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Old 02-05-2004, 12:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Democratic Defection by Edward I. Koch (article)

Unfortunately, I agree with him.

I don't see a democrat out there right now that will do what it takes to answer the threat of terrorism.

Reluctantly, I too will be voting for Bush.

---------------------------------

LINK


Democratic Defection

By Edward I. Koch
Forward | January 12, 2004


I am a lifelong Democrat. I was elected to New York's City Council, Congress and three terms as mayor of New York City on the Democratic Party line. I believe in the values of the Democratic Party as articulated by Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and by Senators Hubert Humphrey, Henry "Scoop" Jackson and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Our philosophy is: "If you need a helping hand, we will provide it." The Republican Party's philosophy, on the other hand, can be summed up as: "If I made it on my own, you will have to do the same."

Nevertheless, I intend to vote in 2004 to reelect President Bush. I will do so despite the fact that I do not agree with him on any major domestic issue, from tax policy to the recently enacted prescription drug law. These issues, however, pale in importance beside the menace of international terrorism, which threatens our very survival as a nation. President Bush has earned my vote because he has shown the resolve and courage necessary to wage the war against terrorism.

The Democratic presidential contenders, unfortunately, inspire no such confidence. With the exception of Senator Joseph Lieberman, who has no chance of winning, the Democrats have decided that in order to get their party's nomination, they must pander to its radical left wing. As a result, the Democratic candidates, even those who voted to authorize the war in Iraq, have attacked the Bush administration for its successful effort to remove a regime that was a sponsor of terrorism and a threat to world peace.

The Democrat now leading in the race, former governor Howard Dean, is a disgrace. His willingness to publicly entertain the slander that President Bush had advance warning of the September 11 attacks and his statement that America is no safer as a result of the capture of Saddam Hussein should have been sufficient to end his candidacy. But the radicals who dominate the primaries love the red meat that is thrown to them, even when it comes from a mad cow.

In contrast, President Bush has confronted the terrorist threat head on. Immediately following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the president presented the core principle of what has become known as the Bush Doctrine, an articulation of American foreign policy that rivals in importance the Monroe Doctrine, which barred foreign imperialism from the Western Hemisphere, and the Truman Doctrine, which sought to contain communism around the world. The Bush Doctrine, simply stated by the president, is: "We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them."

President Bush has lived up to that credo. Under his leadership, Afghanistan was liberated from Al Qaeda's patron, the Taliban. The president also has demonstrated, through the liberation of Iraq from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, that he is willing to wage a preemptive war when he believes the national interests of the United States are endangered.

Even if we never find weapons of mass-destruction in Iraq though I think that we will our military campaign for regime change was justified. If the bodies of a quarter-million Iraqi dissenters killed by Saddam, some tortured with their eyes gouged and tongues cut out, is not proof enough, there is still Saddam's undisputed use of weapons of mass destruction against his own people and Iran. That record is why Congress overwhelmingly voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq.

It is not only in Afghanistan and Iraq that President Bush has risen to meet challenges presented by our increasingly dangerous world. When the president labeled Iraq, Iran and North Korea an "axis of evil," many commentators mocked him. When he threatened Syria, Iran and Libya with serious consequences if they continued to support terrorist groups, there were those who denounced him for being too bellicose. Now, however, it appears that the president's hard line has begun to pay off. Recently, Libya agreed to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction programs and allow in international inspectors. There are even indications that Iran and possibly North Korea may permit international inspection of their nuclear programs.

Nor have the president's critics stopped him from standing up for American interests. Many of those who oppose the Bush Doctrine also criticize the president's opposition to the Kyoto Protocol, the International Criminal Court and his decision to withdraw the United States from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. These actions, however, are well-grounded.

President Bush was correct to oppose the Kyoto Protocol. The treaty would have exempted China and India, which have a combined population of more than 2 billion and are among the world's largest polluters.

As for the new International Criminal Court, it would be downright irresponsible to give this new tribunal the right to indict and try our military personnel for war crimes, given all the enmity directed at the United States nowadays. Instead we should continue to rely on our military justice system, which has an excellent reputation.

President Bush also was right to withdraw from the ABM Treaty. That treaty would have prevented the United States from deploying a shield against nuclear missiles that could be launched by rogue states or terrorists. The president's critics can pontificate about the importance of international institutions all they want, but we have to face facts. North Korea has nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them. Pakistan not only has nuclear weapons, but is suspected of having provided nuclear technology to North Korea, Libya and Iran. The two recent assassination attempts against President Pervez Musharraf highlight the dangers we face. Should Musharraf be removed or killed, no one knows who will ultimately control Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. It would have been negligent for President Bush to allow our hands to remain tied at a time when we need to be exploring every option to defend ourselves.

This record and the Democratic candidates' irresponsible rhetoric are the reasons why I will vote for a second term for President Bush. This does not mean, however, that I have given up on my party and its principles. To the contrary, I will continue to fight against the president's domestic agenda. I also hope to support the Democratic effort to take back the presidency in 2008, but it is up to the Democratic Party to show that it can be entrusted with our nation's security.

Edward I. Koch, who served as mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989, is a partner in the law firm of Bryan Cave.
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Old 02-05-2004, 01:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm very much behind GWB on his own merits but this article makes clear what the most important issues are by a very long shot.

This is a historic moment and it would very good if more people could see it - as does Ed Koch.
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Old 02-05-2004, 01:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I sincerely believe that the majority of people have a hard time moving beyond their own immediate surroundings and times to encompass world events and history.

Young people today think of WW2 as ancient history, on par with the War of the Roses, the Hundred Years war and the War of 1812, when the reality is, those events are still shaping world politics today (not to mention that there are plenty of people who remember the real fears and hardships that accompanied that war.)

So it is hard for the average person to really really understand world politics and other cultures. (And I am not claiming to be an expert at it). They don't understand that they could be in real danger from anyone (except possibly the crummy neighbor next door or their own government).

No, Iran, North Korea, even China, it's too nebulous to them.

It takes an event like 9/11 to shake them up, and then if they did not know someone who died, it is too much like watching the Death Star get destroyed: it just isn't real to them.

Add a 30 second sound bite culture and the memory quickly fades.
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Old 02-05-2004, 02:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Two gigantic intelligence failures under Bush's watch that have resulted in the deaths of over 3500 Americans. Sorry, but I think the democratic nominee will either be just as, if not more competent.
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Old 02-05-2004, 02:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sparhawk
Two gigantic intelligence failures under Bush's watch that have resulted in the deaths of over 3500 Americans. Sorry, but I think the democratic nominee will either be just as, if not more competent.
Shall I point out that Clinton was offered Osama Bin Laden and he said, "no, thanks"?
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Old 02-05-2004, 02:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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That was a policy decision. Accepting Osama would have come with the strings of having to recognize that particular government and offer some foreign aid to them. Seeing as how it is one of the mid-east nations that sponsor terrorists Clinton said "No thanks".

Also I don't see how Bush is benefiting our national security. We blew an obscene amount of money in Iraq which we can at least all now see was a waste and should have gone to other more pressing security matters. Saddam had and was building nothing that could harm us and was not sponsoring terrorists with a connection to aims against america.

Additionally Bush has cut funding in this fiscal years budget (and has declined to raise the funding after 9/11) for first responders, and has done so dramatically and has YET to offer any substantial amount of money to secure our ports and borders. Our ports are still running at the same level they were pre 9/11 and we are letting billions of cargo containers through them uninspected.

Also read up on these google search terms (all at once). USS Cole Richard Clarke Osama Afghanistan

We had a plan finished in october of Clintons last year in response to the Cole bombing, before Clinton left office, to attack and take out Al Qaeda. Instead of starting the war right away and handing it to a new president mid stream Clinton handed the plans off to Condi and Bush to do with as they see fit with Richard Clarke prodding action (He was Clintons National Security Advisor and he crafted the plan). Bush dismissed it. It's possible 9/11 would not have happened had Bush taken action then. Consequently that exact same plan was used after 9/11 to finally take out the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Richard Clarke has a book coming out titled Against All Enemies : Inside the White House's War on Terror--What Really Happened March 2004. You should check it out before you set your decision in stone.

Last edited by Superbelt; 02-05-2004 at 02:46 PM..
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Old 02-05-2004, 02:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Superbelt,

I'm sorry but, WTF?

"It was a policy decision"?!?!?


This is not a slam, but I expect you to be more than a Clinton appologist.

Osama was involved in the first WTC bombing and Clinton DIDN'T take him when he was offered!

Face it, Clinton screwed up. The intelligence community, under Clinton SCREWED UP.


Believe it or not, I'm not slamming Clinton as much as I am the intelligence community. I am also trying to illustrate how absurd it is to lay this 100% at Bush's feet.

(I will say that if Clinton had acted stronger when the first WTC attack happened, I doubt there would have been a second. So there is plenty of failure to spread around.)
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Old 02-05-2004, 04:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm sorry to see you reading such drivel Lebelll.
That artical is no more "fair and balanced" than Fox or CNN.

Honestly, as a centrist democrat i can't find anything in that i agree with besides that milatary personal should be charged by our own, not an international court. And even then, i think allie natons should have the right to file against our soldiers since we have held court for allied nations men before. Equal ability to hold our fellow/allied countries soldiers should a crime be commited is part of co-operation.

Also, as for this:
Quote:
Even if we never find weapons of mass-destruction in Iraq though I think that we will our military campaign for regime change was justified. If the bodies of a quarter-million Iraqi dissenters killed by Saddam, some tortured with their eyes gouged and tongues cut out, is not proof enough, there is still Saddam's undisputed use of weapons of mass destruction against his own people and Iran. That record is why Congress overwhelmingly voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq.
How can i nicely say this? I don't care.
At 3am this past Monday, Collin Powell admited to a congressional sub-commitiee that there may have never been WMD's.
As for liberating a peoples? not our business. I'm sorry but I hate seeing our country in other countries. No one elected us as the keepers of the rights of other nations, and no one is paying us to be their police force, so america has no responsability or moral argument to be there. I do not pay my tax dollars to liberate other nations or send out long term deployments when we haven't finished in Afgahnistan yet, where we actually had a reason for going. Iraq is a distraction from what is important, routing out and killing Bin Laden. Lets get back to the job at hand.

And Democrats will forget the allegations that Iraq possesed WMD's about as fast as Republicans let go of the phrase "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
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Old 02-05-2004, 04:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by arch13
I'm sorry to see you reading such drivel Lebell.

No hard feelings.

I feel sorry that you can't see the truth in Koch's words.

But to each their own.
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Old 02-05-2004, 04:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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It is an important policy decision when you consider this:
Is Sudan Terrorism's new Mecca? (1997, the year after we were offered Osama)
Quote:
Is Sudan terrorism's new Mecca, or a victim of anti-Islamic fear? If you ask Sheik Hassan al-Turabi, leader of Sudan's National Islamic Front, Sudan has no connections to terrorism and is being falsely accused because of its Islamic affiliation. However, if you ask any of Sudan's bordering neighbors, the image of terrorism is quite vivid.

In a time when terrorist oriented countries such as Iran and Libya were tempering their passion for openly funding terrorism, an unlikely supporter emerged. Who would have thought that a country desperately trying to stabilize after a 1989 coup d'etat, engulfed in civil war for the past thirteen years, and economically crippled would openly engage in terrorist activities?
U.S.-Sudan Terrorism Ties Spell Disaster for Anti-Khartoum Activists
Quote:
When President George W. Bush announced his "war" against terrorism, activists who have lobbied hard to persuade Congress to impose far-reaching sanctions against Sudan's National Islamic Front (NIF) government for what they say is "genocidal" repression against the South thought victory was theirs at last. Not only had the NIF hosted the prime suspect, Osama bin Laden, from 1991 to 1996, but the State Department only last April, in its annual report on terrorism, said Khartoum was still being "used as a safe haven of various groups, including associates of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda organization."

"Sudan must be seen as an essential piece of the (terrorism) puzzle," said Nina Shea, a member of the quasi-governmental U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom shortly after Bush's announcement.
They may not be up to the level of the "Axis of Evil" but, Cuba Serbia and Sudan join to make the 'Axis of Somewhat Evil'

Clinton made a decision to not cooperate with a terrorist nation. Additionally we only had suspicions, not proof that Osama had masterminded the first attack on the WTC. Is that enough to risk strengthening another terroristic nation? Hindsight tells us yes. but I think from what he had to work with he made the right decision at the time.
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Old 02-05-2004, 04:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
Hindsight tells us yes. but I think from what he had to work with he made the right decision at the time.
So we are agreeing that hindsight is great but that we shouldn't be so quick to judge based on it and that politicians make decisions on the things they know at the time?
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Old 02-05-2004, 04:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Yes, and I don't blame Bush for much. Though by that time we did have proof that Osama was actively targeting attacks on the US, like what he did to the Cole. Clinton still shares equal to greater blame because he didn't have a handle on our squabbling intelligence community.

But Bush's share, plus the fact that he is slashing our first responders budget and NOT proposing anything substantial to secure our borders means that he is NOT "do[ing] what it takes to answer the threat of terrorism."
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Old 02-05-2004, 07:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell
Shall I point out that Clinton was offered Osama Bin Laden and he said, "no, thanks"?
You're right, I suppose I can credit Bush's Global War on Terrorism for finally bringing him to justice.
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Old 02-05-2004, 07:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Sparhawk
You're right, I suppose I can credit Bush's Global War on Terrorism for finally bringing him to justice.
Not yet.

But you can credit Bush for the fact that OBL no longer has a safe place to hide and plan to kill you.
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Old 02-05-2004, 08:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Two gigantic intelligence failures under Bush's watch that have resulted in the deaths of over 3500 Americans. Sorry, but I think the democratic nominee will either be just as, if not more competent.
Well, you're all forgetting another failure, even before the Cole. The FBI got ahold of Osama's sattalite phone, and was listening for quite some time, tracking his movements, and listening in.

The brand-new FBI director appointed by Clinton threw out every major rule in operational security and flat out bragged to reporters. Osama got word of this... and stopped using it. A few months later the Cole got attacked.

Please... how is Bush responsible for this? If that dick had paid attention to the rules we would have A) prevented 9/11, or B) at least be able to kill him immediately afterwards.
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Old 02-05-2004, 11:07 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Not to mention Clinton failed to extradite OBL twice.
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Old 02-05-2004, 11:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I would like to read more letters of the same nature as this one.

I don't personally believe that a current running democrat can beat Bush and throwing mud won't help.

We must remember that our borders are very open. This enhances our way of life. It also lends to easy entry by terrorists. How much liberty and freedom do we want to give away "just in case" someone decides to commit a terrorist act?

I also would not want to be serving in our military if a democrat becomes president. I served under Clinton and it was the worst years in my 21.
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Old 02-06-2004, 02:03 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell
But you can credit Bush for the fact that OBL no longer has a safe place to hide and plan to kill you.
And you know this... how exactly? Seriously, if you know something I don't, please share.
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Old 02-06-2004, 05:50 AM   #19 (permalink)
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The President's attitude toward Pakistan makes us safer?

Quote:
THE ATTEMPT by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to whitewash his country's marketing of nuclear weapons technology to rogue dictatorships and sponsors of terrorism comes as no surprise. The general and his government have been lying for years about the illegal traffic. Now that their cover has been blown by evidence supplied to the United Nations by Libya and Iran, they are attempting to pin all the blame on a single scientist while stonewalling any international investigation. On Wednesday Abdul Qadeer Khan, the chief designer of Pakistan's atomic weapons, confessed on television to selling his work through an international black market and claimed he acted alone -- contradicting his previous implication of Mr. Musharraf and other top generals. Yesterday Mr. Musharraf duly pardoned him, called him a hero and declared that Pakistan would not supply documentation to the International Atomic Energy Agency or admit its investigators.

Such belligerence could be expected from a military ruler. What's hard to believe is the Bush administration's reaction to it. Rather than moving to impose sanctions on Pakistan -- action that might be expected for a government that has been caught providing the technology for nuclear weapons to such countries as Iran, Libya and North Korea -- it has swallowed his coverup and even congratulated him on it. "We value the commitments Mr. Musharraf has made to prevent the expertise in Pakistan from reaching other places," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said yesterday. "We think that Pakistan is taking serious efforts to end the activities of a dangerous network." As for the pardon of Mr. Khan -- who by Pakistan's account is probably the worst criminal in the history of nuclear weapons proliferation -- "I don't think it's a matter for the United States to sit in judgment on," Mr. Boucher said.

President Bush has said since Sept. 11, 2001, that his first mission as president is to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction to terrorists and the regimes that sponsor them. His national security doctrine declares that even preemptive military action is justified in order to stop it. Yet now that Pakistan's regime has been caught making such transfers, his administration is seemingly prepared to accept its implausible alibi, allow the very generals who oversaw the traffic to investigate it, and trust that they won't do it again. There's no need for U.S. or U.N. action, suggests Mr. Boucher: "What penalties, sanctions, controls or steps are used to prevent it from happening again, those are up for individual governments to decide," he said. "It's up to the Pakistani government to make sure that this sort of thing doesn't happen again." Iran and North Korea, which are facing U.S. demands for intrusive international inspections and the threat of a referral to the U.N. Security Council, may take comfort from those words.

The administration's dilemma is that it has banked its policy toward Pakistan on its relationship with Mr. Musharraf, who has been showered with aid and praise in exchange for half-measures against terrorism and promises about stopping proliferation. Perhaps there is no alternative to a relationship with the general. But that relationship cannot be the only defense against further delivery of Pakistan's nuclear weapons technology to enemies of the United States. Mr. Bush should insist that Pakistan supply the details of its trafficking to the IAEA and allow outside monitoring of its programs. Stopping Pakistan's proliferation is vital to U.S. security. It cannot be left to Mr. Musharraf to decide how or whether it will be done.
link
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Old 02-06-2004, 08:45 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Nice letter as it points out the facts that people should be looking at rather than the petty excuses being used to castigate the man they hate so much.

The "Bush Doctrine" is a key point that has absolutely made the nation safer. The biggest failure of our government (yes our WHOLE government, not just Bush or the Republicans but every damned Congressman, Senator, and President from Reagan on in every party) is rolling over in response to repeated terrorist attacks for more than two decades.

It all started with the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon. Terrorists learned they could kill Marines with no consequences.

They moved on to civilians on the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie Scotland. They learned they could kill US citizens in other parts of the world with no consequences.

They decided to take on a bigger project and attack the infrastructure of the US by bombing the World Trade Center the first time. Terrorists learned that they had to do it bigger and that a cleric or two might be imprisoned.

Then came bombings of the USS Cole and some embassies. Again terrorists were shown they could kill Americans and go virtually untouched.

Then they decided on 9/11. After the murder of hundreds over the course of many years, they upped that number to thousands.

Finally they learned that there can and will be consequences to their actions. Not just for the terrorists but for all those who support them. The invasion of Iraq showed that defiance isn't an option for "rogue" nations. The doctrine of pre-emptive attacks opened the door and thrust a muzzle through it. If you want to go against us with the threat of violence that muzzle will be pointed at you.

All I have to say is IT'S ABOUT DAMNED TIME. The last thing we need to teach the terrorists at this point is that we're going to roll over again. And rolling over is exactly what the Democratic candidates are proposing.

Thanks, Ed Koch for not only thinking clearly but sharing your opinion with everyone.
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Old 02-06-2004, 08:54 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sparhawk
And you know this... how exactly? Seriously, if you know something I don't, please share.
I know this because we invaded the country that provided him safe harbor and refused to turn him over to us after 9/11.

I thought this was common knowledge.
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Old 02-06-2004, 08:56 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sparhawk
The President's attitude toward Pakistan makes us safer?

So are you advocating a war with Pakistan or what?
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Old 02-06-2004, 09:29 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell
I know this because we invaded the country that provided him safe harbor and refused to turn him over to us after 9/11.

I thought this was common knowledge.
Yeah, so now he's moved on, as he has for the last 15 years. So, where is he again?

Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell
So are you advocating a war with Pakistan or what?
Nice false choice there. No, I'm advocating that Bush develop a real spine, as opposed to the faux one you are so in love with, and push Pakistan to accept international inspections and monitoring as a condition for aid, not as a potential result of it.

While we're at it, how about taking another look at the *real* source of the Sept 11 attacks: Saudi Arabia. Without the financial support of Bush's buds, the Crown Prince and his 2,000 Prince-Cousins, would this have ever happened? And what's being done in terms of leverage on the Saudis to prevent it from happening again?

Bush's relations with these two countries stink of the worst kind of hypocracy.
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Old 02-06-2004, 09:46 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Again. How is THIS making our nation safer?

Quote:
The Bush Administration's 2004 budget proposed gutting Veterans Administration (VA) services, including health care funding. Proposed cuts included: denying at least 360,000 veterans access to health care; $250 annual premiums; increased pharmacy co-payments; a 30 percent increased primary care co-payments; and increased waiting time for a first medical appointment.

Because of budgetary shortfalls, the VA suspended the enrollment of veterans not injured in service earning between $24,450 and $38,100 annually. VFW officials estimated the administration's VA budget is at least $2 billion short of meeting the demand for quality health care.

The FY 2004 budget approved by Congress calls for reducing VA funding over a 10-year period by $6.2 billion. Cuts are in the areas of veterans' health care and disability benefits.

The Bush Administration's budget proposal would have under-funded the VA by more than $2 billion. Bush's proposal would have cut the number of employees available to process disability claims, yet veterans already wait more than six months for a review of disability applications. The Bush plan for dealing with the waiting lists at VA clinics and hospitals is to reduce the number of veterans treated by the VA.
It may be odd, but I believe morale of our troops can go a long way to the success of our military as a whole.
I think it is entirely appropriate to thank our military forces with adequate health care.

Or maybe this is all part of Bush's strategy. Deny the soldiers health care and they will fight like never before! Cause God knows you can't get yourself injured and expect any type of decent treatment when you return to the states. It becomes all or nothing!
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Old 02-06-2004, 09:58 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sparhawk
Yeah, so now he's moved on, as he has for the last 15 years. So, where is he again?
Wherever he is ATM, he is not in a country that is openly hosting him. The world learned what will happen to such a country.

And yes, this is a good thing.

If you can't see this, then we will have to agree to disagree.

Quote:

Nice false choice there. No, I'm advocating that Bush develop a real spine, as opposed to the faux one you are so in love with, and push Pakistan to accept international inspections and monitoring as a condition for aid, not as a potential result of it.
There was no "false choice". If I had done that, I would have left the "or what" out.

You chose to take this thread to Pakistan, presumably comparing the situation to what the US has already done, so logically, that meant going to war.

Since I couldn't believe that was your position, I left you the out.

I will address your follow-up now.

International inspections of Pakistan might be a good idea, they might not. I will frankly need more information before I formulate my opinion.

So I am not "in love" with Bush's "faux spine" and frankly, I am getting tired of the level of negative sarcasm you are directing at me.

Quote:
While we're at it, how about taking another look at the *real* source of the Sept 11 attacks: Saudi Arabia. Without the financial support of Bush's buds, the Crown Prince and his 2,000 Prince-Cousins, would this have ever happened? And what's being done in terms of leverage on the Saudis to prevent it from happening again?

Bush's relations with these two countries stink of the worst kind of hypocracy.
Fine, let's take a look at Saudi Arabia.

They have been cracking down on fundamentalists. Mullahs have been preaching terrorism is bad.

What more do you want?
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Old 02-06-2004, 10:04 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Superbelt
Again. How is making our nation safer?
Superbelt,

Did you even read the OpEd?

Koch, a DEMOCRAT, himself said he didn't like everything Bush is doing. And frankly, neither do I.

But the fact is Bush isn't rolling over on taking the fight to them, which I think all the Dems still in the race would do. (I don't think Leiberman would, but oh well.)

The only thing left between you and me is that we disagree that the fight is necessary.
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Old 02-06-2004, 11:01 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell
we will have to agree to disagree.
okey dokey. sorry about the 'casm, I was having a 'moment'.
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Old 02-06-2004, 11:05 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Sparhawk
okey dokey. sorry about the 'casm, I was having a 'moment'.
No hard feelings.

-Cheers
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Old 02-06-2004, 11:44 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I'd just like to say that regardless of your personal opinion many people in america today feel just as Koch does, including me. I consider myself a moderate democrat.

I dont need an argument back to me specifically because my minds pretty much set barring some major event. Bush has really reached out to the moderate voter, pissing off conservatives who will vote for him anyways, while the Democrats are seeking the nomination so are showing themselves as hippy liberals which does not win elections. Sorry Joe you should be President but your party has chosen Dubya instead.
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Old 02-06-2004, 02:12 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I'm sorry if I don't see where you are coming from Lebell.

Who is Bush taking the fight to? The only real fight he is engaging in is with Al Qaeda, and I would hope you don't actually believe that a democrat in the white house would have let that one slide without going after them.

We now know that Iraq was not necessary whatsoever and David Kay has reacted to Tenet's recent speech and thinks it has "raised the possibility that the intelligence community had been telling the White House one thing and the White House had been hearing something else." He said the issue of whether politicians manipulated data to make the case for war "is an important question that needs to be understood".

Finally, we don't disagree on whether or not the fight against terrorism is necessary. We just disagree on the methods we need to use and and the priorities.
You think that fighting Iraq was a goal in the war on terrorism. I think our priorities, and of course much of the money used to fight the Iraq war, should be focused on securing our borders and not firing tens of thousands of policemen, firemen and EMT's. (actually hiring more)
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Old 02-06-2004, 03:59 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
I'm sorry if I don't see where you are coming from Lebell.
No problem.

I really do enjoy a rational discussion, which for the most part this is.

Quote:
Who is Bush taking the fight to? The only real fight he is engaging in is with Al Qaeda, and I would hope you don't actually believe that a democrat in the white house would have let that one slide without going after them.
You asked a sincere question and I will do my best to provide my own answer (understanding that you probably won't agree with it).

The "War on Terror" is easy to say, but hard to define. The things that have to be considered in this whole mess are:

-Culture: Arab culture is undeniably different than western culture. It is a blend of nomadic tribalism, religion and history. And frankly, I think as a whole, the culture has an inferiority complex.

-History: It is impossible to ignore the thousands of years of history in the region, including the rise of Islam, the conquering, reconquering and reconquering yet again of various areas. This includes both internal strife and external forces, such as the Ottomans and the British.

-Religion: Impossible to ignore (obviously, I think), the culture and history of the region has transformed Islam from a unifying force for good, into a rallying cry for these tribal/nation state units. Much of the time, it is used to justify killing between different tribes/sects. Unfortunately, those who want to use it to unify the Arab world need a boogie man to do it, and that right now is US.

-Oil. Again, impossible to ignore. Like it or not, the entire WORLD (not just the west) requires oil to run. Our entire civilization is built on energy which for the most part is built on oil. So naturally those nations that have this resouce will use it to their political advantage. And those who don't have this resource will maneuver as best as they can to secure their own supply.

Is this good or bad?

It's neither.

While we can argue fossil fuels, global warming, etc., that is a separate argument. Right now we are simply talking about supply and demand of a precious resource and the inevitable politics that will surround ANY such situation.


-Israel. Ah, little Israel, such a small country with such big geo-political influence/affect. Israel is another buggaboo for the Arabs. Israel returns to their homeland, fights for it, wins and creates a permanent grudge with all Arabs. Never mind historical arguments. Never mind practical arguments. Arab mindset is that Israel insulted the Arab world (basically by kicking their asses several times) and for that, Israel can never be allowed to exist.

Oh sure, we can argue the Palestinian issue, but if the Arabs really felt that was the issue, we would have had a Palestinian state back in 1946.


SOOO, all of these things factor into the situation as it is today. And to adequately address the situation these must be addressed. Unfortunately, some of them are simply out of our hands.

We cannot make Israel and the Palestinians come to a peace agreement (although we are trying). We can't magically change the fact that the 21st century world runs on oil (although we are working on that too). We can't make the Arabs feel better about themselves (although we give money out the wazoo to nations like Egypt and Turkey). So what is left?

Well, diplomacy where possible and where not, the sword.

Whether or not we like it, the Arab culture is very strongly into the whole "weak/strong/macho" image. We can't make them like us, so the only solution is that when an arab nation harbors our enemies, we punish them. Severely.

And it's already working.

I don't know how old you are, but I remember very clearly how much Libya was considered a threat. Quaddafi sponsered terrorists who blew up planes, he attacked his neighbors and was also pursuing nukes.

Now he sees that we aren't afraid to take someone like him out.

Note once again, this didn't happen after negotiation and diplomacy (which we have used repeatedly with Libya), it happened after we took out the Taliban and Saddam.

Yes, sometimes force, raw, naked force, is necessary.

And those nations who don't acknowledge it do so at their peril.


Quote:
We now know that Iraq was not necessary whatsoever and David Kay has reacted to Tenet's recent speech and thinks it has "raised the possibility that the intelligence community had been telling the White House one thing and the White House had been hearing something else." He said the issue of whether politicians manipulated data to make the case for war "is an important question that needs to be understood".
Unfortunately, I am not in the intelligence community or in the government where I can form such an opinion.

Right now, with the information I have, I believe we have been justified in what we've done.

I am 100% sure that 9/11 happened and that OBL is responsible and that Afghanistan was harboring him.

I am less sure about WMD's in Iraq, but I know that Saddam did other things that cause me to weep not.

And I also know that Iraq and Afghanistan were good examples of what will happen to those nations that support terrorists.

Quote:
Finally, we don't disagree on whether or not the fight against terrorism is necessary. We just disagree on the methods we need to use and and the priorities.
You think that fighting Iraq was a goal in the war on terrorism. I think our priorities, and of course much of the money used to fight the Iraq war, should be focused on securing our borders and not firing tens of thousands of policemen, firemen and EMT's. (actually hiring more)
Well, no, I didn't know that, but it's good to hear.

Maybe I should say again that I don't agree with Bush on everything he's done either and that securing the boarders would definitely be a good thing, IMO.
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Old 02-06-2004, 04:27 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Blah Blah Blah. If Bush wanted to more effectively protect the U.S. he should have invaded Saudi Arabia and North Korea. The CIA never said Iraq posed an imminent danger. I will be voting against Bush because has protected our nation so poorly.
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Old 02-07-2004, 06:08 PM   #33 (permalink)
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As a result, the Democratic candidates, even those who voted to authorize the war in Iraq, have attacked the Bush administration for its successful effort to remove a regime that was a sponsor of terrorism and a threat to world peace.
The regime that didn't have any significant weapon capabilities was a threat to world peace?

Quote:
His willingness to publicly entertain the slander that President Bush had advance warning of the September 11 attacks and his statement that America is no safer as a result of the capture of Saddam Hussein should have been sufficient to end his candidacy.
How is America safer now if Saddam didn't pose a threat to us, as Tenet recently admitted?

Quote:
The Bush Doctrine, simply stated by the president, is: "We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them."
If this was really the doctrine we were following, we would have invaded Saudia Arabia or gotten more involved with Israel and Palestine. Iraq is not known for harboring or producing terrorists the way these places are.


Quote:
If the bodies of a quarter-million Iraqi dissenters killed by Saddam, some tortured with their eyes gouged and tongues cut out, is not proof enough, there is still Saddam's undisputed use of weapons of mass destruction against his own people and Iran. That record is why Congress overwhelmingly voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq.
Koch is wrong. That record is not why Congress voted to authorize war, for if it was, why wouldn't we have gone to war in the 80's when these things happened? When Saddam gassed Halabjah, Rumsfeld was still traveling there to shake his hand. I don't dispute that Iraq is probably better off now than it was under Hussein, but why are we twisting and manipulating our motives?


Quote:
As for the new International Criminal Court, it would be downright irresponsible to give this new tribunal the right to indict and try our military personnel for war crimes, given all the enmity directed at the United States nowadays. Instead we should continue to rely on our military justice system, which has an excellent reputation.
Actually, I think a commitment to hold our troops to these high standards would have helped to buy back, in large part, the international trust and compassion that we lost by fighting this pre-emptive war. What kind of message does it send when you start wars and appear to exempt your own soldiers from accountability?


Despite these gripes I have with his argument, I think Koch has touched upon an unfortunate kind of voting dilemma that many of us are faced with, whether left or right of center. (I think Ustwo, bless his conservative soul, once mentioned a sort of inverted version of Koch's dilemma, that he liked Bush's foreign policy but thought he was too liberal domestically ).

On the new Bill Maher show, a few people were talking about how there is such a broad field of candidates that no one has the right to say he or she isn't represented. The problem is that though the field is large, only a few candidates have even a blind stab at the presidency itself; in addition, the candidates are alike on too many issues.
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Old 02-07-2004, 08:46 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I don't go for Bush's version of Offense as Defense.

What did we accomplish by taking over Iraq?

Q) Did we deter other would-be terrorists from attacking the US?
A) Short-term, maybe, long-term, hell no. We are now World Enemy #1, dead center in the crosshairs of every maniac with a grudge against the US. I believe this is just the calm before the storm -- the enemy has a looooong time to regroup, and will.

Q) Did we deter rogue nations from wanting to acquire WMD?
A) Not in my opinion. A leopard doesn't change his spots, and Gadaffi, for example, is a proven predator. Is it truly to be believed that he revealed his WMD only because he feared reprisal? Might not the release of crippling sanctions be his motivation? Hell, he can go back and get his WMD off the black market AFTER billions and billions are pumped back into his country. I also believe that rogue nations will also seek to exploit the rift created between the US and its allies in Europe. Will Europe sit idle again, while the US contemplates going after, say, Iran?

Q) Have we destroyed Al Qaeda?
A) IMO, No way. We arrested a few of the top leaders...big deal. I'm sure this hasn't stopped or even slowed down recruitment. Hastened it, most likely. For every top guy they got, there will now be 100's of rich, educated, capable men waiting to fill their spots. Look at the culture of the Palestinians. Dressing their children in bomb suits, state-sponsored education of hatred. Picture this scenario in Muslim countries worldwide. An assembly line of future leaders for Al Qaeda.

When the US says they are extracting their Military from Iraq in August, the fact remains that whatever government comes to power will be seen as a puppet government, and will be under constant internal and external pressure and hostility. Those who point to Afghanistan as an American success story are premature. There are daily attempts made on the Afghan President and his Cabinet's lives. He is constantly surrounded by American Military security. The country outside of the city of Kabul (where the majority of the American presence is) remains lawless, corrupt, and rabidly anti-American. American soldiers are still being targeted and occasionally killed by insurgents or bandits or god knows who. Foreign aid groups are constant targets of violence and intimidation. To underscore this concern look no further than a major springtime US military operation upcoming, the largest military effort against the re-growing Taliban since the original invasion. Wonder how much press this will get..

Bush would be realistic in his concept of Offense as Defense only if it included finishing off the enemy completely. Total anhiliation and re-colonization. This is dealing with the enemy realistically. The enemy is not interested in talking things over peacefully. This is the dilemna.

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Old 02-08-2004, 01:55 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Clinton never had the opportunity to capture Osama in Sudan. I'm surprised that this hoary campire tale is still getting passed around. But then again, maybe I shouldn't be.

The claim that Osama was in the Sudan was traced back to a single individual of ambiguous reputation, and the Sudanese government never said a thing about Osama's presence or lack thereof, let alone handing him over.

And about Koch's assessment: "President Bush has earned my vote because he has shown the resolve and courage necessary to wage the war against terrorism." I guess Clinton's notorious obsession with combating terrorism wasn't commonly advertised to the public. Nor was the following administration's aggressive refusal to carry it over (up until 9/11) talked about much. I've seen persuasive arguments made that the current administration's adamant stonewalling of Clarke's program was a not insiginificant contributor to the likelihood of an attack, specifically peformed by 747s and operated by men of Middle Eastern descent.
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Old 02-08-2004, 02:20 AM   #36 (permalink)
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I think that people who read this forum, and I hope the people who run the country will start to see what I am saying, and now I see others agree. Democratic Party GET A BETTER MESSENGER!!!
Kerry will change his colors for his advantage, not yours or the country's.
HE JUST WANTS TO BE PRESIDENT
He has been working at it for 40 years.
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Old 02-08-2004, 02:42 PM   #37 (permalink)
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jcookc...."he's been working at it for 40 years"

Umm..at least he's been working at it instead of the person in office who kinda inherited it...

i dont' see how it's relevant either way
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Old 02-08-2004, 04:34 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I'll let the rest go as a disagreement between the two of us.

Quote:
And it's already working.

I don't know how old you are, but I remember very clearly how much Libya was considered a threat. Quaddafi sponsered terrorists who blew up planes, he attacked his neighbors and was also pursuing nukes.

Now he sees that we aren't afraid to take someone like him out.

Note once again, this didn't happen after negotiation and diplomacy (which we have used repeatedly with Libya), it happened after we took out the Taliban and Saddam.

Yes, sometimes force, raw, naked force, is necessary.

And those nations who don't acknowledge it do so at their peril.
Except for this part.
Quaddafi did not decide to disarm because of what we did to the Taliban and Saddam. Libya was already intensely into negotiations with the US government and the families of the Pan-Am Flights victims long before we went into Iraq. They have also been actively disarming since before the Iraq War 2 as well. Quaddafi's announcement was done in the hopes of bringing attention to what he has been doing and hopefully getting some deals in the process.

If anything this is a convergence of interests as Mohamar sees Bush as a possibly ally to get rid of the fundamentalist insurgence in his own country. He's another man in the same vein as Saddam who runs a mostly secular government and have the religious breathing down his neck for a coup.
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Old 02-08-2004, 05:00 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I, too, agree with Koch. I don't believe that any of the Democrats could succesfully execute the War on Terror, and for me right now, that is priority number one. I am now willing to accept that Iraq may not have posed an imminent threat, but I still support the war, based on Saddam's track-record, and on the fact that Iraq could still harbor terrorists. And even though we haven't found Osama yet, I'm not sure if it matters anymore. Al-Qaeda has taken on a more formless shape now, and Osama provides nothing except perhaps a rallying figure hidden in the shadows. He is no longer the fearless leader of a powerful organization; his role is now uncertain, and because of that it may not be important to catch him. I would certainly love to, of course, to see that he comes to justice for the actions that he has taken. But we now have more important targets in the War on Terrorism. And I think Bush is the right person to lead us in this war.
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Old 02-08-2004, 08:31 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by goateebird
I, too, agree with Koch. I don't believe that any of the Democrats could succesfully execute the War on Terror, and for me right now, that is priority number one.
That turns out not to be the case.

Starting in 1993, Clinton's storied obsession against terrorism led to thwarted plots to assassinate the Pope, blow up twelve jetliners, the United Nations, the FBI building, the Isreali embassy in Washington. LAX and the Boston airport, the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, and the GW Bridge. And CIA headquarters in 1996, which was supposed to have been executed with a commerical jetliner.

Let me explain how he was involved in this, rather than his administration merely being in office at the time of these events.

He tripled the FBI counterterrorism budget. Specifically counterterrorism. He also doubled overall counterrorism funding. Two anti-crime bills with specific and detailed attention to terrorism. A national stockpile of drugs and vaccines, his idea. Creation of a top-level security post to coordinate federal counterterrorist activity.

And the Republican legislature fought him every inch of the way, because they thought he was throwing money away. Isn't that ironic?

After the African embassy bombings in 1998, Clinton issued an executive order authorizing the assassination of bin Laden.

Richard Clarke was to be the man who would take the charge to the Bush administration and administer the holy terror of vengeance in repsonse to the attack on the USS Cole in 2000. He worked furiously. He worked ambitiously. A strategy paper outlining systematic freezing of assets, breaking up al Qaeda cells, cutting off fake charities, and dramatically increasing covert ops in Afghanistan.

This was the hallmark of the Clinton administration. To quote John DiIulio, the former head of Bush's Office of Faith-Based Inititatives, "Every domestic [issue] drew multiple policy analyses that certainly weighed politics, media messages, legislative strategy, et cetera, but also strongly weighted policy-relevant information, simulated substantive policy debate, and put a premium on policy knowledge. That is simply not Bush's style."

They took Clarke's initiative and wiped their asses with it. They dragged on with meeting after pointless meeting, until September 10th, 2001, when Ashcroft sent him a note telling him his initiative was not going to be accepted. That day, he also sent his Justice Dept. budget request to Bush. None of the 68 items dealt with terrorism.

During this time, CIA Director George Tenet issued a paper to Bush entitled, cryptically, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S." Former senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman issued three security reports which championed the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, a castrated version of which exists today. The Hard-Rudman Commission decided unanimously that "the security of the American homeland from the threats of the new century should be the primary national security mission of the U.S. government."

In July of 2001, let's not forget Kenneth Williams, the FBI agent who reported concerns about some Middle Eastern students at an aviation school in Phoenix (a matter of which it can be arguably said at this point would never had been explored without Clinton's dominating influence). The concern was that the students had no interest in learning how to land or take off.

When the INS arrested Zacharias Moussaoui on August 16, 2001, the arresting agent said with chilling prescience, "he was the type of person who could fly something into the World Trade Center."


...Now imagine if Gore, Clinton's right- hand man, had been in office this whole time, busily continuing his former boss's tireless war against terrorism.

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