terrorism

Washingtonpost.com:

Apparently coordinated terrorist explosions rocked Brussels Airport and a metro station Tuesday, leaving at least 26 dead and raising fears that attackers carried out retaliatory strikes after the arrest of a key suspect in last year’s Paris massacres.

The full casualty count remained unclear hours after the attacks, but various Belgian reports and officials said it reached at least 26.

“We are talking about scores of dead,” said Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel without giving clearer estimates after blasts brought down roof panels at the airport’s departure hall and an explosion on the Maelbeek metro platform shrouded it in smoke and littered it with debris.

The death toll is now at 26 with many others wounded.   The Belgium terror alert has been raised to maximum level.  Bad deja vu.  The news continues and will continue throughout the day.

How does any country or locality prevent these kinds of attacks.  You can’t be everywhere.    In the wee hours of the morning when I first heard this news, I couldn’t make out where the terrorism had happened.  I just knew somewhere. (I was too tired and lazy to give it my full attention.)   It could have been anywhere.  The story doesn’t change.  Just the location.  Terrorism seems to be spreading around Europe.

42 thoughts on “Terrorist attack in Brussels 3/22/16

  1. punchak

    Revenge !!!
    An eye for an eye …
    Tragic~

  2. Steve Thomas

    This “low-intensity conflict” (that is the military term used to describe terrorism and insurgency) will continue until the targets of these attacks decide to set aside the half-measures being used, and adopt a “total war” posture. The biggest mistake I see is treating this as an issue for law-enforcement.

    Law enforcement is capable of and perfectly suited for dealing with the “lone wolves”. For the organized groups, it will take the various national intelligence organs and the combined militaries to destroy this threat. Not just a few of the western nations committing large or token forces, as we saw in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will take a global effort along the lines of WW2. Perhaps not in terms of life and material, but it will take the same kind of “will” and intentional purpose. During this period, we were willing to fire-bomb entire cities, just to degrade our enemy’s ability to wage war, and his will to do so.

    But we won’t. That kind of determination died with the “Greatest Generation”. The West has become soft, too wrapped up in comfort and political correctness. Our leaders will make speeches “condemning these acts in the strongest terms”, and we will go back to our smart-phones, sports, and pop-culture. We will continue to view these acts as “horrifying and detestable, yet mere pin-pricks in the over-all scheme of things”.

    And the attacks will continue. We will be horrified for a time, raise our personal awareness levels for a bit, but then we will revert to our normalcy bias.

    Clausewitz posited that “War is the continuation of politics, by other means”. He also wisely surmised that in order to be victorious, a people require 2 things: The Will, and the Means. If a people lack either of the two, victory cannot be achieved. Even if a people possess both, the enemy can and will strike at one or both. He doesn’t have to physically destroy you, in order to win.

    During WW2, the allies were willing to attack both of these simultaneously. They firebombed the cites of Germany and Japan, destroying the factories and the workers (the means). At the same time, they targeted the Will of both populations, as civilian deaths were deemed acceptable. When conventional bombing wasn’t sufficient to break the Japanese will to fight, we dropped two atomic bombs. As terrible as this may seem, it resulted in the end of the war, and actually saved the lives that would have been lost on both sides, had we been forced to invade. Truman showed tremendous courage in giving the order, knowing that the world may have judged the American people harshly. He demonstrated the power of “will and means”.

    The organized Islamic terror organizations understand this as well. They lack the means to destroy our means to fight. However, they possess the means to target our will to fight. With each successful attack, we become a little bit more unsettled. “Death by a thousand cuts”. Exhaust the will of the infidel. Infiltrate their societies. Keep them off-balance. The infidels have the means to destroy the terror groups, but they lack the will. If they had the will, they would have destroyed the terrorists already. Instead, they set about toppling strong-men who kept the radicals in check. They tried to “democratize” peoples who have no history of democracy.

    Do I think the terrorists will ultimately be successful? No. They may have the “will”, but they lack the “means” to do more than target civilians, and even in this area, only on a limited scale. So, if we lack the “will” to destroy them, and they lack the “means” to destroy us, this war the West refuses to acknowledge as a war, will continue for as long as I care to look into the future.

    1. Funny, I was just thinking the same thing about will and means. I have been watching several series on WWII. (Apocalypse and Colour) I was watching originally to watch Hitler come in to power. I felt I needed a reminder. Then I got sidetracked on to other things.

      This country has never had an actual invasion in modern times. We didn’t suffer what Europe (the civilians) suffered. Those of us who came after that war were let down by the Greatest Generation. Perhaps not enough ass kicking. Maybe they just wanted to return to normalcy also.

      I am just gasping at the staggering numbers of people dead from that war. It makes our 400,000 seem pretty paltry. Our deaths were also mostly military deaths. Not so the people of Europe. Their civilian populations were hit pretty hard also, especially Poland, Russian, Germany, et al. I leave out the decimation of civilians in Japan and China only because they aren’t Europe.

      I knew these numbers–it just isn’t something you get used to. I don’t think they had choices. It was do or die. Americans had a little more choice. We also didn’t live under a dictatorship like so many Europeans did.

      So what to do. I can’t watch those American internment camps without wincing. I don’t think I will ever be able to suck those up and make any excuses. Those were just wrong. The A bomb I struggle with. On the other hand, how much worse was it than being napalmed to death in firebombing? What does it for me is asking myself the question: what would have become of my father in WWII. He was on the west coast. That should have been a big clue. I might not be here if it wasn’t for that bomb. That settles the question for me.

      Tough times ahead and I see no easy answers. I think one of our biggest strengths as a country is that we don’t have a society that has forced Muslims into a corner. Europe does. I am going to stop on that note, lest my thoughts bleed into another arena.

  3. Pat.Herve

    Where is the declaration of War from Congress – just sound bites.
    Where is the AUMF to fight ISIS with real money and commitment – just sound bites.
    Where is the unity to join together to go fight an enemy – stuck in a political power abyss.
    Where is the will of the American People to fight an enemy – stuck in ambivalence as our past actions have shown that we pick and choose who to go after, while not going after the real source of problems. We went into Iraq and allowed Iran to build up its forces. We destabilized the entire middle east (again) with no long term plan on how to stabilize it. We do not go after Saudi Arabia which supports more terrorism than Iran, Pakistan and Palestine combined. We go into Afghanistan, yet let Pakistan breed terror – and fund it.

    Obama has made good use of drone programs, keeping our military safely out of the zone – and gets bashed for it. He takes out a radical (who renounced his US Citizenship) and gets tar and feathered for it. He takes out Jihadi John and is told he is not doing enough. He got Bin Laden (by going into Pakistan, something McCain said he would not do) and is given little credit for a monumental decision. Rand Paul prevents the NSA from tracking meta data and is held up high – as is Snowden where some think he is still a whistle blower. Congress ties hands and then grand stands when nothing is done. Did Congress ever deny an AUMF to Bush or Reagan?

    We are not serious about going after ISIS. There is too much political gain by sitting on the sidelines. We have no leaders left – just greedy power brokers.

    1. Excellent analysis, Pat. You encapsulated the issue.

  4. Steve Thomas

    @MoonHowler
    “Those of us who came after that war were let down by the Greatest Generation. Perhaps not enough ass kicking. Maybe they just wanted to return to normalcy also.’

    I think they did. The greatest generation (and I include those on the home-front) experienced the Depression, and the horrors of war. They wanted to focus on life, and they wanted only the best for their children. Maybe they went a bit too far, coddled them a bit too much.

    I was blessed to have a very close relationship with my Grandfather. Bartholomew went to war. He didn’t have to. He had 5 kids and was beyond draft age. He went because he was a patriot, who loved his adopted country. Ariel took care of the kids, and worked in a factory manufacturing anti-aircraft guns. My grandfather’s General Quarters station was the forward AA battery on his ship, and it bore the stamp of the Watertown Arsenal. Ariel worked at the Watertown Arsenal. He’d tell his shipmates “We’ll be fine. Ariel made this gun”

    Donny and Marilyn, the oldest, barely in their teens, took care of the younger kids, my mom being the youngest. Bart came home, having served on a Tank Landing Ship at Sicily and Normandy. He became a letter-carrier for the USPS. All of his sons went on to serve. Some in Korea. Some in Vietnam.

    I was close to him, living below him in a two-family over&under, so common in Boston. Of my generation (42 cousins) I am the only one who served in the military. I’ve often wondered why this was, that of the 20+ males of my generation, I was the only one who served. Don’t get me wrong, many of my male cousins went on to be firefighters (a family tradition) or police officers.

    The idea of “service” was passed on, but the idea of National Defense ended with me. Something was lost during the Boomer years, and didn’t carry over to the X-ers on Millennials in my family…and with it went the will to fight. I attribute this to my being raised primarily by my grandparents, both ardent patriots. They knew that during extraordinary times, ordinary people must rise to do extraordinary things. Hard things. Dirty things. They are willing to do this, to preserve our way of life. Bart went to war because while he had a choice, the choice was clear. Ariel left her kids and went to work to make sure Bart had what he needed to do those hard, dirty things. Donny and May-May sacrificed their childhoods taking care of three kids and running a household. They did this, because they had to.

    After the war, Bart and Ariel had 5 more kids. They built a great life, and a great legacy. However, while the idea of “service” was passed down, the idea of “sacrifice” was lost, and in looking at the current state of our country, it would appear this dynamic was wide-spread. Now, there is a segment of our society who answered the call, and are still “standing too”, today, but they are 2% of our population. Think about that. I do, and it discourages me. With all of the threats facing us today, we lack the intestinal fortitude to confront them in a meaningful, lasting way. I am beyond ranting and commiserating, and have fallen back to the only redoubt left: prayer. I pray that people come to understand that Democrat or Republican, Christian/Jew/Muslim/Other/Atheist, Pro-life/Pro-choice, Yankees/Redsox…Jihadis hate all of us, and would not hesitate to kill all of us. They only lack the means. We could destroy them in a matter of weeks…but we lack the will.

    1. A wonderful snapshot of Ariel and Bart!!! What neat memories you have. They are lucky to have you keep their memory and sacrifice alive.

      Last fall I went to see my cousin who has a beautiful home down around Mt Crawford. She and her husband have lived overseas most of her adult life. We grew up together but rarely see each other now. We talked of many things during my afternoon visit but the central character who kept coming up was our grandmother, TaTa. (She lived to be 105 and was quite a character) After I got home, I emailed Kath, thanking her for the enjoyable afternoon and mentioned how many times our conversation turned to TaTa. Her response: They say that you live on earth as long as there is one person alive who remembers you.

      What a great thought. I am sure the “they” were those who came before us.

      Thank you Steve, for sharing.

  5. Steve Thomas

    @Pat.Herve
    Pat,

    Not a lot of disagreement here. I don’t see this lack of will as a partisan issue. I see it as a generational/cultural one.

    We’ve lost something, we Americans. Look at our common history. We are a people who (thankfully) are slow to anger, but we are (historically) very good at fighting. We used to have the stomach for fights which legitimately threatened our way of life. I think the current threat qualifies.

    I entered the USMC at age 18, and left when I was 32. For 14 years, I lived amongst warriors. The I get out, and get reacquainted with the civilian-world. I saw weakness. At first I thought it was just me, mistaking “meekness” for “weakness”, but I have come to realize that we have lost the “fire” as a nation. Rome was once the most powerful entity on earth. They lost the fire too. Great Britain was once the most powerful nation on earth…now look at them.

    This war with radical Islam will not go away if we ignore it. You correctly identified the scope of the problem. We have one choice: confront and destroy it, wherever it exists, or let it slowly destroy us. We won’t. We are too busy fighting over insignificant things.

  6. Starryflights

    @Steve Thomas
    Clausewitz’ theories were based on the nation-state acting as a political entity. His theories were based on the Napleonic wars. They don’t take into account insurrections, rebellions, terrorism and asymmetrical non-state combatants motivated by religious extremism.

    Thoughts and prayers to the people of Belgium

  7. Pat.Herve

    Steve Thomas :
    @Pat.Herve
    We are too busy fighting over insignificant things.

    150% +1 – many of them self imposed things that we call problems.

  8. Steve Thomas

    Starryflights :
    @Steve Thomas
    Clausewitz’ theories were based on the nation-state acting as a political entity. His theories were based on the Napleonic wars. They don’t take into account insurrections, rebellions, terrorism and asymmetrical non-state combatants motivated by religious extremism.
    Thoughts and prayers to the people of Belgium

    Starry,
    I am well aware of the period and context in which Clausewitz constructed On War. Does this make his thoughts any less relevant? Giap understood the will and means, when he directed the Viet Congs actions at Tet. And ISIS is certainly acting like a nation state, albeit a hostile one. Also, we cannot ignore the fact that many of these organizations have state sponsors.

  9. Cargosquid

    This is a religious war.
    It is the Islamists against everyone else. And this includes all the Muslims that accept the Islamists among them. They hear the Islamists imams….and yet still attend that mosque. They do not actively go after people that they know are “radicals.” And that’s just in the West. Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran… all support the radicals for their own purposes. They cannot go after the “fundamentalist Islamists” without causing a discussion about the validity of the Koran. ALL of the Koran is supposed to be equally valid and the Islamists use it to justify their religious and political actions.

    If the people in the areas where the terror originates, those that fight against them will be forced to take drastic actions. If you cannot identify the enemy among the crowd, you are relegated to using the common identifying elements. And such actions against innocent Muslims will drive them to the enemy since they will feel that they have nothing to lose….thus….they need to be very identifiable as allies of civilization and not barbarianism.

    The West is not ignoring the threat. They are frozen. Without a verifiable target…they don’t want to overreact. And for some reason…the West is fine with ISIS attacking Assad and Iraq. I think much of the West is hamstrung by political correctness and by fear….fear that this will spiral into a hot war. We are fighting a philosophy. Just like WWII. Nazism and Japanese Fascism were ideologies. And the only way to stop those ideologies was to kill enough of them to make the rest realize that ascribing to such philosophies was a death sentence.

    And the West does not have the stomach for that fight.

    1. Yet, there are places in Germany where people who are still Nazis live. They admit to it very matter of factly.

      Many non-radicalized Muslims don’t do anything because they don’t want their family members tortured and killed by zealots. It’s safer to keep your eyes averted and move on.

      Yet, many people have come forwards, especially parents whose children have been radicalized.

  10. Kelly_3406

    The argument that only 2% serving in the military indicates a weak society is specious. The draft is gone and the size of the military is governed by law. There are many people who have tried to join but were unable to do so due to failure to meet standards (i.e. overweight or some medical condition). The standards are still very high.

    I have had the privilege of serving recently with real warriors. The current generation of military is composed of battle-tested veterans who have deployed multiple times and excelled in every condition imaginable. They are as good or better than any force that the US has ever fielded. The only problem is that there are not enough of them: the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines are at historically low end strengths. This could be corrected in fairly short order.

    We have seen periods in the past when the military was in bad shape and public will for military action was sapped. The aftermath of the Vietnam War is a perfect example. What brought us out if that? Good leadership. Reagan restored the military and inspired sacrifice and public service.

    The US needs a good leader that can articulate the need for war against ISIS. (S)he needs to ask Congress to declare war and inspire young Americans to military service. From what I have seen, patriotism is still around, but it just needs to be reawakened with outstanding leadership. The US has been blessed with exceptional leadership when it was needed most. This would appear to be one of those times. Let’s hope that Americans choose the right leader in November.

  11. Starry flights

    @Cargosquid Do you want to wage war on all Muslims? Aside from moral reasons, our fighter aircraft are based in Muslim countries like Turkey (which was recently attacked), you fool! We need their cooperation.

  12. Cargosquid

    @Starry flights
    Apparently you did not comprehend my post.

    “This is a religious war.
    It is the Islamists against everyone else.”

    That includes other Muslims.

    Do you understand what Islamists are? What “Islamism” is?

    So…until you exhibit basic understanding, kindly refrain from insulting me. Or do you want to be considered as just another drive by, low info commenter?

  13. Wolve

    I think you may find that POTUS has silently changed his policy about no American boots on the ground “in the zone.” I think more combat boots are landing — without benefit of public announcement or much media coverage.

  14. Steve Thomas

    @Kelly_3406
    Kelly,

    While you are free to disagree with me, I think you are missing the forest because there’s a tree in your way.

    Yes, there are still warriors among us, and for that we should be thankful. Low participation in the military is just one symptom of a weakening society. No score soccer. Participation trophies and all of those egg-head ideas disconnecting achievement from self-esteem also point to a weakening of society.

    I have no doubt that the US Military remains a capable fighting force…at least for now. What I am pointing to is society at large. We no longer have the stomach for big fights, even when our survival is at stake. We are not willing to accept what we will have to do to actually win. We expect complete results from limited action. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Limited wars that we couldn’t bring ourselves to declare them as “War”, because society would only be inconvenienced so much.

    The First Gulf War was the exception: While the objectives themselves were limited, we were willing to commit overwhelming force to the effort, and we were successful. One only has to look at the pictures of the “Highway of Death” to understand what I am referring to.

    The Jihadis have been at war with us since 1979. They hit us (Western Democracies) again in a big way, in 1983, and again and again since. What those who are targets of these Jihadis must do is first, accept that we are indeed at war, convince their populations of this fact (We need a new Frank Capra), mobilize and strike in a quick, decisive fashion, all over the globe. Knock these groups down. Cut off their means of funding. Cut off their command & control. But most of all, we need to except that we will be more than inconvenienced at the airport. We will have to make actual sacrifices in blood and treasure.

    If we do not, we will continue the slow bleed. Mothers and children shredded by nail-bombs. Civilians incinerated or crushed in buildings, or maimed and killed at public events. It will not stop until we garner the collective will to stop it. Evil is evil, whether it’s wrapped in the flag of a recognized nation-state, a radical interpretation of a religion, or the cult-of-personality of a particular individual. Unwillingness to confront and destroy evil is the greatest sign of a society’s weakness.

    1. I think some unwillingness is cyclical. Look how reluctant Americans were to get involved in WWII in any way, even when England being incinerated by rocket fire. Something like 8% said we should come to England’s assistance. I found those stats staggering.

      What did it take? Our own tails in the fire.

      You are speculating that even that wouldn’t do it nowadays?

      I do think some of the “true grit” has been winnowed out of us, not to use a GWTW term.

  15. Pat.Herve

    @Steve Thomas
    +1 Steve.

    We also need to admit that going to War costs money (and more) – voting for War and Tax Cuts (and a Christmas rebate) is not the right way to go about it. If Congress wants war, they should also make the American people pay for it – AND other nations should be contributing to the effort.

    When our soldiers return – they need an investment to get on with a good private life. Currently, many of them are not recognized for their contribution/sacrifice.

    We need to admit that sometimes things go wrong, not as planned. Carter was trashed for the helicopter debacle. Clinton for Mogadishu (troops first sent by Bush I). And not politicize it. Find out what went wrong – but not politicize a mistake (which could be poor judgement).

    1. Pat, you are really on a roll!!!!

  16. Steve Thomas

    @MoonHowler

    “You are speculating that even that wouldn’t do it nowadays?”

    That is EXACTLY what I am arguing. 1993 CIA HQ Shooting. 1993 World Trade. 9/11 World Trade. 2002 LAX attack…organized and lone-wolf attacks on US soil, not to mention all of the overseas attacks…if that hadn’t convinced us, I shudder to think what it WOULD take to get us to recognize the true threat. Where too busy “keeping up with the Kardashians” to be bothered.

    Starry’s challenge to my assertion that Falls Church VA has numerous connections to terror, completely illustrates my point. The “dots” have been connected, numerous times. Yet he not only refuses to acknowledge the established connections…he calls the “dots” “outrageous claims”.

    1. I don’t think most people alive today have ever felt anything but safe. I know the worst fear I had was that the USSR would drop the big one on me but even that was very remote.

      One of the maddest I have seen my mother (and I have told this on the blog before) is when my middle brother and I laughed at her over saying that they thought Hitler was going to send his troops to Charlottesville. We laughed and said why? What he was going to do, cut down Tarleton’s oak. She blew up and said we had no idea how nip and tuck that war really was and that they didn’t even know they were going to win it until they actually had the surrender. After she sputtered around a while, telling us we should be thanking our lucky stars that we were even born, she said Charlottesville was the home of Jefferson, the father of democracy and that it would have struck a strategic psychological blow to the country.

      I think we laughed (young adults) and she said to get out of her sight and to go home.

      I have never really felt the threat of war other than on 9/11. That was surreal. The only other time I had a really odd feeling was when we started Desert Storm….I was driving to my job and I looked at one of the ball fields. There must have been 500 sea gulls, all standing, facing the same direction. There was fog and for a moment, I had an out of body experience that the gulls were soldiers or grave markers.

  17. Steve Thomas

    @Pat.Herve
    Pat, +1000

    This will take an effort along the lines of WW2. We committed to defeating the threat, and bore whatever sacrifices it took to doing so. War Bonds & Stamps. Rationing. Whatever it took.

    Increased taxes would be a tiny sacrifice I would gladly pay, to support this effort, if complete and total victory was the goal. “Containment” is a strategy doomed to fail.

    You are right, in that we tend to politicize every mission that goes sideways. We should again look to WW2 for answers. Ike had 2 letters prepared on the eve of June 5th, 1944. One to be sent to FDR and Churchill, should the Normandy invasion fail, and another if it should succeed.

    We took many gambles in securing victory, not all of which were successful. Market Garden is a classic example. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are too.

    The thing is, the objective wasn’t to seize a bunch of bridges, or obliterate a couple of cities. The objective was to shorten the war…the difference between then and now being, they didn’t question whether or not we were even in a war.

  18. Kelly_3406

    @Steve Thomas

    I can see the forest just fine. I agree with you that the terror war has been on-going since 1979. But it is like the proverbial frog that refuses to jump out of the pot as the water heats up. The frog barely notices the change in temperature until he boils to death. And so it is with terrorism – most of the incidents take place far away and the perpetrators of 9/11 and Boston marathon bombing are either dead or incarcerated. So as the threat ramps up, it is easy to dismiss because most Americans do not perceive a direct threat.

    As I said before, the key is good leadership. We need an effective leader who can articulate the case for war and develop an integrated strategy to defeat ISIS. The strategy has to be more sophisticated than simple reliance on overwhelming force, given that the biggest threat comes from embedded terror cells. Special ops forces probably will have to play a dominant role.

    However, remember that our current president until recently argued that AlQaeda was defeated, ISIS is the junior varsity, and withdrawal of ground forces from the Middle East will enhance our security. Rand Paul and his followers have made similar arguments. So it is going to take a substantial effort by this leader to rebut these arguments and mobilize our country.

    1. I took that JV stuff to mean that President Obama was attempting to diminish ISIS. Why pump them up?

  19. Steve Thomas

    @Kelly_3406
    Kelly,

    A great example of weakness can be found on college campuses all over the country, the latest being Emory University. During WW2 entire male classes marched down the recruiting offices on December 8, 1941. Today, at Emory University, a whole bunch of students couldn’t handle the fact that someone wrote “Vote Trump” on the sidewalk. These “Soy-fed Manginas” proceeded to the dean’s office to tearfully demand that he do something, because they felt “fear” and “threatened”.

    weakness. Where will our warriors come from? Certainly not this bunch, who major in “wussiness”.

    I wonder how they’d feel if some jihadi set off a nail-bomb in the student union? That would be something worth fearing.

  20. Steve Thomas

    MoonHowler :
    I took that JV stuff to mean that President Obama was attempting to diminish ISIS. Why pump them up?

    Comforting lies? This diminishes the credibility of our leadership. It makes us weak and unprepared. Surprised he hasn’t trotted out a youtube narrative.

    If you underestimate the threat, you remain unprepared and vulnerable. It’s not his ass at the sporting events, concerts, and shopping malls, who will be targeted.

    1. I don’t claim to know exactly why he said it. At the time I thought he said it to belittle them. It actually is done all the time with an enemy. No where have I seen an old news clip where the enemy was reported as strong and mighty….even after a good ass whupping.

  21. Steve Thomas

    MoonHowler :
    I don’t claim to know exactly why he said it. At the time I thought he said it to belittle them. It actually is done all the time with an enemy. No where have I seen an old news clip where the enemy was reported as strong and mighty….even after a good ass whupping.

    You must not have been paying attention during the run-up to desert storm. All we heard was how tough the Republican Guard were after 10 years of war with Iran, and how their Army was the third largest in the world, and equipped with modern soviet weapons. The net result of all of this was the nation was prepared for massive casualties, and expected the US military to apply overwhelming force…and that is exactly what we did, keeping casualties to a minimum an unexpected result.

    I also happen to have the complete “Why We Fight”, produced by Frank Capra, as well as a bunch of old news reels, all on dvd. You are welcome to borrow them. Watch them and you will see how we portrayed the enemy. The intent was to galvanize the collective will of the nation, to defeat the threat.

    1. I thought that was the media doing that. I don’t know what the military experts said. I don’t remember.

  22. Pat.Herve

    The issue I have is the commitment –

    Gulf War – 750,000 troops committed (540K were US) – we went in with a purpose. Some say we did not finish the job, but we did get Iraq out of Kuwait and severely hampered Hussein. In-Out-Done.

    Iraq War – A peak of 197,000 troops during the surge. Rumsfeld said the war would cost $50 Billion. The guy that said it would cost $200 Billion was fired. It has cost us over $1 Trillion. Obama even lengthened the withdrawal time line Bush signed. I am not so sure that we had the real will to complete the job in Iraq – were we really committed? Still going on, with no end in sight and military deaths still happening.

  23. Steve Thomas

    @MoonHowler
    Moon wrote: “No where have I seen an old news clip where the enemy was reported as strong and mighty….even after a good ass whupping.”

    Then Steve wrote: “You must not have been paying attention during the run-up to desert storm. All we heard was how tough the Republican Guard were after 10 years of war with Iran, and how their Army was the third largest in the world, and equipped with modern soviet weapons. ”

    Then Moon wrote: ” I thought that was the media doing that. I don’t know what the military experts said. I don’t remember.”

    Don’t the media usually produce “news clips”? And don’t the media love to have “Military Experts” to provide commentary and back-ground? I remember CNN and ABC (the two networks watched most by my unit) had a rotating cast of Intelligence and Military “experts”, mostly retired Colonels and Generals.

    And Obama may be the CinC, but he’s no “Military Expert”. I think the last president we had who qualified was Ike. Regardless, I highly doubt DoD was advising the President that ISIS/ISIL/Da’esh was “Junior Varsity”, considering all of the AQ splinter-groups that began popping up over the last few years. I would also imagine that the Israelis were warning the US as well. Unlike us, they seemed to have learned a powerful lesson during the Yom Kippur war, not to dismiss anything.

    1. Well, the JV team is now being reported as having multiple waves ready to attack across Europe.

      We should have learned not to dismiss anything on 9-11.

      Brussels police/military is apparently bristling under criticism–saying this just isn’t as easy as it looks or something to that effect.

      Stay tuned.

  24. Steve Thomas

    Pat.Herve :
    The issue I have is the commitment –
    Gulf War – 750,000 troops committed (540K were US) – we went in with a purpose. Some say we did not finish the job, but we did get Iraq out of Kuwait and severely hampered Hussein. In-Out-Done.
    Iraq War – A peak of 197,000 troops during the surge. Rumsfeld said the war would cost $50 Billion. The guy that said it would cost $200 Billion was fired. It has cost us over $1 Trillion. Obama even lengthened the withdrawal time line Bush signed. I am not so sure that we had the real will to complete the job in Iraq – were we really committed? Still going on, with no end in sight and military deaths still happening.

    Pat,

    I think you and I agree that we need to go at this totally and completely. You can’t do war “on the cheap”. It should be a “do or don’t” proposition.

    1. I would agree–no war on the cheap. I don’t want to win any hearts and minds. If you go to war, go in to kill people. Otherwise, don’t go to war.

  25. Pat.Herve

    @Steve Thomas
    Completely agree.

    If the same effort was put into solving the issue with ISIS as is the effort into political posturing around ISIS – we could have solution.

    We hear many people complain that Obama has not done enough with ISIS. Senator Kaine complains that Obama has no authority to be fighting ISIS and is doing too much.
    Where is the debate in Congress to address ISIS? – Congress controls the purse strings and the ability to declare war. Obama has gotten the backing of the UN, but with no AUMF or Authority – he is limited in the response he can do. I can only imagine the outrage if Congress did not give Bush the authority to proceed against Afghanistan. I guess Congress does not have the time to act – as they are on another recess raising funds for the next election cycle.

    There is a reason for the Warpowers Act – to try and restrain an unbalanced President – but also to give the President the authority to proceed.

    In my mind Congress is too obsessed with ensuring that Obama fails – and the result is the next President – Donald Trump.

    1. Congress, in particular, Mitch McConnell sure announced that was his goal. If one of them does get in, paybacks will be rough.

  26. Steve Thomas

    @Pat.Herve
    So let’s you and I run for President. Heck, I’ll take VP. Pat and Steve, the “total victory” ticket. Two smart guys, who know what it takes to win against the terrorists. You give us 4 years, we will get it done.

    1. Cheer! Which one of you will be the pro choice end? I might even vote for you.

  27. Pat.Herve

    @Steve Thomas
    Steve – you are more photogenic than I – you take the top spot – I will be VP and Whip the Senate into doing something – while you are dealing with all the other agencies.

    I will start by abolishing the Senate made office of Majority Leader.

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