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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Remind Me; Why are We Supposed to Care How Terrorists Feel?

Let's kill a talking point. This talking point keeps being dug up out of its logical grave, dressed up in a different outfit, and trotted out again and again as if it's some new point. "If we do X, it'll make the terrorists happy."

The current incarnation of this idiocy comes from Sen. Joe Leiberman and our brand new SecDef, Robert Gates.

Think Progress:

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, Senator Lieberman says the Senate resolution opposing a 21,000 increase in troops would offer some encouragement to the enemy. Would you agree with that?

GATES: Well, I think it’s pretty clear that a resolution that, in effect, says that the general going out to take command of the arena shouldn’t have the resources he thinks he needs to be successful certainly emboldens the enemy and our adversaries.

Here's a nutty idea -- and one I've put forward before -- let's not give a damn what terrorists think or how things we do will make them feel.

Put the argument in reverse. If something we may do will encourage terrorists, then doing the opposite would discourage them. In this case, if everyone gets behind Bush's big 'troop surge' idea, the terrorists -- totally unemboldened and discouraged -- will pack it up, give up jihad, and stop being nuts with guns.

It's not going to happen. These guys were crazy yesterday, they're crazy today, and they'll continue to be crazy tomorrow -- no matter what we do. Does anyone really believe that it's possible for a suicide bomber to be too discouraged to commit suicide?

And, as long as we're worrying about whether or not we're hurting terrorists' feelings, Joe Biden makes a damned good point:

Associated Press:

"It's not the American people or the U.S. Congress who are emboldening the enemy," said Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., and White House hopeful in 2008. "It's the failed policy of this president _ going to war without a strategy, going to war prematurely."

What's encouraging to terrorists is the fact that the Bush admin. couldn't fight their way out of a short nap, let alone an honest to goodness war. Other than the big push, is there actually any plan or is the president just hoping to unmix paint? it looks like a case of doing something for the sake of doing something. And it doesn't make any difference whether or not it actually works, just so long as it extends the conflict until Bush is out of office. Then republicans can claim that another president 'lost' Iraq, while hoping you ignore the fact that they never actually explained what a 'win' would look like.


Yesterday, ten of thousands of protesters filled the National Mall in Washington, opposed to the war and even more so to the escalation. This is free speech, this is democracy. If it 'emboldens the enemy,' so what? Why didn't we stop caring what the hell they wanted on Sept. 12, 2001? I don't care what they want or don't want -- they're a bunch of crazy idiots and I really don't see why we should allow them to run our lives or our government. And, as long as we even pretend to give a damn what they think of what we do, that's exactly what we're letting them do.


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