Democratic Underground

Dispute the Bogus Claim that Bush is Stronger on Terorism

August 19, 2004
By Robert Devereaux

Bush claims to be a strong decisive leader, best equipped to protect us from terrorism. Dangerous nonsense. Taking his eye off Al Qaeda and lying us into Iraq for reasons of oil and empire have in fact imperiled our beloved nation and given the terrorists a victory.

Former representative Paul Findley (GOP, Illinois) calls Bush's decision to initiate war in Iraq "the greatest and most costly blunder in American history."

Senator Chuck Hagel (GOP, Nebraska) says that the Iraq war has hurt America in its battle against terrorism and that a poorly planned occupation has spread terrorist cells more widely around the world and turned Iraq into a training ground for insurgents.

Vincent Cannistraro, CIA counterterrorism chief under Reagan and Pappa Bush, claims that the Iraq war has accelerated terrorism by "metastasizing Al Qaeda."

According to former senior FBI counterterrorism official Skip Brandon, "The Iraq war is a public relations bonanza for Al Qaeda and a public relations disaster for us."

Paul Krugman rightly calls Bush the "Arabian Candidate," whose ill-planned, ill-executed words and deeds in the Middle East could not have been better designed by the enemy himself.

John Kerry will fight terrorism intelligently and decisively, without compromising America's worthiest ideals, without alienating our allies, and without the arrogance and bluster of the most Machiavellian administration ever foisted upon us.

Highlights of Kerry's plan:

  • A single integrated and effective federal watch list. Improved border security and tighter controls on seaborne and air cargo.

  • Increased protection of critical infrastructure and vulnerable targets such as chemical and nuclear plants.

  • Upgrades in first-responder training and equipment.

  • A focus on effective defenses against bioterrorism.

  • Expand active duty forces by 40,000 soldiers.

  • Double our Special Forces capability.

  • Redirect the National Guard for homeland security.

  • Create a cabinet-level Director of National Intelligence.

  • Reorganize the intelligence community into issue-oriented task forces to focus available resources on the most pressing threats.

  • Double the number of personnel in our clandestine services at home and abroad.

  • Create within the FBI a separate professional track for domestic intelligence.

  • When necessary, disrupt and destroy terrorist networks with direct military action.

  • Cut off the flow of terrorist funds by strengthening anti-money-laundering laws.

  • Shut unresponsive nations out of our financial system.

  • Secure vulnerable bomb-making materials.

  • Prevent the production of new materials for nuclear weapons.

  • Work to end nuclear weapons programs in hostile states.

  • Work with other nations to ensure that Iraq, Afghanistan, and other weak states don't become havens for terrorists.

  • Win the war of ideas by breaking down economic and cultural isolation in Arab and Muslim countries and supporting local efforts to promote democracy, trade, tolerance, and respect for human rights.

  • Promote public diplomacy and international efforts to improve education.

Tossing the scoundrels out has never been more critical to our welfare. Join me in working for the election of a genuine president and the Congress he needs to bring our ship of state back on course.

Robert Devereaux is the author of Santa Steps Out, Caliban and Other Tales, and A Flight of Storks and Angels.

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