Enigma in an Orange Jumpsuit

Moussaoui took the stand again today, denying claims -- including those by his own lawyers -- that he's actively seeking martyrdom via execution.

He lambasted defense attorneys for not requesting a change of venue. He accused them of being more concerned with keeping the high-profile case than with saving his life -- a feat he says would have been more easily accomplished farther away from the Pentagon, in a state that doles out the death penalty a little less often than Virginia.

In light of these latest statements, could it be that Moussaoui really would prefer life in prison over "death at the hands of the infidels"? Or has he been baiting the court all along -- trying to goad the jury into choosing capital punishment?

If the latter, today's testimony could indicate that he realized people were catching on, and he's now trying to convince the jury that a death sentence would devastate him. Then again, maybe he really is just schizophrenic.

Any thoughts on which possibility is most likely?

By Emily Messner |  April 13, 2006; 3:57 PM ET  | Category:  Misc.
Previous: Moussaoui to FBI: I Plead the Fifth | Next: Endangering Americans From Inside a Jail Cell?

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Personally I think he's trying to goad the court into killing him. Between saying that he wants to live while mocking those that mourn those killed in 9/11, he's creating the image of someone you want to hate. By creating that image, he's got the best chance of being executed. Make people hate him so much that they kill him, if simply to stop him from getting waht he 'wants;' life in prison.

That or he's just a retard.

Posted by: Geb | April 13, 2006 04:58 PM

Emily wrote:
If the latter, today's testimony could indicate that he realized people were catching on, and he's now trying to convince the jury that a death sentence would devastate him. Then again, maybe he really is just schizophrenic.

Any thoughts on which possibility is most likely?
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dear Emily,
Whether Mr. Moussaoui would prefer the death penalty or not is quite irrelevant to the question in front of the jury. Whether each member of the jury will behave as though it is irrelevant is a different matter entirely. I would, but every individual person has to answer that one to themselves.

The point is that it requires no speculation as to his wishes, his defense strategies, his secret wishes, his possible strategies, etc. They just don't matter one way or the other to the decision whether to give him life imprisonment or to whack him. What is at issue in that determination is the balance between agravating and mitigating circumstances as the jury will have to determine it.

Posted by: Cayambe | April 13, 2006 05:15 PM

I think Cayambe beat me to the draw. Whatever Moussaoui's wishes or secret hidden wishes are shouldn't matter in the slightest in the jury decision.

All too many times we hear how the preferences of the defendent should shape the outcome of justice to a resolution. But the truth is the defendent is just being used as a stand-in proxy for the advocate's personal preferences.

The logic? It's regurgitated in every trial where death penalty opponents surface, or someone who believes in therapy over jail for child molesters comes forth:

"I oppose X punishment as a personal moral thing with me. The defendent is facing either X or Y. Therefore, I as an advocate against X will use the clever argument no one will see through (ha!) that the defendent "secretly" seeks X punishment as the easier path...therefore to punish him more severely and exact more revenge, we should demand he or she get Y."

Funny you never see them argue the contrary position! "Hey, the rapist/murderer of the 9 year old, caught on video, is begging for his life. So I say we should kill him! Because he wants to live, so the worse revenge is killing him...I know, I know - just the opposite of what I said about Tim McVeigh who I opposed death for because he wanted to die and killing him would only make him a martyr!"

You'll never see the people pouring out of the woodwork arguing that "death is the lesser punishment because the defendent wants to die" reverse and favor death for a scared butcherer begging for his ass.

LOi-Yahs try this tactic too. "My deeply remorseful client is so sorry for being drunk and plowing into the crowd. The two deaths weigh on her heart. But I'm here to tell the jury that the humiliation of 400 hours of community service and a 5,000 dollar fine will be an even greater punishment than sending my client to jail for 5 years...My client fears facing her neighbors more than the escape jail offers her, but she has reluctantly agreed that the community service sentence would be in the best interests of society and a better start on her rehabilitation than the easy path to jail..."

Fortunately most juries see through the "secret wishes of the defendent" crap ladled out.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 13, 2006 07:32 PM

Also worth noting is when the death penalty was rare, opponents had a far easier time making their pet mass killers into martyrs and celebrities.

When death becomes more common a punishment, the crowds and media lessen. Down in Texas the huge crowds of bleeding hearts have dwindled, but where an execution is still rare, like California or Connecticut, you see big crowds of raging activists still common.

I think the same happens with Islamoids. It has been noted that back when only a few fighters from villages got whacked by the Americans, Brits, or Iraqi state forces - they seethed, raged, marched with Celebrity Jihadi banners. But with some 40,000 Islamoids whacked and 30,000 detained - the glamour of martyrdom has dwindled - tough to even get a Shaheed banner waving outside the family home these days.

Same thing happened in Afghanistan when the glamour of martyrdom was taken out by mass slaughter of Talibanis and foreign fighters. To paraphrase Stalin - one glorious martyr deserves mass rallies, banners, celebrating crowds - but 10,000 martyrs is just a statistic.

And when half a million died on both sides in the Iran-Iraq war, all were treated as Martyrs on Holy Jihad, but it was tough to turn a crowd out for them only a month into the war and after 25 years, it's quite clear that mass martyrdom was not so hot a recruiting tool or motivator for either Iraqis or Iranians to seek another war to "avenge the martyrs!!" Borders are loosely guarded, the revenge terrorist operations of either Iraqis or Iranians seeking revenge for the 1/2 million of their martyrs are nill, and Iran-Iraq trade and pilgrimmages are SOP.

My guess is that Moussaoui would be on the "D-list" of wannabe famous Martyrs back in Camel Land. Palestinian suicide bombers are currently celebrity hot - but I think only because the Palestinian radicals don't have to worry about being whacked hard and suffering 40% casualty rates - and can afford the indulgence of people confident that no Israeli counter-attack is coming marching in the street to idolize the one dead martyr they supplied relatively pain-free to their own fates - in glorious Jihad. Binnie might achieve rock star martyrdom if he is killed fighting us or shows up with his 100-ACLU lawyer defense team facing down the infidel dogs in their own American courts...but it could all go away for Binnie if we capture him and make him cry and beg, or he is filmed fleeing US or Pakistani troops and is shot in the back or while begging to surrender and get his ACLU-guaranteed "criminal rights".

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 13, 2006 08:04 PM

Enema. Not enigma.

Posted by: Hoowah | April 13, 2006 08:49 PM

The Moussaoui trial is much more a trial of the US justice system, than of one unpredictable individual that even Al Qaeda didn't trust. Discussions about whether Moussaoui wants, or deserves, the death penalty are trivial - the real issues include

-Why was the FBI and the US government so ineffective, in terms of gathering and acting on the information available *before* 9-11?

-Is the US justice system capable of putting terrorists on trial?

From my perspective, the prosecution in the Moussaoui trial has mounted a pathetic case. The most incriminating information to come out of this trial has focussed on the FBI's incompetent actions. If this is the best the DOJ can do, in terms of putting a terrorist on public trial, then there's something seriously wrong with the US justice system.

Moussaoui's a pathetic, rabid, self-deluded clown. Maybe polls indicate that a majority of the American public would like to see him dead. It's unfortunate that America's claimed principles of justice have been tainted by this shoddy trial.

Posted by: Kris | April 13, 2006 08:51 PM

Moussaoui's guilt or innocence seems to be secondary to the amount of jingoism surrounding his trial. The dual and conjunctive attempts between the prosecution and our hoaky mainstream media to make his trial into some sort of public stroll down 9/11 memory lane were superfluous and pointless. All this re-hashing of 9/11 is just our pathetic news outlets beating a very dead horse. Moussaoi deserves to pay for his crimes, by death if a jury deems so, but that doesn't mean all this '9/11 Revisited' hoopla we've had in the last week or so was warranted or necessary. Let Karl Rove live in yesteryear; The rest of this country has moved on.

Posted by: ErrinF | April 13, 2006 09:53 PM

I should add that I'm rather dubious about "agravating and mitigating" factors. I hold to the fundamental principle that the punishment should, first and foremost, fit the actual crime and not the perp. That is rather basic to holding people to account for what they do, not for what they might think, or who they are, or how educated, or charismatic, or rich, or poor, or ugly. I don't like "hate crime" distinctions for the same reason. It just enrages me when I see these corporate scum commit humongous crimes on the scale of billions and then walk off with a couple of years in minimum security.

Anyway, looking at the actual crime Moussaoui commited, which didn't so much as get through the preparation stage, I think life w/o parole is appropriate. That he celebrates the death of 3000 and the weeping of many thousands more is not in and of itself a crime, and in feeling as he does, he is joined by millions of others in this world. This is a reality we need to understand folks. To call this a delusion on his part, to call him crazy, is not to understand the reality of the matter.

Kris wrote:
"The Moussaoui trial is much more a trial of the US justice system, than of one unpredictable individual that even Al Qaeda didn't trust."

I agree with you, and it has already failed, whichever punishment the jury decides on. As Chris has pointed out in some detail, Moussaoui is simply not guilty of the charge for which he is on trial and this should already have ended with a not guilty verdict on this charge. Leaving him to spend the rest of his life on the charge he pled guilty to. A truly conservative Supreme Court would throw this one out into the trash bin 9-0.

Posted by: Cayambe | April 13, 2006 10:01 PM

Doesn't Moussaoui realize that he is in federal court? It doesn't matter in which state he is sentenced as far as the death penalty is concerned. If he is sentenced to death in a federal court in Minnesota, he will still be executed.

Posted by: Michael1945 | April 13, 2006 11:59 PM

The worst thing the jury could do at this point is giving him a death sentense penalty! This would be granting him his wish in wanting to be a martyr. Bad message to his followers!
The jury should sentense him to life in prison at either Penguin Point or San Quentin. There he'll receive the justice he deserves, and end up not being a martyr,

Posted by: C.R. Eastes | April 14, 2006 12:06 AM

Now it is time to depart a bit from Cayambe. While I think the civilian "law enforcement model" with it's existing laws AT BEST should only find justification for Moussaouis's life imprisonment, I strongly supported the alternate military tribunal death penalty sentence for Moussaoui, best carried out within months with appeal only to SCOTUS.

The reason for this is only military law properly accounts for the vast harm that each member of an unlawful enemy combatant team can accomplish when each of their seemingly minor actions is added up. Military law accounts for the spy that can serve his side by providing the info needed to kill 10's of thousands solely from his info. The British military did caught a Nazi agent that had a radio and had drafts of N Africa troopship schedules to relay to Nazi wolfpack subs. Sinking one or two troopships would generate 2,000-10,000 dead Allied men. They hanged him thinking he had knocked off 1800 on one ship off Malta, but would have hanged him even if they got him without a drop of blood being shed from his warfighting efforts. Or the Nazi saboteurs here, could have crippled war production for weeks when we had 300 men a day dying by enemy hands - many from lack of material support - if they had proceeded to rail and telephone exchanges they wished to blow up in America.

That unlawful combatants may not harm a hair on anyone and are not really "criminals" in a civilian law sense is totally irrelevant - in war they were the deadliest of enemies.

We see that with 19 of such people. If Atta & Co. were caught before 9/11, they might have gotten only 5-10 year stretches, max, under US civilian law. But they weren't criminals - they were foreign enemy. Who did achieve 3,000 dead foes, and almost 1.5 trillion in damage.

People in America and Euroweenie land just seem so reluctant to abandon their "crime and sacred criminal rights the enemy deserves" paradigms.

They think real war is unthinkable, a purely elective matter totally under America's sole control, if not the UN if the UN and the ICC are permitted to solve all "root causes" of silly antagonism in a world that respests the diversity and religious beliefs of others. So if Americans are somehow ever whacked by another military, any piles of dead American bodies must be the "fault" of our policies or the "competency" of those Lefties think are Super-Mommies who should protect us from all evil, ensure we never get cancer, never lose a single American in combat, and are duty-bound to save our kids from the obesity epidemic. And not just stop any criminal or enemy action at the last instant 100% of the time - but to strive with the utmost care to ensure all the bad guys "rights" are lavishly "honored"....

And so they seem to lack the mental flexibility to understand that there are many people willing to fight and die for their beliefs -

And not all are "evil", "mad" or "criminals" - but able, intelligent, even honorable men by the yardsticks of their quite alien from America's - religious and cultural core beliefs. Men who should know and expect that if they choose unlawful combat methods to seek greater harm and death than they could achieve as individuals, rather than by being Hague & Geneva Convention compliant, and are caught, they deserve death more than the brave guys in the say, Iraqi tank column fighting openly, that our A-10s found.

The best way to see Moussaoui is that he COULD have opted as a trained enemy to charge US soldiers in Afghanistan and shoot it out with them in the sort of combat allowed by international law. Instead, Moussaoui volunteered to doff his uniform and go on a dangerous mission to sneak past his military foe, to attack, not our soldiers...but target their families and other American civilians in a plot he hoped would end up in tens of thousands of Americans smashed or burned alive.

And we have found dozens of Islamoid "scouts", more accurately called spies, whose detailed expeditions to New Jersy bank headquarters, Disneyworld, Penn Station with observations of security forces schedules, maps, reports of insiders. Instead of fighting directly, they also hoped by their spying to kill more Americans or bleed them of more billions in economic losses by performing that role, than by being a suicide bomber.

Military law recognizes that tremendous danger to the People of America.

Civilian law does not.

An enemy soldier fighting unlawfully in the hopes of inflicting greater lethality and damage is EVEN MORE deserving of death than an enemy soldier engaged in direct, brave combat against an armed foe shooting back at him in the field.

But as spies and saboteurs are dispatched in wartime, they are generally treated as brave men (and women) deserving of far higher respect than mere condemned criminals. Nathan Hale was admired by his British captors as a courageous, worthy foe before and after he was hanged - because he knew he faced high odds of being caught and executed. The Nazi saboteurs were told, other than the 2 of 8 who were American citizens and thus the lowest of the low - traitors, the Germans were executed with respect and honor...In Europe there are national hero statues to spies and saboteurs of past wars - those caught and executed by the enemy they sought to destroy.

So Moussauoi should have been given a 50,000 miliatry tribunal back in 2003. Found guilty, and shot as a soldier rather than the interminable delay of a decade and a half of "due process" and appeals while his fans blubber about how "ghastly" being painlessly euthanized like a terminally sick cat will be for him.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 14, 2006 12:51 AM

C.R. Estes - "The jury should sentense him to life in prison at either Penguin Point or San Quentin. There he'll receive the justice he deserves, and end up not being a martyr."

Advocates of "jailhouse justice" or "Let the Holy Victim Families of 9/11 kill him or spare him since they Have Supreme Moral Authority"? Simply put, those advocates are simply too craven or half-assed themselves to take on decisions of legal justice - so they seek to deflect their responsiblity onto the whims of the lowest felons incarcerated, or defer to ancient familial bloodright dibs to make revenge a tribal thing.

C.R. Estes is no different than those authorities of past years that chose to surrender suspects to a lynch mob - as the easiest path with the least personal risk they could take. Sheer gutlessness to step up and personally commit to ensure a just society where punishment is determined by law.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 14, 2006 01:07 AM

Chris....."Now it is time to depart a bit from Cayambe."

Posted by: Cayambe | April 14, 2006 02:49 AM

Chris....."Now it is time to depart a bit from Cayambe."

Nope, the only place we probably depart lies in the severity of the sentence imposed by the tribunal. There is no question but what a military tribunal is the proper place for this to have been tried. My point is that haveing chosen otherwise, they should have limited themselves to what the law provides and not corrupted it to serve essentially political and pr purposes.

Where we probably would more seriously depart is in the formulation of the rules and procedures under which the tribunals should operate. I no more trust this administration in that arena than I do in the civilian courts. Born again Christians or not, these guys are plainly as amoral as they come, in every respect. But that is off topic.

Posted by: Cayambe | April 14, 2006 03:04 AM

Moussaoui is one of the most skewed and extreme Muslims I've had the misfortune to know about, and now he is in the limelight for saying things that are absolutely vile. I am embarassed that his actions were out of his dedication to Islam, because the Islam I know does not allow any form of this "jihad."
If he is so true to Islam, then the people he killed have the right to kill him in the same way, if he is convicted by a jury. I say that they give him the death penalty and he be put to death, and in the same way all the people he helped kill met there sad end, experiencing pain, anguish, and fear. He needs to be brought back to reality, maybe then we can say he is actually a human.

Posted by: MRB | April 14, 2006 06:53 AM

"...for saying things that are absolutely vile...";

"...If he is so true to Islam, then the people he killed have the right to kill him in the same way..."

"...give him the death penalty and he be put to death... experiencing pain, anguish, and fear.."

So, how does this make the "Judeo/Christians" any different than the Muslims?

The supposed "Judeo/Christian" roots of our culture are a joke. We are Romans, pure and simple, and as such, we should take our Jesus mask off and kill him slowly and sadistically, out of blood lust, vengeance, and to please the crowd.

Posted by: smafdy | April 14, 2006 07:50 AM

Kill him and lot God sort it out.

Posted by: NYC | April 14, 2006 09:18 AM

How ironic; Moussaoui and the U.S. government marching arm in arm to the death chamber. Moussaoui for the sake of martyrdom; the U.S. government for the sake of misdirected revenge.

Posted by: Craigjjs | April 14, 2006 09:25 AM

A martyr isn't a martyr if he jumps off a cliff. My guess is these latest feeble protestations are designed to exhibit his desire for life, so later it will be easier to claim that we "murdered" him.

And it is posturing. No one with any serious desire to live would reply to "[y]ou would do it again tomorrow if you could, wouldn't you?" with "[t]oday."

Whatever. He wants God to judge him? I'm alright with that.

Posted by: a citizen | April 14, 2006 09:32 AM

BTW- Where is Mohammed (PB&J, BBQ) getting all these virgins? I mean, we've whacked about 10,000 of these guys, you'd think they would of run out by now.

If not, that's one hell of a party they're throwin'...

Posted by: Cross of St George | April 14, 2006 10:07 AM

Why not treat Zaccharious like FFPD treats somebody who bets on sports...Just have Detective David J. Baucom call him outside and then have SWAT Officer Deveal Bullock shoot him. The D.A. and Chief can wink and raise their glasses to each other and tell everybody it was just a mistake. Then we never have to hear about Moussaiou again.

FYI, I don't think it's Virgins they are getting I think it's Virginians..

Posted by: Don Ho | April 14, 2006 10:20 AM

Why is it so hard for Americans, who claim to be Christian and believe in God in LARGE numbers, to understand that this man is a BELIEVER. Frankly, it doesn't matter WHAT he believes in, as long as his faith is absolute.

The cognitive dissonance involved in looking at Evangelicals who believe the world is 6000 years old and that the Bible is prescriptive (and tells them to hate gay people) and looking at a man who BELIEVES in the Koran in the same way is amazing.

If you are a BELIEVER, someone who chooses faith ABOVE all reason and factual evidence, and if you BELIEVE that there is only RIGHT and WRONG, without perspective of one's situation, and if you are ABSOLUTE in these beliefs, then it should come as no surprise that this man testifies to his faith. Because this man chose to kill for his faith is only a matter of tactics. Hell, we've killed around a hundred thousand for WMD that didn't exist - or for the spread of "Democracy" if you want to go to about reason number 7 on the list.

The real disconnect here is that Americans, for the most part, are so selfish that they simply cannot see themselves sacrificing their own life for something they believe in. Call Evangelicals and other fanatically faithful (and yes, not all Evangelicals are fanatical) BELIEVERS and FAITHFUL, but I see FEW willing to put THEIR LIFE on the line for their beliefs.

Call this man evil, call him dangerous, call him a murderer, but the bottom line is he BELIEVES in what he is doing to the point that he is willing to martyr himself for his BELIEFS.

Now tell me, how do we win a war against a people with such faith when what we are trying to fight for is big screen TVs, nice cars and ballgames. If we REALLY thought our way of life was being threatened, our recruiters would be exhausted, but they're not.

We are so selfish and so self-absorbed and so distracted by all our little toys and happy hours that we cannot even fathom how a man can be so faithful as to virtually commit suicide by his testimony in order to become a symbol of something greater.

Ironic given this is Easter Weekend.

Posted by: AfghanVet | April 14, 2006 10:23 AM

Schizophrenic? Maybe. Who knows? But we do know that this man hates America and Americans with every fiber of his being.

Most people react to his murderous raging in the courtroom with an astonishment and disbelief. Yet, even a cursory review of the history of American dealings in the past half century in that turbulent part of the world offers up entirely reasonable causes for this pulsating anger and hatred of America.

In fact, Michael Kinsley gives us that cursory review on these very op-ed pages this morning in a column entiltled WHERE SHOULD WE MEDDLE NEXT? I know, I know, there are those diehards out there who see any serious questioning of America's role in creating the very fundament upon which today's seething terrorism rests as treasonous, anti-American appeasement.

Any such attempts to examine the root causes of such vile animus as expressed in the Moussaoui courtroom yesterday is likely to bring on shrill rhetoric labeling such attempts as coming from the BLAME AMERICA FIRST crowd. But, it isn't really about blaming America. It is about honestly facing up to the reality that what we are facing today is a crisis of our own making and coming up with some rational way to own up to that reality and go on from there.

That is almost impossible to do with the present operative paradigm in use in American foreign policy. It is notable that this President has never, ever given any serious thought to having direct, face-to-face negotiations with our enemies. Why it is that the notion that "only Nixon could go to China" has not penetrated the thinking of this administration owes its reasons to the ideological thicket that surrounds this White House.

It is almost as though Rush Limbaugh were President of the United States.

Posted by: Jaxas | April 14, 2006 10:34 AM

To AfghanVet, your point, commentary and analysis is way off line. You try and make a correlation between Moussaiou and his religous beliefs, to Evangelic Christians. That's like comparing Hitler to the Pope. Both had beliefs but one was a raving homicidal lunatic, as is Moussaiou.
As far as your little back handed slap about the Iraq war and fighting for Democracy, you should watch that comment stupid, because hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq were killed at the hands of a ruthless dictator, and since you have no prior knowledge or experience being in that country during Husseins rule, you should not be so quick to make light of the fact that democracy and freedom does come with a heavy cost.
Some of the people who blog on these sights need to stop smoking the crack pipe..You want to compare religous people to zealots or fanatics, Jim Jones was religous too, it's just he convinced his people to drink the kool aid, and well we know how that turned out.

Let's not make the war in Iraq or Afghanistan a religous war because it's not in any way. The people we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are not fighting for religous freedoms, they are fighting for the right to oppress people's religous freedoms.

And as for Fairfax County Police, that entire department from Chief Rohrer, too Det. David Baucom to that clown that has no idea how to handle his weapon, Deveal Bullock should all be fired. They have absolutely no ethics, integrity.

Happy Easter...

Posted by: J. MacCarthy | April 14, 2006 10:35 AM

The Nazi's BELIEVED in their ideology. The Japanese BELIEVED in the divinity of their Emperor. Marxist revolutionaries around the globe BELIEVED in Marx & Engels.

They were defeated. Radical Islam can be defeated as well and the ideology, the pathology, that spawns wanna be murderers like 'ol Zacky can be neutered.

It takes will. And I agree with you that we have grown soft. The fight is ours to lose.

Posted by: D. | April 14, 2006 10:43 AM

I've always believed that the real terrorism damage wasn't the lost lives or buildings, horric as these losses were. The real damage is the political and cultural response to the terrorism. Moussaoui seems to understand this better than any of the trial participants.

So far, al Qaeda seems to be winning. America has invaded Iraq, inflaming Muslim anger, destablizing the region, and adding a trillion dollars to the debt. Now Moussaoui wants to open a new path to the death chamber, which will place the USA at a further distance from its European allies, who will not extradite prisoners and terrorist suspects into a legal venue that permits executions.

I'm sure they will kill him. It's either Moussaoui by the feds or the jury members themselves by the victims. That's the choice every capital jury faces when the politicians ask 12 citizens to decide life or death.

Posted by: J. M. Deutch | April 14, 2006 10:43 AM

J,

I would request that you do some historical analysis of some of the Popes and Cardinals of yesteryear before you try to make a comparison. You know, the Crusades, the Inquisition, Joan of Arc....blah, blah, blah. We, we being Christians, have killed MILLIONS in the name of God - so please try to get some perspective.

As far as dying for Democracy, I've been there, so spare me. I signed up to die for OUR democracy, not their's. Please spare me a lecture on service to the country.

Whether you want the "long war" (the latest admin meme) to be about democracy or religion or just retribution is irrelevant. The ENEMY our those whose religious beliefs drive them to kill for those beliefs - if that is not a religious war, than what is? And, please tell me the difference, especially to a Muslim, between a Crusade to spread Christianity and a "preemptive" war to spread Democracy. I'm thinking from their perspective, there is no difference.

And since you wish to be a pot calling the kettle black, perhaps you should lay off the pipe that's telling you we went to Iraq to free the people from oppression. Right, ask the Shiites how they felt when they rose up, AT OUR REQUEST, and then we abandoned them in 91.

You may think its cynical to place all the emphasis on politics and religion, but its politics and ideology that put us into Iraq in the first place. You can try to rationalize our invasion through glowing words about freedom and liberty, but George Bush and the NEO-CONs et al couldn't give a rat's ass about that.

The installation of "Democracy" is a means to an end and that end is trade and oil. If spreading democracy to promote a safe and just world were the endgame, then we would start with Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and others who export radical Islam and terrorism, not Iraq, which while a dictatorship, was secular and not contributing to the global Islamic terrorist threat.

If Saddam had never invaded Kuwait and threatened the world's oil supplies, we would be working with him right now, as we were before, and like we are with other dictators, to achieve our goals...atrocities and democracy be damned.

Doubt me?

If implementing democracy were the endgame, don't you think we might have a better idea of what it would take to democratize a culture and people that have no experience in freedom or representative government; have been artificially divided, not by tribe or religion, but by arbitrary lines carved out by westerners; and have perceptions of the western world which prevent it from seeing the good that we do?

If it were the endgame, would we have not prepared for such an enormous undertaking as the building of a democracy from scratch?

If protecting us from those that have attacked us were paramount, where the hell is Osama Bin Laden?

Look, if you buy the mumbo jumbo that is the NEO-CON ideology of world peace, then at least acknowledge that it has been implemented poorly. If you are going to force-feed "democracy" to the world, then you better be prepared to beat the ingrained culture out of them and you better be prepared to go all out, no expense spared, no destruction held back, no killing checked.

We are neither prepared nor capable of doing this. We certainly cannot afford to go it alone economically and we either were incapable or unwilling to take the time to bring others around to our way of thinking. Furthermore, we cannot rise above our own moral code to deliver the violence and destruction necessary to destroy their will to fight, especially within the constraints of preemptive action.

People love to compare this "war on terror" or now the "long war" to WWII, but its not. And, Iraq has NOTHING to do with the war on terror.

WWII was total war. WWII was war against a nation state or states that attacked this country and our allies. WWII was NOT a preemptive war and the goal of WWII was NEVER to spread democracy...it was to vanquish our enemies that attacked us and to end their ambitions once and for all. Fire-bombing civilians and cities of the enemy that attacked us, unprovoked, wasn't even a question. Millions died and absolute destruction was wrought to include the only use of atomic weapons, the US. THAT is total war.

It took us 50 years to recover.

We were able to install democracies in Japan and Europe because they had no way to resist us - they had been completely and totally subdued.

I ask you, are we, as a people, prepared to kill millions, wreak unimaginable destruction and devastation, to preemptively promote democracy?

Are we willing to do the same around the globe in hopes of killing every terrorist that ever lived?

Are we willing to do the same to ALL of the countries from which these terrorist come forth and are supported?

Because, if we are not, then overt actions like Iraq will NEVER succeed and they will only feed the fire. Its that simple.

You either make the decision to go all the way, or you don't do it. If you cannot kill them all, literally and figuratively, if you cannot absolutely destroy their will to resist, then you will NEVER be able to forcibly change a culture that has existed for a thousand years before yours ever came into existence.

Now, given that understanding and the current climate in the world, what do you think are our options? Total war alone? Or, low-intensity war joined by allies?

It really is a question of how you want to pay the bill. Tens of thousands of US body bags and hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of civilians up front or thousands of body bags and less civilians along the way but for a longer period of time. If we go total war, our sons and daughters will still be killed and we may still not be able to prevent attacks on our civilians until we have wreaked unheard of destruction upon a people that has never directly attacked us.

Can we as a nation morally survive such an approach?

If we go the low-intensity route, we are still vulnerable and many will still die and in the end, the numbers may be the same. Its a question of intensity of both destruction and healing.

What's the answer? It depends on how you frame the question.

What's the answer given the current global climate? Low intensity.

This country, much less this world is not prepared for total war. Its that simple. And, if you think we can go it alone, forget it. We need only look at the imperial powers that passed through history before us to understand that in the long run, we cannot do it alone.

This means mobilization for long-term counter-insurgency. It means understanding that we will be attacked again and that the solution will take time, money and lives. But, in the end, I think we will be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and the rest of the world in the eye.

However, if we choose to go total war, than we need to do just that. We had 16 million men and women in uniform during WWII. We are twice the size as a nation now and can barely muster 2 million. It means the draft. It means war bonds and higher taxes. It means sacrifices at home to pay for the effort. It means the killing of thousands if not millions of innocents. It means thousands of dead sons and daughters. But, if you are going to let the end justify the means, then let us at least be able to achieve the end we believe is so righteous.

So, make a choice America, but for the sake of your own soul, stop deluding yourself that this half-assed, do it on the cheap, politically motivated warfare is going to carry the day...it won't. And, it will only prolong the pain and suffering of everyone involved. Make a choice America, but just be sure you AND your kids can live with that choice in the end.

Posted by: AfghanVet | April 14, 2006 10:52 AM

Jexas,

Excellent commentary.

Posted by: AfghanVet | April 14, 2006 10:53 AM

Well, your opinion and your entitled to it, but there are alot of other folks who have served in Iraq and Afganistan who tell a different story. One of whom I believe was on the WaPo editorial page just yesterday.

America's not ready for a total war, never will be as long as we have these pansies running about in the media and academia with their knee jerk response to everything being "Well, it must be our fault somehow". George Clooney tackles McCarthy, but says nothing of Theo Van Gough. Comedy Central censors South Park because of a depiction of Mohammed (PB&J). The WaPo won't even stand up for free speach (unless its to showcase the Iraq-Afgan War death count...thats OK) and publish some bloody cartoons.

Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic. You deserve whats coming to you.

They will win because they believe. And your children shall suffer because of your spinelessness.

Posted by: Cross of St. Andrew | April 14, 2006 11:12 AM

I don't agree with you D. You say "radical Islam" is the enemy we fight and it can be defeated. Yet, by any account, "radical Islam" is a tiny fraction of the totality of the Muslim religion.

You say we can defeat radical Islam. That it just takes "will". When you say this, you imply that the vast numbers of people on this planet--Christians, Muslims, Jews and all other peoples who do not fit into those particular groupings--are somehow in support of these people if they do not support George W. Bush's particular ideas.

So what is your specific plan for defeating radical Isalm. Spain has tracked down, arrested, convicted and sentenced the terrorists who blew up their railway cars and murdered Spanish citizens. Britain is in a similar process with the terrorists that attacked them. Other nations are taking their own idividual actions to track down, arrest and prosecute terrorists.

By any reasonable accounting you want to use, the only major successes we have had against this crisis have involved good, old fashioned law enforcement and use of the legal system. The military actions that Bush has taken has had precisely the opposite effect of creating newer, far more lethal terrorists.

The threat from Iran is not a terroist threat. It falls more inline with the traditional type of Cold War type of nuclear jockeying for power and influence in the world. Do you really believe that the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Iran is going to do anything other than inflame an alredy inflamed population against us and more solidify the anti-American feelings growing amongst our traditional allies?

I am sick and tired of hearing these oversimplified arguments about "will" and "courage" and "fortitude" and "patriotism". Those words have little or no meaning once you start hurling nuclear devices around the globe.

Posted by: Jaxas | April 14, 2006 11:23 AM

What you do for a career is your personal choice, but it doesn't give you a greater claim of patriotism or bravery. Everone who is in Iraq who is there by choice as the result of a legal contract they made (except the Iraqis).

As for those who've been to Iraq and Afghanistan, I know they come back with profound impressions of what has happened to them, and they see their work as part of a larger, more important framework.

But listening to a man or woman who's been to Iraq explain what's happening in the world is like listening to a worm on a hook explain sport fishing.

Posted by: J. M. Deutch | April 14, 2006 11:24 AM

The appropriate penalty for Moussaoui would be life in prison with a rapist named Tiny for a cellmate.

He shouldn't be killed because the precedent that the death penalty would set in these circumstances is scary. Basically the goverment has said Moussaoui should be executed because he didn't confess his involvement in a criminal conspiracy to the FBI and as a result of his silence people died. This is the first time in American history that a person would be put to death for a crime of omission, instead of comission.

By killing Moussaoui, he wins by sucessfully goading us into eroding our Constitutional protections that have served us so well for two and quarter centuries. That is what the terrorist plans are: to scare us into surrendering our freedoms that they so despise.

Posted by: Brad | April 14, 2006 11:24 AM

Michael1945,
You seem off base with your question about whether M realizes its federal court or not. That has nothing to do with it. What matters is the location of the trial for where the jury pool comes from. M argues that currently, the jury pool is more likely to be biased than a jury in Michigan, as the jury he is currently facing is closer to the scene of 9/11. He argues that it would be impossible to get an impartial jury from where he currently is. So while it is a federal court, location could actually make a difference.

Posted by: Freedom | April 14, 2006 11:24 AM

I think that the premise of your question - if it is one thing or the other - may be faulty. Perhaps he is some or all of these things, changing his mind as the spirit of his potential insanity propels him. Thus, I think it is a mistake to wonder what he is plotting as we will never know for sure. As such, it may be more to look at the political impact that his execution or life imprisonment would have: if the former, he would be a martyr to some, and justice done to others. Which audience, I would ask, is the most important to America's future?

Posted by: robcrawford | April 14, 2006 11:34 AM

C. of St. Andrew, wow, well said, glad to see somebody hear has a pair. AfghanVet, a.k.a. J. Kerry...seems to be more than disenchanted he seems to be angry, borderline Susan Sarandish. His information about Iraq not being linked to terrorism is without question 100% incorrect. Unless you would say that Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al Qa'ida are nothing more than soccer moms who spend their weekends playing checkers. It is without question that Iraq under the dictatorship of Saddaam was funneling millions of dollars a year to these different organizations. In fact a lot of the money funneled to Hamas is what helped them to get into power today. We see how that has improved the overall safety of the Middle East. But I guess Israel, an American ally and the only true democracy in the Middle does not count to you, or the thousands of Americans who live or visit there should also be considered irrelevant.
Please stop comparing WWII to the war today, there is absolutely no comparison, in those wars we had enemies that wore uniforms representing designated countries, today, we don't. And stop spewing this stuff about needing to go into a global war with atomic weapons and a draft, what we need to do is provide all of our intelligence agencies the tools necessary to find those linked to terrorist organizations, then we can use the military but not for massive bombing campaigns, instead use SF teams or precision guided weapons. Your analogy about bombing half the earth and killing millions and millions of people leads me to question whether or not you were truly even in the military, because if you were you would clearly know that 95% of the munitions used today are guided munitions, which is a 90% improvement from the originally Iraq war in 1991.
I think your scare tactic might work on the uneducated or stupid, but not anybody that actually has any idea about how we fight, move, manuever today.
AfghanVet, I believe you have that defeatist mentality perhaps you need to spend a few hours watching some classic Jane Fonda movies.
Hopefully you will realize our President, the American military is not the cause of what is going on today. And please stop using the word NEO-CON, next thing is you'll be quoting forbatum Michael Moore's 9/11 Fahrenheit.

P.S. Fairfax Police, get a clue, fire or arrest that clown that killed that Optometrist, you have no excuse, none whatsoever for not being able to maintain control over your weapon.

Posted by: Yankee1 | April 14, 2006 11:36 AM

JM,

"What you do for a career is your personal choice, but it doesn't give you a greater claim of patriotism or bravery. "

I'm struggling a bit with this. I think I get what you're saying, but not sure of the articulation. I would say that serving in the military during a time of war says something about your conviction, but not about your love for your country.

Putting magnets on your bumper is nice, but does it really support the troops? Is supporting a war that may very well turn out to be a mistake a sign of patriotism or foolishness? Is asking serious questions not patriotic?

I don't know. What I do know is that you are correct that a soldier's opinion will be a matter of perspective. But, what I also know, is that if one is going to promote war as the answer, they should do so from the perspective that it will cost them something more than the dollar they spent on the magnet for their car.

It's much to easy to wage war when it literally cost most nothing to do so. We won't even raise taxes to pay for it or the liabilities that will come with war...like taking care of wounded veterans and families who lost loved ones. It is now calculated that it will cost about 1 million dollars per wounded veteran over the life of that vet to take care of them. WHO is going to pay for that? What is the cost in lost opportunity and infrastructure for that money going to their care (and rightfully so) instead of the improvement of our country?

I don't understand why violence is so easy for so many supposedly God-fearing people. Actually, maybe I do, it's because they have never witnessed it or been a victim of it.

Violence and violent action is unfortunately sometimes necessary, but it should never be a means to an end. Buddhist Monks invented Martial Arts for this reason (defense when all else fails), but they also never use it as a means to an end. But, Martial Arts, especially the use of a sword, also instructs that violence must be decisive or it will only bring about more violence.

Indeed, there is evil in this world and there are those who simply will not succumb to reason, but we should never presuppose that our judgment of such things is not a matter of perspective that clouds our judgment. And, we should never act with violence unless we fully understand (Grok if you will) the ramifications of our actions in the long term, not just the short.

Exactly who would Jesus kill first?

Posted by: AfghanVet | April 14, 2006 11:39 AM

Kool Aid for sale, kool aid for sale..

Posted by: Jim Jones | April 14, 2006 11:46 AM

Yankee,

I assume you are a veteran?

Hell, I would be proud to be as accomplished as John Kerry. While we both saw combat, his actions were far more distinguished than my own. Of course, one must actually go to combat to see it. Tough to do from a NG jet, classroom or bar.

I'm not angry, I'm proud of my service. I just wish the leadership was competant enough to at least try to win what they started, but they are clearly not - and more and more COMMANDING Generals seem to feel the same way.

As far as Iraq supporting global terrorism, I ask you to cite your sources. I will refer to the findings presented by the commission on intelligence which stated that Saddam in not substantially supporting terrorist organizations and, in fact, rebuffed attempts by Al Queda to provide such support.

Also, Hammas and others like them are much more REGIONAL in their scope.

Lastly, OBL declared Iraq and appostate state because they were secular and not governed by Islamic Law; this means he declared them an enemy.

I await your sources, and perhaps a little more dicussion on what I have said instead personal attacks on me. Of course, I understand if you can only repeat the same memes and tactics used to attack the messenger instead of the message as that is how those of your apparent ilk conduct debate, but it is much more a reflection on you than me methinks.

Posted by: AfghanVet | April 14, 2006 11:50 AM

I feel like this is tangental to the original post, at best, but others have derailed it so I will shamelessly participate.

To support what AfghanVet is saying, for the first time in history we have asked our leaders to engage a fight we were unwilling to participate in. Conflicts have real costs both in casualties and in dollars. This one has cost us 300 billion dollars.

To pay for this war the United States government has cut taxes.

What?

It is hard for a public to understand the difficulties of battle when they cheerfully allow an all volunteer force to do the fighting with no domestic cost whatsoever. It is no surprise that the spineless American public has turned against the "Horros!" of Iraq 2. The "Horrors!" of 2,000 American casualties, by the way only 600 out of 3,400 Americna Marines left Iwo Jima breathing, are largely unfelt by 280 million Americans who carelessly enjoy lower taxes while pining about how much this war has "cost".

Cost whom exactly? Well, my unborn children will certainly be horrified when they are asked to fit the bill to the tune of billions of dollars of unrendered social services.

And this is a potential problem with democracies. You cannot expect Americans to weigh the cost of war when they aren't actually asked to pay the cost of war.

Raise taxes. 10% increase in income taxes would cover the annual costs of Iraq and Afghanistan and put us on a reasonable pace to pay back the 300 billion in backpay we owe the War Fund. If Americans want to be so "Horrified!" by the war in Iraq we should have something to be "Horrified!" about --at the very least on our tax return.

Our national non-participation in the war is as despicable as our fake repugnance of it.

Posted by: Will | April 14, 2006 11:56 AM

Yankee,

Oh, and bullets are not guided weapons.

Also, precision guidance merely means we hit our intended target, it does not mean the explosion, shrapnel and debris is contained within the target area or that the target are is correct (ask the Chinese), or that their are not innocents within the target area.

I ask you, would you want to be in an IDENTIFIED apartment building next to a commo bunker when a 1000lb "guided" bomb hits its target? Don't think so.

Your lack of knowledge on such weapons and their effectiveness as well as capability of collateral damage is depressing.

Posted by: AfghanVet | April 14, 2006 12:00 PM

Chris Ford writes:
I think the same happens with Islamoids. It has been noted that back when only a few fighters from villages got whacked by the Americans, Brits, or Iraqi state forces - they seethed, raged, marched with Celebrity Jihadi banners.
Chris Ford continues: My guess is that Moussaoui would be on the "D-list" of wannabe famous Martyrs back in Camel Land.
----------

I cry every time I see a video of the towers burning, or even, for that matter, my home video of the towers standing proudly during my 1998 vacation to New York. As a Jew who is a proud supporter of Israel, suicide bombing revolted me well before 9/11. Yet, there is no excuse, in my opinion, for using words such as Chris Ford's. They are as bigoted and as hate-filled as the garbage spewed forth by the terrorists. I hereby register my protest to Mr. or Ms. Ford's language.

Posted by: | April 14, 2006 12:15 PM

So, what to do with this man?

I believe life behind bars is the appropriate punishment. Indeed, who would Jesus kill first?

But, also for practical reasons as was stated above. It would be quite a precedent to kill a man for a conspiracy that did not come to fruition by his hand. Good or bad, I'm not sure, but a different direction for sure.

Let the man spend his time reflecting on his actions...for years.

While people may understand our want for retribution, they would respect our compassion. I cannot see the propaganda value for Al Queda if we give him life, but I can see it if we kill him.

Posted by: AfghanVet | April 14, 2006 12:53 PM

Afghan Vet, bullets are not guided, only if you work for Fairfax Police and have no idea how to handle the weapon properly. Your assessment on guided munitions is comical, and referrencing the Chinese, please tell me you are speaking about the Chinese workers that were killed when we bombed Millosevic. Please don't be so naive as to believe they were not actively assisting our opponents, providing them with GPS guideance systems, night vision equipment, etc. They were warned, they knew the risks, the same way the Russian Intel Officers did when we started bombing Baghdad a few years back. As far as John Kerry's service record, give me a break, I saw more action in a MacDonald's that was robbed then he did in the field. How convenient he carried a news camera with him. I don't remember seeing any news cameras around. How exactly did he earn those purple hearts? Was it a mass stapling accident while sitting in an office, or perhaps a coworker fired a paper clip at him. His actions once he returned home were pathetic and offensive.

When you launch a major offensive and declare war on another country people die, but things are not like they were years ago, our government gives enough advanced notice that anybody wishing to leave the area could leave, hell we give countries enough prep time now you could walk hundreds of miles before we actually strike.

As far as Iraq supporting Al Qa'ida, please, please don't tell me you buy into the hypocricy that Bin Ladin spins. He has declared many countries his enemy but make no mistake he still uses those countries for monetary gains and to smuggle either personnel or logistical support through, and yes that includes Iraq. Hmmm, just look right now, who is the leader of the group on the ground in Iraq, it Zarqawi and Zarqawi has multiple ties to Zawahiri and UBL.

Be proud of your service as all men and woman serve should be, but please don't come back here spouting about how we are baby killers and America is the evil empire, cause that's a bunch of garbage.

Vote Harry Truman for President...

Posted by: Yankee | April 14, 2006 12:58 PM

Wow, this is great, it's Good Friday and we are talking about bombing hollywood, lopping off Moussaoui's head, dropping another A Bomb, Fairfax Police being dumbasses, John Kerry's staple wounds, NEO-CON's, Evangelical Christians, and the Chinese.

It's good to be an American, Happy Easter...

Posted by: Easter Bunny | April 14, 2006 01:04 PM

...and don't forget to NOT eat meat. It is Good Friday after all.

Posted by: D. | April 14, 2006 01:10 PM

Back to basics, Moussaoui should be taken to a place of execution, shot, blind folded or not, and allowed the honor or dishonor of his actions in perpetuity.

Posted by: EB | April 14, 2006 01:13 PM

Back to basics, Moussaoui should be taken to a place of execution, shot, blind folded or not, and allowed the honor or dishonor of his actions in perpetuity.

Posted by: EB | April 14, 2006 01:15 PM

Yeah, the Navy documents just got it wrong about John Kerry. Whatever, if he sat in the latrine in Vietnam he saw more action then you and W combined. Spare me your conspiracy theories about his service.

I'm talking about our hitting an embassy because our databases at NIMA (now NGO) had data concurrecy issues...I know because I was working there when it happened.

I believe our initial attacks in Baghdad were not telegraphed in any way...remember...shock and awe? And, exactly where were these people going to go? Trying being a PSYOP or CA soldier and working with refugees before you start spouting more ignorance about warfare.

As far as the Iraq/Al Queda connection, I believe the commission's findings that were based on testimony of intelligence sources as well as statements from those we captured. Why is that the only conspiracy theories those of your ilk will buy are the ones necessary to explain the mistakes of those you support?

And lastly, where in any of my posts have I criticized the actions of our soldiers? Where? Don't change the subject. I'm speaking about our leadership, not our military. Don't start with your cheap demogoguery in order to deflect attention from your ignorance.

Let me guess? You go to the shooting range and hit center mass every time. Right? Well guess what, targets don't shoot back. Do you have any idea how much of the munitions expended by ground combat soldiers actually hits a target...ANY target? Somewhere around 10%...maybe. Stop watching Rambo movies.

Do you realize that "Ma duece" and other crew-served MGs are SUPPRESSION weapons; meaning they are used to keep heads down while infantry advances or maneuvers or to STOP the enemy from doing so? Do you realize that a grenade is an area suppression weapon? Do you realize that shrapnel from a mortar round, HE tank round, and even a guided weapon has no guidance system? Do you realize that the majority of soldiers don't even qualify expert in the range when no one is shooting at them?

Get a clue.

Here's an idea, if you want to lecture me about someone's service or warfare, then hop on down to your recruiting office and participate and get educated on warfare. Until such time, stick to attacking me personally and repeating the memes that our current administration uses as excuses, straw-men, and deflections of their own ignorance.

Whatever, I hope you have a great Easter and hopefully you will reflect on what someone like Jesus was saying.

Posted by: AfghanVet | April 14, 2006 01:31 PM

OK Cayambe, so we converge on a point I thought we had a different basic philosophy on. I'll even spot you a distrust of the Bushies, because if they got involved in military tribunal construction, and tried imposing what their inept civilian leadership wanted - on the military - I also think it would be a bad product. If left to the military, without political interference, especially given the uniforms have the template of successful military tribunals of the past, I'm fairly confident they could make a decent, fair process of justice for the lawful and unlawful combatants of Jihad.

What kills me is they had a workable tribunal process, a 9-0 Constitutional ruling affirming habeas corpus can be denied to unlawful enemy combatants and managed to muddle it all up by flipping a coin between approaches used on Padilla, Lindh, Moussaouli...and let Gitmo just warehouse while denying they needed any military or civilian law applied to detainees - and enemy rights advocates managed to fill the power vacuum.

It also kills me that under the Nazi saboteur precedent, they had a cut and deried case with Moussaoui if he was put on the military tribunal track, including the death sentence being in full compliance with US Constitution, Hague, and Geneva Laws governing unlawful combatants and war criminals. The only way he would not have gotten death is if the tribunal decided he was so nuts he didn't know what he was doing. Now we have him locked into civilian justice, jeopardizing the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination by stretching Unique American RICO and other conspiracy statutes to construct a tenuous cause and effect argument to make someone death-eligible for an attack ("crime") he had no knowledge of. Unique in the sense other countries do not recognize the validity of US conspiracy law - which will jeopardize extraditions. And by saying Moussaoui is no different in legal status than any American citizen, denying his special status as an enemy soldier, we are saying in the Moussaoui trial that any American that refuses to waive his right to self-incrimination - (acting on advice of legal counsel he retained after Aug 17th) - would also be liable for death or major prison time for any crime committed later by people he should have named or for any statements that "misled" any employee of the Federal Government in the hours before legal counsel was provided. (And Moussaoui was lucky in that the FBI gave him counsel when they announced he was under arrest...other Islamoid suspects or actual enemy soldiers here have been denied legal advice for weeks or months by Homeland Defense officials....) Which will be a great new brave world of expanding Federal Power and diminished rights for US citizens. Obligated to confess all they know about anything a Federal government employee demands or be prosecuted under the broad false or misleading statements statutes while denied an attorney or while they are not even aware they are liable to arrest or absent an offer of leniency or immunity. Then be held liable for the crimes of anyone they know for those crimes they are unaware will be committed - but on the word of the Government employee "might have been prevented if the American we went after had only confessed and incriminated themselves immediately for anything they did they knew was wrong or for anyone they knew of who might have been doing something wrong like growing pot or cheating on Fed Income taxes."

Be scared. The lovers of enemy liberties and the zeal of prosecutors to give the 9/11 Families of Total Entitlement to What They Demand may have put every citizen in jeopardy if Moussaoui gets death and his sentence is not overturned.

I hate that. And if Moussaoui doesn't get the death penalty he richly deserves as an unlawful combatant because we must defend the 5th Amendment abrogations in his prosecution and the overriding power of the Victim Families being seen as an unacceptable form of pressure on jury deliberations - he can't be retried under double jeopardy.

********************

One final unrelated matter is the narrow American mindset, that "cops and criminals" paradigm we are locked into - that any attack on any American by a foreign military force - is a "crime".

We have to be careful with that, because in past wars - we attack military and command and control centers as legitimate war targets. And are also permitted to hit pure civilian targets that have military strategic value - like the center Baghdad telephone exchange...On 9/11 we may say fairly convincingly that the enemy soldiers hidden within our country had no right to hit the WTC and that was a "crime" under Geneva and Hague....but if the Al Qaeda Islamoids had just hit the Pentagon, and added the Command and control centers of the White House and Congress as part of their military strike - what crime was done? What would make that different from the attacks any country or armed force makes legitimately in wartime?

What was done was that the ISlamoid enemy was out of uniform and operating under deceit to gain an advantage. If we do similarly, and Saddam had caught some of our Special Forces operatives in Baghdad dressed as Arabs, he could have legitimately executed all of them according to the rules of war.

Enemy rights lovers have to understand we need to put Islamoid spies, scouts, saboteurs, facilitators, moneymen here in the military justice sphere as the only sane thing to do.

*******************

Jaxas -

"By any reasonable accounting you want to use, the only major successes we have had against this crisis have involved good, old fashioned law enforcement and use of the legal system. The military actions that Bush has taken has had precisely the opposite effect of creating newer, far more lethal terrorists."

OK, so you love the law enforcement model and wish to go back to the days where we had lawyers in the lead in defending our country from enemy soldiers. That the "legal system" can transform the enemy into "criminals" and "show them the errors of their ways" with multimillion-dollar trials that slather so many "rights" on the enemy that other committed radical Islamists see how NICE we are and are thus compelled to abandon Jihad out of their sheer love for the goodness of American lawyers is a fantasy I'll leave to you.

Same with your fantasy about how the more Thuggees, Aztecs, Nazis, Taliban, Saddamites, Islamoids a military kills, the more, and more lethal Nazis, Thuggees, Aztecs, Taliban, Saddamites, and Islamoids - killing or detaining them creates.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 14, 2006 02:19 PM

D.: "The Nazi's BELIEVED in their ideology. The Japanese BELIEVED in the divinity of their Emperor. Marxist revolutionaries around the globe BELIEVED in Marx & Engels.

They were defeated. Radical Islam can be defeated as well and the ideology, the pathology, that spawns wanna be murderers like 'ol Zacky can be neutered.

It takes will. And I agree with you that we have grown soft. The fight is ours to lose."

Right D. But with the sheer large number of these cultists, it would take a very large, very nasty dastardly deed (such as killing many many thousands of them in a very brief period of time), to force them to alter their religion so it can exist with Western civilizations.

I don't see this happening, unfortunately. Thus, we will be living with the likes of Zack, as well as more moderate Islamoid cultists, for many years to come, until all their oil is pumped from the ground. Maybe we should just get it over with and take all their oil.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | April 14, 2006 02:36 PM

Lovely people-

A man with a knife attacked worshippers at two Coptic churches in the northern Mediterranean city of Alexandria during Mass on Friday, killing one person and wounding five before he was arrested, the government said.
The Interior Ministry identified the attacker as Mahmoud Salah-Eddin Abdel-Raziq and said he suffered from "psychological disturbances."

The attacks came on what is Good Friday to many of the world's Christians, although Egypt's Copts _ and other followers of the Greek Orthodox church _ mark the holiday a week later.

Earlier, police officials said three men had been arrested in four simultaneous church assaults, one of them foiled by police. They said 17 people were wounded, and one later died.

Posted by: | April 14, 2006 02:37 PM

We need to drop the big egg. Make a plane in the shape of an Easter bunny, our true god and savior, to lay it.

Posted by: | April 14, 2006 02:46 PM

A Jew too timid to sign his name sez in an attempt to enforce liberal PC and multiculti "law" on opponents:

"I cry every time I see a video of the towers burning, or even, for that matter, my home video of the towers standing proudly during my 1998 vacation to New York. As a Jew who is a proud supporter of Israel, suicide bombing revolted me well before 9/11. Yet, there is no excuse, in my opinion, for using words such as Chris Ford's. They are as bigoted and as hate-filled as the garbage spewed forth by the terrorists. I hereby register my protest to Mr. or Ms. Ford's language.

Well, I'm sure the enemy are highly impressed that you cry a lot about 9/11 and are "revolted" by suicide bombers.

No doubt they would hug you if they could.

My point was that by historical example, as long as the cost is light to Jihadi supporters, they boost up the martyrdom fanfare...lots of parades, seething rage, exhalting the suicide bomber or Al Qaeda head choppers. But when lots and lots of JIhadis are whacked, as noted in my post, the whole "martyrdom" schtick and cult of celebrity death martyrs seems to get old for Islamoids, as the bodies of their fighters pile up. Think of all the "Holy Martyr Adulation" as something Islamoids do in light warfare, but which all but stops when whole villages full of zealous young men - the Pakistani, Talibani, Iraqi, Iranian, Algerian Shaheeds were sent in war to the Front and lost to Indian, US, Iranian, Iraqi, and reg Algerian military forces. And yes, even by Islamoid standards back in Camel Land, I believe they will not give Moussaoui much creds as a martyr because he is a pathetic D-lister wannabe.

And I do hate radical Islamists and believe that Islam is fundamentally incompatible with the values of modern Asian, Western, and Indian civilization.

Now, as you cry so hard for "victims" of one sort or another - you may not want other people to say any mean things about the enemy that smacks your sensitive soul of being bigotry, of the denial that every culture, political movement, religion and every people are of equal merit and moral standing.

That's your opinion. I can't do more than hand you a hankerchief or a barf bag to a Jew who is a proud supporter of Israel determined to cry and be revolted while he rails at anyone who has mean words for our enemy.

Facts are there is much to criticize about the Thuggee and Aztec Death cults, that fascism had tremendous flaws, as did colonialism. That Zionism is steeped in racial superiority ethos and committed significant crimes in establishing Israel in 1948. That communism was the most lethal force of the 20th century, not Hitler, and those people who created and advanced Communism - heavily Jewish - should bear significant historical blame for the Mass Murder Democide and many, many, evil acts they did on top of the liquidations, famines, show trials, and lingering death in the Gulag - they deliberately set up as tools of state terror. That raw capitalism has many evils to it. And that there is much to criticize about the warlike, stultifying religion of Islam and it's canceous offshoots of various fundamentalist Islamoids. And that if Western Civ can be criticized, so too can Latin, Japanese, Islamic civilization.

You cannot just blabber about how the Nazi Movement, Aztec religion, Communist philosophy, noble religion of Islam were great things "hijacked by a few misguided evildoers" when the flaws are deep at the core of those movements. Nor can you really get away with playing various PC and race cards that libel anyone criticizing those core flaws as "bigoted".

The truest description of Arab countries, one told to me by a Saudi, actually..Is "The paranoid, corrupted, ill-educated, xenophobic remnants of a decayed civilization." And the only way those Arab countries will get better is if more Arabs are willing to be honest and address their civilizations deep flaws rather than blame others. Similarly, the violent, intolerant nature of Islam has led to century after century of genocides and war all along the periphery of Islam and the fast or slow eradication of other cultures and religions in lands they manage to conquer. Since it has gone on for 1400 years, with no Reformation like Christianity, Japan, Capitalist societies, India, and CHina did or are now doing...those core flaws cannot be blamed on a "misguided few" perverting the name of the "Religion of Peace".

Nothing is above valid criticism, crying Jew of no name...

Not Islam, not National Socialism, not Zionism, not Hindi suttee, not Shinto, not Chinese society, not even American society. To groups that demand a pass - and say that any criticism of their "special victimized folks that is Incorrect and bigoted/racist/antisemitic to ever comment negatively on.." - sorry, such demands from the Left and the Communist orthodoxy of "correct speech" the mandatory PC, multi-culti worship, speech codes on campus are thankfully on the wane.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 14, 2006 03:20 PM

Afghan Vet, get a grip. Clearly you have entirely too much time on your hands. You must be an analyst, because it's clear you believe you know the answer to everything. I'll bet you have a copy of Jane's Armory next too you, or perhaps you subscribe to Mercenary Magazine. It's clear you were not operational in any capacity in the military, which is okay, the military needs analysts and desk clerks to edit documents or change copier paper.

As far as being a fan of John Kerry, give me a break, that guy's an idiot, he stands for nothing and flip flops on everything. If he is your ideal military representative that speaks volumes about you.

FYI, I read a few postings in here about Fairfax Police killing that Doctor without justification, that was pathetic. To the family of that Doctor, sorry, I hope you find justice.

Have a Happy and Safe Easter...

Posted by: David J. B. | April 14, 2006 05:36 PM

I'm once again responding to Chris Ford. I'm the "Jew too timid to sign his name." I'm not too timid -- I just hit "Post" without remembering to fill it in. Now, you have my name, so you know you whom you're attacking. And BTW, I'm not a him, I'm a her.

I'm not sure how you figured out that I'm a liberal from my post, although you happen to be right. My point is not to be politically correct or to demonstrate compassion for wicked, vicious people. Instead, I'm objecting to ugly, inflammatory language that escalates the war and takes away the opportunity to get moderate Muslims on our side.

When I was in the Army, I taught law of war classes. We were instructed to tell our students that treating the enemy fairly helps our OWN soldiers if, God forbid, they fall into enemy hands, and helps win the propaganda war. Abusive language does neither and, in the end, reflects poorly upon the United States.

Intemperate language gives Al Qaeda and its supporters more propaganda. I don't want that, and I doubt you do, either. I love my country too much to sit back and let your vicious diatribes go unanswered.

So, please, speak your piece with less venom.

Posted by: Audrey Liebross | April 14, 2006 05:41 PM

to post on a public forum, remember O'Reilley, isn't very good at logic, he's a

_heckler_


he trips and then beats someone emotionally, he has very little substance to his abuse....unless you are offended by being labeled if you don't agree with him...

to put it more succinctly, _your_ heckler, cf is not a patriot, he's a thug, a bully, a liar and can't think too well, though he can cobble others' words into _his_ positions while ignoring _their_ inflection in the _original_ as suits his convenience.

or more succinctly,


chris ford is a lot more like

Timothy McVeigh


than Benjamin Franklin...Patrick Henry or Jefferson...


who were true patriots to _the people_, not to the monied


just a small degree of difference between cf and McVeigh...

what it is escapes me, as cf's intent may _cause_ just as many deaths.


he supports a vision,

somewhat like white supremacy, or maybe it_is...

not our country as it is outlined in the spirit or letter of the Constitution or Bill of Rights...

and as I said before,

he can quote information,

but not think on his feet,

he is a follower,

a rabid and frightening follower,

but not a leader or a thinker...simply a hitleresque henchman...that draws personal power by referring to das fuher...

you know, slimey little corporal, threatening kinda guy...like the slimeball in the 5th element that sold his world/earth out to pure_evil

the kind of chermann that does what das furherr says and speaks as if he knows him personally, when in fact all he knows is, his "internal furher"

sieg heil.

.


regarding terrorists...

yeah,

like I said, terrorists?


if you regard the CIA, BUSH, Rummsfeld, Cheyney and those complicit within the various agencies as terrorists...sure.


but

how did 12,000,000 illegal aliens get in through our _tight_ anti-terrorists response?


there isn't any.


what does that say?

think hard.

think real hard.

how does the president know that he doesn't need to worry about terrorists....


very slowly now....t h i n k ....


maybe it _was_ a ruse?


have you ever heard that at any point he was looking for a reason to go into Iraq to begin with?


Tony Blairs name might help you to ring a bell........discussing how to incite the Iraqis to attack the United States, a flyover...or whatever, before 9/11.


and who killed that British Diplomat that had a memo that said that there were no WMD before 9/11?

come on sheeple,

.

Posted by: polarization is a tool, it makes people rigid in thier responses and thinking process... | April 14, 2006 06:23 PM

Chris Ford,

I have to make an observation regarding your recent post. You have a knack for making many keen observations and using a great deal of specificity in your posts on just about any subject except when it comes to applying those observations to people or groups of people. At that point, you often haul out the stereotypes or vague, often made up terms (e.g. Islamoid?) that are difficult to pin down.

If someone calls you on it, you claim you're being attacked by the "PC police".

Come on man, speaking for myself this isn't about whether or not you're following the rules of political correctness. To me its about knowing exactly who you're talking about. For instance, what exactly is an Islamoid? Any Muslim? Only Muslim terrorists? Muslims terrorists and those that actively support them? Those Muslims that believe in the glories of the golden age of Islam when a caliph ruled from Persia to Spain, and wish for a return to those days? What about Muslims that are believers, but are not hostile to other religions? I know someone that is a Muslim but out of some spiritual interest will go into Catholic churches to light a candle in memory of a relative that has passed away and for the loved ones they left behind. I'm not sure why, but I suppose that person finds spiritual comfort in that ritual and doesn't worry about which religion the act is associated with. That's probably one pole in the continuim of Islamic believers with the opposite pole being those in Afganistan that believe in executing someone for converting to Christianity. There are people populating positions within the entire range of that continuim. Where do the "Islamoids" sit?

I suppose you could turn things around on me and say OK DK then you tell me what a moderate Muslim is. My first reaction would be to reply that at least moderate is a real word that people can look up and get an idea of what I'm trying to communicate. However, since moderate is a fairly broad term, perhaps there is some value to defining my understanding of what a moderate Muslim is:

To me a moderate Muslim is a believer in Islam that bases their faith on the writings in the Quran, but at the same time recognizes and respects others rights to choose their own religion and lifestyles. They do not believe in or advocate violence against or supression of those that do not believe as they do. They may hate western culture or enjoy it or any mixture, but they do not believe in destruction of it. They may however, believe in defending themselves against a western nation that they perceive as a threat.

This leads me to the reply made by Audrey Liebross which I thought was a good one. I agree very much with her that we need to find ways to promote the interests and values of moderate Muslims in the middle east. To win the war on terror, we need to get moderate Muslims on our side without giving up our values. I've spent a little time perusing past discussions on this blog and I know there have been several lively discussions about moderate Muslims. You, Chris, have made some good points (with rather graphic and effective analogies) about the silence of the moderates and that by their silence they are no better than accomplices to the radicals and terrorists. You might remember the one I mean - the lynch mob comparison. I thought it was one of your better efforts, but I think I come to a different conclusion than you about what to do in light of the situation that seems to exist in the world today. My impression from your posts is that you are fed up and basically want to write the moderate Muslims off - lumping them all together with the radicals under the label "Islamoid" - please correct me if I'm wrong.

My conclusion is that:

Moderate Muslims are between a rock and a hard place in many countries. They face an uphill battle against many entrenched clerics and in many cases governments that use conservative Islamic ideology and literal translations of the Quran that play into their own hands as tools of power. Many moderates have left repressive regimes behind to come to America, Canada, europe, or secular and more moderate Muslim countries. Their leaders seem to be very decentralized and there are no strong voices that really stick out. I believe we could be doing much more to cultivate a more centralized voice for moderate Muslims to start providing an alternative to those that preach intolerance, jihad, and terror so vehemently.

Again in earlier topics there was an excellent exchange between Will, gkc, and Patriot1957 about the nature of Islam and literal interpretations of the Quran vs. the Bible. A few excellent points were made in that debate - 1) that there are literal interpretations of both the Bible and the Quran that would seem extremely radical, repressive, and intolerant to most westerners. 2) While predominantly Christian nations rejected government and law run by religious entities hundreds of years ago, many Islamic nations have not done that and they still operate under Sharia law, so that the intolerant aspects of their religious texts have greater visibility and impact on the world due to the literal interpretations used by some Islamic governments. The difference is that the concept of freedom of choice was forced onto the religious power brokers over the centuries in the west, while that has only taken place in part of the Muslim world so far.

I believe that there are many Muslims that would like to see the concept of freedom of choice implemented in their societies so they can begin to develop their own personal interpretations of God's will, guided by their religious leaders rather than submitting to the interpretations dictated to them by oppressive religious rulers.

For some reason they haven't found a strong voice. They are either afraid, confused, apathetic, or they simply don't know how to voice different views and don't know how to protest against their religious leaders. Maybe their culture isn't conducive to defiance and protest. Either way, why can't the U.S. and other western nations find ways to promote alternative viewpoints through sponsoring conferences, giving moderate Muslim leaders high profile platforms to get their message out to the world, and do more to encourage education about and understanding of the Muslim world? It may not be 100% effective, but we at least ought to be trying rather than splitting the world into two separate camps and encouraging polarization (which is what we're doing now).

Posted by: DK | April 15, 2006 12:08 AM

Wow, Polarization is a tool, your posting should read that you are a tool. Please stop drinking the Koolaid marked "Urine for stupid people." The world is not a Michael Moore movie, sorry to say there is not this huge conspiracy to keep the man down. Reading what you wrote was like listening to Fairfax County District Attorney Robert Horan explain why SWAT Officer Deveal Bullock shot an unarmed compliant Optometrist for betting on football. Both of you sound like you you have a mouth full of stupid pills. Go ahead post some more of that garbage then sit back put on Fahrenheit 9/11 and drink your Koolaid...dumbass...

Posted by: Don Ho | April 15, 2006 12:12 AM

On the Qu'ran, I generally agree with Will. It has language of war and intolerance and mandated 2nd class existence for those who submit to having Islamic primacy, but can then go about their lives while paying more taxes than Muslims and accept a lesser number of rights and separate, and in many ways inferior existence (dhimmitude). A Jim Crow life for non-Muslims - who are prohibited on pain of death from taking a Muslim woman as wife while Muslim men are encouraged to take non-Muslim wives so as to reduce the ranks of unbelievers. And non-Muslims were traditionally prohibited from having weapons to defend themselves or ever be seen on horseback (so they could not be effective fighters and only Muslims had tactical mobility). And odd rules like the word of a Muslim was adequate to charge any woman or non-Muslim with wrongdoing, but it would take the words of two Jews or Christian men of hair on their armpits to impeach a Muslim female, and 4 to impeach a Muslim male. That is still the rule in many Muslim countries today.

I've read it and reviewed history and see the general pattern from N Africa to the Philippines is to either slowly or rapidly diminish the non-Islamic population of a region that Islam conquers. If it is resisted, then warfare is the norm. And over a period of time, assimilation, conversion, death, or ethnic cleansing makes formerly Christian, Buddhist, and Zorastrian areas between 85-100% Muslim. The Samuel Huntington "Bloody Borders of Islam" thesis.

And that is "normal Islam".

"Islamoid" or "Islamofascist" refers to the even more warlike and radical Islam. That takes the bloody Hadiths against unbelievers and makes them as fundamentally true as the commands of the Qu'ran - and a sin not to kill or conquer infidels or take or kill their women. With special interest of Jews as sons of pigs and monkees.

Unlike Christianity, Islam never reformed. And those "moderate Muslims" we always hear about are akin to the CHristian who considers him or herself lapsed and not very observant compared to the Islamoids and even mainstreamers...and in a culture where religion is sovereign and covers the spiritual AND temporal spheres as the Catholic Church did in medieval and Dark Ages - it is as difficult for a lapsed Muslim in 2006 to condemn Islamoids who are "super-observant" as it was for a party-hearty Christian to tell holy monks to lay off the heavy Bible stuff and get a life dack in 1250 AD.

Hence the relative silence.

And Islam has never been centralized. And unfortunately from the very beginning, Islamic dynastys were violent successions marked by assassinations, murder...right up to the present.

Liebross may not like my opinion, which is I have considerable problems with the Core of Islam - which I consider intolerant and incompatable with modern Western, Asian, and Indian civilization. Apparantly she was part of the "Religion of Peace" indoctrination the soldiers had to sit through. Before going into a Muslim country, SOP (and we got similar drivel before the Gulf War about the wonderful Saudi faith). What we learned in field though was that you would never really be considered equals and true friends, though many Muslims are exceptionally urbane and polite. But deep down, the field experience was to be very, very careful in trusting Hajis. Liebross may dismiss those reservations as "bigotry", which is why I thought she needed some refresher that people are free to think communism, thugee worship, wicca, Catholicism, Zionism, national socialism, colonialism are bad at the root without her throwing "bigot" charges and laying down PC on who she thinks are thought crime offenders.. And the same is true of our freedom to look at Islam and for me at least, be very troubled by it's long bloody history and the sorry mess the states ruled by Islam are in.

Each century going back to the 7th has been marked by Muslim genocide. The Indians try alerting the world of the 10 centuries of slaughter they endured - the Indian Holocaust, which they claim slaughtered 60 million Hindis. In the 20th century, Jihadis slaughtered over 10 million infidels. Starting with the Greeks and Balkans, progressing to the Armenians and Chaldeans, the 6 million killed in Partition, the cleansing of all but a small fearful handful of Jews from Muslim countries from 1949-1980, and the killing of 1/3rd of all the Christians in East Timor (200,000).

Al Qaeda is just more of the same in a different face. Islamoids, the holy warriors frankly admired by the bulk of Muslims, always spring up, always consider themselves the heirs of the select few that came forth from various Arabian tribes and fulfilled their lives by riding forth across the desert and cutting infidels heads off to spread the Faith of Islam.

We didn't waste our time back in the day striving to be nice to Nazis or communists or Aztecs in the hopes they would like us if we somehow supplicated ourselves and avoided all criticism or offense. In fact, we had the Japanese eradicate some nasty elements of their Shinto faith before they got the keys back.

To initiate Islam on a path to reform may take a tremendous external shock administered to them. The Japanese were galvaized when Commodore Perry's fleet arrived and showed the Nipponese how much they had slipped at a time when they thought they had the highest civilization with the best technology. And the only Muslim area to undertake true reform was creating modern Turkey - because of the traumatic shock of loosing the Ottoman Empire to decay, corruption, and a West that had vaulted ahead of it.

These are not stereotypes. Islam is unique in being a religion that from the start based it's propagation on violence, intimidation, and submission. With persuasion and voluntary conversion with no pressure being at best, only an intermittant strategy after the voluntary fall of Egypt and the Copts to Mohammed's followers.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 15, 2006 01:14 AM

Chris, you have a knack for wandering off into all kinds of directions rahter than sticking to a particular point.

In your reaction to my post, you go from my simple, direct, straightforward comment that the nations that are using law enforcement techinques against terrorism are having a good deal more success than we are with our chestthumping rhetoric and military incursions and secret prisons where we house "enemy combatants" that nobody can even get close enough to to ascertain if they really are terrorists, to the ridiculous notion that I am advocting having lawyers fight our wars.

Look. I am not the one who made the case that this is an entirely new kind of war that calls for new kinds of strategies. It is your idol, George W. Bush and his neocon sycophants who are telling us that in one breath while at the same time making ludicrously silly statememts that compare the terrorists to the Nazis. I mean, does anyone out there seriously imagine that there is a possibility that this ragtag, murderous bunch of religious zealots which make up only a tiny fraction of Islam is going to try to occupy the United States and set up a Caliphate to rule over the world? Its crazy! Yet I hear that rubbish all the time on talk shows--"they" are coming to get us.

Look. Terrorism is a threat to society. There are terrorists in every nation on earth including our own. Did Bill Clinton declare war on "red America" when Tim McVey blew up the Murrah building in Oklahoma City? No. We used good old shoeleather, detective work, police work. We caught him. We tried him. We executed him. And don't kid yourself. Tim McVey was not alone. He had a great many sympathizers--mostly on the right--who harbored the same murderous rage.

You can rant all you want but the bottom line for me is that you cannot wage war on a word, a condition, a tactic. It didn't work with poverty. It didn't work with drugs. And it isn't working on terrorism.

Long after Bush has experience the only true rapture that is possible--death itself--terrorists and terrorism will be alive and kicking on this globe. At least until man has evolved to a more rational, sensible being.

Posted by: Jaxas | April 15, 2006 10:44 AM

Jaxas -

1. Disagree on "law enforcement approach" working here or in Europe. Europe released most of the terrorists - see Munich, the Achille Lauro, the 4-5 hijacking incidents they dwelt with, the Japanese Red Army attack in Rome. As for the US, we spent almost 30 million on the "investigation and conviction" of the 1993 WTC bombers. Stiff jail sentences, including life were to deter future Islamists. On top of that, the law enforcement model called on vulnerable targets to erect static defenses against "criminals" who might be in the country. In the summer of 2000 issue, corporate security magazine lauded the WTC and Port Authority of NY for showing how they would prevent recurrence of any terror attack on the WTC with "The Gold Standard" of modern security protection implemented at the WTC. They said other companies likely lacked the money that the WTC could afford in their "cost is no object" approach but certain elements could be adapted - the searching of all vehicles, the monitoring of suspicious rentals, explosive detectors sniffing packages, remote TV camera system monitoring, and a "superb staff led by former Top FBI agents" that used the most advanced screening on visitors to the WTC.

Of course we see how the law enforcement approach worked, and learned that even the "Gold Standard of security regardless of cost" failed to stop Islamoids. Same with all the judicial warrants we had our cops officiously present to bemused Talibani, Yemeni, Saudi officials.

2. " telling us that in one breath while at the same time making ludicrously silly statememts that compare the terrorists to the Nazis. I mean, does anyone out there seriously imagine that there is a possibility that this ragtag, murderous bunch of religious zealots which make up only a tiny fraction of Islam is going to try to occupy the United States and set up a Caliphate to rule over the world?"

Hardcore Nazis made up perhaps 2% of the "noble Germanic peoples". Strong sympathizers another 10%. Numbers similar to what the Islamoids enjoy today. If truly open elections were held in Muslim countries, 4-5 including nuclear Pakistan, would elect radical Islamists to lead. Their stated goal is not to occupy the US, but to establish a Caliphate from Andalusia to the Philippines. Eventually to make the whole world fall under the Caliph - but in intervening years to count on demography, judicious use of violence, and persuasion - to see Europe, Central Asia, and India assimilated into the Ummah of believers.

3. "There are terrorists in every nation on earth including our own. Did Bill Clinton declare war on "red America" when Tim McVey blew up the Murrah building in Oklahoma City?"

That is the classic defense CAIR and other enemy sypathizers uses. There is no difference between the threat from Americans, Brazilians, Japanese, Arabs, or Botswanans because moral equivlency exists. But moral equivalency doesn't exist. Japanese terror has killed under 100 people in the last 40 years. American, Brazilian teror right-wing terror under a thousand. Islamic terror and Jihad in Russia, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Israel, Nigeria, N Africa, America, Europe, Iran, East Timor - over 7 million people.

Biggest net democides of the 20th century? Communists 1st, Nazis 2nd, Islamoids 3rd. Over human history, Islamoids have butchered more people in the name of a single religious creed or cause than any other.

4. "You can rant all you want but the bottom line for me is that you cannot wage war on a word, a condition, a tactic. It didn't work with poverty. It didn't work with drugs. And it isn't working on terrorism."

Now you are agreeing with Bush. He made a stupid call early on to say he was fighting a "war on terror" when we all knew it was not on the tactic employed by the Free Quebecois, Ari Shirun, Tamil Tigers, an abortion clinic bomber, Basques,,,et. al. but against Islamist Jihad only. Even while he was spouting his "Religion of Peace" drivel and implying he was only trying to defeat a "tactic", even the most liberal democrat understood we were going after radical Islamists only after 9/11, not planning on sending the 82nd into Spain after ETA.

And yes, a specific creed like Thuggee, Nazi platform, New Guinea Cannibal Ritualism, Worship and human sacrifice to Ba'al or the Aztec Sun God, Bolshevik Red Terror, Yamoto Shintoism CAN be targeted and eliminated.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 15, 2006 02:28 PM

Posted by: AfghanVet | Apr 14, 2006 10:23:28 AM

Call this man evil, call him dangerous, call him a murderer, but the bottom line is he BELIEVES in what he is doing to the point that he is willing to martyr himself for his BELIEFS.

Now tell me, how do we win a war against a people with such faith when what we are trying to fight for is big screen TVs, nice cars and ballgames. If we REALLY thought our way of life was being threatened, our recruiters would be exhausted, but they're not.

We are so selfish and so self-absorbed and so distracted by all our little toys and happy hours that we cannot even fathom how a man can be so faithful as to virtually commit suicide by his testimony in order to become a symbol of something greater.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

You raise some very difficult questions here. I don't actually call him "evil" myself. I reserve that particular term for those people who take personal pleasure and satisfaction from personally inflicting pain and suffering on other individuals, be they humans or other animal life. Certainly he is dangerous. I cannot call him a murderer however; as there is no evidence that he actually managed to kill anyone. More of interest are his beliefs and the notions of martyrdom and sacrifice.

As I heard his testimony reported, it was remarkable how accurately he reflected Chris's prior outlines of the tenets of Radical Islam, to include dihimitude (spelling may be off here). What also struck me was how internally coherent he seemed to be, lacking any signs of artifice. He seems to be a man willing, in your phrase, "to martyr himself for his beliefs"; in the same sense that Japanese Kamikaze pilots were willing to sacrifice their lives for their nation. This is not quite the same thing as seeking martyrdom for the sake of reputation and 72 lovely virgins. Here one is not martyring oneself for one's beliefs, rather, one's beliefs enable one to martyr oneself for fame, honor, and sex in Heaven. Anyway, if you grant Moussaoui's objectives are those of his religion as he interprets it, what he actually says is logical within that framework. He does not want to die; he is willing to die in the service of his religion. And he is a man who speaks "Truth to Power". Is that suicidal? Or courageous? Actually, we are fortunate that there are relatively few people with faith so deep and beliefs so strong as those who hijacked and flew those planes on 9/11.

Your second paragraph above is really difficult to deal with. "a war against a people" is the phrase you used. Bush calls it, "the war against terror" (against a tactic). Chris Ford calls it "a war against Radical Islam" (against an ideology). Personally, I far prefer your formulation, so long as "a people" is specific and not general. Terror may indeed be a cause for going to war with some identifiable people who have used terror against us, but this is a war one can win by finding and destroying those particular people. To declare war on the tactic of terror itself is to define a war with no end, a truly long war where victory can never be declared by definition. I am also uncomfortable with Chris's formulation of war between ideologies. At least the phrase "Cold War" reflects, in the term "Cold", the implicit recognition that this was not a real war with bombs and bullets (which otherwise then become "Hot" wars). What the "Cold War" does reflect is the competition (political, economic, and in military development) between nations organized on one of two ideologies, Marxist/Leninist Communism or Democratic Socialism/Capitalism. There were of course a whole variety of real wars during the period of the "Cold War", many of which had nothing to do with ideology, how about the Falklands? My point is that using the term "war" to describe the conflict between ideologies is a bad idea, it is a misuse of the term, it clouds what "war" really is, which is generally the application of deadly military force on one people in one territory by another people in another territory for any of a variety of reasons.

The "war" at issue when we look at Mr. Moussaoui is the war with Al Qaida and its allies, such as they are. What makes this war difficult is that "the people" we are at war with here do not hold territory, they slither about through other nation's territory. It's not really the first time we have encountered this, if you remember Laos and Cambodia during the Viet Nam conflict; clearly, Al Qaida has carried this technique to a new level. Still, this is a real war, and one which all of us can understand and one in which a victory has some definition we might all agree on. In this war, we do know what we are fighting for. It lies in the memory of those twin towers burning against the New York skyline, collapsing one after the other in spectacular clouds of dust. It's no surprise that recruiters were in fact flooded shortly thereafter.

The war in Iraq is something else entirely. As the reasons given for this war, justifying it, have, one by one, been established as having no foundation, we are left with what? Does Iraq REALLY threaten our "way of life"? Did it ever? Is "helping the Iraqi People" really worth our sacrifice of our lives and treasure? This is a tough sell, and frankly, it should be. Indeed, for most of this nation's history, we have been most reluctant, on our founding principles, to engage in foreign wars, to interfere in the affairs of foreign peoples. It is only relatively recently that we have assumed papal-like authority and judgment over the legitimacy of all foreign governments and the willingness to change them to something we think better. No, it is no surprise that recruiters now find themselves having a really hard time filling their quotas.

The sad fact is that we no longer have a clear idea of just what or who it is we are at war with or why. Without it, we are not likely to win, or understand why we cannot.

Posted by: Cayambe | April 15, 2006 05:52 PM

So people still buy into the Jim Jones Kool-Aid story? Jim Jones and his followers had amassed arms to overthrow our government, and had assassinated a US Congressman in cold-blood shortly before the cult had met it's doom. They were most likely offed by our government (CIA probably), and the poisoned Kool-Aid was a convenient cover story. The Jim Jones-Poisoned KoolAid story may make sense if you are your average spoonfed American that believes everything they're told, but if you look into it a little further and actually think about it logically, some things don't add up. Last I checked, when a government has a hostile force trying to overthrow it or assassinate it's members, that government doesn't just sit back and hope that said cult offs themselves by drinking poison. Rather, said government covertly takes care of the threat, then puts forth a 'big lie' to obscure the truth of the matter.
While we're on the subject, I honestly wonder if the narrative of Flight 93 is completely on the level. While it makes for a great story of heroic American citizens thwarting the evil terrorists (certainly more plausible than poisoned KoolAid), the more realistic (though not pretty) scenario is that the plane was shot down. By the time Flight 93 went down, our government was fully aware of what was going on and that another plane was headed towards Washington DC. In such a situation, would the government sit back and hope that the citizens on the plane were able to break in to the cockpit via ramming a service cart, or would the government take the steps necessary to assure 100% that the plane couldn't threaten the DC area by shooting it down? The latter scenario seems more plausible (plane gets shot down) whereas the former seems to be something written for Reader's Digest (heroic Americans sacrifice their lives to defeat terrorist plot).
Think about it, won't you? I'm not putting forth conspiracy theory here, simply stating that when a government has ugly business to take care of, it does such, then creates a pretty cover story to mask the reality of what really went on. Conspiracy theory accomplishes nothing, whereas healthy skepticism among the American public is something sorely needed these days. Perhaps the Jim Jones cult did commit mass suicide and perhaps Flight 93 was taken down from the passengers within. Thing is, there's plenty of room for the possibility that both are 'big lies' covering up governmental actions that were thoroughly 'politically incorrect'. Is it really all that improbable or implausible?

Posted by: ErrinF | April 15, 2006 06:08 PM

Chris (and others),

Please read the column in the post today by Fazwa Turki. It echos much of what you have said in your reply to me. It also illustrates some of what I am trying to say. It may be that we are both chopping the same tree from different directions.

What his column says to me is that there is terrible corruption and repression in many Muslim countries as you have stated. But it also says that there are people that are looking for ways to overcome the corruption and repression. The more stories like his that can be told, and the more that truth and education is spread throughout the middle east, the harder it will be for these traditionally repressive governments and religious leaders to keep people under their thumb.

I ask you, how are the conditions related to supressed and altered information that you and Turki both describe any different than the state controlled press of the Soviet Union and their satelite countries during the Cold War?

The atrocities, genocide, and repression you speak of are real and it is possible to trace justification for those acts back to the Quran, just like Christians have in the past justified horrible acts through the Bible. In both cases we've seen religion used in the worst possible way by leaders looking to control and manipulate entire societies, taking advantage of uneducated or narrowly educated, misinformed citizens to support their self serving policies.

You're right again about the reformation in the Christian world, but that didn't occur in one fell swoop. It took place at different rates in different countries, in different stages, and over the course of several religious based wars. To simplify it down to a few sentences, I would say that it started with some successful challenges to the authority of the Catholic church by Martin Luther, followed by others such as Calvin and Henry the VIII. Over centuries each generation laid groundwork for a larger number of people that came behind them. Precedents were set and enough wiggle room was created to allow philosophers to begin publishing radical writings containing new thoughts about the rights of man and government. A new world was discovered and many persecuted religious groups had an opportunity to establish themselves in a relative safe havan. Over time the new radical ideas matured and took root, eventually resulting in the establishment of our federal and state governments where the separation of church and state is a cornerstone concept that protects rather than inhibits religious freedom in much the same way that freedom of speech protects rather than inhibits the development of new ideas.

As you point out this process has not occurred in much of the middle east. What I'm saying is let's find a way to foster it. The ideas exist. They have been identified with western culture due to how and where they originated. As far as most Americans are concerned (And I believe correctly) the greatest manifestion of these ideas comes in form of our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. Do those ideas have to stay associated with western civilization alone? To see that they don't we need to find ways to introduce them into other civilizations. I don't believe we can do that through our current efforts. I think to be effective it has to be Muslim voices that deliver the message.

As disappointed as I've been with Bush, the one thing that I agree with him on is that people have a fundamental hunger for freedom and a right to have a say or play a part in forming their nation's destiny, and thereby in forming the world's destiny. It is certain that in spite of all our blunders in Iraq, that the brightest moments have been the successful elections that have been held in Iraq as well as in Afganistan. The problem is there is not a stable enough environment for these changes to take root and grow. We are making too many assumptions and taking too much for granted. We are trying to condense a hundred years or more of natural development into the space of 5 years. In so doing we have only created resentment and mistrust of our motives. We have, unfortunately, resorted to tactics that are in direct conflict with our founding ideals. In short, through impatience, greed, and a desire for expediency, we have dealt our own credibility a severe blow.

My belief is that this is a war of ideology, much as the Cold War was. Credibility is an important tool for us as we battle our foes and that tool has been blunted. Propaganda is and will continue to be a weapon, again, much like the Cold War. Take a look at the cartoon controversy for an example of that. Right now we are losing the propaganda and world opinion aspect of the war badly - and that should be the aspect where we are at our best.

There are essentially two paths that we can follow to victory in this new ideological war, and I think Afghan Vet laid them out very well in one of his earlier posts. I found his comments mirroring in some aspects some of your replies to me during earlier topics related to the Ports Deal - remember Carthage? Anyway, I agree with him that we don't have the collective will at this point to inflict the kind of trauma on the Islamic world necessary to achieve the kind of change that occurred after WWII. I also agree with Jaxas that there aren't enough of the enemy combatants to warrant such actions, especially since we really are not fighting another country, but members of a movement that have figured out how to use low tech approaches to effectively wreak havoc.

I find myself in agreement with Afghan Vet's conclusion that a low intensity conflict is where we should be at at this point given the circumstances. We can't just ignore the terrorists, but there is no practical or moral way at this point to engage in any all out war against a particular country or group, especially when they don't take the form of a coherent military force. It seems to me that we need to fight these cells and their direct support network with small special forces units (with language and culture capabilities) that work in cooperative arrangements with host country military units or intellegence (e.g. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Yeman - basically any place where relations are good enough that such cooperation might be a possibility, and there is a believable motive for the leaders of that country to track down terrorist cells existing within their borders)I even suggested at one point that we develop specialized units in cooperation with a proposed host country where we train some of our own recruits along with recruits from the host country from the inception of the unit. The purpose of these units would be to track down terrorist cells, collect intellegence and be in position to kill or capture at a moment's notice with minimal fanfare and news coverage. I'm not sure how practical that approach is - command and control would certainly be a big issue, but I propose that we maintain command and control with constant communication with a host country military liason. Risky perhaps, but it seems to me that arrangements of this type have occurred in the past - certainly CIA military advisors have been attached to military units of other countries in the past.

This leads me to another point I want to make. I think you are being too dismissive of Jaxas' law enforcement point. I understand your frustration with the legal process, but a lot of that frustration seems focused on the courts, not on the investigative process. I sympathize with you. The legal process associated with our civilian courts is enough to try the patience of Job for crying out loud. And it certainly isn't set up to deal with unlawful enemy combatants sworn to do all they can to bring down our society. As far as they are concerned they are at war with us, and we have engaged in a war of sorts against them (War on Terror or Long War). Since we are fighting a new type of warfare we need to set up our institutions to deal with all the consequences of fighting such a war. We need to revamp and retrain at least a part of our military to either approach some situations from an investigative standpoint or to facilitate, cooperate with and coordinate with investigators. Then, once the investigation is done, a judgement call will need to be made as to whether there should be an arrest or a military attack. Either could result in deaths or captures. If captures, then those deemed as unlawful enemy combatants could be tried by a military tribunal.

When I spent some time in Qatar in '94 I witnessed a society that was building for the future, was small, but with a lot of energy, was closely aligned with Saudi Arabia, but was not as strict. There was still repression - Mr. Turki's column hit home because I remember reading some of the English language newspapers where every day's main story was someting along the lines of - the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani exends congratulations to the Sultan of Oman on the occasion of his birthday ..., I also remember buying National Geographic magazine off a newstand where pictures containing exposed female body or cleavage, or any affection between male and female like kissing, holding hands, or hugging was scribbled out in permanent black magic marker. There literally must be rooms full of religious zealots scribbling out "dirty pictures" in individual copies of National Geographic before they go to news stands. Oh well, at least they sold the magazines, and I didn't ever see any attempt to censor any text.

While I was there I heard through back channels that there were some Qataris that had organized and were petitioning the Emir to share more power and decision making through a representative body. I'm not sure how that all turned out. I do know that the Emir that was in power while I was there was deposed by his son in a bloodless coup about a year after I left. His son had been the Minister of Defense while I was there. Since then I've heard there have been reforms and he is slowly moving the country toward greater democracy. I also know Al Jazeera became a big media outlet based in Qatar since I left. It is considered heavily biased toward Muslim points of view, but at least they cover actual news stories. My belief is that Al Jazeera, even though it can annoy the hell out us, is a step in the right direction because it opens up the world to people, not just in Qatar, but throughout the midddle east. In spite of its biases it might inspire some curiosity and additional exploration by people leading them to ideas rooted in truth - the ideas of freedom of choice and expression, equal opportunity, and human rights.

My whole point in this is to say that people are important. Not just their governmnets and their militaries, but the people that form the backbone of any society. If their minds are opened, amazing things can happen. When I talk about promoting the interests and values of moderate Muslims, I'm not talking drivel Chris. I'm not talking about spreading lies or platitudes that make people feel good - you know what I mean - Islam is the Religion of Peace, there is very little crime in Islamic societies, and great harmony, blah, blah, blah. No, I'm talking about Fazwa Turki's article, full of constructive criticism, and many of the viewpoints that have been revealed through posts on this blog. I would hope that we as a nation, through private action and through efforts and emphasis of our government, could do a better job of distinguishing and encouraging those moderate Muslims that care about their societies and people and show their care through criticisms of the bad and highlighting of the good. Maybe then, with patience we will see a growth in Muslims with a moderate point of view and they will develop a voice that can lead to change. Ultimately the only realistic chance for positive change in the Muslim world has to come from within the Muslim world.

Posted by: DK | April 16, 2006 05:14 AM

Posted by: ErrinF | Apr 15, 2006 6:08:27 PM

"Thing is, there's plenty of room for the possibility that both are 'big lies' covering up governmental actions that were thoroughly 'politically incorrect'. Is it really all that improbable or implausible?"

YUP, it is both highly improbable and highly implausible.

Posted by: Cayambe | April 16, 2006 02:16 PM

DK, I'll look at that article later. I've been in the ME in uniform, but not as a civilian. I've met Muslims here and abroad that I have liked and respected. A Muslim doctor treats my father's heart disease. But I don't completely trust Muslims because Islam sets up a wall between believers and unbelievers. Some ignore the wall, but most don't.

An example is a Muslim work associate, who on the surface is a good guy. Smart, very polite and urbane. It took me over a year to notice an important distinction about him. He will greet people and shake hands. With his Muslim friends and family, he remains. With his non-Muslim associates, quietly, discretely, he leaves and washes his hands after shaking theirs.

Posted by: Chris Ford | April 16, 2006 10:11 PM

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