Monday, October 18, 2004

Why is Bush Tougher on Terrorism than Kerry?

My fellow Americans,

Today, we are 15 days away from casting our very important individual votes. Many have fought to allow us this sancrosanct privilege. In fact, many have been maimed, lost limbs, or have died defending our right to cast our votes for the people we deem most fit for public service. The most important, or at least most visible, vote any of us can cast is that for President of the United States.

It is important that you vote this time around. I am not going to say what others have said: That this election is the most important election of our lives. Others have proclaimed it so; I will not. Suffice it to say that voting in this election is critical to your well-being. But it may turn out that the next election is actually more important. I don't know.

What brings me to write today is the idea that President Bush is tougher on terrorism than Kerry. First of all, I don't think any of us know how tough John Kerry is or might be, especially with respect to terrorists. I do know that he shut down financial institutions that harbored terrorist capital, long before doing so was in vogue. But I haven't the faintest idea on whether he would make us "safer" than somebody else. I do wish to present some obvious facts, however, with regard to Bush's record on fighting terrorism. First, the easy ones:

  1. Terrorism has been around for a long, long time. It didn't surface on 9/11/2001. It has been used as a tool by many different countries, entities, individuals, etc. for decades, if not centuries. It didn't even surface on our home turf for the first time on September 11. Back in the early nineties, homegrown terrorists bombed a federal building in Oklahoma, killing dozens of people, including babies and children. And what would you call bombing hospitals and clinics on the grounds of personal opinion?
  2. President Bush was our leader on 9/11/2001. In fact, he had been our leader most of 2001. The attacks happened during his first term. This is an undisputable fact.
  3. President Bush was given a Daily Briefing on August 8, 2001, fully one month prior to 9/11, entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States." This is another undisputable fact.

Why, then, would one come to the conclusion that Bush is tough on terrorism? He knew it was being planned, it wasn't a new phenomenon, and he chose to do nothing about it.

How does one come to the conclusion that the president under which this calamity happened is somehow more qualified to deal with it than somebody else? There has only been one president during which the Twin Towers and Pentagon were simultaneously attacked with jetliners: President Bush.

I am not suggesting that none of this would have / could have happened under a different president. However, I ask: how do these facts direct the public to the belief that Bush is tougher on terrorism than...anybody else?

By definition, Bush has the worst record of any president against terrorism, by any measure: number of dead, capital destroyed, targets hit, people affected, economic losses, etc.

So, in the final analysis, what have I said? Bush cannot possibly be construed as having anything but a terrible record fighting terrorism. If 9/11 had never occurred, I daresay that Bush wouldn't have done anything to fight terrorism. He was only coerced into doing something once a lot of damage had been done. Now, for him to take credit for launching this "war on terrorism" is the most disingenuous thing I have heard in a very long time.

He didn't want a Department of Homeland Defense. He didn't want any investigative commissions dealing with the intelligence failures of either 9/11 or the Iraq war. He wants to spend our money building a missile defense system better suited to George Lucas than Donald Rumsfeld.

Our ports are still sieves. Our airport security is terrible. Our public utilities are extremely vulnerable. We don't know where all the Soviet nuclear weapons are. We still don't have adequate ingress/egresse coverage (border patrol, immigration, security in air, sea, or land). It's crazy how much time we have wasted -- and we still aren't measurably safer than we were 4 years ago.

I urge you to ask yourselves: Are you safer than you were 4 years ago? Are you any better off now than in 2000?

If you can answer in the affirmative, vote for Bush. If you cannot, you owe it to yourself, your family, friends, community, city or town, county, state, and America to vote Bush out.

Cure Bushism
Nov 2