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Edwards: War on Terror a bumper sticker
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, May 23, 2007

This man would be your president:
Democrat John Edwards Wednesday repudiated the notion that there is a "global war on terror," calling it an ideological doctrine advanced by the Bush administration that has strained American military resources and emboldened terrorists.

In a defense policy speech he planned to deliver at the Council on Foreign Relations, Edwards called the war on terror a "bumper sticker" slogan Bush had used to justify everything from abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison to the invasion of Iraq.

"We need a post-Bush, post-9/11, post-Iraq military that is mission focused on protecting Americans from 21st century threats, not misused for discredited ideological purposes," Edwards said in remarks prepared for delivery. "By framing this as a war, we have walked right into the trap the terrorists have set—that we are engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations and a war on Islam."
A quick point - who ever tried to 'justify' Abu Ghraib?

Anyone?

Let's concentrate on the Edwards premise:

The ""global war on terror," is an ideological doctrine."

Really? So Edwards is arguing that the fight against terrorism (or more correctly, terrorists) forms the basis of a political system?

Look, we all recognize that the "war on terror" isn't the best name in the world for what we're engaged in. But an "ideological doctrine". My goodness.

Of course you have to sell that to be able to sell the idea that we need to 'get beyond that'.

In fact, Edwards said:
We need a post-Bush, post-9/11, post-Iraq military that is mission focused on protecting Americans from 21st century threats, not misused for discredited ideological purposes.
Now he could have just as easily said, "we need a military which is revamped and focused on the enemies we're likely to encounter in the 21st century" and I'd have agreed. Lord knows I've been preaching that for quite some time.

But here's the rub ... the enemy we're being challenged with isn't a "post 9/11" enemy, but instead precisely what we saw on 9/11. And if anyone is ideologically driven, it is that enemy.

Self-defense, otoh, isn't an ideology, it's a survival right.

Then to put the cherry on the top of the stupidity sundae, Edwards says:
"By framing this as a war, we have walked right into the trap the terrorists have set—that we are engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations and a war on Islam."
Terrorists? Terrorists are out there setting traps?

I thought this was all a result of a "bumper sticker" ideology which was driving the rationalization of everything from abuses to invasions. No? There really are terrorists out there? And they actually are attacking us around the globe?

So, uh, what, Mr. Edwards, to borrow your words, should that "post-Iraq military that is mission focused on protecting Americans from 21st century threats" be focusing on, pray tell?

Trust me ... he has absolutely no idea.
"Leading the military out of the wreckage left by the poor civilian leadership of this administration will be the single most important duty of the next commander in chief," Edwards said.
Well heaven help us all but if that's true, let's hope that person isn't you. Because sir, you haven't a clue (although I'm sure he could try to buy one, you know, using his next fee he collects speaking about poverty or the like).
 
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It’s interesting to compare what Edwards says today to what he said in this video.

(via Hot Air)
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
A quick point - who ever tried to ’justify’ Abu Ghraib?
I believe my wording at the time was "F*ck them. They released a video of them sawing a guy’s head off, complete with audio. F*ck them in the ear..."

Here’s a counter-question: "Do you recall hearing about any people being abducted in Iraq/Afghanistan for at least 2 or 3 weeks after Abu was reported about?"

Though I suppose my response to Abu Ghraib wasn’t so much justifying it, and not caring at all about the prisoners...

*shrugs* Sorry... There’s not a whole lot that gets me to cease all caring about a significant number of people, and what the "insurgants" (lets be honest, they were terrorists) did was on that list...

Then again, when it comes to torture, I’m pretty permissive too... If hooking a car battery to the testicals of some terrorist might result in intel that will save american military/civillian lives, I have two things to say...

Red is positive, black is negative...
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
A quick point - who ever tried to ’justify’ Abu Ghraib?
Everyone that has said, "I’m not justifying Abu Ghraib, BUT...."
"By framing this as a war, we have walked right into the trap the terrorists have set-that we are engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations and a war on Islam."
Terrorists? Terrorists are out there setting traps?

I thought this was all a result of a "bumper sticker" ideology which was driving the rationalization of everything from abuses to invasions. No? There really are terrorists out there? And they actually are attacking us around the globe?
I think you are missing Edwards point. Edwards comments have nothing to so with the terrorists, they have everything to do with the politicization of our response to the terrorists.

I remember when John Kerry was ridiculed for suggesting that our reaction needs to be sensitive. Dick Cheney mocked him by wondering aloud how you fight a sensitive war.

The answer, and Edwards’ point, is that you react to the terrorists by finding them and killing them, by giving them no ground to go to, and by bringing the entire globe into the anti-terrorist camp. You accomplish these things by using law enforcement techniques to find the terrorists and if need be, special ops techniques to kill them.

What you don’t do is lump everything under the political sun as part of the "WOT".

What you don’t do is give al Qaeda a recruiting poster by executing an unprovoked invasion on a Muslim nation that had not attacked us.

We DO need to fight a sensitive war, because the over top methods we have been using is filling the terrorist ranks faster than we can deplete them, and THAT is LOSING the war on terror.

Read his statements again and consider that he is talking about the current governments political use of the war on terror, and he is not talking about the terrorists, except to the extent that he mentions that our policy is working right into their hands, if the terrorists had a wish list, many of the actions that the administration has taken would be on it.

Iraq War - deposing secular corrupt dictator and opening up the country to being run by Islamic Fundamentalists - Done

Saudi Arabia - Close the bin Sultan airbase - Done

They hate our freedoms - so eliminate some of them









 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
There is no war on terror, you can’t make war on a strategy.

There needs to be effective counter-terrorism. The metaphor of war is misplaced, and causes a lot of mushy thinking.

And, of course, Scott above is assuming the guilt of all just because they were in prison. That’s the problem of assigning collective guilt rather than judging individuals, the same error he makes in attacking "the Palestinians." That kind of thinking is anti-American.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Read his statements again and consider that he is talking about the current governments political use of the war on terror, and he is not talking about the terrorists, except to the extent that he mentions that our policy is working right into their hands, if the terrorists had a wish list, many of the actions that the administration has taken would be on it.
When you wage war, politics is always a part of that and anyone that doesn’t realize that or understand it is either hopelessly naive or simply doesn’t understand the nature of war.

Edwards hasn’t a clue of who the true enemy is or how to address that enemy. And that is very obvious in his remarks. But what he does have is a lawyers knack for saying things which make great sound bites but don’t mean anything. And he also enjoys the responsibility-free position of being able to criticize and suggest without ever having to actually do anything for real.

This enemy isn’t at all concerned about our policies. They’re going to strike whether we have a perfect policy or a lousy one. They’re not interested in talks, negotiations, or parleys. There isn’t a single thing we could give them as a concession except total and unconditional surrender that they have any interest in. They’re interested in conquest, total conquest and by any means necessary. They are the crew driven by ideology.

So given that, you tell me Cap, how our military should be focused for this real and happening 21st century enemy we’re faced with now, because it is obvious Edwards hasn’t a clue. Thankfully, being a politician, that doesn’t stop him from opening his mouth and demonstrating it ... and that’s the point of the post.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Erb and Sarcastic - the extent to which you ping back and forth between literal and non-literal interpretation exactly when you need it is amazing. The amazing part is that you don’t burst into flames from the friction of the internal inconsistency.

Cases in point:

Sarcastic will tell us not to read Edward’s words literally (this time) but turn around and use the word ’sensitive’ with no teather whatsoever.

Erb points out there is literally no war on terror which must come as a relief to all of us who have been thinking this was a war on a tactic.

You can have it both ways gents, but no "thinking person" will take you seriously.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
John Edwards’ attitude about the war on terror changed ever since that kid asked him if he would investigate the WTC 7 collapse. The Senator appears to have uncovered the Zionist conspiracy behind it all.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
Not to nitpick, because I agree with you, but I believe I did actually hear Ann Coulter justifying Abu Ghraib.
 
Written By: kyleN
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Not to nitpick, because I agree with you, but I believe I did actually hear Ann Coulter justifying Abu Ghraib.
Well I was thinking more of the Bush administration since that’s who Edwards is taking to task about all of this.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I don’t think I tried to justify it but I did offer my explanation for Abu Ghraib—and I’m not convinced I’m right. I worked in a maximum security prison. I know the kind of stuff that goes on during mid shift. We had a black inmate transfer to our institution because at his last one some of the staff dressed up in a sheet as a KKK and banged on his cell door in the middle of the night. He had a law suit against the state. To suggest that higher ups knew or encouraged such behavior is ludicrous. Although if it is a continuing problem (such as Abu Ghraib) then there are some supervisors that are seriously derelict in their duties.
I think a lot of people thought that an attempted explanation was an attempt to justify it. I wanted an explanation but I also wanted those responsible severely disciplined.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
The fact that the abusers at Abu Ghraib also made videos of the sex they were having amongst themselves (funny the defense lawyers didn’t leak those photos) should clue people in that they weren’t under orders from Rummy or Bush to do the things they did.

Now, was there a lack of oversight? Definitely. But it shouldn’t have been front page news for six months. Unless you believe that showing startling sadistic photos of butt pyramids is news in itself.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Edwards plan(???)...
“What we need is not more slogans but a comprehensive strategy to deal with the complex challenge of both delivering justice and being just."

"We will need imagination and courage to imagine great possibilities, to create a world where terrorism belongs to the past."

"Edwards believes military force is justified to protect our vital national interests; to respond to acts of aggression by other nations and non-state actors; to protect treaty allies and alliance commitments; to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons; and to prevent or stop genocide."

"As president, Edwards will institute regular, on-on-one meetings with top military leadership."

"As president, Edwards will launch a comprehensive, tough review of fraud, waste, and abuse, such as missile defense and offensive space-based weapons, that are costly and unlikely to work."

"The force structure of our military should match its mission. our forces are not equipped to meet the challenges of stabilizing weak states. Civilians and experienced government employees need to be involved in stabilizing states with weak governments, and providing humanitarian assistance where disasters have struck."

"Ensuring national security requires more than the exercise of raw power. Fighting global warming will also protect our security interests — a recent report authored by a group of top military leaders said that, if unchecked, global warming could lead to civil strife, genocide, and increased terrorism. Solving global poverty is a moral imperative, but it is also a security issue — global poverty increases the risk to America by providing a safe harbor for instability, extremism, and terrorism. Living up to our American ideals by protecting basic freedoms will help us avoid actions that give terrorists or even other nations an excuse to abandon international law."
So, if stopping genocide and stabilizing weak states is in our national interests, then I assume, that once Edwards pulls our troops out of Iraq, he will be prepared to send them back in after several months, once the ’civil war’ devolves into pure genocide, and further weakens Iraq’s government...

And I suppose to many people have lost sight that we do have, and are following a strategy in our "Global War on Terror," aka the long war, aka the War Against Islamofascism.
Today, we face a global terrorist movement and must confront the radical ideology that justifies the use of violence against innocents in the name of religion. As laid out in this strategy, to win the War on Terror, we will:

* Advance effective democracies as the long–term antidote to the ideology of terrorism;
* Prevent attacks by terrorist networks;
* Deny terrorists the support and sanctuary of rogue states;
* Deny terrorists control of any nation they would use as a base and launching pad for terror; and
* Lay the foundations and build the institutions and structures we need to carry the fight forward against terror and help ensure our ultimate success.
But of course, when the President says that Iraq is the central front in the GWOT, what he’s not saying is there are other areas of operation in which we are engaged. Economic, Diplomatic, Cultural, Political, and Military. Those are all fronts which have activity occurring somewhere around the globe. All the time. It is simplistic to think that we are only engaging terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now, to be fair, there are some things which Edwards gets right. But, there are many that simply make it sound like he’s chopped up the position papers of several advisor’s and spewed out what sounded like it would get him votes.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
I prefer to call it "The War on Those Who Consistently Use Tactics Outlawed by The Geneva Conventions and All International Law in an Effort to Forcibly Convert Everyone in the World to Islam," but that’s a little unwieldy, and TWoTWCUTObTGCaAILiaEtFC doesn’t easily reduce to a verbal usage.

How about we dump both my suggestion and GWOT and call it "The War on Those Islamic *ssholes?"
 
Written By: JorgXMcKie
URL: http://
Capt, One word says it all "react". All the presidents before 9/11 chose to react and where did that get us.

Oh and Scott how can such a shallow thinker gravitate to the job of college professor. Your hyperbolic conjecture is mundane at best. Your post are worthless because they are based on such a completely blind ideological stand! A would be great if just like B because I supported A but B just can’t because B doesn’t understand. You type drivel (It is just so frustrating)! It like wasting Internet.
 
Written By: coaster
URL: http://
This enemy isn’t at all concerned about our policies. They’re going to strike whether we have a perfect policy or a lousy one. They’re not interested in talks, negotiations, or parleys.

Gee, then I guess we might as well go ahead and withdraw from Iraq, huh? Because the terrorists are utterly blind to changes in our policy, right? and going to attack us either way? Speaking of having it both ways, Q?

Your total lack of a response to Cap Sarcastic was a low point, Bruce.


The answer, and Edwards’ point, is that you react to the terrorists by finding them and killing them, by giving them no ground to go to, and by bringing the entire globe into the anti-terrorist camp. You accomplish these things by using law enforcement techniques to find the terrorists and if need be, special ops techniques to kill them.

What you don’t do is lump everything under the political sun as part of the "WOT".

What you don’t do is give al Qaeda a recruiting poster by executing an unprovoked invasion on a Muslim nation that had not attacked us.

We DO need to fight a sensitive war, because the over top methods we have been using is filling the terrorist ranks faster than we can deplete them, and THAT is LOSING the war on terror.


That was Cap’s point. That was Edwards’ point. I guess, to the extent I can make something coherent our of your remarks, you’re denying that Edwards was, in fact, making that point. But you don’t have a leg to stand on. You’re making it up.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
We DO need to fight a sensitive war, because the over top methods we have been using is filling the terrorist ranks faster than we can deplete them ...

Let’s say, arguendo, that this is true (though you’ve produced no numbers to support such a claim and your ’over the top’ characterization is debatable). The islamofascists had zero trouble recruiting when the big draw was being able to bloody the Great Satan’s nose time and again with impunity, and they had the further advantage of a depletion factor of zero. Now the depletion factor is rather more than zero, and eating into a higher concentration of the hot-headed moron demographic. Nowhere in Edwards’ remarks is advanced a strategy that will alter recruitment-to-depletion ratio in any way other than toward the worse for us. In fact, nowhere in Edwards’ remarks is a strategy advanced at all, just a bunch of ABB bumper-sticker maundering.
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
We DO need to fight a sensitive war, because the over top methods we have been using is filling the terrorist ranks faster than we can deplete them, and THAT is LOSING the war on terror.
And what "over top methods" are you talking about?
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com/
You accomplish these things by using law enforcement techniques to find the terrorists and if need be, special ops techniques to kill them.
And who exactly is tasked with performing these "law enforcement techniques?"

The CIA

The FBI

The DIA

And, sorry to say, but law enforcement techniques are generally good at discovering who committed a particular crime. They aren’t all that good at preventing crime.
and by bringing the entire globe into the anti-terrorist camp.
I think the 70 nations we currently work with in our combat against terrorism is better then some hypothetical, "entire globe." Especially since the UN can’t make up it’s mind what a "terrorist" actually is. And also considering that there are a number of states which support terrorism, either directly, or indirectly by looking the other way.

Again, short-sighted people seem to forget that, just because the President says that Iraq is the central front in the GWOT, that it, and Afghanistan, are the only fronts. Those sorts of people really need to educate themselves on what else is happening. It’s all available on-line somewhere...
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com/
So interesting site, thanks!
 
Written By: Alfonso
URL: http://www.google.com/

 
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