Bush Doubted on 9/11 Panel Angry lawmakers accused the White House yesterday of secretly trying to derail creation of an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks while professing to support the idea. The White House responded by renewing its pledge of support for the proposal and suggesting an agreement was near.
Finally somebody's saying it out loud. A "top Pentagon advisory board" says the real enemy in the War on terrorism is...drum roll, please....Saudi Arabia.
The good news is that there is no religious war, the bad news is that a time bomb blast killed 7 in a Russian market; 14 Christians were killed in Indonesia; a 5 year old killed and three other under 15 injured in Israel. All in one day.
Not to complain about the ever-expanding war on terror, but... Afganistan just might become a little stickier than our leaders had hoped. A recent raid on regrouping troops went not too well, with a combined force of Afgan and U.S. troops beating a quick retreat. Is the U.S. miring itself in not one but several Vietnam's?
Who is a "terrorist"? Is the US, in an effort to build a coalition all too willing to break bread with states that sponsor it? I scoffed at the notion that "terrorism" is a subjective word until this article pointed out that one of our prospective coalition partners is attempting to define the "separatists" in Taiwan and Tibet as such. "Are you willing to look the other way while Iran funds Hezbollah?"
Bioterror? Nukes? Don't bet on it. Buried in this Washington Post article about the possibility of further terrorist attacks is a piece of information that I had been thinking was probably true myself: The fact that they went to all this trouble to hijack planes and use them as giant bombs is "enormously illustrative" that they probably do not have anything worse to use on us, like biological, chemical or nuclear weapons.
Realism Urgently Needed - Or Not? David Ignatius's column today in The Washington Post addresses the question of effectiveness in the war against terrorism. He tells the sobering story of the CIA's collaboration with the terrorist Ali Hassan Salameh. The downside: "The most obvious (lesson) is that collecting intelligence about terrorists is a truly dirty business. This world cannot be penetrated without help from members or friends of the terrorist network". The upside: "Paradoxically, these tragic days have probably been an ideal time for the CIA to be recruiting new sources of intelligence about terrorism. The barbaric attacks Tuesday aroused disgust around the world --- not least among civilized Muslims. Some of these disgusted Muslims will surely want to help the United States and its allies put the terrorists out of business." The crucial moral question: It's really a classic means/ends debate. Is it right - or just acceptably expedient - to collaborate with known terrorists in order to strike out at those we don't yet(or otherwise will never) know about?