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View Diary: Pat Tillman, GOP hero, OPPOSED the War (234 comments)

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  •  Why did he sign up? (4.00)
    Admittedly, I haven't been following this story extremely closely -- but if he opposed the war, why did he interupt a promising future career to enlist?
    •  Supported the Afghanistan war (4.00)
      which was to find and neutralize the perpetrators of 9/11. Nothing wrong with that. From this piece it seems Pat was opposed to the Iraq war - which had nothing to do with 9/11.
      •  Yea... (4.00)
        I think most people supported the war in Afghanistan to wipe out OBL but didn't support the Iraqi war.

        Pat Tilman was a hero.  It's unfortunate that he lost his life to war.  I thank him for his service to our nation.

        http://kydem.blogspot.com

        Evan Bayh 2008
        Miller for KY Governor 2007
        http://kydem.blogspot.com

        by dsolzman on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 08:01:56 PM PDT

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        •  US? (3.00)
          Most of us did NOT support the attacks on Afghanistan. As much as progressives despise the Taliban, we knew many innocent poor people would be slaughtered. We know the attack on Afghanistan was ont about Bin Laden as there would have been better and more effective ways to round him and his henchmen up. It was about securing a pipeline to the Black Sea for Caspian Oil. Bush had plans for Afghanistan that predated September of 2001.

          The Taliban had previously offered us Bin Laden butwe refused to take him.

          •  Speak for yourself! (4.00)
            I'm as progressive as they come and hate BushCo and the Iraq War, and I totally supported the attack on Afghanistan. I even declared a personal moratorium on saying nasty things about Bush up until a week or so after Tora Bora when I figured out they'd botched it. And even after that, if BushCo had hunkered down and fixed Afghanistan instead of attacking Iraq, they'd be untouchable right now.
            •  What??? (4.00)
              You say Tora Bora was 'botched'?

              Huh?

              It went exactly as planned - the 'real' terrorists, if they were even there, were airlifted out and a bunch of patsies were sent to Gitmo.

              It was all a charade from Day 1.  If you think that Atta et al were trained in the caves of Afghanistan -  WTF?  There is volumous evidence that they were trained in The West (e.g., flight schools in Florida . . . .   why the hell aren't we hunting down Jeb and bombing the shit out of Tampa using your mentality?)

              •  Stop drinking Flavor-Aide! (4.00)
                You're ascribing way too much talent and perserverance to these people. BushCo is a bunch of sociopaths; they really can't plan or react well. They fly by the seat of their pants because deep thought has been discouraged in their group from Day 1. They're too stupid to have planned out 9/11. Conspiracy theories are very tempting, but they're just not true at that level.
                •  Exactly! (none)
                  We're talking about trustafarians here.  I've seen them in action, and it's a pitiful sight to behold.  They don't shut their own doors, they don't drive their own cars, and God help them if you get them near a laundry machine.

                  What they do have is shitloads of inherited wealth, which they use to get more wealth, usually through barely-legal (if not outright illegal) means and then make sure that the folks who'd provide oversight are either bought off or nonexistent.

                  These are people who use a total lack of moral scruple as a way to compensate for being out of the habit of thinking.  They see only short-term issues -- that's why they gutted the CAFE standards in 1986, even though they knew Peak Oil was coming, just to keep the Texas refineries pumping at full capacity.  If the CAFE standards were intact, we wouldn't need to be importing any oil right now.

                •  Egad - where did that come from? (none)
                  Where did I say BushCo planned out 9/11?

                  Same type of fuzzy thinking that led to the Afgan invasion in the first place no doubt . . .

                  My points - supported by extensive document (don't have time to look it up now) - were that

                  1. there has never been any hard evidence that the perpetrators of 9-11 were trained in Afganistan

                  2. the US military never had any intention of nabbing high level Al Qaeda operatives at Tora Bora (they cooperated with Pakistani intelligence to fly them out - that's per Seymour Hersch's New Yorker article The Getaway).

                  3. Consequently, Tora Bora was not 'botched' - it was just an elaborate charade to make the Bush Administration appear to be kicking some ass - there never was intent to actually catch Osama (he's either to valuable as a boogeyman out there - witness his appearance late in the 2004 presidential campaign - or his Saudi relatives are still protecting him via their back channel Bush family connections).
              •  2 Does not equal 3, even for large values of 2 (none)
                Each of the facts leading up to your conclusion may be correct (I haven't fact checked),  but that they were air-lifted out with US blessings falls into the sort of theory that just doesn't cut with Occam's razor.

                The simple truth is that the Army was not able to get the job done in the time they had to prepeare,  leaving the CIA to prosecute most of the mission,  having to enlist the aid of notoriously unreliable Afghani warlords,  who let OBL escape because they had allegiences with him as former comrades in arms against the Soviets.

                I don't think we need to resort to grand conspiracy theories.  The US is perfectly capable of making enemies of former allies.

                -------------------

                -------------------

                From the Radical Center...

                by INFOHAZARD on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 01:23:37 AM PDT

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            •  Correction (4.00)
              My mistake, it was the Caspian Sea but it is true that they planned to attack Afghanstan prior to September 11th.

              An appropriate response would have been an international police effort to round up suspects (including bribery of currupt types where necessary). We could have had Bin Laden without firing a shot or dropping a bomb but that wouldn't have served this administration's purposes. All the actual progressives (as opposed to liberals) I know were against bombing Afghanistan or anywhere else.

              •  What? (none)
                You really think that the Taliban should have stayed in power?  That was a better result?  I'll withhold judgment on the issue of whether or not BushCo really wants to get OBL--I took them at their word for a long time, but they just don't seem to care that much.  But give them credit for making Afghanistan a slightly less horrible place.  The inability to do that severly undermines your credibility and that of those you see things your way, IMHO.
                •  Less Horrible (none)
                  Is it a less horrible place? The Taliban still control much of the rural area, most areas are controled by warlords and we have a archpeligo of torture camps there which keep much of the population in terror.

                  The Taliban, like all religious fundimentalists, are dispicable but to say the situation there has improved is wishful thinking.

          •  Maps (none)
            It was about securing a pipeline to the Black Sea for Caspian Oil.

            I suggest that PartisanPoet spend less time writing poetry and more time reading a map.

          •  Don't speak (4.00)

            For ANYONE else on this, 'kay?  I'm a monster progressive/liberal and am military.  I was absolutely in favor of the Afghanistan war because is was in direct response to 9/11, it was right, and had the added benefit of expelling the utterly repellent Taliban.


            MY beef is with the nonsensical attack on Iraq with the attendant loss of focus on Afghanistan with the result that the Afghanistan war has still not been properly finished.  All too soon the focus was taken off the valid ball in Afghanistan and directed at the crap on the sidelines (Iraq).


            My ONLY problem with the Afghanistan war is that it has been bungled by the same asshats that prosecuted the illegal and idiotic war in Iraq.  Don't give me that crap about progressives being against the Afghanistan fight.  SOME people who wouldn't fight FOR or AGAINST ANYTHING were against the Afghanistan fight but most people aren't so weak and pathetic and ready to roll over in the face of any and all attacks.

            "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." --9th Amendment

            by praedor on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 08:16:42 AM PDT

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            •  fucking idiotic. (3.00)
              "SOME people who wouldn't fight FOR or AGAINST ANYTHING were against the Afghanistan fight but most people aren't so weak and pathetic and ready to roll over in the face of any and all attacks."

              spare us the "you're either with us or against us" bullshit; we've gotten enough of that from other sources over the last few years. Cute, though, that you're able to rationalize somehow that Afghanistan attacked us - kinda like saying we should have bombed Wisconsin because Jeffrey Dahmer lived there, or that we should bomb NYC in order to wipe out the Gambinos.

              afghanistan, like Iraq, was a failure and is a failure and will always be a failure. a set of brutal despots has been replaced by a set of corrupt, brutal despots; that is all that has happened. Osama still isn't in custody, and lately can take credit for bombing London - to me that spells mission UNaccomplished. 'Course, we did manage to bomb the fuck out of a few wedding parties and villages, didn't we? your "valid war" has amounted to mounds of civilian dead, rural anarchy, the expenditure of lives and dollars, and the only net result that I can discern is that little pissbags with tiny dicks got to feel surges of "pride" with every 'Murrican bomb that plopped down indiscriminately in a village somewhere.

              •  The validity and the execution (none)
                Do not confuse the validity of the war's justification with the effective execution of the war.  Why did we bomb weddings?  Because we were too reliant a bunch of self-interested war lords for our intelligence information.  Why haven't we eliminated a lot of the chaos there?  Because we never really committed many resources to the fight.

                Just because BushCo screwed up executing that war doesn't mean it wasn't justified.   It was the right thing to do, it was just done the wrong way.  Iraq was a screw up on both counts.

                "If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head" -- Me

                by sterno on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 10:19:56 AM PDT

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                •  Precisely my own position (none)

                  What you say is essentially my own position on the war in Afghanistan.  The war in Afghanistan, but NOT in Iraq, was justified.  The execution of the war in Afghanistan was and is screwed up, in no small part because of the idiocy in Iraq.


                  Afghanistan: directly tied to 9/11.  Iraq: nothing to do in any way, shape, or form with 9/11.

                  "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." --9th Amendment

                  by praedor on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 10:40:48 AM PDT

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                  •  Yes and no... (none)
                    I actually wouldn't go so far as to say Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.   I do think that it's part of a strategy that Bush has never outlined to apply pressure throughout the middle east.  Having said that, I think it was an ill conceived strategy.  I think there were better approaches to the problem and I think he grandly underestimate the scope of this undertaking.  

                    "If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head" -- Me

                    by sterno on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:45:46 AM PDT

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                    •  If Bush really BELIEVED it was part... (none)
                      .. of a grand strategy to reshape the Middle East, why do you suppose he didn't trot that out until four or five previously-stated rationales got vaporized by the facts?

                      Nah, I'm not buying it.  If it's part of a grand strategy, we're not being told what it is, and it's NOT "The Global War on Terror".

                      •  Simple (none)
                        Because to discuss the strategy as being official policy would have major ramifications for us.  If he came out and said that it was official US policy to invade Iraq to apply pressure to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria (i.e. threaten with military force), it would be a diplomatic disaster.

                        Let's say that from the start Bush said we were invading Iraq because we wanted to pressure Saudi Arabia and Iran to fight Al Qaeda for us.  We go to the UN and the security council doesn't give us the time of day on any resolutions.  We would lack any semblance of world support for our efforts (where as with the WMD angle we could at least say they supported us they were just too wussy to carry through).  Without UN support it would be very difficult to get popular support for the war.

                        The Bush administration made a huge gamble.  After years of playing cat and mouse with Saddam they assumed that he probably had some WMD's somewhere.  Sure all the evidence said it wasn't there but you can't ever proove the negative.  So they went in figuring that they'd never need to come up with a legitimate explanation for being there because they'd find a bunker full of nerve gas.  They were very wrong.  

                        "If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head" -- Me

                        by sterno on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 03:13:35 PM PDT

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              •  You just don't get it. (none)
                "kinda like saying we should have bombed Wisconsin because Jeffrey Dahmer lived there"?

                No.

                The state of Wisconsin did not expressly decide to HARBOR Jeffrey Dahmer.

                The Taliban expressly harbored Bin Ladin and others in his organization, and specifically refused to give him up.  Don't you remember the whole runup to the Afghanistan war, in which we were telling the Taliban that if they didn't give up the terrorists (or at least assist us in finding and capturing them), we'd attack?

                There's debate on the issue, among progressives, about what was done right and what was done wrong in response to 9/11.  MOST progressives do believe that we should have attacked Afghanistan when the Taliban refused to assist us in tracking down Bin Ladin.  Most of us also think Bush et al did the job HORRIBLY, and aren't at all convinced that Afghanistan is significantly better off (or will be in the near future) due to the invasion.

            •  Do you not think (none)
              it would have been wiser to put soldiers on the ground from the very start, rather than bombing the shit out of parts of Afghanistan?  I feared, in fact I knew BushCo was going to fuck up from the first minute.  And damn if they didn't do exactly that.

              After Mogadishu, America seemed to have lost its desire to risk actual soldiers' lives (until Iraq, of course - and of course America is starting to wake up to the fact that we STILL don't like to risk actual soldiers' lives).  Thus we were always bombing things from way up in the sky.  But wasn't that the wrong way to handle the attempt to make OBL and al-Qaeda pay for what they had done?  I didn't cut Bush any slack.  I didn't mind going after the perpetrators, but it should have been through ground action, so that (a) we could FIND them and (b) we would KNOW we had found/killed them.  Bombing destroys evidence, and bombing allows the enemy a better chance to sneak away.

              Instead, the not-all-that-smart bombs killed Afghanis who had nothing to do with 9/11, never sheltered al-Qaeda members.  If one single innocent American got killed on American soil by a foreign power that was attempting to retaliate after an attack, we would not accept that.  

              Permanently taking out the Taliban is not about coming in with bombs and guns, it's about winning hearts and minds so they can't come back to power.  And you can't win hearts and minds of ordinary people if you are bombing them.

              •  Agreed! (none)
                I believe that America was willing to shed its own blood in Afghanistan to see the job done right. The threshhold for tolerating casualties among the public had probably not been higher since Pearl Harbor. That is why Pat Tillman went there.  But BushCo tried to pull off a magic trick by redirecting that willingness to Iraq.

                All conpsiracy theories aside, I think anyone here who was opposed to military operations against the Taliban is not going to help the progressive cause.  C'mon people - if people say the want to destroy your country and are hosting the people that coordinate attacks, you have to play rough. Instead of arguing about whether we should have gone in Afghanistan, which seems really irrelevant at this point- we should be defining the alternative route that a progressive would have taken after 9/11, and apply whatever parts of that strategy that are still viable to a political platform for a future majority party.  Right?

                "I went down yesterday to the Piraeus with Glaucon the son of Ariston..." -Socrates

                by polnorth on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 11:14:17 AM PDT

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          •  Count me as a supporter.... (none)
            I had no problem taking out the Taliban (they sealed the deal when they blew up that ancient Buddha), and no problem trying to capture Bin Laden.

            Of course, it turns out, that isn't exactly what BushCo was up to, so in retrospect I should have been more skeptical.  I'm pretty much in agreement with you NOW, that this was all about the pipeline, with a goodly dose of APPEARING to go after Bin Laden sprinkled on top.

            Nevertheless, I was supportive at the time.  No sense in denying it.

          •  In the words of Robert Fisk's Mom... (none)
            We let 19 criminals change the world....
             19 murders were already dead and a concerted POLICE action to arrest their handlers would have had the support of every civilized nation.  And we would be sitting here with OBL and others in jail at far less expenditure of time, money and good faith.  I look forward to pissing on Bush's grave.  May that day come soon.
          •  Don't lump me in there (none)
            My personal position on the Afghanistan invasion was that I felt it was justified and important.  The objections I raised were more about how the war was to be executed.  That it was critical to minimize civilian casualties and put together a Marshall type plan to rebuild the country.  I said I would judge the war in Afghanistan based on it's outcome and the efforts we make there.

            As it now stands, Afghanistan is little different from when we got there.  Kabul continues to be a capital but with little practical control over the rest of the country.  The government in Kabul isn't the Taliban, sure, but ultimately the threat to us wasn't Kabul so much as the fact that vast stretches of Afghanistan are completely beyond control.  That the likes of Osama Bin Laden could operate there unchallenged.  That's not changed significantly and it doesn't look likely to change anytime soon.

            So at this point I'm unimpressed with our progress in Afghanistan.  Most of the elements that were a threat to us are still there, and it's not clear that we've made significant progress to bring Afghanistan up from the chaos it's existed in for decades.  

            "If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head" -- Me

            by sterno on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 10:14:43 AM PDT

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          •  Dito. Speak for yourself (none)
            I DID support the invasion of Afghanistan.  I very much feel bad for the deaths of innocent civilians that invariably occur when use huge bombs in a war, but Afghanistan was justified.  

            I don't know about this incident of OBL being offered and us refusing (prove it) but lets not go that far back, lets go back to the post-9/11 pre-Afghan war period:

            The Taliban regime AT THAT TIME refused to fork over OBL and/or his associates, this despite 9/11, this despite the clearness of OBL complicity in the attacks.  Strike one

            The Taliban regime can be deemed partly complicit and responsible themselves because they not only provided sanctuaty for a known terrorist OBL, they also provided sanctuary for al Qaeda, training grounds IN Afghanistan (with their knowledge) for jihadist that made up Terrorist groups including the group of hijackers who harmed us on 9/11.  Afghanistan just plain was CLEARLY a terrorist base and the Taliban regime ruling Afghanistan was CLEARLY complicit for the above reasons.  The US was justifed in its war, and you can legitimately say that the Afghanistan conflict DID have something to do with actually combating terrorism.

            Iraq is something different.  

            Put the lime in the coke!!

            by oyka1 on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 03:06:48 PM PDT

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        •  yes totally (none)
          I think 90% of those opposed to the Iraq war, were FOR the war in Afghanistan...why?  (As anyone with any intellect would know) On 9/11 we were attacked  by Al-qaeda which was bein harbored by the Taliban in Afghanistan.  We retaliated, and before we had secured the country, we committed most of our resources and man power to fighting a pre-emptive war in Iraq that was in no way shape or form related to 9/11 or the terrorists who attacked us.

          I would be as pissed as the next guy if I was serving my country, and hunting down those who killed innocent Americans, just to be re-assigned to Iraq, who has never launched an attack against the United States....

          Funny how whenever Iraq comes up, there are still those who relate it to 9/11 or terrorism...Thanks Fox News, BushCo appreciates your misinformation.  

      •  How sure are you there's (3.12)
        "nothing wrong with that"?

        Does it matter that none of the 9/11 hijackers were from Afghanistan or Iraq?

        Does it matter that Bin Laden was never found in Afghanistan?

        Does it matter that the sources aiming to equate the Taliban with Al Qaeda are largely the same sources that described Iraq as a threat?

        I'm not questioning Tillman, but how about a little ongoing skepticism and accountability on our parts?  Without it, someone else will die for nothing and we'll be saying "Nothing wrong with that."

        •  say whut? (4.00)
          I suppose you're gonna say Bush & co perpetrated 9-11 ... As much as I think Bush is evil, I also think he and crew are WAY too pathetic to have done that.  They are stupid evil, not sinister evil.  Hell, these guys can't even handle a hurricane.

          But maybe I am misunderstanding -- I do feel that in an ideal world we would have made the arrest of OBL & co. a police action, but in the real world I support(ed) the military capture of OBL and his crew.  Did you miss those news reports where the Taliban refused to hand over OBL because he "Was a guest"?  I am very confused by you ...

          •  nice strawman (4.00)
            and i, for one, am very confused by you.  how do you get from questioning the invasion of afghanistan to implying that shrubCo "did" 9/11?  that is incredibly specious, not to mention patently absurd.  why not address the points that were made, such as the hijackers were by and large saudi, who remain on red carpet status with the U.S. government; are you familiar with bandar bush?  

            i can't recall if it was during the debates or elsewhere, but somebody made the point that there are terrorist cells in a lot of places across the globe.  is it appropriate to assume - and act accordingly - that the governments of those countries are complicit?  don't you have even the slightest issue with the idea that an entire country and its people can be blamed and made to suffer for the actions of a group that happened to take up residence within those borders?  

            and yeah, sure - osama was kinda chummy with the taliban, but that still does not mean they are responsible for him or capable of doing much about him.  germany currently has sights on arresting rummy for war crimes - do you support the wholesale invasion of the U.S. because shrubCo refuses to give him up?  the only intellectually honest answer, from the viewpoints you've presented, would be "yes" - are you prepared to say that?

            our "policy" towards afghanistan was basically "give us osama or we invade you and no, we don't believe you can't find him."  what the fuck is that!?!?  "well, you can't prove that you didn't eat that baby, so we can just assume you did eat the baby and summarily execute you for cannibal homicide."  can you say "kangaroo court," boys and girls?  

            where is the logic in bombing a country back to the stone age because they don't give us what we want?  we are (were?) the mightiest military on the fucking planet and we've proved incapable of capturing osama - how can we hold the taliban to such an exacting standard that we ourselves, after two !@#$%& years, have not met?

            i could go on and on and on, but hopefully, everyone's had enough.  maybe you've just had a long day and were overly flippant due to a fit of pique.  

            disclaimer:  i never, not for a single second, supported the war in afghanistan.  my almost immediate reaction to 9/11 was sheer terror at what shrubya might haul off and do in retaliation.  i never believed that invading afghanistan would be productive or proper.  i straightaway sent letters to all of my various reps and shrubya too that such was my opinion.  and here we are...

            •  Gotta just say. (4.00)
              Just because their country of origin was Saudi does not mean that they were not largely trained and garnering support from elsewhere.  Is the point of this argument that because less than 20 men came from Saudi Arabia that we should have then attacked that country?  I don't get it.  Your second point about not holding entire countries responsible seems to contradict your first point about them being Saudi.  If you can't see that OBL and Al Quaeda spent a lot of quality time in afghanistan for a reason then I don't know what to tell you.  It's just a coincidence that the government was Islamic extremist right?  The poor Taliban had no idea what was going on I'm sure.  To get a better sense of your psyche I'm just curious... do you think military retaliation is ever justified?  and if so what kind of act would it take?  Do terrorists have carte blanche, because they don't all live in the same place?  

              Arrogance and stupidity: it's a winning combination.

              by MatthewBrown on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 11:37:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  d00d (4.00)
                If you can't see that OBL and Al Quaeda spent a lot of quality time in afghanistan for a reason then I don't know what to tell you.

                well, if you don't know what to tell me, perhaps you should

                a) quit making assumptions
                b) read up on things a little more
                c) think before you type

                of course OBL and crew spent time in afghanistan for many reasons.  probably the same reasons that keep him and the gang in musharaff's back yard today.  why is it that musharaff is one of our erstwhile allies in the GsaveWoteverthefuckinghellitsnameisnowadays, but afghanistan - don't even try to pretend that we aren't razing the entire country under the guise of taking out the taliban - deserved to be invaded?

                Is the point of this argument that because less than 20 men came from Saudi Arabia that we should have then attacked that country?

                please see c) above.

                the fact that the hijackers were identified as saudi should have, if anything, pointed * away * from afghanistan/al qaida.  and yet, we didn't even consider invading saudi arabia because they are our oil fix friends.  see:  "bandar bush"

                and that is my point - our foreign policy, such as it is, is unabashedly biased.  

                It's just a coincidence that the government was Islamic extremist right?  The poor Taliban had no idea what was going on I'm sure.

                c)

                there is all the difference in the world between knowing what is going on and being able to do fuck all about it.  to wit:  many members of our government are well aware of shrubCo's nefarious deeds, yet shrubya still calls the white house home, halliburton keeps getting no-bid contracts, delay remains a free man, etc., etc., etfuckingcetera.

                yes, the taliban are a wretched lot.  and sure - they knew what osama was about and probably turned a blind eye.  but that does NOT - in any way, shape, or form - mean that they had the ability to apprehend him.  

                as i said above, we still haven't done so and we're the only goddamn "superpower" on the fucking planet.  yet we expected a bunch of troglodyte sheep herders and opium peddlers to accomplish in two weeks what we haven't been able to do in two years?  do you imagine that osama was just kickin' it in some kabul coffee house after the towers fell or something?  

                To get a better sense of your psyche I'm just curious... do you think military retaliation is ever justified?  and if so what kind of act would it take?  Do terrorists have carte blanche, because they don't all live in the same place?

                the idea that governments are not inherently culpable for everything that originates within their borders is not at all equivalent to giving terrorists carte blanche for being geographically diverse.

                i happen to find "retaliation," military or otherwise, a very juvenile and ineffectual approach to most any situation.  that does not mean there is no such thing as justified force or that it is impossible to wield military power effectively.  

                cheers!

                •  Ok... (4.00)
                  1.)so, well, Pakistan is our ally, if marginally, and the ruling government of Afghanistan was not.  2.)Also, Pakistan is run by someone not entirely on the deep end of Islamic extremism like in Afghanistan.  3.)Furthermore, a huge number of al quaeda fighters were in Afghanistan.  4.)Also, Afghanistan did not show any movement to helping us in any way whatsoever and the government was composed of Islamic extremists could not be trusted to go hunt down... Islamic extremists.  5.)Pakistan has NUKES and they agreed to help us and at least kind of did.  6.)  Most importantly, terrorists being in other countries does not change the fact that there were a ton in Afghanistan, including most likely their leader, with the HELP (not gee, golly, we just don't know) of the ideoligically aligned Taliban government.  I'm sorry, but there is scale and context to everything.  Youre trying to make different situations identical.-----Yes them being Saudi does point away from Afghanistan if you look at things in the most base surface way.  Were the hijackers not al quaida somehow?  Even though Al Quaida claimed responsiblity, OBL proclaimed it on tape, and shitloads were in Afghanistan our first impulse should have been to attack the (allied) country that was on the dead guys' birth certificates?  AHHHHH, the Taliban didn't just NOT apprehend him, they helped OBL and more importantly Al Quaida generally.  Terrorism is not about one guy.  Again, if you can't see how a lawless, brutal, extreme Islamic government is not related to a bunch of guys setting up Islamic jihad camps then I truly don't know what to say at this point.  For the love of christ, I don't buy into all the "harbor terra" crap, but the reality is plain as bloody day.  Tell me that war is shite, that too many unrelated civilians were involved fine, that's all true.  Don't tell me that the Taliban was not "inherently culpable for what was going on in their borders".  Did Afghanistan accomplish anything?  who knows, probably not... but we were not unjustified for taking action there.      

                  Arrogance and stupidity: it's a winning combination.

                  by MatthewBrown on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 04:00:10 AM PDT

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                  •  I have to confess (4.00)
                    that with the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddas and the reports of how women were being made to suffer even in Kabul once the Taliban took over, I was for some kind of action being taken against the Taliban before 9-11 occurred. The suffering that that country endured so that we could afflict the U.S.S.R. with their own "Vietnam" made the U.S. I thought, responsible for the welfare of the people of that country. Including infusions of a good part of that money that ended up being squandered in Iraq.

                    "We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them." Abigail Adams, 1774

                    by greeseyparrot on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 06:08:22 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And one more thing... (none)
                      Who was it WE gave money and arms to so that Russia's Vietnam could take place?  Oh, yes, that's right.  OBL.  The idea of defending the poor, helpless Taliban is completely intellectually bankrupt to me.  The idea that we said, "turn him over or die" is a straw man.  If the Taliban had said, "we will be happy to help you in whatever way we can to find this guy and figure out if he was behind this because what happened to you country was awful and against the teachings of Islam," which, by the way, is essentially what Pakistan said (on a world stage where BushCo couldn't cover it up or reject it to get their war),  I am certain that we could have avoided a lot of civilian casualties.  The fact of the matter is that the Taliban chose to go to protect their buddy OBL.  I agree that there are elements of the invasion that were awful and immoral, and they get brushed aside in public discussion and debate of that conflict, and that, yes, we are the people that ought to raise those points, we lose our credibility if we aren't willing to assign blame, first and foremost, to the Taliban for their litany of atrocities.
                  •  for the love of god, man.... (none)
                    please use paragraphs.
            •  Your straw man.... (4.00)
              Yes, if Rummy had masterminded numerous terrorist attacks on Germany culminated by the hijacking of airliners and the destruction of a huge Deutsche Bank building in the heart of Berlin, proclaimed so publicly and vowed to continue to attack and kill German civilians everywhere AND the U.S. refused to give him up or look for or allow Germans to look for him, the whole while knowing that he Rummy had received support from the U.S. the whole time.....then yes... I might reasonably think it's fine for them to come start a war here.  That's being intellectually honest.  You built a straw man.    

              Arrogance and stupidity: it's a winning combination.

              by MatthewBrown on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 11:45:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But ... (none)
                If Rummy had masterminded numerous terrorist attacks on Germany culminated by the hijacking of airliners [...] AND the U.S. refused to give him up [...] then yes... I might reasonably think it's fine for them to come start a war here.

                Hmm ... maybe it is sufficient if the US refuses to give up someone who has already been convicted of blowing up an airliner with 73 people aboard?

                Like Luis Posada Carilles, for example? Would that be enough to justify an invasion, according to your reasoning?

                •  Ah, yes (none)
                  ..... in the middle of "quotes".  The crutch of context dodgers everywhere.  While this is definitely hypocrtical of the U.S., it is not morally equivalent to 9/11 etc.  As soon as you can show me how this guy blowing up a plane is the same as the WTC (twice), foiled plans of megadestruction, USS Cole, Embassy in Africa, a declaration of war, a call for the killing of civilians anywhere they are to be found, most importantly combined with the known assistance of a State, then I'll gladly agree that Cuba has just cause to attack us.  Yeah sure, intellectually objectively why not, but that doesn't mean I'll root for them.  I do live here you know.  It's funny that you answered a post about staw men with a straw man argument of ....quotes.

                  Arrogance and stupidity: it's a winning combination.

                  by MatthewBrown on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 02:52:12 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Probably... (none)
                  I'm sure wars can and have been justified for less.

                  But who ever tries is doing a diservice to their country in attacking the most powerfull superpower.  

                  We still live in the real world and power politics (as much as it gals many who believe pointing out that something would be hyporcritical should NECCESARILY disuade a course of action).

                  The different with those two cases is that the US has the position to wage its war and Cuba (I believe) doesn't.

                  But those definitely can fighting actions.

                  Of course, besides that, there are also dozens of other factors (inclduig the above mentioned 'will I survive if I hit back')

                  Would it be justified for the US to strike Afghanistan given 9/11 and their support of the group? Yes.

                  then again...

                  would it be justified etc...if we sestroyed the world and/or our own people in the course of striking Afghnaistan:  Of course that wouldn't be justified.

                  Its muddy here so I will stop.

                  Put the lime in the coke!!

                  by oyka1 on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 03:59:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  no straw man (none)
                we were discussing a principle - the invasion of a country when a wanted criminal lives there, ostensibly with the support of that country's government.  now you add qualifiers and pretend that we are still discussing the principle.

                it's fair enough if you want to play the qualifier game, but please don't pretend that a defense of the qualified version is equal to support of the general principle.

            •  Problem (none)
              There are indeed a lot of places including the US that has terrorist cells operating within their borders.  That does not confer complicity in the attacks nor does it justify an attack on it.

              But you can't oppose the Afghanistan War on these grounds because the level of "chummyness" the level of support and help and sanctuary that the WHOLE of the Taliban regime (not just its intel services, or certain members of its government)provided.  This was open and clear to any.

              "our "policy" towards afghanistan was basically "give us osama or we invade you and no, we don't believe you can't find him."  what the fuck is that!?!?  "well, you can't prove that you didn't eat that baby, so we can just assume you did eat the baby and summarily execute you for cannibal homicide."  can you say "kangaroo court," boys and girls?"

              Bullshit boys and girls.  Its not just that "they can't find him" because really that's not what's neccesary.  You have to believe that even if they don't know EXActly where OBL is at, if one believes that they are or will at least cooperated and will TRY to find him and cooperate that its OK. (of course did they really have no clue where ANY members of his organization despite OBL was at, or the location of any of al_Qaeda bases and/or training camps were and say "We'll start rounding them up and/or closing them down"?)  It was clear that the Taliban was not going to give us shit and didn't want to give us any.

              Put the lime in the coke!!

              by oyka1 on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 03:43:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  You were saying, your source for this is...? (none)
            I wasn't proposing a conspiracy where stupidity would suffice.  I was asking questions.

            While your straw man is way off target (see above), at least you're saying something about what convinced you:
            Did you miss those news reports where the Taliban refused to hand over OBL because he "Was a guest"?

            Let's say I didn't.  What were the sources?  Let's agree it matters whether those "news reports" came from Sy Hersh, Judith Miller of the New York Times, or Colin Powell's butt.  Do you remember which?

        •  Uh, no. (4.00)
          Does it matter that none of the 9/11 hijackers were from Afghanistan or Iraq?

          Yes, it matters in Afghanistan. The government of Afghanistan was harboring these individuals, and knowingly allowing them to train and plan terrorist acts on their territory, including 9/11. This makes them complicit.

          The fact that many of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia does not matter. Just because you are from America does that make the government responsible for some idiotic thing that you might decide to do overseas? Of course not. You can blame the society in which such people could be bred and raised, but not you would not attack a country because of their society alone.

          Does it matter that Bin Laden was never found in Afghanistan?

          Yeah, because he got away. The real question is why can't Musharaf get him into custody? What do the tribal leaders gain by harboring him?

          Does it matter that the sources aiming to equate the Taliban with Al Qaeda are largely the same sources that described Iraq as a threat?

          Yes, it does. I answered this in Question 1.

          That said, the Bush Administration are scum for developing and perpetuating lies against Tillman for propaganda.

          •  This should have been treated as a police action (4.00)
            and care taken to extradite him (by force if necessary) while causing the least physical harm to an already ravaged Afganistan and its peoples.

            What ever happened to Diplomacy? Our success was practically guaranteed. The Afghanistan couldn't have stood up to the entire world.

            "If we have the courage to decide for peace, we will have peace." Albert Einstein

            by coconutjones on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 12:04:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Taliban was already (4.00)
              standing up to the entire world.  They were an unrecognized government.  How do you diplomatically pressure a government without diplomats exactly?  Was it assured that the Taliban could have served him up on a platter?  Isn't terrorism about way more than one man?  I think it's a noble idea, and I wish that it were as easy as that, but I'm not sure it is.  

              Arrogance and stupidity: it's a winning combination.

              by MatthewBrown on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 04:10:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Exactly (4.00)
                standing up to the entire world.  They were an unrecognized government.  How do you diplomatically pressure a government without diplomats exactly?

                I would also point out that in spring 2001, the Taliban were wholly unreceptive to international diplomatic pressure to save the Bamian Buddhas in Hazarajat -- and this on an issue far less important to their vital interests than sheltering the jihadists.

          •  So why don't you care that Carter and Reagan (4.00)
            between them fomented war in Afghanistan, made the mujahdeen, and abandoned Afghanistan to the inevitable resulting civil war, after having destroyed them so we could give Russia their own Vietnam, lying to them and breaking our promises - and then punishing them for our broken promises with the occasional bomb run under the "good" Clintons, who likewise tortured and killed Iraqis at the same time - even as we made secret deals with the Taliban for energy - all the while the American People permitted or endorsed this by default.

            Why aren't you interested in going after the people who started 9/11?

            Because they're us, that's why.

            The problem with America is that we do not believe in Justice, because if we did we would hold ourselves to the standards we hold others to, and we never have and never will. Genocide? That's something other people do. The Indians were too long ago to matter, shutupshutupshutup. Slave labour? That's all in the past. Reparations for slave labor? Only Nazis have to pay those, we're the Good GuysTM

            And that is why, because we never do Truth, we never attain Reconciliation at home, and never will, and why future generations will boggle at our perfect hypocrisy in proclaiming ourselves the champions of liberty and justice as we enslaved the world to provide us with cheap gas and coffee and clothes...

            "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

            by bellatrys on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 05:35:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, a lot of us are interested in root causes... (none)
              ...we just want to make sure that people don't get too tin-foil-ish about this.

              For one thing:  Bush and his people are all a bunch of inherited-money trustafarians who've never really had to actually work at anything in their lives, either physically or mentally.  We're talking about people who don't even bother to shut the doors behind them as they leave their homes, because they know the maids will take care of that for them.

              Their thinking skills, aside from the sort of low cunning usually associated with fraternity pranks, actually are not that hot.  Because of this, they have abandoned any scruples they may have possessed in vestigial form, and use unethical behavior as a means of compensating for being so dim.

              Their grandfathers and fathers greased their paths for them, mostly by buying up the media and by making sure that no meaningful election reform ever happens.  

              Without election reform -- and by this I mean public financing of elections -- the cost of campaigns keeps spiraling upwards, which led to the Democrats' being forced in the 1970s to go hit on the same corporate-money sources as what funded the GOP.  And that led to the DLC/Blue Dog ascendancy.  (That, my friends, is why Howard Dean scares the crap out of the corporate DINOs:  He's shown that it's possible to get large sums of cash without having to sell out to Corporate America to do so.)

            •  Blah Blah blah. (none)
              So what's your point? Do you want to travel back in a time machine and change the future, or do you want to simply rant endlessly about how bad we are and what horrible things we did in the past?

              What we should be thinking about is dealing with the realities of today, including our policies, and developing near-term, and long-term goals so that things like 9/11 don't happen in the future. And yes, that includes cleaning up the dangerous mess we left in Afghanistan.

          •  What's missing from this discussion... (none)
            ..is OBL's well-documented ties to the Pakistani intelligence agency, the ISI.  There's every reason to believe that those ties still exist.  And of course, we know that he also at one time served the purposes of the CIA as well.  Now they can't find him.  

            It doesn't pass the smell test.

        •  "Does it matter that Bin Laden was never... (none)
          ... found in Afghanistan?"

          What exactly are you trying to say here?

          Do you allege that he was never there?  Do you allege he was not there at the time of the American invasion of that country?  Do you allege Afghanistan was not the most significant Al-Qaeda training location?

          You're taking "we didn't catch him" and turning it into innuendo.  I don't like that.  If you doubt these "known facts", you should say so outright and take responsibility for that statement.

          •  I'm trying to ask some good questions, and (none)
            judging from these answers, they are good questions that deserve clearer, credible answers.  (Judging from a few efforts to down-rate my post, they must be really good questions that someone called Ray Radlein and a few others just don't want asked, let alone answered.  If he had any answer he'd have posted it.)

            One of my core questions was about sourcing - why are we so certain that Al Qaeda's main training was Afghanistan rather than Saudi Arabia or Pakistan?  Why are we so sure we knew where Bin Laden was in 2001/2?  For all of the foaming replies, there wasn't one link to a source on this topic.  (But thanks for the Carilles link, RWeede.) Calling your beliefs and prejudices "known facts" is exactly the opposite of sourcing them.  And putting up multiple strawmen instead?  Smells like propaganda.  So far you've all given the answer: conventional wisdom.

            Do I really have to "allege" anything to ask these questions??  As several replies have pointed out, Bin Laden also has links and help in Saudi Arabia and in Pakistan - an "ally" that confesses to export nuclear weapons technology to our enemies!  For all we know, those are the places where Al Qaeda gets the most help and training, and where Bin Laden is right now.  And as Roadbed Guy points out, even the FBI acknowledges that the pilots were trained in the USA.  Where should we bomb again?

            Chewbacca almost committed sourcing when he wrote Did you miss those news reports where the Taliban refused to hand over OBL because he "Was a guest"?  That was on the right track - can you get a little more specific?

            •  No. (none)
              I'm not obligated to research and reteach history for you.

              Furthermore, getting down-rated is not proof of the controversial excellence of your argument.  It could be proof of that, it could be proof of any number of other things.  

              I notice that you have done very little sourcing yourself.  

              I used the phrase "known facts" and the scare quotes deliberately.  "Known facts" are accepted facts or interpretations of facts that could indeed be wrong.  However, they have a standing even higher than conventional wisdom.  Challenge "known facts," and the burden is on you to prove your case, not on me and the rest of us in the mainstream to prove ours.  

              Furthermore, you've already chosen to disbelieve a broad range of completely unanimous institutional sources.  I should not expect that a half-hour of research by me, with none of the resources of the NYTimesCo, will persuade you.  Nor would that be a resonable request on my time even if it were likely to persuade you.

              It is a "known fact" that Bin Laden had large and significant training facilities in the south of Afghanistan.  If you care to argue the point, the burden is on you.  People here will listen with attention.  If you're right, then what you have to say is very important, extremely important.  But the burden is not for me to prove accepted history to you.  That's just the economy of an information board.

              •  Known facts: the crusade that lost the US two wars (none)
                getting down-rated is not proof of the controversial excellence of your argument.  It could be proof of that, it could be proof of any number of other things.
                This would be fair, except I hadn't made any argument - I was asking questions.  So frankly, the (minority) down-rating smelled like censorship or willful ignorance.

                This Guardian article from 9/20/01 reminds us that the Taliban condemned the 9/11 attacks and asked Bin Laden to voluntarily leave, but without a deadline, and did refer to him as a 'guest' in 1998.  They were evidently not very cooperative, nor did they claim to know where he was.

                Known facts: Bin Laden's "significant training facilities" in Afghanistan did not teach jihadists how to fly planes or threaten people with box cutters.  The 9/11 technical training happened in the US.  Of course, they may have had ideological training there to hate Americans.  Just as obviously, GWBush and Rumsfeld had taken over that ideological training role by early 2003, with full government support.  It's far from clear that bombing anyone or attacking any nation is a solution for ending any of these training methods.

                As everyone has pointed out, anyone with any insight into Bush would question his ability to successfully prosecute an attack focussed against real enemies.  The moment he talked about the "Crusade" against evil doers it was clear he would lose the ideological war, whatever military force he used.

                Note that Bush's "Crusade" speech came right before the Taliban's uncooperative response.

                •  That's not a bad reply (none)
                  but look: if there is such a thing as manufacturing consensus, as Chomsky has taught us (and as you appear to worry about), there is also such a thing as manufacturing non-consensus, manufacturing disagreement.  The radical Rs have taught us that, by creating "debates" about subjects that are closed, like creationism v evolution, global warming, and the health effects of air pollution.

                  I still want you to take a certain form of responsibility for your questions.  If you take an agreed upon fact, and directly and specifically question it, then you have not only created an argument (in the sense of disagreement), you have lodged an argument (in the sense of taking a position in a disagreement by offering claims).  If we all say "x is true" and you say "do we really know x is true" then your effective position is "maybe x isn't true."  You have lodged an argument.  The more dark innuendo attached to the question -- "do we really know x is true?  no one is giving real arguments.  this is all propaganda.  you're silencing me." -- the more firmly you have made an argument: "I think x is not true."

                  Once you have made that argument -- and yes, you can make an argument and take a position in the form of a question -- I think you should take more responsibility for it, not try to disclaim it by saying "I was only asking...".  If you're arguing that "maybe x isn't true" or "I think x probably isn't true" then you should stand by that, support it if you can, and understand that your burden of sourcing, for instance, is at least as high as everyone else's, and probably quite a bit higher.  Instead of making your argument-as-a-question, then chastising everyone else for not bringing sourced material to the table.

                  •  I get your point. On the other hand, (none)
                    my questions were sincere and, for the most part, valid:
                    Haven't most Americans conveniently forgotten where the hijackers were from, and where they were trained - not really Afghanistan in either case?

                    Isn't it possible that we never found Bin Laden because he wasn't where we thought he was?

                    The fact that the Taliban did not rush to join Bush's "crusade" does not mean a war against Afghanistan was inevitable, or that it was ever a good idea.  (See, I can argue without asking questions.)

                    If those reasonable questions - and the arguments they imply - are taboo here, while Bush's view of the merits of attacking Afghanistan must be considered "known fact," then I have every right to object, and to demand that we be more skeptical and that the debate here be more open.  And the fact that "90% of progressives" believe something doesn't make it truth.

                    I know everyone here worries about tin-foil hats and ANSWER clones derailing us.  But blind acceptance of "known facts" - yes, even Saddam's WMDs, rape rooms and mass graves - is actually far more dangerous.  We'll never learn what is and isn't really true, in time for it to matter, unless we're free to question.

                    •  My personal feeling is that presented responsibly, (none)
                      those questions and arguments are far from taboo.  They're important.  And answering them, even if the answer is usually "received wisdom is more or less right," will still shed light on small details that we shouldn't overlook, and that we may have been intended to overlook.  And of course every now and then received wisdom will have been completely wrong, or deliberately misleading; and a questioner will help us see that.

                      And you're right, if reasonably and seriously presented questions are given no consideration, you are well within your rights to complain.  I think a key factor is the spirit and commitment with which questions are offered.

                      I think your most recent post was pretty good, and certainly good on the matter of taking responsibility for your arguments, which was my original concern way up top.  I'd say this dialogue has worked itself out towards a meeting of minds.

                      On the merits, I think the evidence does suggest that Bin Laden was in Afghanistan on 9/11/01 and for at least two months thereafter, and that the Taliban that governed southern Afghanistan knew he was there and made a conscious decision to protect and harbor him.  Furthermore, I think the evidence suggests that operational training -- how to structure a cell, how to communicate with leadership, how to recruit cannon-fodder, how to cover one's tracks to avoid detection by law enforcement -- did take place in organized camps in southern Afghanistan, with important organizational strengthening of Al-Qaeda as a consequence.  Those facts on their own do not make a practical case for all-out war, and in fact on their own do not even make a moral case for all-out war.  I think they are a significant beginning towards both cases, which I am sure is why they are so vigorously defended as "facts."  Those facts happen to be important in the logical sequence of an argument, and that argument was used to make important life-or-death public policy decisions, which is why questioning those facts is not child's play.  People can get hot fast.

                      But I do think those things are likely true.  That a war was necessary does not strictly follow.  And if you disagree with those facts and are serious about convincing others, I would want to see evidence supporting your disagreement.

                      Cheers.

                  •  speaking of Manufacturing Consent - Help dKos!! (none)
                    I'm very concerned that comments on this thread have been suppressed and effectively censored (not mine).

                    Whether or not you agree with them, Trusted Users should please rate them Excellent (add a disclaiming comment if you need to) so they can be unHidden on the thread.

                    texas dem, you and I had a civilized, public disagreement with no hint of censorship.

                    Some people may think true progressives were against the Afghanistan attack.  Others may think all real progressives should favor it.  None should be censored here.

                    Let's refuse to create phony consensus here by censoring honest debate.  People are (perhaps inadvertently) shitting in our precious dKos pool.  Please help correct it.

        •  The Taliban should never have been (none)
          allowed to take over Afghanistan in the first place.  So, going in after Bin Laden seemed like a long-overdue effort to correct past mistakes.

          Of course, we now know it wasn't.  Afghanistan was a fake, as Tillman probably recognized once he finally got there.

          Three bullets on target are going to be hard to explain by a military that's spending 250,000 for each "insurgent" it takes down.

          Some things are just so incredible they're impossible to believe.

          3-D Republicans=deception, disservice and debt

          by hannah on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 03:12:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Reality... (none)
          demands we take that honest look at the Afghanistan invasion.  There was, however, clear evidence ofcooperation between AQ and the Taliban.  The sub-plot is that we adopted regime change in Afghanistan for the sake of a Unocal pipeline and not retribution for 9/11 as was demonstrated with the installation of Karzai.

          "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

          by stumpy on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 04:35:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Get the paranoia (4.00)
            out of your Wheaties, man. They invaded Afghanistan because they knew America wanted them to get Bin Laden. How the fuck they've managed to make America forget that is going to be worth a few doctoral dissertations thirty years from now.

            Now the pipeline was like an extra added bonus once we invaded. BushCo just isn't that clever. The raison d'être of the invasion was Bin Laden. They didn't have a master plan to let him get away; they're just incompetent and botch everything they do.

            •  Exactly (none)
              they're just incompetent and botch everything they do.

              They can't even freaking ROB right, for cripe's sake -- and robbing people is what they're best at!

              They really and truly believed the crap Ahmad Chalabi was flinging them about how they could take and hold Iraq with as few as 10,000 troops.  Rumsfeld especially, since he's very hepped-up on slashing the troop strength of the armed forces in favor of high-tech gadgets that don't require salaries or pensions or death benefits.

            •  FYI (none)
              "The sub-plot is that we adopted regime change in Afghanistan for the sake of a Unocal pipeline."

              Regime change had nothing to do with our attack on AQ.

              "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

              by stumpy on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 08:41:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Come of it!! (none)
          "Does it matter that none of the 9/11 hijackers were from Afghanistan or Iraq?"

          For the love of God, no one is equating the Taliban and al Qaeda...they were clearly different organizations.  Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization, the Taliban was a tyranical regime...but the thing is the Taliban provided known terrorist OBL and his group sanctuary in their country, allowed their group the use of their country to train and improve their terrorist organization, and basically served as a base of operations for the Al Qaeda organization which the 9/11 jijackers did belong to.  You can't say that about Iraq, so please stop confusing the issue.

          "Does it matter that Bin Laden was never found in Afghanistan?"

          But he WAS there, he had SANCTUARY there...it was a big base of operation and the location where their top leadership resided with the full knowledge of the Taliban regime.  Even AFTER 9/11, the Taliban regime refused to turn OBL over...this when it was CLEAR that this organization was involved.  Criticise the handling of the operation, that's just fine, they did fuck shit up on that part, (you come to expect as much from this admin) and they certainly fuck things worse by getting distracted in Iraq, but bottom line: We had reason to go in in the first place.

          "Does it matter that the sources aiming to equate the Taliban with Al Qaeda are largely the same sources that described Iraq as a threat?"

          Already addresed.  But are you really suggesting that OBL nor his organization did not reside and have sanctuary within Afghanistan?

          Put the lime in the coke!!

          by oyka1 on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 03:27:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  He wanted to hunt Bin Laden (4.00)
      Tillman signed up with the express idea of going to fight in Afghanistan, which he eventually did, but only after being sent to Iraq first.  Apparently he saw a clear distinction between the two wars.
    •  He didn't enlist to go to Iraq... (4.00)
      IIRC, he enlisted after 9/11 to defend his country in response to those attacks.  His comments about the illegality were about Iraq, not Afghanistan.
      •  That's part of the problem (4.00)
        A lot of people signed up after 9/11 to fight for something they believed in. Instead they got sent to an altogether different front and fight.

        This is what happened with Casey Sheehan also.

        I often wonder how many young people signed up for one thing only to find themselves elsewhere.

        The DoD puts you where it needs you...not where you want to be.

        "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

        by kredwyn on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 07:31:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or, better said... (4.00)
          The DOD puts you where it thinks it needs you...
        •  Like my son (4.00)
          who signed up after 9/11 because he wanted to do something to feel he was fighting Bin Laden, and was quite willing to go to Afghanistan. He ended up in Iraq, but made it home without incident (other than a loss of naivete and a stunned awakening to the horrors of war on local people and culture).
          I strongly feel that if people who are military enlistment age support the war in Iraq, they need to enlist or shut the hell up about it.
          And those that did enlist, like my son, deserve to be treated like the patriots they are. Their lives are precious, and we owe it to them to fight for an end to an illegal war and an end to the morally bankrupt corporate theocracy that got them into this mess.
          •  Cmyst... (4.00)
            {{{hugs}}}

            I have friends and former students who are either stationed in Iraq or are being told that they might be heading for Iraq. One is IRR...and I'd hoped that he'd finished his time after being in Desert Storm and Kosovo...guess not.

            I'm glad your son is back home. Make sure that he's got the support network he needs to deal with the dreams that will probably come unbidden.

            "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

            by kredwyn on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 08:22:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  How old does one have to be (4.00)
            I wonder, to lose his naivete sufficiently to realize that all wars mean the killing, maiming, torture and displacement of innocent civilians?  Afghanis who had nothing to do with - and no knowledge of - the planning or execution of the attacks of 9/11 were caught up in our war of retaliation against the perpetrators of those attacks.

            We grow old too soon and smart too late.

          •  Your son... (none)
            ...sounds like a great guy. Please give him my thanks.
        •  Afghanistan (4.00)
          I tried to sign up after Sept. 11th. I was past the cut off age by a few months.

          There is nothing more stimulating than a case where everything goes against you. -- Sherlock Holmes

          by Carnacki on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 08:49:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe they thought the soldiers wouldn't notice (4.00)
          Iraqis/ Afghanis. Heck, they all look alike, right?

          You know, it's as if our fathers (grandfathers) who signed up in droves after Pearl Harbor, found themselves shooting at Chinese instead of Japanese.

          I'm so tired of being outraged.  

          •  They get trained to hate... (none)
            They're fed a steady diet of it, if not by their superiors, then by their peers and by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.  Thankfully, some, like Tillman, are able to maintain some kind of perspective.  I'm just sorry that it was too late for him.
    •  I read once where he was planning to enter .... (none)
      the military before 9/11; 9/11 just move the timetable he set for himself
    •  I know his Mom (4.00)
      and he supported the war against the Taliban.  Further he is from San Jose, not Arizona.

      The fact is that he also didn't like Bush much, didn't vote for him and his mom was very involved with a local group that helped with the Clinton election years.

      "September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country." Judge Gerald Tjoflat

      by SanJoseLady on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 09:12:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In a nuthshell (none)
      Pat Tilman was a very wanted, very well paid, prime of his career player.

      He joined for true reasons, and inspired at least one other person, probaly a whole bunch of other folks to do the same.

      his example was not followed by many other major league sports players.

      The official line about how he died was glorified and fictitious.

       

      Creationists make it sound as though a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night - Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996)

      by mdhatter on Sun Sep 25, 2005 at 09:28:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The thing I am wondering is... (4.00)
        was Tillman iced?  That is, was there a concerted effort by higher-ups or pro-warriors not to bring him home alive?

        We already know this:

        • He did not die a 'heroic' death.
        • The 'official' circumstances regarding that death keep changing.
        • He wanted to get bin Laden, not traipse around in Iraq.
        • A friend of Tillman's was going to arrange a meeting with Noam Chomsky. (Chomsky--of ALL people!--the sine qua non of left-leaning thought and opposition to empire.)  And who knows what other things were brewing in the guy's head.
        • He was verbally, emotionally, increasingly against this war.
        • He was documenting his experiences in a journal, which has been destroyed.
        • His clothing and armor, which might have shed light on the circumstances surrounding his death, have been destroyed as well. Biohazard my ass.  They could have put it in plastic. These guys were under orders to destroy the evidence of something more heinous.

        I think that they wanted Tillman out of the way because he was a threat.  A certified hero coming home and telling regular folks that Bush's war was foul?  The Kerry of Bush's War was being created right there, a much more stronger and credible young figure who might unite the men there and the people at home. I think certain people wanted to prevent this possibility from occurring.

        You can call me a tinfoiler all you want, but you won't be able to convince me otherwise that this boy was murdered.

        An untypical Negro...since 1954.

        by blksista on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 04:57:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Armando's (none)
          gonna get mad at you.
        •  Didn't you hear the man? (none)
          What we don't need are people going around saying his comrades murdered him because he opposed the war.  There is plenty of room fro criticisms and objection without getting all National Enquirer about it.

          This administration may have been cold and calculating enough to allow 9/11 to occur so that they could have their "Pearl Harbor" event, but it's plain crazy talk to be suggesting anyone might be involved with either the killing, or cover-up of the killing by a freelancing administration supporter, of someone who was both an admired public figure (especially admired by their base GOPers) and a soon to be emerging voice against the war and the administration . . . during the election campaign. Don't you know that that kind of speculating will only drive people away from the Democratic party? Do you want people to mock us? Do you know how much it hurts every time someone on the right asks, "Ooo, want some tin foil lefty?" Obviously not.

          Well we do care, so there will be none of that type of speculation around these parts. We may spend terabites documenting the ways that this administration is leagues away the most corrupt political machine to take control of all three branches of the government and the national media, going into great detail how they've shown no qualms about ignoring immediate terrorist threats, starting illegal wars, and outing undercover agents working to stop nuclear proliferation, but we don't want to see anyone suggesting that they could go so far as to be involved on some level with the incredibly convienient and oddly mysterious death of such a potentially visable and highly respected GOP poster boy that was about to spill the beans before the election on Pet Project #1. Got it?

          So, there's the door buddy. We've seen your kind around here before. Left unchecked you'll next be posting about Republican controlled vote counting and cheating, (as if) and then the cool kids on the right (and the wannabees on the left) will point at us all and laugh and call us "looney" or worse . . . conspiracy theorists! [shudder]

          Oh, and don't forget to vote Dem in '06. We'll fight for you.  

          The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, they tell us how the media is doing. And Diebold tells us who won.

          by Thumb on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 07:01:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I put in my personal gut feeling about it... (none)
            and we shall certainly see whether the tinfoil hats or the NE dresses are warranted.

            I recognize that there isn't any evidence to link anyone to the political murder of this soldier.  But for my generation, fragging wasn't taken lightly either.

            This ain't over yet.

            An untypical Negro...since 1954.

            by blksista on Mon Sep 26, 2005 at 08:04:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  BushCo has very bad luck with heroes... (none)
          They invented a fairy tale about Tillman, just as they did about Jessica Lynch.  Then the truth comes out.

          You'd think they'd be able to find a few soldiers who fit the mold they were looking for, wouldn't you?

    •  If my memory serves me correctly... (none)
      I recall hearing his coach at Arizona relate that Mr. Tillman was thinking about serving well before 9/11.  He always wanted to be in some sort of special forces...Rangers or SEALS, and was considering enlisting well before Bush decided to attack terror.  9/11 helped him to make his decision.  He made it into the Rangers pretty quickly, that's not easy training.
    •  why, indeed. (none)
      Interestingly, that was the same question John Kerry's father asked him when Kerry informed his parents he was going to volunteer for Nam.  Kerry's dad, a career diplomat, supposedly said it was crazy to get involved in such a fucked up mess.  In retrospect, and considering the disrespect Kerry's service received from the media and Republicans in November of 2004, perhaps if he had it to do over again he just would have enlisted in the National Guard and gone AWOL.

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