Exaggerating the Terrorist Threat

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My colleague, friend and sometime Washington Note poster Andrew Lebovich has a really excellent piece up at Foreign Policy analyzing Osama bin Laden’s new tape threatening France. Here’s the kicker, from his section on bin Laden’s attempt to “claim” the kidnapping of French nuclear workers in Niger last month:

Another possible explanation for bin Laden’s “claiming” of the Niger kidnapping operation is more of an internal issue. Al Qaeda Central may be attempting to take some rhetorical control over its fairly weak, nebulous North African affiliate, AQIM. Despite some claims from experts, there is little to no evidence of coordination or even communication between al Qaeda Central and AQIM, an organization that attacks Algerian and Sahelian security forces while runing smuggling, drug protection, and kidnapping-for-ransom operations. By placing his stamp of approval on a kidnapping almost certainly motivated more by monetary than religious or defensive concerns, bin Laden is trying to show (and exaggerate) al Qaeda’s reach, indicating an omnipresence that is illusory at best.
But ultimately, this tape is about al Qaeda’s raison d’

Comments

100 comments on “Exaggerating the Terrorist Threat

  1. questions says:

    “2 Dark Inside Jokes”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/03/world/03terror.html?_r=1
    Hope this doesn’t disappear unremarked upon.
    Note the use of the word “jokes” — just what I kind of figured……

    Reply

  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21729
    Who Has The Crystal Ball?
    by Paul Craig Roberts
    Global Research, November 2, 2010
    My conservative and Republican acquaintances believe that the

    Reply

  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Amazing how the story keeps changing as each aspect is shown to be bullshit.
    How long have you been a lemming, questions? Were you born that way, or has campus life turned you into one?

    Reply

  4. questions says:

    And from the NYT:
    “The apparent test run might have permitted the plotters to estimate when cargo planes carrying the doctored toner cartridges would be over Chicago or another city. That would conceivably enable them to set timers on the two devices to set off explosions where they would cause the greatest damage. ”
    …….
    “On Monday, information about the latest failed plot continued to emerge. An American official said that the addresses on the packages were outdated addresses for Jewish institutions in Chicago. But in place of the names of the institutions, the packages bore the names of historical figures from the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition, the official said. The addresses are one reason that investigators now believe the plan may have been to blow up the planes, since there were no longer synagogues at the Chicago locations. ”
    ……
    “Both bombs contained circuit boards from cellphones, but the phone parts appeared to be used as timers, because the so-called SIM cards necessary to receive calls were missing, American officials said. Their construction appeared to support the conclusion, announced Sunday by John O. Brennan, the White House counterterrorism adviser, that the bombs were designed to blow up aboard the aircraft.
    At least one of the packages was initially carried out of Yemen on two Qatar Airways passenger flights, and it was unclear whether they were intended to take down those passenger jets or the U.P.S. and FedEx cargo planes scheduled later to carry them to the United States. ”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/02/world/02terror.html?hp
    ******
    So, umm, outdated Jewish institution addresses with names of crusaders…. Not a bad guess, that “joke” thing I pulled out from the fog, I guess……
    Anyway, they are sending people over to “reverse engineer” the bombs in order to figure out what’s what with them. There’s a long engineering process, a long investigative process, lots of dribbles of details will emerge over time. Probably some contradictions will have to be worked out. The timeline is still a bit foggy. I’m personally unclear about when the tracking numbers were provided. They clearly opened the test packages and checked them before resealing and sending them on their merry way, so there’s a history of watching Yemen-Chicago packages at least under certain circumstances. And yet they missed one of the bombs at first this time around, and they didn’t take action until the Saudis sent a tip in, so there’s only so much watching they’re actually doing. Doesn’t seem like they sequester every box from Yemen to Chicago and open it, take apart the insides….
    So I personally am not rushing to panicked judgment. I’m happy that US intel is watching, that there seems to be a lot of international cooperation, and I think it’s good that the addresses were more likely jokes than serious attempts to target synagogues in Obama’s hometown.
    I’m a little surprised that the UPS computer system and the Fed Ex computer system didn’t see the addresses as false, though. Seems that’s a funky hole that should be patched. Google maps, and other data bases should “know” real and fake street addresses with a little more accuracy??? But maybe not???

    Reply

  5. questions says:

    This morning’s update, via WaPo:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/01/AR2010110106272.html?hpid=topnews
    “Meanwhile, U.S. officials disclosed Monday that authorities had tracked earlier suspicious packages from al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based affiliate in September, attempts now seen as potential test runs for the foiled bombing attempt a month later.
    A U.S. official said that three September shipments were also sent to an address or addresses in Chicago and contained books and religious literature, but no explosives. The official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the subject, said that the packages were intercepted because of intelligence indicating that they had been sent by a person affiliated with AQAP. ”
    ….
    “Both of the bombs discovered last week were encased in ink cartridges. One German official described the design as “highly professional,” saying that some of the wires were so well disguised they they looked like cables for a printer. Other wires were so thin they couldn’t be seen on an X-ray, the official said, echoing other analyses in recent days that the bombs could beat X-ray machines and bomb-sniffing dogs.
    The bombs are believed to be the handiwork of Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, a Saudi national active in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the group behind the Christmas Day plot, among other conspiracies.
    Explosive experts say that the amount of PETN in the ink cartridges could have brought the planes down.
    Jimmie Oxley, co-director of the Center of Excellence for Explosives Detection, Mitigation and Response at the University of Rhode Island, said that if the packages ended up on a pallet surrounded by other cargo, the planes could have survived an explosion, but that if they had been placed near the skin of the planes, detonations could have destroyed the aircraft in mid-air. ”
    …….
    “Yemeni officials said Monday that the Saudis were told of the plot by Jabir al-Fayfi, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, who fled the kingdom after his release in 2006.
    But Gregory Johnsen, a doctoral candidate at Princeton University and an expert on Yemen, noted in his blog, Waq al-Waq, that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula announced Fayfi’s arrest on Sept. 6, which seems too far removed from the latest plot to make him a credible informant. A U.S. official concurred. ”
    *******
    We’ll wait and see…..

    Reply

  6. questions says:

    “Chicago Yellow Pages” — ummm, google, anyone?
    And as for the tracking number issue, even though you seem to know exactly what it all means, I actually don’t.
    Was the “tip” simply a one-time only contact, or were there multiple contacts? I personally am unclear about the timeline. They may well have warned first that there were bombs sent, and then may have tracked the tracking numbers.
    Given that one of the articles notes that the printer cartridge bomb was missed completely in the x-raying of packages, one wonders if they had the tracking numbers at that point.
    I get the feeling the tracking numbers were tracked rather than provided.
    If the US had had the tracking numbers from the get-go, seems to me they’d just scan however many boxes there were on the flights (they all have bar codes if they have tracking numbers) and then they’d simply sequester the matching box and deal with it as a bomb threat rather than x-raying, finding nothing and sending the plane on its merry way.
    Seriously, is the gov’t so worried about the correct shipping of one fucking printer that it wouldn’t rip open the box with the matching tracking number regardless of an x-ray?
    But POA, you already know more than I do as usual…..
    (By the way, the “vague manner in which questions cites it” was vague because I couldn’t instantly find the reference and I had something else to do rather than track it down. I clicked on a couple of links, it didn’t show up instantly and I didn’t have time to reread everything. Hence a vague reference. Of course, since you completely distrust me, anything and everything I write is suspect from the get-go. After all, I work for AIPAC or I’m just lost in a fog of too many brain cells or whatever the charge of the day is!)

    Reply

  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/
    Government accusations: no evidence needed
    “The reality, as today’s version of the NYT makes clear, is that the U.S. has no idea who is responsible for sending these bombs. So in the dark are they that Homeland Security actually blamed two Yemeni schools that don’t even seem to exist, with the only one remotely similar to it being one sponsored by the State Department. But no matter: within a very short time of the attempted attack’s becoming public, U.S. government officials fanned out to anonymously pin the blame on Anwar Awlaki as the Mastermind, and newspapers then dutifully printed what they were told, even though nobody had any idea whether that was actually true”

    Reply

  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here is the specific quote from question’s article that addresses the tracking numbers….
    “U.S. officials have said the tip was specific enough that it identified the tracking numbers of the packages. The Saudi newspaper Al-Watan on Monday cited Saudi security officials as saying the kingdom gave U.S. investigators the tracking numbers, which al-Fayfi likely would not have known since he surrendered well before the packages were mailed”
    Yet note the vague manner in which questions cites it…
    “There’s also something about their having the tracking numbers for the packages at some point during the search. Not sure if it was from the beginning of the search or not”
    Talk about disingenuous horseshit, theres a prime example.

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “There’s also something about their having the tracking numbers for the packages at some point during the search. Not sure if it was from the beginning of the search or not”
    ROFLMAO!!!
    Yes, the Saudis had the tracking numbers. Trouble is, al-Fayfi couldn’t have given them to the Saudis, because he left Yemen before the packages were posted.
    A bit odd too, that the evil perpetrators of this sinister Al Qaedy plot seem to have got the addresses of a couple of Chicago synagogues right, but the names of the Yemenese schools on the return addresses were mistranslated. Gosh, they musta just had the Chicago Yellow Pages, and couldn’t find the ‘ol Yemen Yellow Pages, eh?

    Reply

  10. Cee says:

    Boo dammit!!
    Minister Katz: Israel on bomb alert since Thursday
    Transportation minister hints state knew about mail terror plot before it was publicly revealed Friday. ‘Since Thursday Israeli representatives have been securing shipments to Israel from airports worldwide,’ he says
    Yoav Zitun
    Published: 11.01.10, 10:53 / Israel News
    Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz hinted Monday that Israel received warning of the intent to send bombs to US synagogues on Thursday, before the plot was revealed to the public on the following day.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3977847,00.html

    Reply

  11. nadine says:

    Your fave Nate Silver is certainly covering the bases: “But it tells you basically the same thing. Tonight, our forecast shows Republicans gaining 53 seats

    Reply

  12. questions says:

    And this:
    “Nate Silver just tweeted: “FWIW, there’s about a 4 pt difference between generic ballot polls that included cellphones and those which didn’t.””
    from TPM
    !!!!!!!!!!
    GOTV!!!!!!

    Reply

  13. questions says:

    This seems significant:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-ml-yemen-saudi-intelligence,0,2310404.story
    “Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia announced that al-Fayfi had turned himself in. Al-Fayfi, who is in mid-30s, had been captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan following the 2001 toppling of the Taliban there. He was held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, until early 2007, when he was released to Saudi Arabia.
    There, he was put through the kingdom’s rehabilitation program for militants. But soon after his release from the program, he fled to neighboring Yemen and joined al-Qaida there, according to the Saudi Interior Ministry. In September, he contacted Saudi authorities saying he wanted to turn himself in. A private jet was sent to the Yemeni capital San’a to retrieve him, Saudi security officials told the Saudi-owned daily Al-Hayat at the time.
    The Yemeni security officials said they suspect that the Saudis planted al-Fayfi in al-Qaida in Yemen as a double agent.
    …..
    “The frustration with the Yemenis climaxed last year when al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula came close to killing Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, a royal who runs the Saudi counterterrorism program.
    A suicide bomber posing as a reformed jihadist detonated a bomb hidden inside his body, cutting himself to shreds but only lightly injuring the prince.
    “That was the thing that infuriated the Saudis and made them step up their intelligence operations in Yemen and almost completely sidestep the Yemenis,” said a Yemeni security official familiar with the kingdom’s activity in his country.
    “They recruited hundreds of informers and began to spend even more lavishly on their allies,” said the official, who agreed to share the information in exchange for anonymity.”
    **********
    There’s also something about their having the tracking numbers for the packages at some point during the search. Not sure if it was from the beginning of the search or not.
    The Saudis, can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.

    Reply

  14. questions says:

    nadine, not quite my take on it, though I sympathize with the snark at times!
    There is a strong current of “take care of our own” instead of being the world’s police, and a strong current of “we’re not really taking care of anyone else anyway since we’re killing them too” isolationism.
    It’s not quite my way of looking at the world. I don’t think isolationism works, and I take the terrorism issue far more seriously and I worry about this shift in tactics, if indeed it is a shift. It’s potentially really ugly for worldwide commerce — which of course will deepen our recession and make fighting street crime an even lower priority.
    I think there have been many far more egregious and outrageous statements around here than this one. This one I just find a little misdirected and not quite in the right scope, even if understandable.
    I am indeed worried about the shipping of non-suicidal bombs. And I hope like crazy that there are all sorts of feelers out there for repentance and redemption.
    Profound forgiveness is the central trait we need in the world. Absolute forgiveness. Forgiveness of the unforgivable. Shakespearean forgiveness. Isabella-like forgiveness. And we need it everywhere. I think that Obama displays some amount of awareness of this with the endless willingness to talk to “enemies” and to try to include Republicans when they propose things that the actuaries and policy experts think will work. He gives endless opportunities for people to come up with “market based” solutions that prove their mettle. Not many do, sadly. But he does make space and he does listen.
    GOTV. Tomorrow is Tuesday and your voice matters.
    And nadine, I KNOW you’re voting dem!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  15. nadine says:

    questions, has POA fingered urban street crime as a Mossad conspiracy yet? It’s only a matter of time…

    Reply

  16. questions says:

    Here’s something positive on street crime from the LAT:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-summer-night-20101030,0,4336841.story

    Reply

  17. questions says:

    POA,
    Systemic street violence in the US is certainly a horrific problem and it may be an insoluble problem. It might help to strengthen gun laws, but I think you’re opposed to that? It might help to have stronger anti-poverty programs, but then we run right smack into the conservatives who worry more about moral hazard than about keeping people alive. It might help to spend lots more money on schooling, but you seem to denigrate academic pursuits with joyful noise….
    (And by the way, I think crime numbers are down from their highs anyway. We’ll see what our Second Amendment rights do, and what happens with more Repubs all over the map…)
    Street crime in all its gory mess doesn’t threaten the stability of the nation even if it threatens individuals. Lousy sections of cities are already taken into account in the economic fabric of the country.
    Terrorist-caused demolitions of large buildings in major cities work a little bit differently, though. They hit at major points in the economy so that whole industries, whole regions can flail and eventually fail. When an industry goes down the tubes, when the northeast corridor, the midwest, or the west coast fails, the ripples are felt all across the country. Far more carnage will result if the US economy re-tanks, or if the world economy tanks.
    And finally, the federal government is less involved in local crime fighting than is local government. Complain to the mayor if street crime is out of control.
    We need more redistribution, we need fewer guns, we need more ways for people to live. We need better schools, better housing, anger management, less love of anti-intellectualism, more democrats and somewhat fewer republicans. But we’re not likely to get any of this after this election.
    I am hopeful though that at least we might still be able to avoid massive terrorist attacks.
    As for the bomb — indeed they are considering all sorts of scenarios. Who knows what’s plausible…..

    Reply

  18. Cee says:

    When I read that the new suspect is also being accused of arming the Underware Bomber I laughed.
    Who fingered this woman?
    Saleh said that Yemeni security authorities received a letter from Washington includes a telephone No. to a woman and that she allegedly who had sent the two parcels to two mail services companies.
    CHA-CHING!
    Wall Street Journal
    * NOVEMBER 1, 2010
    Yemen Covert Role Pushed
    Foiled Bomb Plot Heightens Talk of Putting Elite U.S. Squads in CIA Hands
    By JULIAN E. BARNES And ADAM ENTOUS
    WASHINGTON

    Reply

  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Isn’t it interesting that we are naming “suspects, and seem to have a clear idea of who is reponsible for these attacks, and are seeing lots of “might haves” in regards to where these “bombs” might have exploded, but not one single account has described the technological provision these bombs had to actually trigger detonation. By now, surely, they should know EXACTLY what was supposed to trigger these bombs. Could it be that there WAS NO PROVISION for detonation? Could it be the triggers were to be added AFTER delivery?
    Perhaps these bombs were supposed to reach synagogues in Chicago. And perhaps the synagogues weren’t the target for these bombs eventual detonation.
    I mean, hey, if “perhaps” is the way this “attack” is going to be presented to us, lets include ALL the possible “perhaps”.
    Think about it. The only way a reasonably prudent Rabbi or his staff would open a package from Yemen, is if they KNEW what it contained.
    So it comes back to the question…..
    Has Israel been caught committing false flag attacks in the past???
    YES OR NO????
    So, who are we to trust?

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Meanwhile……
    -Shooting leaves 5-year-old boy in grave condition
    Contra Costa Times – ?4 minutes ago?
    Two apparent gang members walked through the alley and fired shots into the yard, grazing the grandfather in the arm and the uncle in the leg, …
    -Four shot in spray of bullets outside downtown Vancouver nighclub
    Vancouver Sun – Tiffany Crawford – ?9 minutes ago?
    The shooting happened just days after Vancouver police issued a warning Friday about the

    Reply

  21. Neo Controll says:

    “Don’t forget, we may see Obama as hostile to Israel, but to al Qaeda he’s the same as Bush, part of the “Crusaders and Jews” cabal that runs the world and is trying to destroy Islam.” (nadine)
    Would you mind very much clarifying that you speak only for yourself and the Neocon propagandists who want the Mideast in continued turmoil to further Israel’s expansion?

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The followong article, from FireDogLake, seems to imply that we are not yet using drones in Yemen. But the article I posted above from the Yemen Observer, if it is to be believed, claims we are already using drones in Yemen. Would that be a suprise? Is there any reason to believe our media is any more credible than the Yemenese media? Or that The Yemenese government will lie to us, but our own government won’t?
    Ho hum. Shipping a printer from Yemen to a synagogue in Chicago.
    Or maybe not, “maybe” this printer was “possibly” supposed to “explode on its own”, “perhaps” with the intent to blow up the plane, “allegedly” fabricated by a Saudi bombmaker “believed to be in Yemen”.
    And the reason it was addressed to a synagogue in Chicago??? Well, the terrorists were just “feeling pissy”, and decided to wage a humorous “joke”.
    Ya gotta love it. And I’m the conspiracy theorist.
    Let the Drones Begin
    By: emptywheel Monday November 1, 2010 5:03 am
    Fresh off exempting Yemen from any sanctions for its use of child soldiers and partly in response to this week

    Reply

  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “And from the NYT regarding whether or not UPS and Fed Ex have a presence in Yemen…”
    Nobody denies the “presence” of UPS in Yemen. They do not fly out of, or into, Yemen. It is subcontracted, and the packages are flown into a UPS hub before getting onto UPS aircraft.

    Reply

  24. questions says:

    And from the NYT regarding whether or not UPS and Fed Ex have a presence in Yemen…
    “In the middle of last week, a woman who claimed her name was Hanan al-Samawi, a 22-year-old engineering student, walked into the U.P.S. office in the upscale Hadda neighborhood of Sana, Yemen

    Reply

  25. questions says:

    From the WaPo this morning…..
    “The preliminary conclusion that the devices were designed to detonate aboard aircraft, and not at the addresses in the Chicago area, is based in part on the fact that the parcels were not rigged to explode upon opening.
    “The devices employed cellphone technology, but it remains unclear why they were built that way. Among the questions authorities are asking: How and when, during a transatlantic passage, would the cellphone components have been in range to receive a signal?
    “There are a whole lot of theories being kicked around about whether [they were set] on a timer, whether somebody was going to call, or another triggering mechanism would set them off,” the counterterrorism official said. ”
    ….
    “In Yemen, police on Sunday released a woman they had arrested the previous day on suspicion of mailing the two bombs. Officials there said someone might have assumed the identity of the woman, 22, a computer engineering student at Sanaa University.
    A shipping agent could not identify the woman, and Yemeni officials said that although there are no suspects in custody, they are pursuing a number of leads. ”
    ….
    “The two package bombs, however, appear to have been built to beat existing security systems, as were other recent bombs believed to have been deployed by the al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
    Qatar Airways said the device found in Dubai would not have been detected by X-ray or bomb-sniffing dogs. British officials missed the second device during a first sweep for it among cargo at a UPS hub near Nottingham, England.
    Brennan said the devices were “very sophisticated” in how they were constructed and concealed. ”
    …..
    “Brennan did not name the suspect, but other U.S. officials identified him as Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, 28, a Saudi national who is on that country’s most-wanted list. His younger brother, Abdullah, had blown himself up in the attempt to assassinate Nayef.
    Asiri is one of a number of Saudis with prominent roles in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Another is the American-born cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi. ”
    …..
    “U.S. counterterrorism and intelligence officials said the latest attack has added new urgency to ongoing discussions within the Obama administration about whether to expand the U.S. arsenal, perhaps with CIA drones, in the fight in Yemen. ”
    ******
    All from the WaPo piece:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/31/AR2010103105001_2.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2010102904852

    Reply

  26. questions says:

    POA,
    She was released. Already.
    To the minds of the gov’t, this one was a actual “ticking bomb” scenario.
    Better thinkers deny the worth of torture even during “ticking bomb” scenarios. Some thinkers deny the possibility of “ticking bomb” scenarios.
    Better thinkers deny the worth of torture ever.
    However, governments are typically quite happy to torture, to sacrifice the good of the one for the good of the many. What’s a little individual suffering and horror compared to the disaster of a plane’s blowing up over a city?
    I wouldn’t be surprised if she had been tortured. I wouldn’t be surprised if she had been tortured at the behest of the US. In the minds of our gov’t and the Yemen and Saudi and German gov’ts, this indeed was a “ticking bomb” scenario. Quite literally, actually.
    It’s horror itself.
    This innocent woman was implicated, probably tortured, and released. She will have a helluva job putting her psyche back together. Yes.
    None of this means that there wasn’t a real threat of additional bombs or that she wasn’t a legitimate “person of interest”. And until the torture allegations are supported, take those with a grain of salt, too.

    Reply

  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=2716&MainCat=3
    HOOD: Female Suspect in Package Plot Tortured and Abused
    Yemen Post Staff
    The female suspect held in connection with the mail bombs terror plots aimed at Chicago two places of Jewish worship was tortured and abused during and after her arrest in Sana’a, Hood said on Sunday.
    Hanan al Samawi, a fifth-year engineering student at Sana’a University, was violently arrested before her mother and family members, and she was also tortured during investigation by the national security, a source at the organization said.
    Meanwhile, law sources expressed concerns about her arrest measures, saying a suspect should be summoned or arrested according to the law.
    Hanan’s colleagues staged today a sit-in at the engineering faculty and carried placards reading ‘ we announce our solidarity with Hanan arrested in connection with alleged U.S.-bound mail bombs.’
    They urged to release her, saying she had nothing to do with the allegedly suspicious packages, and the Yemeni Student Union called for a strike on Monday in solidarity with Hanan, who was arrested along with her mother on Saturday night and taken to an unknown place.

    Reply

  28. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Dan, I appreciate the effort, but it’s useless to talk sense to a 9/11 Truther. POS KNOWS that al Qaeda is fiction that THEY concocted (you might as well call THEM “Crusaders and Jews”, there is so much overlap between POA’s paranoia and al Qaeda’s). POA won’t entertain the possibility that terrorists actually exist”
    Amazing, isn’t it? You ask her some simple questions, and she avoids them like the plague.
    Anyone here ever seen me deny the possibility that terrorists exist? Ergo, Nadine spouts her usual bullshit.
    But, has anyone here ever seen Nadine refuse to “entertain” the possibility that Israel commits war crimes and human rights abuses on a regular basis??? So really, its NADINE that denies facts, isn’t it?
    She can’t answer the simple questions I’ve posed to her on this thread. Particularly the one about KNOWN false flag attacks committed by Israel
    She also won’t comment on the moral fiber of a tribe of despicable scumbags that flood their neighbors with raw human sewage. Nor will she comment on the IDF making Jewish teeny boppers into little nazi-like bigots that deface property, humiliate women and children, and sneer for the cameras like good little Nazi Youth clones.
    Deny terrorists exist??? Not me. I recognize terrorists when I see them, whether its Jewish IDF terrorists, or Muslim suicide bombers. What I WON’T DO, is believe the current kind of media hype that has identified perpetrators in light speed time, on flimsy evidence, using innuendo and insinuation, coming from the same fuckin’ liars in DC that sold us Saddam’s connection to Al Qaeda while amassing a terrible array of WMDs.
    Nadine doesn’t give a shit about the truth. As long as whatever “truth” is presented to us results in dead Muslims, she is tickled pink.
    To buy into this particular “plot”, as it has been presented to us, is the act of a damned ignorant lemming. And the fact that Nadine is bugling over it REALLY makes it suspect.
    Funny, isn’t it, that I make the claim that we don’t know what happened, yet our media is jumping to conclusions, filling in the blanks, naming suspects that we really have NO IDEA whether they were involved or not, yet I’m the conspiracy theorist.
    Look at the amount of conjecture Questions has thrown out on this thread.
    And I’m the conspiracy theorist?

    Reply

  29. questions says:

    And even more careful scrutiny from the same article!!!!!!! We are GOOD! Damned GOOD!!!
    “But the search came up empty. Even a computer printer cartridge later found to contain plastic explosives was cleared, and the cordon was removed at around 10 a.m., restoring traffic flow.
    “German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said German Federal Police were tipped off to the suspicious package on the cargo plane Friday. The package was flown from Yemen to Cologne-Bonn airport, where UPS has its hub. From there it was transferred to a plane bound for Britain’s East Midlands airport in central England.
    De Maiziere said that by the time German officials received the information, the package was already en route to Britain. The Germans then alerted their British colleagues, who had also been contacted by the Saudis.
    The cargo plane landed in the dead of night at East Midlands Airport on what seemed like a routine trans-Atlantic run. The plan was to stop at the relatively small airport that that handles both passengers and cargo, then continue to Philadelphia and Chicago.
    There was almost no movement at the airport when the flight landed shortly after 3 a.m., and British officials removed cargo from the plane for an extensive search. As a standard precaution, a cordon was put in place outside the cargo area of the airport, even though there was very little traffic in before dawn.
    The incident seemed almost over

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  30. questions says:

    Here’s some more info on all that “scrutiny”….
    The woman they arrested was released.
    “The mail bomb plot stretching from Yemen to Chicago may have been aimed at blowing up planes in flight and was only narrowly averted, officials said Sunday, acknowledging that one device almost slipped through Britain and another seized in Dubai was unwittingly flown on two passenger jets.
    Senior U.S. officials met to develop a U.S. response to the al-Qaida faction linked to the powerful explosives addressed to synagogues in Chicago.
    Investigators were still piecing together the potency and construction of two bombs they believed were designed by the top explosives expert working for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based militant faction thought to be behind the plot. Yemeni authorities hunted suspects linked to the group, but released a female computer engineering student arrested Saturday, saying someone else had posed as her in signing the shipping documents.
    But authorities admitted how close the terrorists came to getting their bombs through, and a senior U.S. official said investigators were still trying to figure out if other devices remained at large.”
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-ap-mail-bombs,0,7082587.story

    Reply

  31. questions says:

    “Jews in the President’s home town right before the midterms?” — nadine’s words.
    ONLY if the detonation was set so that opening the box on delivery would have triggered it.
    IF the bomb was designed to blow up a plane, the address would never ever have been read.
    Perhaps post-explosion tracking numbers might have helped, but seriously, could they really find enough info after the fact to know that it was THIS particular box that went off? Presumably, if there’s enough tracking info to figure out which packages were on the plane (likely with UPS and Fed Ex, though not with the USPS!), there are likely to be many suspicious packages. How would they know which one held the bomb?
    If, however, detonation was meant to be upon opening, then the synagogues were actual targets, not “jokes.” But for now, the official line is detonation on board, not upon delivery or opening.
    Don’t forget to vote.
    Make some calls, regardless of your party. Even Republicans can vote for their local House dems!!!!!!!

    Reply

  32. nadine says:

    “And, if the pkg is to be shipped, it certainly needs an address on it in a form that UPS and Fed Ex will read. So no fake p.o. box numbers would work.
    The address could be a joke.” (questions)
    Jews in the President’s home town right before the midterms? Good symbolic value there. Don’t forget, we may see Obama as hostile to Israel, but to al Qaeda he’s the same as Bush, part of the “Crusaders and Jews” cabal that runs the world and is trying to destroy Islam.
    Even moderate Arab statesmen have trouble understanding American democracy and its decision-making. They have never understood what makes the American people support Israel instead of the Arabs. So how much less must the paranoid fanatics of al Qaeda understand America?

    Reply

  33. nadine says:

    “POA,I don’t think you understand what I meant by the term “fire drill”. A fire drill – as we all remember from school – is a false alarm that the authorities set off in order to test their own systems.
    That’s just a possibility. Another possibility is that the packages were indeed sent by actual full-witted terrorists who were trying to blow up planes – more plausible – or half-witted terrorists trying to blow up a synagogue in Chicago, the home town of Obama, Axelrod and Emanuel – less plausible.” (Dan Kervick)
    Dan, I appreciate the effort, but it’s useless to talk sense to a 9/11 Truther. POS KNOWS that al Qaeda is fiction that THEY concocted (you might as well call THEM “Crusaders and Jews”, there is so much overlap between POA’s paranoia and al Qaeda’s). POA won’t entertain the possibility that terrorists actually exist.
    “While there are some dangerous people out there, the attempts they make appear to be sporadic and localized.”
    In what sense is a Yemeni plot against Chicago “localized”? As for sporadic, there have been many plots that have either come to fruition or been announced as prevented. Presumably, there would be some that are not announced in the interest of intelligence gathering. What does “sporadic” mean? That there’s not a new explosion every day? I see no reason to give out a free pass on attempts.

    Reply

  34. questions says:

    Ummm, what guaranteed scrutiny for these packages? As you pointed out, at least one of them ended up on a couple of passenger planes.
    T’aint much scrutiny there.
    Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday, by the way.

    Reply

  35. PissedOffAmericxan says:

    “And, if the pkg is to be shipped, it certainly needs an address on it in a form that UPS and Fed Ex will read. So no fake p.o. box numbers would work”
    “The address could be a joke”
    There’s question’s brilliant explanation for why a committed terrorist would address an explosive package in a manner that virtually GUARANTEES the package will be subjected to scrutiny.
    Ah yes, those nasties in the ranks of AQAP, jokesters one and all.

    Reply

  36. questions says:

    It’s all so complicated….
    From what I have read so far, it’s unclear what the detonation system was to be, but there’s clearly some official thinking that some kind of airplane-go-boom was the intent.
    I think that when you send a package, you can’t actually know its probable path, as shipping is a complicated set up.
    If the pkg wasn’t to be detonated long distance via some kind of satellite link up or whatever, and if the person/people sending it couldn’t know its exact path, then perhaps your concerns are immaterial.
    I think there’s much that isn’t known yet.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if, say, just the way that US soldiers graffiti up bombs that are going to blow up without the markings’ being read, it’s quite possible that whoever prepared the package thought this was a fun thing to do. They have google access, so why not google up some random synagogue in Chicago (which apparently isn’t near Obama’s residence according to one of the articles I came across…..)
    And, if the pkg is to be shipped, it certainly needs an address on it in a form that UPS and Fed Ex will read. So no fake p.o. box numbers would work.
    The address could be a joke.
    And if the woman whose phone number was left with the package didn’t actually mail it, or if she mailed it unknowingly, then the speculation floating around “out there” about how a “woman” could do this is unfounded. (I do find it interesting the number of threads devoted to “no way a woman could do this”.)
    At any rate, we’ll just see what happens with it all.
    Chemists will test the explosives to see if they are cousin to other explosives we’ve encountered. Someone might claim credit. Someone might develop a conscience and squeal. After all, disrupting the flow of goods and services around the world is pretty dumb fuck if you live in the world.

    Reply

  37. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And while you’re at it, perhaps you will tell us why, if you are going to blow up these planes, you would address the packages to some obscure synagogues in Chicago. As I mentioned above, if it was some kind of “message”, the “message” would blow up with the planes, so it wouldn’t be a “message” at all, would it?
    And now it is being reported that these packages were actually on board pasasenger planes. Wouldn’t that be the time to explode these packages, if in fact you were committed to a terrorist act? What do you gain by blowing up a cargo jet? Would that be the “high profile targets” that the asshole propagandists at the Jerusalem Post speak of?

    Reply

  38. questions says:

    Here’s a fun conspiracy….
    The quotation is from the NYT story linked to above….
    “Investigators said that the bomb discovered at the Dubai airport in the United Arab Emirates was concealed in a Hewlett-Packard desktop printer, with high explosives packed into a printer cartridge to avoid detection by scanners. ”
    Hmmm. HP…. Fiorina…. California elections…. Clearly a conspiracy to throw the race to the repubs and away from Boxer. The bomb was in a BOX! The repubs get the Senate as we are all terrified of dems.
    Just havin’ some fun!
    Clearly, conspiracies at this level don’t make much sense as no one really knows how people will react. False flags? What for? Involvement in Yemen? We already were. More US war? We already can. Israeli caused? To what end?
    Most likely, blowing up planes still seems like a good idea to some people, suicide bombers are getting harder to find, and they have failed lately. Slight change in tactics as the system has adjusted to a new equilibrium. It’s dynamical, not static. We’ll keep adjusting, they’ll keep adjusting. What’s worrisome about this is that it is far easier to encourage plain ordinary terrorists who merely murder, and not so easy to round up suicide terrorists. Suicide is more effective, but harder to get done. Regular terrorism is cheaper, but doesn’t always have predictable results. If they get economies of scale, we could have a shitload of bombs bursting in air…. Not a pretty thought.
    Maybe we need drone cargo planes and hyperfancy roof-umbrella things to protect us from falling debris.
    With the cost of international terrorism below a certain point, it no longer matters if there’s much casus belli — they can just be a little bit pissy about something and go boom in the air.
    I suppose we need Pape to do a new data base on regular good ol’ fashioned things that go boom and see how much psychic energy people need to send these things around the world. It’s probably a much larger set of data.
    Hope this fashion passes eventually, as it will make motion harder, and we depend on motion for the world economy and the well-being of most of us.

    Reply

  39. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, questions, if you want to assure yourself that a bomb is going to go undiscovered onto an aircraft, and you are posting thjat bomb from Yemen, do you address the bomb to a synagogue in Chicago? Isn’t that just a teensy weensy bit of a red flag? In fact, common sense should tell you that such a posting, with such an adressee would GUARANTEE the package would be scrutinized intensely.
    But hey, don’t let common sense get in your way of blathering your usual horseshit about “conspiracy theories”. In fact, I see you are already fabricating one, by throwing up a straw about Israeli involvement, implying that that is what is being insinuated. But I haven’t said that, have I, questions?
    Perhaps YOU will fill in the blanks, and tell us how AQAP profits or gains traction by targeting Chicago synagogues?

    Reply

  40. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11660005
    31 October 2010
    Yemen arrests student over cargo jet bomb plot
    Security forces were out in force in the Yemeni capital
    Sanaa Security forces in Yemen have arrested a female student suspected of posting bombs found on two cargo jets in Dubai and the UK.
    She was held at a house in the capital, Sanaa, after being traced through a phone number left with a cargo company. Her mother was also detained.
    Dubai and UK officials say the bombs had the hallmarks of al-Qaeda.
    Continue reading the main story
    Cargo Bomb PlotQ&A: Air freight bomb plot
    Plot shows bombers’ ambition
    Profile: Al-Qaeda offshoot
    In pictures: Plane bomb plot
    US media quote officials as saying a Saudi-born bomb-maker, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, is their prime suspect.
    He is believed to be one of the leading figures in Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the organiser of a suicide attack by his brother last year on the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. The prince survived.
    UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the device found in Britain was designed to go off on the aircraft.
    The two packages were addressed to synagogues in the Chicago area.
    Both bombs, discovered on Friday, were inserted in printer cartridges.
    ‘Quiet student’
    The Yemeni suspect, detained on Saturday, has been named by rights groups as Hanan al-Samawi, 22.
    The authorities initially described her as a medical student, but later reports said she was studying computer engineering at the University of Sanaa and had no known Islamist links.
    “Her acquaintances tell me that she is a quiet student and there was no knowledge of her having involvement in any religious or political groups,” her lawyer, Abdel Rahman Burman, told Reuters news agency.
    “I’m concerned the girl is a victim because it doesn’t make sense that the person who would do this kind of operation would leave a picture of their ID and their phone number.”
    Continue reading the main story
    Analysis
    Gordon Corera
    Security correspondent, BBC News
    ——————————————————————————–
    AQAP is known to have been developing advanced and inventive bomb-making techniques.
    It came close to killing the Saudi interior minister with one device and to bringing down an airliner on Christmas Day with another.
    The exact way in which these devices were to be detonated is not clear. This is another sign of growing creativeness allied to ongoing ambition.
    Attacking cargo planes has also long been anticipated as a potential tactic. Militant groups regularly look for any weak spots in security and aviation remains a prime target.
    Creativeness and ambition Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said the US and the United Arab Emirates had provided Yemen with information that helped identify the woman, and he pledged that his country would continue fighting al-Qaeda “in co-operation with its partners”.
    “But we do not want anyone to interfere in Yemeni affairs by hunting down al-Qaeda,” he added.
    Further investigations in Yemen are likely to focus on AQAP, which has its stronghold in the remote Shabwa province in the south of the country, the BBC’s Jon Leyne reports from Cairo.
    Mr Saleh’s remarks on interference are presumably a message to Washington to hold off military strikes inside Yemen, our correspondent says.
    continues…..end excerpt.
    But if the bit above is to be believed, we are already engaged in military “strikes” in Yemen. Would it really be a suprise? What respect or concern do these assholes in DC exhibit for the soveriegnity of nations in the Middle East?
    There is a little article in today’s Jerusalem Post that the Jewish community in Yemen does not feel threatened by radical Islamists. So if the AQAP is not targeting Jews in its own neighborhood, why would they target Jews in Chicago?
    This whole scenario stinks to high heaven. There is just too much that doesn’t add up. The only parties that can be seen to be “benefitting” from this latest “attack” are the parties that seek to escalate this fucking scam known as “The War On Terrorism”. Surely AQAP does not gain any traction by such an action, and are actually harmed by such a bungling and self defeating bit of incompetence.
    I’d hate to be Saleh right now, because its obvious that these pieces of shit in DC are about to treat him to American “assistance”, Pentagon style. One can only assume the number of orphans and widows is going to syrocket in Yemen, as we give them our own special kind of “foreign aid”, ala drone attacks, DU dust, CIA assasination teams, and mercenary contractors.

    Reply

  41. questions says:

    Here’s a suggestion that the bombs were designed to destroy the planes, not to be delivered to any Chicago synagogues.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/01/world/01terror.html?_r=1&hp
    If so, that would seem to do away with the Israel conspiracy stuff? Of course, I’m sure that someone will find a way to reconnect the unconnected….

    Reply

  42. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Heres another interesting little blurb, dug out of the quadrillions of media efforts hyping this latest “threat”. I intend to contact this woman and find out how she obtained this “information”.
    Would it be suprising if this Yemenese student was a patsy? And its interesting that a number of media accounts are making vague insinuations about “forged passports and identity papers”. If the perpetrators are Yemenese, why the forged papers?
    False flag. I’d bet the farm on it.
    http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/7190693-suspect-in-yemen-bomb-packages-claims-innocence

    Reply

  43. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Heres an interesting little blurb from the Yemen Observer. If true, it means we are engaged miltarily, already, in Yemen. Interesting how our so called “Representatives” don’t feel the need to inform the public when, and where, we are waging war, eh?
    http://www.yobserver.com/front-page/
    Marib Sheikh: US drones fly over Wadi Abida every day
    Oct 28, 2010 – 11:09:58 PM
    Yemen – In a statement given to the Yemen Observer on Thursday, Sheikh Ibrahim al-Shabwani, brother to martyred Sheikh Jabr al-Shabwani, said that US drones fly over Wadi Abida in Marib province on a daily basis. Sheikh Jabr al-Shabwani was killed by what was reported to be a missile fired from a US operated predator drone. In retaliation, members of Sheikh al-Shabwani

    Reply

  44. Dan Kervick says:

    POA,I don’t think you understand what I meant by the term “fire drill”. A fire drill – as we all remember from school – is a false alarm that the authorities set off in order to test their own systems.
    That’s just a possibility. Another possibility is that the packages were indeed sent by actual full-witted terrorists who were trying to blow up planes – more plausible – or half-witted terrorists trying to blow up a synagogue in Chicago, the home town of Obama, Axelrod and Emanuel – less plausible.
    While there are some dangerous people out there, the attempts they make appear to be sporadic and localized.

    Reply

  45. rc says:

    I think you have a few typo’s here: “But ultimately, this tape is about al Qaeda’s raison d’

    Reply

  46. PissedOffAmerican says:

    A drill that had an obvious conclusion? Whats the point in that? Do you really think some halfwitted radical thought that a package from Yemen, addressed to a syunagogue in Chicago, would go uninspected, or escape intense scrutiny after it reached its destination????
    And if meant to blow up the plane, why address it to an address that would raise red flags?
    These packages were meant to be intercepted. How does AQAP profit from that?

    Reply

  47. Dan Kervick says:

    Well, one possibility is that this episode was a fire drill.

    Reply

  48. Cee says:

    Rabbi Larry Edwards told NBC 5 that he was surprised to learn third-hand about possibly being targeted. He finds it “frightening” and “amusing.”
    “We’re a very small congregation, and can’t believe our reputation reaches all the way to Yemen,” Edwards said.
    I don’t believe it either.
    Source: http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local-beat/GLBT-Jewish-Congregation-May-Have-Been-Bomb-Target-106374853.html#ixzz13vzy0frf
    The 22-year-old woman, named locally as Hanan al Samawi, was traced through a phone number left with a cargo company. Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s president, said the information that identified her was provided by the US and the United Arab Emirates.
    Oh?
    It was well orchestrated, it targeted airlines and it was designed to cause global panic and chaos.

    Reply

  49. Cee says:

    “Gee, Rabbi,we just got a package from Yemen.”
    “Well, quick, open it up, perhaps our muslim friends in Yemen have sent us a gift.”
    LOL!

    Reply

  50. nadine says:

    “As for Islamophobia, it was actually quite modest for several years post 9.11. 2001. Why this sudden outbreak in 2010?”
    Ah, but what’s Islamophobia? Real “Islamophobia” – better named “Muslim-hatred” scarcely exists in America, or mosques would burned after 9/11. Not one did. There are about the same number of Muslims as Jews in America, but 6 times more anti-Semitic incidents. Americans were extremely restrained. However, in the years following 9/11, it was generally remembered and mentioned that the attacks of 9/11 were perpetrated by Al Qaeda – radical Islamist fanatics acting in the name of Islam. In short, Muslims did it.
    But when Obama took office and stopped saying “the war on terror”, CAIR and its left-wing allies expanded the definition of “Islamophobia”.
    Now you’re Islamophobic if you remember that al Qaeda et al are acting in the name of Islam, or that they are not 30 guys in a cave, but have millions of ideological supporters, including some in this country.
    Thus the Left’s outrage about anyone opposing a large new mosque right by Ground Zero, as if there were no possible good reason to think that it is inappropriate might be or jihadi magnet. That’s why Juan Williams was fired just for admitting guys in Muslim dress on airplanes made him think about 9/11 and get nervous. Now it’s a thought-crime to make any connection between Islam and 9/11. And note that NPR fired Juan Williams in response to a complaint from CAIR. In today’s left-wing atmosphere, they have grown bold about their complaints. They want to make sure it is a hate-crime to worry about Islamic terrorism.

    Reply

  51. nadine says:

    “I don’t know what to say, Nadine. To me, it just sounds like
    you’ve established yourself on your own little pit within the
    fever swamp crowd.” (paul norheim)
    If so, I’ve got the FBI for company. I believe that this was part of the evidence they used to cite CAIR as an undicted co-conspirator in the Holy Foundation trial, where an Islamic charity was convicted of funneling money to Hamas.

    Reply

  52. Dan Kervick says:

    Paul, the surge in Islamophobia is not so surprising given many of the events and political missteps that have taken place over the past two years:
    1. Obama redefined the Afghanistan war as a broad counterinsurgency aimed at remaking Afghanistan’s society and culture. To be fair, Obama didn’t seem quite on board with redefining it this way himself. But his military officers did, and ran with it, and Obama did nothing to stop it. So instead of a targeted war against terrorism and violent militancy, Americans were encouraged to re-envision the GWOT as a kulturkampf and civilizational struggle.
    2. In the middle of the Afghanistan escalation, a delegation of very prominent Democratic women went to Afghanistan and trumpeted the message to the world was that our enemy in Afghanistan is Muslim males as a whole, with their nasty habit of making women wear veils. More kulturkampf.
    3. The Obama administration has conducted an ongoing and escalating campaign against the Islamic Republic of Iran. This campaign was supposed to be about nuclear nonproliferation, but it has pretty obviously metamorphosed into an regime change effort targeting the Iranian theocracy. Following the Iranian election business, in which the pre-election enthusiasm and wishful thinking of Tehran-based liberals was allowed to overwhelm our best judgment about what was actually happening politically in Iran, Americans were encouraged to interpret the outcome as a case of massive electoral fraud engineered by the theocrats, and to ally themselves with the Green Revolution.
    4. The administration approach to the Palestinian side in the Israeli Palestinian conflict has been to lavish attention and support on West Bank Palestinians, and to help Israel quarantine, blockade and immiserate Gazan Palestinians. Much of the world, including a good number of Americans of all political persuasions, have gotten the message that the reason for the different approach is that the Gazans are stridently Muslim and West Bank Palestinian notables aren’t so much.
    5. When a short-lived and emotional national movement took hold that sought to argue that it was wrong for law-abiding American Muslims to freely exercise their religion anywhere within the general vicinity of Ground Zero, the leader of the Senate’s Democratic majority seemed to agree with them.
    6. The election of Barack Obama catalyzed various strains of pre-existing but submerged Islamophobia. Aside from his Islam-rooted middle name, there is a common right wing strain of paranoia in the United States associating all politically active African-American males with Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan and the Black Muslim movement.

    Reply

  53. Paul Norheim says:

    The sudden eruption of Islamophobia anno 2010 is a bit
    weird. Two planes into the WTC buildings – and it takes a
    decade before everybody on the right suddenly blame a
    world religion for the attack….
    A world religion as scapegoat?!
    It’s as if if spokesmen for a political movement in 1950, 9
    years after Pearl Harbor, suddenly had said: “Hey, it wasn’t
    just the Japanese and the Nazis who attacked us: as a
    matter of fact, the whole Asian continent was behind this
    sinister event. The entire Asian continent from the Ural
    Mountains to East Timor has declared war on America.”
    So how do you prepare for war against a world religion, a
    continent? And why so timid while you’re at it? Why not a
    hemisphere instead? Or a planet or two?

    Reply

  54. kotzabasis says:

    Clemons and Lebovich being historically and politically out of their depth do no realize that the enemies of radical Islam in its eyes are not generated by

    Reply

  55. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “As for Islamophobia, it was actually quite modest for several years post 9.11. 2001. Why this sudden outbreak in 2010?”
    Ask Nadine, she’s an active promoter and participant.

    Reply

  56. Paul Norheim says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if someone next year will come up
    with some “evidence” that bin Laden has escaped to the
    deserts of Yemen.

    Reply

  57. Paul Norheim says:

    “But what will be the impact on our policies towards Yemen,
    and the impact on public acceptance of assasinations,
    further draconian invasions of privacy, and Islamaphobia in
    the United States?”
    Exactly. One year from now, everyone will be telling us that
    Yemen is THE safe haven for al Qaeda. Last year it was
    Afghanistan.
    As for Islamophobia, it was actually quite modest for several
    years post 9.11. 2001. Why this sudden outbreak in 2010?

    Reply

  58. Paul Norheim says:

    “Posted by nadine, Oct 30 2010, 6:17PM – Link”
    I don’t know what to say, Nadine. To me, it just sounds like
    you’ve established yourself on your own little pit within the
    fever swamp crowd.

    Reply

  59. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “In any case, I doubt that the impact of this event on the elections will be significant”
    But what will be the impact on our policies towards Yemen, and the impact on public acceptance of assasinations, further draconian invasions of privacy, and Islamaphobia in the United States?
    I would bet THOSE motives are far more pertinent when considering this latest booga booga scare.

    Reply

  60. PissedOffAmerican says:

    (Meant to say, above, “Ft.Hood shooter”, not “bomber”)
    “Gee, Rabbi,we just got a package from Yemen.”
    “Well, quick, open it up, perhaps our muslim friends in Yemen have sent us a gift.”
    Uh huh. Sure. This “plot” has brilliance written all over it, eh?
    “Inspecter sir, heres a heavy package, origin Yemen, addressed to a Jewish synagogue in Chigago.”
    “OK, no need to inspect that one, those sneaky Al Qaedy nasties would never be so dumb.”
    Yep, sheer brilliance. Oh, those sneaky terrists, its a miracle we aren’t all dead.

    Reply

  61. Paul Norheim says:

    “Dan????
    Questions????
    Norhiem???
    Clemons????”
    POA, the only thing I know for sure about this is that I
    don’t have a clue. I’m not “buying into” anything. From my
    Norwegian fjord, I observe that sometimes the US
    government is lying; sometimes the opposition lies, and
    sometimes the press lies (and when I say “sometimes”, I
    mean “very often”.)
    As to officials and the press in Yemen, it’s the same. We
    have no access to credible information at this point, and
    all we can do is speculate. If this was, say, done by
    someone in the US, the President himself would probably
    know nothing about the operation, even if these people
    wanted to help him. If it was done by someone in Yemen,
    both the Yemeni government and all kinds of groups may
    have motives to point in a certain direction to get rid of
    THEIR enemies, or get more money from the US to “fight
    terrorism” or whatever.
    Bottom line: I have no idea, and if we’ll ever get to know
    the real story, it will certainly not happen before the
    midterm elections.
    So what we’ve got is this: Someone – and it could almost
    be anybody – wanted to influence the US midterm
    elections. And they know that US media is so
    hypersensitive and hysterical that if they heard even a
    rumor about some terrorist farting somewhere, there
    would be “breaking news” alerts on the whole planet at
    least until Tuesday.
    And that’s all we know right now: Someone wanted to
    influence the US elections, and that’s not very difficult,
    given the permanent hysteria in America on these issues.
    In any case, I doubt that the impact of this event on the
    elections will be significant.

    Reply

  62. PissedOffAmerican says:

    From the Jerusalem Post….
    “While an international counterterrorism investigation is in its early stages, the signs appear to suggest that the Yemenite-American jihadi cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, could well be the mastermind behind the foiled attacks”
    Gee, that was fast, eh? Yep, must be the boogie man al-Alwaki alright! Evidence??? We don’t need no fuckin’ evidence.
    “The latest reports provide an emerging picture of a Yemen-based terror plot seeking to use cargo flights to penetrate aviation security and to strike high-profile targets in the West”
    Oh yeah, right on! What better way to “penetrate aviation security” than by shipping from Yemen, and addressing explosive packages to synagogues in Chicago??? Its not like that sends up any red flags or anything.
    And WTF??? “High-Profile targets”??? Synagogues in Chicago??? Oh man, does it get any more ridiculous than this?
    “Awlaki is today the center of gravity for al- Qaida in Yemen, and has been linked to the failed Christmas bombing plot to blow up an airliner over Detroit and the Fort Hood mass shooting last year”
    Yeah, he and the Ft. Hood bomber exchanged emails. Last I heard, there was NOTHING in the emails that implicated Awlaki in the shootings, or even indicated that Awlaki was aware the shootings were going to take place.
    Still chuckling about the “High-Profile targets” part. How do they dream this shit up, and are there really people dumb enough to swallow it?

    Reply

  63. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ah yes, Nadine, in spreading her bigoted hateful spew, cannot answer a few SIMPLE questions.
    Why not? What is she afraid of? Exposing her narrative as disingenuous poppy cock that doesn’t stand up to common sense scrutiny?
    HEY NADINE, HAS ISRAEL BEEN CAUGHT COMMITTING FALSE FLAG ATTACKS???
    YES OR NO??
    HEY NADINE, DOES IT MAKE SENSE FOR THE AQAP TO TARGET SYNAGOGUES IN CHICAGO??? COME ON NADINE, EXPLAIN TO US ANTI-SEMITIC “TRUTHERS” HOW IT MAKES SENSE.
    Or, just keep posting your asinine propagandized horseshit 24/7. Its what you do best.

    Reply

  64. nadine says:

    “A stable middle class is the hallmark of functioning societies — at least for Aristotle, who’s pretty good at figuring out the political world.”
    questions, a stable middle class may be a necessary condition but it’s not a sufficient one. Esp. in dictatorships which hold the whip hand over whether prosperity should be allowed to continue or not. You tell me, when dictatorships see a threat to their rule from an unruly middle class, what do they generally do?

    Reply

  65. nadine says:

    “Although it is true that local and regional grievances are often
    much more important to these groups than US policies, this is
    just partisan bullshit from McCarthy – contradicting facts:
    There were tapes allegedly coming from bin Laden just before
    the 2004 presidential election, and also, if i remember
    correctly, in 2008 – implying that they actually seem to care
    about US elections.
    What McCarthy tries to say is this: “There are some terrorist
    enemies of us abroad, like the Muslim Brotherhood, who’d love
    to give a helping hand to socialists who sympathize with them
    – terrorist sympathizers like Obama and the Dems.” (paul norheim)
    Paul, you make a good point that Osama bin Laden has made pre-election tapes in which he endorses the Democrat and picks up Democratic talking points, even to the point of endorsing global warming(! where’s it talk about THAT in the Koran?). However, I think that does not vitiate McCarthy’s point, which I don’t think you have properly understood.
    McCarthy is making the distinction between being in a position of war against the US, and using threats or bombs in an effort to make the US withdraw from the fight. This is a tactic al Qaeda has used several times, most successfully when they attacked Madrid and got the Spanish to withdraw from Iraq. So in that sense they care about elections as a kind of tactical moment of vulnerability. I think we can see the attempt to send bombs to Jews in the President’s home town as another such attempt. McCarthy’s point is that this kind of attack is giving a blow to an enemy to make him withdraw.
    What the Muslim Brotherhood does is different; they are trying to work to bring the system down from the inside, using front groups like CAIR and MAS to change the policies of the US, working in alliance with leftists and allies in the State Dept. to establish Muslim Brotherhood front groups as the sole legitimate spokesmen for American Muslims, at which they have had considerable success.
    Of course these spokesmen all claim to be moderates! and they all insist that any examination of the reach of Islamist groups inside America or critical examination of sharia is that worst of hate-crimes, “Islamophobia”. I’d say they’ve had considerable success when the whole American Left now considers it a hate-crime to remember that Muslims attacked us on 9/11 – as we saw in the Bill O’Reilly/Juan Williams dustup a couple of weeks ago. Nothing the Muslim Brotherhood would like better than to keep the whole topic censored and deemed “racist” to even mention.
    The Muslim Brotherhood’s aim is the promotion of shariah within America. This may seem a grandiose effort, but they are quite serious. The FBI brought much of this to light when they captured a trove of MB documents in 2004 in Virigia at the house of an MB operative named Elbarasse. They found a document titled

    Reply

  66. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, UPS doesn’t operate out of, or into, Yemen.

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  67. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Here is this month’s escalating rhetoric about the evil “al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula”.
    http://tinyurl.com/2b7gx8p
    Isn’t it interesting that as the rhetoric reaches a month’s end crescendo, the “organization” suddenly decides to launch some bungling (packages with wires sticking out of them, by some reports) “attack” on some obscure synagogues in Chicago? How do these “attacks” further what has been this “organization’s” prime alleged agenda, which has been fighting the Yemeni government and Saudi meddling in Yemeni affairs?
    What possible gain could “Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula” expect from attacking synagogues in Chicago? And if these packages were meant to bring down the planes, why raise a red flag for airport security officials by addressing them to Jewish organizations??? It can’t be to “send a message”, because the “message” would be blown up with the package.
    And lets pretend the packages actually made it to the synagogues. What? Some Rabbi or synagogue employee is just gonna tear into a package with a Yemeni return address? Yeah, right.
    Interesting too that the Yemeni newspaper quotes a government official that claims the women arrested have no links to Al Qaeda, and the western media is quoting a government official that claims they do have links to al qaeda.
    Anyone reading this wanna take a shot at explaining what aspect of this unfolding “plot” makes sense??? I mean I don’t expect the likes of Nadine or Birnbaum to offer anything other than thier usual CRAP, but how about some of the others here that seem to be buying into this bullshit offer a rationale explanation for this highly irrational action that was taken by these latest boogie men?
    Dan????
    Questions????
    Norhiem???
    Clemons????

    Reply

  68. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Conspiracy theory”……
    The act of questioning the official story as told by known liars.
    “The truth”…..
    Whatever known liars tell us it is.

    Reply

  69. PissedOffAmerican says:

    You ain’t gonna see CNN or Fox reporting on this. It would be interesting to know who these two women work for, wouldn’t it?
    http://www.yemenpost.net/Detail123456789.aspx?ID=3&SubID=2711
    Yemeni Government Arrest Two Females for Sending Suspicious packages to U.S.
    Yemen Post Staff
    According to a senior governmental official who spoke to Yemen Post on anonymity, Yemeni security forces arrested two Yemeni women under suspicion of sending the packages to the United States.
    The Yemeni official claims that the two women sent the packages in order to damage the reputation of Yemen and not on links of Al-Qaeda. He denied that Al-Qaeda had links to the packages that were sent.
    The source confirmed to Yemen Post that the two ladies are believed to have tried to send the packages to Jewish schools in the United States.
    He confirmed that the Yemeni government is trying its best to cooperate with the international community its war against Al-Qaeda.

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  70. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, ask yourself, who’s agenda is advanced by a foiled terrorist attack on synagogues in Chicago???
    Consider the midterms….
    Obama, depending on how he reacts, establishing his “tough on terrorism” creds, right before the midterms.
    The Republicans……..
    By every poll, Americans seems to be so fuckin’ ignorant that they buy into this “War on Terrorism” scam, the majority believing that the Republicans are “tougher on terrorism”. So it is ridiculous to think that this foiled “attack” has not been beneficial to them just prior to the midterms, particularly if this asshole Obama doesn’t use this foiled attack to flex his anti-terrorism/friend-of-Israel muscles while posturinbg for the media.
    Saudi Arabia…..
    Just signed a huge arms package with us, and are meddling heavily in Yemen internal affairs. What did they offer us in return for this arms package?
    Israel…..
    Goes without saying. Israel has ramped up the rhetoric against Yemen these past few months, and would love to see a shift to the right in the U.S. considering this gutless Obama’s initial challenges to the illegal Israeli settlements. This “attack” is a win-win for the scumbag zionists in Israel, whether Obama or the Republicans get brownie points with the coweribng American publkic. In fact, ANY radical Islamic attack, foiled or otherwise, advances the agenda of these racist murderous monsters steering the Israeli ship of state.
    AL QAEDA IN YEMEN….
    Ok, so what is THEIR profit in targeting synagogues in Chicago? How does this make sense? Does it advance their alleged agenda in any way, shape, or form? What exactly IS their alleged agenda in launching such an attack? Makes absolutely no sense.
    Yeah yeah, they “hate us for our freedoms”.
    The United States, apparently is a nation of ignorant rubes. You gotta be a complete and utter moron to be buying into this shit we are being force fed.

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  71. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Top Clinton Official: Only A Terror Attack Can Save Obama
    Paul Joseph Watson
    Wednesday, July 14, 2010
    A former senior advisor to President Bill Clinton says that the only thing which can rescue Barack Obama

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  72. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Question, Birnbaum.
    HAS ISRAEL EVER BEEN CAUGHT COMMITTING FALSE FLAG ATTACKS????
    YES OR NO???

    Reply

  73. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, now the Yemenese officials are denying that UPS cargo planes left Yemen in the neccessary time frame for the U.S.intelligence claims about the source of these packages to be correct.
    Its really kinda sweet the way countries in the neocon/zionist crosshairs act so obediently to dovetail themselves into the deomonization efforts of known liars and propagandists, isn’t it?
    I wonder how many Americans died yesterday at the hands of urban gangs? Ya think we’re gonna devote billions this year to do something about it?
    *-MAKING THE GRADE: New weekly education column for Salinas-area schools
    The Salinas Californian – Griselda Ramirez – ?2 hours ago?
    *-With the recent spike of gang violence in and around schools, the Salinas Union High School District has formed a group to discuss ways to keep all students …
    *-Gang violence prompts extra police patrols
    Vancouver Sun – Kim Bolan – ?3 hours ago?
    Vancouver police will be doing extra patrols this weekend over concerns about escalating gang violence …
    *-THOR: Student Survives Hit & Run
    my.hsj.org – ?9 hours ago?
    Miami Norland Senior High School is known for a high incident of fights relating to gang violence. Youths join gangs or “street families” as some gang …
    *-Shooting victim’s kin: ‘Take back our streets’ from fear
    Boston Herald – ?10 hours ago?
    He said it seems as though gang violence gets a majority of the attention, but when a

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  74. DakotabornKansan says:

    The road to ruin

    Reply

  75. DakotabornKansan says:
  76. questions says:

    nadine,
    A stable middle class is the hallmark of functioning societies — at least for Aristotle, who’s pretty good at figuring out the political world.
    (And it would seem to hold for the US, as our muddly middly thing is slowly decaying and wealth is being redistributed upwards in a not-so-free market that, because of network effects, basically forces us to buy expensive products and services and sends ever more money upwards in an illusory sort of freedom of choice to spend or not.)
    It’s possible that a large middle in Gaza will help in a couple of ways — the middle doesn’t get overly radical because it has property and inheritance to worry about, status and comfort it gets used to, institutions and practices it needs to maintain. All good stuff for keeping people from rebelling or supporting teh crazee.
    If Hamas wants to stay in power when there’s a large muddly middly chunk of its universe, it has to cater to that muddly middly place. Muddly middly people are less likely to call for out and out destruction of the neighboring country as it is bad for business.
    The underlying question is probably more an empirical issue, as it is for various anti-terror strategies — when we do X in this particular situation, how many friends do we make, how many enemies, what’s the balance?
    If we can help create a muddly middly class in Gaza, in Afghanistan, in Yemen, in… do we end up with a set of countries in which the ruling party also has to be muddly middly? Or do we piss people off because we’ve interfered? Do we help create a good situation for personal wealth development and political development, or do we empower the government to crack down and lock people up, stone them, behead them, cut off their internet service and the like?
    If there’s a slow way to help foster an authentic local muddly middle that keeps some connections with traditional local culture and practices, but that also loves itself some serious white picket fences, good can come.
    It’s all empirical, though. So we try, and then we wait and see.
    Gaza needs the same kind of statism that Fayyad is employing in the WB. Afghanistan also needs institutions, but the local culture seems to be far more decentralized, so that has to be taken into account.
    Here’s hoping that some reasonable trajectory is set in motion, that we can fertilize the soil, send some seeds over, and reduce our troop presence and our overt force.
    And if we do all of this, here’s hoping we don’t lose access to intelligence that we need access to. Again, it’s really empirical judgments that have to be made at this point.
    In the light of Pape’s insights about how transnational suicide terrorism is spawned, we should hope for the creation of muddlemiddledom as such structures make it harder for groups to coalesce over radical concerns. If, when they get to talkin’ they don’t have round after round of bitch sessions about how horrible it is for… if there are generally voices of moderate muddlemiddledom in every social group, the pro-suicide project doesn’t take off.
    There’s network theory at work here, and it can probably be calculated by people who do this stuff about how many pissed off people you need bumping into each other to increase the chances of self-exploding bodies, and how many muddlemiddle people you need so that just about any social encounter ends up moderate.
    Obama’s call for bipartisanship is modeled on this notion that you simply get less radical thinking and less pissiness when you have people who disagree with you hanging around. You have to take into account their views like it or not and you end up shifting your own.
    Muddlymiddly policy, muddlymiddly thinking, muddlymiddly might as well go home and watch tv because self-explosion isn’t really the answer.
    *****
    And I wonder if there are just not lots of people left who are taken by the self explosion thing, so exploding planes now has to be done remotely. Is this a good or bad change in tactics, if indeed it is a change?
    A new equilibrium in response to an effective crackdown? Will this one be better or worse? We need to study the drug war to figure that out. Crack down on one drug or method of shipment and a new one pops up…..

    Reply

  77. Paul Norheim says:

    “Al Qaeda doesn’t care about partisan politics in America…The
    same is not true of such stealth jihadists as the Muslim
    Brotherhood. Because using our political and legal systems
    against us is part of their strategy (…) and because they favor
    socialist economic policies, they care deeply about our
    elections.”
    “Good comment”, Nadine? This crap is just unbelievable.
    Although it is true that local and regional grievances are often
    much more important to these groups than US policies, this is
    just partisan bullshit from McCarthy – contradicting facts:
    There were tapes allegedly coming from bin Laden just before
    the 2004 presidential election, and also, if i remember
    correctly, in 2008 – implying that they actually seem to care
    about US elections.
    What McCarthy tries to say is this: “There are some terrorist
    enemies of us abroad, like the Muslim Brotherhood, who’d love
    to give a helping hand to socialists who sympathize with them
    – terrorist sympathizers like Obama and the Dems.”
    In this case, one should of course not look at the motives and
    local context of terrorists in Yemen, but at the local context of
    US partisans like McCarthy: Why is he producing this bullshit
    right now, three days before midterm elections in his own
    country?
    It is astonishing to watch the degree of intellectual dishonesty
    some of these shameless partisan demagogues in the US are
    willing to display in their attempt to attack their domestic
    enemies. Unfortunately, it’s not surprising that a fervent
    partisan like Nadine dumps this garbage at The Washington
    Note.

    Reply

  78. nadine says:

    Good comments by Andy McCarthy about the mistake of projection that many people make when dealing with various Islamist groups:
    “Our elections are imminent and of great significance to us, and therefore it’s very difficult to resist viewing events through their prism. But they are of no moment to al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen. Al Qaeda doesn’t care about partisan politics in America

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  79. nadine says:

    Steve, looks like congrats are in order. Your “Coddle Hamas” school of “smart diplomacy” seems to have won the day in Gaza, changing the policy under the radar. Barry Rubin has noticed:
    “After the Gaza flotilla incident in 2009, however, President Barack Obama declared a new policy–though he never identified it explicitly as a new policy. Now, the US would provide a lot of aid to Gaza in the belief that it became more prosperous the citizens–apparently a strengthened middle class and businessmen–would bring down the regime in Gaza. Although they never said this explicitly, the implication seemed to be that they expected something like what happened in Eastern Europe in opposition to Soviet control and Communist rule.
    The aid is to go to carefully designated and monitored projects. Whether or not that goal is achieved, however, the infusion of $400 million in U.S. aid directly (plus many millions more of U.S. aid filtered through the PA for supporting civil servants in Gaza (intended to bolster their support for Fatah) will have the effect of strengthening the Hamas regime.
    Aid will reduce popular discontent against Hamas while letting Hamas divert some of this aid and a lot of funds that would otherwise have been needed to do some of these projects (and buy popular support) for terrorist/military purposes.
    Thus, however well-intentioned or apparently clever the new policy may seem to Washington decisionmakers, its practical effect is to strengthen Hamas; undermine any hope for Israel-Palestinian peace; and to help establish a stable, long-term radical, terrorist, Islamist, anti-Western, and genocidally minded Iranian client state on the Mediterranean coast.”
    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-has-us-policy-toward-hamas-and-gaza.html

    Reply

  80. Dan Kervick says:

    Has any reporter bothered to ask the French government what their evidence is for the assertion that the new “Bin Laden tape” is actually from Bin Laden?

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  81. Dan Kervick says:

    DakotaBornKansan,
    I doubt you could convince anybody in Washington to take Gorbachev’s policies as a positive usable example, since Gorbachev’s country collapsed and disappeared.

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  82. Dan Kervick says:

    I wasn’t thinking so much about our foreign relations, questions. In a place like Afghanistan, I doubt that a great deal of the intelligence we get has much to do with the fact that the “nation” of Afghanistan, such as it is, is cooperating with us.
    I know intelligence agencies practice a variety of techniques, but among the most-time honored techniques are getting information from people in exchange for money or something else they want, or else just tricking people into giving you information by combining people’s natural love of blabbing with confusion and misinformation about whom they are blabbing to.
    Where people are knowingly cooperating with us, they have all sorts of reasons for doing so, sometimes idealistic or ideological, but probably more often self-interested.

    Reply

  83. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Billions in Afghanistan aid dollars unaccounted for: audit
    by Staff Writers
    Washington (AFP) Oct 28, 2010
    Nearly 18 billion dollars earmarked for reconstruction in Afghanistan remain unaccounted for, snagged in a “labyrinth” of contract bureaucracy, a sweeping US government audit has shown.
    The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said 17.7 billion dollars was obligated over three years to nearly 7,000 contractors, but the Pentagon, State Department and US Agency for International Development were unable to say how much money has been spent.
    The audit addresses fiscal years 2007 through 2009, but the problems go back to 2002 when the United States began funding Afghan reconstruction, because “much of the data available from the agencies prior to 2007 was too poor to be analyzed,” the report said.
    And years into the reconstruction there is still no central government database to monitor the projects from various US agencies and departments, SIGAR found in its report, which was seen Thursday by AFP.
    continues….
    http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Billions_in_Afghanistan_aid_dollars_unaccounted_for_audit_999.html?
    “Get back under your beds and cower, you fucking ignorant rubes, theres nuthin’ to see here” – Uncle Sam

    Reply

  84. questions says:

    Dan,
    In general, I agree. But one thing I don’t know is whether or not we get useful intelligence from cooperating nations because of all the practices you list above, or just because everyone wants to be nice to us (or serve their own interests….)
    I think the neo-con practice of war-and-convert is pretty clearly wrong headed. If we want to encourage syncretic relations in the ME, we shouldn’t be conquering. In fact, conquest and syncretism would seem mutually incompatible, and indeed conquest may well make middle muddles impossible.
    Rather than being direct about our wishes, we should be a little more couched, I guess. It allows people to have some dignity, choice, and legitimacy, all good features of stable societies.
    But the long process between now and syncretic world-wide vaguely western style cap/dem regimes requires more patience than the neo-cons seem to have. Action is such an intense elixir.
    On the other hand, what if Saudi cooperation on the ink bomb(s) came only because of all of our troops all over the place? Then what do we do? I have no answer since I don’t even know if the question is valid.

    Reply

  85. TomTom says:

    “When we first learned about Osama bin Laden we found out he was 6’5″ and had 23 kids! 6′ 5″ and 23 kids!! Just like an NBA rookie. . .”
    “Does he wear that white cloth on his head because he’s always hitting his head in the cave?”
    “In the winter does he go from the North cave to the South cave?”
    “Are his new tapes now at least in Dolby B?”

    Reply

  86. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I always wondered…blahblahblahblah….”
    Put a cork in it, you blithering fanatic. If it wasn’t for the kind of bigoted religious fanaticism that you exhibit, perhaps the other side to this wackjob marathon would be less inclined to exhibit the same hatred.
    You religious wackos are a sourge on humanity, Nadine. You’re just as bad as the people you hate. When are you brainless lemmings gonna quit dragging’ the rest of mankind into your insanity?
    However, while you’re drooling, Nadine, why not drool us a reason we should trust ANYTHING we are fed by these sacks of shit in DC regarding terrorism? Are you actually drooling the kind of slobber that implies we haven’t been lied to these last two decades?
    So whats the truth?? What YOU say it is? ‘Scuse me if I ain’t buying it.
    While you’re at it, Nadine, answer a simple question; Has Israel been caught committing false flag attacks in the past???
    YES OR NO???

    Reply

  87. nadine says:

    I always wondered, when Bush’s announcements of terror plots were greeted with a chorus of “He’s making it up! The Evil Bush is just trying to scare us for political power! The fascist wants to destroy our human rights!” if the fever-swamp crowd would believe such announcements when President Obama was forced to make them. I don’t think you can credibly accuse Obama of doing it for political advantage; terror scares are most unlikely to benefit the hapless Democrats.
    Well, now we know. Once paranoid conspiracy believers, always paranoid conspiracy believers.

    Reply

  88. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BOO!!!!!
    GET ON BOARD THE SCARED SHITLESS TRAIN!!!!!
    What a timely essay, Steve. Those bad nasties “Al Qaeda in Yemen” are purported to be sending explosive packages to Jewish synagogues in Chicago. How convenient that Obama gets an opportunity to act like he’s got some balls right before the midterms, eh?
    Funny how “Al Qaeda” seems to have grown, branched out, morphed, multiplied, and become international since we embarked on this adventure known as, (ta daaa), “The Global War On Terrorism”? From a loosely knit small group of boogie men to a full fledged international army. WOW!!! We must be winnin’ this war, huh?
    In regards to the “explosive packages”, I note NPR is already saying things like “perhaps its the work of Alwaki”. (Oh gee, see, it IS wise to murder these people without any due process other than the word of KNOWN liars in our government). “Perhaps” pigs will fly tomorrow, and Charlie Sheen’s hooker will give him a freebie tonight, too.
    What a crock of shit this whole deal is. You want a REAL eye opener, read the just released report on where the fuckin’ billions we’ve pissed away to contracters in Afghanistan has gone, and what we got for our money. Seems nobody knows, because we didn’t have anyone keeping track.
    I’m on board with Carroll now. Burn that damned shithole known as “Washington DC” to the ground, with ALL the politician’s asses Crazy Glued to the Capital Dome, and start over.
    Or, do as your told, shut the fuck up, and hide under your bed. Uncle Sam is handlin’ things, everything will be alright, you’re in good hands.
    BOO!!!!

    Reply

  89. DakotabornKansan says:

    A foreign policy example of the Soviet Union that was the right approach

    Reply

  90. erichwwk says:

    Seems I’m not alone in my views:
    Is the Pentagon Deliberately “Degrading” Afghanistan’s Capacity for Peace? by Robert Naim
    AFGHANISTAN: LOSING ON PURPOSE by Bruce Gagnon
    Killing Reconciliation: Military Raids, Backing of Corrupt Government Undermining Stated US Goals in Afghanistan – Jeremy Scahill and Rick Rowley

    Reply

  91. erichwwk says:

    Andrew Lebovich:
    “For al Qaeda to exist, it must always have enemies to fight, and an umma to protect. And as long as bin Laden is alive, he will continue to seek out new adversaries and areas of operation, in order to attract new recruits, funds, and allies to his cause.”
    Me:
    “For the U.S. Military to exist, it must always have enemies to fight, and corporate elite to protect. And as long as U.S. Military exists, it will continue to seek out new adversaries and areas of operation, in order to attract new recruits, funds, and allies to its cause.”
    Muhammed Yunus:
    “I believe terrorism cannot be won by military action. Terrorism must be condemned in the strongest possible language. We must stand solidly against it and find all the means to end it. We must address the root cause of terrorism to end terrorism for all time to come. I believe that putting resources into improving the lives of the poor is a better strategy than spending it on guns.
    Rudyard Kipling:
    And at the end of the fight
    Is a tombstone white
    With the name of the late deceased
    And an epitaph drear:
    “A Fool lies here
    who tried to hustle the East.”
    Kyrgyzstan proverb: “The wise invest in people, fools invest in wars.”
    HEALTH AFFAIRS:
    ” the US now ranks forty-ninth in the world in life expectancy, down from twenty-fourth place in 1999.”
    Steve Clemons : “We must (need to) fight al Qaeda”
    Armen Alchian:
    “Needs” is a term that has value only if one does not wish to discuss the merits of alternatives, but tries to frame the discussion in such a way as to preclude other options from being considered.
    David Lilienthal:
    We keep saying, ‘We have no other course’; what we should say is, ‘We are not bright enough to see any other course.

    Reply

  92. Dan Kervick says:

    “I’m still not done with Pape’s new book but I wonder if the endless attacks against “al Qaeda” are actually a little more helpful than this post suggests.”
    I think endless attacks against al-Qaeda and its ilk are precisely the right approach. Use intelligence to find the relatively few individuals who are actually disposed to do us harm, capable of doing us harm and undertaking concrete steps to do us harm. Then capture of kill these individuals. Repeat as often as necessary. That’s the real core of the “war on terror”, and I support it. Practical, relatively low-cost and effective.
    There will always be a certain number of these militant characters. We have no choice but to maintain a constant vigilance against them. There is no grand Big Fix in the form of some kind of global social or ideological overhaul which will ideologically re-program the malefactors.
    Here are some wrong approaches:
    1. Multi-decade counterinsurgencies against huge sprawling countries.
    2. Shocking and awing the civilian populations of other large countries, and killing lots of innocent civilians in those countries.
    3. Destroying our international respectability and undermining global standards by invading countries that haven’t attacked us.
    4. Invading big countries where hardly any al-Qaeda guys are actually located.
    5. Attempts to socially engineer entire countries out of ways of life we find primitive or barbaric.
    6. Following the foreign policy examples of the Soviet Union, and hoping it goes better.

    Reply

  93. DakotabornKansan says:

    Two packages from Yemen and the media goes nuts…
    Steve is right,

    Reply

  94. questions says:

    Current headline is real explosives.
    I kind of doubt this is a false story since it’s going to cause huge huge expense for the cargo industry at a time of economic difficulty anyway. The election isn’t worth it to the party in power to knock out the economy all over again over security threats. And we certainly don’t “need” fresh justification for involvement in Yemen. We already have carte blanche for attacking…..
    What might result from this is pressure on Israel, pressure on Obama to stop campaigning, pressure on the pizza places near the White House, more security concerns for Sunday’s sanity rally, and a whole lot more attention paid to cargo shipments of all sorts.
    UPS stock, anyone?
    At least nothing blew up. Wonder what kind of explosion was expected…. Just a package bomb that would blow up on delivery, or something that was supposed to explode on the plane?

    Reply

  95. samuelburke says:

    it is election time…so it is time to scare the citizenry.

    Reply

  96. questions says:

    Well, there’s a whole bunch of “suspicious packages”, a plane from the UAE escorted by fighter jets to Kennedy…. Who knows what’s going on.
    Wires, printer toner, white powder. Sounds like a middle school science experiment gone awry. Or not.
    It’ll be interesting to see if the Republicans start screaming out about not changing horses in midstream, or if they blame the horses we currently have and demand CHANGE we can believe in, or whatever.
    Or will this all blow over before Tuesday a.m?

    Reply

  97. davidt says:

    “We must fight al Qaeda, but we have to do it
    smartly, without overreacting and without
    inflating or exaggerating its power and
    importance. If U.S. foreign policy does not find a
    new strategic balance, we will simply continue
    spending money we don’t have on groups of men in
    far-off countries, all while expending valuable
    American power and losing sight of the real
    challenges facing our country, whether they are
    dealing with Iran, China’s rising influence, or
    the collapse of American infrastructure here at
    home”
    Nice talking points but I have no idea what your
    specifically suggesting. Who doesn’t think we
    should fight al Qaeda smartly? Who thinks we
    shouldn’t be “overreacting or exaggerating its
    power and importance”? With the utmost respect.
    I have no quarrel with the theme but it doesn’t
    sound all that different from so many campaign
    commercials I’ve seen this election season
    (Whitman: Let’s make California great
    again…etc., etc.).

    Reply

  98. nadine says:

    “In our rush to kill as many al Qaeda or al Qaeda allies as we can, or move forces into their safe havens, we often end up helping al Qaeda in their search for these new enemies.” (Steve Clemons)
    This would be more persuasive if you said we were helping al Qaeda in their search for new allies. Uncommitted allies might be swayed by our actions — persuaded by one approached, turned off by another.
    But al Qaeda has all the enemies they will ever need. Allah told them to fight the infidels, and if there are none handy, they have already shown they know how to attack far away places until some arrive. Their list of grievances is a bottomless well. Don’t forget, their chief grievance before 9/11 was that we were polluting KSA with our infidel presence, protecting the Kingdom from Saddam Hussein. Was it not “smart” of us to do so?

    Reply

  99. Anthony says:

    political crisis in France, Sarkozy’s aproval rating low. what better way to bring back the old bogey man Bin Laden to distract the masses?

    Reply

  100. questions says:

    I’m still not done with Pape’s new book but I wonder if the endless attacks against “al Qaeda” are actually a little more helpful than this post suggests.
    If transnational suicide terrorism comes about largely because a group of people meet accidentally, discover some mutual ties and so coalesce, start talking politics, exaggerate the issues, cut ties from a broader grouping as they make one another more and more angry, exaggerate even more, and then blow themselves up as they have psyched themselves into their own small group isolated insanity, then maybe the pressure on AQ cuts down on the number of such groups, the amount of training they can get, the social support networks that might help them along (to the extent that there is such a thing with transnational attackers).
    Collective punishment does indeed increase resentment, but it also leads to mutual pressuring to stop the bad actors. That’s why teachers use it so often. It’s nastily effective.
    If there are fewer opportunities for transnational attackers to gain support, and there is a significant decline in social support for internal attacks, then it would seem that going after AQ and endlessly cutting it off at the knees is a rational, if bloody, strategy.
    Anything that keeps the radicalized groups from going off the deep end, that keeps the overall support for suicide below a critical threshold would seem to be smart.
    All of this, though, is predicated on a few big ifs I don’t really have an answer for.
    Pape’s new book is nice, by the way. But it’s competing for my attention with a whole lot of other stuff!
    We should think about applying some of this to the US as well. Small groups of like-minded people, cut off from dissent, spinning tales, exaggerating their own narratives in competition with the narratives of their cohort, cycling into more and more frenzy until they start beating the crap out of outsiders — this dynamic is a little worrisome and it’s helped along by public rhetoric, by chain e-mails, and by Fox news.
    People need to be exposed to dissenting views so that they calm down and contextualize their misery.

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