Sunday, October 08, 2006

Hey, Republicans, Listen Up

I know this is a waste of time, but I do believe that when presented with the facts in a straight forward, non-confrontational manner, people can understand truth from obfuscation. I believe Republicans are good people who want the best for this country, but sometimes they are not skeptical enough of what the authority figures in their party tell them. So Republicans, listen up.

Be skeptical any time a politician includes the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism in the same sentence. The 9/11 Commission and the President (among many others) have made it clear that there was no connection between Iraq (and Saddam Hussein) and Al Quida. Yes, since we went into Iraq and removed Saddam Hussein there are now Al Quida terrorists in Iraq, but if we killed all of them tomorrow we still couldn't bring our troops home. We would still be in the middle of a civil war in Iraq. And if we killed all the Al Quida terrorists in Iraq tomorrow we would not have decreased the threat of attacks inside the US AT ALL. I have not read of any connection between the Madrid and London bombings and members of Al Quida in Iraq. Iraq is not the central planning location for terrorist attacks and threats around the world.

The war on terror and the war in Iraq are slightly related because we opened the door for terrorists to cause trouble there, but there is only a tenuous connection between Iraq and the war on terror. Whenever someone equates the war on terror and the war in Iraq, start listening very carefully because they are trying to confuse you.

Another way Republican politicians try to confuse the situation is their claim that Democrats do not understand that this is a war. Democrats are accused of wanting to go after the terrorists as if this were a police issue and not a war. Well, let's look at the situation. You can call the fighting in Afghanistan a war. We are fighting pitched battles with heavy weapons. We were correct to go into Afghanistan to take out the Taliban. We weren't completely successful, so now NATO has agreed to take over the fight.

We are in a war in Iraq, but most of the fighting does not involve terrorists. We are in the middle of a war that revolves around internal Iraqi factions and issues.

So where in the world are we fighting a war with terrorists? Where are we fighting battles with mortars, machine guns, tanks, helicopters, etc.? There are terrorists in Spain. Are we fighting a war there? There are terrorists in Great Britain. Are we fighting a war there? Most of the war on terror is being fought by collecting intelligence, disrupting operations, stopping the flow of money and arresting people. We fight the war on terror with tighter security at air ports and sea ports. Most of the war on terror is not being fought with troops. We have certainly needed our armed forces in the war on terror and may need them again, but military action will not win the war on terror by itself. It is not even the major component.

So when Republican politicians tell you that Democrats don't understand how to fight the war on terror, ask them how they think it should be fought. When they start talking about Iraq, ask them how the war in Iraq and the war on terror are related. Then ask them if we won the war in Iraq tomorrow, would the threat from terrorism go away. Listen to the answer carefully because at this point they will be trying to confuse you because they don't have good answers.

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