Steve Beren For Congress (WA - 7th CD)

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DEMOCRATS LACK VICTORY STRATEGY IN WAR AGAINST TERRORISM

In the past 40 years, we’ve had two Democratic Party presidents – Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.  They both weakened our military, ruined our foreign policy, displayed weakness in the face of our enemies, and emboldened Islamic fascism.  If Barack Obama is elected president, we’ll have a second Jimmy Carter term.  Barack Obama would be very weak on national security, and that is not acceptable – especially in a time of war.

Jim McDermott’s fierce opposition to a victory strategy in the war against terrorism is shared by the other key leaders of the Democratic Party.  McDermott favors cutting off funds to our troops, and he favors surrendering Iraq to the terrorists. This is also the policy goal of Barack Obama and Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, Al Gore and John Kerry.

The Democrats lack a victory strategy for the war against terrorism.  They don't realize what victory means: stabilizing the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan as part of encouraging and assisting a transformation of the Middle East; disruption and destruction of terrorist networks; ending the war drive of the Iranian mullahs (with their threats against Israel); and ending the nuclear weapons programs of North Korea and Iran.

The Democrats also don't realize what defeat would mean: a bloodbath in Iraq (as in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge); a weakening of the forces for democracy in the Middle East; strengthening the hand of the Iranian mullahs against their own people and against Israel; emboldening Al Qaeda and their allies; greater likelihood of terrorist attacks against innocent civilians on American soil.

The liberation of Iraq is justified for many reasons: Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, the need for a preemptive strategy before Saddam Hussein became an imminent threat, and the goal of regime change and democracy in Iraq. In addition, the Saddam Hussein regime failed to comply with numerous UN resolutions, including resolution #687 which was passed on April 3, 1991 and outlined the ceasefire conditions of the first Gulf War.

In October 2002, when the Congress authorized military action, there was bipartisan agreement on spreading democracy and regime change. The resolution authorizing military action stated: "it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime."

Even the Clinton administration had correctly identified the need for democracy and regime change in Iraq, but this was primarily a verbal policy and barely put into effect. After 9/11, the importance of actually implementing a regime change and liberation of Iraq become more obvious than ever.

The liberation of Iraq is a central front in the war against terrorism, not a distraction from it. It is a war of necessity, not a war of choice, because we must deal with the root causes of terrorism, not merely its symptoms. The backwardness and oppression and lack of freedom in the Middle East are a breeding ground for terrorism.

The best way to attack terrorism at its roots is to spread freedom and democracy and modernity in the Middle East, breaking the bonds of oppression and exploitation that fuel a hateful ideology.

In that sense, Iraq is connected to 9/11, just as the entire Middle East is connected to 9/11. The oppression and lack of modernity in the Middle East, pervasive and powerful, is connected to 9/11 through a thousand threads of hatred, brutality, and propaganda. The oppression of the Muslim and Arab people by their own governments is truly the breeding ground for terrorism.

Those who minimize the threat of Islamic terrorism are dangerously wrong.  We must achieve greater unity as a nation, with a clear understanding of the aims and goals of the enemy.  This war is military and ideological – a war of freedom, liberty, and democracy against the spread of fascism, terrorism, and tyranny.  We must reject the voices of denial and defeatism.

Today, the focus of evil in the modern world is Islamic fascism.  History teaches that appeasement and wishful thinking is folly.  Weakness in the face of terrorism would mean the loss of our freedom.

Those who favor cutting off funding to the troops, immediate withdrawal, surrendering Iraq to the terrorists – those who minimize the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions disqualify themselves from meeting the challenges facing our nation.

I believe America today will rise to the challenge of Islamic fascism.  Let us reject the defeatist voices advocating an “exit strategy,” and let us write the next pages of history with a victory strategy.

 

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