Originally Posted by RatCatcher
Bush may not be the best speaker, but I believe he is sincere. I don't think he is the greatest President, but he is the right man for the job when it comes to fighting terrorism. I shudder to think how Kerry would react. He would probably pull out the troops like the Spaniards just did. There's nothing like having the Al Quaeda determine the outcome of your elections.
Do you honestly believe that anyone who was president on 9-11 would not have gone after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan? That's the most significant thing that we have done to combat terrorism and the big fish are still out there. Deposing Hussein may have made Iraq safer for some Iraqis right now, and I'm glad he's gone, but I don't believe that it has made us particularly safer here at home. We have a half-a$$ed Homeland Security department. We are letting Afghanistan slip back into the hands of its warlords and IMO breaking our commitment to a group of people who really were happy to see us, and to a truly brave guy named Hamid Karzhai, who keeps trying to establish a democracy despite the fact that someone tries to kill him daily. Khaddafi gave up his WMD, true, but he has not made a peep since Reagan bombed his house back in the 80's. Meanwhile we have a truly insane paranoid regime in North Korea who might really decide to nuke someone as an imaginary peremptive strike, now closing in on an atomic bomb, if they don't already have them, along with the religious fanatics in Iran on their way as well.
All you can say about Kerry for certain from a military perspective is that he ultimately opposed the US involvement with Vietnam, which was something he held in common with a lot of people by the time we withdrew, and not just the chanting college children. While our withdrawal no doubt negatively impacted many South Vietnamese, a primary rationale of the US's involvement, that Communism was going to explode throughout SE Asia if S. Vienam fell, never came to pass.
I personally don't know what the answer is to the mess in Iraq right now, but I don't think that solving it is going to be the answer to terrorism in the short term because Iraq wasn't exactly the primary producer of terrorism to begin with. What will sending in 100,000 more troops achieve? We aren't chasing the Nazis out of France. We could break into every house in Tikrit chasing after pro-Hussein insurgents but we will still not find them all, and will cause even more Iraqis to hate us, perhaps even more than 60% of the country hates the other 40%. I don't think the Spaniards should have pulled out of Iraq in response to the bombings in their country. I also have not seen any indication that Kerry is planning to withdraw the military, other than Republican spin on that point. We are by the way, planning to give them control of their own government in June, so theoretically, we should start seeing some organizational progress in the country, shouldn't we, at least theoretically? If we had had an actual plan of action for a post-Hussein Iraq we might not be in this mess. I believe that our post-war plan was mostly the notion that the Iraqis would be so happy to be free of Hussein, that democracy would spring up overnight. Said otherwise, we really did not have much of a plan. Even the worst cynic would have predicted that the US military would have routed the Iraqi military, with the only argument being how long it would take. Planning for the long-view was important, and to me, the current situation in Iraq indicates a lack of thoughtful leadership on Bush's part from a presidential perspective.