Sunday, October 02, 2005

Bali Bombing Suspects Linked to Al-Qaida

Link to AP article

BALI, Indonesia - Indonesia said Sunday it suspected two fugitives linked to al-Qaida had masterminded the suicide bombings of crowded restaurants in tourist resorts on the Indonesian island of Bali which killed at least 26 people and injured more than 100.

Pat: So lemme guess: Whereas no terror attacks prove the war on terror is being won, terror attacks like this prove we must back Bush's war on terror. You know, I don't think you get to declare a policy successful whether it works or doesn't. If there's terrorism, you haven't yet won the war on terror. And if terror attacks increase every year—as they have been doing—then you're losing the war on terror.

Tim: We're moving the front. America was the front on Sept. 11th. We moved the front through Europe, Afghanistan, and we're working on Iraq. Of course there are terror attacks. Terrorists are under threat, and are responding. They're attacking because their backs are against the wall. Surely you wouldn't claim that WW2 was being lost in 1943 because more Americans were dying than before we got involved with stopping Hitler.

Pat: Terrorism isn't Hitler. That's ridiculous. There is not a hierarchy, there is not a regular army, there is not a nation-state to stop. There is no Luftterror. There is no Reichsterror. There are not generals and supply lines. There are not bases and factories, save tiny ones that can be packed up and moved in half an hour. You can bomb a regular army into submission. You can bomb a regular nation-state into submission. But you cannot bomb a guerilla front into submission, as Vietnam showed and Iraq is showing. And you cannot shoot a terror network into submission, as Israel showed and Al-Qaida is showing.

Tim: I didn't say we just had to bomb them, I said we had to fight them. All I claimed was that it was going to get worse before it got better. But it will get better, and abandoning the fight while it's at its worst part is like abandoning repairs of a car right after you take the engine out to fix it.

Pat: Well, that's an awkward analogy if I've ever read one. But the War on Terror as the Bush White House fights it is little more than bombing terrorists. Sure, we pay lip service to actually fighting terror, and we fund a few governments here and there to get them to police themselves, and we cut off a few lines of funding every few months--but mostly we spend our time and money bombing terrorists (and the civilians who live near them). And it isn't working. Terror attacks come faster and faster. And don't give me that "on our soil" shit either: People are people, American or not. And if you really do think American lives are more worthwhile, I got 2000 American soldiers I can point to who didn't get their lives saved by this War on Terror.

Tim: Everything you've mentioned has uses. This is bleeding into the last argument. We're winning the war on terror, and that's all that matters.

Pat: Are you blind, deaf, or both?

Tim: Blind and deaf only to ignorant prattling.

Pat: Then how do you watch Bush speak? Is he a silent black hole on stage or what? Do you ask people next to you to recap or something?

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