Pentagon warns of sustained retaliation
September 13, 2001 9:37 PM   Subscribe

Pentagon warns of sustained retaliation Sounds to me like a declaration of war.
posted by kd (13 comments total)
I was already operating under this assumption since my first viewing of the aircraft hitting the towers.

War has been dropped on our doorstep. We have little choice but to fight or watch our country fill up with the dead and wounded.

Mind you, I am not saying I am not scared out of my mind and wish, hope upon hope, that there was some other way. I KNOW there will be horrible death on all sides. I KNOW there will be scars lasting for the rest of my life and that of my child.

That said, I prefer to die fighting then killed in my bed.
posted by dewelch at 9:50 PM on September 13, 2001

And who exactly are they going to attack?

We already know that Afghanistan will extradite Bin Laden if he is responsible. It seems very possible that the terrorists acted without a nations or aid.
posted by futureproof at 9:57 PM on September 13, 2001

Tonight at the store I work at a customer claiming to be a reporter of some sort said he'd heard from a number of people that there was mention of the draft possibly being instated. As in, we're in for it... this could be what our grand-parents went through. As someone eligible for such a draft, I'm starting to wonder what to think anymore. I've always assumed I'd be willing to serve my country, but even the slightest hint of seriousness from even the most unlikely of sources made my stomach drop in a way I've never felt before.
posted by dopamine at 10:03 PM on September 13, 2001

The culprits will be discovered to a fairly high degree of certainty. I heard that it took 55 days after Pearl Harbor before America struck back at the Japanese. Clarification will come and then so will the necessary actions.

As I said, I HOPE, in the strongest terms, there can be another ending to this story, but not if it means that more American civilians have to die.

Bin Laden alone is not the culprit. A leader, yes but leaving his underlings around for more terror is not an option either. He gained "aid" from the countries where he is allowed to live. Even if they provided nothing but a blind eye to his actions, they are culpable in all his terrorist acts.

In American law, facilitating a murder is as bad as committing that murder yourself, I believe.
posted by dewelch at 10:07 PM on September 13, 2001

I will never be mistaken for a pacifist. I understand the necessity to speak out as if from a position of strength, but I question the wisdom of top Pentagon officials making statements like this so early in the process. I see these statements as unnecessarily inflammatory, with all the anti-American sentiment being bandied about. It would seem to me, at least from a PR standpoint, that we should appear to have given this some thought first and at least have a particular target in mind (and solid reasons for the choice of that target) before we go shooting our mouths off.
posted by kd at 10:15 PM on September 13, 2001

Afghanistan has made it clear that they have not supported Bin Laden and have made it clear they did not and will not allow him to carry out terrorist activities from within the country. Maybe this is not fact but we do not know for sure. If this is fact what more can you ask for?

When Ted Kaczynski was holed up in his cabin was the United States responsible for his attacks?

It seems that most Americans want a war and want bombs dropped but what happens if only 100 or so individuals are responsible. Does the USA attack them and thousands of innocent civilians?
posted by futureproof at 10:15 PM on September 13, 2001

I don't believe Americans "want" war. I think they want to make sure that nothing like this ever happens to ANYONE again.
posted by dewelch at 10:39 PM on September 13, 2001

There are a whole bunch of people out there who think they want war. There are too many people spouting extremist rhetoric without thinking. However, want it or not, we're getting war, and I'm willing to bet those folks running around calling for carpet-bombing are going to feel a whole lot different when their sons and daughters and brothers and sisters are getting sent into the line of fire, or when more innocents die on our soil. Considering that what's already happened, happened in ‘peacetime’, how much worse will it be in war? it's ugly, it's inevitable, and I don't understand some of the enthusiasm that's being expressed.
posted by kd at 11:16 PM on September 13, 2001

Dewelch, US submarines in the Pacific were sent orders for unrestricted warfare against all Japanese vessels within hours of the Pearl Harbor attack, and the first sinking happened within days. (There was a problem with US torpedoes and also with US tactics, or it would have happened sooner.)

Futureproof, we know that the Taliban say that they'll turn bin Laden over to us with sufficient proof, but they've been saying that for years. He's already responsible for other attacks on the US and we have credible proof of those things, too. Somehow there never seems to be enough proof. They're lying.

KD, the reason the Pentagon is making these statements is to prepare the American people for the fact that this will be a long struggle. This isn't something that's going to be resolved in a few weeks.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:36 PM on September 13, 2001

As someone eligible for such a draft, I'm starting to wonder what to think anymore.

I wouldn't worry about being drafted. I was in college (and thus prime drafting material) during the Persian Gulf War. During the Desert Shield period, the very same rumors ran rampant for months, helped along greatly by a never-ending parade of TV talking heads proclaiming in unison that Saddam Hussein's army was so massive and so well trained that any war we launched against them would, at the very least, take months, if not drag on for a year or more. And we all know what actually happened in the end. But during those months, a lot of my friends were quite worked up; my roommate's parents even made concrete plans to spirit him off to Italy if a draft were instituted. It was all for naught. The war didn't even tax our forces, in terms of the number of soldiers need. The same thing will happen this time. It may take longer than the Persian Gulf war, but I can't see it requiring so many men that they would need to start drafting.
posted by aaron at 12:18 AM on September 14, 2001

ending states who sponsor terrorism

Holy moly! I mean, I get it, but ending states?! As in entire nation-states? I do not mean to sound naive, and I believe that Wolfowitz is talking about ending regimes that support terrorists and their actions, but fer cryin' out loud. He's gotta say this? "Ending" a state sounds like it could be a really creative way of insinuating ethnic cleansing, which is, itself, a really disgusting expression that we use pretty offhandedly these days. Like I say, I believe I know what the man means when he says this, but I think he could have worded it better.
posted by Bixby23 at 1:24 AM on September 14, 2001

I want to strike back as much as anybody. But a proportionate response is impossible. I'd be surprised if the number of people directly involved in this incident topped 500. We are inevitably going to kill as many innocent people as did these bastards.
posted by luser at 5:49 AM on September 14, 2001

Not to get into semantics here, but I thought a war involves two countries using military force against each other.
It seems more than likely that the Taliban, did not play a part in this atrocity. It seems even likelier that even should they wish to turn Bin Laden over they cannot, because he is probably stronger militarily than the Taliban. Also keep in mind that the Taliban regime is recognized as the legal government of Afghanistan only by Pakistan, and that their claim to represent the country is not accepted by the UN, where the seat for Afghanistan is still vacant.
Given all this, and the demand for immediate, large-scale revenge, two things seem probable:

1. A country or countries will, soon be declared to have "assisted" Bin Laden in the attacks, targeted and annihilated. That country (-ies) will have no real connection to the attack, but will be chosen on criteria of how easy it would be to bomb and how much will their bombing bother US allies (Afghanistan is ideal in both of these respects).
2. Bin Laden walks, as he is certainly smart enough (and has the resources) not to be in said country at time of attack. His, predictable, escape will mean a continuation of war and a prolonging of US military actions in the region.

Do please bear in mind that a secret terrorist network around the world cannot be neutralized by F-16s.
How will the destruction of more innocent lives, provide vengeance for US (and world) citizens lost in the attack is beyond me.
posted by talos at 6:34 AM on September 14, 2001

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