Wednesday, March 24, 2004

LILEKS (James) The Bleat: "One thought after hearing much of the 9/11 committee testimony. Eventually the 1993 bombing of the WTC was revealed as an act of Islamicist terrorism. Let's imagine the effect of the following scenario: President William J. Clinton invites the Saudi ambassador to the White House. Ushers him into a room with several TV monitors, clicks the remotes. There are four TV s with labels: Baghdad, Tehran, Damascus, Riyadh. President Clinton turns on the first three monitors, and as he's talking with the ambassador the monitors light up with huge explosions. Government buildings and leadership HQ s evaporate. The President turns to the Saudi ambassador and says 'this here is just a taste. Now you need to stop it, and stop it now.' The Riyadh monitor remains blank. The President sets out terms and conditions for the cessation of all terrorist activities against the United States, and takes his sweet time -- because the dark monitor is doing all the talking.

Would this have led to more terrorism? Less?"

Interesting thought. I think it would have led to a true crusade against the Arab world, and it's the reason why we use proportional responses. I do think it was a mistake, however, to deal only with the individual terrorists themselves--we should have delt with the governments somehow to reduce the risk. It's why I'm so scared about John Kerry saying that the War on Terror needs to be backed down to merely an intelligence and law enforcement process.

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