So, who's winning the war?

(read and learn) The ‘Long War’: Who’s Winning? - Original

I think it is not a stretch to say that there are some people who believe that no matter what the U.S. does, it will always lose the war on Al Qaeda. Eliminate Bin Laden? Oh noes! That just means someone more dangerous will take his place! Turn Afghanistan into a respectable, but poor state? Oh noes! What happened to rebuilding Afghanistan? Reduce major terror attempts on Western countries to one every three years? Oh noes! That’s still too many! Achieve 100% inspection rates for all cargo entering the country? Oh noes! You can still buy fertilizer at a garden supply store!

I believe the article linked to is nothing more than a “heads they win, tails we lose” uninformed bit of isolationist tripe.

The fact is that Al Qaeda will never achieve its goal of a unified, fundamentalist caliphate. NEVER. It is not going to happen. They can never win.

The anti-Al Qaeda position, shared by people as different as the United States government and the vast majority of peace-loving Muslims, is to not be threatened by extremist nuts who target civilians with savage violence. That is a very difficult thing to do, and it is not realistic to believe it will be accomplished within a short period of time. But it is not an unrealistic goal overall, and and we are closer to achieving this outcome than Al Qaeda is to achieve theirs.

Oh, and I forgot to call it quasi-racist Truther nonsense, too.

Thought this was pretty well put by columnist Georgie Ann Geyer the other day:

*This is what I think history, written a half-century or even a quarter-century from now, will say of all this:

"The United States began the 21st century as the pre-eminent and undisputedly greatest power in the world. It was the center of science, learning and innovation. Its democratic system was the envy of much of the world, which engaged in different experiments in governance but basically always used the American experience as its systemic and structural basis.

“Then, after one attack on New York City in which several thousand Americans tragically died, the United States embarked upon a series of ill-thought-out military adventures across the world that took it into small country after small country, never understanding that its very presence turned people against it. It lost the modesty of its founding fathers, who vowed not to meddle abroad, and began to dream of ‘nation-building.’ But in the end, it only de-energized and impoverished its own country, as Asia and particularly China moved in on all levels with economic and diplomatic tools to grasp world leadership.”

There were many other ways we could have responded to 9/11 besides all-out wars, such as police and intelligence actions against particular al-Qaida actors, but those paths were not chosen. *

Perhaps you could be bothered to define “win” in addition to posting a link.

Neither can we; especially since we’ve never even bothered to define “winning”. We’ve just flailed around destroying things, killing people; hurting ourselves and producing more enemies.

How? We’ve spent years manufacturing more enemies, inflicting harm upon ourselves. We are weaker in all ways than we were. Al Qaeda if anything is stronger. The “hurt America” part of their agenda has been a spectacular success. We acted for the entire Bush Administration almost as if Bush had been secretly replaced with an Al Qaeda operative; we handed them victory after victory, acting in their interest and not ours.

This has been going on since way before 9/11.

Well, ObL is still issuing his taunts, true enough, but he’s doing it on the run and in hiding. Eventually time will take care of him…he’s not looking so good these days (well, the last time I bothered to watch part of one of his little spiels).

As for the rest of AQ, they are mostly on the run these days as well. As another poster said earlier, they will NEVER gain their own objectives in the ME, so it’s a no win for them.

As for us…well, we’ll never win either. You can’t fight ‘terrorism’…you can only fight terrorists. In Iraq and Afghanistan…well, I don’t know. What constitutes a ‘win’, and are we willing to pay the price to achieve it?


Exactly. You could kill every terrorist on Earth, magically erase the very concept from records and people’s minds; and all that would happen is that someone, somewhere would re-invent it. Probably pretty quickly too. You can’t “win” against terrorism any more than you can “win” against crime or dishonesty.

The war on terror is a double edged sword. It gives the aggressor the ability, almost carte blanche, to attempt to stop terrorism around the world. However, once ending terrorism is accepted as the putative goal of military action, it becomes unwinnable almost by definition.

So Bush was either an idiot in thinking he could stop a tactic, or a genius in knowing the war would outlast his presidency and fall into his successor’s lap. Based on how quickly we Americans forget history (see blaming Democrats for the economic mess), I am thinking we didn’t give him enough credit.

To answer the question, who is winning the war is begging the question. There is no war. It is foolish ad hoc drunken swinging punches.

Well, call us when you do this first thing, mmmkay?

So that ‘you’ can whine and complain about how we hounded an old man to ground and then killed him? What would ‘we’ do that?? Or were you speaking literally and think that Ravenman is going to personally kill ObL? There has been some talk about dropping him into the wilds of Pakistan with a butter knife…


From Obama’s Dec 1 speech: “Our overarching goal remains the same: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten America and our allies in the future.”

Iraq was a huge mistake. It moved us backwards, definitely. But if you haven’t been paying attention, Al Qaeda in Iraq is a shadow of what it was 2 years ago. Some may say it has been all but destroyed; I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion, but it has certainly been broken.

Unfortunately, you make the same mistake that the article makes in using remarkably different standards to judge “winning” by either party. We kill Al Qaeda’s #3 man (for like the 10th time), but we “lose” because we’re “flailing around, blowing things up, making people mad.” Meanwhile, they send incompetents on failed missions and they win. In reality, killing Al Qaeda leadership brings us many times closer to our goal than anything Al Qaeda can possibly do to achieve their goal.

It is entirely possible for Al Qaeda to be rendered irrelevant and ineffective, as other terrorist groups have been. It is impossible for Al Qaeda to succeed in their Caliphate. If Al Qaeda can never win, they can’t be winning.

That’s what you got from my post? Okaaay:confused:

I don’t know, ask Ravenman, he’s the one who seems to think you’ve eliminated Osama

I prefer a compound bow.

[Wraps my silk tie around my forehead]

Apparently I also think we’ve succeeded in inspecting 100% of the cargo coming into the country, succeeded in fixing Afghanistan, and stopped terror attacks in the West.

I must ask myself a question: is it worth debating with those who do not read what I actually write?

I like how we’re not winning because OBL is mocking us. If your enemy posts a video on youtube that mocks you and says they will attack you again = losing and nowhere close to winning.

I mean, there are so many better reasons to say we’re losing other than we’re being mocked. Unreal.

Perhaps our goal in Afghanistan should be to wipe the damn smirk off the faces of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Also, get them to gas the car up after they borrow it for the night. If they return the tank less than a quarter full, the terrorists win.

And ties it in a compound bow?

In other words, it’s ahead of where it was when we started. Before the war it was only there because we protected it from Saddam. And the death of Saddam and the destruction of secularism in Iraq, and the general bloodshed and anarchy would be a huge victory for Al Qaeda even if every last one of them were killed. The damage they has done has grossly exceeded their losses. There just isn’t enough of them in existence for us to do the same harm in return.

And it doesn’t really matter if we were to utterly destroy Al Qaeda somehow; we’ve already done more damage to ourselves that they ever could have. And they’ll just be replaced at most; killing them all doesn’t mean they lose.

And there’s also the problem that Al Qaeda is really more of a brand name than an organization; how do you destroy that? We have placed ourselves in the position of a nation determined not to destroy the Nazis, but to destroy the swastika.

What makes you think that “crotch bomber” mission was a failure? It got us to flail about some more, hurt ourselves more, make ourselves look like idiots yet again. They sacrificed an incompetent to succeed.