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PEACE: Foreign Policy & Terrorism | September 8, 2003



An E-Mail to Two Democratic National Committee Members

I tried to keep an open mind while listening to Bush's speech last night; and at first, it reminded me of his speech after 9-11 -- an inspirational, rational call to defend our nation against those who did us great harm.  I'm sure that's the effect this recent speech was intended to have upon the citizenry, and how most people took it...at least at first.

Upon letting it sink in, however, one has to ask -- and this should be the tack the Democrats take in dealing with the swing voters -- was Iraq really the "central front" of the war on terror?  (It would do no good to argue that no one out there does indeed mean us no harm)  Or has Bush spent lives, money, and international goodwill in the wrong place?  Would not those sacrifices have been better made elsewhere?  Would not the international goodwill that now even he admits we need have been better nurtured than squandered?  He spoke glowingly of two-thirds of Al Qaeda's leaders being captured or killed; but weren't most of them taken by, or at least with the indispensable help of, our allies?

We might be able to make the case to a lot of people that Bush intentionally misled the country into war in Iraq (although there is more than ample evidence to support the case, it is hard to impugn a man's character, especially if he seems sincere to most people); but it is a much easier case to make that even if he meant well, Bush made a big mistake:  Saddam Hussein was no saint, but going after him was not the best next step in our war on terror...and now, we've tied up too many of our resources, in military power and tens or eventually hundreds of billions of dollars in monetary commitments, to continue the work that needs to be done elsewhere.

Before, I thought that if we suffered another devastating terrorist attack before the next election, the people would rally again behind the President; but now I'm not so sure -- Bush has put his credibility on the line that all the sacrifices we're making are making us safer.  But I truly don't believe he's made the best use of our resources to get that job done; and I'm sure I'm not alone in the belief, that fear.

Just so long as the people realize we're not trying to make political hay out of a life-and-death struggle; rather, we're sincerely trying to do the best we can for our nation as a whole, and for freedom...which is not just the cause of the GOP but of all loyal Americans, Democrats included.

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