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Posted: 11/16/2001 7:15:51 AM EDT
Just in case anyone ever asks you how Bill Clinton was, to some degree, responsible for the Sept 11 Attack on America, remember.... [size=4]Bin Laden’s Failed Strategy[/size=4] [b]A dream destroyed[/b]. By James S. Robbins November 16, 2001 9:25 a.m. Shortly after the September 11 attacks a colleague of mine and I were discussing future attacks — not ours but bin Laden's. We figured that al Qaeda had gamed various scenarios and were poised to take swift retaliatory action as soon as the United States responded. We guessed they had planned two, three, maybe four moves ahead. They knew our reaction would be very determined, would have planned for that contingency, and still been baffling us by this point. But after a few weeks it became clear that we were giving bin Laden far more credit than he deserved. And now with his Taliban patrons in retreat and his network collapsing, it is obvious that bin Laden the Strategist leaves much to be desired. Any strategy begins with an objective, and bin Laden's is not to create terror for terror's sake. He wants to detach the United States from the Middle East, leaving his radical Muslim faction and their sympathizers to deal unmolested with the moderate ruling elites and the "Zionist entity" of Israel. Bin Laden and his planners were inspired by prior examples of United States retreat, most notably the defeat in Vietnam, but more proximately the U.S. withdrawal from Somalia in 1994 following the disastrous attempt to capture Somali warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid, and the pullout from Lebanon after the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1984. The impression had grown that the U.S. was a paper tiger. American forces had a technological edge and massive firepower, but if a foe could inflict a bloody nose, the skittish American public would demand withdrawal, and politicians would hold hearings to place blame. As Syrian Foreign Minister Abdel Halim Khaddam said to American negotiators after the Beirut bombings, "The United States is short of breath. You can always wait them out." The bombings in Riyadh in 1995, at Khobar Towers in 1996, at the African embassies in 1998, and of the U.S.S. Cole in 2000, were all battles in bin Laden's anti-American campaign, and all were victories. The U.S. replies to these provocations were ineffectual, and in some cases counterproductive. [b]The Clinton administration apparently did not understand how its weak responses would be perceived abroad[/b]. A key American misstep was the failed 1998 attack on the al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. By singling out bin Laden after the embassy bombings and launching a "million to one shot" cruise-missile barrage into the Afghan mountains, Clinton converted bin Laden into a radical Muslim folk hero. A recent analysis in the Egyptian opposition press observed, "What better proof that Bin Laden had hurt the United States and satisfied the desire of the Muslims than for Clinton himself to stand up and repeat the name of Bin Laden [b]three times[/b] as he announced the strikes against Sudan and Afghanistan?... Had the United States not responded in this way, Bin Laden might not have become such a legendary hero." Note that in his August 20, 1998 address to the nation the President referred to bin Laden and his network [b]eight times, not three[/b], and called him "perhaps the preeminent organizer and financier of international terrorism in the world today." - continued -
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 7:17:59 AM EDT
These successes emboldened bin Laden, and doubtless encouraged him to plan and execute the September 11 strikes. It would be disingenuous to dismiss the tactical acumen al Qaeda displayed that day. Their attacks were minutely planned, well executed, and achieved probably more than hoped. ([b]I still need to be convinced that they planned for the World Trade Towers to collapse from support beams weakened by fire[/b].) But these tactical victories came at a price, and revealed how poor a strategist bin Laden is. He engaged in a textbook case of strategic overreach. He seemed to think that since a few small-scale attacks on American assets had achieved some success, a large-scale attack on the U.S. itself would achieve that much more. If the Americans fled Somalia after 18 dead in Mogadishu, how much more would be possible with thousands killed in New York? If destroying a Marine barracks drove them from Lebanon, why not hit the Pentagon and push them out of the whole region? But bin Laden made the same error the Japanese made in 1941 when they sought to deliver a surprise-disabling blow. They believed that the United States would negotiate rather than go to war after losing its Pacific Fleet and the Philippines. It only stood to reason — why would the Americans fight against such overwhelming odds? The American military planners would not possess the forces necessary to respond effectively, the isolationist public would clamor for peace, and FDR would lack the mandate to press the issue. So the Japanese thought. We know how that story ended. - continued - Likewise with bin Laden. He thought he could send the United States reeling by an unprecedented act of violence. His attacks were daring, dramatic, visually horrifying — and the "sleeping giant" awakened, again "filled with a terrible resolve." The result was not a "half-asset" response from a weary nation, but a united country under strong leadership with a mandate to do whatever it took to achieve victory. Our allies are in solidarity with us, and our strategic competitors unwilling to get in the way. Bin Laden may have been hoping for rulers in the Middle East to react with their characteristic reluctance to cooperate with the United States (they have, but not enough to forestall allied operations), or for Pakistan to continue to support the Taliban, or even (fancifully) for a mass uprising of Muslim peoples against the "Crusaders and Jews." Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar called for 72 hours of rage in the Muslim world to protest the allied bombing campaign, but the response since October 5 has been underwhelming. All of these were strategic miscalculations. [b]But the greatest was underestimating the American national will[/b]. - continued -
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 7:18:56 AM EDT
The enemy has now shifted its objectives. Their initial defensive strategy has given way to a survival strategy. The Taliban has been hoping to wear down the alliance, to make our leaders grow impatient, act rashly and make a mistake, ideally involving ground troops. The enemy cast the air war as a test of manhood which we were failing. They taunted the allied forces, saying that the "real war" would begin when the cowardly foe left their aircraft and came to fight on the ground. Al Jazeera television showed an Arab mercenary in Kandahar sneering at the allied attacks. "We say to you, O Americans, if you are men as you say, and if you are the superpower as you allege, then we are waiting for you," he said. "If you are men, then come to the battlefield." The enemy hoped to strike at American national will by inflicting unacceptably high casualties on U.S. ground forces, and "drag bodies through the streets." That may have worked in Somalia, when few Americans — even in the leadership — understood why we were there. But one doubts that the CNN effect would work in the enemy's favor this time. The sight of an American serviceman being given a "Taliban sleigh ride" through Kabul would probably have had substantially the same domestic morale effect as the pictures of the Bataan Death March. But the allied strategy of supporting the Northern Alliance has worked as intended. Rather than risking large numbers of American lives, our leaders patiently wore down the enemy from the air until the anti-Taliban forces on the ground could begin to make gains. The recent advances have been dramatic, and herald the end of the Taliban as a conventional fighting force. They may take to the hills to fight a guerrilla struggle, but, riven with defections and facing probable internecine struggles, it is hard to see how the Taliban will resuscitate. So now, two months after the attack, what is bin Laden's next move on the terror front? The best time to have made a second strike would have been shortly after the allied air attack on the Taliban began. That would have shown that bin Laden had the command, control and assets to hit us at times and places of his choice. We are still waiting for this signal. Al Qaeda issued a statement October 14 warning Muslims in the U.S. and Britain "not to take airplanes and not to live in towers and high buildings," and noting that "when Al-Qaeda promises, it delivers." Terror cells are still operating in the U.S. and Europe. The FBI has issued several warnings, and some plots may have been foiled. "The storm of airplanes will not be calmed," the threat went on, but recently the aerial tempest has been directed only at al Qaeda. - continued -
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 7:19:26 AM EDT
That being said, the war on terrorism is not over — far from it. Bin Laden is not the only adversary and the civilized world is not free from danger. Other enemies still plot, calculate, and look for opportunities to strike. However, bin Laden's strategy has failed. He may still have a few cruel tricks up his sleeve and many innocents in the United States may yet die. But no attack, no physical damage, no senseless fatalities caused by bin Laden will bring him any closer to achieving his dream of an American-free Middle East. Two months after Pearl Harbor Japan was on the march and the United States was in retreat. By contrast, bin Laden is now virtually in the "Hitler bunker" stage of his war, hunkered down in an Afghan cave with his three Eva's wondering how to sustain his kidney dialysis. Maybe bin Laden now understands his own limitations as a planner, and that, at the strategic level, the war he wanted to wage is over and he has lost. See article at: [url] http://www.nationalreview.com/contributors/robbins111601.shtml[/url] Eric The(WeArePartOfThat'GreatAmericanNationalWill­'!)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 7:42:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/16/2001 7:39:17 AM EDT by warlord]
There is also a similar article in Soldier of Fortune magazine, the author puts the blame squarely on Bill Clinton's shoulders for this debacle, because he decimated the CIA. Of course the liberals never take responsibility or talk about their failures, and the watchword has been "we must look forward." $hit! if you can't figure what you did wrong, how can you fix the problem. In the beginning of the WTC attack, the news media was showing Bill whenever they can, but now I think that has changed because they/we figured out that he was largely responsible, and now he hasn't been seen for a while, at least in the new media.
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 7:53:55 AM EDT
Ain'tcha glad Bush and the other adults are in charge now???? Like I said before, in time, once the Clinton chokehold on America is gone, and the blush is gone from those whose lips were permanently suctioned to his posterior, Clinton will, at the least, be shown to the THE WORST president America has had to date. And possibly more of a diabilical man that even that.
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 9:36:24 AM EDT
Hun, You nailed it. Bubba is largely responsible. Problem is, he's still getting wonderful coverage from his FOBs in the media. Rat bastard should be ashamed...but then that man has no shame...not for anything. Too bad we can't bring him up on charges [again]. Anybody else and they'd be on the inside looking out. Just to make your day...for the record, I am convinced that the Clintons' policies towards the Palestinians and the Iraelis was dead wrong and has led to the deaths of many innocent people. Further, I believe it will almost certainly lead to another wide-open war in the middle east...as soon as we are done with Iraq...maybe sooner. (I about blew chunks when Hillary gave Sufa Arafat a big smoochie!). But then why am I bitching...really; virtually all of Bubba's policies were dead wrong...for everybody on this planet. [soapbox]
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 10:32:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 10:41:37 AM EDT
Their attacks were minutely planned, well executed, and achieved probably more than hoped. (I still need to be convinced that they planned for the World Trade Towers to collapse from support beams weakened by fire.)
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He & his cronies have stated several times that they wanted to knock one tower over into the other. Having them come straight down isn't [i]exactly[/i] what they wanted, but close enough.
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 10:54:54 AM EDT
I read the article in Soldier of Fortune too. It was written by Tom Clancey, and originally published in the Wall Street Journal, if I remeber correctly. I was pretty young back then, but I do remember Klinton demanding that the CIA's informants be held to strict human rights rules, thus making it almost impossiple for the CIA to recruit informants, esp. in a terrorist organization. I'm starting to see how we will be constantly uncovering the many ways that the Klinton administration has deliberately hurt our country. I have always thought that the attack proved that Bin Ladin had little understanding of the American people and was lacking a good overall strategy. How could we not respond to such a horrible attack?
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 11:24:05 AM EDT
How true. Clinton makes Benedict Arnold and the Rosenthals look like great American heros. BTW, garandman, you need to let the grammar Nazi know it is spelled D-I-A-B-O-L-I-C-A-L. Semper Fi
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 11:46:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/16/2001 11:39:47 AM EDT by garandman]
Originally Posted By DPeacher: BTW, garandman, you need to let the grammar Nazi know it is spelled D-I-A-B-O-L-I-C-A-L. Semper Fi
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I [size=4] AM [/size=4] the grammar Nazi. As grammar Nazi, I am exempt from correct spelling requirements. With a title like "grammar Nazi" did you REALLY think I would apply the rules equitably???? [}:D]
Link Posted: 11/16/2001 2:21:03 PM EDT
Anybody wonder if bin Laden is somebody's puppet?
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