Good news! Failure is no longer an orphan:
Senior White House officials say they now know the Pakistani Taliban was behind the failed attack on New York’s Times Square.
The accused bomber, Faisal Shazad, has told investigators the he trained in tribal areas of Waziristan where both Al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban operate.
US Attorney-General Eric Holder says the Pakistani Taliban helped facilitate the attack and they probably helped finance it.
Can I make a tactical suggestion? If you find the Center for Advanced Study in Terror Arts and Sciences where Mr. Shazad received the technical training which led him to build a “bomb” out of bottle rockets and Miracle-Gro, and then gave him the operational training such that he was somehow incapable of setting fire to fucking gasoline, please do not do anything which would lead to any disruption of classes. I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in. If anything, the US government should be making sure they have the best facilities and most attractive campus for training people how to fail six different ways at terrorizing anyone.
Of course, I have once again failed to learn the proper from this fiasco. The proper lesson we must learn is that – as when that genius failed to ignite his explosive underwear which wouldn’t have worked anyway – is that we need to get TUFF ON TERROR. Because we want the terrorists to know that we are TUFF, and that we are certainly not big pussies. Consider: big pussies aren’t TUFF, so if we act extra TUFF we couldn’t possibly be big pussies because big pussies are big pussies and not TUFF like us! If A then not not A. It’s elementary logic, people. D’hoy.
Liberals complain that Obama hasn’t changed tactics in the War On Terror, but that is not true. He has, for example, banned torture and stepped up drone attacks against suspected enemies. Conservatives complain that Obama has no strategy for winning the War On Terror, but that is not true, either. Obama simply has a different strategy than the one favored by the neocons, namely that we must focus on defeating terrorist organizations and stabilizing friendly regimes in Afghanistan and Pakistan – fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here, to coin a phrase. What Obama has left essentially untouched, and unquestioned, from his predecessor is the grand strategy – that terrorists all over the world, no matter how incompetent or incapable of posing any meaningful threat to the United States, need to be fought using the tactics and strategies and weapons and logic of War. Niggling arguments about how best to conduct a war against impotent, semi-functioning losers are certainly fascinating, as pointless things so often are, but the very simple truth is that there is not a correct way to fight a war which does not need to be fought. There just isn’t much of consequence to say about such a thing.
The goal of terrorism is to provoke a reaction, a reaction based in fear, a foolish, panicked reaction which weakens and undermines the much stronger enemy. (This is obviously not a foolproof strategy, and terrorists generally fail to get what they want – terrorism is the strategy of the powerless, and the powerless usually don’t get their way no matter what strategy they employ, because if they did they would have to change their name to “the powerful”.) The “success” of a terrorist attack is not measured by how many people it kills, but in what reaction it provokes. A really successful attack would provoke an expensive, ill-conceived, and counter-productive over-reaction – such as, to pick a random example, a bloody credibility-sapping war against an abstraction which is continued in order to defeat enemies which didn’t exist before the war was started. It’s fun to laugh at the failure who bungles the execution of a stupid plan which wouldn’t have worked anyway, and it’s fun to laugh at the failures who claim credit for “training” this slapdick. It’s much less fun to think about who the real failures are.