Don't watch ABC Sunday and Monday nights

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It appears ABC has folded to the liberal ideologists and Clinton legacy industry and will sanitize the less-than-favorable aspects of its "The Path to 9-11" docudrama.


"The content of this drama is factually and incontrovertibly inaccurate, and ABC has a duty to fully correct all errors or pull the drama entirely," Mr. Lindsey wrote. "It is unconscionable to mislead the American public about one of the most horrendous tragedies our country has ever known."

Also yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and four other Senate Democrats wrote to Mr. Iger urging him to cancel the miniseries, which they said "could be construed as right-wing political propaganda."


Next, I plan to write to the producers of every single other show on ABC, which "could be construed as left-wing political propaganda."

Just kidding. Actually, I plan to watch football or the Food Network those nights because I don't care what the idiots in charge decide to do. Screw ABC. They should have immediately told Albright, Berger et. al. to relieve themselves up a rope.

We all know what the Clinton administration did about al Qaida.

(Hint: It's a Spanish word beginning with 'n' that rhymes with 'dada'.)

If you are a glutton for punishment, or have no access to cable or satellite and have no deck of cards with which to play solitaire and therefore feel compelled to watch the program, you might check in with Accuracy in Media or Hugh Hewitt (start here and here.)

One of them may be posting updates on the changes ABC may implement on behalf of the Boy President.

But I'd recommend just doing something else Sunday and Monday nights. If the "uncut" version is ever released you can buy it via the underground and watch it in your bunker.

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35 Comments

Moderate 5-19 said:

Joe,

Are you kidding, the makers of the movie admit that many of the scenes in the movie are PURE FICTION, never happened at. You can't run (what’s being called a docu-drama) and have flat out lies.

And let’s remember that one of the networks pulled the Ronald Reagan story when the Reagan family complained that "it showed the former President in a bad light".

I won't watch this show at all, I never planned to. But, not because of the inaccuracies, but because I believe it is HIGHTLY INAPPROPRIATE for anyone to make money on this National tragedy. Advertisers hope this "docu-drama" would get high ratings, thus making them big bucks.

But conservatives can’t whine about this when they had the Reagan story pulled from the networks for less inaccuracies then this story is stated to have.

Still, it seems less interesting since they are sanitizing it - and not because of "flat out lies," because of Clinton officials pitching a hissy fit.

You have pretty high standards if you take offense to a TV or movie company trying to make money off a tragedy, national or otherwise. Good standards to have, I'll admit. I'd see this more as a parallel to Tora! Tora! Tora! though - a war movie rather than purely a tragedy.

Good point about the Reagan show, an episode I didn't pay attention to - did they just never air it? I mean, TV and especially the networks air all kinds of horrible mis-truths all the time. That must of been quite a PR campaign to convince them not to run something.

I think in that case the network was more concerned about alienating middle- America viewers than appeasing any conservatives or members of the Reagan administration.

Moderate 5-19 said:

Joe,
The Reagan movie ended up showing on a cable channel; just at this movie is going to do. And not it was not because they were worried about Middle America, it was because the family, past administration officials as well the conservative movement as a whole, as you, "say pitched a hissy fit"

jacob said:

M5
Considering the ABC 'coverage of Iraq' is so biased to the left its gonna tip over if they don't prop it up, this mini-series would have been a breath of fresh air.

The comaparison with the Reagan movie is not quit right either. Here is why.
1. The actor playing Reagan hates Reagan, thw actors playng CLinton and his gang voted for Clinton.

2.The sympathies of the rest of the staff working this project is also toward Clinton and his gang.

3. Just because Mad Notbright says someting is fictionalised does not mean it is so. Admittedly, I am going out on a limb here, I need to get more info. So point three is conjecture.

4. Clinton and his bunch treated this as a law enforcement problem. That is not a correct model. This is a war, we ought to stop molly coddling the terrorist. This link says it all writh regard to how we get treated by the Jihadists.
http://www.gocomics.com/glennmccoy/2006/07/13/

In the end I think you are right that the whole mess will wind up on cable, but it will glorify St. Clinton of Littlerock and his twelve apostles er I mean cabinet.

-JA

Moderate 5-19 said:

JA,

Lies are never a "Breath of Fresh Air" assuming that ABC is bias toward Clinton and liberals in general; the answer is not that they now over correct that mistake by airing a docu-drama with scenes that everyone now admits did not happen. Being bias toward the right is just as wrong. As all of our parents told us "two wrong don’t make a right".

Also as we have recently learned with what (thank God) did not happen in Loudon. This GWOT is a combination of on the ground fighting forces, intelligence and police work.
I remember the right had a fit when Kerry made the observation that this war would primarily be an intelligence and police operation, (primarily being the operative word). It seems as if he was not wrong. The (Thank God) foiled London plot was found out because of great intelligence and police action. I guess what I’m saying is that military might and intelligence/police work go hand in hand to fight the GWOT

Either way this movie should not show.

Finally I’m concerned that September 11th has become what both parties will use to prop up their political positions. I'm just as political as the next guy/gal but come on. Using Sep 11th for partisan gain is not our Country’s proudest moment for either party.

Gnossis said:

"Clinton and his bunch treated this as a law enforcement problem."

And from January 20, 2001 to September 10, 2001 Bush and his bunch didn't treat it as much of anything at all.

Hindsight is always 20/20. It doesn't make everything that happened in the past an example of poor decision-making at the time. It also doesn't minimize current focus on the issue so that it is somehow reasonable because although we know we are at risk, (to paraphrase W.) we're not certain of the when/where/how of that risk.

Failing to act on a PDB entitled 'OBL determined to attack inside US' is just as damnable as anything one might try to blame on Clinton and Co.

Getting back to the original post: ABC is moronic for thinking it needs to **add drama** to a story about the single event that has driven and overshadowed American behavior and policy for the last 5 years.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

in fact, Clinton set up a number of counter-terrorism programs which the Bush people threw out right off the bat in order to fund Bush's first great tax cut.

and it is true that Clinton never let UBL slip away. I remember a situation where some shadowy dude offered to give the exact whereabouts of UBL in exchange for $ several million. Clinton declined on the grounds of who-the-hell-is-this-guy-and-how-do-we-know-he's-not-a-terrorist-fundraiser-himself?
I think this might be the origins of the conservative "Clinton let UBL get away" myth.

Furthermore, given the traditional definition of war, it was only logical to classify terrorism as organized crime rather than an act of war. Only a state can wage war, this is the basis for Bush's "illegal enemy combatants" argument. And the word "illegal" implies that they are criminals (rather that warriors).

this sounds like a case of conservatives wanting to have their cake and eat it too, which is understandable two months out of an election, but that doesn't mean it isn't a load of bull.

I seem to remember all these conservative pundits who are whining about the doc not airing on ABC now whining about inaccuracies in Fahrenheit 9/11 when it came out, and that was a film in the theaters that people had to pay to see.

conservatives just hate Clinton because he managed to do the things they fancy themselves as being good at yet always manage to fail miserably at, like balancing the budget, increasing trade, raising the standard of living, and maintaining America's position as the preeminent global superpower.

it'd be like out-curling a canadian, they might take it to heart.

zimzo said:

Is there truly nothing you guys filter through your ideology-addled brains? I don't know if any of you witnessed the attacks on the Pentagon but I watched the two towers of the World Trade Center fall in front of my eyes--not on television. It really sickens me how you can take this tragedy which I have thought about every single day for the past five years of my life and use it as just another cudgel to bash Clinton and score cheap political points. Seriously, you guys should be totally ashamed of yourselves. But you're probably not. I don't expect anything more than a snarky flip comment or another liberal-bashing insult but I just thought this needed to be said.

Jack said:

The mother of a girl in my son's 3rd-grade class was murdered in the Pentagon that day.

I find it difficult to reconcile your feelings about 9/11, zimzo, with your lack of concern that terrorists may be coming over the border. We know that drugs are smuggled across every day. What else may be coming across?

Jonathan said:

Jack,

You're a big time Town Hall blogger now and readers expect you to abide by higher standards. You can't redefine words at your whim. You do agree that ideas need protection.

If America is engaged in a war on terror, one would expect there to be military targets on both sides. If somebody is killed as a result of an attack on a military target, they are termed a "casuality", or if they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, "collateral damage". The term "murdered" is not generally used by respectable bloggers and journalists under these circumstances.

The Pentagon is, by definition a military target. "Murder" definitely is an inappropriate term. It simultaneously mis-characterizes the human loss and cheapens the war on terror. Is it a war or a police investigation?

Zimzo,
You received worse than snarky or flip. Jack bloviated hysterical histrionic propoganda. You're wasting your time here. Let the NOvaTownHall blog sputter and die (murdered by lack of interest?) of blogging incompetence. Give them the BigI. Ignore them.

jacob said:

Gnossis,
"And from January 20, 2001 to September 10, 2001 Bush and his bunch didn't treat it as much of anything at all."
Let me see, a given policy is in place place for 8 years, and suddenly the Bush adinistration ought to see the need to immediately prepare for something and change course radicaly. Hmmm. Wait, you provide the answer yourself ... "Hindsight is always 20/20."

"It doesn't make everything that happened in the past an example of poor decision-making at the time."
A wonderful argument, would you care to apply these very words to Iraq which is far more difficult? Or is such consideration only given to Democrats?

Gnossis, we have had two paradymes for dealing with terrorists shown to us over the years. In one the problem is dealt with as a police issue, in the other it is treated as a military problem.

The British dealt with the IRA as a pack of gangsters, they never got any respite, until other forces came into play.

The Israeli's got the first entefada(sp?) to end when they went to war with the leadership of Hammas. The fact that they later got a 2nd entefada was a function of the Hamas reaping the benefits of peace. The lesson is one ought to NOT let up, nor should one treat the issue as criminal matter.

-JA

jacob said:

M5,
"Lies are never a "Breath of Fresh Air" assuming that ABC is bias toward Clinton and liberals in general; the answer is not that they now over correct that mistake by airing a docu-drama with scenes that everyone now admits did not happen. Being bias toward the right is just as wrong. As all of our parents told us "two wrong don’t make a right"."
I basically agree with you. Bias in either direction is not something we want in objective news. The problem is we never get objective news ANYWHERE. It is not possible to remove it.

The breath of fresh air would be to see the left getting a dose of its own BS from a MSM outlet. With over 90% of the MSM crowd voting for ADD (any dam democrat) the coverage is badly tilted.

In my opinion if the news consumed by the vast majority of americans is written, edited and presented by left wing democrats (joe lieberman/sam nunn types these guys ain't) then it is tainted irreperably. If the news rooms reflected america I would truct what they right far more than I do.

Having grown up with the NYT in the house everyday, and, learning how to interpret the likes of Pravda and Isvestia I have come to treat news like any other human endveour. Look at the source.

-JA

charles said:

The show was a "docu-drama". As in all docudramas, they have to tell a story, and they do it with people having conversations. Since they don't know what was actually said by these people, they make it up based on "plausibility", but they acknowledge it isn't exact quotes.

For example, Albright complains that she didn't have a specific conversation with a foreign leader that is shown. Maybe she didn't. The 9/11 commission report says that the leader was told, but not who told. I guess they could have had the leader getting a phone call and not shown the person, but that's not how docudramas are done.

I just watched a docudrama about the towers that a relative of my wife was in. He played a man who died in the towers, and had MANY lines. Most of those lines were written by people who had no idea what the guy actually said. It's how docudramas work.

On another point, the "facts" are simply in dispute. The 9/11 report mentions a CIA person named Mike who makes claims about attempts to get Bin Laden. The clinton administration disputes his accounts, but the man who is Mike has posted his detailed information standing by his story. I guess the 9/11 show could ignore that altogether, but it wouldn't be much of a show. In this case, they decided the anonymous CIA guy had less reason to misrepresent things than the clinton administration officials, and chose to use HIS point of view from the 9/11 commission report.

Now, about democrats. When Kean was announcing the 9/11 report, they all talked about how fair, and impartial, and non-partisan he was, and how republican partisans should take the lead from him.

He was intimately involved in this movie. So now they are denouncing him as a lousy governor and a partisan hack. Maybe he is, but if so he was that when he was commissioner as well.

The funny thing is, most of what the DailyKos people are complaining about AREN'T about little made-up conversations. They are about things that the 9/11 report clearly states.

Most people haven't read the 9/11 report, and have just taken the principles from the Clinton administration at their word regarding what it says.

Lastly, I don't care if the movie shows or not. I'm betting it is pretty harsh on the republicans as well, but you don't see the RNC fighting it.

The idea that ABC has suddenly become a right-wing cabal is right up the DailyKos alley. Everybody who doesn't say exactly what they want is evil (like Joe Leiberman, and Wynn, and they even went after Harmon). Contrary opinions must not just be refuted, they must be suppressed.

The clinton administration has had ample chance to give their side of the story. Suppressing a TV show is way beyond reasonable for elected government officials.

BTW, there are no ads being shown for this, so there isn't advertising money involved. I suppose there is good will, but that won't count for much now with this controversy.

jacob said:

Jonathon,
Are suffering from blog envy?

Zimzo rants and sputters here all the time. We answer his questions he avoids ours. Such is life.

Jack and Zim both were impacted by 9/11, I have a friend who was never found, grew up in NY and frankly I am pissed to this day.

The only hysterical comment I saw was yours. "You received worse than snarky or flip. Jack bloviated hysterical histrionic propoganda." is out of proportion to say the least, especially in light of Zimzo indefatigably combative tone.

As for "Let the NOvaTownHall blog sputter and die (murdered by lack of interest?) of blogging incompetence" Lighten up fellow.

-JA

jacob said:

Zimbrain,
"Is there truly nothing you guys filter through your ideology-addled brains?" Are you writing about us or yourself? We at least dignify your posts by answering the questions you pose. You on the other hand do not. Is that laziness? Or are you having more fun refering to us as 'adled' etc etc etc.

-JA

Moderate 5-19 said:

JA

"The problem is we never get objective news ANYWHERE. It is not possible to remove it".

I think we may agree on that point, fact most networks and cable news channels lean one way or the other. (I tend to watch MSNBC) and most (but not all) national papers lean left. Having said that the idea I’m going to make a comparison to what you said;

After O.J. Simpson was found innocent of killing two people, I spoke to many African Americans who basically said, they really did think he was guilty but for once the a black man got away with what white people always get away with. I found that logic ludicrous, but now you are basically saying the same thing. Because media has been so far left its now ok for them to state out right lies because it is written edited and presented by right wing Republicans. Wrong is wrong.

(and before you all go crazy no I’m not saying this movie is as important as two dead people, I’m just making the comparison of JA logic)

Charles,
Can you really not see why your logic is flawed? You are right there have been movies in which the people involved are dead, thus a conversation that they may or may not have had is inserted in to the script. This is not the same thing, these people are ALIVE, and saying these conversations (or anything like them) ever took place is just a flat out lie. Even the producers of the movie are saying that they took “artistic license” thats artsy talk for “its not true”

As my friend Joe says, “Great Caesars Ghost” are we really not at all worried about any accuracy in the media as long as our side (what ever side you may be on) looks good.

And let me say this one more time, it’s September 11th, we should not politicize it at all


Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

Jacob,

"The fact that they later got a 2nd entefada was a function of the Hamas reaping the benefits of peace. The lesson is one ought to NOT let up, nor should one treat the issue as criminal matter."

by this, you seem to be implying that the only way to preserve our country and way of life is through endless war. personally, I find this idea rather disturbing

Jacob Ash said:

Marshmallow,
Endless war, hell no. What you are implying is akin to the endless fueding of the Scottish highlands.

War until one achieves victory is another matter. The constant calls for cease fire only prolongs the conflict and gives the other side a respite. Remmember unconditional surrender? In WWII we got that; things have been quiet on the Rhine since then.

Does that make more sense to you?

-JA

Gnossis said:

Jake:

"[I said hindsight is 20/20, blah blah blah] A wonderful argument, would you care to apply these very words to Iraq which is far more difficult?"

I'd be happy to if you can clarify that question. Because I'm not sure if you're trying to get at something specific re: Iraq, my only retort to that at this time is: when W and Co. beat the wardrums in 2002-03 there was no hard evidence of Saddam being involved in 9/11 or being in posession of imminently threatening WMDs (as determined by UN inspectors, though questioned by American intelligence)

"Or is such consideration only given to Democrats?"

Again, I don't quite follow you. I wasn't making a GOP v. Dem argument. In your first post you criticized Clinton and Co. for handling terrorism as an issue of "law enforcement." The point of my response was that once Bush and Co. took power, terrorism was not a high priority (in re-reading my post I think I could've emphasized that more).

In your response to my response you said: "[so you think the] Bush ad[m]inistration ought to see the need to immediately prepare for something and change course radical[l]y."

Not necessarily. I do think, however, that they should have given the matter higher priority and acted swiftly and decisively on the PDB entitled 'OBL Determined to Strike Inside US.'

"we have had two [paradigms] for dealing with terrorists...The British dealt with the IRA as a pack of gangsters, they never got any respite, until other forces came into play."

Wow. Talk about over-simplification!

The Anglo-Irish tensions pre-date the IRA by centuries and you ignored the existance of Unionist paramilitaries (e.g., the UDA) in the more recent end of that struggle. Both sides engaged in gangster-ish and terroist behavior.
The "other forces" to which you allude are political conversation and negotiation between the two factions. By engaging on a political level, the violence gradually subsided and a more peaceful (though just as adamant) struggle came to replace it.

You then go on to cite the Israel/Palestine conflict. I think the current status of this conflict is comparable, on some level, to the Anglo-Irish conflict in the early 1980s when Sinn Fein began to emerge as a legitimate political force for Irish Republicanism. Now that Hamas (perhaps unwittingly) has political legitimacy via the democratic process, they have to answer to and provide for their electorate. Failure to do so would likely reduce the group's appeal/support. Unfortunately, the Fatah party hasn't been terribly strong in its leadership and until a popularly-elected Palestinian government makes significant headway in terms of negotiating with Israel, I don't hold out much hope for a dramatic reduction in violence. US foreign policy needs to be revamped and intensified in this arena.

For the last 5 years, W and Co. have been quite content to approach the matter of Islamic extremism with primarily military force. Military force works when you're fighting a conventional enemy (e.g., another state), but it's too blunt of a tool to use effectively or decisively against scattered pockets of fanatics armed to the teeth. It is my opinion that our government needs to focus more resources and thought on fully understanding what makes these extreme groups so attractive. My gut is that it's not because they "hate Freedom," and it probably isn't helping that we have a huge military presence occupying a good chunk of their part of the world.

After the tsunami in Indonesia (which has the most Muslims of any country in the world), American philanthropic relief drastically improved the Indonesians' opinion of this country. I'm not saying we should send billions of dollars to places where we're unpopular, but we absolutely should spend billions of dollars to improve the perception of America in places where extremist groups are the most attractive option for disenchanted citizens. Anything less than that doesn't effectively address the root cause of the problems we see today.

BigAl said:

A different perspective:

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=16621

"Let me start by saying that "The Path to 9/11" is one of the best, most intelligent, most pro-American miniseries I've ever seen on TV, and conservatives should support it and promote it as vigorously as possible."
-- Human Events

Jack said:

Jonathan:

My head is not so big yet. This is just NoVATownHall, not Town Hall. Second, I never claimed to be respectable.

If you wish to say the people in the WTC towers were murdered, and those in the Pentagon were casualties, have it your way.

I'll let you explain it to the woman's daughter.

Jack said:

Gnossis:

Your comparison of the Israeli/Arab to Northern Ireland has one major flaw: the English had someplace else to call home.

charles said:

M519, the 9/11 commission has proof that a foreign leader was told something. NO clinton official will admit having told them. But they were told, so somebody is "lying". The docudrama takes a shot at the most likely suspect.

Most docudramas are about people who are alive, and make claims that the people strongly protest.

So long as they put a disclaimer on it, this isn't "worse" just because the people being talked about are clinton officials.

Mark this: If we used the standards the DNC are applying to this docudrama, there will NEVER AGAIN be a docudrama on TV, at least about ANY event where anybody is still alive.

Name a docudrama, and I'll bet you could find three examples where there is a dispute about what is being said.

Anyway, the real issue isn't the mock outrage over "the worst pack of lies ever", or whatever hystrionics are being used. The issue is that elected members of our government have threatened to use their position in government to punish ABC if they don't exercise prior restraint over their first amendment right to put on fictionalized accounts of events.

DailyKos is thrilled that their coordinated effort at censorship will succeed. We already know that most TV is left-leaning, can there be any more doubt now that it is now that we see that a show that even HINTS at skewering democrats will be censored by government officials?

Gnossis said:

Jack:

"Your comparison of the Israeli/Arab to Northern Ireland has one major flaw: the English had someplace else to call home."

You don't think the Israelis and Palestinians can co-exist in neighboring states? Why?

And while I understand there are fundamental differences in the Anglo-Irish and Israeli-Palestinian situations, my larger point was to suggest political inclusion as a means of dampening and controlling extremism through accountability to the voting public.

Moderate 5-19 said:

Charles,

The DNC is using pretty much the same standards that the GOP did on the Reagan docu-drama, and it was pulled and ran only on Showtime.

I'm going to do some research but if my memory serves me elected members of the GOP also sent letters to the network about the Reagan Family movie.

You can have it one of two ways Charles, 1) You can decide that bias reporting should stop on both sides, (as I believe) or, 2) You can get over it because What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander, so STOP WHINNING about how the terrible Dems and the media are always mean to the GOP.

This is bi-partisan madness.

And let me say this one more time, it’s September 11th, we should not politicize it at all


Jonathan, your point about 'murder' doesn't make sense. That's out of character for you.

Zimzo, none of us made the movie, which would seem the more appropriate target of your indignation. I just said don't watch it.

Gnossis, "we absolutely should spend billions of dollars to improve the perception of America in places where extremist groups are the most attractive option for disenchanted citizens"??

A nice thought, certainly we should try something. But your calculus is way wrong in my opinion. On so many levels I don't know where to start.

For one, how do we fight "disenchantment" in other countries and other cultures? Our billions sent to the PLO certainly haven't made those people any more enchanted. Ditto for a hundred other places in the world.

What you can do, though, is fight 'enemies' with 'war.' Which, I admit, the U.S. has not always done as effectively as possible. When you BEAT them, they LEAVE YOU ALONE. That's where peace comes from in this world.

Bush and Co. could be doing a much better job of it, but I don't know of any Democratic leaders with plans for doing it better.

Jack said:

Gnossis asked: "You don't think the Israelis and Palestinians can co-exist in neighboring states? Why?"

Because the Arabs won't let them. Their maps do not show Israel, and they do not recognize Israel's right to exist. Not even the most militant of the IRA said they would wipe England off the face of the Earth.

Jacob Ash said:

Gnossis,
Dang Gnossis, your extended comment demands a response. I am too busy right now, but this deserves, no, demands to be noticed. Dang you. ;-)

“my only retort to that at this time is: when W and Co. beat the wardrums in 2002-03 there was no hard evidence of Saddam being involved in 9/11 or being in posession of imminently threatening WMDs (as determined by UN inspectors, though questioned by American intelligence)”
Our current president never linked Saddam directly with 9/11. I defy you to find a speech of his that does so. The only folks who KEEP bringing this up are in the fever swamps of the DailyKos, moveOn and the DemocraticUnderground. ( I can’t wait for this place to be called a fever swamp, now that I said it, we will be charged with such)

As for the US intelligence thinking there were WMD’s, they were wrong. But, most notably, so was Massad, MI5, the KGB (I do not remember what they call themselves now) and the French Intelligence service. In the world of spies the CIA, though wrong in this case, was in good company. The fact that we were not alone w.r.t. the existence of WMD’s is something that NO ONE in the MSM is willing to acknowledge.

Thus when you brought up the whole ‘hindsight is not 20/20’ it hit a nerve. Bush was always labeled a liar from the beginning even though every other leader in the West said the same thing, including many in the ‘loyal’ opposition in our country. This is rank partisanship, and nothing more.

If you hate someone to the point of ignoring any fact that might in any way be ‘an inconvenient truth’ then you cease to be effective, or sane. Instead of Bush being seen as mistaken we get the imbecilic ‘Bush Lied, People Died’ rant. BTW I think that particular bumper sticker helped the GOP picking up seats in the house and senate in 02 and 04. ;-)

“"Or is such consideration only given to Democrats?"
Again, I don't quite follow you. I wasn't making a GOP v. Dem argument.”
Fair enough, I will demonstrate. You talk about hind sight being 20/20 with regard to Clinton. Then you write …

‘Not necessarily. I do think, however, that they should have given the matter higher priority and acted swiftly and decisively on the PDB entitled 'OBL Determined to Strike Inside US.'

Why would Bush take this so seriously? It was one report among thousands and it was his first year in office. He thought he had bigger fish to fry than some Arab in sitting Afghanistan, yet based on ONE report he should have acted ‘swiftly and decisively’. Talk about 20/20 hind sight!! And thus my “"[so you think the] Bush ad[m]inistration ought to see the need to immediately prepare for something and change course radical[l]y." comment. (BTW, thank you for pointing out the abysmal spelling. We here at NOVA Townhall really need to provide a better comments interface.)

You are unforgiving of Bush’s lack of pre-9/11 prophetic insight, yet Clinton’s myopia is forgivable. Sorry, that does not wash. What is sauce for the goose really needs to be sauce for the gander. I am making an assumption here that you are form the left end of the political spectrum. It is such inconsistency in standards that poisons the political air. I am sure Gnossis that you are capable of recalling instances where the standards were not applied evenly w.r.t Clinton. I can imagine your anger at such. So does doing more of the same help matters?

One more issue with regard to the first year. Bush came in and left the Democratic appointees in State and at the CIA in place as part of his wildly unsuccessful attempt at reconciliation with the Democrats. I believe this had repercussions, because of the poisonous atmosphere generated by the election, one would think that communication between individuals and department’s was ‘minimal’ to be charitable. Our government was not operating at its ‘best’ over at State and the CIA, and I think they are a bunch of clowns to begin with.

With regard to the IRA-British example, it was an oversimplification. I was busy going elsewhere and I was not up to getting into all the details regarding the 800+ year old British invasion of Ireland. So I am certainly guilty as charged of oversimplifying.
Still, my point about the police approach not solving the problem is valid. Do you disagree with that sir?

As for your statement …
“The "other forces" to which you allude are political conversation and negotiation between the two factions. By engaging on a political level, the violence gradually subsided and a more peaceful (though just as adamant) struggle came to replace it.”
… is itself an oversimplification of what happened. ;-)

But even worse, it is not what I see as the driver towards the current calm. It was the people of Ireland getting out and marching in protest of the behavior of the IRA and UDA types that drove the politicians to the table. Ireland’s current, relatively peaceful state is a wonderful example of ‘people power.’

The culture of the Ireland changed. The desire for revenge was eclipsed by the desire for peace. If such a culture does not exist, then negotiation is a futile activity at best. It was not ‘engaging at the political level’ that tamed Ireland, it was the mothers of Ireland tiring of their children getting blown to kingdom come. You have placed the cart before the horse here sir.

Which brings me to your musings regarding the Israel/Palestine issue; I agree with your assessment right up until … “US foreign policy needs to be revamped and intensified in this arena.” Until there is a cultural change in the Palestinian Arab populous, we are stuck in this cycle. What can we do, the Palestinians are NOT ready for peace. They do not seek peace. They do not want peace. So let us talk!?

This is a situation where the war option is valid, with Israel prosecuting the war. The other side only uses ‘peace’ to rearm and re-supply. Political negotiations must be in good faith, there is none when dealing with Fatah, Hamas or any other Arab Fascist entity. One does not negotiate with Nazi’s.

You say ‘For the last 5 years, W and Co. have been quite content to approach the matter of Islamic extremism with primarily military force. Military force works when you're fighting a conventional enemy (e.g., another state), but it's too blunt of a tool to use effectively or decisively against scattered pockets of fanatics armed to the teeth.’
If all we did was fight in Iraq I would agree with you! We have however trained a new Iraqi army, and they have taken over their own operations and command earlier this week (really). We also have rebuilt schools, roads and other infrastructure. It is not just military might, but the training and building would be impossible without it..

“It is my opinion that our government needs to focus more resources and thought on fully understanding what makes these extreme groups so attractive. My gut is that it's not because they "hate Freedom,"”
Well, they do hate the ‘Democratic process’, Al Qaieda’s(sp?) words not mine. They also are not big on the rights of women. Hussein’s Bath party used rape as a policing method. The Taliban – Wahabi types believe women ought not be seen, let alone heard. I base that on their words and actions. Check your gut Gnossis, power hungry fascists are not big on freedom. Do you remember the Japanese in WWII, or the Germans?

“and it probably isn't helping that we have a huge military presence occupying a good chunk of their part of the world.” Not having a military there did not do wonders for our image pre-Gulf War I. We have been under terrorist attack for over 30 years now. The comment verges on the non-sequitor. I am not being insulting; I just do not see how you prosecute a war without troops.

‘After the tsunami in Indonesia (which has the most Muslims of any country in the world), American philanthropic relief drastically improved the Indonesians' opinion of this country.’
It did improve Indonesians opinion of us some, maybe drastically. Your source on this would be appreciated. I also recall the government telling us to get out. Now, why was that done? The question is not rhetorical, I want your take on this.

‘we absolutely should spend billions of dollars to improve the perception of America in places where extremist groups are the most attractive option for disenchanted citizens.’
I agree with the sentiment here sir. But if you go in, build a school and the other side burns it down, and kills the teachers you are not going to get very far. Security is need for a good-works program don’t you think? (the paradigm here is Iraq)

‘Anything less than that doesn't effectively address the root cause of the problems we see today.’
Is this not a trifle over simplified? The Imans all over the Muslim world get money from Wahabist Saudi Arabia. The string attached for this money dictates they preach violent anti-Western themes. I feel that is a bigger root of the problem than the ‘ugly American troops’. How do we address that force sir?

-JA

Gnossis said:

Joe:
"For one, how do we fight "disenchantment" in other countries and other cultures?"

That's for the guys in charge to figure out. The point is that a military conflict lasting who knows how long (decades?) is the best recruiting tool the terrorist groups could possibly hope for. I'm not advocating a complete withdrawal of troops, I'm advocating a serious re-thinking and re-implementation of how we practice diplomacy and foreign policy. We're operating with a Cold War era military and foreign policy in a time where our enemy is radically different from the behemoth state we opposed for 40 or so years.

"Our billions sent to the PLO certainly haven't made those people any more enchanted."

Exactly. Which is why I made sure to say: "I'm not saying we should send billions of dollars to places where we're unpopular..."

Jacob Ash said:

Gnossis,
'That's for the guys in charge to figure out.'
TOTAL cop out!! Until an answer to Joe's quesiton can be found by your side of this argument, your idea of leaving Iraq will not be viewed as serious or helpful.

-JA

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

"We have been under terrorist attack for over 30 years now."

We've always been at war with East Asia.

Ha!

re: "TOTAL cop out" : come on. this is the same as the, "if you don't like the president's plan for iraq, what would YOUR plan be?" question, and I'm getting tired of this cheap tactic.

The gov. has billions of dollars and legions of intelligent folks who they can put to work problem-solving these issues. It's not up to one concerned citizen to develop a complete plan, and just because someone doesn't have all the answers doesn't mean their criticisms are invalid.
It's like me commenting on how Bonderman's pitching a lousy game and you saying, "I'd like to see you pitch a better game." I'm not a pitcher, and it misses the point, see.

now, about absolute surrender: we need to understand why groups like hezbollah are supported by the people. In the capital of Lebanon, there's huge support for hezbollah right now, people think of them as freedom fighters.

Sure, we got an unconditional surrender from Germany. But remember how the people actually did greet us as liberators during that war? their hearts weren't with the Nazis. In France, even after the French gov. capitulated to the Nazis, there was a strong resistance movement which made it impossible for the Germans to ever completely control the country.

So surrender doesn't accomplish anything if the will of the people be strongly opposed to it (I love the forces of democracy). If hezbollah unconditionally surrendered to Israel, that wouldn't resolve the anti-Israeli sentiment which is alive and well in the hearts of the people in the region.

So in the interest of a lasting peace the question shouldn't be, "what's the most effective way to bring hezbollah to it's knees?" but "why does hezbollah enjoy such a degree of support among the people?" only when the answer to this question is truly understood can hezbollah's power in the region be effectively undermined.

Damn, JA, Gnossis, General: You guys need a contingent of towel waving, water-bottle-squirting sidemen to cool you each down after representing like that - a la James Brown onstage or Muhammad Ali in the ring. Get on with your bad selves!

Amnesty day's coming.

Jacob, that kind of response deserves to be put in a new post, don't be shy now.

Jacob Ash said:

Marmallow,
You Wrote:
"We have been under terrorist attack for over 30 years now."

We've always been at war with East Asia.

Ha!

I reply: Please I am totally at loss w.r.t. what you are talking about here.

-JA
PS I am going to repond to the rest of your comment in a post. Joe would like it that way ;-)

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

well, I doubt that 30 years ago anyone would have said, "We're under attack by terrorists" (and if we've really been under attack for 30 years, why are we still so bad at fighting terrorism, anyway? oh yeah, it's Clinton's fault! ha ha ha)

But your comment that we've been under attack for 30 years made me think of 1984 and the idea that whoever we're at war with today is who we've always been at war with:

"Oceania was at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia. In no public or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three powers had at any time been grouped along different lines. Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess
because his memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of partners had never happened. Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible"

http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/images1/rumsfeld_&_hussein1.jpg

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/history/johnson/651117.htm

Jacob Ash said:

OK. Got the reference, read the book, my bad.

You are correct. 30 years ago no would have said that.

Which is why are we so bad at it now. We are too dunb collectively to realise it was personal all those years. The writings of the terrorists and their fellow travelers should have tipped us off. Hubris is a terrible thing.

-JA
PS check your email

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