But Now You Know

The search for truth in human action

Unamerican Policies Are Great Tiger Repellent


We are told that it's the abandonment of our principles that has prevented any terrorist attacks...forgetting that we had no terrorist attacks for ten years before 9-11, either

We didn't get attacked for the ten years prior to 9-11 either.

 
Little Old Lady: [Long Island Accent] This tiger repellent is so expensive, I may have to cut back on my groceries to keep getting it! 

Sane Person: But…tiger repellent is a scam! Why would you buy such a thing? It’s a waste of money! 

Little Old Lady: Well, I started buying it when that magician got mauled. And obviously it works; I haven’t been attacked by a tiger, since!

No matter whether Bush’s policies violated every American principle or not, one thing you can definitely say is that we haven’t had a terrorist attack on US soil in the seven years since he started them.

Nor have we been attacked by tigers.

In fact, we did not have a terrorist attack on US soil for almost ten years BEFORE 9-11. Crediting Bush’s violation of every American and Conservative principle with this “safety” is actually somewhat more foolish than the little old lady buying tiger repellent.

Unless it actually attracts tigers.

Because Bush’s evils, committed in our name, like:

  • Torturing now-helpless captives
  • Attacking countries without provocation
  • Rounding up people at random from suspected areas and keeping them for months, or years, without outside contact or even determining which ones, if any, are actually the targets
  • Handing out billions in cash and military supplies to top state sponsors of terrorism like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia

All have increased likelihood of attacks against America.

It is no coincidence that terrorist attacks worldwide increased with each implementation of these policies. That they didn’t happen in the US is because zero times some amount is still zero.

These evils are a perfect recruitment system for terrorism. What other way do these people have to stop us? Would YOU not fight back, if these things were being done to your family?

Evils we would not normally commit, we should not commit just to gain some benefit…but especially when the benefit is imaginary. “We haven’t been attacked since 9-11” is as ridiculous as “I haven’t been attacked by a tiger since Siegfried and Roy were attacked”.

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May 27, 2009 - Posted by | International, Philosophy, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Comments »

  1. “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” Henry Louis Mencken

    I have found that remark increasingly profound.

    As regards previous support of al Quaeda it is worth pointing out that the non-conscripted troops in the army of the nation of Bosnia & Hercegovina were largely Mujahadden flown in by the CIA from Afghanistan & Iran (in breach of the UN sanctions we imposed). The most popular Molsem policitician in the area, Fikret Abdic, is currently imprisoned as a “war criminal” because, as a genuine free market moderate, he opposed Al Quaeda’s press gang in his home town. On the other hand when a witness inthe Milosevic “trial” testified to having been present when our then friend bn Laden was ushered into the Bosnia President’s office the judge immediately ruled further tesimony out of order.

    Comment by neil craig | August 15, 2009 | Reply

  2. The author ignores his own logic when he claims that the Bush policies provided the perfect recruiting tool for terrorists.

    The terrorists didn’t have any trouble recruiting for over a decade before the Bush policies.

    If I’m not mistaken almost all of the planning for the 9-11 attacks occurred under President Clinton, along with the attack on the USS Cole, the African Embassy bombings, the first World Trade Center attacks, and on and on.

    I’m not worried at all about the recruits brought into terrorists organizations by Bush policies. The terrorists certainly didn’t have any problem recruiting for over a decade before they even began.

    DOH!

    Comment by Dave Thomas | July 14, 2009 | Reply

    • Actually, your argument supports my point.

      9-11 was the natural result of years of evil foreign policy:

      * It was organized by people the United States trained to be terrorists — Al Qaeda.
      * They were hosted in a country whose government the US had supported in in its overthrow of the legitimate Afghani government: The Taliban
      * The Taliban received even more direct support from the military dictatorship that had overthrown the elected government of Pakistan…a dictatorship the US had openly backed and funded.

      These groups were outraged at:

      * The US intervention in Iraq in the FIRST gulf war
      * The US having supported Hussein for decades before that, both militarily and politically
      * The US having turned on the Mujahadeen-cum-Taliban-and-Al-Qaeda
      * The US having propped up the terrorism-supporting tyranny in Saudi Arabia, with ten thousand troops…which ended only after 9-11
      * The US sanctions against the people of Iraq, which killed over a million women and children, and actually helped KEEP Hussein in power

      Meanwhile, 9-11 brought support for the terrorists to an all-time low. Now it’s at an all-time high. This is thanks to Bush resuming his father’s insane foreign policies. He made up for the loss of decades of momentum, in a matter of years.

      Comment by kazvorpal | July 14, 2009 | Reply

  3. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/pubs/fs/5902.htm has a decent timeline for comparison.

    Tigers did not unequivocally declare war on the U.S. after 25 years of escalating attacks. Bin Laden did so in 1998 in his fatwah and synchronized attacks in 2 separate countries.

    This “inconvenient” declaration of war was deliberately ignored by a president who saw more national interest in East Timor and Kosovo. Nonetheless, it was a REAL declaration of war with real soldiers and real civilian casualties.

    The same policy of official denial allowed us not to retaliate when the FBI discovered that Iran sponsored the Khobar bombing. The White House suppressed this fact while Cap Weinberger, Louis Freeh and others told the truth.

    There was no shortage of previous one-sided battles, but there was a lack of willingness on the part of opportunistic politicians who saw no personal benefit in retaliation.

    While Bush’s forward policy has not rehabilitated the “tigers” (it was never intended to), it has demonstrably decelerated the death of American civilians at the hands of your presumably un-aggressive tigers. Even if this is a temporary respite, it’s a welcome one.

    To my knowledge, the only attack against Americans outside the Middle East since 9/11 was a failed attack on an embassy in Greece that claimed no lives. Europe has not been so fortunate.

    I remember the watching the portrayal of Islamic terrorism in the movie “V” as a paper tiger, and a false pretence for conservative tyranny. Ironically part of the story took place in Leeds where Islamic militants would soon murder English citizens in their own neighborhood.

    There is some real value to becoming a hard target. As much as I disagreed with Bush’s democracy evangelism, I understand the meaning of a credible deterrent, and so do our enemies.

    It’s easy to read too much into the relative domestic safety under Bush (post 9/11) compared to previous administrations. It’s also easy to overstate the supposed role of American counter-strikes in creating Muslim antipathy toward the U.S.

    The lands of Islam have rediscovered the violent requirements of their orthodoxy numerous times over the last 1400 years. Blowback is a lense too small and ethno-centric (in a self-loathing way) to accurately view what is happening.

    For larger perspective, the “tigers” have been hunting us for a quarter century. PLO and Black September, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda’s attacks are a recent examples of a historical phenomenon much older and broader than U.S. – Islam relations. Bush did not declare the Fourth Jihad. It preceded him and has survived him.

    “Blowback” exists at the borders of every devout muslim country on the planet. The U.S. is not so omnipresent as the Quran’s justifications for war against the infidel.

    If you dislike forward policy, there is a strong enough historical case to be made against it. Talking about meaningless concepts like blowback does not begin to make that case.

    Your assertion that Bush has caused more terror attacks is still as unfounded as the benefits of tiger repellent. Make that case in earnest, then we can have a useful debate.

    Maybe I am missing your point(?), but I’ve never seen anyone try to quantify blowback. That which can mean anything, also (of course) means nothing.

    Comment by Aristoddler | June 5, 2009 | Reply

    • > Tigers did not unequivocally declare war on the
      > U.S. after 25 years of escalating attacks.

      Neither did the ostensible terrorists.

      First, they were our allies just a dozen or so years earlier. We trained and armed them, engaging in exactly the kind of policies the neocons advocate now, and producing the situation where they’d attack us later, just Bush set us up for future attacks, now.

      In fact, the Taliban were our allies just ONE MONTH before 9-11, when we sent them money to support their evil, repressive regime, because it brutally repressed, for religious reasons, opium farmers. Which was fine with the neocons.

      > This “inconvenient” declaration of war was deliberately ignored by a
      > president who saw more national interest in East Timor and Kosovo.
      > Nonetheless, it was a REAL declaration of war with real soldiers and
      > real civilian casualties.

      Actually, Clinton coined the vile phrase “war on terror”, and tried to exploit it…in fact, it was the actual Conservatives in Congress who blew that off. Rightfully so. Sadly, the neocons increased their influence, since.

      Kosovo was inexcusable…it was nation building, which we elected Bush in part because he promised not to do. He was an electoral liar, like his dad.

      > The same policy of official denial allowed us not to retaliate when the
      > FBI discovered that Iran sponsored the Khobar bombing.
      > The White House suppressed this fact while Cap Weinberger,
      > Louis Freeh and others told the truth.

      Who says they did sponsor it? I am not denying this, I don’t know it to be a nonsense myth like much of the neocon noise, but with the history of them lying about so much terror-related, like the Hussein-Al Qaeda link, and WMD, and Iraq as a major sponsor of terror, and that we should SUPPORT major state sponsors of terror like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, I certainly won’t take such claims at face value.

      Iran, either way, is a prime example of the sociopathic neocon mindset CREATING the problem. First, we supported an evil dictator in Iran. Then, when he was overthrown, we artificially kept the country as a fake enemy, to have a wimpy whipping boy to bully, for decades. Their people have been strongly pro-America for a very long time, but we actually supported the repressive nature of their regime with our insane economic sanctions.

      > There was no shortage of previous one-sided battles, but
      > there was a lack of willingness on the part of opportunistic
      > politicians who saw no personal benefit in retaliation.

      What is opportunistic is the politicians who are willing to cause mass death and suffering of innocents, in “retaliation” against people who are reacting against our foreign policy evils in the first place.

      How would YOU react, if a foreign power helped a dictator overthrow our government, as we did in Afghanistan? If one supported the tyrant with military aid, as we did/do in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, et cetera? If they placed an embargo on your country that crippled your economy so much that it increased death rates, like we did/do Iraq, Iran, and Cuba?

      > While Bush’s forward policy has not rehabilitated the “tigers”
      > (it was never intended to), it has demonstrably decelerated
      > the death of American civilians at the hands of your presumably
      > un-aggressive tigers. Even if this is a temporary respite, it’s a welcome one.

      No, your appeal to cowardice is doubly false because it’s simply untrue. As I point out in the article, there were no attacks on American civilians in as many years BEFORE 9-11, as after. In fact, there have been MORE terrorist attacks, in the countries we needlessly attacked and occupied, and elsewhere in the world. I believe the official count was something like triple the attacks, a few years ago.

      > To my knowledge, the only attack against Americans outside the
      > Middle East since 9/11 was a failed attack on an embassy in Greece
      > that claimed no lives. Europe has not been so fortunate.

      I’m not some sort of tribalist primitive, who thinks that causing attacks against civilians to snowball is OK, as long as it’s not American civilians. Nor do I hate American troops enough to think that their needless deaths are any less wrongful, even horrific, than those of civilians.

      Aside from hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths we have caused since we invaded, comparable to what we caused when we incited rebellion in Iraq and then pulled our troops out specifically so Hussein could butcher them, and of course the million-plus people who died from lack of food and medicine while we had the sanctions on them, more Americans have died in Iraq, again needlessly, than in the entire 9-11 attack.

      > I remember the watching the portrayal of Islamic terrorism in the movie “V”
      > as a paper tiger, and a false pretence for conservative tyranny. Ironically
      > part of the story took place in Leeds where Islamic militants would soon
      > murder English citizens in their own neighborhood.

      Confirming the evil and violence of Islam, the way the previous IRA attacks in England proved the evil and violence of Christianity.

      > There is some real value to becoming a hard target. As much as I
      > disagreed with Bush’s democracy evangelism, I understand the
      > meaning of a credible deterrent, and so do our enemies.

      Becoming even more aggressive and evil in our foreign policy “works” in much the same way that a bully who starts hitting smaller kids with a baseball bat instead of just his fists “works”. It’s still evil, still cowardly, and still is building up that much more tension to retaliate.

      > It’s easy to read too much into the relative domestic safety
      > under Bush (post 9/11) compared to previous administrations.

      Only if one is delusional, since in fact the danger is greater, and the number of domestic attacks is the same.

      > t’s also easy to overstate the supposed role of American
      > counter-strikes in creating Muslim antipathy toward the U.S.

      No, in fact it’s almost impossible to overstate that. How would YOU feel if it happened here?

      > The lands of Islam have rediscovered the violent requirements
      > of their orthodoxy numerous times over the last 1400 years.

      Ironically, it took more provocation than it has taken Christianity, with great frequency.

      > Blowback is a lense too small and ethno-centric
      > (in a self-loathing way) to accurately view what is happening.

      Sane people loath evil, even when it happens to someone else, even when it happens to one’s own benefit.

      Ethno-centrism is what drives the evil in the first place. Pretending that it’s OK for us to do to others what we’d never find tolerable if done to us. There isn’t a single aspect of foreign policy advocated by the neocons (do you self-identify as one?) that those very same people would not scream against if it were done to the US.

      > For larger perspective, the “tigers” have been
      > hunting us for a quarter century.

      Apparently, you never were read Thomas the Tank Engine stories as a child. “One engine is as good as another”, the trucks would say when pulling destructive pranks on the engines who had been KIND to them, in revenge for the mean ones…

      Various people have struck back against the evils we helped support, for decades…yes. But they were not the same people, and were not even really in common cause with them, although we’ve helped them come together with our evil responses, to some degree.

      The PLO were a reaction to the brutal evils of the racist Israeli government. Of course the PLO were evil, as all terrorism is, but WE were not responsible for their actions, whereas we DID support the Israeli government’s evils, therefore becoming partially responsible for them.

      And that’s a key point…it’s not self-hate, it’s a sense of responsibility among decent human beings. WE are responsible for our government’s foreign policy, and must speak out when it’s wrong. We don’t have direct responsibility for Egypt’s government, or Russia’s, or China’s…outside of our wrongful meddling…but we are directly responsible for our own.

      > Bush did not declare the Fourth Jihad. It preceded him and has survived him.

      No, but he and his dad created new reasons FOR it to go on. After 9-11, the appalled world was more against the Islamic rebellion than it has been since, as the US reacted in the very ways that provoke support.

      > “Blowback” exists at the borders of every devout muslim country on the planet.
      > The U.S. is not so omnipresent as the Quran’s justifications for war against the infidel.

      Islam has no more history or holy book support of violence than Christianity, or atheism. Most of the quotes supposedly proving it’s violent are taken out of context…ones that say “Kill the infidel who oppresses innocents, whether the innocents are Muslim or not” end up hacked to say “Kill the infidel…”

      > If you dislike forward policy, there is a strong
      > enough historical case to be made against it.

      Yes, every American principle is a case against neocon policy. In fact, only the Marxist rationale for evil, “the end justifies the means”, is an argument FOR it. This is not surprising, since neocons have Marxist philosophical roots.

      > Maybe I am missing your point(?), but I’ve never seen anyone try to
      > quantify blowback. That which can mean anything, also (of course) means nothing.

      Quantify blowback? 9-11 is an easy tally, a response to foreign policy evils of the previous twenty years. We TRAINED Al Qaeda, trained and funded the Taliban, gave military support to Pakistan when they were overthrowing the government of Afghanistan using the Taliban, and still more support when the Pakistani military overthrew the elected Pakistani government…

      There’s your blowback.

      Every time you claim Iran is secretly behind terrorism…the Iran we have crippled with economic terrorism, the Iran whose government was a violent response to the tyranny we supported with the Shah…you have your blowback.

      Comment by kazvorpal | June 6, 2009 | Reply

      • how frustrating. I was writing you a detailed response and either sent an unfinished version of it to you, or erased the entire thing :) Will reply tomorrow if at all possible. Thanks for the opportunity to discuss such a serious disagreement with another American who cares about liberty.

        Comment by aristoddler | June 7, 2009 | Reply

  4. I see your point, however you give Bush too much credit. In fact Bush is a puppet. It is the Federal Reserve Bank System that allowed this to happen. How so? By making us no longer responsible for the money we spend, or to put it another way, to make us no longer responsible for the DEBT WE CREATE through the MAGIC of fiat currencies, created out of thin air.

    You could also BLAME CHINA for being so stupid to keep funding our war machine though their buying US Treasuries/Bonds etc.

    Comment by Nathan Morris | May 27, 2009 | Reply

    • Speaking as an expert in Austrian philosophy and one active in the advocacy of liberty since the early nineties, this newfound obsession with the Federal Reserve and our debt is absolutely silly.

      And blaming it for the blowback from our sociopathic foreign policy is a great example of just how ridiculous it gets.

      These liberty newbies act like the Fed just started inflating the money supply in 2001, when in fact it STOPPED significantly inflating the money supply in 2001, cutting way back from the inflation it’d been doing during the previous years.

      And, more importantly, the Fed has existed since 1913, so people who discover what it does today, and then expect the system to fall apart any second, are just silly.

      A government monopoly gold standard, the only kind that can happen nationally, would actually make things worse, as it did when it caused a series of destructive economic depressions from 1871-1938. Note that we were on the gold standard for the first 25 years of the Federal Reserve’s existence, and the benefit we got from that was two depressions greater than any recession, plus several panics:

      https://butnowyouknow.wordpress.com/history-of-economic-downturns-in-the-us/

      What’s more, our foreign policy could function as hypocritically and destructively without the excess funding. For example, the increased prosperity that would occur if we had a free market in currency would fund the government just fine. It’d make more sense to blame our standing army and our conversion of the Department of War, only active when we’re defending ourselves, into the Department of Defense, a bureaucracy with the goal of justifying itself through conflict even between wars.

      And China mostly buys existing treasury notes, as an investment. They are not literally loaning money directly to the Federal Reserve, the way the liberty newbies seem to think. What’s more, they are doing this in response to the excess of eurodollars BECAUSE of the insane Bush foreign policies.

      Comment by kazvorpal | May 28, 2009 | Reply

  5. Ok.. how did Bush’s “evils” play a part in first World Trade Center bombing, U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, and U.S.S. Cole attack? Perhaps these tragedies lacked the scale of 9/11, but they can’t be dismissed (indeed, tiger attacks occurred – to use your metaphor). While it’s convenient to dump all hatred of the West in Bush’s lap, the truth is it’s been stewing for decades.

    Comment by Keith | May 27, 2009 | Reply

    • There was a longer space between the first world trade center bombing and 9-11, than between 9-11 and now. And that was the last time we were attacked on US soil, as I pointed out in the article.

      The two foreign attacks before 9-11 obviously do not count, or else we must count the hundreds, maybe thousands, of attacks that the Bush evils prompted since 9-11…which apologists like Cheney and the neocon talking heads carefully ignore.

      And the hatred was, indeed, stewing with less provocation. All we did was supply Saddam Hussein with WMD, and support the Pakistani military’s placement of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and place ten thousand troops in Saudi Arabia for a decade, and prop up evil, repressive governments around the world with billions of foreign aid dollars, as in Egypt and Pakistan, and TRAIN TERRORISTS in Afghanistan, and defend the Shah of Iran’s tyranny, incite revolts in Iraq and then specifically pull out our military so they’d be slaughtered by Hussein, kill over a million women and children with economic sanctions against that country, and…

      …and it’s therefore not surprising that the hatred built up. WE would have responded with far more violence, if people had done the same things to us.

      And it will be even less surprising, when eight years of even greater evils comes home to roost. The CIA-named “blowback” is likely to be worse, and more ongoing. OK, it already is, but it’s still just building.

      Comment by kazvorpal | May 27, 2009 | Reply


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