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Discussion Starter #1
Assuming the bombing in Madrid was Al Qaeda and their goal was to break-up the Spanish alliance with the US and seeing how it affected the election, would you expect or not expect a pre-election bombing in the US?

I'm on the fence, I think a good logical arguement could be made either way. But I think if I were Al Qaeda I'd want Bush to stay in office.
 

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Now that is a interesting theory, and one that they may infact use to their benefits. I feel that their basic goal is complete and total chaos which works in their favor. One quick question, why would Al Qaeda prefer for Bush to stay in office???? :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Acenturian said:
Now that is a interesting theory, and one that they may infact use to their benefits. I feel that their basic goal is complete and total chaos which works in their favor. One quick question, why would Al Qaeda prefer for Bush to stay in office???? :confused:
Well it's undeniable that Bush et al. have devoted a large percentage of our resources to the war in Iraq which means they can't be used vs. Al Qaeda. We've basically hunkered down in bases in Afghanistan and left major portions of the country back over to the Warlords, which is good for the Taliban and Al Qaeda to be able to regroup. Not to mention by invading Iraq and removing Saddam, we've actually given radical muslims an oppurtunity to establish another fundamentalist state if our side doesn't prevail, and in general upped the anti-America sentiment in muslim nations in general, which has got to be good for recruiting.
 

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I'll throw down another reason.

From their perspective, they may WANT a hardline, imperialist administration in the white house. Bush re-election = more recruits and resources for them. A more moderate administration would de-escalate the rhetoric, and make moderates in the middle east more open to US positions.

Just a theory, and not one I put much weight behind.

BTW, one thing that has not gotten much airplay on this: chatter. There was NO increase in chatter before the attack. If it was AQ, then they have learned a few things.

dr. (busybusybusy) hoo
 

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The main reason I wouldn't expect a pre-election bombing is that AQ has been pretty ineffective since 9/11. You've got to believe that they would love to inflict harm directly on the US. But in 2 1/2 years they've done nothing. And once they did strike, they had to go to one of our allies in Europe. I think that says a lot for the effectiveness of our Homeland Security and the CIA. I'm really surprised. With the size of our country and all the freedoms we enjoy, I figured we'd be extremely vulnerable to follow-up attacks.
 

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It's been reported that since the start of the war in Iraq, AQ has suffered their greatest losses to capture or death by coalition forces. Your statement doesn't appear to hold water.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Live Steam said:
It's been reported that since the start of the war in Iraq, AQ has suffered their greatest losses to capture or death by coalition forces. Your statement doesn't appear to hold water.
Your reactionary, knee-jerk reactions are becoming tired. Do you think critically about anything or is everything just an immediate Bush/republicans are right, Clinton/Dems are wrong?

The only statements I made were that a large amount of our resources are devoted to the war in Iraq, and that, in part (and our strategy in general) has allowed the Taliban/Al Qaeda to regroup in Afghanistan. No where did I say that we haven't been effective in dismantling al Qaeda. Although if they prove to have been behind the attack in Spain, wouldn't you concede that our efforts haven't been entirely effective? How frequent were their attacks before the post 9/11 "war" began. They've always gone for infrequent big attacks, but my impression is that they have decreased in frequency which would indeed suggest we have been effective.
 

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bsdc said:
The main reason I wouldn't expect a pre-election bombing is that AQ has been pretty ineffective since 9/11. You've got to believe that they would love to inflict harm directly on the US. But in 2 1/2 years they've done nothing. And once they did strike, they had to go to one of our allies in Europe. I think that says a lot for the effectiveness of our Homeland Security and the CIA. I'm really surprised. With the size of our country and all the freedoms we enjoy, I figured we'd be extremely vulnerable to follow-up attacks.

I've often thought the same thing. I wonder if Al Qaeda really is that much of a threat. Considering their only real attack on US soil, spectacular as it was, was carried out with boxcutters and mace. If they truly had the resources to "bring the war to America" I should think they would have done so by now if even in a relatively small way. My friends and I talking about this are always marvelling about how easy it would be to do. Really, a simple hand grenade tossed onto a NY rush hour subway would disrupt Manhattan for weeks. Why hasn't something like that happened yet? Are our counter-terrorism people really that good? It just doesn't seem plausible to me. Maybe the US does have most of the domestic operatives rounded up in that Guantanamo prison camp. Of course AQ has been active in other parts of the world.


As far as Spain goes, I am a little sick to my stomach. Essentially this is a major cave to terrorism and I feel quite strongly that the Spanish reaction will invite similar acts towards other countries. Those bombs basically demolished the conservative government and now Spain sounds like it's w/drawing support in Iraq. Message to the terrorists: "Aha! This crap works. Europe is weak. Politicos are vulnerable. America can be isolated." So then again, maybe AQ is winding up for a shot against us before our presidential election.
 

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Do you feel like a big guy now? You made the statement "Well it's undeniable that Bush et al. have devoted a large percentage of our resources to the war in Iraq which means they can't be used vs. Al Qaeda." My point counters your stupid, illogical conclusion. We have made great inroads into the terrorist network, in many respects, as a result of inserting our military in the region. We have never been so effective at capturing, killing and or intercepting them and their comminications, since entering Iraq. There is no denying that fact, Mr. knee-jerk!

 

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Unfortunately Europe is weak. No real revelation there. This does send the wrong message. They may now see more of this from their own nemesis ETA separatist group. It's probably not a good example to set.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Live Steam said:
Do you feel like a big guy now? You made the statement "Well it's undeniable that Bush et al. have devoted a large percentage of our resources to the war in Iraq which means they can't be used vs. Al Qaeda." My point counters your stupid, illogical conclusion. We have made great inroads into the terrorist network, in many respects, as a result of inserting our military in the region. We have never been so effective at capturing, killing and or intercepting them and their comminications, since entering Iraq. There is no denying that fact, Mr. knee-jerk!

You've got to be kidding me? So let me get this straight, the invasion of Iraq is what has led to most of our successes against Al Qaeda, you mean more so than Afghanistan and whereever else we've been operating? I would be quite surprised if that was indeed the case, but you are sure it's an undeniable fact?
 

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I think the lack of attacks on US soil says nothing. If AQ attacks the US it will be something big, and that takes time to plan and execute. How many years between the WTC Bombing and 9-11? On the other hand, I don't think that AQ is as big and dangerous as they have been hyped (comes back to my basic distrust of anything coming from the Bushies). It's a complicated situation.

bsdc said:
The main reason I wouldn't expect a pre-election bombing is that AQ has been pretty ineffective since 9/11. You've got to believe that they would love to inflict harm directly on the US. But in 2 1/2 years they've done nothing. And once they did strike, they had to go to one of our allies in Europe. I think that says a lot for the effectiveness of our Homeland Security and the CIA. I'm really surprised. With the size of our country and all the freedoms we enjoy, I figured we'd be extremely vulnerable to follow-up attacks.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Why hasn't something like that happened yet? Are our counter-terrorism people really that good? It just doesn't seem plausible to me. Maybe the US does have most of the domestic operatives rounded up in that Guantanamo prison camp. Of course AQ has been active in other parts of the world. QUOTE said:
It's always seemed to me that there are two basic ways to interpret this, Al Qaeda lacks any strategic sense and thus thinks big, grandiose attacks will achieve their ends or there really aren't all that many of them. If the former, that is probably good for us, as this kind of attack would seem to be infinitely more easy to stop than the Palestinian style of terrorism. Can anyone speak to the latter?

I often wonder how serious Al Qaeda is about it's stated goal of the infidel being removed from Saudi Arabia. I would think a weekly suicide bombing attack in the States attached to a specific demand would have us out of Saudi Arabia in no time. Then again, I think a part of the current adminstrations reasoning for invading Iraq was to give us a location for the forseeable future to put our bases in the middle east and a new muslim ally in the region thus securring our access to middle east oil and allowing us to get out of Saudi Arabia and no longer count them as our primary muslim ally in the middle east. Which of course begs the question, if we pull out of Saudi Arabia was 9/11 ultimately a successful tactic for Al Qaeda?
 

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bsdc said:
The main reason I wouldn't expect a pre-election bombing is that AQ has been pretty ineffective since 9/11. You've got to believe that they would love to inflict harm directly on the US. But in 2 1/2 years they've done nothing. And once they did strike, they had to go to one of our allies in Europe. I think that says a lot for the effectiveness of our Homeland Security and the CIA. I'm really surprised. With the size of our country and all the freedoms we enjoy, I figured we'd be extremely vulnerable to follow-up attacks.
I agree. For fear of providing useful intelligence & whatnot I won't elaborate, but during my three years living in Washington DC I marveled at how easy it would be to cripple certain elements of the infrastructure. The District is probably the most surveilled city in America, but I have doubts about their ability to stop terrorists. We are probably more lucky than smart.
 
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