Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Herbert Meyer’s Crystal Ball

Back in November 1983, Herbert Meyer, the deputy director of the CIA, wrote an extraordinary memo to CIA director William Casey on the subject “Why Is the World So Dangerous?” Meyer’s answer was breathtaking: “Present U.S. policies have fundamentally changed the course of history in a direction favorable to the interests and security of ourselves and our allies. . . [I]f present trends continue, we’re going to win the Cold War." Meyer thought this prospect made the world a more dangerous place in the short run, as surely some perceptive Soviet leaders, “more likely at the third or fourth echelons,” recognized that their future was bleak, and as such, some actions, including possibly launching a war, “may no longer be too risky to contemplate.” “From now on the Cold War will become more and more of a bare-knuckles street fight.” The next few years would be “the most dangerous years we have ever faced.”

His most audacious speculation was astounding for its prescience:

It has long been fashionable to view the Cold War as a permanent feature of global politics, one that will endure through the next several generations at least. But it seems to me more likely that President Reagan was absolutely correct when he observed in his Notre Dame speech that the Soviet Union—“one of history’s saddest and most bizarre chapters”—is entering its final pages. We really should take up the President’s suggestion to begin planning for a post-Soviet world.

This is preface for establishing why we should pay attention to Meyer’s analysis of where we are today in the terror war. Synopsis: The doves are gaining the upper hand right now, but should another attack occur, "you won’t want to walk down the street wearing an ’I gave to the ACLU’ pin in your lapel. . . And if we’ve closed GITMO by this time - we’ll reopen it and even double its size because we’re going to pack it. All of this will take longer to organize, and cost more, than if we’d done it right in the aftermath of 9-11. That’s unfortunate, but that’s the way we Americans tend to do things. And when we do finally start fighting for real -- we’ll win."

Discussions - 13 Comments

I'll file this next to William Grigg's latest: "Praying for a Terrorist Strike: The GOP's Newest Political Strategy."

C'mon Brutus--you can do better than that! I'm sure someone has the talking points waiting in a file drawer blaming any attack on Halliburton and Cheney, just like 9/11.

Now all of you know that I consistently propose a more vigorous, wide-ranging war effort, that encompasses the terrorists themselves, and the states that sponsor them.

But if we get hit again, in the manner that our enemies desire to hit us, it won't be me who will be in the forefront of urging vast retaliation. It will be the American people, and it will be people like me, who saw it all coming, who will be trying to restrain the desire for vengeance of the American people.

Democracies are slow to wrath. But once a threshold is crossed, democracies are almost impossible to restrain.

If we don't win this war, muslim terror sponsors will do something so horrific, so stupid, that the response of this country will be unthinkable.

Political correctness, moral relativism, multiculturalism, outright pacifism, quasi-pacifism, they're all fads. But it's the nature of fads to be replaced by the next one. Let a dirty bomb be detonated in the Bay Area, and just watch the liberal bloodlust that emerges. And people like me who see that now, who see what's coming, are urging precisely the policies that will forever forestall such nightmarish escalation.

And as for Brutus, the enemy is going to hit us, or London, it's just a matter of time. And when they do, well, let's just say the American people won't be content to refer the matter to the UN.

Islam has long enjoyed the American exemption. Provocations that would have been met with punishing response are overlooked. And the pounding that we delivered to the German, the Italian, the Japanese, we heretofore have declined to meet out to islam.

But that historical quirk is nothing that muslims should bank on.

They are driving a peaceful people towards war. War as our fathers knew, war as our fathers made.

I recall a line: "I am the man that looked for peace, ......... and found my own eyes barbed,"

"I am the man who groped for words, .......... and found an arrow in my hand."

If I recall, I think those lines were written by Sydney Keyes, during The Second World War.

Professor Victor Davis Hanson has written that he's becoming worried that ordinary Americans are increasingly tending to conclude: "There's nothing to be done with 'em, wipe 'em out."

God help 'em if this country is driven to that conclusion, to that attitude. God help 'em.

Oh yes. "I certainly hope we don't have to resort to throwing them all into secret concentration camps and performing mass executions, burying them in pits, simply to protect ourselves. That would be most unfortunate." - said as he wipes a stream of drool from his chin.

"Of course if we do resort to such tough measures to show The Enemy who's boss, it will all be the fault of the back-stabbers who whimpered for an end to the war."

Brutus's comment wasn't even necessary. Meyer's words said it well enough. It is becoming clearer that the far right IS all but praying for a terrorist strike, as their agenda to defeat their fellow Americans outweighs in importance actual efforts to stop attacks - see this:;_ylt=AmSpEAnLe_POlOXZkC6IufF34T0D

Their lust for power has made a parody of their various bloodbaths that will supposedly liberate us from the terror of evil-doers. The right only helps terrorists to do their job with their constant reminders for us to obsessively fear when and where the next attack will be. No, Cheney and Halliburton hardly planned or allowed 9/11 (remember, plenty of us who disagree with you are not conspiracy theorists), but they are certainly exploiting it in the most crass ways imaginable.


In any event, the recent threat report shows that the Bush Administration's efforts to protect the United States of America over the past six years were a complete failure, and thanks to this failure our true enemy is now at the same strength it was when it hit us last time. Bush's failure to completely secure Afghanistan and his stupid foray into Iraq have only empowered the true enemy, Bin Laden, and now hundred or possibly thousands innocent Americans will likely suffer thanks to his failure to wipe out al Qaeda on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

When we are hit next, I only hope that the American people will not begin to sacrifice any of their necessary rights for temporary safety, and that our anger does not lead to the needless deaths of too many innocent people. And, yes, the Republicans will seize the momentum of the terrorist attack to try sieze the White House and Congress again next year. Perhaps the Democrats will actually begin to change their minds about foreign policy as well. But, I think that growing angst over our affairs around the globe may also lead a number of Americans to begin crying for the isolationism that kept us out of other peoples' problems prior to the world wars. Whatever happens, 2008 will most likely be one of the most interesting and important election years in our history. It is only sad that there are no Reagans, Kennedys, Roosevelts, or Lincolns to either unify the country or lead us through these dark times in this election.

Wouldn't another terrorist attack in the United States make it difficult for the administration to maintain its line that we're fighting them over there (i.e., Iraq) so we don't have to fight them here? I say it's better that we fight them here, where the local populace is at least supportive of our efforts.

You can't win a war against terrorists. You can fight terrorist organizations, but bombing the countries they live in is expensive, counter-productive and only recruits more terrorists.

And why haven't we gone after Saudi Arabia and Pakistan? More terrorists there, right?

This isn't about showing them who is "the boss." This is about a natural trajectory of war, where lesser measures that don't prove availing yield to those measures that either succeed, or destroy the enemy's society.

In our own Civil War, it didn't begin with Sherman telling the nation that his "business was down South." It didn't begin with him boasting that he would make "Georgia howl." And when his his troopers were doing just that, making "Georgia howl," they were saying "just wait till we get to South Carolina...."

During The Great War restricted submarine warfare yielded to "unrestricted submarine warfare." And during The Second World War, the Allied Powers did not commence immediate aerial bombardment of German population centers.

Before the end of the conflicts I've mentioned, Western powers demonstrated that they would do WHATEVER was necessary to earn unquestioned, unchallenged victory.

Today, we deem ourselves too refined, too educated, too civilized to keep in mind the hard-won wisdom of Sherman, id est, "War IS cruelty, you cannot refine it."

"Shock and awe" is an attempt at "refining" the latent cruelty of war. And thus we have a situation in Iraq where the actual "war" phase of the conflict was "refined," but the aftermath, the "peace" phase has become bloody and cruel.

But returning to the main point I wish to make, Western powers will ultimately use those wartime measures that guarantee victory, or guarantee an end of the problem.

That means there is a threshold, a line, where precisely is that line? Unknown. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Once that line is crossed, there will be a disgust with the enemy, there will be a hardened opinion that the enemy doesn't even belong on the same planet as the Western power. And when that opinion becomes settled, Western powers then do things that we can barely think of today. It needs to be recalled that it was our fathers that laid waste to Japan, that laid waste to Germany. Those men weren't barbarians. They went to public schools, played ball, chased girls and drank beer. But when it became apparent that the Axis Powers needed to be wiped out, they proceeded to methodically do just that, wipe 'em out!

As for terrorism, it's well to recall that no major terrorist group enjoyed any semblance of success WITHOUT major state support behind them. Al Qaeda ENJOYS state support. Hezbollah is an arm of Iranian Intelligence. Hamas is also being absorbed by the Iranians. Likewise the PLO, the PFLP, Black September. You name the major terrorist group, and we can identify for you the states that stood or stand behind them.

Here's another historical anecdote: Who made use of the assassin of the Archduke Ferdinand? It was Serbian Intelligence. It was an operation by the Serb state, using disgruntled Serbian nationalists to veil their involvement.

So don't indulge the defeatism that tells you that terrorism can't be tackled. It can.

The only question is, what measures are likely to prove successful? And when will we turn to those measures, out of frustration with the protracted nature of the war.

Western Powers don't like protracted wars. Their people don't like them, and those people make their will known to their elected officials. And don't let anyone delude you that the popular will is ALWAYS the peaceful one, the pacific policy, more often than not, it's the cold-blooded, bloody-minded one, which ensures well-nigh the obliteration of their enemies.

Another thing, Terror expert Steven Emerson has spoken with many governmental officials, who privately told him that it will take "another 9/11" for the government to REALLY secure the country.

Food for thought.

Mr. Moser, did anyone ever buy that line, that we're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here? I think few really did, so perhaps the administration knows that they won't be losing much if they lose their use of that line.

At some point, we were supposed to change our mental image of terrorists. They started out as those who, while they might live amongst us in Hamburg, London, Madrid, Miami or NYC, they do their terrorist preparations in dark backrooms and basements, until their suicide attack moment; they were portrayed as cowards who were unwilling to confront us in any conventional form (as in, war). Now, the terrorists are coming out of the shadows, running TOWARD our troops, and using bombs, mortars and guns -fairly standard fare for war, no?- to attack them. Frankly, I don't buy that. The next terrorist attack will likely be performed by someone who is not now attacking our troops in Baghdad. It will likely come from someone plotting it in Rotterdam, Islamabad, Kandahar, or Newark. We can continue to stack up bodies of "insurgents" and "terrorists" in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with plenty of our soldiers and lots of civilians whose hearts and minds we supposedly wanted to win over. This will not prevent the next attack. When the next attack comes, the right will press on to make our country some version of a Christian police state, be it soft or overt. Perhaps they will succeed.

Smith, why do you like Arab terrorists better than Americans?

Mr. Smith, re your "Christian police state," do you desire to see, say, fifty million muslims in the United States?

America has always been a Christian nation, de facto, if not de jure. So what's your beef with that historical fact?

I too worry about the emergence of a "police state." You would do well to recall that it was Senator Lieberman, {no Christian he} who just within the last couple of weeks, proposed the erection of cameras all over the country, to maintain constant video surveillance.

So you don't have to be a Christian to be concerned about what muslim immigration entails. Nor do you need to be Christian to propose measures that are tantamount to a "police state."

Next time, why not keep the idea of America being a "Christian nation" and your idea about a supposed "police state" separate.

The Constitution provides for a separation of powers, between a legislative, executive and judicial branch, such separation reflects the Christian insight of the existence of a triune God. The 8th Amendment, prohibiting "cruel and unusual punishment" again, reflects a Christian understanding that each man is formed in the image and the likeness. Our culture, our nation, our government, have Christian reflections that have enabled us to prosper, thrive and grow strong, as a nation. Our nation represents in purest form, the distilled wisdom and experience of 2,000 plus years of Christianity.

There's no reason to disparage that, and there's certainly no reason to mock that, or trivialize it.

We are going to get hit again, and mocking Christianity isn't going to stave off the wrath of the American people when that happens.

The police state is a natural consequence of insane multicultural immigration policies, which have been in place since Edward Kennedy forced them through the Senate in the mid 'sixties. Prior to those immigration policies, America had no need to ponder such surveillance. But after but a few decades of their enactment, Americans begin to observe traditional civil liberties being eroded. If you lament the "police state," at least have the intellectual honesty to place blame where such blame truly lies.

Liberals today have a choice, they can choose insane multiculturalism, insane moral and cultural relativism, or they can choose to preserve the civil liberties they fought for over the years. But they can't have both. Multicultural immigration policy doesn't simply mean esoteric eateries down the street. When you've allowed in islam, you've also allowed in all the pathologies therewith, all part of the mental baggage that got off the boat, so to speak. And now the dangers, death, destruction, mayhem, that naturally followed from those insane polices, holds within it the slow but sure imposition of a genuine "police state."

Liberals chose the former, they chose multiculturalism, now they will surely get the latter, the erection of a genuine "police state." Those of us trying to stop the "police state" take aim at precisely those policies that would lead well-meaning Senators, like Lieberman for instance, to seriously propose a nationwide surveillance system.

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