I hope my title is not misleading. So far there's only been my original post, "Why Kerry's Losing," a comment by "arash," and my response.
I've contacted arash, hopefully he'll respond. For now, here are the comments:
My thoughts are that being able to wage an effective war against terror depends upon more than a blind allegience to our national policies. In fact the dogmatic approach that this current president and administration have applied in launching a unilateral war without the necessary international support of some key allies has weakened our position in many of the Middle Eastern countries that had supported us and created a greater reason for even the most moderate of Arabs to question the U.S. tactics in fighting this war.
To undertsand the enemy's position is not the same as admitting defeat! To gloss over the reasons for the attack and to not address those issues by blanketing the situation by saying that 'the evildoers hate our freedoms' is quite upsetting.
So here we are mired in a situation in Iraq for no apparent reason (or at least none of the ones that were given). We have created what ammounts to another Palestine, in which enemies are created daily by constant strife. We have in effect repeated a history whose lessons we continue to ignore.
Feel free to e-mail me should you choose to respond as I doubt I will happen upon your blog again.
Thanks for stopping by. We welcome debate.
Citizenry should never have blind allegiance to national policy. It's not unpatriotic to debate or to protest policies that you think are bad for the country. I do think some of the "Bush is Hitler," "I support the troops...when they shoot their officers" tripe is unpatriotic. But judging from the sane tone of your comment, I'm not counting you among those people.
I am suggesting that, with eyes wide open, aggressive engagement of terrorists abroad is keeping us safer at home.
By "key allies" I assume you mean allies like France, Germany, and to some extent, Russia. Are you aware that the announced purpose of French foreign policy is to "counter American hegemony?"
Many, including John Kerry, are arguing that we've squandered the good will of the world after 9/11.
I wander at what point, exactly, this "good will" was squandered. Many point to the war in Iraq, but I would place it earlier. The "good will" was gone after we went to Afghanistan. The "good will" of France (and others like Germany and Russia) requires a humbled, defeated, and victimized America. Once we responded militarily, we ceased being victims and lost their "good will."
In other words, the "good will" was not solidarity. It was pity at best and schadenfreude at worst. They agreed that it was a shame that innocents suffered and died, but also thought that we deserved it. If the U.S. learned her lesson, then maybe September 11 might not have been such a bad thing.
What have we lost by squandering that "good will?" For a country that has not accepted defeat and surrender, it was worthless to begin with.
There is truth to your argument that our actions abroad can create terrorists. If you are some on-the-fence potential terrorist and your terrorist uncle gets bombed, you might go looking for some revenge. But let me suggest that an appearance of weakness on our part and success in a spectacular attack on Osama's part drive recruitment much more. Potential terrorists might be willing to lay down their lives, but even they want to feel like their death accomplished something. They want "glorious" deaths, not "cannon-fodder" deaths.
Our lack of action in seriously dealing with Osama before 9/11 invited terrorism more than perceived wrongs. But by keeping the pressure on since 9/11, I believe that we have prevented follow-up attacks.
I agree that it's not weakness to learn about the motivations of your adversary. But just because we learn that they find our material success humiliating doesn't mean we should stop being successful. Just because they find equality of the sexes, freedom of speech, democracy, and capitalism somehow distasteful doesn't mean that's going to stop either.
But that's the end result of multiculturalism as it is currently embodied. The multiculturalists say that all cultures are of equal value. So if one culture somehow humiliates other cultures, then IT must be the problem. Wrong. Right making might. We are a powerful country precisely because of the attributes that they find so distasteful.
You said that we went to Iraq for no apparent reason, or at least not the reasons given. Well, I disagree.
It appears that we may have been wrong about the weapons of mass destruction. I actually think we may yet find these weapons. Nevertheless, literally everyone, including the intelligence services of other nations and even Senator Kerry, thought that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.
In fact, Saddam did have these weapons. He used them on his own people in the 1980's.
Many would have you believe that there was no connection between Saddam and terrorists. This is just not true.
We know of at least one terrorist training camp 30 miles south of Baghdad where they used a 707 fuselage to train in airline hijacking. You'll find more evidence here.
Even with all the problems that we've had in Iraq, do you really believe that our country would have been safer with Saddam in power? Don't you believe that the Iraqi people will ultimately be better off without him (if they're not already better off)? Please keep in mind the mass graves when you answer.
Ultimately it is hoped that an Iraqi democracy in the heart of the Arab world will help spark reform in the region. Surely reform holds more promise than terrorism. That's the hope. And as far fetched as it may sound, I believe that this hope is better than sitting at home hoping that being inoffensive will buy us peace from people who would die to kill us.
My comment was changed only to add hyperlinks to the URL's included in the comment. I'll do the same for arash if he responds with URL's.