The Message

"People are dead because of what this son of a bitch said. How could he be credible now?" - Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita on the unnamed source who reported Qur'ans were desecrated in Camp X-Ray

coxforknewsweek.gifThe Newsweek report of Qur'ans being flushed down the toilet in Guantanamo Bay to "torture" al Qaeda inmates was based on uncorroborated information obtained from an unnamed source. Newsweek issued an explanation and tepid apology for reporting this story. At least 15 people have died in violent demonstrations in Afghanistan, and much ill will against the United States has accumulated. Newsweek's shoddy reporting harkens us back to the Eason Jordon debacle, where accusations were hurled at American troops with no substantial evidence.

Wretchard points out the logical fallacies committed by Newsweek reporters Michael Isikoff and John Barry, as well as their editors. "Their efforts at "confirmation" yielded a denial and a non-denial from Defense officials, but no confirmation. In predicate calculus, Newsweek asserted P. Their attempts at confirmation yielded ~P and Null. Hence they concluded P, which is wrong, wrong and wrong. It is wrong from the point of view of elementary logic. It would be wrong anywhere, even in the Andromeda Galaxy. But apparently it is right at Newsweek."

The Newsweek staff is also guilty of being gullible enough to swallow whole al Qaeda's tactics of crying abuse and torture. The tactics are directly out of al Qaeda's training manual, and are designed to subvert western governments and their citizens, weaken their resolve and inflame the Muslim world against the West. The following is quoted directly from The al Qaeda Training Manual, Lesson Eighteen, PRISONS AND DETENTION CENTERS, which was seized in a raid in England by the Manchester Metropolitan Police:

1 . At the beginning of the trial, once more the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by State Security [investigators] before the judge.

2. Complain [to the court] of mistreatment while in prison.

Al Qaeda's methods of crying foul while in custody and after released are common knowledge in government and media circles, yet the media consistently snaps up the opportunity to report these stories, without considering the real world consequences that may result. Theories on the media's motivations vary; the need to "get the scoop" on a sensational story; poor editorial control; political bias and the desire to discredit the Bush administration by demonizing efforts in the War on Terror; an anti-military bias; and anti war bias are but a few. No doubt elements of each exist in some reporters and editors. The Eason Jordan accusations against the military, CBS' airing of forged documents and the skewed reporting of Abu Ghraib are but a few examples that highlight these biases.

Editor & Publisher Magazine, "America's Oldest Journal Covering the Newspaper Industry" reports the public has a serious problem with the press, while the journalist believe they are doing just fine, thank you (hat tip to Glenn Reynolds). Also detailed is the media's overwhelming political bias:

A new survey to be released Monday reveals a wide gap on many media issues between a group of journalists and the general public. In one finding, 43% of the public say they believe the press has too much freedom, while only 3% of journalists agree. Just 14% of the public can name "freedom of the press" as a guarantee in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in the major poll conducted by the University of Connecticut Department of Public Policy.

Six in ten among the public feel the media show bias in reporting the news, and 22% say the government should be allowed to censor the press. More than 7 in 10 journalists believe the media does a good or excellent job on accuracy--but only 4 in 10 among the public feel that way. And a solid 53% of the public think stories with unnamed sources should not be published at all.

Perhaps the widest gap of all: 8 in 10 journalists said they read blogs, while less than 1 in 10 others do so. Still, a majority of the news pros do not believe bloggers deserve to be called journalists.

Asked who they voted for in the past election, the journalists reported picking Kerry over Bush by 68% to 25%. In this sample of 300 journalists, from both newspapers and TV, Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 3 to 1--but about half claim to be Independent. As in previous polls, a majority (53%) called their political orientation "moderate," versus 28% liberal and 10% conservative.

Journalists' definition of "moderate" , just as their penchant for citing unnamed sources, should be taken with several grains or perhaps a tablespoon of salt.

One of the greatest hurdles we face in fighting a nihilistic enemy bent on the destruction of our civilization is not their military prowess, but the inherent biases that exist within our own media elites. The desire to promote their agendas at the expense of the truth or our safety provides a measure of comfort to our enemy, who hopes to divide us from within.

Evan Thomas (a man in the know who stated during the 2004 Presidential election; "The media, I think, wants Kerry to win" ) reports "More allegations, credible or not, are sure to come" with respect to the treatment of detainees in Gitmo. Our politically biased, fact and logic challenged media no doubt will report these allegations, the effects on the War on Terror be damned. They have a message to deliver, and it is a message al Qaeda wishes to be disseminated. That the media do not recognize this or worse, do not care, speaks volumes about their competence to accurately report the news.



Posted by PeterArgus at May 16, 2005 1:09 PM ET:

However, Newsweek isn't going to retract the story because it hasn't actually been shown to be false, its just that there source will no longer stand by it. I just heard the White House is demanding retraction. But I just don't get it. When the Weekly World News publishes a story about an 800 lb transvestite giving birth to a goldfish does anyone demand a retraction just because they have no sources?

Posted by GK at May 16, 2005 1:16 PM ET:

Of course, the retraction will not make it to Afghanistan and Pakistan. They will continue to believe the initial erroneous story.

Note that while it is impossible to flush a book of several hundred pages down an average toilet, these parts of the world do not have such toilets available to most people. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, more than half of the people just go to the field and do it, thus, they are likely to believe that Qurans were flushed down this way.

Bill, are you going to take on Newsweek for this gross irresponsibility, the way you created This is even more damaging than that was, because while most Americans know better than to believe that US soldiers are targeting journalists, in this case, the illwill might be permanent.

Posted by Bill Roggio at May 16, 2005 1:45 PM ET:


When the Weekly World News publishes a story about an 800 lb transvestite giving birth to a goldfish, no one dies because of it. And no one in their right mind assumes the Weekly World News is a serious source of news.


I agree this is as serious as Eason Jordan. I cannot answer your question as of yet. As to starting a site, the issue seems to be getting wide recognition, and the White House is demanding a retraction.

Posted by Justin B at May 16, 2005 1:48 PM ET:


Clearly more damaging than Eason's comments. Far more damaging.

There must be consequences for journalists when they fail to carry out their work in a responsible manner, just as there are consequences if I do not perform mine in a responsible manner. Newsweek should already be firing people and revealing sources. This source needs outed so that he/she can also receive their just dues.

Posted by PeterArgus at May 16, 2005 1:56 PM ET:

Umm, that was exactly my point. I think we can now say that "no one in their right mind assumes that [Newsweek] is a serious source of news" and it seems that Newsweek is quite comfortable with that.

RE: toilets in Asia. Actually most of the populace would be familiar with the squat over hole method which would be quite amenable to book disposal. Thanks for bringing up the lack of flush toilets though its a really good point although somewhat moot since the Koran event is unconfirmed (but not falsified! adds Newsweek).

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Posted by Justin B at May 16, 2005 3:08 PM ET:

If they had made up a story about using the Koran as toilet paper instead of flushing it down... Ah, hell, it is too easy to make fun of personal hygiene in the Middle East...

Posted by ArmchairGeneralist at May 16, 2005 3:18 PM ET:

"People are dead because of what this son of a bitch said. How could he be credible now?" - Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita on the unnamed source who reported Qur'ans were desecrated in Camp X-Ray

Larry ought to be careful about throwing stones near glass White Houses. I was saying the same thing after Bush and Rumsfeld described all the WMD stockpiles they would find in Iraq in 2003.

Posted by USMC_Vet at May 16, 2005 3:36 PM ET:

I am sick and tired of major mainstream media outlets hair-trigger when there is anything assserted negatively about America but due investigative diligence (or just plain ignoring with silence) anything that may prove positive.

But before I go down that ideological road, everyone overlooks on simple aspect of the story that should have been a red flag for Newsweek (if they really wanted to see one):

Did anyone at Newsweek stop to wonder, even for a moment, that it might just be impossible to flush a Koran down a toilet?

I guess basic physical properties are irrelevant when it comes to smearing America.

In the words of the great Steve Martin during a live performance in San Francisco in the late 70's comes this comparative analysis as he sang:

"It's just put a Cadilac in your nose...It's just impossible..."

If I ever learned from Newsweek that Osama bin Laden flushed a Bible down the toilet, the first thing I would question is precisely how in the hell a book managed to get flushed down a toilet. Maybe then I would riot and kill other Christians for his physics-defying magical feat, but first I would wonder at least if the whole story wasn't...full of crap.

Think about that. Didn't that even get pondered? Large book, small plumbing, questionable physics... Long enough to even question the veracity of the 'source'?

Or, did fact get in the way of assertion...again.

Uncredentialed and Unconcerned I remain.

Who in the hell wants those credentials?

I'll pass.

Posted by Walter E. Wallis at May 16, 2005 4:23 PM ET:

I have never understood the idea that someone can score a political advantage by damaging this country as a way to get at the president. Kinds like blowing holes in the keel if you don't like the captain. Nothing advertised in Newsqueek will ever come through my doors again.

Posted by madmatt at May 16, 2005 4:52 PM ET:

The Quran/toilet story has been going around for awhile because it is true. They have proven torture but now the repugnicans say that they would never desecrate a book. If they are willing to do it to the Constitution, I don't see them having problems with the Quran.

And by the way when did the administration become serious about "truth"

Posted by Grappler at May 16, 2005 5:18 PM ET:

I posted this on my site today. It sums up my thoughts on the issue:

The Newsweek "incident" brings forth one truism my Dad taught me. Intelligent people are clearly not always wise people. I always marvel at the stupidity of the so-called intelligentsia of the MSM, college campuses, etc. Listen to Noam Chomsky for one minute and you get the picture. This is another prime example of the thesis of Daniel Flynn's book, Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas. Flynn discusses how fealty to ideology and the "cause" has blinded people to reality - so much so that they espouse ridiculous and sometimes dangerous positions. The ideology here is raw Bush hatred. The cause in this case has always been the creation of a Nixonian moment for the Bush Administration. Whether it's Dan Rather, the so-called missing weapons in Iraq (Al-Qaaqa), yellowcake in Nigeria, Richard Clarke (does anyone remember him anymore?), no WMD, pressuring the CIA, or Abu-Ghraib, among others, the left in the media have been loyal to the "cause." I have always believed that more people have lost their lives in the WOT as a result of the "cause" than otherwise would have. Time and again over the past few years, the media has given our enemies all the propaganda points they needed to foment hatred of the US and the West in general. This propaganda has cost additional lives and, in many cases, extended conflict as opposed to ending it. The difference here is that we finally can directly point to lives lost needlessly over agenda-driven, inaccurate reporting.

Finally, if the real goal of these so-called intelligent people is to end this war and thus save lives through changing public opinion, they are failing miserably. How can intelligent people make such awful and unwise decisions, such as inaccurately reporting an incident that will inflame the whole Muslim world? Fealty to the ideology of anti-Bushism, resulting in the blind dedication to the cause of discrediting and/or bringing down the Bush Administration.

Posted by Miraclemax at May 16, 2005 6:02 PM ET:

Yes because everybody loves America...only the "liberal media" could make anybody hate us. It has nothing to do with Bush blowing up anybody that is near an oil well.

Posted by USMC_Vet at May 16, 2005 6:12 PM ET:

MadMatt, didn't I practically beg you to come back and comment again at The Blue State Conservatives?

You avoided me. I was exhausted and gave you the advantage then.

I am rested now...and I am in here, too. I'm everywhere.

Some come on back. Please?

Put me in my place. Teach me about the Koran (Quran...whatever). Teach me about Republicans. Teach me about The Constitution. Teach me about Truth.

I am putty in your hands. Read up, ask your buddies, cut and paste, do it however you like, but please come back and put me in my place this time. Please?

I'll tell you what...come back tomorrow.

We'll have a Two-Fer Tuesday. (That'll give you more time to research, too.) You and Ryan can both hop on my back. I'll give you both a ride around the block, show you some fine scenery and you can tell us all what you see.

...and learn me a lesson, Vern.

Dazzle me with your brilliance. Assault me with intellect. Confront me with logic.

Otherwise, stay home and keep your damned piehole shut.

Posted by socialism_is_error at May 16, 2005 7:27 PM ET:

The filthy hounds who authorized the publication of this tripe did it knowing that it would defame our people.

And now they've been forced by the pressure of public opinion to issue an empty apology and retraction, empty because they also knew that the damage will live on. This is orders-of-magnitude greater than Rather or Jordan.

Posted by GK at May 16, 2005 7:28 PM ET:

I used to think it was worthwhile to try and educate fools like Madmatt and MiracleMAx. Now I know that it is not worthwhile. It is easier to just keep defeating them in elections and then ignore them.

Somehow, they don't seem to be bothered that if terrorists strike where they happen to be, they too would die. Maybe nature does designate certain defective members of each species to take actions that hasten their own exit from the gene pool, and their self-destructive thought process despite vast evidence is merely Darwinian evolution at work...

Posted by Justin B at May 16, 2005 7:33 PM ET:


Bush Lied Kids Died. We know madMatt.

Islam is a religion of Peace. We know, we know.

Bush personally ordered the CIA to doctor the WMD stories so that he could invade. We know.

Bush personally tortured several of the Abu Ghraib "victims" himself when he went to Iraq over Thanksgiving. We know.

The memos were real too. And Eason Jordan was right. We are out there killing journalists, flushing Korans down the toilet, robbing from the world for our greedy corporations, and destroying the environment all so that Bush can rule the world with the Saudis.

Did I miss anything? I put on my tin-foil hat while I was writing to keep the Republican thought police from seeing me thinking like an enlightened Democrat and coming for me in black helicopters.

Posted by GK at May 16, 2005 7:33 PM ET:


I agree. This proves my claim that they are not just naive or ill-informed. They are actively and systematically siding with our enemies, and are secretly cheering us on..

The MSM would never make a mistake in our favor, such as falsely reporting that Zarqawi was injured, or prematurely release a headline that the Iraqi people are growing to like their new government..... wait, these things are not false at all.

But even if they were, we know there is NO CHANCE of incorrect journalism happening to actually be in our favor...

This is the fifth column, and the enemy within is palpable...

Posted by GK at May 16, 2005 7:38 PM ET:

I mean, secretly cheering them (terrorists) on..

Posted by ShrinkWrapped at May 16, 2005 10:04 PM ET:

I come at this from a Psychoanalytic stance; there is a serious and dangerous narcissism at work in much of the media and the left wing elites. I wrote this today:

" have journalists believing that their particular words are the crucial element in any story; it is all about them, not the story. They pursue a higher journalistic standard of proof which disdains real world consequences for their actions. I would suggest that the editors and reporters of Newsweek believe simultaneously that their words are towering, important constructs, and altogether devoid of any real actionable content. Their words were aimed at the Bush administration, the American Military, our foreign policy, yet not with an aim of harming anyone (including "innocents") in reality, but of attacking the policies of our current administration. They do not recognize that we are in an information war and the events in Afghanistan are not "collateral damage" but the inevitable damage which occurs when you give ammunition to murderous fanatics. The fact that the MSM does not appear to recognize that the Islamists are using them as allies should not excuse them of responsibility for their actions."

Posted by Magnus at May 17, 2005 7:37 AM ET:


Wake up. You are seeing enemies where there are none. Sometimes, friends have to tell you that you are wrong. And you are wrong.

Do you *really* think the US is hated because of your own media?

Your *actions* speak for you. As they have always spoken for you.

We had hope in America. You had so much promise. Now, you scare us.


Posted by Anonymous at May 17, 2005 10:34 AM ET:

"The filthy hounds who authorized the publication of this tripe did it knowing that it would defame our people."

It was the command structure that ordered the Koran abused, and talks about a "crusade," that defamed our people.

I posted several press reprts form many different sources here last night, but they were deleted. Stop blaming Newsweek for reporting what is routine at Guantanamo.

Posted by Bill Roggio at May 17, 2005 10:52 AM ET:

You posted them in Justin's post titled "Oops, we made a mistake - CBS, Eason, and now Newsweek?". These allegations, which are statements made by the released prisoners are designed to discredit us. Nice to see you swallow the jihadi line as easily as Newsweek does. They have a term for you, it's called "Useful Idiot".

Posted by Anonymous at May 17, 2005 11:18 AM ET:

Right, the torture is just a "fraternity prank."

How come so many are telling the same stories, though they are released at very different times?

Also, if the ones telling these stories are the "jihadi" why are they RELEASED? The released ones are the ones who AREN'T jihadi. It's the ones who are RELEASED who are talking abou tthis -- that's why we're hearing about it.

Also, former interrogator are saying the same things, and memos from FBI observers are saying the same things.

You have to face it, there is a policy of torture at Guantanamo. THAT is who is "defaming" America.

Also, if there IS torture going on, who is being the "useful idiot" here?

Posted by USMC_Vet at May 17, 2005 11:21 AM ET:

*back-handed smack and a glare*

No, Magnus, I do not *really* think the US is hated because of our own media. I think our media feeds off of and into that shallow frenzy.

I'll tell you what, Magnus, how 'bout we just part ways semi-amicably here.

You can keep your fine European economy (and it's crushing unemployment rate and stifling taxation), your socialist Champaigne Wishes and Caviar Dreams, and your regular allies in Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Moscow and now soon Beijing.

It's all in the company you keep.

Personally, with your biting and typically condescending European-style comments, I think it is you who are assuming too much.

Wake up. You are seeing friends where there are none. Sometimes, Americans have to tell you that you are wrong. And you are wrong.

So be it. But let's not get into the debate over actions, lest youopen a bag of tricks you have come to willfully ignore on your won governments' parts.

Your call, Magnus.

But you had better pack a lunch, sir.

Posted by Anonymous at May 17, 2005 11:21 AM ET:

Also, apologies for my mistake about the comment post and thinking you deleted it.

Posted by Bill Roggio at May 17, 2005 11:22 AM ET:

Again, where is your evidence of torture other than statements of released prisoners?

Many released from Gitmo have returned to fight with al Qaeda. You should read the press acounts on this. SOme are released as a good will measure (bad idea in my estimation), others because there is little reason to continuing detaining them. These are people we have captured during combat with American troops, what do you think their motivations are?

They are telling the same story because that is what they are trained to do. Investigations at Gitmo have shown this is not occurring. But nice of you to believe al Qaeda over your own government. That is admirable.

Posted by USMC_Vet at May 17, 2005 11:34 AM ET:

Oh, brilliant Anonymous One!

I bow at thine feet for I am not worthy of such brilliance!

Shalt though not considereth Newsweek retraction as evidence of error, oh Great Anonymous One? Doth retraction smelleth of Lie?

Thou hast prophesied:

"It was the command structure that ordered the Koran abused, and talks about a "crusade," that defamed our people."

Art thou the one speaking of 'crusade'?

Dideth not thy Divine Newsweek profess unto thee that 'Koran Flushing' was false?

OK, enough of that...

Look, brilliant one, when all of this shakes out, what you are going to learn (and probably deny) is that the flushing of the Koran down the toilet was not at the hands of American interrogators.

It will soon publicly surface that the flushing of pages of the Koran was actually done by a Muslim detainee trying to clog the toilet in a form of protest with what he had available to him.

Then we'll see who's doing the 'desecration'.

But, I am spitting into the wind, aren't I?

If Allah himself appeared and told you it was so, you would surely cry loudly that it was not Allah. Nothing will convince you otherwise. Nothing.

That's the sad truth to all of this. America is willing to criticize the point of its media making things up to do so. But for those like you, there is no criticism but criticism of The Great Satan who continues to be the imaginary source of all that is wrong with your society's percieved place in this world.


Posted by Anonymous at May 17, 2005 11:50 AM ET:

"Dideth not thy Divine Newsweek profess unto thee that 'Koran Flushing' was false?"

What Newsweek SAID was that their very high Pentagon source is not sure WHICH report on abuse he read this in, but is sure that he did read accounts of this.

Posted by John Gillnitz at May 17, 2005 12:09 PM ET:

Afghan Riots Not Tied to Report on Quran Handling, General Says

The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff says a report from Afghanistan suggests that rioting in Jalalabad on May 11 was not necessarily connected to press reports that the Quran might have been desecrated in the presence of Muslim prisoners held in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Air Force General Richard Myers told reporters at the Pentagon May 12 that he has been told that the Jalalabad, Afghanistan, rioting was related more to the ongoing political reconciliation process in Afghanistan than anything else.

According to initial reports, the situation in Jalalabad began on May 10 with peaceful student protests reacting to a report in Newsweek magazine that U.S. military interrogators questioning Muslim detainees at the Guantanamo detention center "had placed Quran s on toilets, and in at least one case flushed a holy book." By the following day the protests in the city had turned violent with reports of several individuals killed, dozens wounded, and widespread looting of government, diplomatic and nongovernmental assets.

However, Myers said an after-action report provided by U.S. Army Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, commander of the Combined Forces in Afghanistan, indicated that the political violence was not, in fact, connected to the magazine report.

Posted by John Gillnitz at May 17, 2005 12:09 PM ET:


Posted by USMC_Vet at May 17, 2005 12:50 PM ET:

U.S. Long Had Memo on Handling of Koran

"More than two years ago, the Pentagon issued detailed rules for handling the Koran at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, requiring U.S. personnel to ensure that the holy book is not placed in "offensive areas such as the floor, near the toilet or sink, near the feet, or dirty/wet areas."

The three-page memorandum, dated Jan. 19, 2003, says that only Muslim chaplains and Muslim interpreters can handle the holy book, and only after putting on clean gloves in full view of detainees.

The detailed rules require U.S. Muslim personnel to use both hands when touching the Koran to signal "respect and reverence," and specify that the right hand be the primary one used to manipulate any part of the book "due to cultural associations with the left hand." The Koran should be treated like a "fragile piece of delicate art," it says.

...The Pentagon does not have a similar policy regarding any other major religious book and takes "extra precautions" on the Muslim holy book, officials said."

Believe what you will.

It is more plausible that pages were flushed to clog a toilet in protest.

You will believe what you will and I will believe what I will.

Short of video footage, we will likely continue to stake our ground.

Posted by USMC_Vet at May 17, 2005 1:44 PM ET:

Robert M,

Your sole horse in this race seems to be that Bushitleracistheocrat and his Administration are bent on torturing detainees.

Let's not bother to spark a single synaptic discharge in holding any parallel standards to the governments of those in the Middle East (and like-minded fellows such as yourself) who seem to scream the loudest on this account of 'American Torture'.

If just one single synapse would fire for you, the practices of Egypt may come to mind. Maybe it would be Iran? Jordan? Saudi Arabia? Pakistan? Syria? Or maybe the synaptic firing would be complex enough to support a visual of the meat hooks hanging from the ceilings of Saddam's torture rooms?

Just a few firing synapses would support more complex considering why there is debate over the issue of transfering detainees to the fine facilities run by said Egyptians, Saudis, Jordanians or Pakistanis. Proverbial champions of Prisoner Rights, one and all.

Your argument falls oddly yet predictably silent in this regard. Apply your standards of conduct to all (rather than selectively to America) and you will find that any American transgression that we may be able to cite pales in comparison to the daily conduct of those whom you conveniently exempt from accountability.

Your argument is worded eloquently, with impressive command of the English language. This linguistic mastery has apparently consumed all available synaptic activity, leaving logic and reason starved for process.

Bring a new pooch to the field next time in here, because that dog won't hunt.

Posted by Bill Roggio at May 17, 2005 1:58 PM ET:

Robert M,

I deleted yur post. I will not accept commenters accusing me of branding those who disagree with the war as traitors. I have never said this, and I challenge him to find a single instance where I said this. You are upset because I do not write about issues you think are important.

You accuse me of not being critical of the administration when I have done this several times. If all you want to read is criticism, go read the New York Times. Or create your own blog and potificate on the evils of the US and the virtues of al Qaeda.

Your post was highly offensive (not to mention completely innacurrate despite what you may think) and I will not accept your insults on my site.

Posted by Robert M at May 17, 2005 2:06 PM ET:

Your dog is dead. The stench you smell is the maggots of truth slowly eating away the putrid rancid flesh of your brain as they search for the synapses that let you understand the truth.

Posted by Bill Roggio at May 17, 2005 2:16 PM ET:

Get a grip, Robert. It was nice to see you drop your fascade of actually caring about winning the war, however. Talk about putrid.

Find the evidence of me branding those who disgree wuith the war as being traitors, or shut your fucking mouth. Don't ever accuse me of saying something I have not said. It is disgusting coming from a weasel such as yourself.

That's right. Its my blog and I'll curse when I want to. Don't anyone get the idea the language barrier has dropped, made the exception for Robert M.

Posted by Justin B at May 17, 2005 2:27 PM ET:

OK, so because we released some nut jobs from GITMO, they are innocent and not Al Qaeda. Clearly we would never release anyone unless they were innocent. We walked around Afghanistan randomly grabbing anyone that look like a bad guy and kept them at GITMO for months to figure out if they were a bad guy or not.

We sent several people back to their home countries as we did not believe they constituted a continued threat or to pacify their local governments. These people were guilty of fighting against US troops, but may not have been guilty of conducting terror operations.

But to anonymous, these former detainees are clearly more trustworthy than the evil US government. People that had fought against US soldiers in Afghanistan are "freedom fighters". They are the good guys. Bush is Hitler.

This story proves that Bush ordered us to desecrate the Koran as part of his "crusade" to rid the world of Islam. Sorry dirtbag, but Bush did not start a "crusade", Al Qaeda started one to destroy Christianity and to destroy and kill our citizens and way of life.

Choose sides carefully. I guess it makes sense why you post under "anonymous" because of your shame. My name is right on the site. I take responsibility for my posts. You on the other hand are probably one of those "unnamed sources" that we keep hearing about that is willing to spread lies, but only if they can do it from behind the veil of anonymity. That is called a "coward". Say what you really think. This whole war is our fault because the US is evil and because Bush wants to convert the world to Christianity.

Posted by Anonymous at May 17, 2005 2:28 PM ET:


Did you know that more POWs have died in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan than in North Vietnamese POW camps during that war?

Also, you ask why there is debate about transferring prisoners to other countries where they are tortured -- the answer is BECAUSE WE ARE TRANSFERRING PRISONERS TO THOSE COUNTRIES! If we don't have a policy of torture, why are we doing that?

I think what is happening in Afghanistan is a consequence of a policy of torture. And how come YOU aren't demanding to know the truth?

Posted by Justin B at May 17, 2005 2:33 PM ET:


We have read Robert M's semi-coherent rants for quite a long period of time. They guy cannot form a complete sentence let alone a paragraph that makes sense most of the time. And we have humored him by occasionally responding to his ignorant BS.

I would simply suggest that as a matter of principle, we politely ban him and his IP from posting.

This is not your playground Robert M. This is not someplace where you come to insult me or Bill. The time that we spend dealing with your ignorance is neither productive, nor useful to us or our other readers. I would like to ask that you leave and please stop commenting on the site. We can block your IP and just be done with this.

Posted by Anonymous at May 17, 2005 2:34 PM ET:

Bill -

In a previous post you said the press was providing comfort to the enemy. That is accusing them of treason.

"But to anonymous, these former detainees are clearly more trustworthy than the evil US government. People that had fought against US soldiers in Afghanistan are "freedom fighters". They are the good guys. Bush is Hitler."

Now it is YOU who accuses others of something they never did. I never said or implied any of that.

I AM saying that the volume of reports, including FBI memos and memos from top Administration officials - as well as the number of prisoners who have been tortured to death - show that there IS a POLICY of torturing prisoners, and it is not the actions of a few. Those Americans who have charged with this ALSO say they were told to do this. "Soften them up" is part of what they were told. IT WAS A POLICY. We as Americans have an obligation to try to get them to stop this policy because it degrades us. And causes riots.

Also, what do you get out of calling people "dirtbag"?

Posted by Anonymous at May 17, 2005 2:46 PM ET:

Sorry, Bill, that was Justin.

Posted by Bill Roggio at May 17, 2005 2:53 PM ET:

Nice of you to parse my words to fit your worldview. What I said, in full, is:

"The desire to promote their agendas at the expense of the truth or our safety provides a measure of comfort to our enemy, who hopes to divide us from within.

This means the enemy is comforted by what the media says in relation to toruture and abuse. If I wanted to say the media is actively aiding and abetting al Qaeda, I would have said exactly that. How you can read it any other way is beyond me.


You clearly cannot read the news. The 'torure memos' were anything but, and numerous investigations showed there was no policy of torture.

Justin, I just don't like banning people or driving them away. No one is currently banned from this site and I hope to keep it that way. I have no problem with deleting offensive posts, and if people do this repeatedly I will resort to banning them. Robert M. is free to expose his ignorance just as long as he does not violate the comments policy.

Posted by GK at May 17, 2005 3:10 PM ET:

Robert M,

Read this to learn more about where you fit in :

I used to think it was worthwhile to try and educate fools like Robert. Now I know that it is not worthwhile. It is easier to just keep defeating them in elections and then ignore them.

Somehow, they don't seem to be bothered that if terrorists strike where they happen to be, they too would die. Maybe nature does designate certain defective members of each species to take actions that hasten their own exit from the gene pool, and their self-destructive thought process despite vast evidence is merely Darwinian evolution at work...

Posted by Robert M at May 17, 2005 3:28 PM ET:

It is clear my point was made. If you think that makes you a traitor I do not get that. I do think you do a bad job of criticizing the Administration. I think they have done things that are far worse than Newsweek. If you feel this administration is doing even a good job of explaining and producing policy and discussing it with the public you are insulting yourselves.

As I pointed out the war in Viet Nam was lost at home due to feckless leadership that could not explain the war and what it meant. We live in a global world where information good and bad is spread at light speed. When knowledgable people like yourself fail to add the insight you have to negative events you are failing your own calling. You can not simply want like minded people to find your blog. If you are going to educate and convince people about the validity of the GWOT in its military aspects you have to be critical of the military where it is wrong. Otherwise you are talking to yourself and hearing the word traitor because of your own failing

Posted by GK at May 17, 2005 4:00 PM ET:


Answer 3 simple questions :

1) Who is more evil, George W. Bush or Al-Qaeda?
2) How would you prevent another 9/11?
3) Why have Islamic terrorists also attacked the Madrid subway, a Russian School, Australian tourists in Bali, Israeli tourists in Kenya, The British embassy in Turkey, the Indian Parliament, beheaded civilians including a Korean, and threatened to kill Iraqis on the way to vote?

(ashamed silence expected).

Posted by Robert M at May 17, 2005 4:01 PM ET:

Terrorist strike where and when they can. It will not prevent you from dying if they get to you either. You can die from their intent or the failure of our government to protect you. That you can not see that their is legitimate issues to criticize this administration for I stand by my statement about hand washing people posting at this blog.

Posted by Bill Roggio at May 17, 2005 4:04 PM ET:


"If you think that makes you a traitor I do not get that.

What are you talking about? You accused me of labeling people who oppose the war traitors. How you get that I believe I am a traitor is mystifying. You make absolutely no sense most of the time.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. Learn how to read, then learn how to form coherent thoughts and sentences. It goes a long way.

Vietnam was lost because an unrelenting antiwar movement, which included the media and future leaders like John Kerry, took every opportunity to disparage the effort and demean our military. Sounds familiar.

How do you expect the Bush administration to get its message out in such a hostile environment? The media pounces on every single mistke (just like you do) to find evidence of evil. Meanwhile we fight an enemy that wants to kill both liberals and conservative. If you think your constant harping contributes to winning this war, then I can do little to help you.

I freely admit mistakes are made in war, that is its nature. It is chaotic, ugly and dirty. I keep my eye on the prize, the overall mission and what is being done to accomplish the goal.

You focus on niggling details that feed the enemy's fires. Good for you. You are a fine, fine American.

Posted by GK at May 17, 2005 4:25 PM ET:


Yes, I criticize Bush for not sealing the border. I criticize him for not trimming government spending enough. I also recognize that he should have done a better in explaining to people why the war is a good idea, and that there are multiple reasons for it, not just one.

But you have to answer my 3 simple questions, if you want to be taken seriously.

Posted by USMC_Vet at May 17, 2005 4:28 PM ET:

Robert M,

"Your dog is dead. The stench you smell is the maggots of truth slowly eating away the putrid rancid flesh of your brain as they search for the synapses that let you understand the truth."

Next time put a comma between 'putrid' and 'rancid'.


Posted by USMC_Vet at May 17, 2005 4:47 PM ET:

Oh Boy! It's like Christmas in here today!

Bobby, Bobby, Bobby...

"Terrorist strike where and when they can. It will not prevent you from dying if they get to you either. You can die from their intent or the failure of our government to protect you."

Well I'll be damned if you didn't just try and present yourself as a National Security policy wonk. What type of security would that be, tea and crumpets for our friendly neighborhood Jihadis? It seems to me that you have been fairly well protected as you drool in your nap on the couch. Answer GK's Question #2.

"...We live in a global world..."

Holy Crap! When did that happen? Next you're gonna tell me it's round, too, right? You crazy man. You crazy.

"Did you know that more POWs have died in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan than in North Vietnamese POW camps during that war?"

Did you know that dogs can smell fear?
Did you know that my neighbor has 3 rabbits?

Don't just toss that garbage in my face without some factual backing. Show me the money. Quick, go get the link from IndyMedia. I'll wait...

"And how come YOU aren't demanding to know the truth?"

Well, because the synaptically challenged like me are lucky enough to just plop down right here and read your enlightened pearls of wisdom.


Come on Robert, give me some more!

This is like knowing how the game's rigged at the carnival and taking all the stuffed animals!

Posted by USMC_Vet at May 17, 2005 5:53 PM ET:

Still looking for verifiable figures on the POW thing, Bobby?

Let me save you the effort. I could fairly give a damn about some bally-hoo's numbers one may brandish around. I would suggest to you that there have been far more detainees in the War on Terror than US fighting men captured alive in Viet Nam.

Further, you would also need to be able to show beyond a reasonable doubt the cause of the deaths and the condition upon capture for both instances.

I would guess that there have been far more Heroes of Jihad tossed on the truck short a limb or two than American fighting men (mostly pilots, btw) in the same entry condition (in a matter of ratios or raw numbers).

Here's the kicker:

Go sell that story to a surviving VietNam POW. Explain to him how much worse the Jihadis Sans Borders have it today, with their 3 squares, sanitary flushing toilets (didn't we just solidfy that fact?), beds with matresses and multiple daily prayer time, than he had it with bamboo needles under the fingernails, regular beatings, starvation and electricution.

If you survive the encounter, report back to me and tell me how it went. Otherwise, shut your trap.

Now...Go back to the couch and rest.

Posted by Anonymous at May 17, 2005 6:22 PM ET:

One more thing I have to comment on.

Justin, you wrote, "Sorry dirtbag, but Bush did not start a "crusade", Al Qaeda started one to destroy Christianity..."

I'm wondering where you heard that? This is not something I have come across anywhere, as al Queda's motivation.

In fact, the ONLY organization I have heard of that says their mission is to "destroy Christianity" is the "Moonies" -- publishers of the Washington Times, and funding source for many Republicans and "conservative movement" organizations.

Posted by Nonny at May 17, 2005 7:52 PM ET:

Swear all you want at the dirt bags like Robert and Anonymous! Trying to educate a person who cannot sign his name, may be a waste of time!

Posted by Robert M at May 17, 2005 9:37 PM ET:

Bill: Since when has holding up the highest standards been a niggling detail. When the highest levels of our government actively seek to change all the rules of interrogation to include torture that's niggling or is it not only feeding the fires of the enemy? When you tell soldiers whom are fighting for our country we can not use you because you are a homosexual how are you didfferent from the _terrorists- whom would kill them on sight? How to you compare our long struggle for freedom at home under the rule of law for all men and all religious backgrounds with a ruling political party that acts like the Taliban in private family matters(Schiavo for those listening to the maggots)? In order to spread the idea and values of democracy we have to acknowledge our failures and realize that recognizing them is one of our greatest strengths. It is not niggling details.

As to grammar and directing comments at the right person: I made no comment about POW's in North Viet Nam. The correct punctuation should be the word "and". Only two adjectives were used. I apolgoize flesh is the third. I forgot there is a void in your head.

GK's 3 ?'s
Al-queda is more evil. The banlity of bush's evil is that I do not think he has carried out the GWOT in the Iraq theatre or at home competently

First I would have declared war on Iraq back in 2002 through Congress and explained in great detail why I came to this conclusion. Whether I got it or not would not have stopped me from continuing the invasion.

Since I was not the President in 2001 I am going to assume I am now. I would go on TV and tell people there are going to be large expenditures to protect the soft and hard economic infrastructure, i.e. ports, electric power facilities of all kinds, chemical plants, refineries, et al. I would use executive orders to by pass congress if need be to unite all those individual agencies dealing with the infrastructure e.g. since the succeesful circuit breaking of the electrical grid that resulted in a blckout from Eastern Ohio to New York the responsbilities for the maintainance of transmission wires is still nebulous(I believe that there are dormant Al-queda cells in America). Given that many of the terrorists were trained as engineers it is a prudent expenditure and I believe when they attack here that is a high priority target.

I would have him immediately sealed both the northern and southern borders with the National Guard. Ports would be sealed and each and every container would be checked and sealed at all ports. I would explain to the people of Latin America that our border could not continue to function de facto as an economic safety valve for their countries. I would explain its time for a national identity card and tightened immigration rules. The attack on Sept 11, 2001 proved the oceans are not enough to protect us from nihilists.

As an adjunct where ever commerce is involved I would ask people to voluntarily submit to joining a list w/ an ID card so their personal travel is inconvienced as little as possible. The salesmen, executives and anyone else whom flies, rents a car or travels by train I think would respond enthusiastically.

Radio spectrum bandwidth would be reallocated in all areas so their are clear bands for EMT's, Police and the Fire Departments as stand alone units. Then additional band width for central emergency control(the Blitzkrieg was highly effective as a military tactic because their communication assets were centralized). All infrastructure assets would have to give detailed plans to local government so in case of attack the local providers of emergency services would now what they are dealing with. This would mean legislation idemnifying such assets in case of attack but it would also mean the owners had better be prudent in how they ran their operations.

Another thing would be the reordering of the Federal police forces into one unit. Prior existing speciality academies would continue to exist but entry would be at the bottom level of protection much like a beat cop and then you work your way up. I'd do this by executive order excercising national security protocols.

Money to achieve this would be the hard part. Knowing I was engaging in such a war I would never have continued cutting taxes and would have rescinded the previous ones. I would tell the American people straight out because things have changed the way we operate in the world and at home has to change. That means we will have to sacrifice and defer our present goals and dreams to insure our future.

The list doesn't end.

No 3. The Jihadists(Islamic nihilist terrorists) are going to kill anyone who opposes their goal of Islamic nihilism. They are going to kill anybody to achieve their goals. That means you, me, Bill, Justin B, our wives, our children, our society-as imperfect as it is and that brain dead member whom can only handle one pearl of wisdom at a time.

Posted by socialism_is_error at May 17, 2005 10:01 PM ET:

Having reviewed his material and found it empty of definitive evidence and sound reasoning, I really can't blame Anonymous for maintaining his anonymity.

Robert M., on the other hand, is simply incoherent, despite USMC_Vet's manful efforts to elicit a bit or two of sense from the rants.

They simply aren't worth the effort.

Posted by USMC_Vet at May 17, 2005 10:20 PM ET:

Robert M:

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.


Posted by Magnus at May 18, 2005 4:18 AM ET:

You are fighting a war you don't understand, against people whose motivations you don't even try to understand (and in my view, 'terrorists' come in at least three types, each of which have their own motivations).

In executing the 'war on terror' you have shown yourself to be a lot worse than anything you had shown before. The beliefs of those who hated the USA have been, to them, vindicated, and many others have joined their ranks. Due to your actions.

If the USA actually want to win the war on terror, then you cannot afford alienating three new people for every terrorist you kill. (Actually, I'd guess the number is rather higher than three.) Fanatics are not persuaded by the power of their opponent. Power and the projection of power will not make you safe. All you can do is stop creating fanatics.

Please note that there *are* ways to wage a battle against terror. I am not telling you that roses and kittens will make the world better. I am not even telling you to turn the other cheek.

But the way the war on terror has been fought so far has played directly into the hands of the terrorists. They could not have dreamed of such successes as you have given them.

And instead of listening to those of us who have a different view, you claim that we are the ones who are undermining your war. That because we do not agree on the means, neither do we agree on the ends.

We have not hurt you. We have not weakened you. We have merely not accepted that your path is the right one to take at this time. We have not forced our path on you, but you have forced your path on us. We live in the future created by your choices, your policies, not by our disagreement with those choices.

We dissent. This is our right, our privilege, and our duty.


Posted by socialism_is_error at May 18, 2005 7:48 AM ET:


Your pronouncements are fluffy generalities. If you wish to debate, be at least minimally specific.

What is your understanding of this war? What are your three types of terrorists and your understanding of their motivations?

You say we are worse than before. What were we before that was bad in your view? Are you speaking for yourself or for others whom you claim to understand so well?

What is your method for fighting against terror? What credible experience or argument can you cite for such?

No one has denied anyone's right of dissent. Your feeble statements carry no weight in the world-at-large. What angers us is the broad dissemination of unsupported and unjustified fictions from major news organs that are used as "evidence" by our enemies to discourage those who would be our friends. Professionals in this field have little excuse for such lapses.

Posted by Magnus at May 18, 2005 1:01 PM ET:

This might take a while, and is probably not worth it... However, hope springs eternal.

Terrorists come in three groups. Leaders, followers, and killers. That's a rough way of putting it. The leaders, like bin Laden, want *power*. They have power as long as the situation against which they fight, remain. They will claim to want the things that their followers want, but in the end, they just want the fighting to go on forever, or alternatively, for themselves to be in charge when the fighting stops.
The followers are the people who will support the cause with money, will shelter people, will stand around and grumble and maybe march in a protest. They are not likely to actually go out and blow themselves up. They believe in the cause, and they want what the leaders claim that they are fighting for.
The killers are the ones unstable enough to actually go out and *do* the things the leaders need them to and the followers are paying for. There are not that many of these. Unfortunately, followers can be converted into killers by personal experiences. Like, say, having their family killed or otherwise having a negatively life-changing experience. Even just the total lack of any hope for the future might be enough.

Treating these three heterogeneous groups as if they were all of one type and all actually want the same thing would seem stupid, no? And since actually sorting out the killers from the followers is hard to do (especially when done by laser-guided munitions), killing more or less indiscriminately is going to make a lot more followers into killers than the number of killers you actually kill.

Hence, the strategy the US has so far used in the war on terror is utterly wrong, and is making the world a far more uncertain place.

I'll stop here, for now.


Posted by Bill Roggio at May 18, 2005 2:07 PM ET:

You're almost right, Magnus. Here is how it really works (and I am generalizing for brevity's sake as there is some crossover here).


Al Qaeda and various Islamists:

- The leaders and ideologues. They includes Osama, Zawahiri and the various other theorists, clerics, etc. that create the mission for al Qaeda and give it the 'legitimacy' via fatwas.

- The middle managers. There are many of these, and are comprised al Qaeda commanders such as Zarqawi, KSM, Atef, Zubaydi, etc. Very dangerous men who have rose up the ranks of al Qaeda by directing various deadly attacks.

- The killers. These are al Qaeda's foot soldiers, bomb makers, suicide bombers.... It is estimated over a 100,000 men passed through al Qaeda's camps in the time leading up to 9-11.

- The supporting cells. They provide the logistical support such as money transfers, forged documents, safehouses, travel arrangements.... These groups are vital to al Qaeda's success.


Outside al Qaeda:

- The moneymen. These are people who give money to al Qaeda via donations at mosques, etc. But are not members of al Qaeda.

- The potential recruits. These are the disgruntled Muslims that voice their support for al Qaeda but do not participate in terrorist activities. "The Arab Street" as the media likes to call them. They are all talk and very little action, as their continued silence indicates.

- The entire Muslim world. al Qaeda attemtps to get members of this group to move up the chain (become moneymen, potential recruits, footsoldiers....) by claiming the West is engaged in destroying Islam, torturing Muslims, engaging in a crusade....

I think you will agree that the al Qaeda structure needs dismantling, and the supporters need a wrist slapping or worse. The two groups you are concerned about are not targeted by the US. In fact the US goes through great pains not to radicalize this segment of the population, unlike the media. This is why what Newsweek has done is so disgraceful.

You must remember that for every Muslim al Qaeda kills in a carbomb, etc, they are creating a host of enemies themselves. It works both ways. And as the Arab world discovers we are not intentionally targeting them, but al Qaeda alone, and as they increasingly become the victims of al Qaeda's violence, they are beginning to turn on them. People are unhappy when we go into towns to root out al Qaeda, but they are more unhappy about how al Qaeda treated them while they were there.
If you would take the time to read this site, you will see I document numerous accounts of this phenomenon.

Our mission is hard enough when guards at Abu Ghraib violate the law and create instant propagande. But when Newsweek and other outlets promote unfactual stories or harp on issues such as Abu Ghraib, it becomes all the more difficult to win the hearts and minds.

Posted by Tim W. at May 18, 2005 2:27 PM ET:


Last time I checked, the Al Queda leadership has been severly disrupted with the majority of its 9/11 leaders dead or in prison. Osama has declared democracy evil so what do the Iraqis do when faced with death...They vote by the millions! Now Al Quedas claim to fame is killing their fellow co-religionists indisriminately in mass numbers, which is earning them so much respect in the Muslim world.!

It is Al Queda who is killing indiscriminately, not the US and the Iraqis know it. Preceision weapons vs. car bombs...who is being indiscriminate? That is why they are turning on Al Queda with a vengance in Iraq.

In short, the US has lured Al Queda out of the mountains of Afganistan into Irag where they are far easier to kill and capture and has manuevered them into a situation where they are kiling their fellow muslims, a strategic and tactical victory.

Have we made mistakes...of course. But I take comfort from the fact that Al Queda is now the biggest killer of muslims worldwide and that part of the muslim world is turning on them.

Posted by GK at May 18, 2005 4:08 PM ET:


One thing - Muslims tend to be people of incredible hypocrisy and double-standards. There have been massive examples of Muslims killing each other in the last 50 years, but the perpetrators get little flak for it. It is only non-Muslims who are condemned for killing Muslims.

Iran-Iraq War 1980-88- 2 million dead
Pakistan/Bangladesh Genocide 1971 - 300K to 1 million dead
Iraq invasion of Kuwait - 1990
Saddam gassing Kurds
Taliban in Afghanistan (killing and persecution of women).
Turks killing Armenians (not sure if they are Muslim), 1915-23 (1 million)

Who has killed more Muslims than anyone else in the last 50 years (possibly ever)? Saddam Hussein. But if a poll was taken across all Muslims in the world of who they hate more, Saddam or the US, sadly, I think the US would be more hated.

Posted by Magnus at May 18, 2005 6:07 PM ET:

Yup. Not worth it.


"Al-quaida has cleverly lured the US over to Iraq, where the US have proceeded to take out a Al-quaida-hostile government, are randomly killing muslims, italians, themselves, and anyone else stupid enough to have to live in the place, and their troops are *much* easier targets than they ever were back in the US, as well as destroying the US economy with the enormous costs of the invasion, the current military presence, and the rebuilding of the country. The US has also lost enormous standing and prestige in the world community by being branded liars and torturers."

Yup... Strategic and tactical victory. Enjoy.


While your analysis certainly includes more facts than mine, I still believe that mine gives a greater understanding of terrorists and how to fight them. If the hydra grows three new heads for each you cut off, then getting a bigger axe is not going to help. You have to change tactics.
The three groups, which you will find mirrored in your own data if you look at it a little closer, have different motivations. This can be exploited.

And the claim that the US is going out of its way not to antagonize the two groups I am 'concerned about'... Well, if that is the pattern you see, then we are obviously living in two different worlds. The very *definition* of a terrorist is someone who can walk around the corner and look just like any normal person. There is no logical way in *hell* that the US military has the capabilities required to sift the shaff from the wheat. All they have is a really, really large axe. Hence the increasing number of hydra-heads.


Posted by GK at May 18, 2005 6:34 PM ET:


It is hard to claim that the Hydra is growing more heads when we have had no other attacks on US soil in 44 months.

Also, how many wars has your country won in the last 100 years? Particularly overseas wars?

No wonder the US provides you with your defense.

Posted by socialism_is_error at May 18, 2005 9:46 PM ET:


You impress less with each post.

In #60, you respond to my question about the three types of terrorists with a trivial description of the general characteristics of any political organization: leadership seeking power to achieve certain ends, a cadre of the faithful who subscribe to those same ends, and a broad mass of supporters who can be deceived/manipulated as necessary into believing that their own aims are being served. It is as if you had hired a hall to announce the earth-shaking fact that fish use gills to breathe.

Then you immediately drift into the safety of generality again, refusing to specify your prescription for dealing with these different types but finding time to wedge in an unsupported slur about "indiscriminate killing".

After Bill made an honest effort to refine the classification of the opposition in this war, you return in #64 to make the ridiculous claim that your text in #60 "gives a greater understanding of terrorists and how to fight them."

Do you even read what you type? You haven't said one single specific thing about how to fight anyone, let alone provided any great understanding of these groups. Safe generalities, again.

At least you are correct in the observation that you live in a different world. You casually stereotype the coalitions efforts as total destruction to Bill ("All they have is a really, really large axe.") while in the response to Tim, you cite "the enormous costs of the invasion, the current military presence, and the rebuilding of the country." [emphasis added]. A bit contradictory, no?

As I observe the fruition of the strategy that you can't or won't understand, evidenced by the increasing instances of Iraqis coming to the coalition for assistance against the terrorists, I arrive at the easy conclusion that those events literally demonstrate that our strategy is working. The credibility represented by such decisions made in life-or-death situations infinitely outweighs your pet armchair theories.

If you won't engage seriously, you will not be treated seriously.

P.S. Your gratuitous comments about the destruction of our economy is total nonsense. We're doing much better than you are, despite the extra loads, as USMC_Vet pointed out in #26.

Posted by Anonymous at May 18, 2005 11:16 PM ET:


You left out Iran gassing Iraqis - unless Iran/Iraq was applied generally. Does the genocide in the Sudan count? It's Arab Muslims killing African Muslims, I think.

A question for all of you. You talk about the "War on Terror" but you also talk about Iraq, as if Iraq has something to do with the War on Terror. The War on Terror is Afghanistan and al Queda. Iraq was something else entirely and not related in any way.

Posted by Magnus at May 19, 2005 4:49 AM ET:


Any political organization. Not something you cannot understand, if only you want to. Not some alien force that you can only destroy by utterly wiping it out.

The difference between Al-Quaida and any other political organization is the *tactics* they use, and the means they are willing to use to reach their ends.

But you want it to be mythological. You want it to be larger-than-life, clash-of-civilizations stuff.

It isn't. That's the point. You are using the wrong tactics. You are trying to suppress an idea with superior firepower. And as long as the idea you are trying to supress is "They are trying to suppress us with superior firepower", your every move increases their crediblity and decreases yours.


Posted by Bill Roggio at May 19, 2005 9:17 AM ET:


I am going to disagree that al Qaeda is like "any political organization". There is an extremely strong ideological componenet to it. Magnus, I strongly suggest you read Inside al Qaeda to understand this organization. Members are carefully selected based on the Islamist purity and commitment to the cause. Every member, from the footsoldiers to the leaders, are fully committed to the cause of creating a Taliban-like Caliphate. This is a clash of civilizations, and if you would take the time to read al Qaeda's releases, training manuals and such you would see this. Al Qaeda is trying to incite the Muslim world to join them.

The hard core al Qaeda fighters must be eliminated. There is no other option, as they cannot be convinced otherwise.

You seem to forget that we have not invaded the entire Middle East, and that we are working with governemnts to change their political systems, open their institutions to the people and hold free elections. Iraq and Afghanistan required one solution, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia require others. I strongly support this, by the way, and have written about the soft approach to the war in the Middle East as well. You seem to think we are only fighting a conventional battle, but this is not the case. Again, I strongly suggest you go through my archives to gain an understanding of my views, as I cannot rehash them all here in the comments section.

I agree with socialism_is_error. You offer generalities without substance. Please explain to me how you think we can split al Qaeda's footsoldiers from the leadership. How can they be turned?

Posted by Magnus at May 19, 2005 11:49 AM ET:

You want specifics and actions that you can take to decrease the pool of recruits for Al-Quaida. The problem is that it is not so much a matter of action as it is of inaction. Of *not* doing certain things. Not stirring muslims up. Not proving Al-Quaida right about you.

Now... If Al-Quaeda is indeed trying to incite the entire muslim world to join them, this obviously means that the rest of the muslim world has not yet joined them. Hence, this is *not* a clash of civilizations. It is a really big version of "Let's you and him fight." That the US has been stupid enough to fall for it is impressive, to say the least.

To translate: Al Quaida is *trying* to get you to fight the rest of the muslim world, thus turning it into a clash of civilizations. It might be wise to ask oneself firstly, why do they want us to do this, and secondly, why the hell are we doing what they want?


Posted by Bill Roggio at May 19, 2005 12:01 PM ET:


We did nothing prior to 9-11, and look what we got. Al qaeda needs to be dismantled, there is no way around that. Using your logic invadig Afghanistan was folly. Now that I know where you stand, it makes perfect sense why you oppose any action. According to your logic, WE (well not you), and not they are responsible for extremism. Doing nothing didn't work. All it did was reinforce their idea that we were weak.

Funny how are actions are not causing a massive influx to al Qaeda's ranks. The ones pouring into Iraq are the usual jihadi suspects as well as some naive hanger ons, who quickly become disallusioned with al Qaeda's methods. See today's post.

Posted by Magnus at May 20, 2005 6:18 AM ET:

Bill, thank you. At least you are trying to be civil. I do appreciate that.

However, I think your definition of 'doing nothing' is quite, quite different from mine. The US had done a great many things prior to 9/11. But the current administration has made a career out of denying responsibility for anything and everything. Unfortunately, your actions have consequences whether you want them to or not. Hiding your head in the sand and lashing out blindly will not help.

If you were seen as weak, they would not have attacked. There would have been no need to. In their world, as in yours, the weak perish.

The attacks had a motive. The motive was to make you attack them, which you could not do without attacking the people among which they hide. And you have played into their hands.

I hope they are wrong. I hope you are right. I hope that you are really doing what you claim you are, and that you will succeed. But if you keep on making grievous mistakes and then blaming the press for telling you that you have egg all over your face... Well, I'm not optimistic.


Posted by Enigma at May 20, 2005 7:22 PM ET:


I agree with you on one point: the motive of the terrorists was to provoke us into attacking them. They were hoping that our retaliatory response would so inflame the Muslim world that we would be overwhelmed and destroyed by the ensuing jihad.

That clearly hasn't happened. Our response has been so precise and so carefully measured that al Qaeda has been unable to stir the Muslim masses as they had intended. Plus, we have inflicted such severe damage on the organization that their operational capability has been severely degraded.

We can debate endlessly whether the US response in Afghanistan and Iraq increased Muslim hatred against us. The fact is, we don't know for sure one way or the other. No one has yet defined a metric that can give us a definitive answer with a high degree of certainty. All we can do at the present is to look at indicators such as the Afghan and Iraqi elections, and the lack of terrorist attacks in the US since 9/11.

You say that we have proven al Qaeda right about us. I disagree. They claimed we were weak, that we were a paper tiger. Well, the paper tiger has claws, and he has roared.

Doing nothing after 9/11 to dismantle al Qaeda would have been the worst option. It would have proven that we were weak, and would have invited further attacks.

You claim that being seen as weak would have discouraged them from attacking us. You are wrong. You do not seem to understand history or human nature. Why do the weak perish? Because they are ignored and left to die? No, they are consummed by those such as who we fight.

Who does the bully down the street pick on: the 500 lb gorilla or the 120 lb weakling? Who do tyrants attack to feed their lust for power: a nation that is weaker than they, or one that is stronger?

You might argue that Islamofascists are different, but I disagree. Look at their record of attacks since 9/11. They have attacked those who are perceived as weak. Who do the jihadists attack the most in Iraq: the highly capable US forces, the less capable Iraqi forces, or defenseless civilians? The terrorists may be insane with hatred for us, but they are not complete fools.