bird to use an odd, and rather complex metaphor

the biggest problem with the so-called "war on terror" is the assumption that our current approach isn't fundamentally flawed on every single level

the current approach could be compared to this:

One morning a man finds that he has an ant infestation in his house when his youngest child comes to him covered with bites, but instead of trying to find out what attracted the ants and cleaning it up, he goes and does following things

*After spotting an anthill in the corner of the two neighbor's yards, he starts a fight with those neighbors, leaving one neighbor to rebuild a burnt out house and locking the other neighbor in a shed (--everyone concedes that the neighbor was a total dick, but they don't trust his oldest son a crooked banker, who was kicked out years ago--)

he stomps a few of the ants by the anthill in the burned out yard and then inexplicably abandons that task and in a move that defies all sense sends his oldest kids over to the other neighbor's house, kills the neighbor's delinquent son (to whom he himself once gave an ant farm as a birthday present several years earlierr,) --molests a few of the other kids, and then sprays the neighbor's house with sugar which attracts the surviving ants from the hill in the corner, from the hill in the burned out yard and even attracts more ants from all over the neighborhood.

the ants are now breeding in even higher numbers thanks to the sudden abundance of bait and as everyone around him including his own family are getting bitten, he insists that this is the only way to solve his ant problem because now he blieves he can draw them out of their holes, even though he knowingly abandoned several opportunities to destroy the nest that was initially botherng him

all when he could have just cleaned up the mess in his kitchen

yeah, i know it's a weird metaphor/parable, but so far, current events don't make a lot of sense anymore either
phil moves 040521
Dosquatch OK, that was interesting. I think I'm going to deconstruct this in reverse, it makes more sense in my mind that way.

I'll grant that there is plenty about the US that could stand to be better than it is. "Cleaning our kitchen," as it were. I doubt that as the ultimate answer, however.

You suggest that this is the answer. This contradicts a point you've already conceded, "that those who do hate us and want us dead aren't going to be persuaded to change their mind about it." So, which is it? Please don't take this question as flippant or mere sophistry, I feel it is an important point that needs to be clarified.

I'm also inclined to take issue with you drawing a parallel to an anthill. You're speaking of terrorist activity as if it were a simple force of nature - we didn't sweep up the crumbs from lunch well, therefore we've brought it on ourselves.

There are a few problems here. We'll start with the crumbs on the floor motivation. What crumbs, exactly? Is it prosperity? Is it corruption?

I submit that there is plenty of both much closer to the homes and hearts of those who attacked us. There are palaces aplenty to vent upon if wealth and baubles are the issue, many of which are owned and inhabited by leaders who supress their citizens with violence. I'd think they would be pretty attractive targets, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

The reason it is not is because we are not dealing with ants, or forces of nature, but with angry, thinking, reasoning humans who have made a concious deccision to hold us responsible for .... well, frankly, for whatever.

While I think equating terrorist cells to anthills does a disservice, I'll play along with your analogy.

You say that we spotted an anthill that just happened to be in the neighbor's yard. That's not quite the case. A bit more accurately, the neighbor has a household policy of not liking you. He breeds a particularly agressive strain of ants as a hobby (and denies this), and every so often plants a trail of crumbs from the anthill to your house. When you get upset about all of the ants biting you, the neighbor snickers under his breath, denies knowledge or responsibility, and says he doesn't feel the slightest bit sorry for your woes.

You've poured gas on anthills in the past, but it doesn't really do a lot of good because your neighbor just breeds more ants and puts them out next to the fence.

Doesn't that sound a little closer? And under those circumstances, does it not make sense that the ultimate resolution to the problems would have to involve removing either the neighbor or his ability to breed ants?

OK, so that's a little on the simplistic side, but it seems involved enough for a starting point.
bird we gave one neighbor the ants, and in the case of the house we burnt down after the ants bit our kid, we originally encouraged that group of ants to chase out the squatters who had been living there 040521
dosquatch Right, but I already covered that when I said that "many of the complete whacko dictators that we've had to contend with, we were instrumental in appointing. I keep hoping we'll take the subtle hint, but alas."

That's not to say that we should do nothing in the face of their lunacy, but rather that we have demonstrated a remarkable inability to cultivate healthy governments and that we should stop doing so.
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