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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I Thought We Did That Already?

I went away for a wedding this weekend and just as I’m settling back into my routine I read this headline:

Rumsfeld Says Taliban Will Be Defeated

Uh, what? I thought we already defeated the Taliban? Now, I will admit that sometimes I’m not completely up to date on what regime is running what country in parts east of Maryland, but I could have sworn that the Taliban had been ousted. I distinctly remember having Gatorade dumped on me to celebrate our victory. Perhaps I misinterpreted something? Maybe I am crazy? High on opium? As I often do, I turned to Google for help. Turns out I’m not makin’ it up:

“In Afghanistan we defeated the Taliban regime, but that was just the first step. The liberation of that country was the beginning of the long and unrelenting struggle we have entered. America is a patient and determined country.” – George W. Bush, 7/4/02, WV 4th of July Celebration Speech

“The United States and its coalition partners defeated the Taliban, put al Qaeda on the run and eliminated Afghanistan as the international hub for al Qaeda terrorist training.” White House Press Release on Compliance with 9/11 Commission Recommendations, 7/30/04

Hell, even Rumsfeld said we had “moved from major combat activity to a period of stability and stabilization and reconstruction activities."

This wasn’t even all that came up! Dubya, Condi, Colin, Rummy, all of them said we did it! We’ve WON! It turns out that they might have spoken too soon. Now, I know can’t expect this administration to be “meticulous” about getting the "facts" straight before they start wars, but could they at least get their facts straight before they tell me we’ve won one? That Gatorade ruined my shirt and now I have 1,000 coffee mugs that say “We defeated the Taliban, what did YOU do today CANADA?” that I can't return. Thanks.


Blogger (A Little) Gris Gris said...

Oh thank god you got that font issue figured out. I thought you might still be drunk from said Bleckner wedding.

I'm not sure if I have a substantive comment. So far, my reaction is simply $(%*^#$^%$#@^&*!!!! While pointed and appropriate, it sadly adds nothing intelligent.

12:49 PM

Anonymous Reebs said...

Didn't you know that it's never over until Dubya lands on an aircraft carrier with a "Mission Accomplished" banner in the background? That's the rule, he's the decider!

1:56 PM

Blogger Fumbles said...

I can't think of anything intellegent to say...."liar, liar, pants on fire" seems to sum up my feelings

4:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least Dubya had the balls to go after the Taliban. Should I remind you of how many unprovoked attacks there were from Taliban terrorists during the Clinton administration? I count at least five major attacks. Did Clinton do anything to counter these blatant and brazen assaults and perhaps prevent some of the heartache that we experienced as a nation? Uh, no, except for that lame attempt to "Wag the Dog" when the Lewinsky scandal was getting hot and heavy. Oh wait, I forgot...he also mentioned how he was within minutes of capturing bin laden on at least one occasion. Sure you were, Billy boy. A day late and a dollar short. It's probably a good thing that our former president is now out of politics so he can concentrate on what he is best at: extramarital affairs. Cigar anyone?

10:12 PM

Blogger (A Little) Gris Gris said...

Oh dear. Here we go again. Clinton criticism really does tear at my (liberal bleeding) heart strings. Regardless, Dub still lacks one very key thing: A PLAN. You don't just go invading countries without a plan.

One more thing. And let me be frank. I could give a sh!t about whether or not the president is a good person. I care that he is a good president, politician, statesman. Why is it that the primary Clinton criticism, all these years later, is still that he had an affair? That I will smoke to.

XOXO, Frank

7:54 AM

Blogger scooterlulu said...

Anon, nobody said anything about Clinton. Don't pretend Dubya went to Afghanistan out of sheer altruism. He went there because of Osama and Osama alone. He didn't wake up one day and realize that the Taliban was terrible. He didn't give a rat's ass about Afghanistan before 9/11. Nobody did.

Here's a history lesson for you...Why was the Taliban in power? Well, you see...After the Russians invaded Afghanistan in 1979, thousands of Afghanistani Muslims joined up with the Mujahideen (Jihadists). The US FUNDED the Mujahideen. Reagan praised them as "Freedom Fighters". Whoops! Following the Soviet retreat, the Mujahideen started to get out of control...civil war erupts. Out of this civil war is born the Taliban. Who we also funded(by way of Pakistan).

Here's where it gets interesting. About 20 years later, it comes out that the US had been backing the Mujahideen in secret prior to the Soviet invasion in hopes of drawing RUSSIA into war with Afghanistan. Why? So WE wouldn't have to worry about them for a bit.

Stop and think about that for a minute. The Russian occupation led to the rise of the Mujahideen, which led to the Taliban and we were the masterminds behind Russia going to Afghanistan in the first place. So essentially, we are just cleaning up our own mess. And yes anonymous, I know that 1979 was still the Carter years but he passed the ball right off to Reagan who ran with it.

Makes you wonder what will happen when all is said in done in Iraq.

9:29 AM

Blogger Fumbles said...

Is that all you need Anonymous? You just need a president with “the balls” to invade another country. Well, congratulations you have the perfect president. Dubya is the first president to use our military for a preemptive attack. I think the men and women of our military deserve more respect than being used for one man's ego boost. I mean it is their lives we are talking about…... but maybe I just don’t have balls to swallow the unnecessary loss of life. The fact is Dubya wasn’t satisfied with going after the Tailiban. He got bored and fabricated facts to justify invading another country. Now we have the privilege of fighting two wars…..neither of which we are winning. Congratulations, you msut be so proud.

9:33 AM

Blogger CaptainAdventure said...

What I find amazing is that the individual who makes these brazen assertions remains anonymous. Talk about balls.

10:46 AM

Anonymous d said...

actually, Clinton prosecuted the six islamic militants that bombed the world trade center the first time. The were captured and tried, using the federal justice system, which is alot more than I can say about this administration which seems content to round up goat herders, hold them in legal purgatory,render them to countries that torture, and then still attempt to claim the moral high ground. i think that the ole "bag on the head fake electrodes on the fingers" trick is key to our winning the hearts and minds of the members of the muslim world, clearly it is working like a charm.
as for the Taliban, remember when they were fighting the Soviets? And we really didn't like the soviets? They were our best buddies. We didn't seem to mind their treatment of women then. In fact, I don't see what all the fuss is about. Our strategy in Afganistan is rock solid. i have often wished that we had more warlords in this country. they are effective leaders that look out for the needs of their people. look at how much Tom Delay was able to accomplish by ignoring the governing priniciples of democracy and resorting to threats, kick backs, and glad handing.
Frequently, I look back at American history and think "Gosh, if we had only had more presidents with the balls to run willy-nilly into a new war without finishing a first war, this country would be a much better place. Damn that Clinton for making us look silly for sleeping with his intern! I want a president that will truly alienate ALL of our allies and make us the most hated and disrespected country in the world." That takes balls.

2:17 PM

Blogger scooterlulu said...

scooter here, back from the excitement of moving and adopting a puppy, but lets jump right in.

Anonymous, i'm just curious if you could provide these 5 instances you are talking about and where you are getting your sources. Not that I think you are outright wrong but you can't make an assertion like that without substantiating it.

I can think of at least 4 instances where George Bush molested my neighbor.

See? That's not good enough.

2:34 PM

Blogger scooterlulu said...

facts, facts, factity, facts.

From wikipedia:

On August 20, 1998, US President Bill Clinton ordered the United States Navy to fire cruise missiles on four sites in Afghanistan, all near Khost (and one in Sudan), which the U.S. claimed were terrorist training camps. This was known as Operation Infinite Reach. The sites included one run by Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, who had allegedly directed the August 7 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa. Three other villages, whose legitimacy as targets was strongly disputed by many sources, were also struck.
It seems his actions were questioned but it sounds like he had at least peanut sized balls, maybe even cashew sized?


2:40 PM

Blogger scooterlulu said...

Oh, i just realized the way the dog attempt you were referring to may be the military action I just posted about.

And of course if we want to make accusations of "wagging the dog" how about this one that shows that when approval ratings dip, terror alerts tend to be issued, which amazingly tend to increase the presidents ratings.

wag, wag, wag.
pet, pet, pet


2:51 PM

Blogger Jenny said...

So I am a little late to the game - sorry, but my big pregnant belly prevents me from moving at more than a waddling pace these days. I have to say that I love the discussion that this post provoked. Most of us have been passionate while at the same time supporting our own feelings with facts.

I think what upsets me most about the whole Rumsfeld-quote thing is the fact that, once again, the assumption has been made that we as a society are too stupid (or forgetful) to realize that certain statements/promises have already been made, back when they were useful morale-boosters and justification for actions that we now know weren't as transparent as we were once led to believe.

Additionally, I just wish that we had leadership that could just be honest about its intentions. After 9/11, this card-carrying Democrat sat in her living room, as angry as the rest of the country about what had happened to our country. I trusted the "compassionate conservativism" that had apparently gotten the guy who was in charge elected, even though at election time, I didn't necessarily agree that he was the best candidate for the job. I feel like all of us felt like we had been kicked in the gut, to say the least, and felt as though we needed to rally behind the vision of our leader. He took us to Afghanistan, where we had pretty good indications that the person who had perpetrated this crime against us would be holed up, and I cheered our leader on. I was so proud to be part of our country, and was surprised at how I was willing to give W a chance.

But then, he took us to Iraq. Under false pretenses. And thousands of people were killed. And even more were injured and disabled. I know Saddam is a bad guy. I would never want to live in a world controlled by him. But the thing that pisses me off the most is that, though I (along with millions of other Americans) trusted our leader to steer us in the right direction, he couldn't trust me enough to tell me the truth about his intentions. Even if W had said, "My concience can't leave the people of Iraq under the control of that tyrant," I would have at least appreciated his sense of duty to an oppressed population. But instead, he and his cronies fed us half-truths and false information to justify their actions. I am just sick of being lied to, that's all.

3:38 PM

Blogger cuervo said...

i heartily second captain adventure's thought on the irony of mr./ms. anonymous's posting anonymously.

4:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No worries, here you go:

World Trade Center - 1993
PMSANG Riyadh - 1995
Khobar Towers (US Air Force Housing) - 1996
US Embassy Tanzania - 1998
US Embassy Kenya - 1998
USS Cole - 2000

I will admit I used various internet sources for information to compile this for you because I was fuzzy on dates. I just learned about the PMSANG bombing, though. There were obviously terrorist events in the eighties, too (ie Marine Corps Barracks in Beirut) so please don't think I'm unaware...just focusing on the Clinton years. It sucks to keep getting sucker punched time and time again, doesn't it?

10:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, by the way, the dates are not "Taliban" specific but Al Qaeda/bin Laden linked. Not sure about PMSANG Riyadh other than Middle East terrorism linked.

11:15 PM

Blogger CaptainAdventure said...

What seems to have been conviently forgotten by our allusive anonymous is that Bush was the President of the United States on Sept. 10 too. He received multiple warnings from the outgoing Clinton Administration about the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Here is one of those infamous memos, dated January 25, 2001.

Then there was the memo that warned of Bin Laden to attack within the US.
Let's go play golf!!

But in August 2001, the administrations top-priorities were improving the President's falling approval ratings (some things never change), not funding stem-cell research and getting ready for the longest vacation in presidential history.

10:59 AM

Blogger (A Little) Gris Gris said...

But wait, anon, by recognizing that not all of your 5 attacks were connected to the Taliban would support exactly what most of us are pointing out. Rather than invading Afghanistan and Iraq and starting full fledged wars, why not specifically target those terrorists who perpetrated those crimes.

As a result, I would direct you back to d's comments which refer to the legal prosecution of the terrorists who executed the first WTC bombing. And, then take a look at scooterlulu's wikipedia reference to Clinton's targeted firings on 4 sites in Afghanistan. Oh, and that's just focusing on the Clinton Administration.

Finally, let's talk about a strategic plan. I hate to keep dwelling on it, but I must repeat: you can't just go invading countries without a plan. Strategery anyone?

11:10 AM

Blogger (A Little) Gris Gris said...

I have another question for Anon:

Why don't we invade Saudi Arabia?

There is al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia and most of the 9/11 attackers were Saudi Arabian.

Just curious if you can address why Bush chose Iraq and Afghanistan?

1:10 PM

Blogger scooterlulu said...

Nice points all,

I'd like to play diplomat for once and at least commend Alison (thats what i'm gonna start calling anonymous until a name is given) for posting her (or his) opinions knowing full well she (or he) is pretty much the only one that has such opinions. Of course, i think your wrong Alison, but still thanks for making this a bit more of a debate and less of a "bunch of liberals sittin in a (cyber) room.

Getting back to topic, in doing research for this post, I've found that most websites depending on their "side" claim that either:

a) Clinton did all he could to fight terrorism and passed this information along to bush co. who did nothing


b)Clinton sat on his ass, allowing al qaeda to walk all over us.

I think we could go for hours talking about what Clinton did do, what Clinton didn't do. But as fumbles and others point out, I don't know what that accomplishes. Clinton was probably handed a lot of issues poorly handled by Bush Sr. And Bush Sr by Reagan, etc..

But the fact is, Clinton has been out of the picture for 6 years. I think a more productive discussion should focus on what is the problem now, and how can this be fixed.

Sorry if responses seem like sucker punches, i'd rather call them "constructive criticism"........ or leftist propaganda. Whatever you may. Again, thanks for posting Alison (you're still wrong though :-))


1:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Scooter, for the shout out. I appreciate the diplomancy! I didn't mean that I was sucker punched on your blog (I can take the heat, trust me!). I meant that the US kept getting sucker punched by the crazy terrorists.

6:22 PM

Anonymous Bucket said...

We all know my political know-how is not as well versed as anyone on here (i.e. the "Kashmir" incident), but I do think it is funny that certain individuals forget what they told us in the past. If I may make an accounting analogy, I can better explain myself. Financial Statements are a snapshot in time of the health of an organization. Comparative information is presented to show where the organization has been and how it has developed in the period in question. Their target audience is interested parties (people with a vested interest in the information contained therein). The prudent investor should always look back on the comparative information and agree it to prior periods. Otherwise, you can not say with certainty that you are comparing apples to apples. My point in this is that if today I told you I had $1,000 and said last year I had $12, it would appear to be a marked improvement. However, if I told you last year I had $2,000, my current period results would not seem so positive. As you can tell by my analogy, for Rumsfeld to assume that we will not review prior period financials and that he can adjust prior period results without our radar catching it, is to assume that we are not a prudent investor. Not cool.

6:27 PM


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