Friday, September 10, 2010

Ted Koppel Waves The White Flag

I just read perhaps one of the most clueless editorials imaginable by Ted Koppel, entitled 'Nine years after 9/11, Let's stop fulfilling bin Laden's goals'.

Koppel, of course, was the talking head who was the managing editor of ABC's "Nightline" from 1980 to 2005 and now works for another famously unbiased dinosaur media source, the BBC World News.

His basic premise? 9/11 was a nasty occurrence, but it's time we got over it. Especially when it comes to being so nasty about that nice imam building the Ground Zero Mosque.

Koppel writes that our initial invasion of Afghanistan was about as far as we should have gone and feels that we allowed our national fear and anger to support 'unsubstantiated assumptions that Saddam Hussein had developed weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons; that there was a connection between the Iraqi leader and al-Qaeda.' This according to Koppel led us abandon our 'cherished principles' (he mentions Abu Ghraib, "black sites," rendition and Guantanamo Bay) and to create what he refers to as 'a swollen national security apparatus'.

As it happens, I agree with Koppel's position that invading Iraq was a strategic error, or rather that it became one once President Bush decided he was going to indulge his Arab democracy fetish and install a Shi'ite Islamic Republic run by politicians with ties to Iran. And I said so a long time ago. For that matter. I even predicted the end result. But I'm willing to acknowledge something this flaccid lackey for the ruling class won't - that I have the luxury of hindsight.

That's something George W. Bush didn't have. What he had was the knowledge that Iraq had been involved in the first WTC bombing and perhaps Oklahoma City, that members of al-Qaeda had free run of Iraq, that the British Butler Commission had intel that Saddam was trying to purchase uranium and that Saddam Hussein was acting like he very much had something to hide. In fact, as we now know, he not only had the knowledge but the raw materials to build nukes.

Thanks to eight years of the Clinton Administration doing little or nothing to deal with Islamist terrorism, we had little knowledge of whom al-Qaeda was or what their capabilities were. In fact, a second series of attacks was mainly averted because Khalid Sheik Muhammed broke under waterboarding and gave us the intel to foil several planned strikes.

So he made the call to invade Iraq. Rest assured that if he hadn't and we had suffered another terrorist strike because of it, Koppel would have been leading the pack calling for President Bush's head.

Nor was the Iraq war totally without benefit. Once we invaded and al-Qaeda declared Iraq a central front for jihad, they poured manpower and resources into the country and suffered a devastating defeat both militarily and politically. And we put a battle hardened edge on our military that will come in handy later.

Koppel, like many on the Left has always considered Afghanistan 'the good war.' But he now argues that our invasion of Afghanistan is destabilizing Pakistan and contributing to the rise of anti-Americanism and Islamic fundamentalism..and that our dilemma is that we're going to be stuck there for years because of the need to keep Pakistan's nukes out of Taliban hands.

He apparently never considered that Pakistan has always been an anti-American country, a hotbed of radical Islam and a major illegal nuclear proliferater.

If he was making the argument that if we really wanted to strike a blow at Islamist fascism we went one country too far north, that would be one thing. But what he's saying is that almost any practical American response we made to 9/11 went too far and it's about time we got over it and stopped it before we make all those peaceful Muslim even madder at us.

Koppel has always been a partisan leftist flack without much common sense. But this is a stretch even for him.

He is essentially calling on us to ignore the reality that there is a global jihad aimed at the West and that there were a lot of Muslims who hated America before 9/11 and still do, based on what we represent rather than anything we have ever done. And there is nothing we can do except to defeat them or be defeated.

There are a lot of people who labor under this kind of appeasement mentality. That's exactly why we're still fighting this war nine years later.

(via memeorandum)

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Anonymous said...

Koppel is correct.

Freedom Fighter said...

No,he isn't.

I already explained why.