Democratic Plan To Win The War On Terrorism
Since this is sort of my hobbyhorse, I would be remiss in not doing my part to publicize the newly released portion of the Senate Democratic agenda for 2005 dedicated to winning the war on terrorism. You can find the full text below the fold. Naturally enough, a document this brief somewhat underdescribes the full scope of the problem. For people interested in learning more, let me once again recommend Winning The War On Terror, which the House Democrats put together last year and which spells out basically the same ideas in greater detail. Somewhat different in focus, but essentially consistent in spirit is the Century Foundation's Defeating The Jihadists. In particular, I would encourage rightwing critics of the Democrats to familiarize themselves with these and other documents spelling out the actual liberal approaches to national security policy rather than just kicking around underinformed speculation and random smears. Well, that's unlikely. But liberals at least should know what our side's experts are up to and familiarize themselves with the issue. Now for the Senate's contribution:
Now, obviously, in the real world it doesn't really make sense to put this all forward as a single bill, since it involves a lot of independently alterable parts, but as a groundwork for a new agenda I think it's excellent and contains a number of items that Republicans should be able to embrace if they're really serious about fighting terrorism.
S. 12: TARGETTING THE TERRORISTS MORE EFFECTIVELY
Democrats are determined to wage the most effective war on terror. S. 12 lays out a comprehensive U.S. strategy to combat radical Islamic fundamentalism and win the war on international terrorism. In contrast to the Bush Administration’s piecemeal approach, S. 12 establishes four interlocking pillars necessary to wage an effective war on terrorism: (1) taking the fight to the terrorists, (2) drying up the breeding grounds that produce terrorism, (3) enhancing the U.S. government’s accountability and effectiveness to deal with this issue, and (4) reducing the possibility terrorists could acquire and use nuclear materials and other deadly materials as a weapon, the greatest single threat to U.S. national security.
Take the Fight to the Terrorists. S. 12 contains three basic provisions that will allow the U.S. to take the fight to the terrorists in a more effective manner. First, S. 12 increases the U.S. Special Forces capability by 2,000 personnel over the next several years, greatly enhancing this nation’s ability to track down and eliminate international terrorists in all corners of the globe. S. 12 also increases foreign language experts in the U.S. government, thereby ensuring that our troops and security personnel receive timely translations of critical conversations between terrorist organizations. S.12 also strengthens measures to combat terrorist financing, a critical aspect of the war on terror.
Dry up the Breeding Grounds that Produce Terrorism. A long term complement to the offensive measures, S. 12 contains four key long-term initiatives that are designed to dry up the breeding grounds of terrorism. S. 12 authorizes additional funding for basic education programs to help nations provide a clear alternative to the madrassas that preach radical Islam; support to non-governmental organizations working to enhance democracy and development in the Muslim world; new public diplomacy programs to explain U.S. policies and counter anti-U.S. propaganda, and a long term strategy to deal with key states; including Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.
Increase the U.S. Government’s Accountability and Effectiveness to Counter the Terrorist Threat. The U.S. government lacks the basic tools to determine if our efforts to combat terrorism are actually working. This fact was compounded by the errors in the State Department’s annual report on global terrorism. S. 12 deals with these problems by establishing a mechanism to assess the effectiveness of U.S. polices and programs on the war on terror; creates tough criminal penalties for anyone caught defrauding or profiteering from U.S. foreign assistance programs; and creates an independent commission to hold accountable all of those responsible for the Abu Ghraib scandal.
Prevent Terrorist Acts With Weapons of Mass Destruction. Terrorist acts with weapons of mass destruction are single greatest threat to U.S. national security. S. 12 expands the pace and scope of programs to eliminate and safeguard nuclear materials by authorizing a global cleanout of radioactive materials; constructs permanent security arrangements for radioactive materials; expands the Cooperative Threat Reduction program beyond the Former Soviet Union; and dramatically increases resources for a range of under-funded, yet vital, State and Defense Department programs. The bill also includes a number of measures to increase border and port security and respond to a catastrophic terrorist attack. It adds 1,500 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and Customs and Border Protection agents over 5 years; authorizes $3 billion over 4 years to ensure that MTSA standards are met and funds other port security measures; and creates or restores a number of programs designed to ensure that this nation’s state and local first responders have the training and equipment they need to deal with this threat.
January 25, 2005 | Permalink
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Charles Krauthammer, Victor Davis Hanson, and William Kristol consult with Peter Wehner on the Bush inaugural address, and then Krauthammer and Kristol turn around and praise it to the heavens without [Read More]
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Matt Yglesais has issued a bit of a challenge to "rightwing critics of the Democrats" to familiarize themselves with the liberal position on how they intend to fight terrorism before they begin to smear what they don't know. Fair enough. Although I don [Read More]
Tracked on Jan 25, 2005 5:40:55 PM
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Tracked on Feb 22, 2005 5:34:20 PM
Fuck the War on Terrorism, I want to win the War on Terror TM. I'm going to start by banning horror films when I'm king of the world, then I'll move on to bedtime stories.
Posted by: John Isbell | Jan 25, 2005 9:59:47 AM
You forgot S-12 Subsection C4.3:
Undermine hated American values by forcing all citizens to marry gay people, reinstall Saddam Hussein, appoint Michael Moore as HS Director, cede remaining domestic authority to UN, and tighten grip of Clinton cabal over all aspects of cultural and political life. It's in the fine print.
Posted by: Realish | Jan 25, 2005 10:38:57 AM
Oddly enough, that could be identical to a Republican plan as well, considering it appears to have everyone's interests involved. It is a good starting point, but you know how things work in congress. Especially the house, where Delay and Cronies will attept to scuttle anything that has a scent of Democrat or bi-partisan support just so they can look like the Republiscums are the only ones that can get things done. 51%.
Methinks Delay would be especially leary of :
"creates tough criminal penalties for anyone caught defrauding or profiteering from U.S. foreign assistance programs;"
Posted by: theCoach | Jan 25, 2005 11:02:01 AM
While I am heartily in favor of the proposals for improved public diplomacy, more Arab speakers in the US government, a public diplomacy ready reserve, accelerated cultural exchanges, etc., I think it is an illusion to think that we can deal with the problem of terrorism just by communicating better. Certainly there are people who are seriously confused about America's "message". But there are many who have a pretty clear grasp of America's message, especially in the area of actions that speak louder than words, and just don't like that message.
Posted by: Dan Kervick | Jan 25, 2005 11:47:38 AM
Bullshit never stops, does it. Why not simply: to end proping Israeli, Egyptian and Saudi wingnuts and let people of the ME take care of their own problems?
Posted by: abb1 | Jan 25, 2005 12:40:30 PM
Sorry but you will need more than blather and cleche to fight the war on terror. Why increase special forces when the only people you leftists will be willing to use them against are the Branch Dividians?
You say you are going to better identify terroists and root them out world wide. BALLONEY! Terrorists are currently in Syria and Iran. Are you going to invade these countries? I think not. Since these countries are our enemies, that makes them your friends.
I'm sorry but the French would never let you doing anything productive against any of our enemies. Since the French define what international law says and you worship the French, se la vie.
It was good I read your cleched version of "The Plan". I was right all along. It was Kerry who had no plan. But keep up the good work. There are still a lot of dummies out there, who you can fool by saying you have a plan.
Posted by: RA | Jan 25, 2005 12:52:07 PM
The troll is right, you know. The Democrats should quit trying to outrepublican Republicans with this 'war on terra' crap and start talking sense.
Posted by: abb1 | Jan 25, 2005 1:14:49 PM
"cleche?" "se la vie?"
Don't worry RA. You'll never be mistaken for French.
Posted by: Joel | Jan 25, 2005 1:30:45 PM
Yeah, there are terrorists in Iran and Syria. Just like there were WMD's in Iraq.
Problem is your king from Crawford already shot the wad to make you feel safe from your imaginary Iraqi threat so big Daddy can't make his little, cowardly, lukewarm IQ, freeper feel safe from his imaginary enemies in Iran and Syria. Hell, if they aren't imaginary you actually have a real problem because there isn't anybody left to invade them. So your going to be spending much time hiding under your bed from the terrifying Iraninan and Syrian governments no matter how many times you send that little monkey to the white house.
Posted by: absynthe | Jan 25, 2005 1:40:58 PM
Terrorists are currently in Syria and Iran. Are you going to invade these countries? I think not.
Are you going to invade these countries? I thnk not.
Posted by: Dan | Jan 25, 2005 1:49:14 PM
Pretty, but will it pass the 'global test?'
Seriously, though, despite a conspicuous absence of mention of law enforcement powers wrt terrorism-related investigations, that's a plan I could get behind. I'm not a Republican, though, so maybe I don't count. If I were, I'd probably be flattered that fighting terrorism is apparently to be considered 'republicaning,' and pleased that Dems were being advised to avoid even the appearance of being willing to do so (thus ceding the entire point to the Repubs).
Posted by: Achillea | Jan 25, 2005 1:53:49 PM
This drives me nuts.
new public diplomacy programs to explain U.S. policies and counter anti-U.S. propaganda
They understand U.S. policies much better than most U.S. citizens and they don't like those policies. It's not a problem of perception, you can't Madison Avenue your way out of this, you can't sell this product. Either ditch the product or prepare to have people killing you over it.
Posted by: absynthe | Jan 25, 2005 2:08:37 PM
absynthe: "Yeah, there are terrorists in Iran and Syria. Just like there were WMD's in Iraq." - Ever heard of Hezbollah (Iranian sponsored terror group) or Hamas (Syrian/Lebanese terror group)? How about the Bekkah Valley? Try Google and those terms. Add Al-Qaeda to the search and their significance will become obvious. But maybe you didn't mean to be taken seriously - "Problem is your king from Crawford already shot the wad to make you feel safe from your imaginary Iraqi threat so big Daddy can't make his little, cowardly, lukewarm IQ, freeper feel safe from his imaginary enemies in Iran and Syria"
Does this kind of stupidity take place here because no one reads these comments anyway or because your impotent rage undermines mental clarity when in the grip of hate porn fantasies?
Posted by: The Apologist | Jan 25, 2005 6:35:36 PM
"Either ditch the product or prepare to have people killing you over it."
Give up or surrender. And you guys wonder why you're losing elections.
Posted by: The Apologist | Jan 25, 2005 6:38:32 PM
If you want to go to war with Hezbollah and Hamas over Israel, go join the IDF.
We have nothing to surrender. Life goes on, no more terrorism, everything is cool all we would have to do is mind our own business in the Middle East and pay our oil tab and shut up. That's surrender.
Posted by: absynthe | Jan 25, 2005 6:45:54 PM
"Either ditch the product" - this is giving up
"or prepare to have people killing you over it." - this is surrender (As if we should resign ourselves to our own eventual murders.). It implies an unwillingness to work your (our) will in the world. It is the philosophy of a people who have never had to earn anything, a people to whom everything was given and of whom nothing was asked.
"Life goes on, no more terrorism, everything is cool all we would have to do is mind our own business in the Middle East and pay our oil tab and shut up." - Until they want more than just the annihilation of the Jews and the reintroduction of the Caliphate in the Middle East. Men who will kill civilians deliberatly are not going to stop at the border of Turkey. 9/11 was not self-defense. It was an act of assymetrical aggression against the steady modernization of the M.E. And that isn't just the economic modernization for all you Marxist holdouts out there, it includes the cultural, philisophical, and religious modernization as well. The delusion that we are the aggressors here because our foriegn policy has not satisfied every regional or ideological interest is childish. Moreover, the idea that parties who lost out during the Cold War in the M.E. were somehow meant to lose out is childish. If America and the Soviets have a fight and America steps on your toes, it doesn't mean America is working toward your destruction and Bin Laden, Zarqawi, Zawahiri and others know this. The propganda they put out that you repeat has little to nothing to do with their goals. This is about Theocracy vs. Humanism and Chris Hitchens is the only guy on your side to get that.
"If you want to go to war with Hezbollah and Hamas over Israel, go join the IDF." -
1) These groups represent a threat that extends beyond the borders of a Zionist state.
2) Isreal is an ally of the United States and we have committed to aid her in her defense.
3) "Hezbollah+Al-Qaeda+Hamas+alliance"+Google= You being more informed.
Posted by: The Apologist | Jan 25, 2005 7:52:28 PM
I don't need any more drek from your pet warmongers.
If you really believe that Muslims around the world wouldn't just be happy if we got out of the Middle East and that one day they are going to threaten to kill us if we don't grow beards and give up beer then your embrace of Bush is just foolish.
If that's what we are faced with you need someone to go drop neutron bombs on the entire Muslim world. Not to talk about it on a message board, not to support a beligerent jackass who invades and tortures random Arab states until that's pretty much the last option available, you need someone to do it.
Posted by: absynthe | Jan 25, 2005 8:02:20 PM
P.S. When you are *cough* um, informing yourself you really need to grow some cynicism. Israeli sources say Hamas=Al Queda? Wow, next thing you know the Indians will say that about Pakistan and the Chinese will say that about the Hui and the Russians will say that about the Chechens, ad nauseum. Oh, that's right, they all did.
Posted by: absynthe | Jan 25, 2005 8:07:53 PM
"I don't need any more drek from your pet warmongers." - I'm not even sure what this is supposed to be in reference to, let alone what it means.
"If you really believe that Muslims around the world wouldn't just be happy if we got out of the Middle East and that one day they are going to threaten to kill us if we don't grow beards and give up beer then your embrace of Bush is just foolish." - It isn't a threat from Muslims in general, but from a specific "brand" of Muslim. (ie; Wahabi's, the Muslim Brotherhood, assorted quasi-Stalinist or quasi-fascist religio-political movements around the world.) As to growing beards and teetotaling, both are things I already do, so no I am not afraid of the strictures Islamists would hope to institute. It is the philisophical assumptions those policies are built upon.
"If that's what we are faced with you need someone to go drop neutron bombs on the entire Muslim world. Not to talk about it on a message board, not to support a beligerent jackass who invades and tortures random Arab states until that's pretty much the last option available, you need someone to do it." - This is more of that hate/porn fantasizing of yours and can only be arrived at by overgeneralizing and mischaracterizing the arguments I've made thus far.
"the Indians will say that about Pakistan" - Guess what, they're right about Pakistan. The Pakistani ISS helped Mullah Omar to set up the Taliban and were the only government to recognize the Taliban officialy. Prior to 9/11 support for the Taliban and it's clients (Al-Qaeda) was official Pakistani foriegn policy.
"Russians will say that about the Chechens" - again the Russians are right about Al-Qaeda connections to the Chechens. Though they overstate the connections, those connections are not non-existent.
As for the Chinese and the Hui, I won't dispute the Communist Party's lying there, but that's to be expected from a Socialist dictatorship and I think we all, whatever our political persuasion, recognize that.
In the case of Israel's being an absolutely disreputable source I think this is just silly. Discounting something just because Israel said it is...I don't know. Stupid, I guess. If anyone knows what's going on in the West Bank or Gaza it's going to be Israel. If you don't find the information credible then you should point out why. But then, this goes to the broader theme here of your ignoring facts if they disagree with your assumptions and avoiding any actual argumentation by lobbing ad hominem hateporn grenades. At this point I would have to reassert my initial question.
Do you just not care because you don't think anyone's watching or are you blinded to these faults by your hatred of The BusHitler?
Posted by: The Apologist | Jan 25, 2005 9:01:49 PM
"Life goes on, no more terrorism, everything is cool all we would have to do is mind our own business in the Middle East and pay our oil tab and shut up."
Another thing about this that bothers me is why do you think the Islamists would ever sell us oil? Do you remember the 70's? Hello? Is there any one here who isn't completely uninformed?
Posted by: The Apologist | Jan 25, 2005 9:51:42 PM
I was going to reply to this but I see that QUANDO already did (see above or at http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=955).
The only thing that QUANDO missed mentioning was that even as they castigate the Bush administration for spending too much part of the Democratic answer is to throw money at the problem...
QUANDO points out that most of the effective means the Democrats say they want to use are in fact already being used. One thing everyone seems to have missed is that though the Democrats say they want to take the fight to the terrorists, this is exactly the OPPOSITE of what their most vocal "leaders" (and believe me I use that term in the loosest possible sense) say they will do if they get power - no matter how they try and dress it up their rhetoric suggests they will cut and run as this is the only thing that will appease their base constituency.
Posted by: Greg | Jun 25, 2006 11:25:27 PM
The apologist suggests that the answer is to "go drop neutron bombs on the entire Muslim world".
The rest of that post was as ridiculous so I won't quote it... then his next post was a bunch of profanity and, I'm guessing, links to porn sites? I don't know, I'm not trying any of them... how did that one get by the bot screener, I wonder? I guess he did it by hand, although it looks like a bot.
Oh, and on spending, while everyone blames Bush, it's CONGRESS that has the power to spend, not the President, so next time you bash BUSH for spending too much, just remember I'll be laughing at your idiocy. Until we blame CONGRESS (and don't give me that "Republican Control" crap since BOTH parties tend to spend too much and foolishly, only the left/the Democrats arguably do it worse) the problem won't be fixed. If you want to cure government waste let candidates in your district know that you won't vote for anyone but a FISCAL conservative who's ready to END the pork barrel politics and other wasteful spending like earmarks, etc.
Posted by: Greg | Jun 25, 2006 11:30:50 PM
RIGHT ON abb1 - although you left out Elian Gonzalez - Remember Clinton used all sorts of firepower to "rescue" and repatriate him too... and what about Ruby Ridge? Seems that the Democrats prefer to use the military, or military tools and tactics, domestically, something they keep accusing the Right and Republicans of wanting to do, hmmm....
And you left out North Korea - they are a key player in the "Axis of Evil" which does exist and is a clear and present danger to peace and security in the world.
Finally, it has been pointed out, but I will say it again, that the "Democratic Plan" M. Yglesais speaks of is pretty much what the Republicans are not just talking about doing, THEY ARE DOING MOST OF THESE THINGS NOW. And the funny thing is the Democrats keep bashing them for it, even as they now admit that these are the right things to do after all! Take the issue of terrorist funding. The left (and the leftist press) have been trying to stir up a stink over the administration's efforts to track terrorist-linked bank transactions, much the same as they made a stink over the administration's efforts to bug terrorists' phone calls. Are they suggesting that they are ready to do what they are saying it's wrong for Bush to do? Seems that way.
Posted by: Greg | Jun 25, 2006 11:41:15 PM
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