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Saudi Death Toll Rises

The number of dead in the Saudi terrorist attack dead are now said to be over 90, at least 10 of them are Americans.

Discussions - 43 Comments

I have a question. When can we expect an apology from those - including many who post regularly on this web site - who claimed that the Iraq war and the miliary action in Afghanistan would put an end to this?

I don’t see why an apology should be necessary. I don’t recall anyone (on this blog or otherwise) saying that regime changes in Iraq and Afghanistan would guarantee an end to all Islamic terrorism. But one would be hard-pressed to state with any conviction that future terrorism has not been dealt some tremendous blows by the loss of two of its principle sponsors.

I believe that the fact that al Qaeda (assuming al Qaeda is responsible for this Saudi attack) was only able to retaliate against the United States for the Iraq invasion with an attack in an Arab nation rather than within the United States itself is indicative of how much less powerful that organization must be now than it was a few months ago.

While I wouldn’t have used the specific language that Mr/Ms Poelma used, there is - at the root of his/her question - a good point, one which deserves to be addressed. After all, I seem to recall on of the blog authors commenting that he wanted an "apology" from the anti-war crowd following the "conclusion" of the war. Turnabout is fair play, I suppose.

I engaged in several discussions with various members of this blog on the issue of the war, and whether or not the war was justified. In their arguments, many of those who posted cited two key factors for why we should support a war with Iraq. Those factors were 1) national security/WMD and 2) democracy in Iraq and a greater sense of peace in the Middle East as a whole.

To date, WMD have yet to be found and verified. This leaves us with the democracy and peace argument. While it’s too early to tell just how effectively we’ll be able to install democracy in Iraq (I’m skeptical, to say the least), there is no doubt that tensions in the Middle East as a whole have escalated as a result of the war. Anti-American sentiment among the world’s Muslims is at an all-time high, and yesterday’s terrorist attack is - sadly - probably the first of many. In fact, I argued rather vehemently back in March that something like this was bound to happen in a matter of weeks or months.

To address Mr. Roark’s final comment, most of what I’ve heard on the news today (specifically, the Fox news channel) suggests the the attack is an indication that Al Qaeda is stronger than the US had thought. Of course, this assumes that Al Qaeda is in fact responsible and only time will tell whether that’s the case.

"After all, I seem to recall on of the blog authors commenting that he wanted an "apology" from the anti-war crowd following the "conclusion" of the war. Turnabout is fair play, I suppose."

I think I’ll drive my SUV through that charge. Nobody, here or anywhere else, who was for "regime change" in Iraq ever claimed that success with that operation would mean an end to the WOT. And everybody, except gasping Democrats and liberals, like Mr. Little, knows this to be the case.

How come you make these silly charges, Mr. Little? You know, these sorts of comments have a way of making you look pitiful.

I agree, for the most part, with Mr. Little. This type of a foreign policy is rooted not in realism, but in naive utopian idealism. It is likely to fail. Some mea culpas are probably in order for the war hawks, and more may very well be appropriate in the near future.

I think I’ll drive my SUV through that charge. Nobody, here or anywhere else, who was for "regime change" in Iraq ever claimed that success with that operation would mean an end to the WOT. And everybody, except gasping Democrats and liberals, like Mr. Little, knows this to be the case.

Evidently, Mr. Lamb did not read my comments very carefully. Sometimes, we are so eager to throw our two cents in that we neglect to fuly take in what it is that we are objecting to in the first place. I’ll stop short of calling Mr. Lamb "pitiful," but I think that for his own benefit, he needs to read and digest what somebody says before trying to attack it. When he does so, the only people he hurts are himself and those who share his view.

For the record, I NEVER claimed that anybody said that a successful operation in Iraq would mean the end to the War on Terrorism. What I said (read SLOWLY, Mr. Lamb) was that those who supported the war cited "democracy in Iraq and a greater sense of peace in the Middle East as a whole" as a reason for why we should have fought the war. Hopefully, this helps clear things up for you Mr. Lamb. I never mentioned the War on Terrorism, either directly or indirectly.

Incidentally, when you decide to misquote someone, Mr. Lamb, you might want to keep in mind that readers can simply scroll up and read previous arguments for themselves. :)

"The number of dead in the Saudi terrorist attack dead are now said to be over 90, at least 10 of them are Americans." -- Peter Schramm

"I have a question. When can we expect an apology from those - including many who post regularly on this web site - who claimed that the Iraq war and the miliary action in Afghanistan would put an end to this?" -- J. Poelma

"While I wouldn’t have used the specific language that Mr/Ms Poelma used, there is - at the root of his/her question - a good point, one which deserves to be addressed. After all, I seem to recall on of the blog authors commenting that he wanted an "apology" from the anti-war crowd following the "conclusion" of the war. Turnabout is fair play, I suppose." -- Matthew Little

"For the record, I NEVER claimed that anybody said that a successful operation in Iraq would mean the end to the War on Terrorism." -- Matthew Little

I’ll let the reader be the judge as to what "end to this" is and to what about "this" Matthew Little thought was such a "good point."

Letting the reader judge what to think about this discussion is the wisest move Mr. Lamb has made all week. At least he stopped short of misquoting me this time. That alone is a step forward.

I agree with Mr. Little, Aakash and to a slightly lesser degree, J. Poelma. I was (and remain) a supporter of the military action in Iraq, but the Coalition (primarily the United States) has been much too quick to celebrate while overestimating the positive impact our presence in the Middle East might have. At the same time, we’ve been guilty of turning a blind eye to the growing sense of discontent that is present in so much of the Middle East. Let’s hope that this week’s terrorist attack serves as a bit of a wake-up call to not only the United States, but Saudia Arabia and other Arab allies as well.

"Let’s hope that this week’s terrorist attack serves as a bit of a wake-up call to not only the United States, but Saudia Arabia and other Arab allies as well."

I am of the opinion that the apparent Al-Qaeda attack in Saudi Arabia mirrors that of Castro’s recent "crackdown" on dissidents in Castro’s Cuba. Why? Authoritarian regimes need the Great Satan as an enemy in order to maintain power over their people.

Think about: "The basic goal of the sanctions," as our embargo states, "is to isolate the Cuban government economically and deprive it of U.S. dollars." Now, just as Congress is seriously considering easing this embargo, Castro inflames us with his blatant in-your-face human rights violation.

Any chance of the embargo being lifted now? No. Castro thus wins, and keeps the strangle hold on his "isolated" country.

Now consider the House of Saud: One of Al-Qaeda’s primary motivations is that the Great Satan’s troops occupy Islam’s most holy places of Mecca and Medina. Yet, the Saudis aren’t stupid. They paid Bin Laden protection money in order to keep terrorism outside their kingdom.

But our troops are leaving now that Saddam’s gone.

When you realize that we already planned to leave, you see how critical timing was for this attack. Al-Qaeda wanted to hit us so they could point at us leaving and say, "See? We drove out the infidels!" They still live in the dream world where they think they can beat us with a Mogadishu strategy. They tried it in Iraq, with obvious results. Whether it’s a lie or not, Al-Qaeda will try to use this pull out for recruitment by saying we’re not that tough. Yet, the House of Saud knows it must reform itself towards democracy, in this post-Saddam era, or it’s in trouble. But they don’t want to look like they’re caving to American pressure by making changes while we’re still there.

Any chance that we’ll leave now?

Like our continuing sanctions on Castro’s Cuba, it’s a win-win for the Saudis that the Great Satan to remain on their soil. And Al-Qaeda will simply use us to recruit young men to their cause while the House of Saud just continues to play their con-game with Al Qaeda in order to maintain power, rather than democratize.

Mark S. Lamb wrote: "When you realize that we already planned to leave, you see how critical timing was for this attack. Al-Qaeda wanted to hit us so they could point at us leaving and say, ’See? We drove out the infidels!’"

I do not agree. The administration has made it abundantly clear that we’ll be in Iraq in some form or another for some time to come. Al-Qaeda knows we aren’t going anywhere. They may be zealots, but they aren’t stupid.

Plus, you cannot compare Al-Queda to Cuba. Al-Queda, especially in it’s current state, is not an "authoritarian regime."

Plus, you cannot compare Al-Queda to Cuba. Al-Queda, especially in it’s current state, is not an "authoritarian regime."

I could be wrong, but I was under the impression the House of Saud was. Al Qaeda, while not a "regime" per se, is quite authoritarian. And wouls surely implement such a regime if they could.

No, we’re not going to leave Iraq. But we are planning on leaving Saudi soil, as I stated.

Actually, your previous statement implied that we would not leave Saudi soil: "Any chance that we’ll leave now?"

I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Woods in that you cannot compare the situation in the Middle East to Cuba. The two situations are apples and oranges.

Mr. Lamb cannot qualify Al Qaeda as an "authoritative regime" simply because they would be one, if they could. Heck, I’d be master of the world, if I could. Does that make me king of the world now? Hardly.

Actually, your previous statement implied that we would not leave Saudi soil: "Any chance that we’ll leave now?"

Actaully that’s the whole point right there: As Castro jailed all those Cuban dissidents knowing full well that the results would be a continuing embargo, so to the House of Saud turned a blind eye to Al Qaeda’s attack operation, so as to achieve their goal, which is to keep the US troops in their country (thinking we’ll have to back off our plans to leave).

Everybody had an angle in this attack: Bush wants to leave and FORCE the Saudis deal with Al Qaeda. The Saudis like the deal as it is now. Al Qadea wants to show the world they ain’t dead yet, even while hoping we don’t leave Saudi Arabia so they can continue to recruit and use Saudi money!

Clear yet?

I wrote: "No, we’re not going to leave Iraq. But we are planning on leaving Saudi soil, as I stated."

Yes, I said that, but I’m really not sure what Bush is gonna do next. Obviously, he ought to go ahead and pull out as planned. Al Qaeda might cheer that they made us leave (like in Mogadishu), but it would be an empty boast. Thus the Saudis would forced into dealing with Al Qaeda or else risk the wrath like Saddam did.

The key to keep in mind here, whether you want to believe it or not: Bush is serious, folks. While he’s president, America is going to battle these guys. That is just plain fact.

And that is why the liberals wishing for a GOP/Bush mea culpa here is silly: The WOT continues in a very serious and deadly manner!

Your claims are based too much on conjecture and too little on fact. The news has reported since Tuesday that the US knew that something was coming. The fact that it did nothing to prevent this attack (or even issue a warning) pretty much disproves your theory.

"The news has reported since Tuesday that the US knew that something was coming. The fact that it did nothing to prevent this attack (or even issue a warning) pretty much disproves your theory."

So there’s some grand conspiracy is at work, setting up American soldiers as sitting ducks in order to play this game? Do you really believe that?

Some of you people really need to get over the Vietnam ordeal. It’s a different world, today.

First, Mr. Lamb wrote:

Everybody had an angle in this attack: Bush wants to leave and FORCE the Saudis deal with Al Qaeda. The Saudis like the deal as it is now. Al Qadea wants to show the world they ain’t dead yet, even while hoping we don’t leave Saudi Arabia so they can continue to recruit and use Saudi money!

And THEN he wrote:

So there’s some grand conspiracy is at work, setting up American soldiers as sitting ducks in order to play this game? Do you really believe that?

It seems to me that Mr. Lamb is the one with the conspiracy theories here, folks. For all the time Mr. Lamb (and people like him) spends defending against the idea of "right wing conspiracies," he sure does subscribe to some rather silly theories when it suits his argument.

Oh, incidentally, Mr. Woods is 100% correct in stating that the US (and Saudi Arabia) had a strong indication that something was about to happen. Every news outlet from USA Today to the Washington Post to Fox news has reported that there were strong indications that an attack of some type was about to take place (I will leave the argument as to whether the US and Saudi Arabia did enough to prevent the attacks between Mr. Lamb and Mr. Woods). Mr. Lamb should pick up a newspaper or turn on the news before he tries to deny this.

"So there’s some grand conspiracy is at work, setting up American soldiers as sitting ducks in order to play this game? Do you really believe that?"

My point here was specifically related to a conspiracy within our own government (the stuff of Oliver Stone et al). Namely to knowingly allow the eight Americans to be killed in this attack, when we could have prevented it. Not only does it not make sense (even when placed in context of my theory) -- we are going to leave anyway, so why give the Al Qaeda something to cheer about? -- I don’t believe the U.S. military operates in manner today. Maybe others feel differenty, as I stated.

As far as a conspiracy of silence goes: Perhaps the Saudis knowingly turning a blind eye to Al Qaeda’s intentions to attack at this time. Yes, my theory holds they were very motivated to possibly do so.

However, sometimes these sorts of things just happen to happen, too.

Hmmm, it doesn’t appear I was that far off the mark. Not at least according to this guys take:

A conversation with Saudi watcher Dore Gold: "The al Qaeda message, with the latest attacks, was that the war on America is not over even after Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld announced the withdrawal of American troops from Saudi soil, after the threat from Saddam’s Iraq was removed. The U.S. withdrawal announcement threatened al Qaeda’s support base in the Arab world, by removing the primary grievance against America articulated by Osama bin Laden in the 1990s. But if the U.S. completes its withdrawal while its troops are under fire, then in the mind of al Qaeda leaders, that will create a situation like the U.S. pullout from Somalia (where bin Laden was active) or from Lebanon, and can be viewed as a great al Qaeda victory, that will broaden the organization’s popularity in the Middle East with potential recruits."

Marc, I want to make one point of clarification. I am not a liberal, nor a democrat. I don’t know how old you are, but my guess is that I’ve been voting Republican longer than you’ve been alive. Please do not assume that just because we don’t agree on this topic that I’m a liberal. When you label those with opposing views as "liberals" you play right into their hands.

I will not address your conspiracy theory, because I see it as just that... a conspiracy theory.

You are a curious man, Mr. Lamb.

"I don’t know how old you are, but my guess is that I’ve been voting Republican longer than you’ve been alive."

I love this! Actually, while not sure of it, I thought you were probably older than I (and I did not assume you were liberal per se). I grew up cutting my teeth on that glorious historian, Wayne Woodrow Hayes. I then came of age in the confusing era that saw U.S. helicopters flying out of Saigon in defeat. The resultant "malaise" that followed caused me to dwelve deeply into the whole issue of American might and power, liberty and freedom. I know the "trust in the government in Washington" factor very well. And have made my personal peace with the immense struggle that true "liberalism" presents, Mr. Woods.

Incidently, I take it as a wonderful compliment that you have found me "curious," sir. And I am humbled. Thanks.

Don’t worry, Mr. Woods... if he referred to you as a liberal, it was surely the best possible compliment one could receive! :)

But seriously, Mr. Wood, kudos to you for standing firm in your beliefs in lieu of mindlessly agreeing with partisan politics.

You can come on over to the good guys’ side anytime... we’d love to have you!

i>"My point here was specifically related to a conspiracy within our own government (the stuff of Oliver Stone et al). Namely to knowingly allow the eight Americans to be killed in this attack, when we could have prevented it."

Funny FYI: (Note the last line in the news story)

Stone Puts Cuban Dissidents in Film Pulled by HBO


Fri May 16, 5:52 PM ET


Reuters

By Anthony Boadle

HAVANA (Reuters) - Director Oliver Stone (news) was back in Cuba this week to ask President Fidel Castro (news - web sites) about a recent crackdown on dissidents and interview some of his opponents for a controversial documentary that HBO considered incomplete.

"The interviews and information will be added to the documentary," Stone’s publicist Tony Angellotti said on Friday from Los Angeles.

The U.S. cable television network HBO last month pulled the documentary "Comandante" from its May schedule after Cuba’s communist authorities jailed 75 dissidents and executed by firing squad three men who hijacked a ferry in hopes of reaching the United States.

The 90-minute documentary, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (news - web sites) in January, is a profile of Castro, whom Stone views as "one of the Earth’s wisest people."

I truly have no idea what this is supposed to add to the discussion, aside from proving that Mr. Lamb knows how to use the BOLD tags in the blog’s feedback utility.

Matthew, I think he’s just desperately trying to come up with something that sounds intelligent.

Gentlemen; tomorrow, I believe, this entire thread will be archived and this so-called "discussion" will in fact be dead. In the few hours this "discussion" has left, you might wish to note that my Castro/Stone story as a Funny FYI:

That niether of you found it funny does not surprise me. You, too, probably think Castro is "one of the Earth’s wisest people." ;)

Mr. Lamb, it’s not that I didn’t find the Castro story funny --- it’s that I didn’t find it even remotely relevent. Honestly, I think you are obsessed with being "right," on this issue (despite the fact that a number of people, including those from your own party have disagreed with you) that you continue to post for the sake of posting, or moreso for the sake of getting the last word in. Do yourself a favor, Mr. Lamb. If you have nothing relevant to add to the conversation, MOVE ON AND GET OVER IT.

"MOVE ON AND GET OVER IT."

Honestly, Mr. Little, is the shouting necessary?

Speaking of "last word," Mr. Little, I have only bothered to debate you one other time ( here ). And it was you, sir, who had the last word, along with your typical insults. It went something like this:

"With each ridiculous post, Mr. Lamb manages to transform this "discussion" into more and more of a joke. I’m not going to participate in your childish games, Mr. Lamb. If you feel some childish compunction to get the last word in here, be my guest. But do so knowing that I will not read it, nor will I respond."

Sound familar, Mr. Little?

Honestly, Mr. Little, is the shouting necessary?

Mr. Lamb, you are hardly one to talk, given the fact that you found it necessary to put an entire post in bold. Grow up.

Mr. Lamb wrote:

Speaking of "last word," Mr. Little, I have only bothered to debate you one other time ( here ). And it was you, sir, who had the last word, along with your typical insults. It went something like this:
"With each ridiculous post, Mr. Lamb manages to transform this "discussion" into more and more of a joke. I’m not going to participate in your childish games, Mr. Lamb. If you feel some childish compunction to get the last word in here, be my guest. But do so knowing that I will not read it, nor will I respond."

Sound familar, Mr. Little?

Yes, it does sound familiar. And it’s too bad that since that posting, you continue to resort to the same childish antics. So go ahead and continue posting stupid remarks --- show us all what a BIG MAN you are.

Incidentally, I find it necessary to point out that this was a very civil discussion until Mr. Lamb (as usual) started in with the verbal attacks:

How come you make these silly charges, Mr. Little? You know, these sorts of comments have a way of making you look pitiful.

Actually, I should be quite happy that Mr. Lamb continues to post his ignorant and effusive remarks. With each new blog, he discredits his party further! Blog away, Mr. Lamb... blog away!

Mr. Lamb, you are hardly one to talk, given the fact that you found it necessary to put an entire post in bold. Grow up.

I always put actual news stories in bold, as it distinquishes them from my own comments (and those comment I quote in italic). I marked in bold, a New York Post story I posted in our previous debate (see above link) as well.

Got anymore "pitiful" picking points to peck at, Mr. Pittle?

Got anymore "pitiful" picking points to peck at, Mr. Pittle?

Thank you for proving my point. Case closed.

I’m one of those people who tends to read almost everything posted on this web site, and who responds to a comment only once in a very great while. While Mr. Little and I will not agree on very many issues, I happen to agree with him on this single issue. After seeing what’s been posted in the last several days, I also happen to agree with him that Mr. Lamb’s behavior has been juvenile and irresponsible. I have witnessed this in many conversations in which he has participated in.

We, as thoughtul Conservatives, have an obligation to treat those with dissenting opinions with respect and dignity. At worst, we can have a thoughtful conversation and then (as G. Gordon Liddy might say) "agree to disagree." At best, we might actually convince them to come around to another way of thinking. But when Mr. Lamb and others like him engage in personal attacks, it does nothing more than to belittle this web site, it’s authors, and our common agenda.

As a group of like-minded individuals, we essentially serve as the "hosts" of this board, at least, intellectually. Would you invite someone into your home and then start insulting them? Of course not. Why would anyone presume that that kind of behavior is acceptable here or anywhere else? I realize that the relative anonymity that Mr. Lamb (and in fact, all of us) enjoys might make this type of behavior easier to get away with, but it doesn’t make it right.

If Mr. Little, or any person, comes to this online community and says or does things that are improper, simply IGNORE him (I should point out that I have not witnessed this from Mr. Little, but it’s evident that there is some sort of pissing-match between he and Mr. Lamb).

Mr. Lamb, when Mr. Little posted his remarks, you could have made any number of arguments against his case. Instead, you chose to launch into a personal attack, calling his argument "silly" and "pitiful." In fact, when I weighed in with my two cents, you were initially respectful, but you later implied that I was a liberal. What kind of a tone do you think this behavior sets for the rest of the conversation?

A debate is a DISCUSSION between two people with dissenting views. A debate is not name-calling. A debate is not yelling and screaming. A debate is not calling people "Mr. Pittle."

I’m becoming quite tired of seeing what was once a wonderful outlet for intelligent dialogue turn into a Jerry Springer-esque screaming match. Every day, I visit web sites for a number of news outlets, as well as a dozen or so blogs (I’m semi-retired). Lately, the Ashbrook Blog (which once reigned at the top of my must-read list) has been falling farther down the list, due to this type of behavior. I have a feeling that I’m not the only one.

I propose a challenge for Mr. Lamb and others who post to this web site. Let’s for one week try to engage in nothing but thoughtful discussion with our "guests." We can disagree on issues without name-calling, yelling or sarcasm. If someone comes to this site and posts something solely for the sake of getting a rise out of us, just IGNORE them.

I will not post again to this discussion, as I think the "discussion" ended several days ago. If it pleases Mr. Lamb to come here and say (or imply) that I’m a liberal or call other people "silly" or "stupid," that is certainly his right.

"In fact, when I weighed in with my two cents, you were initially respectful, but you later implied that I was a liberal."

You said this before. I didn’t get then, and I don’t get it now.

If my suggesting, "You people need to get over Vietnam," after you imply that "US knew that something was coming. The fact that it did nothing to prevent this attack (or even issue a warning)," means, in effect, I was calling you a liberal... I would say the problem with labels is on you end, not mine. As I said in my reply, I think this (Vietnam, government lying etc.) is more of a generational thing than anything else.

"When can we expect an apology from those - including many who post regularly on this web site - who claimed that the Iraq war and the miliary action in Afghanistan would put an end to this?"

No apology will be forthcoming from me, and I standby my reaction to this rather "pitiful" suggestion.

Thank you for the kind words, and the challenge, Mr. Woods. Sadly, I have a feeling that it will fall on deaf ears. I hope that you will comment again in the future, even if it happens that we don’t agree. :)

Incidentally, I noticed Mr. Lamb’s latest juvenile comment on another posting. Marc, there’s a bit of a difference between posting a headline in bold and putting your entire post in bold. You know this as well as I.

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