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200 or 11, it's horrifying just the same

al-Qaida doesn't have a monopoly on atrocities. Let's not let Hamas and Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades slip into the background just because OBL's boys kill on a larger scale. Eleven dead in Israel Homicide Attack. The first time I looked it was five. By the time I got my coffee and sat down to write, it was eleven. bq. The terrorists exploded their bombs inside the office of a chemical facility and may have been targeting bromide containers. Eyewitnesses report that the bombers walked in and asked for water, and that one of them asked where bromide containers were kept at the port. Had they found these containers, the bombs could have possibly caused a much larger chemical explosion. Terror is everywhere. It's not relegated to one group of people, it doesn't come from just one faction of some militant rebel organization. It's bound for all of us at some point, which is why we need to stand together to fight it. Don't get all outraged that al-Qaida is still going strong and then not even flinch when Arafat's gang of thugs commit murder. Terror is terror, no matter who it's perpetrated against. You want to live in a place with that scene as the norm? I didn't think so. The war on terror is this nation's number one priority if we want a future of peace.


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I used to see a difference between terror and war. I classified terror as, for example, when 'they' (generic) tried to blow up the WTC in '94, or Timothy McVeigh and his oakie attack.

And then there was war, even if we didn't call it that. I consider the Israeli / Palestinian thing a war. It's not a one-sided war. It's definitely contributed to by both sides. But both sides are fighting their damnest. The Israeli's walling around the ghettos and stopping the Palestinians from reaching their land, and the Palestinians fighting back.

But now I'm not so sure. I think terror is war. It kills people, yes, but it's also psychological warfare, the main purpose of which is to scare people and sway public opinion. One reading of "The Turner Diaries" made that abundantly clear to me. (Just as a disclaimer, lest anyone call me Unamerican, I read the book because I wanted to know what 'the crazies' were thinking, not because I want to destroy American institutions.) Now I have a new outlook when I hear Ann Coulter say that McVeigh should have blown up the NYT building though.

As for the war against terror, I agree with you that it is our number one priority. I just don't like the way in which it's being carried out. I'd prefer massive intelligence operations with more targeted 'stings' for lack of a better word, and I think some of the way we're handling it is counter -productive.


I wanted to comment to thank you for your support.

Now I see that the commenter above has things in my neighborhood pretty ass-backwards, but I don't have the energy to get into a debate.

We all know which came first, the terror or the wall.....

You're perfectly right, Rawb.

Terror IS war.

"I'd prefer massive intelligence operations with more targeted 'stings' for lack of a better word..."

And you can be sure that such things aren't happening, because...? As is generally the case with the intel business, part of the problem in maintaining the attention on this war that it needs is that successes are usually invisible while failures are glaring and obvious.

Anyone who believes this isn't a war is one, deluded fool.

I don't know how the Israelis do it - living day to day with the kind of terror they see, feel, and breathe. Can you imagine the response in the U.S. if we had the number of terror attacks Israel routinely experiences?

I'd like to think I didn't purport to say which came first. I'd also like to think I wasn't taking sides in the situation. I realize using 'back' made it seem like I was, but thats not what I had intended. Things like this erupt from tensions between groups. The tensions aren't usually one-sided. They grow and reinforce each other.

I'm just trying to say that as it sits right now, the Palestinians are engaging in 'terror' and the Israelis are engaging in an equivilent of economic warfare and siezing land. I don't have a problem with a wall by itself. The wall can be built, but the devil is in the details, and the details right now show a border that cuts off a lot of Palestinian land into the Israeli side.

I'm sorry that my first comment was poorly worded.

I usually donít respond to these posts because itís private bereavement and probably poor form for me to comment. Also, when passions are inflamed people tend to say things they might not mean, and I might reply in kind and regret it later.

Iíd like to say that right now, outside of posting, the only group I formally belong to is an apolitical and registered NGO that helps bring medical aid to the children (collateral damage) on the other side.

At times the Mideast conflict seems like a 5,000 piece jig-saw puzzle with coffee spilled all over it. What I believe, though it is out of fashion, but not a historical, is that where there is political terror, there is a political solution.

I believe targeting civilians is wrong. From a pragmatic standpoint, I believe a war on terror is as nebulous as a war on gunpowder.

Based on the priliminary results of the Spanish elections, the terrorists have just scored their first victory; scaring a small percentage of voters to switch their votes based on an unproven link to Spain's participation on the Iraq war.

If ETA is behind this, they got exactly what they wanted.

Spain has just proved that terrorism DOES work.

"the details right now show a border that cuts off a lot of Palestinian land into the Israeli side."

What is "Palestinian land" exactly? More appropriately, WHERE is this land? How did it get there? Who said so?

Yes, terror is war, and we just lost our first major battle today in Spain. Seems AQ (or whoever the dispicable terrorists who attacked Madrid were) have figured out a successful strategy: Bomb the Vote.


This is going to be a long, hot year it seem...

Anyone who believes this isn't a war is one, deluded fool.

And John Kerry is leading the polls.


Michele, I would be interesting if you would read the speech that Kerry gave the other day where he articulates his responses to global terrorism.

You're right in that the left has not stated a coherent reasoned response to the threat well time to start changing that.

Don't demonize the Spanish Socialist Party right away. They've ruled in Spain, and have had similar socialist parties rule in Germany and France. The Spanish one, specifically, helped negotiate Spain's entry into NATO and provided military support to the US during the first Gulf War. (source; dkos, who has no source of his own but I believe him)

As for 'a small percentage', I don't buy it. A lot of European countries had massive protests against this war to begin with. Admittedly I can't know how many Spanish citizens switched their votes at the last minute due to the bombings. I'm willing to assume it's something like 3%, and right now it looks like the socialists won by 6%. I think they were poised for a win anyway.

As for does Terrorism work? Of course it does. But Spain was anti-war to begin with, and their country went in all gung-ho to help out. Now they're faced with their own citizens, who didn't want to go in, and with terrorists, who didn't want them to help the US. Look at the 2.3 million protesting the 'bombings', and know that probably about 90% of them were anti-war to begin with.

What would terrorism do to American support if committed here? Well that depends. It'd certainly make the right feel like we need to hit harder, and it'd make the left feel like this is the punishment we get for intruding around the world. Judging by the results in Spain, I'd say more people leaned left to begin with, rather than them just being 'scared' by terrorism.

America has this wierd relationship with 'democracy'. When democracies work with us, we cheer. But when Turkey listened to it's populace and refused to work with us, we called them all sorts of dirty names. On the other hand we have this strange relationship with terrorists. No one seems to mention the Kurds used terrorism to try to achieve their own independence at one time.

90% of the Spanish population opposed joining in the operations in Iraq.


Kerry lost me right here:

"To do all this, and to do our best, demands that we work with other countries instead of walking alone. For today the agents of terrorism work and lurk in the shadows of 60 nations on every continent. In this entangled world, we need to build real and enduring alliances."

He'll kiss the asses of France and Germany. The other stuff he said is bullshit. Law enforcement? Appeasing our former allies?

And then he has the nerve to talk about our "weakened and overextended" military but hmmm...let's see -

He voted at least seven Reductions In defense and military spending. He introduced a bill that would slash DoD funding. He voted to freeze defense spending for seven years.

Yea, I trust him with our defense.


John Kerry has a tendency to take absolutely uncompromising stands and to make the strongest possible statements... then change sides at the drop of the hat.

He also makes strong statements that show that he has no understanding of a situation - this proves that he just wants to appear strong willed, but that this is pure conceit. He has complete contempt for his audience, obviously.

At this point it doesn't matter what he says. I remember what he said a month ago, and two months ago and three months ago.

Even though I agree with many of his supposed polices, maybe most of them, I'll never vote for that basterd because I don't believe that he'd actually implement a single one of his promises.

But you go ahead and vote for him. Remember his strong point, he's not Bush. Just keep repeating that, maybe you can convince yourself that he's worth something.

I loved the bit the other day when he was caught saying that Arafat used to be a statesmen, but now he's a terrorist.

That shows deep understanding...

Oh, Arafat changed? No JK was trying to cover up for another one of his wrongheaded uncompromising statements.

Give me a man who has strong convictions even if I disagree with many of them over this lying weasel any day. Every day.

Oh, and Michele hit the nail on the head. The talk about making America popular with the UN liars is completely incompatable with the rest of his new found stand... It's internally inconsistant because it's just a lie. That's all it is, it's just a lie.

Here's a Slate piece http://slate.msn.com/id/2096127/ detaling some of the votes. Again I'm not sure which reductions you're referring to, so if you could be more specific they might not be covered in the slate piece.

And if Kissing the Ass of France or Germany means that terrorists do not blow up trains because French and German authorities are more quick to co-operate with the United States or trust our intelligence, then I'll gladly pucker up.

"because French and German authorities are more quick to co-operate with the United States or trust our intelligence,"

Right. France, that country that is a haven for Muslim fanatics.

France, oh yeah, the country that banned Muslim (and other religious)headware, where attacks on Muslims are increasing, yeah such a haven.

BTW maybe I missed it, what's your opinion on Home Movies being cancelled?

I see. If we pressure terrorist supporting countries and keep nukes out of their hands (what happened in libia after Iraq) then then German intelligence will with hold info on AQ, hoping to see more 9/11's.

Is that how international relations works in your mind Pabs?

Pabs, France is banning headscarves in public schools. That's window dressing not serious work. Do you suppose banning head scarves in Israeli schools, Iraqi schools or Spanish schools prevent bombings in those places?
Headscarves in school, now they're serious.

I also liked the bit where Kerry was cornered on his statement that he only voted for the war in Iraq because he was misled...

He said that no one in Washington believed that GW would ACTUALLY liberate Iraq. See, he was misled by the fact that GW was telling the truth.

He thought Bush was just posturing tough.

Obviously that's the sort of "toughness" we can expect from John Kerry.

When the time comes, John Kerry will stand up and in his toughest voice, he'll say that there will be serious consequences if our enemies continue.

And every one of our enemies will be comfortable knowing that he doesn't mean it.

With no credibility, we'll be vulnerable again.

JK might well have been a good peace time president, but he's in way over his head in the realities of 2004.

SSJ - Where did you hear about Home Movies? I haven't read a thing about it being cancelled.

I think we all lack a certain perspective right now. It's clear the Spanish citizenry didn't want to join us from the beginning.

As for kerry and his waffles, they're well documented. I can't even pretend to refute them. However, as I said I feel we're missing perspective. What I mean by that is, supposedly (and I could be wrong), a lot of Kerry's 'military weakening' proposals were similar to those offered by more fiscally conservative republicans at the time. And I believe often times if his didn't pass, the other republican one did, even though they were only minorly different.

I'm not spending the time to read through BOTH bills, and I doubt neither are any of you.

We ALL have our waffles. Tonight on CBS Rumsfield tried to say he never once said 'imminent threat' or even implied it, and the announcer had several dates and times with quotes. Whether you think that was an important part of the framing of the war or not is your own opinion, but the right is not beyond waffling and distorting the truth either, nor in outright lying, or possibly becoming so deluded that you forget you said something. (The left is no less innocent of all of this ;) )

RAWB there's no doubt that Bush will do his best to bring the fight to the enemy.

There's no doubt in my mind that if we do nothing, within 100 years, the US will be like Israel, but they'll be using worse weapons than backpacks with cheap explosives... Our economy will be ruined and our children and grandchildren will live in constant fear.

And there's no doubt in my mind that Kerry does not intend to fight.

Unless the security council, with Syria, France and China suddenly decide that we need to protect the US from Islamofacism and (ha) and even then. This bullshit about needing the respect of our enemies, sorry, our allies, is just an excuse for not prosecuting a war that Kerry is too stupid to understand. He apparently built his shallow ego on being against all wars and is not going to understand the necessity of fighting this one.

As I said, I agree with Kerry's supposed policies, but since he seems to have a record as a windbag, not a doer nor even a man of any convictions, I'm sure he wouldn't accomplish any of his promises anyway.

Well at least Kerry isn't as dumb as Dean - the man who's only capable of understanding bikepath issues... But that's not saying much.

Michele, it is relegated to one group of "people".


The sooner everyone realizes this, the better.

I'm so glad I found this blog. Good work!

I live in that place "with that scene as the norm!" Shalom from Israel!! I was teaching when my husband came in to the classroom to tell us the news. Oh, 'only' eight dead? I continued teaching. Then later the number went up to eleven. Sharon squeaked by the no-confidence vote 46-45. The National Union and National Religious parties (who oppose the Gaza withdrawal plan) abstained!!! This is what gets me angry!! How can Sharon talk about going after terrorists (in response to what happened in Spain)??? We should unleash the full strength of the IDF on them. Believe me, many of the Arabs in YESHA (Gaza, Judea and Samaria) would be happy if we did so!!