The Path to 9-11

Does anybody else get the feeling that if Clinton had spent as much effort in wiping out terrorism as he has in trying to get a re-edit of the ABC miniseries, that the twin towers would still be standing?

UPDATE 9 SEP; I, for some unknown reason, am going to make an attempt to see this from the Democrat side. I will counter-argue the Democrat side immediately, so I don't know how effective an advocate I will be, but what the heck, let's go.

Democrats are saying that the miniseries will not be an accurate depiction of what really happened. This is, unfortunately, correct. The Path to 9-11 is a movie, and though based on the 9-11 commission report it is still just a movie. The producers have admitted that they have condensed and combined scenes and characters and have, for the sake of the drama, put words in people's mouths that had not actually come out of them before.

Is this sufficient reason to pull the miniseries off the air? I would have to answer that with a resounding "No!" I am sorry, Mr. Clinton, and the DNC, but I think that the citizens of the US are sophisticated enough to realize that even the "true life" entertainment that they watch isn't really what happened. I think that the Democrats are just bringing ridicule upon themselves for acting so petulantly on the matter, especially when they can presumably point to other bits of the movie that might show that Republicans in embarassing circumstances.

I don't think that most critics have seen the movie, but I have seen Tom Kean (by the way, that is pronounced "cane" as in sugar or walking, not "keen" as in razor or peachy), the chairman of the 9-11 Commission, attest to the general veracity of the film. So, what is truly my take on the film? I will probably watch it, because I am not really that interested in the Manning Bowl, but I am not going to delude myself into thinking that anything that the characters in the movie say are actual quotes of the historic figures the characters represent. I will know that the film is probably about 95% true to history, but since I didn't do any additional research into the subject, I don't know which 5% isn't true, so I will have to take the whole thing as speculation. I will think that the events depicted are all possibly what occured, but I will not think of anything on screen as carved in stone "HISTORY". Who knows, it might motivate me to actually peruse the 9-11 Commission report and other source materials to figure out for myself what really went on.


What Cost, Iraq?

It seems that the discussion about our efforts in Iraq can only be thought of in a single way by the media. Everybody likes to mention the "costs." The billions of dollars poured into the desert, and the number of soldiers who have lost their lives.

I am not an accountant, but I can see that this discussion is missing a great big part of the "cost/benefit analysis" process. Nobody ever wants to bring up the benefits. It is easy to understand why- the benefits are in many ways intangible and aren't that easy to put into a five minute video montage, but they do exist. It is a lot easier to point to the amount of money spent on a project than to show how much money didn't have to be spent on others as a result. So, I will try to temper the rhetoric about Iraq by adding to the "benefit" side of the analysis, hopefully without turning this thing into a cheap David Letterman top ten list.

First, Ghaddaffi has turned in his mass destruction programs. Any time that a dictator relinquishes a part of his arsenal like that is a good thing, and it came about directly as a result of the US leading a coalition into Iraq.

The old saw "We're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here." What does that really mean? Allow me to personalize this for you- Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, aka Zarky, was, until his all to recent demise, the leader of al Quaeda in Iraq. This came about because he was being treated for an injury he received in Afghanistan in the Islamic Republic of Iraq (oh, by the way, if you don't believe this establishes that Iraq was a haven for terrorists before we invaaded, get your logic circuits checked) when France was unable to keep its promises to Saddam. So, if the US doesn't inundate the local area with soldiers how many people think that Zarky is going to sit around idly and sip tea for the next three years? Everybody who thinks that Zarky would have lived peacefully in the mid-East and not planned attcks on the US mainland, please raise your hands. Now, since you have your hands up already, use them to slap some sense into yourselves.

It is very likely that, even without the benefit of ridding the world of Saddam, the invasion of Iraq has prevented the deaths of American citizenbs in the US. But how many? It is impossible to know. I am guessing that it is somewhere between 2,000 and 7,000, but that is truly conjecture that I have no real way of defending logically. It would be just as valid to argue that the number is zero or 25,000, but I would think that just the sheer number of al Quaeda and other terrorist operatives that were too busy messing around in Iraq to plan anything in the US means that there were at least a few attacks that didn't materialize that very well might have if we were not in Iraq.

Preventing these attacks also means that soem of our industries, like travel, are much better off than they would have been without Operation Iraqi Freedom. True, I am not a follower of the oil industry, so I don't know if gas prices are higher or lower as a result of our actions. It copuld be that Iraq is actually able to export more becuase sanctions have been lifted, but I am not sure if oil production there is up to the same level that it was prior to the liberation.

There are other benefits that I have not even touched on, to include the goodwill we have received from many of the Iraqi people for their liberation. Many who claim that our actions have caused a great number of Muslims to become terrorists seem to forget that there are also those who see opportunity in their future, thus don't think that their best option is to splodeydope themselves sooner rather than later to get to meet Allah and the 72 virgins.


Securing the Border

We all realize that trying to secure the border is truly a pipe dream, if only because our government for some reason seems dead set against the idea. It's bad enough that the feds refuse to keep out the smugglers, killers and thugs that cross the border with the hundreds of thousands of otherwise "law-abiding illegal aliens," but now the State Department is giving visas to animal leaders of terrorist states. Or, former leaders of terrorist states.

Mohammed Khatami has been granted a visa to make a swing throught the United States, giving speeches at various forums. It is an outrage that the former president of Iran is able to walk freely about the U. S. without shackles on his hands and feet. I know that in Iran the president is really secondary to the grand ayatollah in terms of power, but to allow the former president of Iran to be given the celebrity treatment in this country is an outrage. The man is responsible for the represion of millions of Iranian people, despite his alleged "reformer" image. The man should be arrested and placed on trial for crimes against humanity for his "leadership" of Iran.