"We must not declare victory too soon,"
January 16, 2002 5:49 AM   Subscribe

"We must not declare victory too soon," or the inevitable fingerpointing will begin.
posted by magullo (6 comments total)
We do the best we can and let the chips fall where they may. Seems pretty reasonable to me.
posted by revbrian at 5:52 AM on January 16, 2002

Failure: When doing your best is simply not enough.
posted by magullo at 5:58 AM on January 16, 2002

Its really hard to think of the Al Queda network as "not functioning" while they are able to sneak their leader in a boat, past the most powerful navy in the world to somewhere else.
posted by brucec at 6:10 AM on January 16, 2002

brucec - what makes you think that Al Queda had anything to do with that? Osama is the Pentagon's Waldo: find him in a country, bomb the country, let the "target" go to the next country . . .
posted by yesster at 8:07 AM on January 16, 2002

What if you fail to do your best?
posted by vbfg at 1:04 PM on January 16, 2002

yesster: duck, there's a black helicopter coming.

A terrorist network without unknown hundreds of its operatives, without training camps, without its military planner, without much of its money, without a state sponsor, and which must devote much of its energies to hiding and running is less effective in my book. There really aren't any safe havens for the man anymore; his best options, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia, are all cooperating with US counterterror efforts to varying extents. Anyplace else he turns up -- Pakistan, Gulf States -- is pretty much in no position to play a shell game with him.

Arresting (or, probably more luckily for us had it occurred, killing) bin Laden and other key lieutenants is not the type of objective the military could reasonably claim to succeed at, so it was always subordinate to the one they are good at, which is routing out the training camps and hidey holes.

Amazingly, the Times has discovered a secret that has been kept since ... oh, wait, no, back in November they were already downplaying it.
posted by dhartung at 3:26 PM on January 16, 2002

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