The Terrorists Won

A major artery out of Indy was closed for almost two hours because someone saw two teenagers put a backpack under a bridge.

The kids were caught, and the “package” identified, when they returned to pick it up. Apparently during the investigation they hadn’t gotten to the point where they actually examined the “package” before the boys turned up.

Now, I assume these kids were on the way to the mall and put their backpack somewhere safe. But this crazy woman calls the police because “See something, Say Something”.

The reason I say the terrorists won, is no one interviewed on the news seems to think that this was totally overreacting and that it was all good. The new person was all over how awesome it was that someone saw something and said something and the police said this is how the system should work. My questions is what the hell could it have been that would warrant closing the entire highway for two hours? A claymore? Dropped by a couple teenagers on bikes?

How many tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of dollars were lost because of closing the highway like that? How many accidents happened because back roads were overloaded? How bad was my sunburn because I drove the convertible and didn’t wear my hat?

The closing warning by the reporter I personally found chilling. That parents need to talk to their kids about people watching them and reporting things.

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This is exactly why I get nervous anytime I’m geocaching anywhere near people, traffic, or buildings.

And all of this to stop what?

Have we stopped attacks? Have there been any attacks to even stop? And by what right can the police stop someone who meets this new definition of suspicious? I can walk up the road with a backpack and drop it on the ground and the worst crime I’ve committed is littering.

If I wanted to plant roadside bombs in the US I’d hid them in coke cans, Styrofoam cups, and cigaret packs. Not a single person would think a thing if I dropped that, or a Happy Meal, out my window, except what a pig I was.

Much like all the TSA nonesense and the steady erosion of privacy, the goal here seems to be more to maintain an illusion of activity and make people feel safer, rather than actually, measurably improving anything.

Except the same reason trainers pet their animals all the time. And pick up artists touch women’s arms.

Get them used to the touch, so it’s not as much of a shock later on.

You know, I’m starting to sound paranoid now.

It’s time for a three day weekend.

Are we looking at punitively bombing a country for killing it’s own people, again? Has the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize decided he wants to start more wars than Bush did?

If you can’t describe the mission in one sentence to the public, then you can’t do it. Somehow the 100k killed before this are no big deal, but the few hundred killed with a chemical are special worse.

Like breaking Egypt and Libya wasn’t bad enough, let’s do Syria and follow up with Jordan! And pulling out of Iraq seems to have worked out for them sort of ok, maybe.

What is it with Democrats and wars, and police actions, and bombing campaigns?

Honestly, I really do see a valid cause under jus ad bellum. As silly as he sounds arguing that it wasn’t his line in the sand but everyone’s, that is actually a valid point. The means by which war is conducted does have some limits, and that is one that most of us have collectively decided we cannot allow.

That said, a righteous cause is not enough. You need to have an outcome that is better than the current state, and a proportionate use of force with a reasonable chance of reaching that outcome. There is no winning scenario in Syria for us. Both sides suck, and we couldn’t change that with 80,000 troops on the ground, let alone a few Tomahawks. If I thought we had a reasonable chance to make a positive change in that poor place with military force, I might favor it, but it feels way too much like we’re posturing to save someone’s ego.

I don’t give a flying rat’s ass about UN blessing on this or any other enterprise, but I think it’s hilariously hypocritical that the current administration is willing to do this unilaterally. Team America: World Police was supposed to be satire.

I find it not at all hilarious that they are hinting they might, having taken time to ask Congress for permission, decide to do it anyway if that doesn’t go the way they want.

The terrorists haven’t won.

Some of us do think that common sense matters in security measures. As someone in involved (on the federal regulatory level), there are potential threats that do matter (and handled at the appropriate level of government) and it’s done fairly evenly.

That’s my day job, though. Domestic securitystuff. And other things with a maritime regulatory nexus.

As far as Syria? Well, I guess the folks who aren’t in favor of actions to diminish their capabilities are in favor of chemical weapons proliferation and use on non-compliant populations? Because that’s going to be the end result. If you’re qq’ing about Rowanda or , just wait until chemical arms aren’t going to be a ‘we will bomb the shit out of you’ red line. Yup. Guess what works well against civilians as versus mobile, prepared military forces.

Nah. Oh noes. It’s just ermagerd erbamah.

Sorry, if y’all don’t want some sort of discussion about it, feel free to tell me to STFU and I’ll just hold it for other venues.

Common sense does matter, that’s my issue with domestic security theater. It doesn’t actually do all that much and most of it’s illegal. Really, if I’m going to take out a plane now days, I wouldn’t be carrying a damn Swiss Army knife. I’d carry a laptop bag with a reinforced bottom that could be pulled out and used as a club and a pry bar. I wouldn’t be carrying nail clippers, or 6.7 oz of nail polish remover I’d be carrying a reinforced fountain pen and some poison ink or some crap. I wouldn’t be masquerading as a 90 year old woman in a wheelchair I got from the airport, I’d be a 20 year old college student on spring break.

Appropriate level of government for the incident I was talking about was one or two cops checking the underside of the damn bridge. Really, it was two 12-14 year old kids on bikes going to the mall. Not shutting down a major highway for almost two hours causing a 10 mile backup in both directions. Especially since the only reason they finally figured out what it was was because the kids showed up for their bag.

Nope, I’m in favor of bombing the shit out of the place they got the weapons from, and we did, ten years ago. As far as I can read Syria doesn’t actually have the capability to make chemical weapons in quantity, this is the gift from Iraq showing up. We aren’t even sure if the government or the rebels did it.

And chemical warfare has been a “red line” for about a year. No one cared when the Kurds were gassed, or Iraq used them against Iran. And by no one caring I mean as long as it was a Republican trying to do something they were a war mongering evil hate-bot. Now that Obama, or Clinton in his time, or Kennedy for that matter, is President then of course we have to Do Something, regardless of how little sense it makes. And that dumb shit McCain thinks we need to hit them harder, as if that would make it better.

Since we aren’t going to war, but just launching punitive strikes, how exactly is target selection going to be done? Are we going to announce the attacks so people can evacuate? Are we going to be sure who is in control of the targets?

I’m also not in favor of bombing the people fighting Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. The same people that are taking over, or continuing to mess with our last two projects, Libya and Egypt.

I would very much like to eliminate Syria’s capability to employ chemical weapons; that’s a worthy goal. Targeted strikes won’t do that (and will make things worse in some respects), and we lack the political will to do anything more. Again, there is no winning scenario here, but we have a wide variety of losing ones to choose from.

Well, we could stay the hell out of it. Or we could go all in. Half way measures don’t work in this area of the world. It’s a sign of weakness and lack of belief in your ideals.

I know, we could let the UN handle it. There are dozens of countries that complain the US doesn’t listen to the UN, this time we should go ahead and let the local forces in blue helmets fix the problem. Let the Sauds, Kuwaitis, Omarians, Jordanians, and Yemeni put together a peacekeeping force and do it.

I count “doing nothing” as a losing scenario, but probably the least losing of the ones I have seen proposed. And letting the UN do it is basically “doing nothing.”

Sorry Sig, I didn’t use my sarcasm tag. I was hoping the list of nations would tip it off.

I am getting tired of 90% of the time it being effective UN troops = US troops. You want to be a legitimate international governing body, hire some damn troops yourself. If you want to be a cooperative association of nations, let’s get some diversity in there and have local nations supply the bulk of the troops.

When it comes to Syria, whatever is done will be failure and whoever gets involved will be screwed.
If it only was possible to get all the civilians to a safe haven and let the idiots fight over who is wrong, we all would be happy.

When it comes to the topic… well in a manner of speaking fear has won, and fear IS the terrorist weapon.

To reply specifically to this (I have no dog in the rest of the discussion) 90% of the $$ = US $$. I know for a fact that Canada simply doesn’t have the money to have the same number of soldiers the US does, or to equip them, for that matter. I imagine it’s a similar story the world over.

It almost always comes down to money. You guys have it,the rest of the world doesn’t. Or isn’t willing to spend it on the military personnel and hardware.

Just so it’s clear - I’m lamenting the fact just as much as you are. I’m looking at joining the Canadian military, if they’ll take me, but the competition is fierce, because of the lack of positions (read: lack of money)

The rest of the western world has had a peace dividend since WWII, especially when you include the Marshall Plan. And they’ve spent it on domestic welfare programs that have destroyed their own countries. I don’t blame them for it, but I do blame them for their attitude towards “war mongers” that maintain those forces.

I have to agree with @sig. There’s no win here. There is only loss and it really comes down to how much loss we’re willing to deal with. IMO, we don’t have the means to deal with more loss. Our economy is still “recovering” much like the rest of the world, and we’re still trying to pull our fingers out of the pie with Egypt and Libya. We can’t afford to deal with another loss here.

That said, if we do get involved, I have serious concerns about what Putin may do. I don’t see him as a man who doesn’t back up his threats with action. If we don’t want to muddy our boots in Syria, we certainly don’t want ‘boots on the ground’ with Russia. Let’s avoid WWIII, if at all possible, neh?

As far as ideals go, yeah, chemical weapons are a bad, inhumane idea. Internationally, we all agreed. Funny, I don’t see much call-outs for other countries who are deciding to stay out of it. Sure, we may say we’re upset with them, say that we’ll stand up for justice, but come on, no one sees this as posturing? Other countries are staying out of this for a reason and Russia is calling our bluff, but we’re still willing to put the chips forward on a losing hand anyway for the sake of saving face. I don’t agree with that at all.

I remember a time, not all that long ago when if the US said we’ll stand up for justice, we stood up. If the US policy is that chemical weapons use is bad, then we should have reacted with overwhelming force several months ago. The Powell Doctrine in action in the Middle East again.

(Now, back in the day if we wanted to waffle on something we just didn’t say anything and turned our head.)

I think part of the problem is that the “Red Line” statement was off the cuff and not well thought out. But when called on it Obama doubled down on. The problem is, the US doesn’t have a “Fearless Leader” we have a representative government that is supposed to plan policy like this. I don’t think this mess was planned at all.

I don’t understand saying we won’t stand for something and waffling at the cost.

Vladmir Putin reached out to us yesterday:

I, for one, have to say I agree with some things he says here. I’m sure it was written for politically driven purposes, however, I still appreciate his notion and attitude towards playing by the rules, even if you don’t like it.

As for me, the jury is still out on who committed the attacks. I’d like some proof prior to shooting at the “most likely culprit”. That said, I really don’t care either way. Denounce whoever did it, but this isn’t our fight.

There’s more that the public doesn’t know about what happened in Syria, and more to know about how little or how much Obama’s administration knew what was really going on when it happened (wow, now I sound like I’m wading into Conspiracy Theory waters). The more time between the gas-bomb attack and a decision, it’s all the more clear to me that our leaning towards a military strike is more knee-jerk reaction then well thought out decision.