Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Fighting them 'over there' will fail

On Thursday Bush said he was sure all Americans can agree that we need to “fight” terrorists “over there, so we don’t have to fight them here.” I’m hopeful most Americans see through this misunderstanding of the threat we face.

The fact is, the more we militarily intervene in their affairs in the Middle East the more likely we will try to hurt us here. And, they don’t have to kill us here to severely cripple our nation. They can create hell for us by destroying the global infrastructure that serves our oil dependent economy. The Washington Times reported just such Al Qaeda plans on the same day of Bush’s speech (Al Qaeda threatens US oil suppliers, 2-15-07).

The only way we can defeat them over there and reduce their recruiting incentive of US military intervention in their lands is to find and fund others to stop them.

An international Muslim police force made up of volunteers from Muslim majority or minority nations not on Iraqi borders should be rapidly mobilized and funded to replace US forces in Iraq. US military assets can be lent to this international police force to help stop sectarian violence in Iraq but no level of direct US military intervention can do so. Our being ‘over there’ will only make our security here worse.

We must make friends with moderate Muslims who will arrest would be terrorists in their own nations. Our ‘shock and awe pre-emptive doctrine’ doesn’t make us friends with anyone. Not even our traditional non-Muslim allies. Our innate respect for the protection of inalienable human rights, no matter whom or where they are, is our most powerful weapon against the terrorists here and the spread of terrorism globally.

Our questionably necessary invasion of Iraq and our incompetent occupation has so far resulted in the death of somewhere between 100,000 and 600,000 innocent Iraqis, and displaced well over a million more. We did this not out of our largess but to find WMDs there that might hurt us here. That emboldened our enemy and helped Al Qaeda recruiting efforts. A 20,000 force surge of US troop strength in Baghdad will only worsen the situation.

If President Bush said ‘we make friends who will arrest them there so we won’t have to arrest them here’ he would have had my support and likely the support of a super majority of Americans and most of the world.

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