a Jimmy Carter like permanent peace for a few prescious months.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Analysis of the material after a nuclear explosion gives a pretty clear indication of where the fissile material was produced, so it is highly likely they would know the point of origin of the material that went into a bomb.


Depending on who is left around to do the analysis and IF the EPA allows the analysis to go forward.

They would probably institute studies and special commissions and take longer to figure out who killed Chicago/NY City or whatever, than they are taking to rebuild the freaking World Trade Center.

Our government in action.....or more like inaction

Fen said...

Analysis of the material after a nuclear explosion gives a pretty clear indication of where the fissile material was produced, so it is highly likely they would know the point of origin of the material that went into a bomb.

No it does not. Not in *primitive* nukes. You would not have the 100% certaintly required to justify a retaliatory strike.

And Iran has been waging a proxy war against Israel for several decades. They understand the need to leave no fingerprints behind.

Relying on a nuclear "fingerprint" as deterrence is suicide. You'll be avenged by a UN resolution condemning WMD attacks by proxy.

Anne B. said...

``Trying to be positive like Obama, I believe that Chicago should be offered to the Islamic Caliphate as a trade off American city to atone for the centuries of white male capitalists...''

Could we give them Evanston instead? My Obama-worshipping sister-in-law lives there.

William T. Sherman said...

Obama is whistling past the graveyard. A coordinated EMP attack on North America would instantly blast most of the U.S. into the equivalent of the preindustrial 1800's, and within a year 35-50% of the population would be dead from disease or starvation.

If the Commander in Chief thinks we can "absorb" that then he is unfit for office.

exhelodrvr1 said...

DBQ,
I doubt that - there would be too much pressure on the government to act, and the politicians are too much afraid of losing power to not take action.

Alex said...

When I hear liberals demonize conservative leaders like Sarah Palin on the basis that she fear-mongers, I have to ask the basic question - don't we have something to fear?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Fen,
I didn't say it would be a deterrence; I was countering the argument that we would have no idea where the weapon came from.

And yes, it does, even with primitive nukes.

DOn't go to wild extremes in your arguments; it takes away from the validity of the points you are trying to make.

Fen said...

[obama is] speaking to having the courage to withstand another blow, to learn from it, then to get up off the mat – to not give up. It’s about believing we will get back up.

No. He's speaking about his own frustration. The work is too hard for him. The focus on foreign policy distracts from his dosmetic agenda. Obama is telegraphing that more attacks will get through, because he would rather be on the links.

madawaskan said...

David-

Ya I hear ya-but add to that the reality of McCrystal's actions.

That's something close to independent verification.

You have the hopey changey philosophy that operated in the hypothetical meeting the military for the first time in awhile.

The result is the ultimate culture clash. The military is forced by definition particularly when in actual battle to deal with reality.

According to Woodward you have Obama essentially saying to the generals- we are doing "x" no matter what the future realities are. Basically he was telling the military that he didn't want to hear it.

Our form of government-one of it's greatest weaknesses is the turn over of power which can happen every four years. The military has to try to provide some consistency.

It appears as if Obama didn't want to hear about anything past his Presidency.

Not his responsibility.

Cedarford said...

exhelodrvr1 said...
Cedarford,
I don't think your analysis gives enough weight to the psychological effect additional attacks would have on the economy.
==========================
I see two problems:

1. If the American public is psychologically conditioned into believing that the "heroes" and political leaders of both Parties are keeping them "perfectly safe" and it doesn't turn out to be true - you set up a crisis of confidence. Over an unrealistic expectation of "perfect safety". That if lost, is taken by the public and the markets to mean the whole American system has FAILED.

2. We may have opened the stock, bond, T-Bill markets too fast after 9/11. (6 days) There was a rush to do so to "prove" America was open for business as normal. But the atmosphere then was still panic, media and politicians feeding on those fears, and lots of blather about how "everything had changed" because 19 men funded by 2 million in financing had launched a "one-timer" brilliant enemy attack. Caught us with our pants down.

In that atmosphere (remember that 95% of the losses were panic-driven) - people that KNEW things had not fundamentally changed still joined the herd and sold off. On uncertainty and expectations that everyone else was going to and no time existed to get in short or long positions (all puts and calls were not accepted and lined up to be honored in the days the markets were closed). And we know that 9/11 was a gold mine for some connivers that tried manipulating industries and Muni market caps and use their influence to get or deny Fed Bailouts (airlines, NYC munis, defense firms, etc)

In both these matters, we can take some good experience lessons from the Brits and their long stuggle with the IRA.
The Brits soon went away from the "heroes will keep you perfectly safe!" garbage - so IRA actions did not produce mass fainting spells in Britain and calls for mass resignations. Nor did the markets continue panic selloffs after the 1st few times.

Alex said...

I keep hearing that America "had it coming" on 9/11/01. That it was our blind, outrageous support of Israel that is the root cause of it all. Even if you take that as true, why should we placate Islamofascists desire to purge Israel from the world? Shouldn't America stand for what's right and decent?

The Drill SGT said...

exhelodrvr1 said...
The Drill Sgt,
Analysis of the material after a nuclear explosion gives a pretty clear


I understand the science. You are correct for
- our processing sites,
- for countries where we have gotten fissile forensics from previous above ground tests
- for known processing sites where we have been able to do long term covert monitoring or have an insider

It will not work for a covert Iranian processing site, beyond giving us some general insight based on forensics that say, "this bomb was an Plutonium device with an Enriched uranium device. The uranium appears to have traces of xxx, and based on that it seems to have been produced by Gaseous diffusion. The bomb design seems similiar to those made by countries xxx and yyy. patterned after a design stolen from zzz.

My point here, is that it will give you circumstantial evidence, not a smoking gun that would allow a President to put 1 megaton on Tehran.

what if the Iranians put it in a container? And they swap their EU for some NORK EU, and by the way, the design will be fingerprinted as Paki or Russian.

so which city do we nuke?

Iranian?
Paki?
NORK?
Russian?

without an ICBM liftoff, it gets murky fast

Fen said...

I didn't say it would be a deterrence; I was countering the argument that we would have no idea where the weapon came from.

The entire point of claiming we can identify the origin of a nuke is to deter its attack via the spectre of massive nuclear retaliation.

If you claim the point is not about deterrence, then it means your strategy is to nuke 25 million innocents in Tehran, rather than do the legwork that prevents a need for 25 million to die in the first place.

And yes, it does, even with primitive nukes.

No, it does not. You dont understand the course material.

DOn't go to wild extremes in your arguments; it takes away from the validity of the points you are trying to make.

What "wild extremes" have I gone to? That Iran has a WMD program? That Iran has been waging a proxy war with Israel? That primitive nukes don't give enough of a fingerprint to determine origin with 100% certainty?

Alex said...

The bottom line is that Obama will NOT respond to a WMD attack. He will sit back professorially, wag his finger at the American people, and tell us we can absorb it.

Alex said...

That Iran has a WMD program? That Iran has been waging a proxy war with Israel?

I think Cederford would demand proof on both these assertions.

The Drill SGT said...

Fen beat me, and made the same points.

William T. Sherman said...
Obama is whistling past the graveyard. A coordinated EMP attack on North America would instantly blast most of the U.S. into the equivalent of the preindustrial 1800's, and within a year 35-50% of the population would be dead from disease or starvation.


think he's kidding? that the US is resilient? Think again. EMP bursts could shatter the electric grid, the water, gas and oil pipelines. all of which are dependent on RF/SCADA devices to open and close valves. EMP would fry every car, truck and most importantly diesel locomotive across millions of square miles. the country would freeze and starve.

Scott M said...

without an ICBM liftoff, it gets murky fast

It doesn't even matter then. If the ICBM, or even a merely BM (lol) launched at the eastern seaboard from a disguised cargo freighter, the likes of which are thousandfold on any given day on the ocean's shipping lanes, and then the Jihadi crew decides to scuttle it and die gloriously in order to get their virgins, what then?

Has no one read the congressional report (summarily ignored by Congress from all accounts) that outlines the danger of an, or multiple EMP devices? There's nobody to strike back AGAINST. Even if there was...what then? Launch our own missiles? Economic sanctions?

Any idea of just how badly an EPM could hurt us? Especially if detonated during, say, last winter when the snow was deepest?

Alex said...

I don't think North Korea has the ability to launch EMP strikes against the Untied States... Now. But given enough time and complacency, it will eventually happen. Re-elect BHO will help kick that can down the road. 2017 might be the year it happens.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Well Fen, as I understand it, the various reactors and production methods DO leave ‘fingerprints” no matter how crude the device/weapon….the fissile material has an initial composition and that initial composition is a result of the processes that produced it…a quick radiological survey can provide the details of the original weapon’s make-up and hence what set of processes and/or reactor produced it.

madawaskan said...

Here's what I'm referring to from WaPo:

The president is quoted as telling Mullen, Petraeus and Gates: "In 2010, we will not be having a conversation about how to do more. I will not want to hear, 'We're doing fine, Mr. President, but we'd be better if we just do more.' We're not going to be having a conversation about how to change [the mission] . . . unless we're talking about how to draw down faster than anticipated in 2011."

There's a phrase for what Obama is doing there.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

And as to EMP, no, NO ONE KNOWS how badly it will hurt us….it’s never been done, and I have read summaries of studies that suggest that much of the damage will be transitory and can be cancelled out by re-booting your systems. Is it something I’d like to risk no, but it’s also something that is extremely hard to quantify.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Fen,
You are the one who doesn't understand. Even the rawest material has a fingerprint that can be traced.
As much as I don't like Obama as President, to say he wouldn't respond after a WMD attack is silly. And statements like that cause people to not pay attention to earlier, valid points you make. Which is why you shouldn't make them.

Scott M said...

And as to EMP, no, NO ONE KNOWS how badly it will hurt us….it’s never been done, and I have read summaries of studies that suggest that much of the damage will be transitory and can be cancelled out by re-booting your systems. Is it something I’d like to risk no, but it’s also something that is extremely hard to quantify.

Speaking as someone with immediate family members in the intelligence community...yes...they do. And they're worried sick about it.

Alex said...

Here is one piece of evidence that Iran exports war:

Ahmedinejad Threatens War “Without Boundaries”

Alex said...

And they're worried sick about it.

Why? Sounds like paranoia to me.

Cedarford said...

"it is highly likely they would know the point of origin of the material that went into a bomb."

Fen - No it does not. Not in *primitive* nukes. You would not have the 100% certaintly required to justify a retaliatory strike.

1. You won't need 100% certainty. Just enough evidence to get America convinced pushing the button is called for. If they think the treat continues, a strike might happen without Congressional debate or lawyers even permitted to opine.

2. Geneva, Hague, what the UN wants - all go away the instant nuke detonations happen in NATO, China, Russia. Same as it was in the Cold War - when we all had approved deterrent strategies resting on mass destruction of enemy civilian populations.

3. To find the source of a major WMD attack - nothing is off the table. Experts would line up on any suspect nation's borders demanding to interrogate key people and inspect each and every viral production facility, enrichment, plutonium recovery site. Records of production, staff interviewed on accountability of nuke material and weapons in arsenal..Refusal would be taken as admission of guilt. Every global intelligence agency would cooperate BUT the suspect nation. Every movement, signals intercept data on volume, meeting record of key people and their whereabouts would be crunched by analysts and computers.

Offshore, a Trident submarine on "snap-count" would be awaiting launch orders.

4. Even gun-type uranium primitive nukes retain chemical and isotopic traces of where the uranium was mined, components used in the physics package, exact timing and efficiency of critical mass assembly and fission multiplication.

Hoosier Daddy said...

that the US is resilient? Think again. EMP bursts could shatter the electric grid, the water, gas and oil pipelines. all of which are dependent on RF/SCADA devices to open and close valves. EMP would fry every car, truck and most importantly diesel locomotive across millions of square miles. the country would freeze and starve.

Well a portion would freeze and starve. Then there are those of us who know how to dress a deer, ice fish and can make a fire without the use of a lighter and a Duraflame log. In other words, those of us rubes in flyover country will probably manage just fine.

The Birkenstock, ivory tower types will be royally fubar. Christ they think the world is over when their cell loses a signal or there isn't a Starbucks within a 3 mile radius.

LarsPorsena said...

"....As much as I don't like Obama as President, to say he wouldn't respond after a WMD attack is silly. And statements like that cause people to not pay attention to earlier, valid points you make. Which is why you shouldn't make them..."

I think what is open to question is what his response would be? Given his agonizingly protracted decision on increasing troop levels in Afghanistan (after spending the campaign telling the nation that this was the main front) what would you expect?

He will respond, eventually.

Alex said...

Well a portion would freeze and starve. Then there are those of us who know how to dress a deer, ice fish and can make a fire without the use of a lighter and a Duraflame log. In other words, those of us rubes in flyover country will probably manage just fine.

That's a pretty bigoted statement against ALL non-rural dwellers. We don't all vote Democrat you know.

hombre said...

Fen wrote: If you claim the point is not about deterrence, then it means your strategy is to nuke 25 million innocents in Tehran ....

Innocents? So if we elected a religious fanatic POTUS who swore, as part of his theology, to destroy Iran and her allies, we would be "innocent?"

Let's do it!

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
Speaking as someone with immediate family members in the intelligence community...yes...they do. And they're worried sick about it.
I’m sure they are, just like the RAF was worried sick about the Luftwaffe and their gas attacks on the British Isles in the 1930’s. Worried sick doesn’t mean it’s going to happen….it means YOU’RE worried sick, Al-Qaida may have an entirely different plan and they may not even be contemplating that.

EMP made the lights go out in Honolulu…that’s the only EMP attack we’ve got…and the lights didn’t STAY out, nor did it require the CONUS to rush aid to Hawai’i to repair the electrical grid. In short, NO ONE KNOWS what EMP will or will not do to the US…and if I had a nuclear weapon, no matter how crude I wouldn’t waste it on trying something like sailing it to America, erecting my TEL on the poop deck and firing it off, in the HOPES of major damage…. I might try the Canadian border and an 18 wheeler to Paducah Ky…..I understand that a major electrical node passes near there. I might go for a second or third tier city with a ground burst. Heck, IF I thought I could shield it I’d go for NYC. Barring that the LOOP LNG facility off the coast of NJ would be a nice target for a “small” nuclear device.

Alex said...

Bin laden is cackling in some Pakistani village at how he's terrified the entire West.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Well a portion would freeze and starve. Then there are those of us who know how to dress a deer, ice fish and can make a fire without the use of a lighter and a Duraflame log. In other words, those of us rubes in flyover country will probably manage just fine.

Correct. I just went to visit a relative in a large West Coast City. I was shocked at how few groceries or anything else they had on hand. Not that I expect everyone to stockpile like we do (out in the countryside). However, if there were any small disruption in supplies, they have at best 2 days worth of food. That was it. Very scary.

BTW: Us rubes in fly over land are well prepared to protect ourselves from the fleeing hordes of unprepared idiot urbanites who will likely descend like locusts....if they can get this far.

Fen said...

to say he wouldn't respond after a WMD attack is silly.

I never said that. I said that Obama is telegraphing that more terror attacks will get through because he has other priorities.

Its reckless for a number of reasons, one being that we cant absorb these attacks if they are WMD.

You're focused on retaliation, I'm focused on prevention. And I'm telling you that you make many unfounded assumptions about our ability to determine origin and our will to retaliate.

Primitive nukes DO NOT leave enough of a fingerprint to give 100% certainty for retaliation. And, even if they did, you assume that 1) the nukers give a damn about their 25 million countrymen and 2) the nukers wouldn't know this or find a way around such detection.

You're going to murder 20 million people in Kiev because you think they're the ones responsible for destroying NYC and LA. Madness.

Fen said...

NO ONE KNOWS what EMP will or will not do to the US

The intel community does, the ones that are up sick all night worrying about it.

Part of the emergecny action response involves recalling all nuclear carriers back to the coasts to provide clean water and medical aid to the survivors.

Katrina meets the LA Riots, coming to a city near you.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

Lastly, the only “successful” EMP attack that affected the US required the use of a Thor IRBM and a 1.4 MEGATON device….not exactly the stuff that Al-Qaida is going to just pick up, or improvise.

Were I Russia or the PRC, would I use EMP to disrupt the US C4I network or to try to “pin down” ICBM’s, yes…but only in the context of other counter-value or counter-force attacks. EMP, in and of itself, is far to variable a weapon to be used as THE weapon of choice, by a developed nation. And as I said, to use successfully is going to require a sophisticated attack modality that is well beyond Al-Qaida.

Fen said...

You won't need 100% certainty. Just enough evidence to get America convinced pushing the button is called for.

"slam dunk case".....

Scott M said...

Joe,

I'm not going to argue the point that the knowledge of exactly what would happen in the even of a large EMP detonation, or a handful of coordinate detonations. I have family in the line of work and they're pretty damned worried about it...mostly because their superiors are pretty damned worried about it.

Suffice to say that it doesn't matter if one city goes BOOM. That's regional, localized, and the rest of the country can still go to Applebees and talk about how awful it is that Manhattan is glass. The whole point of an EMP attack, as described to Congress, is to shatter our systems as nationwide as possible so it's NOT localized or regional. So everyone is pretty much screwed and the US effectively becomes a 3rd world country in one fell swoop.

I sincerely hope you feel confident enough in your apparently staggering abilities in logic that this particular possibility doesn't bother you a fig. Good luck with that.

Fen said...

And as I said, to use successfully is going to require a sophisticated attack modality that is well beyond Al-Qaida.

*snicker*

box cutters and jet fuel.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)

ScottM, just answer me the question exactly how much EMP and how high and how will it be delivered? As Lord Vincent said, “Gentleman I do not say they cannot come. I only say they cannot come by sea.” I’ve given you some EVIDENCE, 1.4 MEGATONS, Thor IRBM….(Operation Fish Bowl/ Star Fish Prime)…the end result was that 300 street lights went out in Honolulu, and one micro-wave link was damaged, cutting off inter-island ‘phone communications. Now if you or your family think that Al-Qaida is going to be able to loft an IRBM with a megaton warhead up to about 650 kilometres of the atmosphere, well then I say we have REAL worries ahead of us.

All I can say is that nationwide economic infrastructures are pretty d@mn tough, ask the North Vietnamese, the North Koreans, or the Germans or the USAF personnel that attempted to throttle their ability(ies) to make war. Complex does NOT equal fragile, it can, in fact equal survivable, due to the inherent connectivity of complex systems, and hence the slack and work-arounds available to the users of the system.

Again were I Al-Qaida and I had a nuclear weapon Peoria, Paducah, LOOP here I come…..because the weapon I’m likely to have is a very small and crude device, certainly not one that is going to be lofted high into the air and explode and produce MASSIVE EMP.

Your family may worry about CHINESE/Russian EMP or they may worry about EMP because that gets their organizations more cash, but as a realistic Terror threat, yeah I’m pretty certain its down the list.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)
And as I said, to use successfully is going to require a sophisticated attack modality that is well beyond Al-Qaida.

*snicker*

box cutters and jet fuel.

My point exactly. Al-Qaida isn’t looking to use a MISSILE they don’t have them, they’re looking for elegant, and cheap attacks…you know propane tanks and alarm clocks, or box cutters and -757’s…..

Scott M said...

Who said anything about Al-Qaida? I certainly didn't.

Fen said...

My point exactly.

You're still not getting it....

Al-Qaida isn’t looking to use a MISSILE they don’t have them

Then perhaps you can explain how they got their hands on enough explosive to bring down the World Trade Center?

Anthony said...

For me, this can be summed up in one sentence --

I do not believe Bob Woodward

If he walked in the door soaking wet and told me it was raining, I would not believe him.

I think he exaggerates and spins things wildly.

I also think that he is used by Washington insiders to go after their opponents.

I do not think he knowingly lies; he just lacks a sense of incredulity.

veni vidi vici said...

The description of the Woodward book at the Amazon link describes Obama's "worldwide fight against terrorism" among the other "wars" he's currently fighting.

Didn't they get the memo? It should read, his "worldwide fight against man-caused disasters", shouldn't it?

lemondog said...

It's true, right?

Well of course it is.

No matter that it saps our economy through greater spending for internal security, creating higher debt and higher taxes.

No matter that it saps our civil rights and sense of freedom by force of a stranglehold of extraordinary safeguards and procedures implemented, with always having to look over our shoulders for the next threat.

Death by a thousand cuts.

Allison said...

I have a difficult time taking Woodward seriously after reading his Bush at War to the end.

I no longer can find my copy, but does someone else here have it?

Near the end, Woodward quotes himself talking to GWB. And GWB explains the philosophical tack and policy tack that he's functioning from as things have moved forward. And Woodward *doesn't get it*. GWB uses a simple analogy, iirc, and Woodward can't understand it. Asks for clarification--writes it down AS IF GWB is the guy whose elevator isn't going to the top floor, and yet, it's patently obvious what GWB meant.

I took away from that that Woodward just wasn't all that bright.

I took away from that that neither are most reporters. It was a depressing thought, since having above average intelligence seemed like a necessary competency at describing foreign policy to laymen.

The Drill SGT said...

Joe said...Operation Fish Bowl/ Star Fish

Though 1.4mt is a large bomb, I'd make a couple of comments in rebuttal to your non-concern.

1. That was 1962, nearly 50 years ago. virtually vacumn tube days. clearly pre-IC circuit and wafer circuits. same with cars, etc

The point is, what used to take megawatts of power, can now be damaged with milliwatts

2. The blast was 900 miles away. and brought down microwave phone relays, so that means if that same burst was say over Kansas it would impact 50% of the country and before you write off flyover country, I point out that your food, gas and oil (gulf refineries) all come from there. and I dont think think the coastal power grids can survive a crash in the mid-west.

Scott M said...

Texas might.

J said...

"Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker"

A stirring piece of rhetoric, perhaps (at least for G Gordon Liddy types), but rather hyperbolic and figurative. Were someone to lose a leg in an accident he would not be "stronger" (starker) except metaphorically speaking.

In the case of Dubya, 9-11 just made him stoopider--that is, assuming he, Cheney and the rest didn't know about the possibility of the tragedy a priori as it were.

Maguro said...

2. The blast was 900 miles away. and brought down microwave phone relays, so that means if that same burst was say over Kansas it would impact 50% of the country and before you write off flyover country, I point out that your food, gas and oil (gulf refineries) all come from there. and I dont think think the coastal power grids can survive a crash in the mid-west.

You can add the fact that the earth's magnetic field is much stronger at high latitudes than it is close to the equator, which greatly magnifies EMP effects. Think of the power grid in Quebec getting shut down by solar storms back in 1989.

Star Fish is not really a good proxy for what might occur after a high-altitude EMP event over the northern US.

That said, Joe is right that a HEMP attack is much more likely to come from a technically advanced state (Russia, PRC) than from a terrorist group. Just too difficult to get an EMP attack right, much easier to float your bomb into New York or Seattle.

jr565 said...

Madison Man wrote:
No it didn't. In Star Wars, the Death Star is destroyed. In Empire, the Rebellion isn't stronger at all.

The Death Star is destroyed in Return of the Jedi, but it's the death of Palpatine that's more important. Killing the Leader: that's what should be done.


Destroying the death star gave them enough breathing room to allow Leah to pin medals on both Luke and Hand and look at them both lustfully.
Destroying the death star the first time certainly killed Grand Moff Tarkin, one of the leaders (think of him as the Empire's number 3 right behind Vader. And while the Empire was able to rebiuld it it required a huge amount of resources and wasn't complete at the time of the Return of The Jedi, so it tied up the Empire sand it's resources so it couldn't be even more badass than it already was.
So certainly destroying the Death Star didnt' make the Empire stronger. It weakend them, it just didn't destroy them utterly. They were able to absorb the attack.

Scott M said...

much easier to float your bomb into New York or Seattle

Well, sure, but it doesn't kill our economy. Taking out Seattle wouldn't even kill Starbucks at this point which, I suspect, is why we have all these terrorist problems in the first place.

Anyone want to graph the rise in radical Islam with the spread of Starbucks and it's copycats? Could it really be that simple?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Scott M,
I don't think it's Starbucks, I think it's "reality" TV shows that are causing the increase in Islamist activity.

John Lynch said...

9/11 was an existential threat to 3000 of us.

I don,'t want a President who thinks it's OK for 3000 of us to die because there are another 300 million. What, we're supposed to accept that?

No, it's the President's job to make sure that doesn't happen. It's NOT acceptable, it's not something we can absorb, it's not OK.

We built tens of thousands of hydrogen bombs to make it utterly clear to the USSR that losing even ONE city was unacceptable and would lead to their total destruction.

Bush was willing to invade countries and overthrow governments to avenge 3000 Americans. I think that's a much better deterrent than some empty rhetoric about how "strong" we are. "Strong" isn't accepting losses. "Strong" is being too powerful and scary to bother attacking.

Even CARTER bought into that.

I'm really sick of these people. WTF was I thinking?

Quaestor said...

J wrote: "In the case of Dubya, 9-11 just made him stoopider--that is, assuming he, Cheney and the rest didn't know about the possibility of the tragedy a priori as it were"

What a waste of bandwidth...

Standards here are higher than what you are evidently accustomed to.

Fred4Pres said...

Yeah, sure. Unless you are one of the ones who gets struck down.

I do not think I would care to sit on a ledge of a building and choose between burning and jumping.

John Lynch said...

Yes, that's the basic building block of a nation. Will we fight for each other, or not? Do I, living in a small town in Colorado, care if a bunch of people in New York are murdered? I'm never going to be killed by terrorists. Even a nuke won't get me. So do I care, or not?

That's it, that's pretty much it.

Revenant said...

DBQ,

We don't necessarily have to detect which country produced the fissile material. It depends on how ruthless we are prepared to be.

During the Cold War, it was our unofficially (and sometimes officially) stated policy that a nuclear strike on us would be immediately met with a full-fledged launch of our nukes. That plan is adaptable to today. What we ought to do -- and might already have done, who knows -- is something along these lines:

(A): Make a list of hostile nations known to possess, or be actively seeking, nuclear capability. E.g., North Korea, Iran, Pakistan.

(B): Inform each nation on the list (through private diplomatic channels) that any attack not instantly identifiable as originating from another nation will be assumed to originate from theirs, and will trigger the nuclear annihilation of their nation by us.

(C): Offer to help them disarm and dismantle their nuclear infrastructure.

Simply put -- if we're hit by a nuke and can't figure out who it came from, we hit all the plausible suspects in response. If it turns out that, say, North Korea was innocent of wrongdoing, well... tough cookies for North Korea.

John Lynch said...

Revenant-

That's exactly the conclusion I've come to.

Fine, you want nukes. Is it worth being destroyed if any one of our enemies attack us?

Does Iran want to die for North Korea? Does North Korea want to die for Al Qeada?

That's how you deter an attack. Make our enemies police each other, or at least stop cooperating. Make them think about whether it's worth having nukes at all.

Fair? No. But how fair was it to point thousands of hydrogen bombs at innocent people enslaved by communist regimes?

I suggest that the alternative, preventing proliferation by any means necessary, is much more humane.

Quaestor said...

Allison wrote: "I took away from that that neither are most reporters. It was a depressing thought, since having above average intelligence seemed like a necessary competency at describing foreign policy to laymen:

Woodward doesn't do nuance, evidently. Never use metaphor or analogy around someone like that, it's always a mistake as they never connect the dots in a sympathetic way.

However, Woodward is a master of flattery. He knows the Washington careerist type inside out, and can play them like Perlman plays a Cremona fiddle.

BTW, speaking of someone whose elevator stops shy of the top floor, did anyone see Carter on Larry King?

wv: cossi - They all typo superfluous essess.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

Obama seems to be trying to make making America stronger.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Revenant-

That's exactly the conclusion I've come to.


Ditto.

All this touchy feelie kinder gentler warfare that the liberals wanted us (and still want us) to wage in Iraq has to go. War is terrible. No one WANTS to have a war. However, you can't win a war if you aren't prepared for some really terrible things to happen.

Given the choice of winning a war or losing a war and knowing that either option is going to be full of pain....I'll take winning

So, then, when we feel that war is terrible now, compare it to then.

The war to end all wars

I also subscribe to the "The friend of my enemy is my enemy." Or in the words of a previous President. "You are with us or against us". Their choice.

Quaestor said...

There are problems with the "retaliation against the probable source" strategy. Here are a few:

1) Deterrence doesn't work well if it's done subrosa. Everybody's got to know or political pressure on your putative adversaries isn't assured. This is why Kennedy declared that an attack from Cuba against anybody would be deemed an attack by the Soviet Union against the USA. It was pressure from Kruschev's fellows on the Politburo that resolved the issue in our favor. If Kennedy had threated Russia privately then who knows.

2) North Korea and Iran might be able to gain a retaliatory umbrella from China or Russia.

Pogo said...

Echo Rev's plan.

Chance that Obama would endorse it?
Zero.

And thanks again to those 3000 shock absorbers on 9/11.

Gabriel Hanna said...

I don't think the "we can absorb it" remark is objectionable in itself--after all there was Churchill and "London can take it". That wasn't a defeatist or acommodationist sentiment, coming from Churchill anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLgfSDtHFt8

It doesn't mean Obama plans to do nothing because he assumes that we'll be just fine, or better for it. I doubt that an Obama response would be as vigorous as I'd like, but I don't think he'd do nothing at all or not care. I don't think it is reasonable to suppose he'd do nothing, or not care, and not charitable to suggest it.

I was so angry when people said things like this about Bush, that I'm not going to condone it when the target is Obama.

John Lynch said...

Qaestor-

That's why it's important to have more nukes than anyone else.

Does Russia have any reason to die for Iran? If I was Russian I wouldn't want that. Iran isn't their friend, it's just an enemy of America. It's not worth protecting.

China has a bit more of a reason to posture about North Korea. That's why it's dumb to defer to the Chinese, like we did about our naval exercise a couple months ago.

Really, it's madness to be pointing nukes at each other. The only thing worse is creating an environment where those nukes will be used on our citizens.

We had 40 years of successful deterrence against the USSR. I think that throwing away that experience because of silly ideas about how the world SHOULD be is really, deeply, stupid.

If this White House is going to create an environment where nuclear deterrence is the only strategy, then they should man up and admit what that means. It means a return to the balance of terror and pointing 200kt warheads at cities full of civilians. Do they really want that? Do they really have the resolve to end an entire civilization?

This is the problem with electing people who live with abstractions instead of the human reality of fear, death, and horror. If they really want to help the world, they should take force seriously.

Again, it is more humane to have a conventional war now than a nuclear war later. This ambivalence about Iran is stupid and will lead to many people, mostly Iranians, dying for no good reason.

Quaestor said...

Gabriel Hanna wrote: "I don't think it is reasonable to suppose he'd do nothing, or not care, and not charitable to suggest it."

True. However, in today's climate it's foolish for a president to say anything which leaves any doubt as to his intent or resolve. Al-Qaeda thrives on "weak horse - strong horse" propaganda. Much that Obama has done in Afghanistan has been nullified by his remarks. Our enemies will interpret his attitudes as revealed (or distorted) in Obama's Wars as official defeatism.

wv: manch - a cowboyesque resort for virile guys.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Queastor,
What resolved the Cuban missile crisis in "our" favor was Kennedy agreeing to withdraw our missiles from Italy and Turkey.

Synova said...

What doesn't kill us may make us more *resolute*. And that may well seem like it's the same thing as "stronger."

But geez... Is there any real reason we have to get hit first to find some resolve?

Quaestor said...

exhelodrvr1 - Read more history. See fewer Kevin Costner movies.

Khrushchev was forced by Brezhnev and Kosygin to withdraw the missiles or face a vote of censure in the Central Committee. Khrushchev replied to Kennedy's ultimatum twice. First with an offer of unconditional withdrawal and later (about 10 hours later) with the condition that Jupiter C missiles (obsolete by 1962 and scheduled for retirement in 1963) be removed from Turkey. They were later removed from Turkey and Italy on schedule in 1963. The added condition was purely a face saving gesture by Khrushchev made in hope of retaining his job. It didn't work. Khrushchev was later removed from his job as General Secretary, the first time a Soviet leader was retired by something other than death.

J said...

Quaestor: like dem apples, frat boy? Miss Althouse at least allows one dissenter for every 20 ditto-zombies (for now).

Maybe we'll start dipping into former LA DA Bugliosi's arguments in favor of Bush II (and his cabinet of lying perps...WMDs ring a bell) to stand trial for mass-murder

Quaestor said...

J -

It's not your opinions. It's your style, or rather your lack of style.

J said...

Uh oh, speaking of Nietzsche-like chicken hawks, here it is: Quaestor! Well, shy of a few dozen IQ points, and knowing jack about links oder rechts. Al Haig then. lite.

Zero four-hundred hours, Capn!

A.W. said...

This is what I wrote over at my blog:

http://allergic2bull.blogspot.com/

Mr. President, are you under the impression that 9-11 is as bad as it possibly could get? I mean 9-11 itself wasn’t as bad as it could have been. If flight 93 hadn’t crashed in Pennsylvania, if the Pentagon was hit in a different place, it could have been much worse.

And then what if our enemies get weapons of mass destruction. What if Iran gets a nuke and gives it to their friends in Hamas to attack the U.S.? What if it goes off in downtown D.C.?

If this quote is accurate and not out of context, I can only conclude that you, Mr. President, have no f--king idea what we are faced with. I said a long time ago, that September 11 might prove a blessing in disguise. Because as awful as it is, it could have been much, much worse. But now we are awakened to the danger, I said, we can prevent what might have instead been a biochemical or nuclear slaughter that would have made 9-11 look like nothing.

But I might have been wrong. It seems that we have a president who didn’t learn that lesson.

Imagine if Washington D.C. suddenly disappeared. Our President, our Congress, our Supreme Court, all gone. Our military command decapitated. I know some might genuinely wonder if on balance that would be a bad thing, but it would be. As badly as things are run now, having nothing, suddenly, would be worse. I believe that this country could recover, but I would never be so flippant about that nightmare scenario.

Seriously, what the f--k, Mr. President? What... the… f--k?!

John Lynch said...

I thought "chickenhawk" went out in 2004. You know, when no one cared and Bush was re-elected.

And how much sense does it make to use that term when the President, who has never served in any capacity in the armed forces, sends hundreds to their deaths every year?

Should we have voted for McCain instead to avoid electing a "chickenhawk?" That word was noticeably absent in 2008. I wonder why?

Stupidest, most simplistic criticism ever made. What do you want, Starship Troopers? Only vets can vote and rule?

Totally idiotic.

holdfast said...

"Analysis of the material after a nuclear explosion gives a pretty clear indication of where the fissile material was produced, so it is highly likely they would know the point of origin of the material that went into a bomb."

And if it is old material taken from a number of old Russian plants in Kazakhstan and then [re-]manufactured in Iran, who do we nuke smarty?

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