Ted Koppel Writes the Dumbest Op-Ed About Terrorism You Can Imagine


eGt3ejNjMTI=_o_saturday-night-live-ted-koppel

When you saw the name “Ted Koppel”, your first reaction was probably to wonder if he was still alive. The answer is, yes. He is.

Your second reaction was probably to wonder if he was still the same smug boring media personality reciting liberal truisms at the speed of a snail.

The answer also yes.

And for some reason the Wall Street Journal gave Ted Koppel editorial space to write one of those “The only real danger from terrorism is if we hit terrorists too hard” op-eds from 2002.

Ted may be getting a bit senile and probably thinks we’re on the verge of the Iraq War. The WSJ has no such excuse.

June 28, 2014, will mark the 100th anniversary of what is arguably the most eventful terrorist attack in history. That was the day that Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb, shot and killed the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne.

In one of those mega-oversimplifications that journalists love and historians abhor, the murder of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his pregnant wife, Sophie, led directly and unavoidably to World War I. Between 1914 and 1918, 37 million soldiers and civilians were injured or killed. If there should ever be a terrorists’ Hall of Fame, Gavrilo Princip will surely deserve consideration as its most effective practitioner.

Terrorism, after all, is designed to produce overreaction. It is the means by which the weak induce the powerful to inflict damage upon themselves—and al Qaeda and groups like it are surely counting on that as the centerpiece of their strategy.

The problem with Ted Koppel’s argument is that Gavrilo Princip was backed by the Serbian government. Shouldn’t Austria-Hungary have declared war on a country that assassinated the heir to its throne?

By the standards of World War I, however, the United States has responded to the goading of contemporary terrorism with relative moderation

WWI wasn’t being fought about terrorism. The proximate trigger of an escalating conflict is not necessarily about the trigger. Ted Koppel claiming that WWI was about terrorism is not only ahistorical, it’s retarded.

In February of 1993, before most of us had any real awareness of al Qaeda, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who would later be identified as the principal architect of 9/11, financed an earlier attack on the World Trade Center with car bombs that killed six and injured more than 1,000.

Five years later, al Qaeda launched synchronized attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing more than 220 and injuring well over 4,000 people. In October 2000, al Qaeda operatives rammed a boat carrying explosives into the USS Cole, which was docked in Yemen. Seventeen American sailors were killed and 39 were injured.

Each of these attacks occurred during the presidency of Bill Clinton. In each case, the U.S. responded with caution and restraint. Covert and special operations were launched. The U.S. came close to killing or capturing Osama bin Laden at least twice, but there was a clear awareness among many policy makers that bin Laden might be trying to lure the U.S. into overreacting. Clinton administration counterterrorism policy erred, if at all, on the side of excessive caution.

No, Bin Laden wasn’t trying to lure the US into an overreaction. He was trying to humiliate America by showing its weakness and impotence. That is why all those major attacks occurred before the War on Terror began.

Bill Clinton let Bin Laden run wild. And these were the consequences. Koppel resurrects the idiotic liberal formula in which the only way to defeat terrorism is to pretend it’s not happening.

Yet when all is said and done, al Qaeda—by most accounts decimated and battered by more than a decade of the worst damage that the world’s most powerful nation can inflict—remains a serious enough threat that Washington ordered 19 of its embassies to pull up their drawbridges and take shelter for fear of what those terrorists still might do.

It remains a threat because instead of dealing with its sponsors, we’ve been playing whack-a-drone.

Will terrorists kill innocent civilians in the years to come? Of course. They did so more than 100 years ago, when they were called anarchists—and a responsible nation-state must take reasonable measures to protect its citizens. But there is no way to completely eliminate terrorism.

There’s no way to eliminate terrorism. There is a way to eliminate terrorist groups.

These are facile arguments from a decade ago that Ted Koppel idiotically resurrects as if his strawmen were serious ideas. Also failing to deal with left-wing terror 100 years ago helped usher in Communist takeovers that nearly destroyed the world.

Over the coming years many more Americans will die in car crashes, of gunshot wounds inflicted by family members and by falling off ladders than from any attack by al Qaeda.

Also more people died of natural causes than died in the Holocaust. It’s liberal idiocy to think this forms some kind of coherent thought.

More Americans died in car crashes, gunshot wounds and by falling off ladders than died in Pearl Harbor. Clearly FDR shouldn’t have overreacted.

There is always the nightmare of terrorists acquiring and using a weapon of mass destruction. But nothing would give our terrorist enemies greater satisfaction than that we focus obsessively on that remote possibility, and restrict our lives and liberties accordingly.

Ah that remote possibility.

Authorities in Iraq say they have uncovered an al-Qaeda plot to use chemical weapons, as well as to smuggle them to Europe and North America.

Go back to 2003, Ted.

  • Mittymo

    If Ted writes about anything, you can pretty much be sure it will be amongst the dumbest things written.

    I lost all respect for him when he claimed to have found an eyewitness in Vietnam that remembered the specifics about a single skirmish that occurred there 40 years prior (such skirmishes couldn’t be identified by name or number & must’ve all looked the same) among perhaps tens of thousands of such incidents. Really Ted? Really? You thought people would believe that?

    Here’s what I believe. If you gave a Vietnamese peasant a carton of cigarettes, he’d likely say anything you wanted.

  • DogmaelJones1

    Koppel not only had a continuing bad hair day (blame the hair spray and the studio make-up artist), but a continuing bad-brain day. He is a permanent, dues-paying resident of La-La Land, living in a bubble that won’t burst, not even with a nuclear weapon.

  • MZAZ86442i

    That is the ugliest wig I have ever seen. LMFAO

    • objectivefactsmatter

      I think the photo above is from an SNL skit. Ted’s wig is a lot worse.

  • VHG1

    Proving again, you don’t have to know anything to be “brilliant” in lib circles! They’re all as intentionally uninformed as Ted is! Now let’s sit back and read some Maya Angelou incoherence!

  • Brian Apple

    I am not certain that Gavrilo Princip was backed by the Serbian government. At Princip’s trial in October 1914, no evidence was found to prove a link between him and the government. Despite a host of witnesses and defendants (about 12 defendants in total), no link was confirmed.

    However, there is no doubt that elements of the Serbian military had provided bombs, pistols and cyanide pills to Princip and his co-conspirators. This came out in court, and is not disputed.

    You need to remember that Princip and his co-conspirators were amateurs with passionate anti-Austrian beliefs. They were propelled by their beliefs. Their beliefs were similar to the American revolutionaries: no taxation without representation.

    Princip succeeded due to an extraordinary set of circumstances, a perfect storm of human error and human determination.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      The point is that the war was not about terror. It simply allowed factions to start moving on their plans.

      Even jihad is not about terror per se. That’s part of the problem with these deranged leftist fallacies.

      The jihadis don’t dream about ‘a world in terror.” They dream about using any means to achieve sharia. The over-reaction that serves jihadi objectives is the deranged leftist reaction to defending our civilization.

      • tagalog

        Thank you. Yes, World War I was not about terror. I don’t know what the death tally for World War I was, but 37 million is a common number cited for World War II’s death toll.

  • anonymous

    I remember Koppel claiming that the Sudanese conflict was “only about oil.” What a maroon.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Exactly.

  • Omar

    “Between 1914 and 1918, 37 million soldiers and civilians were injured or killed.”

    Ted Koppel got his facts wrong on the number of casualties in World War I as well. Historians estimated that around 8 million people died in the war in those four years. That number is smaller than the number of Ukrainian farmers who died in Stalin’s Holodomour in the 1930s (about 10 million people died in that intentional starvation made b y the Soviet dictatorship). Also, Koppel forgot to mention that World War II had far more casualties than its predecessor. Besides, everyone knows that World War I was fought over commerce as well as for reasons of MAIN, which is the acronym for Militarism, Alliances, Imperialism and Nationalism. I learned about MAIN in high school.

  • gray_man

    Watch SNL.
    Ted Koppel: idiot. Played by Al Franken: idiot.

    • tagalog

      Idiot squared.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Jihad and terrorism are not the same manifestations, but nevertheless jihad is always conflated as somehow being terrorism, and because it is always conflated as somehow being terrorism, it opens the door for self-hating loons like Ted Koppel to idiotically blame America first for creating terrorism. However, jihad, in stark contrast to terrorism, is holy fighting in the cause of Allah for the establishment of Islam, while terrorism, on the other hand, is perpetrated for all kinds of various political causes. Not to mention that terrorism is always and only violent, while jihad, in stark contrast, manifests both violently and non-violently, but astronomically far more non-violently relative to violently. In addition, only Muslims wage jihad, while terrorists emanate from all societies and cultures. Thus, jihad and terrorism in reality are two completely different and very distinct manifestations altogether.

    Hence, when self-hating loons like Koppel and his ilk confuse what is really jihad for being terrorism, they inevitably blame American foreign policy or the alleged greed of American capitalism for generating terrorism. However, I hate to rain on Koppel and his ilk’s self-hating parade, but it’s not terrorism that is the problem. Instead, the problem is jihad, and Muslims always and only wage jihad in the cause of Allah for the establishment of Islam. Hence, Muslims are waging jihad to make Islam supreme, and that doesn’t have anything whatsoever to do with America’s foreign policy, the alleged greed of American capitalism, or with terrorism, for that matter. Indeed, we are in the midst of a war called the “war on terror” and it inevitably has blown up in our faces, because terrorism is not even an Islamic manifestation.

    • kikorikid

      STOP!!!
      JIHAD=STRATEGY
      TERRORISM=TACTIC
      Terrorism is the chosen tactic of violent Jihadist.
      What IS endemic to Islamism is violence.
      You do not sound familiar the Quran or Mohammed
      as you would not have made the statements above.
      Mohammeds,latter period, Sura 87 and beyond to 114
      are loaded with violence and proscriptions for it.
      Your last sentence is a defence of Islamic terrorism.
      Is that what you meant?

  • LEL817

    “In February of 1993, before most of us had any real awareness of al Qaeda, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who would later be identified as the principal architect of 9/11, financed an earlier attack on the World Trade Center with car bombs that killed six and injured more than 1,000.

    Five years later, al Qaeda launched synchronized attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing more than 220 and injuring well over 4,000 people. In October 2000, al Qaeda operatives rammed a boat carrying explosives into the USS Cole, which was docked in Yemen. Seventeen American sailors were killed and 39 were injured.

    Each of these attacks occurred during the presidency of Bill Clinton. In each case, the U.S. responded with caution and restraint. Covert and special operations were launched. The U.S. came close to killing or capturing Osama bin Laden at least twice, but there was a clear awareness among many policy makers that bin Laden might be trying to lure the U.S. into overreacting. Clinton administration counterterrorism policy erred, if at all, on the side of excessive caution”.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Doesn’t this contradict Ted Koppel’s claim? Bill Clinton didn’t “overreact” yet what followed Clinton’s cautious response was the most catastrophic terrorist attack we ever had on 9/11. Perhaps if Clinton did “overreact” 9/11 just might have been avoided.

  • tagalog

    An organization that can intimidate Western nations to point where the U.S. pulls 19 of its embassies out, and other Western nations also pull their embassies out, is NOT, as Mr. Koppel has claimed, “decimated and battered by more than a decade of the worst damage that the world’s most powerful nation can inflict.” It is an organization of considerable power.

    Furthermore, the United States and the coalition of nations that have joined to fight terrorism have NOT spent the last decade inflicting “the worst damage that the world’s most powerful nation can inflict.” The coalition has been quite restrained in its use of destructive power in fighting terror. TOO restrained for the taste of some people.

    We haven’t used cluster bombs. After 2001, we haven’t used MOABs, or those BLU-numbers. I haven’t heard of any thermobaric bombs being used; they would have worked well at Abbottabad if we’d been willing to have collateral damage occur. We haven’t used napalm. We haven’t even taken out the training camps, some of whom we have located and could easily strafe into worm-sized pieces.