Thursday, August 25, 2005

1,444 Days after 9/11: Where is bin Laden?

The Nuremberg Trials began 1,444 days after the U.S. was attacked at Pearl Harbor.
It has been 1,444 days since 9/11. Where is Osama bin Laden?
(Photo: Nuremberg Trials Project of the Harvard Law School Library)


Blogger Bill Blankmeyer said...

Can you honestly compare the two situations? In '41 we were attacked by a nation (or nations if you want to tie in Germany and Italy). This nation had a fixed location, uniformed forces, etc. There was also mass mobilization among the American people and something beginning with a 'D'...what was that again...oh yeah, the draft. The current situation is not comparable.

I'm not advocating a draft, let me be clear on that. The war on terror we are involved in does not necessarily require more troops. More intelligence resources, yes. I think that once we can pinpoint ObL's location, a surgical strike or a special forces raid can kill/capture him. Though that will not end this conflict. There are thousands or millions of extremist muslim maniacs who want to see our way of life destroyed. Until we can round up enough of them and show them that continued attacks will not break our resolve, this battle will continue.

I think you know that this comparison is unfounded and irrelevent, but you try to make it anyway. Why is that?

2:59 PM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

Thanks for the comment Bill.

I do agree with you as to one difference: that being the "mass mobilization among the American people."

Our people and economic might have not been mobilized to anything close to our full capacity. In WWII we produced 270,000 military aircraft. We invented and deployed radar and the atomic bomb. Today we still have yet to equip our troops with effective body armor.

For most of us it's business as usual, which is a sense is fine. I like my way of life and believe in my country. But are we going after those who attacked us with everything we've got? Instead of finding ways for people to contribute to the cause, Bush has handed out tax breaks and, most recently, gone on five weeks of vacation.

Harry Truman said, "The buck stops here." George W. Bush said, "I think about Irag every day."

Bottom line: I don't think it's inappropriate to hold our president accountable for his conduct and the results thereof. Ronald Reagan famously asked, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" Likewise, why shouldn't we ask, "Are we as a nation better off than we were four years ago?"

5:25 PM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger Bill Blankmeyer said...

You agree with me about the mobilization among the American people - what about the others? Did the Japanese not wear uniforms? Were they not easily differentiated from the civiliation population? And what about fixed location? Can you point me to Al-Quedistan?

The mobilization that occurred after the bombing of Pearl Harbor was understandable. We were still suffering the effects of the Great Depression. Despite a decade of New Deal programs there was still massive poverty and a severe unemployment problem. The Government put out contracts on everything, enabling business to hire workers. People rushed to those jobs, not only out of patriotic duty, but also because of economic necessity.

Even though I listed the mass mobilization as a difference in the WWII situation and the current, it really isn't valid either. Mass mobilization probably would not further the War on Terror in a really significant way due to the other differences I've mentioned. Yeah, our military could use more volunteers, but even if every eligible American enlisted today, I do not think we would catch ObL any faster.

Intelligence will be the key to this war. The CIA, the FBI, the NSA, Military Intelligence, and all the other 'intelligence' agencies. This is where we need to place our focus. Mass recruiting of skilled personnel into well-trained, high-paying positions. We also need people on the ground. We need to infiltrate the terror organizations. This will take time and is no doubt already in progress. The level of that progress is unknown, at least to the general public, for obvious reasons.

I think it is entirely appropriate to hold our leaders accountable, but making unfair comparisons is not the way to do it.

9:22 AM, August 26, 2005  

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