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The Real Day of Infamy?
Friday, 13 July 2007 11:44
by Larry C. Johnson

Imagine it is October 27, 1947. Why October 27, 1947? Because that date is 2128 days from December 7, 1941 and the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. So what? Today, 12 July 2007, marks 2128 days since Al Qaeda attacked us on 11 September 2001.

Can we envision President Harry Truman holding a press conference to trumpet the progress in the war against Japan while the leaders of Japan remained untouched? Would Truman offer an upbeat presentation if the United States is unable to quell the violence wracking Japan?

Would the press in World War II add insult to injury? One reporter (and only one reporter) would, at the very end of the press conference, ask why the intelligence community believes Japan is just as strong as it was when it attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. President Truman dismisses the report and insists that Japan is in fact weaker and that we must stay the course. However, the United States does not have enough troops to confront the threat and Truman is unwilling to impose a draft or seek additional forces from other countries.

Fortunately, this is bad fiction. The United States defeated Japan in 1361 days (i.e., three years and 10 months). Sadly we cannot make the same claim about Al Qaeda.

But this is truly puzzling. Unlike the Imperial Army of Japan, Al Qaeda does not have a 1.7 million man Army. Al Qaeda does not have . . . .

an armada of battleships and aircraft carriers. Al Qaeda does not have an air force of crack fighters. An Al Qaeda has not killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.

The truth is we conflate Al Qaeda with Islamic extremists in general. We talk about Al Qaeda as if it is a hierarchical international corporation, with groups regularly signing up as "new" members. We act as if they issue identity cards to their members. Sort of like AARP or the Sierra Club, only lethal.

Known and very popular cialis coupon which gives all the chance to receive a discount for a preparation which has to be available and exactly cialis coupons has been found in the distant room of this big house about which wood-grouses in the houses tell.

We need to cut the bullshit and stop deluding and scaring ourselves at the same time. There are Islamic extremists in the world who would like to do us harm. If left to their own devices, if allowed unfettered training, if permitted to travel at will, and if ignored we would likely see regular attacks and a significant loss of life.

But they aren't and we aren't. If terrorism was a simple matter of desire and intent then I have no doubt we would see daily attacks in most every country in the world. But that is not the reality. Outside of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan there is very little terrorist activity. Why do we persist in acting as if we are the Brits being blitzed every day by Nazi missiles?

The Bush Administration is in a quandary. On the one hand they want to dupe Americans into believing the violence in Iraq is the handiwork of Al Qaeda. Except, on other days, they want to blame the Explosively Formed Projectiles on the Iranians. And, on other days, they act as if Al Qaeda and Iran are working together.

The remanants of Al Qaeda are hiding out principally in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan--a de facto autonomous region--and regularly issuing threats. Ayman Zwahiri makes fairly regular TV appearances to fuss, fume, and bully the West, but the operational capability of Al Qaeda operatives has markedly declined.

Meanwhile, we approach the six year mark in the so-called war with Al Qaeda and the Bush Administration has failed to put someone in charge of finding and killing Bin Laden. Sure the CIA is doing some things as is the FBI and the U.S. military's special operations forces. But there is not a coordinated, organized effort.

I do not take the Global War on Terrorism seriously because we are not serious about it. It is used primarily to gain political advantage and enrich government contractors. But the war effort itself is neither well-organized nor soundly conceived. So excuse me while I blow the horseshit whistle on the latest fear mongering.
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