This is an update of comments I originally made back on 2009 Oct. 7.
I’m old enuf to have 1st-hand memories of Adolf Eichmann. He was the "transportation coordinator" for the Nazi extermination camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor, Chelmno, and Majdanek. He commenced his work in mid-1942 and was largely done with it by early 1945. During that 1000-day period, it is estimated that he authorized and facilitated the deaths of 2,700,000 people, mainly Jews. To put that in perspective, Eichmann was responsible for the deaths of 2,700 people per day
for a thousand days
. Compare that to 3,000 people dead on one day only
(2001/9/11) due to Osama bin Laden.
After WW2, Eichmann fled Germany under an alias and settled in Argentina. Israel was founded in 1948 and created an intelligence service known as the Mossad. Using standard spy techniques, their undercover operatives tracked Eichmann down, kidnapped him, and smuggled him out of the country in 1960 — 15 years after the war was over. They put him on trial in Israel, produced witnesses against him, gave him counsel and a chance to defend himself, found him guilty, and hanged him in 1962.
Despite Eichmann arguably being a thousand times worse than bin Laden, Israel used narrowly targeted espionage tactics and the judicial system. It did not feel compelled to use a military "solution" to bring him to justice by bombing Argentina, spending a trillion dollars, making a million people homeless, sacrificing thousands of its own citizens and tens of thousands of innocent bystanders — and, not so incidentally, creating a whole new generation of outraged, vindictive Eichmann wannabes.
Far less did Israel decide to invade Uruguay, a totally blameless nation that happened to be near Argentina and share some of its religion, language, and culture and which had the salutary advantage of being far weaker and easier to attack.
No, that level of obscenely violent, misguided over-reaction is something we'd only expect of, say, Osama bin Laden or Adolf Eichmann.
Or, if you want to add “unbelievably expensive” to the mix, George W. Bush or Barack Obama.
And now the US is busily patting itself on the back for having finally gotten bin Laden. How did “we” do it? Bombs? Armies? Invasions? Occupations? “Collateral damage”?
No, the thing that finally did the job was not the massive-overkill military model, it was a small, dedicated, highly trained black-ops team using the undercover-police model, the very same approach that the Mossad demonstrated to great effect half a century ago!
What have we gotten for the $2,000,000,000,000 we’ve thrown down the twin ratholes in Iraq and Afghanistan? Well, among other things, we bled the American economy dry, calloo, callay! But don’t claim that our 2-terabuck “investment” was what eventually got bin Laden. The tactic that actually worked cost us far, far less than that, in both money and lives.
Instead, our “investment” netted us massive death, displacement, destruction, and misery and the lingering (and wholly justified) enmity of the world’s 2nd greatest religion.
When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?= = = = = =
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
-- George Santayana (1863–1953), American philosopher