May 2, 2011

Yglesias: "Osama Bin Laden’s Death Could Be a Great Time To Declare Victory In The 'War On Terror.'"

Love the scare quotes, Matt. Yeah, Obama should be all "Mission Accomplished!" Great advice.
The threat to the physical security of Americans posed by terrorists needs to be put alongside the threat to physical security posed by “ordinary” criminals, by car accidents, etc. 
Oh, lord! Remember after 9/11, some people were asking why we got so upset about 3,000 deaths, when that many Americans die in car crashes every 5 30 days or so? Let's just make safer cars, and it'd be about the same as fighting terrorism, okay? Pass a law requiring parents to keep their kids in booster seats until they're 8 or 9 and it's pretty much the same as killing Osama. Thanks for the brilliant idea, Matt.

47 comments:

rhhardin said...

The point would be that 3000 deaths wasn't the point, as the coverage made it because then there are victims to entertain viewers.

Mark O said...

I can tell when the war is over by how I'm treated at the airport. So far, they've won.

Pogo said...

Yglesias should be called Matte, because he has a dull finish.

AJ Lynch said...

Matt should be told that fat and stupid is no way to go through life.

pbAndj said...

The personalization in this post seems atypical.

Maybe Matt and Ann are pals.

It couldn't be a BHTV friendship, Althouse isn't usually allowed to talk to guys.

Fred4Pres said...

Why does anyone listen to that homunculus?

DKWalser said...

Many on the left are desperately trying to get back to a pre-9/11 world. Many on the right, too, are desperately trying to get back to such a world. The difference is the right is willing to pay the cost -- destroying terrorism -- creating such a world requires, while the left is willing to pretend terrorism doesn't exist.

Wishing doens't make it so.

Firehand said...

He won't be happy until we declare ourselves losers and retreat, because that'll be a 'moral victory' or something. Like Gandhi saying the Jews should've committed mass suicide to 'shame the Nazis'.

Hell, if we'd made Greenwald happy by capturing bin Laden for a show trial in NYC, Yglesias would bitch about that, too.

E.M. Davis said...

Let me know what he has to say the after the next bomb goes off.

Salamandyr said...

It would make a could justification for reducing our presence in Afghanistan. We don't really seem to be doing any good there. We could draw ourselves down to the point where we're protecting Kabul (and keeping them from installing yet another Taliban government) and letting the rest of the "country" go back to the pre-medieval hell it so desperately wants to be.

SPImmortal said...

I appreciate that Matt has the stones to allow dissenting comments on his blog, but when it comes right down to it his opinions are usually a mix of goofy idiocy and hippie pie in the sky bullshit. This one is no different.

Fred4Pres said...

The team who got Osama.

Thank you.

Ignore Yglesias. He is short, fat, and young.

Salamandyr said...

That "could" in the first line should have been "good".

MikeR said...

Think I agree with the hippies on this one. How much are we willing to do to really stop terrorism? Perpetual war with some yahoos in caves? Bin Ladin wasn't even that important any more, because al Qaeda is a movement, not an organization. Anyone in Arkansas can decide to be a suicide bomber.
These guys in Afghanistan are not currently a threat to us, and there are other ways to keep them from becoming one.
It's time to get back to normal life.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

The 'only 3000 people died' meme never fails to pods me off. There were over 50.000 people in the WTC when it was attacked and more at the Pentagon. The fact that so many survived is a tribute to good luck, reinforced walls (at the Pentagon) and some brave rescuers, some of whom lost their own lives doing their job. OBL would have been more than happy to see them all dead, so don't lecture anyone about keeping perspective, you fucking moron, Yglesias. That you get paid to write shit like this should be a felony.

edutcher said...

I can just hear it now, "President Roosevelt, we just got Yamamoto, the guy who planned Pearl Harbor. Would this be a swell time to declare victory in 'World War II'?".

These people really are that stupid.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

Sorry that should read 'never fails to piss me off.' (I really hate autocomplete.)

MadisonMan said...

Pogo, that's a good line.

AJ Lynch said...

We can't have endless wars is how we should look at this. And that is what Afpak has become.

But I am not as fat and dumb as Yglesias so I would not declare victory either.

traditionalguy said...

Where exactly did the Al Qaeda guys plant those nukes? Inquiring minds want to know.

Wahrheit said...

Any piece that begins "James Fallows published a fantastic piece back in..." is already in trouble. James Fallows hasn't published a "fantastic piece" of anything since he took a dump back in 1978 that was the size of a nuclear submarine.

Guy Average said...

An average of 4000 are murdered every day through abortion. 4000 every day. Not only are the people who perform these murders protected by our government and laws, but money comes from every taxpayer to subsidize the largest offender, Planned Parenthood.

Chip S. said...

I for one welcome Matte's embrace of cost-benefit analysis, and I eagerly await his demand that it be applied to all federal initiatives, including the Endangered Species Act.

Sigivald said...

For a professional writer on politics, Yglesias sure has a way of picking inopportune words.

What he's actually saying is that it might be a fine excuse to turn down the ridiculous security-theater we've been putting up with for almost 10 years that hasn't actually made significantly safer. (This means you, TSA.)

Too bad he managed to say it in a way that make it look at a glance like he thinks that is the "War On Terror"* - and that thus we could just bring all the troops home from Afghanistan and all the intelligence and other operations in the rest of the world related to it could cease.

So, kinda poorly put there, Mr. Yglesias.

(* The quotes are not there to "scare" one - at least in my use - but to highlight how awkward and stupid the phrase itself is, despite the perfectly reasonable thing it actually represents.

Hard to come up with a better one, but I ain't gonna pretend it's good.)

ricpic said...

Above all else, in the lefty mind, America must tread cautiously, apologetically, lest it offend the noble fellaheen.

Sloanasaurus said...

via Powerline

Nancy Pelosi, press conference, September 7, 2006:

[E]ven if [Osama bin Laden] is caught tomorrow, it is five years too late. He has done more damage the longer he has been out there. But, in fact, the damage that he has done ... is done. And even to capture him now I don't think makes us any safer.

Nancy Pelosi, earlier today:

The death of Osama bin Laden marks the most significant development in our fight against al-Qaida. ... I salute President Obama, his national security team, Director Panetta, our men and women in the intelligence community and military, and other nations who supported this effort for their leadership in achieving this major accomplishment. ... [T]he death of Osama bin Laden is historic....

TMink said...

From a Biblical perspective it is easy to think that things are just starting to get bad. Not really a good time to ostrich, but a better time to know whose side you are on.

Trey

chr1 said...

Remember, the goal is to look out the window, and and feel that the world is a just place, and that you live in an equal society where the slightest swell of patriotism must be tamped down for the greater good....until the shit hits the fan, or you find out you've set up a bunch of goals for your politics that corrupt it more than usual.

But you feel good and right. It's all about 'peace' and 'justice' until it isn't.

jim said...

"Let's just make safer cars, and it'd be about the same as fighting terrorism, okay?"

Yes, I too clearly remember all the people saying just this ... in Bizarro-America.

Wow ... I don't even personally know anyone who lost someone on 9/11, but I still kind of puked up a little teeny-tiny bit in my mouth just from reading this.

If you're truly this bitter & aggro over very good news, you must be a real comfort to one & all when very bad news arrives.

If the original right-wing warbloggers could read some of what I've been reading from "conservatives" of today back in 2003, they'd immediately suspect it was terrorist agitprop.

There may be times when partisan zeal is a good thing - I think this is not one of them. The memory of the surviving 9/11 First Responders nearly getting completely fucked over is still very fresh for many. Some on the right (Cheney, Giuliani et al) are bright enough to give President Obama credit where it's due, but both the quantity & intensity of the MANY contrary sentiments are literally breathtaking.

AlphaLiberal said...

Ann Althouse, again you put false words into a writer's mouth and then bravely do battle with your strawman argument.

Matt Ygelsias only said that the threats and the costs need to be put in perspective. We need to keep a sense of proportion in the remedies.

Example: a trillion spent on the GWOT. How much spent on other threats to American lives?

And, just maybe Ann, the situation does not really call for searching for arguments to beat up "the left" with. Maybe we don't have to attack each other at all. Please allow that consideration.

AlphaLiberal said...

Also, reallt, "scare quotes"? WTF?

Quotation marks are not a bad thing.
Quotation marks are not sinister.

Sometimes a "quotation mark" is just a "quotation mark."

Mutaman said...

"Carter blew it with Iran, encouraging the Iranian armed forces to stay in their barracks, while Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's radical Islamists (whom Carter thought of as "reformers") took power, and then approved the ill-conceived hostage rescue mission that ended with ignominious failure in the desert. Obama, by contrast, could only wish for such success."

Glenn Harlan Reynolds
Washington Examiner
5/1/1 (Several hours before the OBL announcement)

The Grand Inquisitor said...

yes, Mutaman, Glenn Reynolds called Obama for being unable to make this happen.

And while I do credit Obama with a mission of great success, let's remember that Obama repeatedly condemned the means we absolutely needed to make this happen.

It's those hard decisions that Bush made that Obama was able to use to know where Osama was.

So would Obama, on his own steam, do as well as Carter? I don't know. Honestly, I think Obama deserves credit for being better than Carter on using force. I think it's very important we make sure democrats know to fight our enemies and enjoy the benefits.

Hindsight is 20:20. I think it's particularly informative to see who on the left claimed these tactics don't accomplish anything.

Alan said...

"Many on the left are desperately trying to get back to a pre-9/11 world."

Or pre-1989, in a sense. I think those people view the "War on Terror" the same way they see the Cold War - both ultimately caused by American imperialism.

John Lynch said...

Matt Yglesias lost me when he asked why cars are built that can go faster than the speed limit.

He spends far too much time in the company of abstract ideas and not enough driving to work.

traditionalguy said...

I agree with Yglesias. We should fire the TSA screeners now.

Cedarford said...

Yglesias....."If we only had educated the Negroes to avoid fatty, salty Southern food we could have saved far more lives than the pittance lost to lynchings. And had we put more effort into nutrition than diversions into miscarriages of justice, more Net Negro lives would have been saved."

=================
Truth is though, that 3,500 (soldiers and civilians) lost in the first year of any war is a very, very low figure.
Be thankful we had nothing remotely close to the carnage of the 1st year of the civil war, the millions lost in 1914, what happened 1st year the Japs were in China, what the Soviet death toll was a year into the German attack, or the casualties thhe 1st year of the Korean War.

Rialby said...

Fucking Oprah tweeted last night - "does that mean we can saw the war is over?"

I so desperately wanted to have a Twitter account so I could tell her to put her head back in her cake pan.

ic said...

'War on Terror'? You mean 'kinectic military action' on 'man caused disasters'?

There ain't no war, there ain't no victory, yes?

Alan said...

Every time I see the word "kinetic" I think of kinetic art. It's like the Guggenheim is drafting our military language.

Mutaman said...

"It's those hard decisions that Bush made that Obama was able to use to know where Osama was."

Those hard decisions Bush made which led to finding all those WMDs.

Paul said...

Has it occured to any of you that Obama may have done all this just to distract everyone from Libya and Gadaffi's dead children, 5 buck gas, economy, runaway national debt, inflation, etc...??

You know lots of leaders start wars abroad to get peoples minds off what is happening at home.

Fred4Pres said...

Paul, an opportunity like this comes and you have to take it. They got the intelligence and the plan went into effect. It had a few months lead time, so it predates Libya anyway. I do not think Obama could control the timing that well.

ken in sc said...

We will always have endless wars. The goal is to win most of them.

Paul said...

predates Libya anyway?

The mission was planned for months, but it's the 'hurry up' part I wonder about. And the killing of the grandkids was just a few days ago.

John Lynch said...

Obama did it. The man deserves the credit. I have no problem with that.

As Reagan said, it's hard to argue with results.

AST said...

Just heard Shep Smith asking Cat Herridge "Is anybody talking about the fact that this is illegal ... this operation was illegal, or is that a matter that's going to be left for another day?" The answer was "That's an excellent question. People are not discussing that." She went on to state that this is yet another case of big targets being captured in or near major urban centers in Pakistan. It was described as a "disturbing pattern." We've been overflying Pakistan with UAVs and attacking terrorist leaders with missiles.

It took me back to the reaction when Nixon ordered bombing of North Vietnamese trails for delivering munitions and weapons to the South through Cambodia.

I'm waiting for the left to come to that realization and get their justifications ready.

It certainly appears that part of the Pakistani government or its intelligence service have been providing cover to these creeps. There are movements in Congress to investigate that. Can cutting our foreign aid be far behind?