Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 11, 2008
WAR: Seven Years On


It never ceases to amaze me that we've gone this long without a followup attack. Oh, there have been major followup attacks against non-U.S. targets (Bali, Madrid, London), and a few random, unaffiliated crackpots at home (the DC snipers, the LAX shooter), but Al Qaeda and similar groups have been limited, for seven years now, to attacks in active theaters of combat, and don't have much to show for pouring all their resources into those theaters.

At the same time, we still haven't caught bin Laden, and can't even be sure to this day whether he's still alive or not. If you'd told anybody seven years ago that we'd go this long without being hit again and without catching bin Laden and Zawahiri, they would not have believed you.

I'll just post this one item worth reading, for the day, from Tuesday's NY Sun: with Musharraf gone and no further need to pull our punches to prop him up, U.S. troops under the command of Gen. Petraeus have now reportedly escalated to daily incursions into Pakistani territory. As has been true of operations in Pakistan for years now, our government and media can't afford to give us the whole truth about what's going on there, to avoid an unnecessary or at least premature collision backlash among Pakistan's radical elements. But I do find it encouraging that with Gen. Petraeus assuming the broader command of CENTCOM, we are finally accelerating the pace of operations in Pakistan proper.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:16 AM | War 2007-14 | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

7 years -wow-RIP Chris Hanley and Matt Yarnell.

Posted by: dch at September 11, 2008 10:06 AM

"U.S. troops under the command of Gen. Petraeus have now reportedly escalated to daily incursions into Pakistani territory."

Excellent. Find them and kill them.

Posted by: MVH at September 11, 2008 10:08 AM

I too have been amazed that al qaeda has not struck again on US Soil. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. At first I thought it was because of al qaeda patience, but now I think it's because of al qaeda weakness. When top commanders are killed or captured it takes a long time to develop ne leaders.

I enjoyed your 9/11 post. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Son Of Brock Landers at September 11, 2008 11:11 AM


I was in New Orleans, scheduled to fly home that night. Obviously, that didn’t happen. I ended up on a chartered bus for 22 hours trying to get back to New Jersey. Being on a bus that long, I missed much of the initial news coverage. When I finally made it back home and then to work, I went looking for some updates and Google directed me to your blog with this story. That was my introduction to The Baseball Crank. I’ve been a loyal reader ever since.

This account is still as somber now as when I first read it and a great reminder of how lucky we are just to be alive and what a great country we have to call home. And yes, why baseball still matters.

It may have been seven years ago, but this morning, it feels like yesterday.

Tomorrow is a chance, not a promise.

Posted by: Chris Graham at September 11, 2008 12:38 PM

Ditto MVH about General Petraeus and the renewed efforts in Pakistan. Difficult terrain will make a hard job harder, but he has the counter-insurgency experience to get the job done. Since many Democrats including the presidential nominee have indicated that this is where the battle should be fought, I will hope to see unified political support for this campaign. Support for the troops implies support for the mission.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at September 11, 2008 3:17 PM

"I will hope to see unified political support for this campaign."

I hope so, too. There really shouldn't be any debate about this. It will be tough terrain, and even if we aren't successful, I want Osama looking over his shoulder in fear for the rest of his life.

Posted by: MVH at September 11, 2008 3:51 PM

I don't think of it often, but it's hard not to, today. I think it's luck, and vigilance, and geography.

Posted by: Lizzie at September 11, 2008 8:56 PM

This is the reason why a successful attack has not occured since 9/11/2001:

We've made the terrorists spend 99% of their energy concerned about their own survival. Under those conditions, you don't have time to plot attacks on your enemies.

That's what playing offense gives us.

When we play defense, the terrorists don't have to worry about their survival each and every day. All they have to worry about is avoiding getting caught after the terrorist atrocity has already been committed.

Republicans must continue to run the war on terror. We play offense. The Democrats are happy to play defense.

Posted by: Tom Nally at September 11, 2008 11:20 PM

Tom Nally,
When choosing which political party will protect me from terrorists, I'll choose the party which doesn't need a fainting-couch when they hear the old adage about putting lipstick on a pig thank you very much.

Posted by: Berto at September 12, 2008 5:31 PM
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