Amy’s right. Lets’ apply the reasoning to a few other countries.
- Jihadist attack since 9/11: Atocha train bombs, 11 March 2004, death toll 191
- Policy action: rapid withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq
(an election promise, but implementation accelerated); no allegations of torture
- Subsequent jihadist attacks: none.
- Jihadist attacks since 9/11: one certain, Mumbai train bombs 11 July 2006, death toll 209; one possible, Punjab train bomb 19 February 2007, death toll 68, mainly Muslims, responsibility unclear
- Policy action: none that I can see; torture alleged in police investigations.
- Jihadist attacks since 9/11: one successful – London tube and bus bombings 7 July 2005, 52 dead; three unsuccessful, Reid the shoe bomber December 2001, second attack on London tube and buses 21 July 2005, and June 2007 London/Glasgow car bombs; at least one foiled
- Policy action: continued support for US in Iraq; lots of new legislation, with weakening of civil liberties, but no allegations of torture.
So on the elephant powder logic, backing off (“appeasement” to the Right) works, while doing nothing and supporting the US are about equally effective or ineffective.
Winning the struggle with militant jihadism, or even just defeating the al Qaeda branch, will involve actual thought, not talking points. For now, you have to agree with OSL on the driving ideas of US policy:
Since the 11th, many of America’s policies have come under the influence of the Mujahideen.