Balkinization  

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Obama's Illogical Afghanistan-Terrorism Policy

Brian Tamanaha

A great deal of the day-after commentary on President Obama’s State of the Union Address focused on his temerity to criticize Supreme Court Justices to their faces (for Citizens United), and Justice Alito’s “not true” moving lips response. I guess that’s important stuff.

I was more taken by his comments on fighting terrorism and Afghanistan. The following two passages nicely help expose why our current course of action in Afghanistan will end badly.
Since the day I took office, we've renewed our focus on the terrorists who threaten our nation. We've made substantial investments in our homeland security and disrupted plots that threatened to take American lives. We are filling unacceptable gaps revealed by the failed Christmas attack, with better airline security and swifter action on our intelligence. We've prohibited torture and strengthened partnerships from the Pacific to South Asia to the Arabian Peninsula. And in the last year, hundreds of al Qaeda's fighters and affiliates, including many senior leaders, have been captured or killed -- far more than in 2008.

And in Afghanistan, we're increasing our troops and training Afghan security forces so they can begin to take the lead in July of 2011, and our troops can begin to come home. We will reward good governance, work to reduce corruption, and support the rights of all Afghans -- men and women alike. We're joined by allies and partners who have increased their own commitments, and who will come together tomorrow in London to reaffirm our common purpose. There will be difficult days ahead. But I am absolutely confident we will succeed.

Here is the basic chain of reasoning behind his policy: President Obama has substantially increased our military presence in Afghanistan—it’s his war now—because that’s the front line in our battle against terrorism. To “win” (or at least not lose) in Afghanistan we must transform their government into a good government respected by the Afghan people, able to maintain security so that the country will not become a breeding ground for future terrorists; additional U.S. troops provide the necessary stability to make that possible (along with piles of money, and lots of lecturing-jawboning at Afghan government officials). Meanwhile, on the home front, we’ll fix our intelligence problems to prevent repeats of the Christmas Day failure and stop terrorists who try to attack us.

This reasoning is two parts fantasy and one part illogical.

Fantasy part one is the notion that the Afghan government can be transformed. No exercise in good governance nation-building, when starting from thoroughgoing corruption and venality in a government, has ever succeeded (see here for abundant evidence). And even if it were possible, we are talking about many decades.

Fantasy part two is the suggestion that intelligence reform will save us from future attacks. What the Christmas Day attack brought home is the lesson that there are limits to what “intelligence reform” can accomplish—for reasons elaborated in this essay. No amount of intelligence reform can halt determined attacks.

The illogic lies in the purported link between the war in Afghanistan and reducing terrorism in the U.S. As his first paragraph above implicitly admits, very few al Qaeda members are actually in Afghanistan today—the arrests he refers to are elsewhere around the world. More important, our continued military presence in Afghanistan (as well as in Iraq) provokes further radicalization. Perversely, his very policy in Afghanistan, which cannot achieve its stated goals, is having the effect of generating more terrorists.

President Obama’s military expansion in Afghanistan is making the terrorism problem in the U.S. worse. This policy is truly bad own its own terms--even without factoring in the many American soldiers and Afghans who will be killed and injured in this war, and the billions of dollars it will cost.


Comments:

The Obama/Alito bit is typical political Brad/Angelina gossip stuff mixed with some real passion in the subject. It is a way to personalize this in ways the average person can relate to. It has also been overblown.

Your discussion is more touchy since it actually dissents from the accepted line. It is well placed on the day after Howard Zinn died, to toss that in.

Overall, I share much of the sentiments here, but something like "can halt determined attacks" is a bit problematic in that it can halt some of them, perhaps better than an alternative.

Still, especially given some partisan sentiments here, this analysis is well appreciated.
 

This reasoning is two parts fantasy and one part illogical.

Fantasy part one is the notion that the Afghan government can be transformed. No exercise in good governance nation-building, when starting from thoroughgoing corruption and venality in a government, has ever succeeded (see here for abundant evidence). And even if it were possible, we are talking about many decades.


The Afghan government merely has to be better than the alternative of a Taliban theocratic rule of terror, not some pie in the sky Jeffersonian democracy. The Iraqi government has ongoing problems, but it is far better than the al Qaeda alternative.

Fantasy part two is the suggestion that intelligence reform will save us from future attacks. What the Christmas Day attack brought home is the lesson that there are limits to what “intelligence reform” can accomplish—for reasons elaborated in this essay. No amount of intelligence reform can halt determined attacks.

Agreed. Depending upon passive and reactionary defense has always been a prescription for military defeat. That is why it is so critical that we continue to take the war to the enemy where he lives like Yemen. To his credit, Obama is allowing the special ops to work with the Yemenis and the neighboring Saudis to do just that and has ignored the bleating mislabeling military operations as somehow unlawful.

The illogic lies in the purported link between the war in Afghanistan and reducing terrorism in the U.S. As his first paragraph above implicitly admits, very few al Qaeda members are actually in Afghanistan today—the arrests he refers to are elsewhere around the world.

1) Actually, al Qaeda runs a brigade size group called the Phantom Army in Afghanistan supporting the Taliban.

2) More importantly, we are denying sanctuary to al Qaeda in Afghanistan. You cannot shag ass and cede Afghanistan to the Taliban and expect their close allies - al Qaeda - not to immediately follow.

More important, our continued military presence in Afghanistan (as well as in Iraq) provokes further radicalization. Perversely, his very policy in Afghanistan, which cannot achieve its stated goals, is having the effect of generating more terrorists.

Brian, on what objective evidence do you base this claim?

Do you think that the Taliban will throw down their weapons and go home if we leave?

President Obama’s military expansion in Afghanistan is making the terrorism problem in the U.S. worse.

Really? On what objective evidence do you base this claim? Do you actually assert that Hassan and the Christmas bomber were motived by Obama's reinforcement of Afghanistan?

What created al Qaeda in Arabia was releasing enemy combatants from Gitmo to Saudi and Yemen, where they promptly returned to the fight. It is this policy which needs to be reexamined.

It is fascinating how Afghanistan was the good war so long as it advanced the anti-military left's goal of surrendering Iraq to the enemy. Now that Iraq is won and we are returning in victory, Afghanistan is all the sudden the bad war and lost no matter what we do.
 

Bart,

Idiots like you aren't capable of judging what's objective and what isn't... "Victory" in Iraq being just one obvious example. Iraq is one of the greatest failures in US history -- an utterly needless war in which the US sank to the level of Nazi Germany. You've never even been able to state a coherent set of goals, it's just an endless stream of lying nonsense.

Iraq was a case of going to war against one of the weakest nations we've ever fought for absolutely no good reason at all. You haven't won anything except the contempt of every decent human being who hears your lying, murderous BS.
 

Our intrepid former backpacker continues yet to use the phrase "good war" with respect to Afghanistan. Obama's reference was to Afghanistan as a "necessary war." WW II has often been referred to as a "good war," but some question that description. But assuming the appropriateness of the use of "good" for WW II, it seems a real stretch to apply that to Afghanistan.

And then there's this yodel by our foreign policy yokel:

"What created al Qaeda in Arabia was releasing enemy combatants from Gitmo to Saudi and Yemen, where they promptly returned to the fight. "

Let's first look at the time line of such releases, especially those that occurred under the Bush/Cheney 8 year watch. (By the way, how many of such releases took place from 1/20/10 to date?)

At least this suggests that Cheney was a tad off with regard to al Qaeda's involvement with Iraq as justification for the Iraq invasion (as well as WMDs)

We've got to get our yodeler into a 12-step program as the fumes from his law practice obviously overpower him. Phantom army?
 

Joe makes passing reference to the recent death at age 87 of Howard Zinn, who was a hero to many in the Boston area. Here's how I would start his eulogy:

"FOUR SCORE AND SEVEN YEARS AGO, ...."

More historians should emulate original Zinn. I don't know if Boston University will have a remembrance at its Marsh Chapel for this professor emeritus but such would be overwhelmed with attendance. Unlike Jack Nicholson's cinematic line, Howard insisted that we could - we must - handle the truth.
 

an utterly needless war in which the US sank to the level of Nazi Germany.

Please don't compare the US to Nazi Germany; it is a red herring and will only provide ammunition to supporters of stupid US wars. The US has merely tortured more than 100 people to death, killed a couple of hundred thousand civilians, and imprisoned and tortured hundreds of innocent people for eight years. That's not comparable to what the Nazis did.
 

Here's an excerpt from David Zirin's tribute at a blog at The Nation titled: "Howard Zinn: The Historian Who Made History":

" At our event in Madison, Wisconsin, Howard issued a challenge to the audience. He said, 'Our job as citizens is to honestly assess what Obama is doing. Not measured just against Bush, because against Bush, everybody looks good. But look honestly at what Obama's doing and act as engaged and vigorous citizens.'"

Good advice. But we still have to monitor the Bush/Cheney defenders-regardless-of-the-facts.
 

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Charles...an utterly needless war in which the US sank to the level of Nazi Germany.

Henry said...Please don't compare the US to Nazi Germany; it is a red herring and will only provide ammunition to supporters of stupid US wars.

Charles...Please go right ahead and explain the difference between the US invasion of Iraq and the German invasion of Poland. Rape is rape.


This is not a red herring. Charles actually believes that our troops are the equivalent of Nazis and he is hardly alone on the anti-military left in this regard. Dick Durbin made the same comparison from the Senate floor.

The US has merely tortured more than 100 people to death, killed a couple of hundred thousand civilians, and imprisoned and tortured hundreds of innocent people for eight years.

You are making the same slander without using the term nazi.

I could point out that every single claim you made is a gross lie which slanders your soldiers and provides aid and comfort to your enemies during a war, but that would make no difference to you and Charles so why bother. Your statements adequately indict you.
 

Henry,

Your foolish ignorance of history is not my "red herring".

Please go right ahead and explain the difference between the US invasion of Iraq and the German invasion of Poland. Rape is rape.

Then explain why a degenerate neo-fascist psychopath like Dick Cheney is any different from Osama Bin Ladin. Murder is murder.
 

Bart,

Please explain how you are any different from a Nazi. They used exactly the same excuses to justify their crimes as you do, and we hung Nazis for committing all of the crimes that the United States has committed over the last eight years. Facts are facts.

I can state a comprehensive explanation of the difference between me and a Nazi in a single sentence: I'm not willing to commit or condone violations of IMT art. 6, PERIOD.
 

Charles, I agree that the U.S. invasion of Iraq is comparable to the Nazi invasion of Poland, and that Cheney is comparable to bin Laden (although I blame Bush more than Cheney because Cheney could get away with only what Bush allowed him to). But the U.S. has not murdered six million Jews and I don't know how many Gypsys, gays, and disabled people. And, please, let's avoid name-calling such as "foolish ignorance."
 

Henry,

Ah. So it turns out that my "red herring" is no such thing, and you aren't as foolish or ignorant as your initial post suggested. Yet we are still supposed to believe that we're better than Nazi because we haven't murdered 6M Muslims the way the Nazis murdered 6M Jews.

Of course the Nazi's also murdered 13M Russian civilians (not that anyone except the Russians ever seems to much notice that fact), while it is equally fact that we exterminated most of the native population of the US as if they were vermin between 1600 and 1890, practiced chattel slavery until 1865, and the practiced official racial apartheid on into the mid-60's. The natives of course still live as second class citizens on reservations, though some of the luckier tribes are now striking it rich with casinos.

We're just wonderful. I'm not even going to bother recounting all the crimes we've committed against Islamic nations since the end of WW2, I'll just say that all the oil in the world doesn't even remotely justify those crimes.

Somebody who murders one person is just as much a murderer an someone who murders 6M or 13M. Murder is murder, and a murder committed by a government official in violation of the laws that official swore to uphold is worse than any ordinary murder, because it subverts the law and thereby endangers all of us. Don't take my word for it, read the Declaration of Independence and Constitution that Bart spits on every time he opens his lying mouth.

Psychopaths like Bart are sowing seeds that will eventually grow into a worse nightmare than WW2 -- one in which *we* will be the bad guys. As things stand now, it looks to me like the human race will be very lucky to survive the 21st century: our technology is outrunning our capacity for reason. Bart De Palma isn't any different form a Roman cheering while Christians are fed to the wild animals, or a ranger on the frontier scalping Indians for a government bounty.
 

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Howard Zinn. Great man in various ways. His seminal work was a bit too one note on our history, but helped complete our knowledge all the same.

I wonder if our contributor from across the pound is still around. He would politely disagree with some of the Prof. Tamanaha's analysis, I'm sure.
 

Charles, the facts of U.S. history that you note are accurate, but you had compared the U.S. to Nazi Germany with respect to the invasion of Iraq, not with respect to all of U.S. history. And, although, legally, as you say, somebody who murders one person is just as much a murderer an someone who murders 6M or 13M, the latter murderer is obviously worse. I think that our exchange, however, is silly, and I am posting this comment despite my better judgment.
 

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Well you can say that all you want, but there isn't anything silly about it except your denial. The only way anyone can get to 6M is by adding 1 + 1, and the idea is worse than the deed, hence, mens rea.
 

Shag:

Here's an excerpt from David Zirin's tribute at a blog at The Nation titled: "Howard Zinn: The Historian Who Made History"

That title speaks volumes about how this Marxist pseudo historian viewed his craft as rewriting rather than reporting history.

Zinn: “Objectivity is impossible and it is also undesirable. That is, if it were possible it would be undesirable, because if you have any kind of a social aim, if you think history should serve society in some way; should serve the progress of the human race; should serve justice in some way, then it requires that you make your selection on the basis of what you think will advance causes of humanity.”

Unfortunately, this view is widely held in academia from law to the so called hard sciences like climatology.
 

Charles Gittings said...

Bart, Please explain how you are any different from a Nazi.

I support individual liberty and our war against Islamic fascists, who are indistinguishable from real Nazis except for the religious justification. I am the antithesis of a Nazi.

You are not a Nazi, but rather a useful fool who provides aid and comfort to a fascist enemy out of spite and hatred for his own country.

At least al Qaeda has a belief system and are a worthy enemy of freedom. You are the worst form of hateful reactionary and are beneath contempt.
 

Perhaps a tad of subjectivity was involved with Brown v. Board of Education. Would our intrepid former backpacker seek to have the Roberts/Alito court overturn this decision? Would our yodeler wish to turn the clock back on the 1960s Civil Rights acts? Let's see, what other advances in the cause of humanity might be reversed if he had his way? Or does he wish to take us back to 1929? Let's get going with that 12-step program.
 

At least al Qaeda has a belief system and are a worthy enemy of freedom. You are the worst form of hateful reactionary and are beneath contempt.

Thank goodness for worthy enemies, eh Bart?

At least with a worthy enemy you can flat-out kill them. Charles, on the other hand... why you can't even touch him!
 

Charles Gittings:

Iraq was a case of going to war against one of the weakest nations we've ever fought for absolutely no good reason at all.

Exceeded only by Grenada ... but at least in Grenada we didn't spent billions of dollars and the lives of thousands of soldiers.

Cheers,
 

Shag from Brookline:

More historians should emulate original Zinn. I don't know if Boston University will have a remembrance at its Marsh Chapel for this professor emeritus but such would be overwhelmed with attendance. Unlike Jack Nicholson's cinematic line, Howard insisted that we could - we must - handle the truth.

On that note, I'm currently reading James Bradley's ["Flags of our Fathers", "Flyboys"] "The Imperial Cruise". Horrifying, simply horrifying, and I've barely gotten one third of the way through.

Glad to see that it's reached the N.Y. Times Best Seller list (and will probably be read by a greater percentage of buyers than Palin's screed).

It looks to be a complement to Stephen Kinzer's "Overthrow" (which did not visit the Philippines war in any depth, and didn't concentrate on our Pacific policy last century).

Go read it (and Kinzer's book too, if you haven't already).

Cheers,
 

Bart:

Unfortunately, this view is widely held in academia from law to the so called hard sciences like climatology.

Yes. In law, we have people that believe that court cases said things that they simply did not say.

Cheers,
 

LOL -- Bart says **I** am a reactionary! AS IF obeying or enforcing our laws is such a reactionary concept!

Then this drooling neo-fascist IDIOT claims to stand for freedom at the same time he advocates murdering or imprisoning people without due process of law. The Nazis believed in freedom just as much as you do Bart. They believed in the freedom of Germans to dictate terms to every one else and to kill anyone who got in the way. They were just like you Bart. Who exactly are your enemies anyway??

Al Qaeda?

The reality is that they have more and older grievances against us than we have against them. That isn't an apology for their crimes -- only a demented hypocrite like you thinks one crime justifies another -- I want them prosecuted just as much as I want Cheney, Addington, and Yoo prosecuted. A murder is a murder.

And who is Al Qaeda besides anyone Bart decides to call a 'terrorist' without evidence or due process?

I can guarantee you that Al Qaeda believes in freedom too -- it is in fact fundamental principle of their religion, which is not to say that they practice their religion any better than we do our various creeds. They just don't believe in the freedom of the US to dictate the affairs of Islamic nations.
 

Bart,

If you read the draft I posted, you will see a number of references to intelligence documents (that is, issued by U.S. intelligence agencies), which explicitly recognize that our military presence in Islamic countries increases radicalization.

To start, look at the 2006 NIE. It's only a couple of pages.

It is on this basis that I make the assertion that our military presence is making things worse.

My approach is to try to reduce supply of terrorists. Your approach is to chase them down wherever they might be. So after Iraq and Afghanistan, we send out troops to Yemen, then Somalia, then...

Brian
 

Howard Zinn was a courageous man. It's hard in America to be highly critical your own country. He did it unflinchingly.

And he understood (having served in the military during the war) that nothing good comes from war.

For telling the side of American history that never gets told, Zinn was dismissed by historians and kept at a distance by fellow liberals (uncomfortable with his refusal to take a more polite line).

And, more recently, he was outspoken in his criticism of President Obama as just more of the same.

Zinn's passing was a true loss because few people in our country today are willing to go so far.

Brian
 

I read A People's History about 20 years ago. It make a big impression on me, and it's a book all Americans should read. But looking over this review by Michael Kazin I'm inclined to allow that Zinn overcompensated.

Well, 20 years ago I was overcompensating too...
 

Brian Tamanaha said...

To start, look at the 2006 NIE. It's only a couple of pages. It is on this basis that I make the assertion that our military presence is making things worse.

Here are the two 2006 NIE findings which apply but fail to provide any particular evidence for your assertion:

The Iraq conflict has become the cause celebre. for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.

Although we cannot measure the extent of the spread with precision
, a large body of all-source reporting indicates that activists identifying themselves as jihadists, although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion.


The Iraq War was won two years later in 2008 and the surviving al Qaeda fled to Pakistan and Africa in defeat. Under this NIE speculation, this should have reduced the number of jihadists

This NIE says nothing about Afghanistan. However, if the same theory of retreating in defeat reduces jihadists theory applies, then it is an argument for winning the war in Afghanistan.

The NIE claim that the number of worldwide jihadists was growing has no identifiable basis and is pure speculation. Has it occurred to you that this claim was made to maintain the appearance of a threat and thus maintain funding for the intelligence community?
 

Charles Gittings said...LOL -- Bart says **I** am a reactionary! AS IF obeying or enforcing our laws is such a reactionary concept!

No sir, you practice lawfare against your country by intentionally misreading, twisting, changing and then misapplying the law while granting the enemy a complete pass on their violations of the plain language of the law with the oft stated intent of releasing the enemy where they are free to return to their battle against your country.
 

Bart,

The notion that one can wage war against the United States by enforcing the laws of the United States is IDIOTIC NEO-FASCIST NONSENSE. The Nazis thought exactly the same as you do, as did the Soviets.

It is, however, that one can wage war against the United States by subverting those laws, which is EXACTLY what the Republican Party has been doing the last eight years. Al Qaeda has no better allies than idiots like you. If it was up to me, you'd all be prosecuted for it too.

And I'm done wasting my time: you are a DEGENERATE, LYING, SUBVERSIVE TWIT... QED.
 

Charles:

Lawfare is hardly idiotic neo-fascist nonsense.

Lawfare is a long recognized form of asymmetric warfare where enemies of the West abuse its legal process to compel victories over western militaries which they could not achieve on the battlefield.

Lawfare was first described in depth in a Chinese military strategy book entitled "Unrestricted Warfare (or more literally "warfare beyond bounds") written in 1999 by two colonels in the People's Liberation Army - Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui.

The concept of abusing the legal process by filing largely frivolous suits to impose legal costs high enough to compel political ends was invented in the United States by groups like ACORN and the ACLU.

al Qaeda and others simply applied this legal abuse to warfare with the active support of useful fools such as yourself.
 

Bart, you would be an excellent Nazi.
 

Oh my.

AS IF something that was invented in 1999 could be accurately described "long recognized".

AS IF the PLA wasn't one of the most fascist institutions on the planet.

AS IF this idiotic concept was recognized by anyone but neo-fascist subversives like Bart, Addington, and Yoo etc.

AS IF anyone could possibly be as totally oblivious to reality as Bart De Palma.

You can just take your idiotic nonsense and shove it Bart. I know you don't realize it, but you made yourself look like exactly what you are: a demented fanatic lost on his delusions.

GET LOST.
 

Interrupting Charles Gittings bid for sainthood and Bart's call to destroy democracy in order to save it:

http://hnn.us/articles/4370.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/jan/30/howard-zinn-america
Michael Kazin on Zinn.

Leiter likes him, always a bad sign for a historian.
 

Brian wrote:
President Obama’s military expansion in Afghanistan is making the terrorism problem in the U.S. worse.

That doesn't quite agree with the assertion that the link between the war in Afghanistan and terrorism in the US is illogical. It seems as though what you're pointing out is that our own intelligence shortcomings are at the root of terrorism dangers at home, yet then you to assert that the war in Afghanistan is make terrorism at home worse as well. From that standpoint, it does make sense to pursue intervention in Afghanistan. I don't think it makes sense to pursue the same course we've been pursuing.

I think its also worth considering that Obama is in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation with respect to Afghanistan.

If he does nothing, the Taliban will gain strength there, even though al Qaeda doesn't have a strong presence there at this time. The notion that the current government need only be better than the the Taliban alternative naively ignores the potent delusional force of religion, which the Taliban exploits fully. Without some kind of participation there, Afghanistan will likely revert to the 9/11 state of affairs. The smart thing is to have a presence there that knows the situation well enough to induce a positive steering effect.

I'm also not so sure its a given that military action as such will automatically bias the recruiting base as to swell the ranks of terrorists. I think ill thought out military action has been doing that, but there must be way to use the military presence to garner enough credibility to build a consensus in our favor. The notion that we can fight a war against a tactic or idea in the same way we fight a war against a foreign army was foolish from its very inception, and deserves its place in the trash heap of bad ideas. If that's what Obama continues, he'll miss the mark just like his predecessor did, and others have done historically in Afghanistan.

On the whole, Obama seems to view the "damned if you do" as the political blunt stick in Afghanistan. And, given that he took office with a the worst kind of 12 year old bag of poo handed to him, "damned if you do" might look like the smart option right now.

What is working against him is the 12 years of passive-aggressive question begging that has created an environment favorable to bad decision making. So bad that even making the sensible choices in Iraq and Afghanistan - let alone at home - are politically very risky. It seems as though his priority right now may be to get the electorate to grow up enough to focus on actual issues. I don't envy him, his Augean Stables.
 

"Bart" DePalma says:

The concept of abusing the legal process by filing largely frivolous suits to impose legal costs high enough to compel political ends was invented in the United States by groups like ACORN and the ACLU.

What a pile'o'horsepuckey. The ACLU has an agenda and clear policy aims. It doesn't want a "cheap win" for the money; its policy aims are only advanced through precedent (precedents that "Bart" apparently doesn't like even though I suspect that if you gave him a test on some of the cases that the ACLU has pushed through, he'd agree with the ACLU's position). And ACORN as a "lawfare" organisation? Perhaps in their subversive attempt to prohibit the unconstitutional bill of attainder passed against them but the Rethuglicans (and abetted by spineless Democrats). Yep, ACORN sure started that fight....

Glad to see that "Bart" really hasn't cleaned up his act at all here. Same ol' complete pile'o'crapola....

Cheers,
 

It's unclear why Obama, who knows better, keeps telling America that Afghanistan is "war of necessity" and acting as if that were the case. It's also sad.
 

BD: The concept of abusing the legal process by filing largely frivolous suits to impose legal costs high enough to compel political ends was invented in the United States by groups like ACORN and the ACLU.

Arne Langsetmo said...What a pile'o'horsepuckey. The ACLU has an agenda and clear policy aims. It doesn't want a "cheap win" for the money...


Money? What part of "compel political ends" did you not understand? Perhaps, my reference to ACORN confused you into thinking that lawfare is about shaking people down for money.

And ACORN as a "lawfare" organisation?

Let's start with the frivolous harassment suits against the telecoms to compel them to refuse cooperation with future intelligence gathering. These suits had no basis in law and were generally dismissed. Their goal was purely political. Text book lawfare.
 

"Bart" DePalma:

What part of "compel political ends" did you not understand?

What part of your statement ("...by filing largely frivolous suits to impose legal costs high enough to compel political ends...") did you not understand? Drinking early? Or too much? Or both? Or just insanely incoherent due to stoopidity? You tell us, "Bart". Let's see:

[Arne]: And ACORN as a "lawfare" organisation?

Let's start with the frivolous harassment suits against the telecoms to compel them to refuse cooperation with future intelligence gathering.


Hmmm. I vote for stoopid. And drunk. You're even more incoherent than usual today.

Cheers,
 

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What an absolutely asinine thing to say. I'm no saint, I'm just honest and know how to add 1 + 1 and get 2.

And if you've got anything half-way intelligent to say, I'd suggest you save the clueless snot and bring it on. I don't give a flip what you think of me. If you get off on thinking I'm wrong or self-righteous, that's just two more things you're wrong about.
 

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