September 5, 2007

Germans Stop Terrorist Plot Against Ramstein

German security forces arrested three terrorists this morning in an apparent plot to attack an American military base. The cell had acquired a large amount of bomb-making materials and had trained in Pakistan to carry out their mission:

Three suspected Islamic militants were arrested for allegedly plotting "imminent" and "massive" attacks on the Ramstein Air Base, a major U.S. and NATO military hub, and Frankfurt's busy international airport, German authorities said Wednesday.

German federal prosecutor Monika Harms said the three — two of whom were German converts to Islam — had trained at terror camps in Pakistan and procured some 1,500 pounds of hydrogen peroxide for making explosives. And a top legislator said the group could have struck "in a few days," noting a "sensitive period" that includes the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. ...

The three suspects — two Germans, aged 22 and 28, and a 29-year-old Turk — first came to the attention of authorities because they had been observing a U.S. military facility at the end of 2006, officials said. All three had undergone training at camps in Pakistan run by the Islamic Jihad Union, and had formed a German cell of the group.

The Islamic Jihad Union was described as a Sunni Muslim group based in Central Asia that was an offshoot of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, an extremist group with origins in that country.

The German authorities said that the three had enough material to make more explosives than the previous bombings in London and Madrid. They intended to strike at an American target due to their "profound hatred of U.S. citizens," according to the press conference. They had stopped working in regular jobs and had begun using all of their time for reconnaissance and plotting.

This follows the Danish action to quash a terror plot in Copenhagen yesterday. These events are probably unconnected in the pragmatic sense, but symbolically may be another story. With the anniversary of 9/11 coming next week, terrorist cells would aim for a spectacular attack even without central coordination. It's also possible that they are connected to al-Qaeda in a more direct fashion, and since these men got captured alive in both instances, we may get good intel on whatever connections they have.

We can expect more of these stories over the next few days. The Germans referred to the 9/11 anniversary season as the "sensitive period". Intelligence agencies around the world must be feeling the pressure to nullify terrorist attempts to send the West a reminder of their depravity this month. So far, they appear to be up to the task.


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» Terror Suspects Nabbed in Germany from JammieWearingFool
Three members of the Religion of Peace were busted in Germany today for plotting massive attacks at Ramstein Air Force Base. The timing will be questioned shortly. [Read More]

» Germans Arrest Terrorists from
German authorities arrested three suspected Islamic radicals intent on bombing US interests in Germany this morning: BERLIN - Three suspected Islamic terrorists from an al-Qaida-influenced group nursing “profound hatred of U.S. citizens” w... [Read More]

» Germany gets in on the act from Public Secrets: from the files of the Irishspy
First it was Denmark, then Norway. Now the Germans have made a big anti-terror bust, arresting three men and charging them with plotting to blow up Americans. Three suspected Islamic terrorists from an al-Qaida-influenced group nursing profound hatred ... [Read More]

» German Terror Plot Highlights Real Threats from Comments From Left Field
Let me say this up front, the disrupted terrorist plot in Germany appears by all accounts to be a great success in the fight against terror. There you go, I said it. Now let me say something else. This success was accomplished by German authorities wor... [Read More]

Comments (27)

Posted by Cybrludite | September 5, 2007 7:19 AM

Actually, it was all a miscommunication. They were just bringing stage pyrotechnics to Till Lindemann's band and got confused... ;-p (Though it wouldn't suprise me to hear some lefty try & float that defense for real)

Posted by Mike O | September 5, 2007 7:36 AM

It's not just the 9/11 date; it Patreaus's report. AQ is desperate to hit us somewhere to help counter that report and give their collaborators in Congress some reason to help them out in winning that particular part of the GWOT that they've lost so thoroughly on the battlefield. AQ has been so squashed in Iraq that they probably will have trouble doing anything spectacular this week or so and they really need SOMETHING to happen.

Posted by rbj | September 5, 2007 8:00 AM

Cyberludite -- the meme will be that the CIA planted the explosives on these peaceful (but justifiably angry at US) Muslims in order for Chimpy McHilterburton to justify spying on US citizens.

Posted by Cybrludite | September 5, 2007 8:14 AM


Yeah, but that's not nearly as funny.

Posted by Tom W. | September 5, 2007 8:15 AM

"AQ has been so squashed in Iraq that they probably will have trouble doing anything spectacular this week or so and they really need SOMETHING to happen."
No, no, no. The military experts in Congress and who comment here have shown conclusively that the troop surge has failed and Petraeus is a liar.

The pacification of Anbar proves that we've lost the war, and Bush has admitted as much by saying that we may be able to withdraw some troops in about seven months.

The fact that the Sunni tribes have pledged support for the Iraqi government is further evidence that the situation is worse than ever.

Al Qaeda has won.

I know because Harry Reid, Jack Murtha, Nancy Pelosi, Ayman al Zawahiri, Dick Durbin, Barbara Boxer, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Dennis Kucinich, Moqtada al Sadr, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama all say so, and these are the finest people who ever breathed.

Posted by filistro | September 5, 2007 9:21 AM

Mike says... It's not just the 9/11 date; it Patreaus's report. AQ is desperate to hit us somewhere to help counter that report.... they probably will have trouble doing anything spectacular this week or so and they really need SOMETHING to happen...

Those clever devils, they persuaded Larry Craig to reverse his guilty plea! Now nobody will pay any attention to Petraeus. Every camera in America will be trained on Boise, Idaho.

Posted by filistro | September 5, 2007 9:24 AM

By the way, two questions for all you happy warriors.

1.) Where is the American army currently expending its blood and treasure?

2.) Where were these would-be terrorists trained to carry out their mission?

Posted by Mick Kraut | September 5, 2007 9:36 AM


You mean the US has troops in Pakistan where these guys trained?

Has Obama been briefed?

Posted by filistro | September 5, 2007 9:54 AM

Mick... no troops in Pakistan, I'm afraid.

We have no intention of searching for our Rolex over in the park where we actually lost it. Because it makes so much more sense, you see, to look for it out here on the sidewalk where the light is better.

Posted by LarryD | September 5, 2007 11:21 AM

Filistro, so now you want us to conquer Pakistan. That's what your proposal will entail, under current conditions. Or are you advocating saturation bombing instead. Sending troops into the Waziristan region, as long as it's a part of Pakistan, constitutes an invasion of Pakistan, which means war with Pakistan. You do know that Pakistan is a nuclear power, don't you? So if we were going to do that, we'd have to take down Pakistan's nuclear capabilities, fast. So it would have to be conquest of Pakistan, not just hunting aQ in Waziristan.

And does the name "Salmon Pak" mean anything to you?

Then, of course, there is Iran. Iran is the more pressing problem, because of their nuclear program (do you believe they won't get bombs out of the program), they are also one of the main patrons of aQ et al.

Posted by timpundit | September 5, 2007 11:36 AM

I thought President Stupid said we were fightin' 'em over there so we don't have to fight them over here?

So, howz that workin out?

Did he mean Germany or Iraq? Lord knows he probably got them confused.

PS. The surge isn't working if the goal was to give the Iraqi Govt time to get it's shit together. Try to keep your eye on the ball and you lips off Bush's ass. K?

Posted by Del Dolemonte | September 5, 2007 11:40 AM

filistro said:

"We have no intention of searching for our Rolex over in the park where we actually lost it. Because it makes so much more sense, you see, to look for it out here on the sidewalk where the light is better."

As I recall, there have been reports that some of our special ops HAVE been operating in Paki. But remember, the topography in that region is pretty rugged. What Barry Hussein Obama quaintly refers to as "the hills between Afghanistan and Pakistan" are in fact extremely steep mountains, 15,000 feet tall or even higher. Some distance to the north, in fact, is the world's highest sheer mountain face (3 miles high!).

We also only have a limited number of troops trained to operate at those altitudes, namely the famous 10th Mountain Division.

Posted by always right | September 5, 2007 11:58 AM

But I don't understand, why Frankfurt International Airport?

Don't these freedom fighters know that it is full of eurosympathizers for their cause?

Posted by filistro | September 5, 2007 12:22 PM

Larry, I don't want to invade Pakistan. I don't believe invading anybody is going to defeat terrorism, which is the stated aim... or at least the most recent stated aim... for this sorry bit of adventurism.

My point was that if we were so gung-ho to invade somebody, there were a lot better candidates than Iraq.

Overall, though, I believe terrorism will be ultimately be defeated by the kind of skilled police work we're seeing in Europe.... not by tanks driving around in the desert.

Posted by LarryD | September 5, 2007 1:01 PM

Filistro, that was the approach up until 9/11. And it wasn't working. Terrorism was getting worse.

And what makes you think police work will ever stop terrorism. Sooner or later they'll miss one, and another terrorist plot will succeed. And terrorism will continue to be used by the Jihadis until they are taken down, which police work will never accomplish.

Posted by docjim505 | September 5, 2007 1:32 PM

filistro, circa late 1942:

Why are we fighting Germans in North Africa??? It was the Japanese who attacked us in the Pacific!

I occasionally wonder what some of those terrorists who won their free virgins in Iraq (courtesy of the US armed forces) would be doing if they hadn't been killed there. Thankfully, we'll never know.

The reaction of filistro and the juvenile timpundit (does Mommy know what you do on the computer?) is typical. An apparently major terrorist attack is thwarted, and they are right onto the whole "It's Bush's Fault"(TM) meme. This is one of the good things about being liberal: it's ALWAYS Bush's fault. Break up a terror attack before it happens? It's his fault that the terrorists wanted to attack us. Get hit and lose a few hundred (or few thousand) people? It's his fault for not taking the necessary precautions... and it's his fault that they wanted to attack us in the first place.

Tell me: if we did have our whole army in A-stan (either having left Saddam alone or bugged out to leave Iraq in chaos after deposing him), d'you REALLY think that the terrorists would have just gone away? That these assclowns in Germany would have contented themselves with learning to make strudle instead of bombs? How is it that we got hit several times during the '90s when (a) we weren't in Iraq and (b) Bush wasn't in the White House?

At any rate, I'm glad that the Germans were on top of this. It may well indicate that our intelligence is getting MUCH better. What does concern me is that two native-born Germans were involved. Unless they are the children of "Asian" immigrants, this may well vindicate the TSA's seemingly bewildering decision to randomly search EVERYBODY... even blue-eyed blonde Germans.

Posted by filistro | September 5, 2007 2:26 PM

doc, I think the issue here is largely the American mindset that wants every problem solved within 6 months (aka one Friedman Unit) and whose attention span does not extend beyond 5 years for any project, no matter how vital.

I don't think terrorism will go away in 6 months, or 6 years, or even 6 decades. Our great-grandchildren will still be fighting terrorists. It's time to stop thinking of this in terms of "winning a war," any more than even the most starry-eyed idealists now think it possible to "defeat crime." All we can do with crime is prevent it. Similarly there will be no defining moment when terrorism has been defeated.

Instead we must look to our own protection, as we do with crime, by competent international police work. That means surveillance, infiltration, interruption of funding, tracking, interdiction, interrogation and punishment. It doesn't mean army bases, tanks and bombs... which are ludicrously blunt instruments for the skilled, detailed work of breaking up small cells of fanatics bent on killing and mayhem.

I also think it would help if we would all stop being so SCARED all the time. The purpose of terrorism is to terrify. If we could just calmly refuse to be terrified, and not be drawn into such ridiculous, hysterical over-reaction, it would have to take a lot of the fun out of it for the other side.

Posted by docjim505 | September 5, 2007 5:44 PM


As a personal matter, when some son of a bitch announces his intention to kill me, I find it prudent to be scared. I'm also interested in what I can do to scare him out of trying to carry out his scheme, as in "If I try to harm docjim, there are good odds that I'll be the one going out in a body bag. Maybe I'd better not try."

Police work is an indispensible part of the GWOT (gotta find the bastards so we can kill 'em). Unfortunately, you libs make this hard by (a) crying that any "police work" the government tries to do is an outright assault on the Constitution; (b) plastering details of the methods all over the front page of the NYT; (c) insisting that we give terrorists the same rights that we'd give a motorist caught doing 38 in a 35, and; (d) blowing off thwarted attacks with claims that, "They weren't serious" or "They were too stupid to pull it off" or "We weren't in any REAL danger".

But let's say we find a terrorist, a big fish like bin Laden or Zawahiri or Zarqawi (well, not him; he's worm food due to MILITARY action in Iraq). Yep, we KNOW where he is and we KNOW he's planning a big attack that will kill lots of little Eichmanns... er, Americans, I should say. But... He's in a country that won't extradite him to us. He might even (gasp!) be in a country that is outright hostile to us. Worse yet, he could even be IN PAKISTAN!

Now what? Send Marshall Dillon over to Waziristan or Damascus or Paris to slap the cuffs on him?

Libs love to bitch and moan about the Patriot Act and the FBI snooping around public libraries, but a law enforcement model sort of requires this... unless you simply want to wait until AFTER the terrorists have committed a crime (like murdering 3000 people in one morning) to try to hunt them down, read 'em their rights, and watch scumbag lawyers and dopey judges get 'em off the hook. Personally, I'd like to stop the terrorists BEFORE they can kill me or my fellow Americans. My strong preference is to stop them with a 5.56mm bullet or a 500 lbs LGB (I'm not choosy on this).

Oh, and you're quite right that an Army division or an Air Force tactical fighter wing isn't a very precise instrument for killing one or a handful of terrorists. But they are absolutely DANDY for destroying regimes that support terrorists.

filistro: I don't think terrorism will go away in 6 months, or 6 years, or even 6 decades. Our great-grandchildren will still be fighting terrorists.

Why? Our parents had really no idea of what "terrorism" was until the early '70s. Why should it take generations to defeat "terrorism"? This odious type of crime is rampant because we (the "civilized" world) signalled to fanatics that we would put up with it; we were willing to accept a few plane hijackings or disco bombings or kidnappings every year. After 9-11, some of us thought that the time was ripe to signal that we would not be so forgiving any more.

There is precedent for this in our own history. Gangsters like Bonnie and Clyde, Capone, Dillinger, et al were rampant in America until enough people finally decided to demand that the government do something to stop them. The government took action, which included ambushes and executions that would horrify the ACLU (witness what happened to Bonnie and Clyde). The result: gangsterism passed into the history books in a generation. The klan held much of the South in its grip until enough people finally got sick of it and demanded action. This action included the FBI, vigorous prosecutions, and even federal troops. The result: the klan is reduced to small groups of fat-bellied idiots who are objects of ridicule, not fear.

Not enough people in the civilized world have said "Enough!" in response to islamofascist terrorism. When they finally do, I think we're going to see astounding action around the world that won't stop with simply locking up a few terrorists. Once that happens, I think that islamofascist terrorism, like Bonnie and Clyde or the klan, will quickly pass into the history books.

Posted by filistro | September 5, 2007 6:20 PM

doc, first, I am not a "lib." You disappoint me... I had thought you were a bit more intellectually rigorous than Del the Pineapple, who calls anybody who disagrees with him on any point a "lefty."

Note that the police methods I deemed necessary included both "interrogation" and "punishment." If both are painful and unpleasant procedures, I consider that a Good Thing.

My opposition to military action against terrorism is not because it's harsh and mean, or because innocent people get killed. (Innocent people get killed every day, in all kinds of ways.) I'm opposed because it's inefficient, wasteful and ineffective. Nor is it the kind of job our military is trained to do.

Somebody in another thread suggested today that we should call this a "war against jihad." Terrific, eh? Now we're going to war against WAR. Talk about jumping the shark.

Islamist fundamentalism is a somewhat larger problem than the Klan, and it will take a whole lot longer to get rid of. Until that happens, yes... there are people who want to kill us. They will try, and no doubt succeed in killing a certain number of us. If you want to spend your life being scared because of that fact, you are free to do so. As for me, I think I'd rather let the police chase the bad guys while I take the grandkids out for ice cream.

Though come to think of it I am at considerably more risk of choking on a pecan... getting clogged arteries.. being run over in the parking lot... slipping on a damp spot near the washroom and getting a fatal concussion... than I ever will be of succumbing to a terrorist attack.

What the hell? I like ice cream. I'm going.

Posted by docjim505 | September 5, 2007 7:11 PM

filistro wrote (September 5, 2007 6:20 PM):

doc, first, I am not a "lib."

You know the old saying: if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

I would also like to add that, in my experience, libs seem to feel a real aversion to being called what they are. What's the current, accepted moniker? Oh, yeah: PROGRESSIVE.

You still didn't deal with the question of "Now what?" when the terrorist that you want to arrest, Mirandize, indict, try, and let go is in a country that refuses to extradite. Unless you want to try an extra-legal kidnapping type of operation (calling Soooper-sekrit Agent Valerie Plame!), then there are really only two options: beg the other country to hand him over, or force them to do so. The latter is often referred to as "war". Messy, inefficient... but sometimes the only option available.

Posted by filistro | September 5, 2007 7:35 PM

doc, I've always considered myself a "paleoconservative."

Well... not always, but at least since neoconservatism gained such a foothold in the right-wing psyche that the need has developed to actually differentiate between types of conservatives. However when I do those tests that require you to answer policy questions to determine your political leaning, I usually come out as a "paleolibertarian." (I'm not sure why this is. I'd NEVER vote for Ron Paul :-)

With regard to your hypothetical terrorist-in-hiding, the answer is no, I'm not in favor of going to war over a single terrorist who's fled to some other country. It's simply a matter of degree, cost-benefit analysis and exepediency.

In a country like Afghanistan that actively shields a functioning terrorist organziation, I think you try diplomacy, then threats, then sanctions, then bombs. Then you leave and GO HOME.

(Note that I'm not opposed to running through the first three options fairly rapidly.)

I forgot to mention earlier that one of the primary arguments for avoiding a long ground war against "terrorism," especially in civilian areas, is how totally counter-productive it is. I remember when the insurgency was described as "a few dead enders." Four years later, the Pentagon now estimates its numbers at about 70,000.

This is progress?

Posted by Ray | September 5, 2007 10:31 PM

"But I don't understand, why Frankfurt International Airport?"

That was a terrorist target back in the 80's. The Red Army Faction (RAF), which operated for decades in Germany and other European countries, planned bombings of several commercial establishments while I was stationed in Germany from 1985-1987. All of those plans failed, although someone did plant a briefcase bomb at Ramstein Air Base which was discovered and destroyed. There where many a nights that I was on guard duty due to those fanatics who wanted to "end the US occupation of Europe." Sound familiar?

One of the reasons that terrorists target Germany and other European countries is that they want the governments of Europe to stop providing support to America. Remember, we have troops and bases in Germany and I'm sure the terrorists was trying to send a message to the German people that, as long as they support America and it's military policies , they are not safe. That was the message sent by the RAF back in the 80's and I have no doubt that this is the same message today. It's violence used as a means of influencing governmental policy, and that's nothing new. It's also not very effective as it didn't work during the cold war, so what makes them think it will work today?

Posted by Ray | September 5, 2007 10:49 PM

"This is progress?"

Your right, we should stop the war on terror and let the terrorists win. That way they can continue to maim, torture, and kill everyone who disagrees with them, just like they do they do in every country where they have control (Do you think Afghanistan was paradise before we invaded? How about Iraq? Was that another Middle East paradise too?). We might as well pull all our troops home and abandon the Middle East to its fate. It's obvious that preventing the deaths of millions of Muslims (and Jew, and Christians, and Buddhists, and just every one else) is just not worth it, right? After all, we did that in East Asia and "only" a million or so people died, so the Middle East shouldn't be much worse!

Posted by docjim505 | September 6, 2007 6:25 AM


There are several ways that we can deal with the threat posed by islamofascism.

1. Ignore it and hope it goes away. After all, terrorism really presents less of a risk to the average person than choking on a praline, eh? O' course, the same could be said of the nazis (unless you were a Jew).

2. Treat it as a police / law enforcement matter and hope that the cops and our intelligence community can catch the bad guys BEFORE they kill too many people. It seems to me that there is little or no deterrent value in this model. I think I may also be forgiven for not having too much faith in the ability of George Tenent and Soooper-sekrit Agent Valerie Plame to protect me.

3. Give in to the terrorists' demands. Mr. Kipling puts it pretty well:

And that is called paying the Dane-geld; But we’ve proved it again and again, That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld You never get rid of the Dane.

4. Destroy the regimes that support / fund terrorist groups... without any messy complications like trying to replace a "bad" regime with something else. In and out, no fuss no muss.

I recall some criticism of the US after 9-11 and our invasion of A-stan that the Taliban was our fault (what ISN'T America's fault???) because, after the Soviets left, we allowed a "vacuum" that was filled by the islamofascists, who in turn allowed A-stan to become a base for al Qaeda.

I believe that I read that the terrorists captured by the Germans recently had connections with terrorist groups in Chechnya, another area of high instability.

The libs, of course, want to invade Pakistan / Waziristan where AQ seems to have set up its new "headquarters" and where, by a strange coincidence, there is little rule of law.

See a pattern? Chaos and a lack of a strong central government (note: "strong central government" does NOT necessarily mean a dictatorship) can be a breeding ground for terrorists. They can set up their training camps and indoctrination centers unmolested in such areas, and the local (presumably ignorant and impoverished) populace provides a pool of recruits for them. This is the kind of "swamp" that President Bush talks about draining in the Middle East.

I wonder what Europe and Japan would be like today if we'd simply packed up our toys and gone home after knocking off Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo?

5. Knock off terrorist-sponsoring regimes and replace them with "strong men" allied to us, or set up regional balances of power using such strong men to counterbalance terrorist regimes. We did this quite a lot during the Cold War (though the threat was communists, not terrorists). It has some utility in the short term, but in the long term it causes problems. The people governed by that "strong man" resent him and his authoritarian rule, leading to potential revolution. They also identify the United States with the strong man and thus view US as their enemy. As a personal matter, I'm not keen on being chummy with thugs like Batista or Pinochet, either.

6. The dreaded neo-con approach: destroy terrorist cells and the regimes that sponsor them not only by police and military action but also by fostering democracy and the rule of law. This is what we are trying to do in A-stan and Iraq. It is not a quick and easy process, and there are no guarantees that it will work. But if it does, we think that peace and prosperity will exist in areas that have formerly known nothing but despotism, poverty, and misery. People who are reasonably prosperous under a government that they believe truly represents them and their best interests are less likely to become radicalized or even support extremists. If they have something positive to believe in, they will be less likely to be lured by the crazed dogmas of charlatans like Hitler or Lenin or bin Laden. In fact, they will be likely to oppose such leaders and groups ("Are these people crazy???").

To me, the best choice is obvious. Given the events in A-stan and Iraq, the "neo-con approach" isn't even that expensive, liberal criticisms notwithstanding. If we can pull it off, we will be on the way to winning the war against the terrorists.

Posted by filistro | September 6, 2007 10:07 AM

doc... Thank you, that's a most impressive summary. I'm not sure I've ever seen the various options laid out so briefly and concisely. I actually printed your post and spent some time musing about it over my morning coffee... and watching the starlings feasting in the chokecherry bushes behind my house.

I favor option 2 as a matter of course, option 4 when necessary and option 5 when useful.

Option 6 I find appalling, way down in some deeply conservative part of my brain. I truly can't believe such a philosophy has developed from within one of the world's most practical, independent, pragmatic and conservative populations. It seems utterly foreign to the American way of thinking. It is impractical, childish and arrogant. It's wishful thinking and missionary zeal applied to politics and worst of all, it overlooks a fundamental aspect of human nature.

I'm not sure about you, but I certainly know how I feel when those well-intentioned members of various religious sects appear from time to time on my doorstep, bent on convincing me that if I would just believe what they do, my life would be so much better.

I can only imagine how I'd feel if they showed up with the very same message, but carrying guns to back up their argument.

I think that's why neoconservatism has to be cautiously insinuated into a political movement like a Trojan horse, concealed by emotional wedge issues and appeals to religion, jingoism and fear. The vast majority of Americans, if truly educated about the basic tenets of neo-conservatism, are opposed to it. They have an immediate, practical, sensible reaction. "But that just won't work," they say. "People aren't like that. They're not going to believe what you do... just because you're carrying a gun!"

Options 2, 4 and 5 are certainly messy and impermanent. They have to be done over and over, and they still carry no shining neocon promise of world peace forever. But option 6 is pie in the sky. It may have powerful advocates, all kinds of philosophical arguments in its favor, supported by millions of words of clever polemics. But in the most basic, grassroots way, its downfall is that it simply fails to account for human nature.

Posted by docjim505 | September 6, 2007 2:06 PM


Spreading democracy is hardly a new idea in American foreign policy. Not long after those farmers in Massachusetts fired the Shot Heard 'Round the World, American troops (led by none other than Benedict Arnold) invaded Canada. Somebody in the American leadership had the mad idea that the Canadians, like us, were groaning under the yoke of Crown rule and had to be liberated. Unfortunately, the Canadians didn't feel especially oppressed and were also quite willing to fight (and fight well) to keep from being "liberated".

All those damned yankees who died in the Civil War were fighting for democracy. Even the majority who had no interest in freeing the slaves (certainly not making them equal to white men) were fighting to preserve - and enforce upon the South - democratic government. I recall one yankee soldier's letter home in which he wrote that he was fighting "to preserve the best government on God's footstool".

"Forcing" democracy on other people was a guiding principle for America during the "Banana Wars" after our war with Spain in 1898... which was fought in great part to "liberate" poor Cubans from Spanish rule.

Check out Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points to get an idea of what he - and much of the country - thought were our guiding principles during World War I and afterward.

After World War II, what sort of government did we force onto the Germans, Italians and Japanese?

What sort of government did we "force" on the South Vietnamese after partition in the late '50s?

I believe that "neo-con" policies, which libs profess to hate and portray as the recent invention of Jewish policy whonks, would be quite familiar to American leaders - indeed, the American people - at many junctures in our history. I think that it is only after our humiliation in Vietnam (engineered by the same people who now want us to lose in Iraq) that we suffered national doubts about not only our ability to bring democracy to other people, but even the desirability of trying.

I'm old-fashioned. I believe America is still a City on a Hill, and that the lamp burning in New York Harbor burns for all the people of the world. I don't propose that we march from pole to pole, conquering in the name of democracy, but I do say that we should attempt to spread it whenever and whereever we can.

Posted by huckfinn | September 6, 2007 11:05 PM

Early newspaper accounts of this matter failed to mention the worst of it. This additional tidbit from today's NY Times fairly jumped off the page at me:

"An American intelligence official said that the United States helped German authorities track the location of two of the German suspects by EAVESDROPPING [emphasis added] on their cellphone conversations as they moved out of training camps in Pakistan"

I say again, where is the OUTRAGE?

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