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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I can't recall ever seeing a top White House official -- including the President -- who seemed to handle his job, the media, etc. so well. He's really got a great handle on how to perform his duties, and is surely worth learning a lot from.
    • Yeah, it's a shame we haven't done shit in the way of the war on terror. No Osama, no Mullah, no end to al Qaeda, no idea how they planned and funded it. We don't even have an arrest in the anthrax, although that's hardly the Don's fault.

      Right now it's Osama 2, US 1. Sure, we got the bombs, but unfortunately there's no equivalence between civilians and al Qaeda or else we'd definitely be on top. All we've managed to do is break the terror network into fragments (or "cells" as they are known in the arg

      • Nothing? Well, let's see. We've:
        1. killed a number of armed terrorist trainees, including some of the big wigs (was it #2 or #3 who was killed in that one Predator strike?)
        2. captured a lot of intelligence about their plans and capabilites (laptops, papers, etc.)
        3. deprived the survivors of a secure, wide-open base.
        4. We may indeed have killed bin Blofeld and Mullah Squinty. The lack of fresh video propaganda seems telling.
        5. We put several states on notice about what we are willing and able to do if they provide these guys with an open safe haven.
        6. We have strengthened the hand of the anti-Taliban/theocratic forces in Pakistan, who prior to these events were just going with the flow or doing nothing prior to September.

        None of this is bupkis. Of course, every single one of these achievements has a downside, either in terms of what hasn't been done or can't be done or what might yet happen. So, should we have done nothing at all? Or perhaps was there some feat of diplomacy or war that would have done more?

        I.e. OK, now al Q. operates underground. Which they did in all countries other than Afghanistan prior to the counter-bombing campaign. At least now, their central heirarchy is weakened if not eradicated, and they no longer have an open base for training. Was there something that could've been done to eradicate the organization, cells and all, by now? Did Rumsfeld or someone else blow an opportunity?