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HIGH HO SILVER! --- AWAY!!!!
dawn... Kenya and Tanzania were not lesser attacks. That is if we are considering civilians. And I would argue direct confrontation of our armed forces, in 'peacetime' (Khobar and Cole) were not lesser attacks in terms of the significance. What was 'lesser' was our reaction to put our head back in the sand while our enemy increased strength.
While I know your defense of Bush's Iraq misadventure is heartfelt, you should have examined your post more thoroughly. You yourself noted the futulity of the Iraq misadventure:
<Disinclined to bend to political expediency, he has little choice. It is known the USSR deployed over 22,000 nuclear warheads, and some are unaccounted for. Rogue nations are developing/producing nuclear weapons at an accelerated pace. Biological and chemical weapons are a continued threat. We cannot stop infiltration of illegal immigrants that now exceed legals, or the more than 20,000 pounds of illegal drugs per day. We cannot open over 50,000 trucks, ship containers, etc. crossing our borders each day without destroying trade/our economy, .... >
I would suggest first, assuming the world is as dangerous as you state and our borders as pourous, then selective preemptory offenses is merely a pretence. An admission that you can not or will not seal the borders, so a nuclear incident or two or more is bound to happen. So at least look like you are doing something.
I suggest if the risk is as great as you state, then the answer is sealing the border and rearranging the economy. Rearranging the economy is preferable to the present pseudo plan. Certainly the first smuggled neuclear bomb would be closer to your description of 'destroying' our economy.
Maybe you haven't noticed. Saddam has been gone for over 30 months and we are still holed up in that country. The selective HIT was years ago. We are spending 5 BILLION a month on this misadventure. That is a present rearrangement of our economy.
<In short, the world is dangerous, passive defense failed; therefore, selective preemptory offense, coupled with more active defense, is the only realistic course.>
Tens of months of occupation is not a selective preemptory offense. It is nation building, colonialism....STUPIDITY.
Bring our troops home now. Let the real battle for Iraq go on. Let us strike at the islamofascist training camps whereever they appear in the world. Let us seal our borders. We will be much safer and our economy much richer.
Leon Trotsky is reputed to have said "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you."
Those who subscribe to the idea the U.S. sought the war on terror seem to forget 9/11/01 and lesser attacks endured for years. Now, those confused (including those pretending to be confused in order to nourish other agendas) seem to be saying things would have been great had we not stirred up the hornet's nest of Afghanistan and Iraq.
This is a bit like denigrating the police during a growing crime problem, when a high percentage of the criminals choose to gather, take a stand, and reinforce themselves in one neighborhood, and detractors decide the police are creating too much fuss when they confront the criminals there. Work to compel the police to pull back based on arguments more will be hurt or killed, or it costs too much money, would be generally recognized as unworthy of respect. As with this example, our military members, who are closest to the danger in Afghanistan and Iraq, also best understand the long term value to the rest of us if their objectives are achieved. Unless one believes they and their leaders are stupid, or dupes, this should be persuasive.
Those who listened to the President's speech today heard him address some of these matters, noting several instances where countries have tried the passive approach, and experienced terror attacks anyway; saying the U.S. did nothing to provoke earlier attacks against us; that the extremists we are battling wish to undermine and de-stabliize democratic governments and we are a primary obstacle; many planned attacks have been thwarted; and we will stay the course.
Disinclined to bend to political expediency, he has little choice. It is known the USSR deployed over 22,000 nuclear warheads, and some are unaccounted for. Rogue nations are developing/producing nuclear weapons at an accelerated pace. Biological and chemical weapons are a continued threat. We cannot stop infiltration of illegal immigrants that now exceed legals, or the more than 20,000 pounds of illegal drugs per day. We cannot open over 50,000 trucks, ship containers, etc. crossing our borders each day without destroying trade/our economy, .... In short, the world is dangerous, passive defense failed; therefore, selective preemptory offense, coupled with more active defense, is the only realistic course.
The cost represents virtually nothing when compared to potential damage from any alternative solution. War can be described as "waste", just as maintaining a standing military, buying sandbags or insurance, or swerving to miss nails in the road can be described as "waste".
But there is dumb waste, and smart waste. I strongly suspect no one on this board can explain which the war on terror is; therefore, most of this is speculation and opinion, with some providing comfort to those who would do us harm,
which is personally bothersome.