TCS Daily

A Military Strategy, Not a Marketing Strategy

By Arnold Kling - September 20, 2006 12:00 AM

In my response to my essay making the case for staying home in November on Election Day, I received a lot of pushback from voters who believe that the war on Islamic fascism justifies voting for Republicans, despite what one called my "petty concerns" over big government. The most articulate and emotional email came from a military mom, who concluded:

"My 17 year old son proudly wears his uniform...Do you think you can suck it up and take a stand for liberty from the safety of your home?"

I can understand why the military moms are angry with people who want to undermine national security. I can see how she got to the point where she believes that failing to support Republicans will undermine national security. However, I am not at that point -- although often it seems to me that the Democrats are trying harder than Dick Cheney to get me there.

I believe that the way to stand for liberty is to resist fear. Politicians are in the business of marketing fear. In the case of terrorism, the Democrats' marketing strategy focuses on scaring people about President Bush. The Republicans' marketing strategy focuses on scaring people about Islamic fascists.

I believe that the problem of Islamic fascism is real. However, the Republicans' military strategy seems designed to maximize Democratic opposition rather than to win the war. It is a marketing strategy. The rest of this essay will spell out a military strategy instead.

The military strategy that I propose has three components:

    1. Define a specific, achievable mission in Iraq.
    2. Make full use of surveillance and counter-espionage, but with clear lines of accountability and controls.
    3. Identify and if necessary take the war to the madrassas and mosques that teach hatred and breed terrorists.

In each of these three areas, the two political parties are marketing a false dichotomy. On Iraq, the Bush Administration says that we have to support an open-ended mission, with a goal of a stable and democratic Iraq that may not be achievable. On the other hand, the Democrats talk about an arbitrary time deadline.

On surveillance, the Bush Administration wants to exercise maximum power with minimum accountability. The Democrats reflexively oppose providing those powers, but they offer no constructive alternative.

On the problem of terrorist incitement, the Republicans use the term Islamic fascism but fail to identify the Islamic fascists. Meanwhile, the Democrats criticize the Bush Administration for being insensitive and not doing more to "win hearts and minds."

We can achieve victory over Islamic fascism by sticking to the core strategies of Surveillance Supremacy and fighting the Battle of the Mosque. Instead, both parties have consistently marketed unnecessary and unwise expansions of government in the name of national security. For example, politicians call for redoubling efforts in the war on drugs and alternative energy, where we already engage in wasteful, ineffective, and counterproductive enterprises.

The Mission in Iraq

At this point, the mission in Iraq should be limited to training Iraqi soldiers. We should set a specific objective to train a given number of soldiers to a specified level of competency, including a cadre of Iraqi officers. All focus should be on that goal.

In contrast, the broader mission of a stable, democratic Iraq depends on too many factors outside of our control. In particular, it depends on the ability of Iraqis to overcome tribalism and their apparent use of violence as a first resort. If the culture of Iraq cannot sustain a peaceful society, so that the armed force that we train cannot maintain order, then too bad, so sad, but we need to move on. Wherever we send troops, we need to assign them finite, achievable military objectives. In Iraq, this should mean that we train the Iraqi army and then exit, period.

Surveillance Vs. Terrorism

Until recently, most of our leaders tiptoed around the topic of militant Islam and instead referred to this conflict as the "global war on terror." Certainly, it is true that the primary tactic that our enemies use is terrorism.

In an earlier article, Naming Our Enemies, I pointed out that terrorism should be thought of as covert operations. To fight covert operations, we need counter-espionage in general and surveillance in particular. We need a set of rules and institutional processes that allow counter-espionage to work and which also minimize the many potential adverse consequences of counter-espionage for civil liberties.

For over five years, I have been arguing for constructive solutions to the counter-espionage problem. I have made suggestions, such as those in an essay called The Constitution of Surveillance. Instead, this vital issue has been tossed into the "we're the good guy, they're the bad guy" meatgrinder of partisan politics.

Here, I will simply re-iterate that surveillance is the most important military capability for addressing the tactic of terrorism. If our surveillance is effective at identifying and tracking the covert agents of Islamic fascism, particularly as they travel in the United States, then I expect that we can prevent major acts of terrorism on our soil. Even a nuclear-armed Iran could not threaten us if they cannot sneak a bomb into this country. On the other hand, if our surveillance has gaps, then the types of weapons and scenarios that could lead to mass casualties are so varied that a major terrorist hit would seem unavoidable.

Ideological Warfare

Rising above the tactical level, there is the strategic question of how to win the war against Islamic fascism. I share the view of those who regard this as an ideological war. I call it the Battle of the Mosque. The metric that I would use to gauge progress in this war is the number of mosques and madrassas that are preaching warfare and hatred against non-Muslims. When that number shrinks to just a handful around the world, we will have achieved victory at a strategic level.

If Muslim youth were not taught to hate, and Muslim religious followers were not encouraged to kill, then the seemingly "endless supply" of terrorists would dry up. That is why the key to long-run victory is the Battle of the Mosque.

In the Battle of the Mosque, we have not yet taken the first step. That is to identify and publicize in official government publications and web sites those mosques and madrassas that are spreading hatred and inciting terrorism. Our government needs to broadcast to our citizens what our enemies are saying. All Americans, not just the aficionados of MEMRI, should be aware of enemy propaganda and where it is preached.

I would like to see the reaction of "the American street" to Muslim hate speech. Furthermore, I would like to see the reaction of the hate preachers once they see how Americans react to their words. Perhaps just that little dose of reality might change the dynamic in a way that makes Muslims less comfortable with radicalism.

If radical Muslims cannot be induced to tone down their rhetoric by exposing their statements to American audiences, then at least our people will know what we are up against. There will be more support for the sorts of forceful actions that could be necessary to quell Islamic fascism.

I do not think it is our job to come up with a counter-ideology to radical Islam. My focus would be on exposing their ideology, not on winning them over to our ideology. In the ideological war, it might be nice to have more people around the world adopt the best of our ideology; but all we need to do in order to win is weaken those who espouse the worst of Islamist ideology.

Axis of Evil Oversold

As part of its marketing strategy for this year's election, the Republican Party is over-selling the Axis of Evil concept, making it sound as if we will be nuked by Iran next week if our troops leave Iraq. The reality, as I see it, is that the Iranian threat to the United States is not large -- for now.

Even as a threat to Israel, Iran looms less large than it did before the war in Lebanon. Prior to that war, Iran was holding Hezbollah as a sword over Israel. Now, that sword is at least temporarily broken, in spite of a rather desultory performance by Israel's leadership. From a tactical point of view, I would assume that Israel gained a great deal of useful information. My guess is that Hezbollah will not be able to use bunkers as effectively next time -- certainly not the same bunkers. Even the process of re-arming under the nose of UN forces may not go so well this time. The fact that Iran's former President Khatami denied Iran's role in funding Hezbollah could suggest that Iran is more embarrassed than emboldened by its partnership with Hezbollah.

Trying to end state sponsorship of terrorism has potentially high benefits, but it also carries high risks and high costs. Greater leverage appears to be available at a tactical level with surveillance and at a strategic level with fighting the Battle of the Mosque.

For now, I am inclined to resist the pressure to fall in line behind the Republicans in the war on Islamic fascism. I may be wrong, but I want to see a military strategy, not a marketing strategy.

The author is a TCS Daily Contributing Editor.


What you have suggested is
a police strategy, not military stragey.

Any military strategy starts with clearly identifying the enemy (not done yet), his motivation (not done yet), his strategy (not done yet and is not possible without naming him and his motivation) and tactics (done, namely indiscriminate killing, aka terrorism).

What is worse, people are falling over one another to deny what the enemy himslef touted as his motivation.

strategy and tactics
In military usage, a distinction is made between strategy and tactics. Strategy is the utilization, during both peace and war, of all of a nation's forces, through large-scale, long-range planning and development, to ensure security or victory. Tactics deals with the use and deployment of troops in actual combat.

From (emphasis mine)

Do you think not attacking the states that are sponsoring our enemies now - when they are relatively weak - constitutes a good strategy? Do you think the Democrats have ANY long range plan to secure the US of A? The Republicans had some, when Bush attacked Iraq, though it is bungled badly. Still, at least we are in a strategically located piece of earth that is vital for our security.

And do you think Rules of Engagement that prohibit bombing burial grounds is good tactics?

False Premise
"I believe that the problem of Islamic fascism is real. However, the Republicans' military strategy seems designed to maximize Democratic opposition rather than to win the war. It is a marketing strategy. The rest of this essay will spell out a military strategy instead."

If you review the President's speeches since 9/11 I believe they have been remarkably consistent. The goals have been laid out and are being implemented.

What has not been consistent is Democratic support. The Democrats have taken a position that any success in Iraq favors Bush and is to be avoided. A publically divided USA has provided support to our enemies.
Notable Deomocrats have couragously supported Bush like Liberman, Zell Miller, Ed Koch and a few pundits, columnists and talk show hosts. But many continue to prefer party over country.

Democrats have a choice: support the President or not. They have chosen the later and have been paying the political price. And if they persist, the country and our liberty will be paying the price for decades.

False premise, true judgement
Bush has hardly been consistent about Iraq. First we were invading because he had WMDs (WsMD?) and was helping AQ. When both of those turned out to be false (which I think was clear before the invasion), we were getting rid of a generic bad guy and spreading democracy.

Democrats went from supporting the invasion (probably too intimidated by the Republican machine to oppose it) to a more honest evaluation.

The predictions and judgements of the Bush administration have proven false: "weeks rather than months".

I do admissions for a graduate program. We admit less than 15% of our applicants. We judge applicants on their record of previous accomplishment. If someone has failed classes in the past, odds are that he/she will fail again. Bush has been President longer than most kids are in college. It's time to review the Presidential transcript:

Threat evaluation (Iraq): F (blames underlings)
Invasion planning (Iraq): B
Post invasion planning (Iraq): F
Nation building (Iraq): Incomplete
Terrorist huntdown (binLaden): Incomplete
Upholding American values (right to trial): C
World diplomacy (coalition of the willing): C

Your work is reviewed, because if your grasp of world politics and economics is any indication of your competencies in assessing people, your institution is committing both type I and type II errors in its admissions process.

Of course erudite stupidity and rigid orthodoxy in the name of free inquiry are the defining features of the modern academy, along with a collective insatiable fiscal appetite.

With which
of LG's assessments did you disagree?

Any or All
Assertions that reduce complicated, interconnected geopolitical questions to simple letter grades, issued by a private individual based upon personal, subjective and unverifiable criteria.

I especially disagree with the identification of performance elements that are not or should not even be considered in identifying, assessing, and responding to potential threats or situations. "World diplomacy" is merely a nebulous shibboleth and "Upholding American values, (right to trial)" is nonsense, since the rights of war accrue to those who accept responsibilities that are not exhibited when one conducts private war, without a uniform, without allegience to a conentions signatory and without regard for the rules of warfare.

class average
"World diplomacy" is one of the things Bush should be graded on. It's a big part of his job, and not one he's proven particularly good at. His dad was better.

Superheater points out that others also find "Upholding American values" a difficult class. BinLaden flunked, as did the leaders of Syria, Iran, and Egypt. This must be a tough class. American values are special and American leaders should uphold them. If Bush needs special tutoring for this class, he can use Colin Powell, or John McCain, or, heck, his dad.

Read the speeches
If you really care to take a look, read the President's speeches to the UN and to Congress.
And read Congress's resolution.
The threat of WMD was one of many reasons.

Read his speeches on Iraq. They are on the White House web site.

Read the Constitution
The President of the USA takes an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the USA.

There is no oath to world diplomacy.

Bush is living up to his oath.

But liberals don't believe in any oaths anyway so I can understand why you don't appreciate a leader who isn't 'flexible'.

Having US assests surrounding Iran is a pretty good strategy as Iran builds a nuclear weapon.

World Diplomacy
What is it?

You maintain it’s "a big part of his job", please cite reference for that mandate, what constitutional provision or enacted law makes it so.

How is it evaluated?

Why are YOU qualified to evaluate it?

As for the Manchurian McCain, he's long since used up any political credibility due him as a result of his valiant and meritorious service in Vietnam. He's now passing somewhere between Stockholm syndrome and sympathy for the devil and demonstrating his incapacity for the Presidency he so publicly covets. When one starts to believe that one’s own quixotic passions and mercurial temperament (not only in his obsession with this matter, but other matters-incumbency protection, baseball) represent a special force of leadership, its time to quite, not seek higher office.

The idea that the vagaries of the Geneva conventions require us to provide a comfortable detention or that enemies will engage in a restraint born of a perceived duty of reciprocity is ludicrous. McCain's own captivity was not "humane" and represents clear evidence he's wrong. Would any of the non/transnational terrorist organizations be more mindful of international treaties that the NV client of the Soviets would be? It’s ridiculous on its face.

very true
That is what justifies the toppling of Saddam Hussain, though the aftermath could have been planned and executed better, particularly the handling of Al Sadr and his brigade.

There is no escaping the fact that the US HAD to take on the ME regimes sooner or later. And sooner the better, though I think that Bush should have toppled Iranian leaders instead of Iraqi leaders. That would have been orders of magnitude more useful to US security.

It is dangerous to believe - as Arnold seems to - that a nuclear Iran will change its spots.

liberal blindness
There were 23 reasons listed in the war resolution, only one of them had to do with WMDs. (Which btw, have been found, just not in the quantities most intelligence agencies believed to be present.)

being a liberal, it's highly unlikely that someone who doesn't already agree with his
conclusions, is doing the reviewing.

it takes two to tango
In the mind of most liberals, diplomacy involves finding out what the French want, then agreeing to it.

There was no de minimus amount.

The constitution gives the President exclusive authority to negotiate with foreign governments (diplomacy). It's one of the things the constitution says he's supposed to do.

> "But liberals don't believe in any oaths anyway so I
> can understand why you don't appreciate a leader who
> isn't 'flexible'.

And how, precisely, did you come to this gleaming pearl of wisdom?

Clinton lied to his wife, the courts and the American people.

He is lionized by liberals around the country. Since Clinton does not respect any oath, and liberals love him, I presume liberals share Clinton's disdain for oaths.

Has the power, not that he is 'supposed to do'
"He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments."

What the President is supposed to do:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Blair 16 MAR 2003
" PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: Thank you, Jose Maria. Thank you, Jose, for hosting us today. And I think it's just worth returning to the key point, which is our responsibility to uphold the will of the United Nations set out in Resolution 1441 last November. And for four and a half months, now, we've worked hard to get Saddam to cooperate fully, unconditionally, as that resolution demanded.

Even some days ago we were prepared to set out clear tests that allowed us to conclude whether he was cooperating fully or not, with a clear ultimatum to him if he refused to do so. And the reason we approached it in that is that that is what we agreed in Resolution 1441. This was his final opportunity; he had to disarm unconditionally. Serious consequences would follow if he failed to do so.

And this is really the impasse that we have, because some say there should be no ultimatum, no authorization of force in any new U.N. resolution; instead, more discussion in the event of noncompliance. But the truth is that without a credible ultimatum authorizing force in the event of noncompliance, then more discussion is just more delay, with Saddam remaining armed with weapons of mass destruction and continuing a brutal, murderous regime in Iraq.

And this game that he is playing is, frankly, a game that he has played over the last 12 years. Disarmament never happens. But instead, the international community is drawn into some perpetual negotiation, gestures designed to divide the international community, but never real and concrete cooperation leading to disarmament.

And there's not a single person on the Security Council that doubts the fact he is not fully cooperating today. Nobody, even those who disagree with the position that we have outlined, is prepared to say there is full cooperation, as 1441 demanded.

Not a single interview has taken place outside of Iraq, even though 1441 provided for it. Still, no proper production or evidence of the destruction, or, for example, -- just to take one example, the 10,000 liters of anthrax that the inspectors just a week ago said was unaccounted for. And that is why it is so important that the international community, at this time, gives a strong and unified message. "

Strategy vs. tactics used in implementing it
Good thoughts, but you don't know the difference between strategy and tactics. Your recommendations are tactical and are consistent with the present national security strategy of aggressively promoting freedom and democracy whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself to do it successfully instead of the pacifist appeasement of the Clinton years. At this point in time it has not been determined that Iraq is not such an opportunity, although the media would have us think so. Staying at home instead of voting in November on the grounds that the outcome in Iraq isn't clear yet and may fail and the GOP needs to be taught a lesson is the dumbest thing I've ever read on TCS Daily. If you are impatient with our present strategy and tactics and need to know now what the outcome will be in Iraq, put the Democrats in control of Congress--but don't be dismayed that the outcome will most certainly be the self-fulfilling prophecy of a Vietnam-style capitulation to radical Islam, neo-isolationism in world affairs, and a retreat to a defensive military posture while awaiting the next 9/11.

Can isn't Must
The constitution gives the President exclusive authority to negotiate with foreign governments (diplomacy). It's one of the things the constitution says he's supposed to do.

First of all, that power is subject to amount of input from the legislative branch, in for example the Senate's exclusive power to ratify treaties.

In any case having the power to negotiate is NOT a requirement to negotiate. It is also not a requirement to capitulate as the left would like to see occur. The president MAY negotiate, so long as its in OUR best interests, however if the negotiations are not in our best interests-the president is obligated NOT to negotiate.

Wrong strategy, Arnold...
I usually agree with you, Arnold. This time I don't. While I too am dismayed by the GOP's big-spending binge, now is not the time to send a message via a ballot-box boycott. I made that mistake once. Disturbed by Senior Bush's violation of his --"read-my-lips" -- pledge not to raise taxes, I stupidly voted for that jug-head Ross Perot. Mine was a send-'em-a-message vote. I figured Bush would win, but at a much closer margin than otherwise. Instead, I helped elect Clinton...along with Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Baines Johnson, one of the worst presidents of the 20th Century. Not only did we get Clinton and his wife for four years, we got them for eight years, along with all the other baggage they brought to the office. A boycott of the GOP vote this time around will be even more serious. We will elect a party of cowards into office that will capitulate to Islamo-facism at the drop of a hat and sell our future to religious murderers and terrorists. No Arnold, I'm not with you on this one. Count me out of your boycott.

Will the Real Arnold Please Stand Up
In a prior post Arnold stated he was a registered democrat who found "excuses" to vote for the Democrats.

So again, I ask why should Arnold (as a registered member of the opposition) expect any voice in the GOP?

Arnold is NOT a principled libertarian saying "I can no longer cast my lot with the GOP", he's registed as Democrat, votes democrat.

The question is how Democratic is he? Is he a party operative sewing the seeds of discontent?

"can" is "should"
The President is in charge of US diplomacy. Presidents past (including Bush, Sr.) used diplomacy to advance US interests. But Bush, Jr. has the option, under our constitution, of choosing not to do any. That earns him an F for diplomacy. He also has the right under the constitution to propose wildly out of balance budgets. That earns him an F for budgeting.

Just to be fair, he does excel in some things, such as bicycle.

Your Constitution of Surveillance.
Your Constitution of Surveillance assumes that the military does not have the authority to defend the country and engage in surveillance of communications made by our enemies: a false assumption.

The idea of an Audit Agency is theoretically good, but in practice foolhardy! Imagine you are assigned to make sure other people who are doing their best to make sure that others do not doo their job too well. If you do your job too well wouldn't you be providing aid and comfort to our enemies?

Getting there
Some of the criticism is right; the three points are basically tactical. Even though the first instructs us to develop a strategy, Mr Kling's strategic suggestion is to "train troops and move on." A tactic. He is starting to get there by talking about attacking the radical madrasas or Islamic schools. This is crucial. But his tactics for this are far too limited and timid. "Outing" the radicals to enrage the American "street" is sort of verbal tit for tat as I assume he means American public opinion. How much madder can we get? But no matter. So what? These aren't people who give a damn about Harry and Jane of Peoria being mad at them. They celebreate when the towers crash and when their little buddies violate Common Code 3 of the Geneva Convention and behead an American capitive. What this says is, still, 5 years later, and 13 years after the first World Trade Center bombing that we don't have a clue.

"can" is "may"
Just because Bush has not slavishly done everything the French want him to do, you believe that Bush is a failure at diplomacy.

There were several reasons given for attacking Iraq. Regime change in Iraq was the stated policy of Bush I, Clinton and Bush II. It wasn't controversial until the Democrats thought (foolishly) they could gain an electoral advantage by reversing themselves. But you assert Kerry, H. Clinton et al are being honest NOW, huh? Riiiiiight.

false distinction
Dipolmacy, politics, war ...these are all related and inseperable. See Clausewitz or Machiavelli.

and what the French want is either what they are paid for (as in the oil for food pay-offs) or what they are blackmailed into accepting as they are now being blackmailed by the Iranians with threats against their "soldiers" in Lebanon.

various liberal pols were very outspoken in support. Roll the tape!

Good article Mr. Arnold
But it would be foolsih and wrong not to vote Republican. There are only two real choices D or R. The Democrats offer us nothing but death, defeat and dishonor arising from Euroweenie-like cowardice.

I disagree that the axis of evil is overblown. I think Al Qaida without an Afghan safe haven is much less dangerous and I think Iran needs to be smacked down and an Iran with nukes is unacceptable.

I read the "Battle of the mosques" piece. I'm sure you're right this is important nad has been sadly neglected. Our gov. should harass radical Muslims in the US. What can we do about radical madrassas in places like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia? You say they should face arrest or "violence". If the Pakistani or Saudi governments were so inclined, they would have done so long ago. Do you advocate an assisination/bombing campaign directed against our non-state enemies in these countries?

If I were king we would put the screws to Musharraf and if he didn't come around, I'd send 8 or 10 manuever brigades into S. Waziristan next Spring. All civilains who did not run away would be herded into concentration camps as the Brits did in South Africa during the Boer war. The place would be a depopulated free fire zone. That would be a good start. It would give our enemies elsewhere something to think about.

What school do you work for?
I don't want to send my kids there.

Sweden is shifting to the right. The Dutch have shifted to the right. Canada has shifted to the right.

Eastern European countries are working well with the USA.

I don't know what definition you use for diplomacy, but Bush's team appears to be taking stands on issues which socialist dictators don't like. Sort of like the Democrats in Congress.
Negotiation is not capitulation.

Compare the "coalition" Bush Jr. put together for Iraq to that his dad put together. Compare how this effected the achievement of the goals. Jr. could do better at diplomacy.

I don't think there are many socialist dictators left in the world, certainly not in western Europe.

(Included only to return spite. I actually wish your children every success.) Don't worry about your kids. If their teachers as smart as you, there's little danger of them getting in.)

I don't think there are many socialist dictators left in the world, certainly not in western Europe.
"The majority of nations ranked in the bottom fifth are African, with the most of the remainder from
Latin American and former communist states. Botswana’s ranking of 35 is the best among continental
sub-Saharan African nations. Chile, at 20, has the best record in Latin America. The bottom 10 nations
are Zimbabwe, Myanmar, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela, Guinea-
Bissau, Algeria, Burundi, Rwanda, and the Central African Republic. However, a number of other nations
for which data are not available, such as North Korea and Cuba, may have even less economic freedom."

As far as a coalition, our major 'allies' France, Russia and Germany were all making money under the table why would they want to depose Sadaam? Spain did not have the courage even after they were attacked.
Bush has been right on many foreign issues, but countries that oppose US interests are doing so out of fear from terrorists or they are actively opposed to the USA.

Japan is a very active ally since DPRK is planning to test a nuclear weapon soon.

A mixed bag article
Certainly the author makes some strong points such as exposing the American public to the statements of radical Islam so that we are aware of the nature of the Islamic majority or at least what they hear day after day after day. Draw your own conclusions about the moderate Islamic majority.

Withdrawal after a given number of troops are trained is at best questionable. Would we have withdrawn from Germany or Japan after teir armies had reached a certain size but were unable to control or prevent the former regimes from making political come backs? I think not.

Its amazing the author neglects to mention focusing on the support Islamic states still provident the jihaddies and what should be undertaken to stoip this support but also a strategy to deal with our allies who seek to undercut us.

One thing is quite true, the Democrats are waging war on Bush rather than the jihaddies.

Tinfoil Hats Optional Department
What is clear is that of the two suicide cults that confront America today, sycophantic liberalism is by far the more lethal and disgruntles of the two.

Idle mendacity Award for Goody Two Shoes
One is astounded at the squalid psychosis that allows you to pronounce sentence with limited data, incompete grasp of the situation, even greater lack of education and experience. Now aside from resenting being lectured by a disgruntled failure of limited candle power, perhaps you can detail what American values Powell and McCain are trying to uphold?

Could these be treating terrorists who torture and behead American soliders in a fashion that our criminals in the US would envy? Is it an American vlaue to prevent Americans from getting the intelligence they need to stop a possible disaster of Biblical proportions?

You have demonstrated you are trying for the Mullah sycophant award. Keep trying Goody.

There are some people that are born without a moral compass and it is clear you are one of them.

Idle mendacity Award for Goody Two Shoes
One is astounded at the squalid psychosis that allows you to pronounce sentence with limited data, incompete grasp of the situation, even greater lack of education and experience. Now aside from resenting being lectured by a disgruntled failure of limited candle power, perhaps you can detail what American values Powell and McCain are trying to uphold?

Could these be treating terrorists who torture and behead American soliders in a fashion that our criminals in the US would envy? Is it an American vlaue to prevent Americans from getting the intelligence they need to stop a possible disaster of Biblical proportions?

You have demonstrated you are trying for the Mullah sycophant award. Keep trying Goody.

There are some people that are born without a moral compass and it is clear you are one of them.

Well's he's better than those who proclaim "I was a Republican"
You know the trolls who claim to be Republicans till Bush was elected or till they lost their tinfoil hat. These types are usually heard on talk radio and have the same bona fides as Clinton does as a monk.

King has some good points but he is vague on too many points and still pushing a Democrat line.

You're in error about one point
The US government for years has gone to great lengths not to villify or paint the enemy as ogres. If the jihaddies were painted as they are and the American people realized what they were facing do you believe we would have people questioning special detention camps or torture or how we treat jihaddies?

When is the last time you saw a film of the aircraft hitting the pentagon or WTC? When was the last time you saw pictures of people leaping to their deaths from the WTC When is the last time you saw a newspaper of network publish photos of Americans having their heads removed or being tortured? If Americans saw these and had it drummed into their heads perhaps we'd wage war instead of waging an ACLU approved war.

that guy
That guy, the citizen of Canada who was detained in America on faulty intellegence and shipped to Syria. He had not beheaded any soldiers or even spoken ill of Mickey Mouse. Our government agents, yours and mine, had him tortured for years, but it was all a mistake. It doesn't take a Mullah Sycophant to be upset by that.

Bolivia, Venezuela, Cuba
"In December 2005, Bolivians elected Movement Toward Socialism leader Evo MORALES president - "

And Chavez and Castro's politics are well established.

To Be A Democrat…
You have to think like a Democrat. While Arnold Kling is moving along the political spectrum to a more realistic perspective, I believe there’s still a good bit of wishful thinking he needs to address.

A faction of people despise our Western ways and intend to engage in widespread guerrilla action against non-combatants as a means to their intended goal of instituting a more enlightened way of living as defined by Allah (or at least what they believe Allah defined).

But WHY? After 9/11 I heard this a great deal. Why do they hate us?

No big mystery really. Many learned people have covered this ground. The Middle Eastern man is suffering humiliation. He rages against his lack of standing in the modern world. He bitterly resents that without Western technology and knowledge, he wouldn’t even have his present low standard of living.

To the man in the Arab street, Western nations use him as a pawn in the struggle for world dominance. Nations battle each other by proxy using their tremendous material wealth to put one despotic ruler after another in place to subjugate him and his family. They tempt good Muslims to stray from the orderly path that represents goodness and stability, encouraging women to abandon their homes, they bring their debased popular culture to pollute the minds of children, and, perhaps most importantly, they promote competing religions to keep the Muslim man from maintaining the one coherent comfort in his chaotic, impoverished life. The mosques and madrassas are a SYMPTOM of the problem, not THE problem.

Does Arnold believe that training some Iraqis to act like policemen will solve ANY of those issues? What is the one call that the police despise hearing? Domestic Disturbance. No matter how a cop approaches the problem, he becomes a part of it. If he sides with the husband, the wife complains that she is vulnerable to future beatings. If he sides with the wife and takes the husband away, she complains that he is abusing her beloved. They should both go to jail in adjoining cells and remain there until they learn not to disturb the peace. But we can’t do that yet in the Middle East. We have to first show them the value of a happy marriage.

We’re not in Iraq just to round up the baddies and haul their gritty behinds off to the hoosegow. We’re showing the Eastern man what the real Western mindset is all about: promotion. We promote law and order. We promote infrastructure. We promote peace and stability. We promote real liberalism where speaking your mind isn’t cause for weapon use. The Internet is a great way to see concretely how the Iraqis respond to this. We have the world’s greatest diplomats paving the way right now, in some cases, literally.

We’ve won a couple of world wars already. But how many YEARS after armed conflict did it take to rebuild and stabilize the world?

We’re going to slap a few Iraqi cops on every corner and come on home to peace and prosperity once more? The idea that we can engage in some kind of “checks and balances” system of widespread surveillance safely because “what goes around, comes around” is simply ludicrous. Ordinary people are busy being productive, happy (mostly), stable Americans. Losers have all kinds of time to engage in spying and believe that their superior intellect will spare them from suffering in kind (remember which demographic is considered the most tech savvy). We’re going to struggle for decades to decide on privacy vs. public “need to know” issues. But while we’re all arguing about it, the seething masses are already moving on us. The ability to terrorize does not require anthrax or suitcase nukes and we know it.

Deal with them there or fight them here. Just two choices, Arnold.

Not sure what my error is
I think I said we are too timid in going after the schools. But ACLU or no, I doubt they care what we think (other than to be so disgusted we get out) and I doubt that if we Americans got more angry that much would happen. I think Pres Clinton had it right on NPR this AM. He said that if we have a top level al queda and we know he knows about imminent acts, we should torture and not expect legal action. We let go hundreds of folks from Guantanamo, many of whom were innocent. Should we have tortured them on circmstantial evidence? What about that Canadian software developer who was captured, deported and tortured, then found to be innocent. Sometimes being mad impairs being smart.

you assume that the rest of the world is unchanged
There were big differences between the France and Germany of 1990, and the France and Germany of 2003.
For example, before the first Gulf War, France and Germany weren't making tons of money in bribes and illegal trade with Iraq. In 2003, they were.

As to what you think is intelligent, it's been shown many times to be incorrect.

How can that be?
LG is one of the smartest people on the planet.
He's a liberal, so it must be true.

I'm waiting for LG to get upset about the people who are tortured and killed by muslims.

As always, LG's indignation is reserved for the US and anything the US does.

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