Bill Clinton and the war on terror

I was just wondering: what do you think would have happened if Bill Clinton had been POTUS in 2001. How would he have reacted to 9/11? How would the war on terror have been conducted? Would there have been a war on terror?

Probably 9-11 wouldn’t have happened with Clinton ( or almost anyone else but Bush, for that matter ) in office. He wouldn’t have called off the hunt for Bin Laden like Bush did, wouldn’t have ignored his own warnings about him like Bush did, wouldn’t have ignored all the other warning like Bush did.

If it happened anyway, most likely he would have attacked Afghanistan for sheltering Osama Bin Laden, caught him because he would actually be trying, dragged him back to America for trial and imprisonment, and that would be that. There wouldn’t have been a “war on terror”; there isn’t a “war on terror” now; it’s just a catch phrase the Right uses to excuse their vile behavior.

Just my opinion, but if the 9/11 attacks had occurred during the Clinton presidency, the US most likely would have mounted some sort of major military strike against Afghanistan, but without the ‘war on terror’ rhetoric. There might or might not have been some sort of military action against Iraq, but as that country had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11 and as the Clinton administration had no overarching plan to establish a US puppet state in the Middle East by force of arms, there would almost certainly have been no invasion of Iraq.

If there is in fact a ‘war on terror’, who has been on the opposing sides, what have been the major battles of this war, and who has won them?

Great questions El Kabong. It’s just like the “war on drugs” - a lame excuse for the government to dominate and control its own citizens.

Bush, I believe, called it ‘a war on terror’ so he didn’t have to be pinned down to just one objective. That nomenclature is suffiently broad to justify whatever he believes (genuinely, I think) is threatening the USA and democracy.

A: Bush/Blair on one side. Anyone that he doesn’t understand; anyone whose religion he decides poses a threat; any country whose name he can’t pronounce properly on the other side.

B: The major battles must be Afganistan and Iraq. And the hounding of ‘suspects’ in countries throughout the world. What makes these battles unusual are that they aren’t place specific, and so are harder to indentify.

C: Every one (so far) has lost.

Except that he did.

From 1996 to 1998, I opened unofficial channels between Sudan and the Clinton administration. I met with officials in both countries, including Clinton, U.S. National Security Advisor Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger and Sudan’s president and intelligence chief. President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, who wanted terrorism sanctions against Sudan lifted, offered the arrest and extradition of Bin Laden and detailed intelligence data about the global networks constructed by Egypt’s Islamic Jihad, Iran’s Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas.

Among those in the networks were the two hijackers who piloted commercial airliners into the World Trade Center.

The silence of the Clinton administration in responding to these offers was deafening.

As an American Muslim and a political supporter of Clinton, I feel now, as I argued with Clinton and Berger then, that their counter-terrorism policies fueled the rise of Bin Laden from an ordinary man to a Hydra-like monster.

Clinton Let Bin Laden Slip Away and Metastasize — LA Times, Mansoor Ijaz, December 5, 2001

I doubt that he would have declared a WAR on terror. Declaring it a war makes all extreme actions ,in Bushies mind, justifiable. How can you not want to gleefully give up your rights, we are at WAR.
I doubt he would have gone into Iraq. That distinction is enough .
Bin Laden was not on the big stage. in 2000. To imply that after 911 he would not have gone after him is speculation. He would have gone after him and not let him escape like Bush did. He needed his bogeyman free to keep doing what he wanted to do.

We don’t have to imagine much, we can just look at what Bill Clinton did during his presidency in response to the various terrorist attacks of the 90s.

Extraordinary rendition, CIA blacksites, and torture? Er, I mean enhanced interrogation techniques? Yep.
Relaxing of habeas corpus? Yep.
Increased government survelliance programs of several types? Yep.
Desire to relax posse comitatus? Yep.

After 9/11 Bush greatly expanded all of these. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Bill Clinton would have done something similar. A major difference would be that Clinton would be less in your face about the whole national security state apparatus thing. Bush seems to prefer to let you know what’s good for ya. I mean, you never saw Clinton get on TV and explain why the CIA needs to have an underground network where undesirables are sent. It’s just not the sort of thing one brings up in polite company.

Right, and that’s just one of many problems in calling any of this a ‘war on terrorism’.

Agreed. Well, logistics and private security firms have done pretty well out of it, I guess.