Tuesday, March 23, 2004


It will be interesting to see if these exact words are used in their final report, but this AP story describing the findings of the so-called "9/11 Commission" came to that conclusion. The quote from this article:

The independent commission reviewing the Sept. 11 attacks said in a preliminary report that the decision to use diplomatic rather than military options against al-Qaida allowed the Sept. 11 terrorists to elude capture years before the attacks.

The commission's preliminary report findings were:


-- From the spring of 1997 to September 2001 the U.S. government tried to persuade the Taliban to expel Bin Ladin to a country where he could face justice and stopbeing a sanctuary for his organization. The efforts employed inducements,
warnings, and sanctions. All these efforts failed.

-- The U.S. government also pressed two successive Pakistani governments to demand that the Taliban cease providing a sanctuary for Bin Ladin and his organization and, failing that, to cut off their support for the Taliban. Before 9/11 the United States could not find a mix of incentives or pressure that would persuade Pakistan to reconsider its fundamental relationship with the Taliban.

-- From 1999 through early 2001, the United States pressed the UAE, one of the Taliban’s only travel and financial outlets to the outside world, to break off ties and enforce sanctions, especially related to air travel to Afghanistan. These efforts achieved little before 9/11.

-- The government of Saudi Arabia worked closely with top U.S. officials in major initiatives to solve the Bin Ladin problem with diplomacy. On the other hand, before 9/11 the Saudi and U.S. governments did not achieve full sharing of important intelligence information or develop an adequate joint effort to track and disrupt the finances of the al Qaeda organization.

So if the key findings of this commission are that diplomacy failed repeatedly, how does John Kerry survive scrutiny when he's said over and over and over that the solution to the "war on terror" is diplomacy? If anything, the conclusion you must draw is that diplomacy is a tool by which terror groups directly and indirectly gain power and influence and then, when you least expect it, attack your most vulnerable target.


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