November 10th, 2008
06:46 PM ET

Should the U.S. attack al Qaeda without permission?


Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, remember him? The incompetent boob a chorus of retired generals and admirals called on to resign because of his incompetence and inability to lead our military? He finally quit in November of 2006.

Well guess what? According to a report in the New York Times, Secretary Rumsfeld authorized a classified order back in 2004 that allows the U.S. military to carry out broad and secret attacks against al Qaeda even if those attacks occur inside countries we're not at war with. In other words, these controversial strikes of late inside Syria and Pakistan are just fine according to Rumsfeld, whether the governments or people of those countries like us waging war inside their borders or not.

Watch: Cafferty: Attack al Qaeda?

More than a half-dozen current and former military and security officials confirmed this to the New York Times. The measure gives the U.S. military the power to attack al Qaeda anywhere in the world.

Most of these attacks, when they occur, are carried out by U.S. Special Forces in conjunction with the C.I.A.

Here’s my question to you: Should the U.S. be attacking al Qaeda in foreign countries without permission?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Braden writes:
Absolutely! If we sit on our heels and ask for permission only one thing is going to happen, we will miss the opportunity to act against these people. Either al Qaeda is there without that government's knowledge, or they are there with the approval of that government. Either way, that government cannot legitimately complain about us going in and doing this without condoning terrorist actions.

Greg from Pennsylvania writes:
I am a hawk when it comes to this, but as much as I would like to say yes, I can't. Would the U.S. tolerate someone violating our sovereignty to attack a terrorist? Is it OK for Russia to strike Pennsylvania if some Chechnyan terrorist was operating there? I know the U.S. wouldn't let terrorists operate here, but one country's terrorist is another country's freedom fighter.

Harold from Anchorage, Alaska writes:
Only a few high-value targets, such as Osama bin Laden, would be worth the political cost of such operations.

Ed from Woodbridge, Virginia writes:
Anywhere those dirt bags hide!

John from Los Angeles, California writes:
If the Special Forces can kill terrorists, they should do so, wherever they happen to be. Far better that than using conventional forces and killing hundreds or thousands of innocent people as collateral damage, and far better than another attack on America.

Richard writes:
You are a stupid liberal for even asking such a question. Obviously the only idiots who tie our hands like you are a bunch of terrorist appeasers. Next time we get attacked, you should be fired.

Kylis writes:
I don't remember 'them' asking for permission for 9/11. Did the Japanese ask for permission to bomb Pearl Harbor?

Filed under: Al Qaeda • US Military
soundoff (404 Responses)
  1. Marian Atkinson

    No they should not. The Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld policy of doing these sorts of things is why the world has such a low opinion of the U.S. right now, and why the *world* is so hopeful that it will see a change with the new administration and President.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:06 pm |
  2. Larry in Florida

    Only if they ask our permission to attack us. Seriously I think it goes without question that if we know where they are we should attack. It stands to reason they would hide out in counties that are not U.S. freindly. If they are in there and we know who and where they are it stands to reason we would seek and destroy.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:08 pm |
  3. Steve from Idaho

    We can keep attacking Al Qaeda until the cows come home and they're not in it go away until we change our foreign policy in the Mideast, There's only one true way to stop terrorism, stop declaring countries evil, "it's the foreign-policy stupid."

    November 10, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  4. Michael in Western PA

    If we have actionable intelligence, and the country in question will not pursue, then yes by all means attack. Another important element is that Muslims around the world are realizing allying with the extremism only damages their religion and stature. Now if we can only deal with the extremist in this country?

    November 10, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  5. Lois, Ont., Canada

    Absolutely not!!!

    November 10, 2008 at 1:14 pm |
  6. marti thompson

    This is going to up to President-elect Obama...He graduated at the top of his class at Harvard so He knows better than any other Country leader what to do...We must have faith in Hope and Change.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  7. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    NO. Once again this Administration is playing like he is a Dictator and not part of Democratic Society. This type of action, plus the joke of going to war in Iraq, has destroyed all hopes of getting anyone from that part of the globe to EVER respect us.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  8. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Only if there is no other option. But we should reserve the right to attack our attackers regardless of any reluctance on the part of our “allies.”

    November 10, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  9. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    Secretly attacking Al Qaeda without permission from those foreign countries is an example of extreme disrespect and arrogance on our part. On the other hand, we have to remain on the offensive against Al Qaeda. This is a tough question and it needs a measured response coupled with solid leadership and diplomacy...in other words, everything George Bush isn't.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:18 pm |
  10. Meg Ulmes

    No, we shouldn't. This is just another example of our arrogant foreign policy being enforced by our military. Change will come very soon. If we are to restore our good reputation with the rest of the world, we are going to have to start talking to them with respect and honesty. Fighting our enemies anywhere that we want to is not going to earn us that respect.

    Troy, Ohio

    November 10, 2008 at 1:20 pm |
  11. Saheed

    I believe that we should. The main reason being that a serious terrorist attack happened on domestic soil. If there is intelligence that this group is being harbored in supposed allied territory then questions should be asked. However, I do believe that diplomacy with the country should be maintained and be the first line of action. However, if they can not, it is in this country's best interest to bring these groups to justice with possible consequences in mind.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  12. Deb

    Absolutely not. We have gotten ourselves in enough trouble by doing things we shouldn't do with little or no notice. As a result of the election of Obama, the world is seeing us in a new light. The world might possibly stop seeing Americans as stupid, arrogant, ignorant people. Attacking people without permission will NOT help our case. Furthermore, Al Qaeda is not in one area. They are an organization that is not only in one spot, but operates in several different countries and probably places that we don't even know they're there. To attack them, we would have to attack a very large area of the world, and that's absurd. We would also have to know where all of them are, and that's virtually impossible, we have no way of knowing where all of them are and that the ones we do know about are all of them.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:21 pm |
  13. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    It is my understanding that Al Qaeda operates in foreign countries around the world with or without permission. The U.S. must develop more responsible ways to stop any terrorist.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  14. Dave, St Simons Island Ga

    If our intellingence is sound, and not speculative..if the dangers are imminent; ABSOLUTELY!

    November 10, 2008 at 1:24 pm |
  15. John in Arizona

    We attacked a non-existent Al Qaeda threat in Iraq without asking Saddam's permission, so I don’t imagine we'll be asking anyone's permission to attack the real Al Qaeda threat

    November 10, 2008 at 1:26 pm |
  16. Conor in Chicago

    Would Al-Qaeda attack our soldiers and civilians in countries outside the US? There's your answer...

    November 10, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  17. Nadine, Canada

    No. Perhaps the U.S.A. can spend those resources at home attacking your local terrorists and gangs. Clean up your own backyard first and perhaps your new president will live to do the great things he can.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:27 pm |

    No, we should let the country know whats going on, only if we know for sure who we are attacking and being attacked apon, Isnt this the question Sarah Palin didnt know?

    November 10, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  19. Lori, Cincinatti, OH

    Why not....America seems to do whatever it wants, any other time

    November 10, 2008 at 1:28 pm |
  20. Frank from Peterborough

    America did the right thing with Osama Bin Laden when they gave the Taliban a chance to hand him over to authorities. When the Taliban became the protectionists of Bin Laden the world was on America's side when they attacked the Taliban and the Terrorists.

    The above is why the U.S. has the support of other nations in Afghanistan at the present time.

    To just invade another nation because you believe there may be some terrorists hiding there is a very dangerous act of aggression that the world won't keep tolerating.

    With the U.S. now being in a position of having an intelligent leader who will exercise common sense and diplomacy your country's world wide stock should rise dramatically.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:30 pm |
  21. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    Yes, but I think there needs to be an understanding by the countries involved and the UN that we will go and get Bin Laden. I don't think even the capture or death of Bin Laden will end terrorism in the world. Just look at places like Indonesia and others where terrorism is rampant against the local governments. Going after terrorists such as Al Qaeda only will not eliminate terrorism...Terrorism has been around for too many centuries to be eliminated "overnight."

    November 10, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  22. george c paree

    We need to respect other countrys rights but after working with them and they cant see it our way .Explain to them what in general we are going to do and do it.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  23. Barbara, Texas

    No we should not. You should not violate another country without that country's permission. If another country tried that here, we'd go after that country.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  24. Jim from Iowa

    I think this is more than a yes or no question. There are a number of other question that go along with this one like:
    Is there any reason not to get permission?
    Assume that the attack is successful, What will it accomplish?

    What I'm saying is carte blanche decisions are what got us in to Iraq and any policy that is all black or all white is just lazy policy makers at work.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  25. Venia PA

    No. The US needs to get out of the mentality to shoot first and ask questions laters. What gives us the right to police the world?

    November 10, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  26. Natalie

    It all depends on how serious it is and if other countries would join in.
    When other countries do not find it serious enough to go it together, then
    A 79 year old American living in Germany
    You know what the Iraq war cost us in lives, invalids and money.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  27. Richard, Enoch, Utah

    I think that a warning of that country capture them or we will eliminate them by what ever means we have available to us. If they do not comply, so be it!

    November 10, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  28. Daniel Ambrose


    I would have to say no. We must not act prematurely on this unless the situation absolutely warrants it. Protecting America and Americans is and should always be priority one. I am for doing anything and everything to prevent another attack on America.

    Daniel Ambrose

    November 10, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  29. Mark Cowan in PA

    Yes and No- I think we should talk to each country in anticipation of possible attacks, give them our parameters for attacking within their borders ( danger is emminent and evidence is clear and compelling) and tell them we will keep them fully informed if an attack happens, give them a full disclosure after an attack, but informs them we will not tell them in advance of an attack. We should also give them the opportunity to assist in the attacks when inteligence determines there is no threat of a leak. It puts them on notice we will attack but doesn't tell them exactly when and where. If they are supporting terrorists they know the terrorists within their borders will be targeted. If they object then we know they support and are protecting terrorists. We should take alkl evidence of support for terrorism to the U.N. for review as well.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  30. Katiec Pekin, IL

    We have already lost respect around the world due to our
    arrogance, bullying and dictatorship.
    WHEN our next president is in office, tactics and plans will
    be discussed with countries involved. We have no right to
    further push our beliefs, ways of life on others. Look where
    those tactics have gotten us.
    Of course we need to find and stop the terrorists. But, with
    the cooperation and support of the rest of the world.
    With communication with, listening to and realizing the
    rights of others, we will succeed.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  31. Allen L. Wenger

    No. It makes us look too much like the terrorists we are fighting. When we kill women, children, or even men who we "think" are the enemy, we lose ground to the terrorists. Shooting missiles into foreign countries without permision is not something a good or great country does. If Iran starts to shoot missiles into the Kurdish areas of Iraq to kill terrorist leaders, how would we react?

    Mountain Home ID

    November 10, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  32. Precious Coker


    If you are transparent, you will invite more friends and less enemies.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  33. Linda in Florida

    Absolutely not! Those Bush tactics are why the rest of the world has looked upon us with such disdain these past 8 years!

    November 10, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  34. Jason

    As long as they don't get caught.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  35. Peri W.

    It depends on which country and which member of al-Qaeda. We shouldn't be crossing borders to kill chauffeurs and gofers, but if we have credible intelligence on the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden, of course we should. The key words here are "credible" and "intelligence." How many times have we killed al-Qaeda's #2 guy?

    November 10, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  36. Annie Kraft Naples FL

    No. Did we not learn from what happened in Iraq. There are other ways to take care of them.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  37. Jim in British Columbia

    No. There is a risk to inocent lives, among many other things.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  38. Brett in Oriskany,Va

    I fought in Vietnam and know what the strategy of limited rules of engagement means. By all means, go after them anyway it takes, its the only way we'll put them out of business.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  39. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    I don't think so, but apparently Bush made the right decision to do so. President-elect Obama supports it, anyways...

    November 10, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  40. Mike Smith, New Orleans

    No, Jack, we need to get smart first. Our record in the past eight years has been one of causing bloodshed based on "flawed intelligence", "faulty intelligence" and "massive intelligence failures."
    I"d say a period of dipomacy is required before the current bunch drops a nuclear bomb onto Sesame Street.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  41. txkboy

    Is that a REAL question? Al Qaeda should be attacked on every front and sent back to the Stone Age, for all the terrorist acts and human sufferings it has played on the world stage. They run across borders because those countries that harbor cowards, are terrorists run states. I will not let my country, minus thousands of citizens and military men and women who died because of Al Qaeda, apologize to any country that sponsors state sanctioned terrorism.!

    November 10, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  42. LYNDA in CT

    Only if the information is is absolute. All nations, should be aware, we want Bin-Laden, and will go wherever the absolute info takes us.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  43. Janis, Lafayette, IN

    Invading another country's soverinty is not politically, economically or militarily wise. Open diplomatic talks with those countries involved is the only way to approach this volatile issue. We must not be intimidated nor should we be so bold as to ignore the current political environment of the countries involved. We can, with cooperation, erradicate the source of terrorists groups throughout the world and protect the citizens of each country without the "world savior" mentality that the US has used in the past. We must approach this issue with the patience that terrorists have had. Eventually, with the proper approach, we will emerge victorious.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  44. Aaron from Ohio

    Jack, I hate to see us violate the territory of another country but the answer is yes. Some countries publicly pay lip service about co-opertating in the war against terror but privately condone the presence of terrorists. Hunt them down and kill them. Show them the mercy they showed us. 9/11 changed the rules.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  45. Jimmy from NC

    Yes and no, if we have undeniable evidence of where Osama Bin Laden is I say yes, but just to attack al Qaeda for the sake of attacking them, no.

    I think the world has said the rogue US and way the Buch administration wages it's perceived war is wrong, but if we take out Bin Laden this will be the better for the world.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  46. Marie Ontario

    If Americans would tolerate another country going after terrorists within the U.S. without their permission then there shouldn't be any reason why America shouldn't do the same in return.

    However, if Americans wouldn't tolerate another country going after terrorists within the U.S. without their permission then it might seem sensible to refrain from taking such a unilateral action.

    Respect can only be earned and not demanded.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  47. Lisa in Huntsville, Alabama

    Are you joking, Jack? Of course we should, if the intelligence is good, and the country in question refuses to take action. We should respect other nations' territory whenever we possibly can, but if Al Queda is hiding in one of their caves and we know it, you better believe we should attack them.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  48. Tom, Bradenton

    No, in order to maximize cooperation we need to repect international laws and work with our allies. In adition we should focus on Bin Laden, that will solve 50% of the problem.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  49. Karen

    If another country wants us there they should ask us. If help is needed then they should be completely funding our efforts to help them.

    Makes me angry to see countries with positive cash flow and watch us drown in debt to help others.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  50. mac from traverse city Michigan

    If we have intelligence that al Queda is present in a country and We have determined the target is important to our national security, we should take the time to inform that country of our intentions and seek permission if we are intending to violate their border, That way in addition to killing the bad guys we will know where country stands in the war on terror as we cross their border to take out the enemy. If the war on terror grows to the magnitude of the next great war or world war, countries are gonna have to pick a side and accept the consequences of their descision.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  51. Doug in New Mexico

    Civilization, which I would hope we live in, works by using communication rather than force. We are in the position we are with the radical Muslim world because we and the rest of the western world have a tendency to do what we want when we want with no regard for people or cultures. Before we start attacking injudiciously I would hope that every avenue of communication is used to try to bring some sense of reason to this whole business. We are not, and neither are the radicals the consciousness of the world.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  52. hubie68 ---Barton, Mississippi

    NO, NO, NO,
    You sholud always ask for premission before going into somebody else house or country,

    November 10, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  53. Colleen in Tennessee

    No – enough of this pre-emptive stuff! My fear is that George Bush does one more stupid thing before he leaves office to leave the Obama administration with another mess to clean up!

    November 10, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  54. Terry from North Carolina

    If we have done our homework, and the intelligence is good , then by all means available go after them. I really dont care what country their in, this is a disease and it has to be eliminated.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  55. themommie


    I think that presently, we should ask our allies if that is a wise decision to make. First of all; our troops in Iraq are stretched too thin. We need to think of the overall impact of a major decision such as invading Al-Qaeda. I realize we want Bin Ladin; but is Bush the right man for this job? He's the same person who sent our troops to Iraq looking for "weapons of mass destruction". Haven't we learned from that blunder just how "unintelligent" our intelligence is? Let's not make the same disastorous mistake! Hold off on any more invasions until after President-Elect Obama takes office. After all; he proved what power diplomacy has over "cattiness" and "jumping the gun"! Obama has a better way to resolve this issue; I'm sure-and I'd much rather wait until he takes over than to allow Bush to get this nation in more conflict!

    November 10, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  56. Hope, Port Huron, Michigan

    Permission from who? The country that we will attack? Or from our own? We didn't do a very good job with Iraq. We still haven't found those wmd"s. We should concentrate on protecting our borders and not have most of our servicemen in another country.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  57. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    If they refuse to give up Osama, yes. It should be the same deal as Afghanistan...just don't veer off track and attack a third country that had nothing to do with 9/11. No one is upset over the war in Afghansitan. That war came to us. We are upset over Iraq, which is clearly based on some unresolved issues between Bush, his father and the members of this administration.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  58. Scott


    Yes we should attack no matter where Al Queda is hiding, they should know that they can not hide or promote the evil which they wish to spread through out the world. The sooner we rid ourselves and other countries of this evil the better and safer every country will be. Attack away!!!!

    November 10, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  59. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Well I guess if America wants to remain the most feared and hated country in the world then by all means just keep ignoring the rule of International law and the rights of other soveriegn nations.

    However, if America wants to become a world leader with the respect and admiration of other nations around the world then it might be advisable to diplomatically work with other countries in a joint effort to eliminate the terrorists.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  60. Ken Duncan--from Maryland

    No...we should have the agreement of the host country to assist or at least look the other way when we go after terrorists. If the shoe were on the other foot, you can be sure that another country's intrusion into the U.S (regardless of the reason) would likely put our bombers and jet fighters in the air!

    November 10, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  61. Jim, PA

    Good God no. We can't just go waltzing into soveregin nations and attacking their people. This is something with which we would NEVER put up.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  62. Chris, Thousand Oaks Ca

    No. Being the Bully on the block has not gotten us anywhere with our allies or our enemies. Most importantly, Al Qaeda will remain a threat to us as long as we don't change our Middle East policy.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  63. Roy - Chicago IL

    This makes you wonder where Al Queda 'really' is.....we keep attacking places based on shadowy intelligence and then civilian deaths cause our national image to be tarnished around the world.
    It is obvious that 'Al Queda' has been used as a scare tactics buzzword by the Bush Administration to keep public opinion on their side during random attacks....the public has gotten wise....so generally NO we should not attack per se....we need to get the countries where these people REALLY are to help us in this fight....or choose the other side and get their aid cutoff..period. Money talks.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  64. Mark in OKC

    We were given all the "permission" we need on September 11, 2001.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  65. tom, madison, wi

    We should kill al Qaeda where ever they are. Any country that harbors them is also our enemy.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  66. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Jack, we should have some preset criteria that allows us to attack. For example, we have actionable intelligence that AQ is operating in that country. Next, that country will not dispose of the threat within their own borders, despite the evidence we have provided to them and the intelligence we have given to them. As long as we have preset protocals and we adhere to them, we are well within our rights to hunt down and kill terrorists that have killed 1000s of our citizens. I want to engage other countries, but if they are unwilling or unable to act, then we have the right to act to protect our homeland no matter what.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  67. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    The problem is that al Qaeda is not a geographical place. It is a group of fanatics located in many regions and many countries some of which are on fairly good terms with the U. S. To simply attack without obtaining permission from these countries, risking collateral damage or loss of innocent lives would only confirm the dim view many countries had of the U.S. run by the Bush administration. Increased U.S. popularity and good neighbor policies while creating staunch allies will ultimately be our best weapon against terrorism. Ofcourse once we have these agreements, "Let's get 'em!"

    November 10, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  68. Mike, Syracuse NY

    It depends. If the country in question is harboring them, then yes. If we think they will cooperate, then no.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  69. Anna - New Mexico

    Jack, the answer to your question is the same answer to this question:

    Did al Qaeda get permission before they attacked us?

    November 10, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  70. Festus, Montana

    Jack, I predict that Senator Obama will take down Bin Laden within hours
    of occupying the Oval office. No Brag, just fact.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  71. Willow, Iowa

    Even Obama says that if we know for sure where Bin Laden is, we will take him out. However, after saying that, we are, I believe, in a new era of diplomacy and respect. I know you can catch more flies with honey, and I believe that the Obama Administration will work hard to use respect, strength and honesty in dealing with other countries.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  72. Simpliticus

    Bush has demonstrated that contrary to popular belief: The Sword is Mightier than the Pen! Obama will initiate his diplomatic rigor and show unequivocally that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. In Bush's frame of thinking, it wasn't about pens, swords, and the like, it was about money and influence peddling. Thus, attacking Al Quaida might simply be more of a diplomatic gesture than a military one, given Obama's worldly capital of approval. Could the sword be converted to plowshares, Obama will show us all!

    November 10, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  73. Paul from Parry Sound, Ontario

    Would the United States accept, say, Russia attacking Georgians on U. S. soil?

    November 10, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  74. Rose in Az

    That depends on what Country it is. If the country is an Ally of the U.S. then we should talk to that country and let them know what are intentions are. The Country maybe ours again, who knows???

    November 10, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  75. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Is a burgular or thief going to ask permission when they decide to perform their craft? GET IT DONE. It is better to ask for forgiveness later than for permission before.......NO.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  76. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    What we're doing is wrong. We need to take a page from our enemies. From hence forth, the United States has no official army. Now, just like Pakistan, Syria, and Iran, we aren't responsible for the actions of people being trained and equipped with jets, tanks, and rocket propelled grenades within our boarders.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  77. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: No. Just tell them you will be dropping by and will explain when you arrive.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  78. Jim


    No easy answers to this one. Attacking without permission is getting frighteningly close to the Bush Doctrine of preemptive attack, a very slippery and dangerous slope. Still, the reality is that al Qeada is like a cancer infecting the nations of this planet. It won't ever go away on its own. It will just continue to spread and infect unless it is excised whenever and wherever it is discovered. Attacking with full diplomatic approval is always the goal and the first option. But attacking without permission, if such approval is not forthcoming, must always remain a last option available to the president.

    Reno, Nevada

    November 10, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  79. Michael, Pensacola, FL

    If Cuba had the strength and resources to consider some of the opposition groups in Florida & New York terrorist groups and decided to conduct missle strikes in American cities & neighborhoods to weed them out, would we have a problem with that? Probably so and that's why diplomacy with a new President who's a great communicator first may lead to cooperation with whatever nation al Qaeda attempts to hide in.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  80. Jack from Jackson, WY

    As soon as al Qaeda agrees to not attack us without our permission, then we shouldn't attack them. But until then, Obama should go after them whenever, where ever and with what ever he feels is appropriate, no holds barred.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  81. Jackie in Dallas

    If it is in Afghanistan, we already have permission to attack them there. Any other country, we should use diplomacy and whatever other means there are to force them to comply with the U.N.-sanctioned actions to reduce the threat. Pakistan's "compliance" is a world-wide joke. Using military force in another sovereign nation without their persmission is not only illegal, but counter-productive, as it pushes more moderate Islamics into the al-Queda sphere of influence.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  82. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    No we should not. We have always followed rules of engagement until Bush issued his doctrine and we should get back to doing the tough thing starting January 20th.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  83. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    No, as in an absolute no.

    9/11 does not give us the right to act like those who attacked this country.
    We must hold ourselves to a higher level of consciousness as every attack on a village kills and changes the lives of innocent children, women, and the elderly.

    Only with permission and the enemy combatants in the open should we attach a foreign nation.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  84. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Al Qaeda gave us permission to attack them, back in 2001. What's important here is insuring that the targets are actually al Qaeda, rather than using that label for anyone whom we need an excuse to blow away.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  85. Philip from Toronto

    Jon Stewart said it best: "We cannot conduct war enough that somewhere 16 terrorists don't hate America." If we remember that one thing, we will save more American lives and have better relations with both the Islamic and Christian Worlds than ever before in our history.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  86. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    This is simply not a yes or no question. This type of thinking is what got us into the Iraq War mess in the first place. If, and this is a big IF, al-Qaeda comes into US defended areas, then we have the right to pursue and attack, even if they retreat into another country. These neighboring countries have to take responsibility for allowing al-Qaeda to set up shop in their country. They need to be made aware of the consequences of supporting this terrorist network.

    However, that said, American must honor a country's sovereignty and not "invade" a country, because we may have intelligence that may indicate the presence of al-Qaeda. Afterall, (first) our intelligence failed our country with Iraq and (second) how would we feel if Canada or Mexico just decided one day that America was a threat and "invaded" our country. Bottom line, we need countries, like Syria, Turkey, and Pakistan, to want to cooperate with the US and not with al-Qaeda.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  87. leroy from houston

    No he should not attack al Qaeda without permission..He should concentrate on one person (bin Laden) and take him out wherever he is in hiding..cut the tail off of a snake and it will grow another one...cut off it's head and it will die....

    November 10, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  88. Joe in DE

    We should seek an understanding before anything is done. If this is not posible, and we have solid info, we should go ahead, however, I would be against bombing with the potential for civilian casualties.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  89. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Seems to me we have a choice between attacking Al Qaeda or attacking Pakistan. We need permission from either – but we do have to be prepared to face the consequences.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  90. Lynn, CA

    Every attempt should be made to work within the International Community – however, if another Nation has not or will not cooperate with the hunting down of Al Quida and Bin Laden, or if they offer the terrorists sancutary – then we need to move on specific locations that we are no less than 90% ABSOLUTELY sure about, strike and then get out; this is the message that should have been sent after 9/11.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  91. Deborah from North Port, FL

    Only if we intend to keep flouting international law. Instead, we should throw the Bush Doctrine into the dustbin of history's tragic ideas. It seems that the world is willing to give us another chance to prove that we're not the biggest hypocrites on the planet. Let's not blow it.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  92. Annie, Atlanta

    Absolutely not. I am personally sick of the "Ready, Fire, Aim" cowboy mentality. We have to work with the governments where al Qaeda are deemed a threat. Our reputation depends on it.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  93. Moses

    Seeing as how we are rather thin on two war fronts, I would have to say no. Any action of that magnitude requires preparation and review of possible scenarios, good or bad.

    Good judgement is crucial in situations like these, and we haven't shown much of that over the last eight years.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  94. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I would prefer to wait and let President Obama make the call on what to do with al Quaeda. One of the many reasons he was elected was to improve our foreign relations, so why risk digging the hole deeper during the transition period.

    November 10, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  95. Darren in Minneapolis, MN

    Yes we should, but not without serious reservations. If the military recieves reliable intelligence as to the whereabouts of al Qaeda leaders such as Osama bin Laden, I think the U.S. is justified in launching an offensive against that location. However, we need to tread carefully. Our standing on the world's political stage is shaky at best, thanks to our inexplicable wartime outing in Iraq. Launching an attack in any country, even if it is to capture or kill bin Laden, will be scrutinized heavily. We had better be damn sure that the intelligence is solid, and not have a repeat of the fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  96. Marty

    Haven't we done enough damage to our reputation already?

    November 10, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  97. Daniel Valentin, from Puerto Rico

    The United States right now is in a delicate state. After 8 years of one of the most hostile, anti-foreign governments in history, the nations of the world are sighing in relief at Obama's election, a presidency which promises a much more peaceful approach to international relations. Going on a military offensive without the approval of fellow nations is a wonderful way to shoot ourselves in the foot.

    And I wouldn't put Bush above doing such a despicable act, just to do one final dis against the American people before going to the history books as the blackest of black sheep in the history of world leadership.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  98. Sarah Louise

    This is a very difficult question and there are compelling arguments on both sides. My opinion is that this should always be an option – although it should only be considered as a very last resort. Every instance has to be judged on it's own merit but, in certain situations, I think this has got to be done. You can't leave known al Qaeda training camps or personnel unhindered because they set up bases within sympathetic countries.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  99. Cori from Colorado

    Jack, no, we can not. The U.S. can't be policing the world and doing whatever it wants, whenever it wants. There's enough seething hate from the rest of the world as it is.

    I know there are a lot of people out there who think attacking them would be a good idea, but in all seriousness, there will be terrorists as long as the human race exists, that's a fact. Children over there are born into that world of terror, trained from youth. Unless the U.S. commits genocide, there will never be an end to terrorism. I don't think we need a continuing holocaust. The world has been waiting for a change, and I think we're all waiting to see what Obama and his administration will do, let's hope it's not genocide. Too many innocent people have died, let's not continue down that path.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  100. A Bob White

    No, Jack! "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." America needs to seek ways to approach our enemies and other troubling national and individual behaviors through diplomatic dialogue, and by trying to accomodate these other nations' and individuals' legitimate needs before resorting to our exercise of coercion and power over them. In diplomatic terms such strategy is called "win-win."
    Hays, KS

    November 10, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  101. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Tough one, Jack. Bush & Co., have demonstrated only "cowboy diplomacy" (no offense to Cowboys!) in which they bomb and kill first and then say..........oops! Intelligence has proven wrong millions of times, we go in bomb and kill only to find out that the house that had Al-Qaeda in it, was really a school full of children!

    I pray that as President Obama, will take his time and get as much knowledge as possible before bombing a home, a village or a mosque. We are the United States of America, we are not terrorists!

    November 10, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  102. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    No! The only reason to invade a foreign country is if they attack us first.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  103. Elizabeth in NC

    No – Lets try Peace for a change

    November 10, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  104. Joe

    The US should try another tactic. Could the terrorists be defeated in this century by bulldozers and tractors instead of tanks and armored vehicles? Why not just buy the land under the terrorists encampments from the governments of these sovereign nations and then start the process of commercial development? Economic problems and solutions often start and end conflicts. The US could call it an investment for the future.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  105. James, New York

    Absolutely not. We should respect the Sovereignty of other nations. If al Qaeda is stationed within their borders, they should be the ones to go after al Qaeda. After all, isn't this the "Global War on Terrorism?" America shouldn't be taking all the responsibility in this war.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  106. Larry

    We seem to continue to operate under the myth that killing Bin Laden will end terrorism. Only when we stop viewing this as a tactical problem will there be any progress...

    November 10, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  107. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    Under no circumstances should we be launching attacks in these countries. It shows a serious lack of judgment on the part of the military, we are exacerbating our problems in the middle east by doing so. Rumsfeld is an idiot, but who is making the decisions to take this type of action now?

    November 10, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  108. Thomas Abilene Tx

    Well,I don't think they asked permission to bring down the Towers,did they?

    November 10, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  109. Liz in Towson, MD

    Absolutely not, under any circumstances!! That's how we lost the international popularity contest in the first place.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  110. Dan, Chantilly VA

    As a first resort? Never. If the country in question continues to harbor known terrorists even after we've asked them to do something about it? Justified. This is the kind of thing we should be running by the international community before taking any action. What's the point of having the UN if we're not going to use it? Although, that's probably a debate for a different topic.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  111. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    Absolutely!! They didn't ask permission when they attacked us!!

    November 10, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  112. Pliny - St. Louis, MO

    The U.S. should make every effort to coordinate with other nations when possible, but ultimately if we're to fight a successful war we cannot allow arbitrary lines on a map halt our pursuit of terrorists when those lines denote nothing more than weak rule of law despotic nations. One of the first principles of the United States is that a legitimate government can only come from the consent of the governed. We're not dealing with real nations over there in the middle east and we're not beholden to get our people killed to satisfy the sensitivities of left wing apologists for tyranny.

    St. Louis

    November 10, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  113. Dennis North Carolina

    We should form a partnership with other major developed countries in the world to police terrorists. We can not due this on our own. Each country that hides terrorists should be asked to deal with them but if they do not then we need to take action with our partners. If our country is hit by terrorists, we should not ask but act to destroy them no matter where they are. We did not do this after 9/11 but fought a war for all the wrong reasons.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  114. JDC // Ohio

    permission, and a note from your mother!

    November 10, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  115. Kerri

    It's actually very easy to understand. As long as Isreal exists , and we support them, they will attack us. Until we decide to change that policy there is no other choice.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  116. Sara

    Absolutely not Jack, don't we have enough enemies already?

    November 10, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  117. Courtney, South Windsor, CT

    I don't see why not, the term "sovereignty" has been for a long time completely lost on this administration and much of the country in turn. Interesting to note that one's own national sovereignty is only worthwile so long as we appreciate that of others... ahem.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  118. Steve

    Yes!! If they are a potiental enemy of the state down the road and they are harboring our enemies we should and I expect for our goverment to take them out.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  119. John Oly

    It's called self defense. If we don't attack and overpower them, they no doubt will perform another 9/11. They said they will, so why not believe them. Any country harboring our enemies is fair game.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  120. Bob Cadigan

    Historically the US has operated in this fashion since the Secretary of the Navy first authorized US action against the Barbary Pirates in 1796 before the President or Congress approved the fight.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  121. Roaring Moose; Poland, NY

    Only if they attack us without permission. Thats right they did. Go for it!

    November 10, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  122. John B

    No. Letters of Marque and Reprisal should be issued.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  123. Ben Allen, Dover NH

    Absolutely not. We shouldn't be attacking countries without a congressional declaration of war, period, much less countries that haven't been implicated as sponsors of terrorism.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  124. George

    I'm sorry, but the answer is yes–we cannot have another 9/11.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  125. Richard

    Let's say it is OK. Then that means when Isreal determines there is a high level Hamas operative living in down town Newark, then it's OK to lob in a missile or two.


    November 10, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  126. Marge Keller

    Absolutely not. All branches of the government should approve any actioin like that. It should not fall on the Executive Branch alone to take tjhis action or any other action without consent from Congress.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  127. Creatrix

    Didn't we run into trouble in Vietnam because we didn't authorize our soldiers to pursue the Vietcong into Cambodia and Laos? I agree it's a tricky business and one that we've flubbed up significantly, but I'm not sure tying out soldiers' hands is the way to go about it.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  128. Robin in SC

    Of course we should not wage war on Al Queda inside other countries without the permission of those countries. What would we do if it were turned around and one of the extremist groups in the USA (yep...we have 'em too!) were targeted by another country? Diplomacy with these other countries will work when our standing in the world is repaired, but we have got to stop being the playground bully in order to gain the world's respect again.
    Robin in Greenville, SC

    November 10, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  129. Frank

    Who is going to stop us?

    November 10, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  130. Alfred - Sacramento, CA

    No, I think we need, at least, to set some sort of coordination with the countries in question prior to executing such attacks or it would lead to complete chaos. Moreover, it would indeed invoke other countries to follow, and we already have few!

    November 10, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  131. Michael

    Yes, especially if the country they are using is unable (or unwilling) to to intervene and prevent attacks on us. We should not wait for American blood to be shed before we decide it is morally correct to defend ourselves.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  132. Tim in NC


    We can, and will do what the U.S. Government feels is in the country's best interest. The better question is, are we prepared to deal with the consequences of continuing that sort of "aggressive diplomacy" that has proven so disastrous over the past 8 years.

    -Tim, Durham NC

    November 10, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  133. jimkeating

    To paraphrase Larry in Florida: I think it goes without question that if we know where they are we cannot attack without permission. It stands to reason they would hide out in countries that are not U.S. freindly, so therefore we must work with the international community of nations. This is what international cooperation is all about, and our lack of cooperation is one of the many aspects of our foreign policy that has resulted in long-term difficulties. We must respect the sovereignty of other nations. Otherwise we continue in the ridiculous situation that we are in now.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  134. Mark

    Obama says he'll go after Bin Laden in Pakistan – where's the difference Jack?

    November 10, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  135. john

    if we know where terrorists r in other countries i am sure we know where some r here. do we get to just take them out if we know for sure

    November 10, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  136. herman

    excuse me, Germany, its 1945 and we would like to invade France who we are not at war with but where you are waging war against the USA and the world...is it ok if we invade and save the world? Pretty please? what a bunch of ballyhoo

    November 10, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  137. Keith - Ohio

    Haven't we had enough secrecy in this country.. The government can't even bail-out banks without keeping them a secret.. Maybe we should examine every recent ruling/order given by an executive that steps down to eliminate potential problems before they become issues.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  138. Jason Bruski

    YEs they should, When we were attacked Bush said we will take the war to the enemy and whoever harbors them.. So if they are in another country I would say that is harboring and they should be attacked...

    November 10, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  139. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    I don't remember Osama Bin Laden asking our permission to attack us and kill thousands of innocent people on 9/11, aboard the USS Cole, and our embassies. There is no rock in the entire world that I wouldn't turn over to find this monster and deliver justice for all those who died by his hand.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  140. Tom Erskine

    I support our troops, and I love my country. I am a retired disabled veteran and served during the Viet Nam war—some of the time in muslim countries.

    I believe this is a blatant abuse of executive power which serves only to reinforce the world's poor opinion of George Bush! It makes him and the military look like a bunch of cowboys!! NOBODY in his right mind would give the Pentagon a blank check to attack anywhere they feel is necessaryf! And I cannot believe the leaders of our military did not take exception to this order which was bound at some point to get them all in hot water! This is why the world hates this administration and does not trust republican government!!!

    November 10, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  141. Vence

    We need a fast response permition to launch any attack on terrorists on other countries, unless of course we don't obtain that fast response permition then we should attack if we are 100% sure is a terrorist stronghold.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  142. sean from Hayward wi

    There is a reason most countries in the world hate us and this is one of them If we break international law we are as bad as the terrorists we fight. When the police break the law,there is no law

    November 10, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  143. Jeremy

    If the host country does not have the means or desire we have no choice!

    November 10, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  144. Matthias Baker

    Why don't we ask Al Qaeda if they mind? I encourage any country that has objections to a terror cell being wiped out to speak up. It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  145. Kristofer

    If 30,000 Americans died on 9/11, nobody would question the foreign policy of President Bush and no one would question this policy of attacking Al Qaeda without permission. Last time I checked, we never gave anyone permission to attack two great symbols of freedom and kill thousands of Americans. We must remain relentless in pursuing the evil that so many people ignorantly forget about.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  146. Gareth, CT, USA

    To say 'They attacked us' is invalid. Syria did not attack us, nor did Iraq. An autonomous group of radical Islamic individuals with not particular ties to any government, other than the Taliban, attacked us. We attacked the Taliban in Afghanistan as they openly supported and gave refuge to these scum. Now, Pakistan is supposed to be supporting our effort, but I feel that it is rather loose. However, we should not resort to attacking a so called 'friend' in Pakistan because we have the intelligence. We should pressure taht friend to do more. as for Syria, they certainly may support Al Queda, but unless we have the goods on them and can present it to the UN, then no way should we be launching attacks in that country. However, US crediability after misleading about WMDs to the UN will not get the uS anywhere.Did we not learn anything from invading Laos and cambodia during the Vietnam War?

    November 10, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  147. Jeff in Connecticut

    Absolutely Jack! I don't remember them asking permission to strike us, even though there were more than enough clues to have alerted an administration dedicated to the welfare of America. Having said that though, we should make double-sure no innocents are caught in the crossfire.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  148. Unshrub

    I think the US has made it clear to all countries that we will attack al Qaeda where ever and when ever we find them. al Qaeda has declared war upon us and they have attacked us and we have the right to defend ouerselves. Any country that harbors al Qaeda has been warned. End of story...

    November 10, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  149. Nuwan

    Absolutely not. We need to respect the sovereignty of other countries and get them to cooporate than attacking them. Attacking without permission only make us more enemies. It also put the government of those countries vulnerable for public blacklash. Obama will have to be very careful on this. The world favors him today and he must work not to destroy that image. He should not be another Bush to the world.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    November 10, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  150. yock in tampa, fl

    Attack without permission? What an oxymoron for crying out loud. Were we warned about 9/11; Pearl Harbour, et al? The so called rules of engagement stopped years ago and yet, we are the only ones commited to obey by them.
    Do we forget how we defeated the British? Certainly not by marching in straight lines and adhering to the outdated rules of engagement from which they were defeated.
    If we are truly intent on eliminating those who want to kill us, why would we telegraph our moves? I prefer to let ALL nations who harbour terrorists know that in doing so, we may strike at any time and anywhere. If they are unwilling to eliminate the extemests and stop sponsoring terrorism that threatens the world , we will. The hell with permission, this is our national security, if not our survival we are talking about here.
    Please wake up America. Your very survival depends on it. Not on who is eliminated from Dancing with the Stars....

    November 10, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  151. Jon in Atlanta

    Yes it is OK. Al Qaeda does not recognize borders. At this point it becomes an excersize in "mind over matter": we don't mind and their location doesn't matter.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  152. Ross

    That is a no brainer. YES!!! If you aren't with us you are against us. Simple but effective. Enough of fighting politically correct warfare.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  153. jeff in buffalo

    do not ask,,,tired of all the political correctness...we need to take out our enemys and stop worrying about the rest of the worlds perception of our actions...

    November 10, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  154. Bill, Quarryville, Pa.

    I think you need to consult with the countries that are harboring Al Qaida in trying to get their permission for us to go after them. It should be made very clear that it would be in their best interest for this to happen. But you cannot just go into other countries without notice or permission. That is how wars get started. In order to get respect you got to show respect, and going into another country without permission will not get you 1 ounce of respect. If we are to capture the people responsible for attacking our country we need the cooperation of other countries. If the shoe was on the other foot, we would not want another country coming across our borders without permission, just because they are after a certain group of people.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  155. Martin

    Jack OF COURSE the US should attack Al Queda anywhere in the world at any time. This goes without saying that those actually responsible for 9/11 should not feel safe anywhere on this earth. This is the appropriate strategy thought may not be the best public policy when it comes to international relations. But the attacks must go on. We cannot afford to wait to attack those who have attacked us.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  156. Jason

    Absolutley......kill the terrorists wherever they go, we don't ask the world's permission to defend ourselves. They started this war, not us. They shiouldnt be able to safely hide anywhere.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  157. andrew h

    hey jack,
    who do we think we are?
    and don't they know who we are?

    November 10, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  158. Larry, IN-AZ

    YES, assuming credible intelligence.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  159. ariean

    If you are willing to accept an attack within our border from lets say Russia, because by their definition they are trying to capture and kill someone they proclaim terrorist. Then Yes otherwise NO!

    November 10, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  160. rcasteel

    No need to worry about it. On Jan. 20 our new president sees no need to ever attack anyone. We will however sing Kumbaya with them to get them to do what we want.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  161. Wow

    "NANCY , Grand Ledge MI November 10th, 2008 3:25 pm ET

    Absolutely!! They didn’t ask permission when they attacked us!"

    "Thomas Abilene Tx November 10th, 2008 3:19 pm ET

    Well,I don’t think they asked permission to bring down the Towers,did they?"

    This is exactly the response I expected from MI & TX.

    Did God tell you it's ok?

    November 10, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  162. Victor Castillo

    This war will last a century and has nothing to do with America's foreign policy. Al Qaeda's ideology is based on religious zealotry and hatred of the West. We should pursue Al Qaeda to the ends of the earth and destroy them, regardless of who or what gets in the way.
    The Bush doctine was and is correct.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  163. Kristi

    My answer is abosolutly not. This type of arrogance is what has put us in the position we (the US) are in today. To just assume the right to bomb wherever and whenever we choose is so typical of the Bush Admin. Can you just imagine another country bombing inside the US because they were at war with Mexico or Canada, and felt that they had "cells" working within our borders??

    November 10, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  164. Bob Day

    If we know where the bad guys are located, then we need to attempt to get cooperation from the country in question. Upon recieving that, then attack. If no cooperation is forthcoming, assume that the country in question is cooperating with the bad guy and attack ASAP.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  165. Matt, Denton TX

    We have a special responsibility as the world's leading superpower to show how important it is to work together with other nations. If we act alone, without approval or support, we are seen as illegitimate in the eyes of our friends and allies. We can't risk that!

    November 10, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  166. Dave

    The US has been carrying out secret attacks inside countries through the CIA and Special Forces without other countries' permission for decades now. Why is this news now?

    November 10, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  167. Chris

    Did al quaeda ask us permission before they attacked on us on any of the several times they took credit for attacks, We are at war to fight off terrorism and where ever terrorism is we should find it and eliminate it. So my opinion is no we should not need any permission from anyone to attack any terrorist organization responsible for killing inoccent people . Personally we should be thanked for such an agressive effort to eliminate terrorism.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  168. Scott from San Francisco

    Do you mean like how the Clinton administration attacked an Al Qaeda chemical plant in the Sudan? If it was sanctioned in the 1990's then why break tradition?

    November 10, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  169. Jessianne from Louisiana

    We should not be attacking any country that is not at war with us. Even though many think that members of al Qaeda does not mean that we should just go in and attack places. Many countries in the world see us as a bully because of the Bush Administration and doing these attacks just gives them more fuel for their opinion.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  170. Matt in NJ

    We elect our Presidents to protect Americian interests. While the military is a blunt instrument and should be used judiciously, it should be used to protect America and her interests around the world. Not all of their actions are for public consumption or subject to the whim of public opinion. If there is a theat, the threat must be dealt with, by whatever actions they deem necessary, no matter what invisible lines the actions take place within.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  171. Ryan

    yes, obama will do the same thing. he said he wants to go into pakistan without the pakistani's approval. if we get attacked, we need to do whatever we want.

    we are a democracy. bush was elected. there is no international democracy. if we back down, they will just cross the border and kill the American kids over there.

    Obama is not going to destroy israel like the lefties want. Obama is not going to cut the US military in half and beg the world for forgiveness like the lefties want.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  172. Tony Mc

    If someone Iran considers a terrorist is "hiding" out in the US and we decide to not hand them over to Iran does this give Iran the right to come on over here and get their man? I'm thinking that wouldn't go down so well.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  173. Ravi

    We should only do this with 100% certainity. Remember that the innocent victims relatives or direct children of such incidents will be future al queda's (or simlar) recruits.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  174. chris

    The answer is yes...

    Why are thre canadians on here telling americans what the AMERICAN response should be??

    November 10, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  175. Rex McKee

    I think you should turn the question over.....what would we do if a soverign nation attacked an extremist group within our borders without notice or approval. For example, what if the South Africans or the Israelis attacked the leaders of the KKK covertly? From their perspective the KKK is a band of terrorists, guilty of thousands of crimes of terrorism.

    Clearly we should not.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  176. tom

    We should stop getting into other countries business all together. We look like boolies to the world, other countires are simply lauthing at us. Remember, against each power there will be a bigger power, if not today than tomorrow. We should be smarter about it and stop acting like angry kids who did not get a toy.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  177. Jan Andersen, Denmark

    Only a cowardice nation would attack without declaring war first (like USA, Russia, Israel, Pakistan and India).

    If there is evidence, declare war on the country harbouring the terrorists, and go to a full attack.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  178. Steve Wilson

    Surely you can't be serious asking that question.
    Did Bin laden ask our permissions to kill thousands? No
    Does Bin Laden ask permission to operate in those countries? No.
    Will Bin Laden stop trying to kill us if we just behave? No.
    Do all those that blame America first need another couple of thousand terror deaths in NYC, LA, or DFW to understand there is a war here. How about 10,000 in each of those cities?

    November 10, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  179. B. Margraten

    Depends on who the "permission taker" is. In general, we should not engage in wars any more that do not have approval from the United Nations. Period.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  180. Manny

    Did they ask us for permission before they hit us on 9/11, or the London Bus attacks, or the Madrid train massacre?. No they didn't. And yes if we were training and harboring terrorists like these countries do we would probably get attacked too and deservedly so.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  181. Mike

    The U.S. has the right to defend itself and take care of anyone that threatens its way of life. I think its a better idea to get the terrorists before any of their plans are put into action and many more innocent civilians die.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  182. sharon kitchen


    November 10, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  183. RR


    November 10, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  184. Matt

    Yes, assuming that they are in otherwise unpopulated areas. Syria, Iran, and the like are not our allies, and even if we aren't in a shooting war with them, they are still tacitly supporting terrorism. So we should be ok with attacking cross-border. Otherwise, the terrorists can do what the North Vietnamese did to us...

    November 10, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  185. Jim from Virginia

    We should give terrorists no quarter and should kill them by any means necessary, especially if some foreign country gives them a sanctuary for operations.

    If the country of interest is another major power or allied with the US, then we should seek the cooperation of the country, to avoid further problems.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  186. John

    If we know where Bin Laden or the terrorists are and there attacking our soldiers, we owe it to them, the people who died on 9/11 and all the soldiers who have already died and been injured to take them out. The only reason we have to do it is because Pakistan and Syria are harboring terrorists.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  187. Trent

    Absolutely. Anyone who believes that we have the total support of the Pakistani military/ intelligence community needs a reality check. Segments of Pakistani intelligence make it a point to assist the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Furthermore, Pakistan's government doesn't have control of the western segment of its country- it is literally the wild west. We have the right to keep them in check.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:58 pm |


    November 10, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  189. Dave

    In response to rcasteel. We would not harbour a terrorist Russia wanted. Syria and other nations allow Al Qaeda to move in and out of their country with no regard for international law. These countries have been asked time and time again to assist us and give lip service and limited responses to our cries for help. We must protect ourselves at any cost.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  190. Dave

    Yes, it's ok to attack Al Qaeda, anywhere, anytime. This doesn't mean attacking every country that has a trace of Al Qaeda, but rather where we know & the world intelligence community knows that there is a high concentration of terrorists.
    The country which has this high concentration of Al Qaeda should be happy we are doing this job, why would they want to protect Al Qaeda? It just doesn't make sense....unless...unless, that country's leadership(like Pakistan) has something to lose.
    Now, we are talking politics, and not about protecting the American citizens.
    I know everything is not black and white, but at the same time, that same statement cannot be used to justify doing nothing.

    November 10, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  191. Nan in Mesquite, NV

    I don't think one can simply say, "yes" or "no" without being privy to the intelligence. The issue here, as I see it, is whether or not we TRUST our military decision makers. Rumsfield's actions burned Americans and put us into a postion of global mistrust.

    November 10, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  192. Larry wI Rapids, WI

    Ummm let's see Jack, the answer is no, we shouldn't do that, after all our plight cannot be theirs.

    November 10, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  193. chris


    November 10, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  194. Dan Sczepanski, New York

    Absolutely. We never should have entrusted capturing Osama bin-Laden to local tribesmen. They simply can't be trusted.

    November 10, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  195. Bill

    Let's take a look at the countries in question here, Syria and Pakistan.

    Pakistan only controls roughly 40% of it's territory. On top of this the ISI, the Pakistan intelligence service, has been linked to the Taliban & al-Qaeda and also rumored to be behind the attempt on Hamid Karzai's life in June. Most attacks on US and Afghan forces in eastern Afghanistan originate from Pakistan. Then there is Syria who are allies with Hezbolla & Iran and who's border are just as porous as Pakistan's. Israel recently bombed a nuclear reactor being built in Syria that they claim was just for "peaceful purposes."

    Do you still think asking is going to keep Iraq, Afghanistan and our soldiers safe? How very polite of you.

    November 10, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  196. Sue from Modesto

    Absolutely not! Who do we think we are? What if another country did that to us?

    November 10, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  197. Alan

    I believe that no one administration or individual should be avobe the law. W e need to consider other countries laws and we need to talk to this countries so they could participate.

    November 10, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  198. Mike

    Of course not. What if the terrorists are not in Syria and Pakistan. What if 'intelligence' locates a couple hiding in France or Mexico or Russia? Are the 500 pound bombs still going to fall?

    November 10, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  199. Blair

    History will repeat itself if we don't continue to take aggressive action against our enemies, or those that some feel we should get warm and cozy with. Remember Pearl Habor and 911 it wasn't that long ago... Go ahead and sleep but dont cry when the nightmare wakes you up.

    November 10, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  200. Chris

    To paraphrase Persident Elect Obama...if we have actionable intelligence we should strike...now that was about Ben Laden in Pakistan but I belief this can logically be applied to other terrorist threats.

    November 10, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  201. David from Maryland

    Yeah especially if the country we are perusing the terrorist into is doing nothing to stop them. After all if they are not stopping them they probably support them, in some way. Also any way to keep the fight off US soil is a good thing.

    November 10, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  202. Farida

    Absolutely NO.

    November 10, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  203. DF in FL

    So, can another country carry out an attack in the US without our permission?

    Or this just another of those "America is special" rules?


    November 10, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  204. Dave in MO

    Since Al-Qaeda attacked us on 9/11 without permission I say absouloutly!

    November 10, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  205. bill from TX

    Should other nations be allowed to bomb thier enemies on our soil, and maybe take out civilains in the process? How would we react to that?

    This arrogant cowboy US attitude has to end. The nations of the world will never respect or support us until we learn to do the same in return.

    November 10, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  206. Jim in NJ

    Did Al Qaeda have permission to attack the World Trade Centers and murder thousands of people?

    November 10, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  207. gm from Dallas

    We are at war with a cowardly enemy that hides in dark alley's. They plot to kill us just because we are Americans. I just want to say , thank you Special Forces, thanks you CIA, and thanks you rumsfeld for doing all you can to keep Americans safe.

    November 10, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  208. Pete

    It all depends Jack. I think we may have a problem if we drop Tomahawks on Russia, China or even Canada for that matter. Seriously, if the country is not cooperating with us against al Qaeda, oh, and they can't flatten us or one of our allies in retaliation, then bombs away!

    November 10, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  209. Paul

    I don't hae a problem with it. We are attacking the same people that cut off the heads of their prisoners. These terrorist have no problem blowing up women and children. A good defense is a powerful offense.

    November 10, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  210. kevin

    Attacking with our Special Forces operations is the best way to go. Invading a country for no real reason is NOT the way to go. Use proper intelligence and secret missions to eliminate people who would attack on our soil.

    November 10, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  211. Mark in Boardman, Oh

    No. All phony orders issued during Rumsfield's reign of bad war manners were automatically recinded when he left. It is now our policy to demand that any terrorist organization, including al Qaeda, give us reasonable notice before any sneak attacks, and we will do the same.

    November 10, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  212. william hale

    Are you kidding? No way! Why should we expect anybody to respect our borders if we do not do that ourselves with other sovereign countries? We're the good guys, for crying out loud!

    November 10, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  213. Obama voter

    Yes, we have the right to attack Al Qaeda whenever and wherever necessary. Al Qaeda doesn't play by the rules and neither should we.

    November 10, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  214. Shel

    No we shouldnt, too many innocent women and children are getttiing killed in these attacks, only fueling more hatred and helping the terrorists find more recruits. Funny how the "War on Terror" has actually increased terrorism around the world. But then again, how else is the government going to scare you into giving up your freedom willingly?

    November 10, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  215. Brad

    Did i miss the memo???? The memo where al Qaeda politely asked us for permission before they murdered thousands of our innocent men, women, and children on September 11th, 2001??

    Hunt them down and kill them regardless of where they are. They wake up every morning with a single item to-do list: "Kill Americans"

    November 10, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  216. Jeffrey Pierce

    No. The United States was furious with Israel when they launched a moon light attack against Iraq nuclear power plants and weapons manufacturing sites in the 80's. Why should we conduct our selves in a similar, and alarming, way?

    November 10, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  217. Tristan

    NO!... simply put... Do you attack an enemy in your neighbours house? Would that be acceptable? or do you say lets take this outside?...

    November 10, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  218. Heather

    No, Unless that country is also a "enemy state" borders should not be crossed. Imagine how we would react if tanks, soldiers, or bombs from Canada or Mexico started dropping on US soil. We'd be outraged!

    November 10, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  219. Eric in Missouri

    Did al Qaeda ask our permission to attack us? Wake up people! If these countries cannot take care of terrorists training and staging from their soil then we should do it with or without coordination. Pakistan and Syria has already shown that their own government will warn and/or protect these terrorist organizations. Preemptive strikes are our best defense.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  220. Andrew

    Absolute not. End of discussion.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  221. Bailey

    Errr, what do you reckon we would do if another country attacked one of their enemies inside of our country? I kinda think that country might end up in our "axis of evil" pretty quick.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  222. Francesco Ferrante

    Hey Jack,

    Did the terrorists seek permission when they attacked America in 9/11? Think about it.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  223. Joyce

    Well if anyone watched Charlie Wilson's War then we would know why they hate the US so much when Russia was fighting with the Afgans... anyway war sucks but what about principal ?

    November 10, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  224. Larry

    If we can attack within other countries then we establish a precedence whereby other countries can carry out attacks within our boarders. There is no longer such a thing as sovereignty.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  225. Molly

    The answer is very simple: Are you americans willing to tolerate an attack for another country, because by their definition they are trying to capture and kill someone they proclaim terrorist?

    November 10, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  226. Alex

    When we say "attacking al-queda", what we really mean is "attacking people we believe are linked to al-queda."

    What I mean is, when we initiate one of these so-called 'attacks', we're simply acting as judge, jury and executioner in regards to these peoples lives. Have we heard of due process? Innocent until proven guilty?

    If anything, if we have reasonably good intelligence in regards to these people, we should hunt them down like any other criminal. If that means posting rewards, or compelling these countries to turn them over, then so be it.

    If there was a $1 Billion reward (yes, I said billion) for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of Bin-Laden, do you think he'd not have been captured already? I realise this is a lot of money, but it's really not when looked at the money we have already spent trying to find this guy.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  227. Jake

    Amazing how many people say NO..... I bet your opinion would be different if you had a loved one who was murdered on 9/11 (man, woman or child???)

    It is pathetic that our country, after being attached without provocation, thinks that it is wrong to stop this sick enemy from killing our children again.


    November 10, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  228. Ron

    No we shouldn't. We would be furious if Russia had an enemy here
    & started bombing us. Also,I don't trust the present government to
    carry out anything. They have screwed up almost everything,Iraq,China, Korea,etc,etc.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  229. John

    We should attack any terrorist no matter where they stand.. Is it not the worlds remaining super power to be the police of the world or is it just to have everyone target the U.S. knowing they will get away with it..

    There's a reason why we haven't had any terrorist attack since 2001.. If you weaken the stance and allow terrorist to roam the world without being dealt with then invite them to you house.. you just gave them the permission to do so..

    November 10, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  230. Jeremy

    Empires need not ask permission.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  231. Joe

    How would we feel if another country sent a team of Special Forces inside the US to attack targets without our permission?

    November 10, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  232. AST Cleveland OH

    We should, nobody is going to give you permission to attack. Always keep your interest and security first. I think I support Bush administration on that. People who don't want war and afraid of it should move to canada or Europe, may even get free healthcare for staying homeless there. This is America and we fight hard for our freedom and earn it.

    God bless america....

    November 10, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  233. John from Chicago

    So, do you still believe something called Al Qaeda exist, and it was not an invention of the Bush administration??

    November 10, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  234. Kevin

    You can’t stop it. If Al Qaeda operates in foreign countries around the world with or without permission. The U.S. must develop more responsible ways to stop any terrorist. You must understand it. They looked like complain like black and white.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  235. LewC

    Um, it happens all the time. It's called black-operations – they perform operations the government cannot be seen sanctioning. Often, they won't be in US military attire so in case of capture or witness they can't be traced back to the US.

    I say let them do what needs to be done to ensure their own safety as well as those of the people. Just throwing in restriction upon restriction creates a useless force.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  236. Drew - Illinois

    This is an unconventional enemy in that it has no national borders to defend, but rather is an enemy of radical ideology that can live anywhere in the world. This enemy will be incredibly hard to defeat. Nonetheless, their actions made them our enemy, and our action must be to pursue this enemy agressively, no matter their location.

    This has nothing to do with Rumsfeld, Bush, Obama, or anyone else. It has everything to do with defending life in the free world and defeating those who wish to defeat us. Those who harbor our enemy do so at their own risk.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  237. Darlene

    Absolutely. How soon people forget what happened. Did they ask permission?. As a mother of a career military son USAF, I totally support going after them. They hate us no matter what. Liberals-wake up. This isn't kindergarten and learning how to play fair. Did they play fair? If you want this OVER, go after the big dogs and radicals, wherever they are

    November 10, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  238. Alex

    Jack: This is a delicate balance of providing US Security without undermining international relations. But I believe that we will be failling into an Al-queda trap if we go in countries to capture, or kill, terrorist operatives, without respect for nations sovereignity. The terrorist want's the U.S. to violate international law and kill terrorist, at the same time harming innocent civilians and disrespecting national sovereignity because they can use it as a propaganda tool to recruit more extremist to their cause (i.e. the Bush Doctrine, or Uniliateral Action)

    Al-queda's numbers have increased since 9/11 because of our disrespect to nations and countries in the world, which shows the current approach to terrorism does not work. Remember how we defeated Communism? International Cooperation. This is something that is lacking now because the world has hated our 'Cowboy' attitude.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  239. HK

    Only if we allow those countries to go after their enemies that are on our soil whenever and wherever they want. We should show other countries the same respect we want them to show us.
    We also should tolerate collateral damage if they go after their enemies on our soil.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  240. Greg

    Only if other countries can do the same in the U.S. if they feel it's necessary.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  241. Joe

    Absolutely! No country that harbors terrorists is going to give us permission to come in and get them. Terrorists (and countries that protect them) need to know that no place or country is out of bounds. However, I suspect this is a mute point come January.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  242. Madduck in Michigan

    Terrorists won't sit still and wait for us to ask permission to cross borders. If we know where they are and can get them we should. Diplomats can smooth things over later.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  243. Ryan Haus

    It depends if you want to be successful. If you want to protect international relations and rights and respect borders then you will never succeed with so many hindrances. If you conduct secret missions behind the scenes you have a greatly increased chance of accomplishing any mission. If we stop going into other countries then we might as well accept a strict isolationist policy and just react rather than be pro-active. I am fine either way but you have to go all out if you decide your mission is to eliminate Al Queda!

    November 10, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  244. raj

    Absolutely not!!!! We have no right to go into a country and start attacking....what if they decided to do the same here? How would we feel? What if we kill civilians? How many wars are we ready to start? We should take all our resources in protecting our borders, strengthening airport security, intelligence, etc. We will never be able to stop terrorism. Never. We might as well protect ourselves......

    November 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  245. Bob

    I guess everyone believes that terrorist will not attack us in other countries!! Better wake up people and understand that this is a new world where they want Americans dead!!! Go ahead and welcome them with open arms and see what happens!!

    November 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  246. jim sparkman

    Not just ANY country. We should provide a list of those countries who harbor Al Quaida and notify them that this action applies to them so long as they allow them to seek safe haven in their country and they choose not to do anything about it.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  247. Robert Perry

    If intelligence & military officials agree that direct action outside traditional theaters of war can eliminate a terrorist cell, and a surgical strike can be accomplished with a high certainty of success, and the location of that cell is in a country that is hostile or indifferent to legitimate US security concerns, then the US military should be able to act in a time critical situation to kill or eliminate a proven threat. I trust that our new commander in chief will act responsibly and allow our security forces to do their job anywhere in the world and eliminate terrorists that are bent on doing harm to the US.
    Robert Perry
    Buellton, CA

    November 10, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  248. Scott Ford

    Only if the foreign country in question can attack the U.S. without asking? There is a way to do things without being sneaky and creating further chaos and outrage on the U.S.; it is called communications!

    November 10, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  249. Jim Bolender

    I believe the Clinton Administration launched a cruise missile attack on Afghanistan to "take out" bin Laden. I doubt they asked permission. If we have actionable intelligence, we must act. I hope President-elect Obama will do the same in justifiable circumstances.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  250. Devin, Quincy, IL

    No, we should not. I'm pretty sure enough countries around the world hate us enough as it is.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  251. Gerry

    The problem with forewarning a country they are in is we seldom know what kind of relationship they have with the host government. We could end up setting ourselves up for a "staged atrocity" by al Qaeda and that host government to make us look bad (worse) in the public's eyes. If we have verifiable intelligence, then go for it. We have to let the terrorists know we haven't given up the fight. They came to us, we are going to continue to go after them until the last one is gone from the earth.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  252. Adrian, Toronto - Canada

    Not a black and white answer. Attacking without permissions will not address the root cause of how Al Qaeda came about: a balanced foreign policy for the Middle East will stand a better chance to do that. In the same time it would not be wise to limit the options available, especially when a valid and imminent threat is perceived.
    One more point: competent, professional journalism calls for a show of extreme caution and reservation when the competency of others is questions in the crude way you have done in your comment. It only makes you equally extremist and incompetent as the ones you criticize so vehemently.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  253. Michael

    I'm sorry to agree with Bush on something, but yes. The US doesn't need permission to do anything. Never has, never will.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  254. Dave from Scottsdale

    If we have a legitimate reason to attack then we should have support among our allies and other major countries. If we don't have clear support from our Allies then we should rethink our position. We don't want send out a signal saying that the U.S doesn't care what the rest of the world thinks. That would be worse in the long run than giving up the opportunity to attack.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  255. Anthony B.

    Yes they should, but not until Obama is in office. We've seen enough of how dangerous Bush is with "discretion." Bush needs to be put on a leash and have it grabbed anytime in the next few weeks he tries to pass through any executive order or military command.

    New Haven, CT

    November 10, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  256. Mark in Colorado

    Absolutely, unless of course we can get Bin Laden to pinky swear that he’ll stop attacking us – you know, cross his heart, hope to die, stick a needle in his eye. And if that doesn’t work, maybe we could charm him with a nice box of chocolates and some flowers.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  257. Joe Meyer

    I believe so. If an enemy has declared war on us, no matter where they are, if we are aware, we should attack them. An alternative, though, might be to let the country know we know of Al Qaida's presence in their country. But by this time they might flee, so it's a tough call. Surprise is a much more effective approach militarily.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  258. martin smith

    Absolutely...believe that we have the right to defend oureselves by seeking out those that wish us harm, even within other countries. Similiarly, I don't believe we would mind if Russia/China/Iran etc... carried out covert military operations within our country....would we?

    November 10, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  259. Aqdas from VA

    No, because the rest of the world already considers us ruthless cowboys willing to kill and destroy anything that moves (without our permission). The only thing such strikes are going to do is give the fundamentalist in the region more recruits.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  260. Ashish Valentine

    I think that the United States should be able to carry out strikes like these in other countries' borders, but only to a limit. For example, if Osama Bin Laden is found on a satellite or UAV, we are not going to just sit there and watch him head back to safety. But we also can't raid a Pakistani village every other week.

    Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    November 10, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  261. Rob, California

    Unfortunately the answer is somewhere in between, this is not a question that can be simply answered yes or no–it's that type of black and white decision-making that has the country, and world, screaming for change (and rightfully so). The answer is no, we can't continue to flout sovereignty by sending our drones to kill indiscriminately, but at the same time we cannot let our enemies enjoy safe havens in countries who either lack the will or the means to confront our enemies themselves. We must absolutely exhaust every diplomatic channel first and IF all else fails and we are left with no options, we must act in the interests of our country's security. This does not mean sending in the predators every time we get a whiff of a mid-level AQ operative. It's naive to think that killing the leadership will change the hearts and minds in the region, but I think surgical strikes should on the table if a high value target is in our sites. We must bolster our soft power and prestige if we hope to turn things around, and I'm afraid killing civilians isn't the best way to go about it.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  262. Amber


    Terrorists are very frightening people, but not so frightening that we should give up all hope of diplomacy. I am tired of the "ready, fire, aim" Bush Doctrine. What we need to do is shore up support for the US with foreign aid in times of crisis and be leaders in good will. Extremists will cease to have a voice in a world founded on prevention.

    Amber, Los Angeles CA

    November 10, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  263. Pat Riot

    Permission from who? The permission should always come from congress, elected from among the people to represent the collective will of the people. The executive has gained way too much power in recent years. That being said I do not think the UN should have any say in our foreign policy. That would undermine our national soverignty.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  264. Andrew Frennier

    Only if other countries can attack their enemies inside the US and our allies without permission as well. What is good for the goose...

    November 10, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  265. Cody in-college

    If the mission is deemed necessary by the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) in order to maintain the security of our country and its people. Then we as The United States of America should have every right to break laws, crossborders, and coerce information from terrorists.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  266. D. Casey

    How would the U.S. respond if Syria launched a covert attack against someone they deemed an enemy inside soveriegn US territory? Without our permission? Get serious.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  267. Heather S., Mountain View CA

    Given how easy it is to get permission, and even assistance from ally countries - yes. In non-ally nations, proceed with a thought to the aftermath. Do we want other nations coming here to do their dirty work without OUR knowledge or permission? NO. That degree of disrespect for another sovereign nation is very nearly an act of war, and inexcusable.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  268. Phil in Oklahoma City

    Absolutely! We know for a fact that parts of some governments (Turkey, Pakistan, etc.) have Al Qaeda sympathizers who will jump at any change to catch us if they can. If they gain knowledge of what we're about to do, a quick electronic notification to their friends could set the stage for a surprise against us.

    If a country harbors criminal elements such as Al Qaeda, this is fair warning that we won't tolerate a public pledge of support for us, while knowingly harboring criminal elements that would do us in.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  269. Chris Cunningham

    Remember working with countries to locate and detain Al Qaeda leadership? What happened to that strategy? It has been reported that the capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (in Pakistan, 2003) led to valuable intelligence. I can't remember the last time I saw a headline covering a captured Al Qaeda executive. I'm against torture, Gitmo, etc., but it seems all we do these days is bomb these guys. Where's the value in that? Obviously, killing a guy won't lead to further intel and Al Qaeda will "promote" someone to take his place.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  270. todd Livingston

    i am truly amazed at how many people think two wrongs make a right... wake up people, time to stop thinking we're responsible for policing the world.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  271. Erwin Williamson

    Did Al Qaeda ask permission to carry out 9-11? Enough said.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  272. Chris

    Terrorism is a different animal from conventional warfare. These terrorists do not respect borders, and they do not belong to any one country against whom we can declare war. If we are to defend ourselves against them, there is no way around breaching the borders of sovereign nations. Ideally, we would have permission to enter the country, or the country would eliminate the terrorists themselves. However, if the country will not help us and harbors people who want to destroy us, then we are in a de facto state of war with that country.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  273. Michael

    Do you think Al Qaeda draws the line at the borders of the countries it is operating in?

    November 10, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  274. Lou Carlucci

    Ask the families of the 911 Victims and the families of the 220 Marines and the families of the USS Cole. What part of "we are at War and they started it" don't you get?

    November 10, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  275. maxfischer.ext23@gmail.com

    i find it hard to believe we would ever stand for that sort of thing, so...

    November 10, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  276. Caton

    The US can perform secret attacks without permission if it wishes; any country can. What we have to really ask is, is the US prepared to deal the consequences? At the worst case the US gets cut off from the rest of the world; sanctions can be bad. Then there's the possibility of war, and at best case paying some remedy to the injured country.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  277. Sean from California

    No. We've done it the Bush Administration's way for the past eight years and it hasn't helped us. Instead of doing whatever we want inside the borders of other countries, we should be working WITH other countries in dealing with terrorists.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  278. Randall Schmidt

    Of course we should! We can't declare war on al-Qaeda, chase them to an invisible line, and then get laughed at from across the border! That's nonsense.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  279. Andrew

    Absolutely. Terrorism knows no borders. If these countries make no effort to expel al Qaeda, then someone must.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  280. Michael Kares

    Reverse the question. Should other countries be allowed to pursue their mortal enemies onto U.S. soil? The answer is obvious, it seems.

    Rumsfeld's mandate must have had some restriction as to which countries are considered fair game, as I cannot see a mission into Russia or China happening without a major retaliation. What he must have meant is only those countries that are absolutely powerless to do anything about it. That makes sense.

    But it also makes us the annoying stupid school yard bully, despised by all except those that get their favor. And even some of those guys too.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  281. Devlin

    No. We should build a case that Al Qaeda is using these countries as safe harbors. We should then go to these countries, present our case and seek permission and cooperation. If no permission and cooperation is granted then we should declare war on these countries for harboring terrorists.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  282. Scott in KC

    So many people here seem to have forgotten the U.S. was attacked long before 9/11. This was the SECOND time we were attacked, people! Pres. Clinton was in office the first time, so you cannot blame all of this on Bush, although it's easy and convenient. We must go after these radicals on their turf rather than wait for them to attack us again at home.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  283. Timothy - Brea, Ca

    Let's adapt the old phase...

    Leave us alone and we'll leave you alone....

    November 10, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  284. Robert in Lawrence Kansas

    Anyone who answers "absolutely not" can be the one who goes and notifies the families of the next 9/11of the deaths of their loved ones -and that he/she fully supported not preventing what was fully preventable.


    November 10, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  285. dave

    Simple anwer, yes. In a heartbeat.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  286. Aaron

    America does not need permission from ANYBODY FOR ANYTHING, period.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  287. Jim

    I dont think we can give Al Qaeda a heads up when we are gonna attack them, go to NY and see where the twin towers use to be. I think that gives up good enough reason to run them into the ground.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  288. Marcus

    I wonder how we Americans would accept it if another country conducted such attacks within our borders, and without our permission, because they felt they had actionable intelligence of an imminent threat? I think we all know the answer to that one. I think this policy speaks to the fact that we have a misguided view in America that we have moral superiority over, and special privileges above, all other nations on earth. That, in my view, is the real heart of the disrespect we have garnered around the world. We see ourselves as bigger, better, more important and more deserving than anyone else and we continually deny basic respect to the other nations of this world.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  289. Pvt. Joe Snuffy


    The problem is the fact that this is even a question. There is something called international law that seems to be forgotten here. It is obvious that we are caught in a vicious cycle of creating new enemies of the United States, enemies that we may not necessarily be creating if we at least played by our own rules. 9/11 did not give us a pass to start attacking soverign nations. That is reckless and irresponsible at the least. Perhaps if we change our policies and stop occupying land that the indigenious people don't want us in, the Al Qaeda's of the world would lose momentum. The War on terrorism will not be won by waging war.

    Anyone remember a term, "Hearts and Minds?" Whatever happened to that?

    Joe Snuff
    Baltimore, MD

    November 10, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  290. MattParliament

    Democracy through dictatorship. With us or against us. Do as we say not as we do. These are failed policies.
    What's needed is foreign cooperation – we are stronger united than divided. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
    Finding ways to work with foreign governments – albeit difficult – is the best solution. The pen is mightier than the sword.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  291. Bud : Colorado Spings,Co

    YOU BET !! We should take out every one we know of. If we ask permission, some idiot will tip them off and our men will be in more danger

    November 10, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  292. Mr. Kane

    What is ironic is Obama in a speech a month or two ago said he would basically violate Pakistan's sovereignty in order to chase terrorists in Pakistan. So much for change.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  293. Sick of Bush Machine with new hope

    How can anyone look at our country with it's current administration as nothing but the biggest hypocrites in history, I love how they're all outraged when Russia invaded Georgia, but we're doing stuff like this all over the world, Can you imagine if Russia had done all the stuff we've done in the last 7 years? no wonder the rest of the world hates us.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  294. John Tower

    Jack, yes we should be able to attack Al Quaeda at anytime and anywhere. Rumsfled is not an issue – he is gone. The fact is that many governments are weak and cannot afford to give us public permission, as their leaders would be subject to assassination or internal criticism. Therefore, we attack and they protest. Many times it all takes place with a wink and a nod, but we have to be practical with these governments and protect their leaders as we seek to destroy those that would destroy and/or distabilize democracy in favor of their twisted and radical distortion of islam.

    John Tower
    Corpus Christi, Texas

    November 10, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  295. Kevin

    If they are stupid enough to harbor al qaeda after they have killed countless innocent Americans and Europeans then they are fair game.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  296. Ben in MO

    I think there are situations where we should attack without permission. Of course it would be better if we could get permission from Syria and Pakistan, but they don't seem to want to play ball. So if we have solid evidence on the location of a high-value target we should go after them. And we should do it without letting anyone know we were ever there. The real question is how you define solid evidence and a high-value target, let's hope we'll have a better man than Rumsfeld making that call in the future.

    November 10, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  297. Alan Kell

    in the aftermath of Seotember 11, 2001 President Bush stated there will be no sanctuary for terrorists. I agree with this and am glad that the current administration understands how to fight Al-Qaeda. If a government gives support or is too weak to remove a terrorist group from its territory then don't feel sorry when we handle it

    November 10, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  298. Mike out West

    Jack, this should only be considered if imminent danger exits. I don't mean a threat, or possibly— I mean we know FOR SURE they are about to flip the switch and attack. Otherwise, track them with our billion dollar satellites and surveillance equipment, and pluck them up when they go someplace we are authorized/welcome to take action.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  299. Jim In Ohio

    How about this for a solution.

    Just as soon as the countries allowing al Qaeda to come and go as they please to attack us ask OUR permission for them to allow al Qaeda to do so, then we will begin to ask THEM for THEIR permission to attack al Qaeda either pro-actively or in response.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  300. Brody, America

    Attack them before they attack us. No politics, no bureaucracy. If we have the intelligence, we go. They can't hurt our citizens if they're spending all their time cowering in their caves in fear of our Special Forces swooping down on them if they rear their ugly heads.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  301. Hanny

    If the us is allowed into other countries to "attack Al Queda", without their permission, soon we will be allowed to steal oil from countries without their permission as well. This could be a good thing or bad.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  302. Scott Memphis,TN

    I think we should do whatever it takes, by any means necessary to rid the world of al Qaeda.
    I don't remember al Qaeda asking for permission to attack the United States.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  303. Scott Hall

    Jack, the last time i checked, an unpermitted or unwanted military strike, could be construed as an act of war. Or better still, if syria, and pakistan aren't saying too much about it, then wouldn't that say that they are aware of al-qaida's occupation in those countries, and if they are trully our allies, why aren't they offering to help?

    November 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  304. Larry Vanderlinden, Anchorage, AK

    In the long run, we would be better served using diplomacy in the strongest sense to convince countries harboring Al Quaeda operatives to cooperate with us rather than sponsoring attacks within their sovereign borders without their permission.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  305. kevin

    Yes they should get Al Qaeda where ever they are!

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  306. Jürgen

    If every country decided to take action in the name of "war on terrorism" and attack other countries, then we would be facing absolute chaos and world wide anarchy. Russia Attacked Georgia to "protect its citizens" and the world god mad. As we can see, it would not make certain countries happy and would create chaos. So No. It's time to get the rest of the world involved.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  307. Janelle in Missouri

    Sarah Palin was blasted by the media and by President Elect Obama for saying she would not go into Pakistan to get Osama bin Laden without Pakistan's approval, while Obama said he would. So I guess it's okay to go in without permission as long as it's a democrat who gives the order.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  308. Ralph

    It's fair enough to go after the terrorists no matter where they are!

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  309. DRRR

    Did Al Qaeda ask US for permission on 9/11? We all know the answer to that. Now if you assume that we can trust all of countries and we have good intelligence I guess you could say that the US should not take any action to attack Al Qaeda without carefull collaboration with the particular where the attack will take place. Unfortunately I don't think you can trust all countries. In this complex world there aren't simple asnwers.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  310. Gary Johnson

    The correct answer is no, we should not. However, is it not reasonable to admit, that correct answers do not always fit in the world of fighting terrorism, or covert action? I feel the only people qualified to answer this question intelligently, are those who have had to carry out such missions. We demand results, yet want to dicatate how those results are acheived.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  311. Chris from MD

    Yes, I don't usually think this the case, but they have proven to be a tricky foe and they know how and where to hide. Those that allow harboring AL Queda should know to expect us to come in quietly and remove them.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  312. Dan in Defiance, Ohio

    Remember the Vietnam war? Remember a warm peaceful land named Cambodia? Need I say more?

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  313. Henry

    Will we allow Mexico to carry attacks inside the US to weed out drug lords? Do we expect the rest of the world to respect international law? Are we exempt from it? Either we set an example of law and order or we tell the world do what you can get by with!

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  314. Wendell

    People have such short memories.

    I guess our foreign policy of bailing out Kuwait was the same as "declaring a country evil". I'm pretty sure Iraq declared itself as evil with that little maneuver. And yes, this whole business started long before W got into office.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  315. gloria

    Absolutely not! Since when does the military get to create international policy? Create international crises?

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  316. Ravi

    They attacked us without permission and so i don't see why we should be asking permission only to revenge an attack on us. these whole thing would not have been an issue if we had handled our response to 911 well. These countries will rather be informing us so we can get them within their borders not getting angry. Iraq has caused us a lot of mistrust. we have to protect ourselves anyway anyhow and that is going after them wherever.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  317. Anna

    It is absolutely ridiculous that in this day and age the United States still thinks that it can use its (declining) hegemony to break international law and intrude into sovereign nations. As much as we would like to protect ourselves against terrorist attacks, we should also be concerned with protecting our standing in the world. Actions like this only weaken our international image and weaken our leverage in world politics.
    Newark, DE

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  318. Chris gross

    No. That makes us just as bad as the terrorists. We should exhaust all possible diplomatic solutions first, then go in if no results are forth coming from the government of the country we are going into.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  319. H Thornton Freund

    Of course we should go after important Al Quaida wherever they are! Would you prefer we missed the opportunity or worse we were told no by an Al Quaida sympathetic country. That is how we missed Osama so many times!

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  320. Donald Wolfork

    Anywhere anytime any country.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  321. Nikki D

    International law states that another country must respect the sovereignty and independence of another. The United States' unilateral attacks on Al Qaeda in sovereign nations are reprehensible and illegal. Rumsfeld's covert policies remind me of the Iran-Contra affair in terms of McFarlane, North, and Company's disregard for balance of power and international law.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  322. Chris (Toronto)

    well, according to Rumsfeld's order....in a fair world...would mean we could send Canadian special forces into the US without permission to eradicate all those elements running illegal guns into Canada that terrorize our citizens? I hope the new Obama administration takes up a retro-active look at all those types of orders made during the Bush Administration...starting with the Patriot Act

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  323. Mark

    We need to play by the rules even if A.Q. doesn't. Making enemies of Pakistan and the U.S. is exactly what the terrorists want. We must be patient, sooner or later Pakistanies will realize the terrorists must be defeated.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  324. Tony

    It's absurd that the US thinks that it can attack al Qaeda without the permission of the country there in. Unless that country gives the US consent to be there, i think that the US needs to stop thinking that their allowed to do whatever they want just because their a superpower.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  325. Tommy

    Yes the U.S. should be able to attack without permission. You look in our country's past and you will see that this isnt the first time we have carried out such Operations. As a matter of fact it is the Special Force's Community's job to conduct such missions. Usually these missions are carried out to gather intel about certain factions, countrys, etc.

    Without this type of action our Intel Community will be useless. People seem to forget this.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  326. Denise

    I don't think the US would appreciate someone fighting in there country without permission. So no, we should not be fighting in other countries without permission.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  327. Aaron G. Mishawaka, IN

    Should the U.S. be attacking al Qaeda in foreign countries without permission? Of course we should. Who gave al Qaeda permission to attack us?

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  328. Kris

    If the United States was not apart of the war against terrorism, and persay Great Britain was leading the war, what would the US do if Great Britain entered the US to attack Al Qaeda? It is each countries responsibility in this war to prevent this threat. However, it is NOT acceptable to enter a country uninvolved in the war in persuit of terrorists. Diplomatic measures should be taken to persue these terrorists, but it is an act of war to occupy a country without permission, despite the reason.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  329. JOE

    I say we go after them anytime anywhere if we do not we will be doomed to repeat the HISTORY of 9/11 again ! ! !

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  330. Randy

    Talk about a foriegn policy nightmare. No No No.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  331. Roger A. Cox Sr.


    If they are willing to harbour the enemy of the U.S. , then yes, we have the right to protect our military by striking the enemy inside their country. This is especially true if they are not willing to do it themselves, which seems to be the case in Pakistan and Syria.

    Roger A. Cox Sr.
    Vietnam Veteran
    Retired Military

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  332. Rob

    Jack, I think there has to be a happy balance between between defending the United States and respecting the sovereignty and autonomy of other nations. On one hand, it is important that the US have a great deal of respect for its fellow nations; on the other hand, it is sheer naivety to suggest that the US government put other interests above that of America. I know I'd be upset if the US bulldozed into my home country of Canada, but I know I'd be more upset if there was a legitimate threat to me and my neighbours and my government did nothing.

    Then again, that counts on the believability of the American government's intelligence. Given the track record, I'm not sure how believable that intelligence is...

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  333. Otis in VA

    Jack... I believe that Al Qaeda attacked the U.S. on sovereign soil. We are obligated to track these fools wherever they hide. If a country refuses to rid their country of terrorists, we should give them a little help.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  334. Azita

    YES we give aide to these countries without permission, if we are after our enemy then yes we can go in without permission

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  335. Ajeer Pudiyapura, San Jose, CA

    Absolutely Not! We need to treat the world with respect if we expect their cooperation for our causes. As the celebrations around the world upon the elction of Obama has shown, the world still has a lot of concern for and hope in America. Its precisely this goodwill that we need to enhance around the world to fight anti-american terrorist ideologies and make them irrelevant. I am sure that this year’s election result has weakened Al Qaeeda’s recuitment drive more than 5 years of misguided and arrogant fire power has strengthened it.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  336. Fox Trotter

    Did Al Queda ask for permission when they sent their creeps to board our airplanes and fly them into the World Trade Center Towers? I say that any country that gives Al Queda safe harbor such as Pakistan must face the music.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  337. michael from El Paso Texas

    I believe it is crucial to keep a good relationship with Pakistan and other key ally countries and ask for permission to enter. However, in countries where they support Al-Qaeda and have been anti-US for a long period of time its pretty useless to try to become an ally if they dont want to become one. Obviously there are many terrorist coming from Syria and Iran to attack the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan.Why can't we do the same. Lets not leave any room for terror to regroup anywhere in the world or else we'll be seeing another or worst 9-11 attack.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  338. Jeremy

    It will be fascinating to watch the liberal anti-war activists react to military action during the Obama administration. Will they proudly support democrat bombs falling on a foreign country as opposed to republican bombs? If so... how hypocritical is that???

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  339. Rich

    I believe that we work with the countries that we can. Otherwise, we have to do what is necessary. This is not a conventional war and cannot be fought as such.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  340. Syl

    No, if you want peace.

    Yes, if you want war and another 9/11.

    Wake-up Americans!

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  341. Anthony Tolbert

    I don't see a big problem with this because the War on Terror is not limited to any specific borders. They don't discriminate on who and where they kill so why should we be diplomatic? If these actions save innocent lives, then finding and killing the terrorists is the utilitarian thing to do.

    -Anthony From New York, NY

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  342. Hank

    if al-queda is in a country and that country is not doing anything about it after we show them what we know, then yes we should be able to go after them.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  343. Jeff- Houston, TX

    Think about it Jack. This is only killing one weed and allowing another to grow. If you attack a city in another country and wind up somehow damaging the country, that will only lead to more anti-American sentiment. This would energize another version of Al-Qaeda. If we want to gain any moral ground in the world, we must stop acting like the bully and put human interest before our own interest.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  344. Linda

    YES – If we waffle on this one, we're surely doomed. We need to let it be known that we will attack this terrorist organization anywhere on the globe. It makes for a safer globe.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  345. Franci Kettman

    Absolutely not. We would not tolerate the same from another country.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  346. nylah

    Absolutely not!

    No matter the cause or reason, invading a country is an agressive act and ultimately a decleration of war.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  347. Lee Collum

    Yes. We said we would after 911. We should do so and be prepared to face the consequences of being forced to fight a war we didn't start. To avoid the conflict is simply to encourage it at a diferent location and time not of your chosing. Many have forgotten 911 after we vowed to never forget. We will be reminded of 911 if we do forget.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  348. Jim Garrity

    Jack ~

    I believe the obvious answer is no. Now what if we tried that in the USSR. Yeah...Right. I don't think the US should start a new trend of violating a countries sovereign territory

    Russian Missiles in Cuba.....Been there.

    US. Missiles in Poland........I don't blame Russia for being ticked off.

    Garrity in Ohio

    November 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  349. Sharon Hale

    Yes, absolutely and lets remember it has been going on since 2004. Mostly though, why do we hear on this news, this should be top secret stuff. We will never be safe as long as we tell all our military secrets.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  350. Daniel Pierce

    Pearl Harbor? Ring a bell?
    If you attack any country without notification you should expect a nuke in your lap the next morning.
    Any country do that to us (say in Detroit) and B2s will launch at dusk.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  351. Chris

    The decision to attack terrorist targets in countries where we are not at war must at least be on the table. It should be avoided and alternatives agressively pursued. There needs to be pressure on the foreigh government to act. Barring that, the risk needs to be assessed. Is the target accessible? Is it possible to attack and get out quickly? What countries are involved? A quick crossing ot the Pakistan border to kill Bin Laden is much different than attacking a suspected safehouse in downtown Tehran.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  352. Henry Fajemirokun

    I suscribe to the idea that whatever it takes to take out Al Qaeda operatives wherever they are located anywhere in the world by US special forces and the CIA or any other secret agency is spot on.

    Al Qaeda is an evil organization like the disease cancer, should be excised promptly wherever it rears its ugly face.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  353. steve

    Politics and military actions should be seperate decisions. It wasn't that long ago in Vietnam that the US was not allowed to go after the North Vietnemese in neighboring countries which the enemy took full advantage of to their benefit. Don't give the military a job to do and then tie one hand behind their back. Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  354. bob

    If the country harboring the enemy is incapable of dealing with the issue, and it is crystal clear who we are attacking, then yes.

    Bob in Florida

    November 10, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  355. John

    That's unbelievable. We have no right to police the world like this against the will of the people in these nations. I don't care what the reason is.These kind of actions are just the things that help terrorist groups recruit. Actions like this prove that under the Bush administration we're no better than the terrorists they vilify. The US is not, and can not act like, the world's police force. If we have a problem with these nations harboring fugitives we need to approach these nations diplomatically, and if they refuse then put economic pressure on them. Military action should be a last resort.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  356. Brock

    I believe that the U.S. should gain the permission of foreign countries to use tactical warfare in advance of such attacks, through an international treaty of sorts, so if a situation arises where such force is necessary, we can go in and eliminate any such threats to our security, if in fact the situation deems such actions appropriate..

    November 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  357. Doug in Washington

    In 2001 the entire world except the Taliban and North Korea stood with us against Al Qaeda. If we know AQ is located in a nation, over 3000 international victims in New York, Washington, Pennsylvania, Madrid, Bali, London and Iraq demand we take the initiative and not wait for the inevitable attack on other innocent victims.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  358. hudel

    It is unbelievable what has happened to American liberal concepts of War. Perhaps some liberals think we should not be allowed to use bullets unless we get permission from our enemies...

    November 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  359. John

    Yes, without question. No safe harbor for Al Qaeda anywhere, anytime.

    Alexander City, Alabama

    November 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  360. Spero Saxon

    Sure we should Jack. Just as soon as we find it OK if Russia conducts military excursions within the US without our permission. After all, if Russia had a nemisis in the US, it would be just peachy-keeny if they conducted excursions in downtown New York without asking us.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  361. Sabine F. Brooklyn, New York

    Can you imagine what would happen if a foreign country did that HERE, what do you think would happen?
    Let's imagine that Al-Qaeda attacked the United States without warning . . . . oh, my bad. Seems like that's already happened. Hmm, lets recap, unauthorized invasion and war in an uninvovled country. Seems like Rumsfeld put pen to paper and authorized retroactively what we'd already done.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  362. Mike informed

    No. The United States should not attack any sovereign country under any circumstances without a declaration of war by Congress. We have already endured an undeclared eight-year war on the Constitution and the American people by the Bush Administration.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  363. Garcia

    We shouldn't attack any countries without permission. We are killing so many innocent people including women and children. There has been over 1 million Iraqi civilian deaths. This is the reason why we are making them bigger and stronger. Let them mess up their own countries and let's worry about OURS for a change.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  364. Dave

    The first question we need to ask is: how would we feel if China or Russia attacked people they deemed terrorists in a nation that is one of our allies?

    My recollection is that we don't like it.

    If it isn't OK for them, why is it OK for the United States to do the same?

    November 10, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  365. charlie riley

    As unruly the government of afgan and pakistan is there no reason we should hesitiate to send our millitary in foreign countries no matter where the enemy or terrorists hold sanctuary.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  366. F. J. Diller

    I find it interesting that many people are answering a difficult, sensitive question with either "yes" or "no".
    My Humble Opinion: there should be no safe place on the planet where "armies without countries" can plot against the United States of America. At the same time, we must remember that this war will be won by winning international admiration, not by snuffing a few more hotheads.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  367. Michelle Warren

    Everything the US decides to do in foreign countries, or to foreigners, even in a war, should be done from the perspective of: What would we do if any country did that in the US? If we don't respect other countries' sovereingty, what right do we have to expect other countries to respect our borders?

    November 10, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  368. Roger in Nova Scotia

    Since terrorism knows no borders shouldn't the US apply the same concept in it's defence? It is hard to believe a foreign country does not know terrorists operate from within its boundaries. If they condone the presence of terrorists then they must accept the defensive mechanisms on another nation.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  369. Daniel Ajiboy

    Without question, absolutely not! Not only would this kind of policy destroy what good relations are left with the international community, but this will greatly exasperate our military and intelligence forces! This is what exactly Al Quada wants to happen to further weaken our military resources! With Obama as chief diplomat, as well as commander in chief, we can get countries to fight terrorism with native military forces, instead of our kill-all, spare-none, U.S. air raid "strategy".

    November 10, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  370. fred f

    necessity needs no law. attack followed by information. not to wait for permission to do so.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  371. Doug from New Jersey

    Yes we most certainly should attack them. The reason why they have become as powerful as they are is do to them hiding out and building up behind the walls of other countries. If these countries do not want us to perform operations with-in their borders , then they should root out Al Qaeda themselves and stop harboring terroist organizations. Very simple. It's ashame that certain other countries need to be treated like children with us acting as the parent. It's such a waste of time and resources that could be avoided if they just could keep order with-in their own borders. Obviously they can not do so.
    Rumsfeld is/was an idiot but have have no issue at all with this classified order he issued.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  372. Jerry

    I would defer answering this question until someone who lost a loved one in the 9/11 attacks expressed their views.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  373. James Lormanana

    No. Countries who have terrorists in their countries should agree with U.S government on how to attack the terrorist in their territories if they fail to capture or get rid of them. That should only be implemented without blame of civilians caught in the cross fire because they allow the terrorist into their backyards. The United State government should not ask any permission in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq they are already known as the battleground for Al-Qaida.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  374. Ryan in AR

    Absolutely not! Secretive and unwarranted attacks that harm civilians in non-combative and combative countries alike qualify as terrorism. I believe the cliche goes, "You can't fight fire with fire." Additionally, it can't be argued that these attacks would be specifically targeted at the enemy. We have seen attacks on civilians time and time again in Afghanistan. If we continue to follow the Bush Administration's "Wild Wild West" strategy we will very soon have more enemies than allies!

    November 10, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  375. Pennie Johnson Boyce,La.

    No. It's the reason we're in trouble now..financially and morally. Chances are, if some foreign government gives us permission to come in, they're having problems with Al-Qaeda upsetting their peace and they'll be happy to have us there.When they tell us to go home, we won't have to negotiate our departure, we simply say see ya!!

    November 10, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  376. Fred

    Engaging in acts of war without Congress' approval is illegal both by US and International law. What's more important is the damage this does to our intelligence services. We used to have more Human Intelligence than any country in the world and the reason for this was clear: Despite our ocassional gaffes, we were viewed as "The Good Guys". Git-Mo, Abu Graib, Rumsfeld, WMD / Iraq, Torture and this have done ten times more damage to us, than good. Why? Because we simply don't have the recruting power we once had, in the form of foreign nationals. The Bush Administration has taken that recruiting power away from our foreign agents by making them representatives of a country that is viewed with disdain and handed tremendous recruiting power to to Al Queda. Brilliant.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  377. turk621

    We should attack Al Qaeda where ever and whenever they rear their heads. Although I am an Obama supporter, and I'm SO glad the Bush administration is ending, this is self defense at its utmost. If Pakistan won't do it, we must, or we'll one day face another 9/11. It's probably the only thing I've ever agreed with Bush on. Find out where they are, and take them out.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  378. Michael Volk

    Of course it's okay as long as we allow: Mexico, Cuba, Russia, China, etc etc to attack people who they think are terrorists inside the Us whenever they want. That would be fun wouldnt it/

    November 10, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  379. Peter Wolfe

    I think it's a great idea! So good, we should allow foreign countries to enter the U. S. on the same type of mission. How is it said: 'all is fair in love and war'.
    Peter Wolfe
    New Mexico

    November 10, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  380. John L

    Yes Sir, Remember they attack us without permission!

    November 10, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  381. Open your eyes Cafferty

    First and foremost, it may be difficult for many of you to believe but war has no rules and thus has no boundaries. An enemy that ceases to acknowledge a nation's or peoples' right to exist (ie Al Queda's views on the Unites States) does not follow the arbitrary guidelines of war. While I am not advocating war-mongering, I do support a thorough destruction of a defiant, uncooperative enemy. Furthermore, the matter at hand questions the United States' right to attack a 'borderless' militant group (in that it is not a country itself but an organization), which it is already doing. Al Queda is not Afghanistan and Afghanistan is not Al Queda. It is merely their primary location of operation due to a formerly enabling government in the Taliban. I fail to see how fighting the same 'borderless' enemy within the border of another enabling, uncooperative government/nation is illegal. I allow any country to ensure the same justice be carried out if their lawless enemy should traverse the borders into enabling countries. The fact remains, as long as countries refuse to challenge the enemy that develops within their boundaries, the United States will. After all, failure to seek a solution is adding to the problem.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  382. Kim

    Absolutely! They did not ask if they could attack us on September 11, 2001 on our soil. President Bush said, “If you harbor our enemies, we will come after you.” All countries have been warned. If they choose harbor them, they are just as guilty as the ones committing the crimes!

    It is amazing how so many people have forgotten the pain and loss of life Americans experienced on September 11, 2001. The families that lost loved ones are still feeling the pain from that day.

    Go get them!

    Kim – North Carolina

    November 10, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  383. S

    Would we like if anybody would do whatever they want without our permission ? I dont think so........ !

    November 10, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  384. A Swede

    This reminds me an old saying, "Might is right", so its not matter of permission. We already know the "credibility" of intelligence on WMD. Imagine how many more enemies are created by each such attack, based on "credible" intelligence.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  385. keith solomon

    i think the united states should ask permission to carry out attacks in another country against Al Qaeda after all its on their country that we are throwing bombs on...... my judgment is if they don't consent to the request they are harboring terrorists and that gives usa the "right" to carry out unilateral attack. There wont be a major problem so long as we act on credible intelligence unlike the one we had for invading iraq

    November 10, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  386. Trinell

    As a retired Marine, I would hope that we want attack al Qaeda unless American lives are at risk or unless we have a clear attempt on our objective which is and always have been Bin Laden since 9/11.
    proud to serve

    November 10, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  387. Steve in MN

    Ask Nixon how invading Cambodia worked out !!

    November 10, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  388. David Catron

    The issue is the U.S. Military force cannot get permission from these countries, therefore al Qaeda has the advantage of a safe haven in which to conduct operations from. The same thing happened during the Vietnam conflict in which Viet Kong resupplied and operated out of Cambodia, while the U.S. was denied permission to carry out attacks within that country, though many still were secretly carried out. Terrorist should not be able to hide anywhere, and the world should know that they cannot harbor terrorist. I say attack if necessary. If those countries do not want U.S. strikes within their country, they should be chasing al Qaeda out themselves.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  389. Finn, Denmark

    Will it be okay that China, 50 years from now, and occupying Mexico, attacks insurgents hiding in the US(then an inferiour nation among so many others)?
    The scenario seem unlikely, just like history often does.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  390. Sprina

    I can only imagine what kind of outrageous responses that will generate around the globe. What gives the US the right to just do what we feel right? We need to stop thinking like that the world evolves around this country.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  391. bill shea

    Absolutely Yes! There are no safe harbors since 9/11.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  392. kathy saada

    If the US wants the support of the United Nations members,she must start honoing the Soverienty of ALL Nations. Panama City, Fl

    November 10, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  393. Alexis

    The U.S. should protect its citizens at all costs, however, we should work with the governments of other countries when targeting terrorist organizations. If these countries are truly our allies, they should support us in our efforts to combat those who threaten our national security.

    Pottstown, Pennsylvania

    November 10, 2008 at 6:42 pm |
  394. sileye

    attacking without permission is acting like terrorist let use more intelligent approch

    November 10, 2008 at 6:42 pm |
  395. Danny from Texas

    We have to let the country where the operatives are hiding a chance to resolve the problem first. We must give them everything we possibly can in the way of help so that they can accomplish the mission successfully. But if they refuse to help, and we have the information we need and it has been confirmed, then we have to take action. But we have to first offer them the chance to help us. Funny how this topic came uo in the debates and McCain scoffed at Obama for even suggesting such a strike, when his party has been doing these strikes in secret. Shows once more how out of touch he was on the issues most important to most of us. I know that if Obama authorizes such a strike, he will have used every diplomatic move at his disposal and we the American public will be told by Obama what actions were taken and why.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:43 pm |
  396. JACK

    The countries that host al-qaeda are hostile to the US and do not requre notification. Where there are al-qaeda camps around the world, take them out. Ask permission and they will be forewarned.

    San Antonio, TX

    November 10, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  397. Sir John Cass

    No. Breaking international law or sovereignty of nations by the use of such acts of aggression breaks norms of internationally accepted standards of behaviour by nations. It poses life-threatening risks to American lives abroad. Post-retirement impeachment or trials in the Hague of generals ordering such attacks should be considered with immediate effect to restore America’s image and system of justice on the world stage. After all, a war waged illegally against another sovereign nation is technically a ‘war crime’, especially one without a UN resolution. US schools of law including Harvard provide so much guidance on this matter of code of conduct to be adhered to by governments yet America fails to practise what it preaches due to the ill-informed or ill-thought decision of one or two people – that process should be scrutinised to empower the American people and the democratic principles which laid the foundations of this great nation. Attacking Al-Qaeda requires sharing intelligence and co-operation with governments in target countries, not provocation and self-humiliation of the only super-power such as the USA.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  398. Seth Roach, Long Beach, California

    If it's a surgical strike to protect our interests and prevent an attack, I'm all for it.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:46 pm |
  399. Daniel, Germany

    Jack, ther can be only one answer to this question: no! These operations are too risky. First: How do you define solid evidence on which you can base a secret military operation. Second, what happens, when an operation becomes public, when it failes, like the one in Syria not so long ago, when innocent people got killed. Incidents like this, undermine the already very tarnished reputation of the US all over the globe. Third: In countries like Pakistan, which is a close ally of the US, actions like this undermine the authority of the local government in power. And such an obvious loss of authority could lead to a radical regimechange. In the case of Pakistan that would be a disaster.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:46 pm |
  400. Ben

    I think USA should have little regard to others country when it comes to their territory protection. US. should seek foreign country approval before engaging any military action.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:46 pm |
  401. Frank

    I'm in the U.S. army, Yes I think the USA should be able to get al Qaeda where ever they are just be very cautious able how that country feels about it. We would want to make another ememy.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:48 pm |
  402. Neil

    Yes. As a victim of a terrorist attack the United States is entitled to respond with force against Al Qaida. However because Al Qaida is a non-state actor, the degree of control the state whose sovereignty we would be violating, is key. If there is evidence of any sort of material support or even acquiescence, the U.S. would be justified in attacking Al Qaida inside the borders of another state. This might not hold up under international law, but when has that ever stopped us?

    November 10, 2008 at 6:49 pm |
  403. Eric Mwirigi NC

    Not at all. Try to get their permission first. If they then refuse to help, then we do what we have to do.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:49 pm |
  404. bash

    Thats a very bad precedent we setting for the rest of the world. It goes to show how reckless this bush administration has been. Is Romsfel still alive? What a mistake he was.

    November 10, 2008 at 6:49 pm |