EEI#18 “What kind of a war” – continued (4 of ?) – War? What War?

Essential Elements of Information for a Culture of Preparedness

 As stated previously this site is not specifically focused on war and warfare, and most specifically, it has never been intended as one providing political commentary.  The “kind of war” – as essential element of  information- series is being extended because today’s war,  how we define it, and how we defend our country in that defined context is a critical element of survival in our tightly coupled system in unstable equillibrium  world. (PWH Edition #8, DaVinci’s Horse 5 by Dag von Lubitz)

To whatever extent you  believe or not von Clauswitz’s ”war as extension of politics by other means,” the political arenas of the world and war are certainly intertwined beyond separation.  In this kind of war – whatever ”this”  is -  a critical difference beween kinds is noted by the fact that there is no political entity on the other side to negotiate with to come to terms for cessation of conflict.  The war then continues so long as one side desires to carry out attacks. This is very distinctly different from the kind of war of Roosevelt’s World War II or Lincoln’s War Between the States.  How then do we win in the “war on terrorism”, how then do we make this end?  What are the boundary conditions of victory, defeat, co-existence, survival?

Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2010, The Washington Post Writers Group. He is a noted conservative writer and the article below  is very obviously a political OPED, but no matter your political affiliation or opinion on the current administration’s action, his points of distinction about “kind of war” need to be considered critically.

KrauthammerWar? What War?

The Obama administration refuses to admit that we are at war.

By Charles Krauthammer

Janet Napolitano — former Arizona governor, now overmatched secretary of homeland security — will forever be remembered for having said of the attempt to bring down an airliner over Detroit: “The system worked.”

The attacker’s concerned father had warned U.S. authorities about his son’s jihadist tendencies. The would-be bomber paid cash and checked no luggage on a transoceanic flight. He was nonetheless allowed to fly, and would have killed 288 people in the air alone, save for a faulty detonator and quick actions by a few passengers.

Heck of a job, Brownie.

The reason the country is uneasy about the Obama administration’s response to this attack is a distinct sense of not just incompetence but incomprehension. From the very beginning, President Obama has relentlessly tried to downplay and deny the nature of the terrorist threat we continue to face. Napolitano renames terrorism “man-caused disasters.” Obama goes abroad and pledges to cleanse America of its post-9/11 counterterrorist sins. Hence, Guantanamo will close, CIA interrogators will face a special prosecutor, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will bask in a civilian trial in New York — a trifecta of political correctness and image management.

And just to make sure even the dimmest understand, Obama banishes the term “war on terror.” It’s over — that is, if it ever existed.

Obama may have declared the war over. Unfortunately, al-Qaeda has not. Which gives new meaning to the term “asymmetric warfare.”

And produces linguistic — and logical — oddities that littered Obama’s public pronouncements following the Christmas Day attack. In his first statement, Obama referred to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as “an isolated extremist.” This is the same president who, after the Ford Hood shooting, warned us “against jumping to conclusions” — code for daring to associate Nidal Hasan’s mass murder with his Islamist ideology. Yet, with Abdulmutallab, Obama jumped immediately to the conclusion, against all existing evidence, that the bomber acted alone.

More jarring still were Obama’s references to the terrorist as a “suspect” who “allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device.” You can hear the echo of FDR: “Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — Japanese naval and air force suspects allegedly bombed Pearl Harbor.”

Obama reassured the nation that this “suspect” had been charged. Reassurance? The president should be saying: We have captured an enemy combatant — an illegal combatant under the laws of war: no uniform, direct attack on civilians — and now to prevent future attacks, he is being interrogated regarding information he may have about al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Instead, Abdulmutallab is dispatched to some Detroit-area jail and immediately lawyered up. At which point — surprise! — he stops talking.

This absurdity renders hollow Obama’s declaration that “we will not rest until we find all who were involved.” Once we’ve given Abdulmutallab the right to remain silent, we have gratuitously forfeited our right to find out from him precisely who else was involved, namely those who trained, instructed, armed, and sent him.

This is all quite mad even in Obama’s terms. He sends 30,000 troops to fight terror overseas, yet if any terrorists come to attack us here, they are magically transformed from enemy into defendant.

The logic is perverse. If we find Abdulmutallab in an al-Qaeda training camp in Yemen, where he is merely preparing for a terror attack, we snuff him out with a Predator — no judge, no jury, no qualms. But if we catch him in the United States in the very act of mass murder, he instantly acquires protection not just from execution by drone but even from interrogation.

The president said that this incident highlights “the nature of those who threaten our homeland.” But the president is constantly denying the nature of those who threaten our homeland. On Tuesday, he referred five times to Abdulmutallab (and his terrorist ilk) as “extremist(s).”

A man who shoots abortion doctors is an extremist. An eco-fanatic who torches logging sites is an extremist. Abdulmutallab is not one of these. He is a jihadist. And unlike the guys who shoot abortion doctors, jihadists have cells all over the world; they blow up trains in London, nightclubs in Bali, and airplanes over Detroit (if they can); and they are openly pledged to wage war on America.

Any government can through laxity let someone slip through the cracks. But a government that refuses to admit that we are at war, indeed, refuses even to name the enemy — jihadist is a word banished from the Obama lexicon — turns laxity into a governing philosophy.

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