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For all of Card's words, one fact remains: a military can only defeat guerillas by killing everyone. We're not going to do that.

Robert McNamara estimated the U.S. killed over three million Southeast Asians, and they still didn't give up. Instead, they drove us out, just as we're going to be driven out of the Iraq.

The spectre of a united Islam taking over is a delusion. Whenever we leave Muslims alone they spend most of their time killing each other. The division between Sunni and Shia are worse than those between Catholic and Protestant centuries ago.

Actually, we defeated the guerillas in Vietnam - the Viet Cong never really recovered from it's loses after the Tet Offensive, and it was pretty much gone as a political force by the early 70's. We withdrew our forces, and South Vietnam was able, pretty much on its own, to repulse a conventional invasion from the North in 1972. When the North succeeded in a replay in 1975, it was because the U.S. congress had cut off all aid to South Vietnam in the wake of Watergate, and the ARVN simply didn't have the weapons or the material to stand up against the North (still massively supported by the Soviets). South Vietnam fell to an assault that could have been led by George Patton - tanks, infantry, etc. - streaming down from North Vietnam. Guerillas had nothing to do with it.

Funny, but my life is still statistically a lot more threatened by other violent prone and unsafe Americans than it ever was or currently is threatened by arab terrorists. Should we declare war on violent Americans and unsafe American roads to protect ourselves?

I think the Republicans have overshot on the War on Terror and Americans want a new direction. Yes, terrorism deserves serious attention. I would prefer spending our money and resources to kick our oil habit, disengage from the Middle East since we will no longer need their oil, and force Israel to settle their Palestinian issue. I think those three steps will do more to ease our terrorist threat than anything we do militarily.

You can not fight a war on terror and simply bury your head in the sand about domestic threats like criminals and unsafe roads. That is how great powers have imploded over history, by focusing too much externally.

Besides, the U.S. military had an excellent opportunity to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden and a lot of Al Queda and Taliban fighters in Tora Bora in December, 2001, and despite CIA requests the Pentagon did not supply 1,500 U.S. Army Rangers to finish the job, and just let OBL and his rag tag fighters slip into Pakistan to fight another day. Knowing this, how can we continue to support the "War on Terror" as it is currently being fought? Because it is clearly being mismanaged.

Also, do not forget that the U.S. Constitution clearly states that the power to declare war lies with Congress not the President. Yet, Bush took us into two wars without, two offensive wars, without any Constitutionally mandate. That is troubling to those who wish to live as a Constitutional Republic, because under Bush and the Republicans we are living like a dictatorship. Bush decides where and when to go to war and the miliary follows. That is not how our system is suppossed to work.

Sorry, Republcians lose today because of arrogance and mismanagment and just general neglect of domestic issues. Good ridence. I hope the Democrats at least investigate how a plane took off from Washington, DC on 9/11/01, flew to Ohio, turned around and hit the Pentagon without any military resistence at all, and over an hour after the WTC had been hit with a plane. That is a mystery that deserves Congressional investigation.

It was way over the top for me. We come from completely different philosophies. I fear the loss of our freedoms more. Of course, I've never faced a nuclear explosion, BUT - and this is a big but - the money spent on this misbegotten war could have been spent on really securing Afghanistan. It could have been spent on hunting down bin Laden. It could have been spent on our ports, our nuclear facilities. The capital we got on 9/11 could have been spent on getting other countries to cooperate with us and help us contain this evil.

Tom Friedman actually thought this was a good idea to create a place where democracy could flourish, but any way you slice it, that opportunity is almost gone. These arrogant buggers have botched it from the beginning. And now the argument is there are all these terrorists in Iraq, and if we leave now, it will go up like a tinderbox - when we're the ones to made this mess in the firt place! It was a nice idea, but now all we have is a possible civil war, and how are our soldiers going to shoot at and who won't they shoot at and how will they keep peace when they can't figure out whose side they're on?

I've liked some of Orson Scott Card's novels, but I saw nothing new here. It's just warmed-over Dennis Miller on toast.

J. Carson Black,

Were you alive during the Cold War? Then you did face an imminent nuclear explosion, a real threat that hung over us 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year. It's not anything particularily new. Sure we had a nice respite for about a decade from the fear of sudden nuclear attack. But it has always been a concern since the dawn of the nuclear era.

Something tells me that people in high places like Bush, Sr. and Bin Laden, Sr., who happen to be good friends and business associates, have a quiet pact to not allow the U.S. government to really go after Osama Bin Laden and kill him. It's just too bizarre how we totally blew the Tora Bora operation. That seems to stupid to just be a mistake. Seems like a stand down order and considering the relationship between the Bushes and Bin Ladens it makes sense.

Remember the only people flying in the U.S. immediately after 9/11 occurred, when everyone else was grounded, were named Bin Laden. That should tell you something about their special status with the Bush family.

I agree, John C. I was a kid during most of the Cold War, but I never perceived it in the same way.

I am not stupid; I know if these wahhabists get their hands on nuclear materials, they will use them, unlike the Soviet Union.

However, we're not going after them. We're stuck in a war of our own making, which is degenerating into a civil war, and pretty soon we won't have troops to respond to anything, anywhere. Meanwhile, we should be using diplomacy and every tool available, to secure nuclear materials and information (rather than putting it on a government website). We should fight terrorism at its source. Instead, we're using our troops as cannon fodder.

Instead, President Bush named three members of the Axis of Evil, overthrew one of them, and what happened as a result? The other two, being no fools, rush to get their nuclear programs up and running. Why? It's the Cold War principle. They want to keep us from going after them. Perfectly understandable. WE did that. He did that with his stupid announcement. And he's afraid of TIMETABLES? Sheesh!

I will never understand this overwhelming, paralyzing fear that Orson Scott Card embraces.

Seems like a stand down order and considering the relationship between the Bushes and Bin Ladens it makes sense.

Do you think there were bombs planted in the World Trade Center too?

Matt,

No, I do not think bombs were planted in the WTC. But I think the U.S. government owes us an explanation regaridng why during the Afghanstan War did they ignore a CIA request for 1,500 Army troops to surround a position in Tora Bora that Bin Laden was known to be in, and happened to be in with hundreds of supporters, and just let them all slip in to Pakistan. Because of that utterly mysterious and idiotic decision by the Pentagon not to send in troops to prosecute the War on Terrorism properly, we still have Osama Bin Laden alive and many of his followers regrouping in Pakistan to fight us today. When I read stories like this it all seems like a sad joke. What kind of war is that? We had our chance to go for the jugular vein and kill Osama Bin Laden and we just blew it, we didn't even try. It is a very well documented fact that Bush Sr, (our 41st President) and Bin Laden Sr. (the owner of a huge Saudi construction outfit) are close friends and business associates tied together by organizations such as the Caryle Group.

What I stated above is all verifiable facts and has nothing to do with conspiracy theories like bombs in the WTC. Bury your head in the sand like most Americans if you wish, but you have to wonder why the world's most powerful military blew a golden opportunity to kill Osama Bin Laden in Dec 2001, just months after 9/11/01. and we still can't find him. Something smells of stand down. Even President Bush, Jr. says he's no longer concerned about Osama Bin Laden. So much for the War On Terrorism.

Our "leaders" like Bush, Jr. can do and say anything and dolts will support him right off a cliff. It just does not matter. You'd think people would be calling for Bush's head for not capturing or killing Osama Bin Laden by now, and letting him escape in Dec 2001, but not in America, a country so blinded by patriotism and a totally false self-image that its citizens can't come to grips with how they are being toyed with by their President and other high officials. Pathetic!

John C., apparently there's a good 28% who will, literally, follow Bush off a cliff. They will never, ever, change their minds. It's kind of like O.J.'s jury.

You'd think people would be calling for Bush's head for not capturing or killing Osama Bin Laden by now, and letting him escape in Dec 2001

You seem to have some unrealistic expectations about what a military can and cannot do, and a lack of perspective on the the kinds of SNAFUs that constantly occur in wartime. Go read some WW II history sometime, focusing on chapters like "Omaha Beach", "The Ardennes", and "Guadalcanal".

I was totally serious about the bombs in the WTC question, since a huge number of people on the left believe that particular conspiracy theory, and you're hawking another conspiracy theory here. . .

It is a fact that the CIA was tracking Osama Bin Laden on a radio that they captured in December 2001 and had him pinned in a mountain pass in Tora Bora, Afghanstan. All they needed to capture Osama and his fighters was a good supply of Army Rangers to seal the area off. The request for 1,500 Army Rangers was denied by the Pentagon. That is not some heat of the battle SNAFU. You are mischaracterizing what happened. What happened was a request for troops to complete the mission of capturing Osama was denied by the Pentagon. What a strange request to deny considering that was one of our main objectives for being in that country.

Another verifiable and well known fact, if you care to know and be informed, is that the Bush family and Bin Laden family are long time business partners and friends, working togethter in business ventures like The Caryle Group.

Is it really a off-the-wall conspiracy theory to put the two facts together and conclude that perhaps the Bin Laden/Bush longtime friendship and business relationship has influenced the U.S. government's pursuit the son Osama? I don't think so, that's how the world really works. Knowing people in high places can help you out of a lot of jams.

Another fact is that President Bush has stated that he is not cocerned with Osama Bin Laden anymore. Why is that? Was he not the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks? Our President is no longer concerned with finding him and bringing him to justice. How strange?!? Could it be that old family relationship, the same one that allowed Bin Ladens to fly out of the U.S. shortly after 9/11/01 when all Americans were banned from flying.

Bush has failed in his prosecution of the War on Terrorism. He has succeeded in replacing a secular government in Iraq with an islamic fundementalist government that is on the verge of anarchy and is a breading ground for terrorism. What a brilliant move!

Is it really a off-the-wall conspiracy theory to put the two facts together and conclude that perhaps the Bin Laden/Bush longtime friendship and business relationship has influenced the U.S. government's pursuit the son Osama?

Yes.

Matthew,

Then you are just naive to the way the world actually works. Who you know gets you far in this world and also gets you a lot of favors. Not sending in Army Rangers to capture Americans most wanted 9/11 mastermind (Osama Bin Laden) makes absolutely no sense. It was not a war time SNAFU. It was a request to the Pentagon that was denied. Why? Of course, those who never dare to question the wisdom of our great leader Bush will never criticize him for blowing this opportunity to capture Osama Bin Laden or for his general disinterest in finding Osama Bin Laden now, as evidenced by his own words.

The whole thing is a joke! And conservatives (statists) expect us to take the War on Terrorism seriously enough to surrender our rights? I don't think so. This American government is not serious about prosecuting the War On Terrorism or finding Osama Bin Laden. We learned that in December 2001 in Tora Bora.

What a waste anyway. While Americans worry about terrorism, they're many times more likely to die or be injured at the hands of other Americans. Terrorism is not their greatest threat, not by a long shot.

What happened was a request for troops to complete the mission of capturing Osama was denied by the Pentagon.

John, could you please give us a reference for this?

Here you go, it's a matter of public record for Americans who wish to be informed:

CNN segment on Bin Laden ignored Bush's reported failure to heed CIA call for more troops at Tora Bora
http://mediamatters.org/items/200608210006

Late October-Early December 2001: Franks Ignores CIA Request to Deploy Unused US Troops to Get bin Laden
http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a121501binladenradio

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There's more on the Interenet for those willing to look for it. Any thinking person has to ask themselves why the Bush Adminstration would deny such a request that could have successfully captured Osama Bin Laden and ended the threat he posed? This is outrageous. And we're suppossed to give up our Consitutional rights for what? For a government who can't even prosecute a war and send in the troops when they are actually needed.

Why do Americans have such low standards for their government? Our government functions like #!@% because that is the standards that most people have for it.

Why do Americans have such low standards for their government? Our government functions like #!@% because that is the standards that most people have for it.

All government tends to function like #!@% because government is at heart an unaccountable monopoly that can force you to pay for its services, whether you wanted them or not. The only saving grace of democracy is that we have the opportunity to throw out some of the people in charge periodically.

John C., I'm unimpressed by the sources you cited. Nothing there provides any evidence of conspiratorial intent, unless of course you've decided beforehand that the intent exists. Incompetence, maybe, but even then such a judgment can't be made fairly without knowing more of the overall context.

Varenius,

The head of CIA operation in the Tora Bora region of Afghastan during late 2001 is an unreliable source? CNN who first reported this story from the CIA agent is unreliable? So far, I have not seen any denials of this account from Washington officialdom. Probably because they'd rather ignore the story and hope it just fades away, just as it appears to be doing. What really is amazing is that after decades of lies and deceptions, many of them proven beyond a doubt from Watergate to Iran-Contra, that any American believes anything their government says. What credibility does the U.S. government have? Given their track record, NONE.

Like I said The Carlyle Group is the connection between the Bush and Bin Laden families. Is it really that hard to believe that Osama Bin Laden is free today because he has direct family and business connections to the Bush family that runs the United States? Read and learn...

Some notable present and former employees of Carlyle include former president George H.W. Bush, who resigned in 2003; James Baker III, Bush Sr.'s secretary of state and king fixer; and George W. Bush, who served on Carlyle's board of directors until his run for the Texas governorship. One notable former client of Carlyle was the Saudi BinLaden Group, which sold its investment back to the firm a month after the September 11 attacks. Until the October 2001 sellout, Osama bin Laden himself had a financial interest in the same firm that employed the two presidents Bush.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/111406R.shtml

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