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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is Terrorism a Mortal Threat?

by Patrick J. Buchanan



It may have been politically incorrect to publish the thoughts on the sixth anniversary of 9-11, but what Colin Powell had to say to GQ magazine needs to be heard.

Terrorism, said Powell, is not a mortal threat to America.

"What is the greatest threat facing us now?" Powell asked. "People will say it's terrorism. But are there any terrorists in the world who can change the American way of life or our political system? No. Can they knock down a building? Yes. Can they kill somebody? Yes. But can they change us? No. Only we can change ourselves. So what is the great threat we are facing?"

History and common sense teach that Powell speaks truth.

Since 9-11, 100,000 Americans have been murdered – as many as we lost in Vietnam, Korea and Iraq combined. Yet, not one of these murders was the work of an Islamic terrorist, and all of them, terrible as they are, did not imperil the survival of our republic.

Terrorists can blow up our buildings, assassinate our leaders, and bomb our malls and stadiums. They cannot destroy us. Assume the worst. Terrorists smuggle an atom bomb into New York harbor or into Washington, D.C., and detonate it.

Horrible and horrifying as that would be – perhaps 100,000 dead and wounded – it would not mean the end of the United States. It would more likely mean the end of Iran, or whatever nation at which the United States chose to direct its rage and retribution.

Consider. Between 1942 and 1945, Germany and Japan, nations not one-tenth the size of the United States, saw their cities firebombed, and their soldiers and civilians slaughtered in the millions. Japan lost an empire. Germany lost a third of its territory. Both were put under military occupation. Yet, 15 years later, Germany and Japan were the second and third most prosperous nations on Earth, the dynamos of their respective continents, Europe and Asia.

Powell's point is not that terrorism is not a threat. It is that the terror threat must be seen in perspective, that we ought not frighten ourselves to death with our own propaganda, that we cannot allow fear of terror to monopolize our every waking hour or cause us to give up our freedom.

For all the blather of a restored caliphate, the "Islamofascists," as the neocons call them, cannot create or run a modern state, or pose a mortal threat to America. The GNP of the entire Arab world is not equal to Spain's. Oil aside, its exports are equal to Finland's.

Afghanistan and Sudan, under Islamist regimes, were basket cases. Despite the comparisons with Nazi Germany, Iran is unable to build modern fighters or warships and has an economy one-twentieth that of the United States, at best. While we lack the troops to invade Iran, three times the size of Iraq, the U.S. Air Force and Navy could, in weeks, smash Iran's capacity to make war, blockade it and reduce its population to destitution. Should Iran develop a nuclear weapon and use it on us or on Israel, it would invite annihilation.

As a threat, Iran is not remotely in the same league with the Soviet Union of Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev, or Mao's China, or Nazi Germany, or Imperial Japan, or even Mussolini's Italy.

And why would Tehran, which has not launched a war since the revolution in 1979, start a war with an America with 10,000 nuclear weapons? If the Iranians are so suicidal, why have they not committed suicide in 30 years by attacking us or Israel?

What makes war with Iran folly is that an all-out war could lead to a break-up of that country, with Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Arabs and Baluchis going their separate ways, creating fertile enclaves for al-Qaida recruitment and training.

Yet, while talking common sense, Gen. Powell himself reverted to cliché. "America could not survive without immigration."

But this is nonsense. From 1789 to 1845, we had almost no immigration, before the Irish came. Did we not survive? From 1925 to 1965, we had almost no immigration. Yet, we conquered the Great Depression, won World World II, became the greatest power on earth and ended those four decades with an Era of Good Feeling under Ike and JFK unlike any we had known before.

Was the America of the 1940s and 1950s in which Colin Powell grew up in danger of not surviving for lack of immigration?

In our time, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Czechoslovakia have split apart. The Soviet Union and Yugoslavia have broken up into two dozen nations. Terrorism had nothing to do with it. Tribalism had everything to do with it.

Race, ethnicity and religion are the fault lines along which nations like Iraq are coming apart. If America ends, it will not be the work of an Osama bin Laden. As Abraham Lincoln said, it will be by our own hand, it will be by suicide.

September 22, 2007

Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of seven books, including Where the Right Went Wrong, and A Republic Not An Empire.
 

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Nah, not a Socialist or a traitor. I suspect him of having liberal leanings, however.
 

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Those who think that terrorists and terrorism are not a mortal threat are not victims of terrorist attack. They are also in the same mindset as the U.S. pre-9/11 (it can't happen here!!), which was proven wrong. To live ones life in paranoia is unhealthy, to be sure.

But to think that these people cannot, or will not kill you and your family and everyone you love is foolish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Those who think that terrorists and terrorism are not a mortal threat are not victims of terrorist attack. They are also in the same mindset as the U.S. pre-9/11 (it can't happen here!!), which was proven wrong. To live ones life in paranoia is unhealthy, to be sure.

But to think that these people cannot, or will not kill you and your family and everyone you love is foolish.


A grown man unable to comprehend anything more undesirable than death, is a pretty good definition of coward...


I have better odds of winning the lottery or being struck by lightning, then of dying in a terrorist attack. I don't fear terrorism. I am PROUD to have maintained a "pre-9/11 mindset" (to wit, I still value liberty more than the promise of security) . Suck on THAT, al Qaeda!

But as some prescient pre-9/11 writer once said, "Nothing frightens me like scared people."
 

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I agree with much of this, but do bear in mind that when we defeated Japan one can argue that thousands of years of history and culture was removed, and a new system of government set in place.
The same may be said of Germany.

Also, previous to 1945, there wasn't nuclear weapons, and the face of warfare has been changed since.
 

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All I needed to read to know there was going to be a deficiency of logic is:

*by Patrick J. Buchanan*
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I agree with much of this, but do bear in mind that when we defeated Japan one can argue that thousands of years of history and culture was removed, and a new system of government set in place.
The same may be said of Germany.
Where the hell did you study history? Both Germany and Japan had previous experience with representative democracy.


And ret_Marine, just how many boxes of Crayolas have you gone through composing your Enemies List? Have I made that scroll yet? I'm partial to Midnight Blue, but Forest Green would be cool as well. ;)

I'd bet real money Patrick J. Buchanan's conservative bona-fides far outstrip yours. And yet Buchanan's a poopy-headed traitor because he dares question Dear Leader. Right. Whatever helps you sleep at night, Hoss.

You just too intelligent to address the Colin Powell quote Buchanan cites? Or is the former Sec State's name now scrawled in Outrageous Orange next to mine?

BTW, when DO they close the bar at that Legion post?
 

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A grown man unable to comprehend anything more undesirable than death, is a pretty good definition of coward...
Does that mean you're calling me a coward? Because I understand that these terroristic jihadists will kill me, my family, everyone I love, and even everyone I don't love means I'm scared of death? Interesting...

As I said, paranoia is unhealthy, to be sure. But there's a BROAD difference between paranoia and a healthy awareness. Simply being careful does not make one a "coward," as you'd like to think. I can think of plenty of things more undesirable than death, especially given the fact that my eternal destiny is secure. However, that does NOT mean that I am comfortable with some radical maniac taking the lives of the ones I love in service of his hate-mongering religion.

Does that still mean that I'm a coward?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You seemed to pipe up just to say, "Don't forget to be scared of the terrorists!"


Neither Buchanan nor Powell claimed the terrorists aren't dangerous. They're just not an existential threat. I have to wonder about folks who seem to NEED to believe that Osama and his merry band of boy-buggerers ARE an existential threat...
 

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All I needed to read to know there was going to be a deficiency of logic is:

*by Patrick J. Buchanan*
Yes we know. Its not a neo-con talking head telling you what you want to hear. Thats ok but reason will always be there, waiting for you to return.
 

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In November 2006, Republicans were voted out of power in the Congress and Democrats installed to bring an end to U.S. involvement in the war in Iraq.

The war had been going on as long as America's war on Nazi Germany. No end was in sight. U.S. casualties and costs were rising. Bush's approval rating had sunk to record lows.

The day after the GOP rout, Bush cashiered his war minister, Donald Rumsfeld. In December, the Iraq Study Group, chaired by Bush I Secretary of State James Baker, released its report.

"The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. ... A slide toward chaos could trigger the collapse of Iraq's government and a humanitarian disaster. ... The situation in Baghdad and several provinces is dire. ... Pessimism is pervasive. ... Violence is increasing in scope, complexity and lethality."

His policy collapsing, Bush made a last throw of the dice. Gen. David Petraeus was named to command U.S. forces, and his request for a "surge" of 21,500 additional U.S. troops accepted. Petraeus also demanded and got 10,000 more support troops.

Still, by April, as the "surge" brigades began to arrive, Harry Reid, Senate majority leader, was declaring, "This war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything." Democrats, the party base goading them on, tried to impose upon Bush, as a condition of further funding for the war, deadlines for the withdrawal of U.S. forces.

Bush vetoed the bill. He was sustained. Then, he rubbed the Democrats' noses in their defeat by demanding and getting $100 billion more to finance the surge and the war. There are today 30,000 more troops in Iraq than when the Democratic Congress was elected.

As Petraeus testifies, the antiwar movement appears broken. Reid has said his party will not try to de-fund the war or impose new deadlines. It will follow GOP Sen. John Warner, who has suggested it might be helpful if the president withdrew a brigade by Christmas, to signal the Iraqi government to get its house in order. Petraeus has agreed to that.

Next April is the date when the Iraq Study Group said all U.S. combat brigades should be out of Iraq. By then, Bush and Petraeus will have tens of thousands more troops in Iraq than when the Democrats were elected and the ISG reported. The lame duck is not all that lame.

What happened to the party of Speaker Pelosi and Reid, which was going to end U.S. involvement in the war and not permit Bush to pursue victory the way Richard Nixon pursued it in Vietnam for four years?

Answer: Terrified of the possible consequences of the policies they recommend, Democrats lack the courage to impose those policies.

When it comes to issues of war, Democrats are an intimidated lot. Sens. Clinton, Edwards, Biden, Dodd and Reid were all stampeded by Bush into voting him a blank check for war in October 2002. Why? Because they feared Bush would declare them weak or unpatriotic if they denied him the authority to go to war, at a time of his choosing, until he had made a more compelling case for war.

Now they regret what they did. But, in a showdown, they will do it again. For Democrats have been psychologically damaged by 60 years of GOP attacks on them as the party of retreat and surrender.

Their hero, FDR, was posthumously ripped apart for Yalta, the appeasement of "Uncle Joe," and the abandonment to communism of Poland and Eastern Europe. Truman fired Gen. MacArthur, fought a no-win war in Korea and was savaged, along with Gen. Marshall and Dean Acheson, by Joe McCarthy. By 1952, Truman was at 23 percent and finished. In January 1954, the Tailgunner was riding high at 50 percent.

Came then Vietnam and the credible charge that the Liberal Establishment, The Best and the Brightest, had marched us in, then cut and run, abandoning our Vietnamese and Cambodian allies to a holocaust, and bringing on the worst strategic defeat in U.S. history.
When Ronald Reagan, in the closing days of the 1980 campaign, declared Vietnam a "noble cause," the liberal media leapt on it as a gaffe. It wasn't. Reagan was wired in to Middle America.

John Kerry understood this. Thus, he ran in 2004 as a decorated Vietnam vet, not the onetime icon of the antiwar movement.

Bush is winning today because he has jettisoned the jabber about global democracy and argues that a U.S. withdrawal risks a strategic disaster, national humiliation, massacre of our friends and triumph for al-Qaida. Democrats, fearing he may be right, are in paralysis.
Scourged for 20 years over "Who Lost China?" they don't want to spend the next 20 years answering "Who Lost the Middle East?"

Thus the rout of the peace Democrats. But the movement will be back. For, Petraeus' good news notwithstanding, there is no light yet visible at the end of this tunnel.


Patrick J. Buchanan
 

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Thus the rout of the peace Democrats. But the movement will be back. For, Petraeus' good news notwithstanding, there is no light yet visible at the end of this tunnel.


Patrick J. Buchanan
At least Pat sees reality.
 

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"Where the hell did you study history? Both Germany and Japan had previous experience with representative democracy."

Really?
Doesn't really seem to matter if it culminated into the Nazi Party holding power since the early 30's, and the militray running Japan since about the same time.

Call me crazy, but the Rape of Nanking and the Holocaust doesn't exactly sound as if those two countries were going in the right direction.

If Japan and Germany won the war, they'd be democracies now?
I do not think so.

Try studying some history, and quit screaming so much on here.
 

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"Where the hell did you study history? Both Germany and Japan had previous experience with representative democracy."

Really?
Doesn't really seem to matter if it culminated into the Nazi Party holding power since the early 30's, and the militray running Japan since about the same time.

Call me crazy, but the Rape of Nanking and the Holocaust doesn't exactly sound as if those two countries were going in the right direction.

If Japan and Germany won the war, they'd be democracies now?
I do not think so.

Try studying some history, and quit screaming so much on here.
Japan and Germany also didn't have a 1000 year feud going on internally in their country. Again, you guys are trying to fit a Western model to a mid east country. It doesn't work. I suggest you guys re-read history and think about why Western attempts to interfere with that region have failed.

The French in Syira
The British in Afghanistan and Iraq
The Soviets in Afghaninstan
The US in Iraq

Wester models on Muslim countries. Two vastly different cultures.
 

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"Where the hell did you study history? Both Germany and Japan had previous experience with representative democracy."

Really?
Doesn't really seem to matter if it culminated into the Nazi Party holding power since the early 30's, and the militray running Japan since about the same time.

Call me crazy, but the Rape of Nanking and the Holocaust doesn't exactly sound as if those two countries were going in the right direction.

If Japan and Germany won the war, they'd be democracies now?
I do not think so.

Try studying some history, and quit screaming so much on here.
Notice that the mislead young master dodged everything in your reply to post something else irrelevant and plainly stupid?

He prefers ignorant bliss, words and terms he doesn't understand, and wishful thinking.
 

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Notice that the mislead young master dodged everything in your reply to post something else irrelevant and plainly stupid?

He prefers ignorant bliss, words and terms he doesn't understand, and wishful thinking.
If you haven't noticed, no one takes you seriously. Especially when you post "i like pancakes."
 

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Anyone that has gone through airport security knows that the terrorists have changed our society,if only a small amount. Whether we just allowed ourselves to be changed,or not, is debatable.
A large terrorist attack as Powell envisions,would change our society in even more ways then we can foretell.
Is it a mortal threat? I would say no.
However it is a substantial threat. One not to be taken lightly.
 

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Anyone that has gone through airport security knows that the terrorists have changed our society,if only a small amount. Whether we just allowed ourselves to be changed,or not, is debatable.
A large terrorist attack as Powell envisions,would change our society in even more ways then we can foretell.
Is it a mortal threat? I would say no.
However it is a substantial threat. One not to be taken lightly.
But we don't need to sacrifice our liberties for a false sense of security.
 

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"...Sometimes it feels like... someone is watching me, aint got no privacy...wwwooaaahhh"
 
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