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What the Democrats Should Be Saying in the Wake of the Thwarting of this Terrorist Plot

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Now we can see what it is that the war on terror requires. It requires good intelligence and good police work and international cooperation.

It does not and did not require that the United States military invade another country.

We are up against an enemy that does not have borders, and does not have armies. It is an enemy of hidden networks, many of which are located in the liberal democracies that are their targets.

By invading Iraq, the Bush administration distracted from the real work in the war against terrorism. They've tied down our military in a country that --as the 9/11 Commission reported-- was not involved in 9/11, and was not at the heart of the real war on terrorism.

We now know that the president and his people were told by various agencies that Iraq was not involved in 9/11. But they chose to disregard this information, and their words misled the American people.

We Democrats who criticize this disastrous war in Iraq are not "soft on terror." No Americans are "soft" on protecting our country from the real terrorists-- and leaders who suggest otherwise are just engaging in scare tactics that get in the way of our dealing intelligently with the security challenge we face.
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We are all for fighting this shadowy enemy-- but we believe in doing it the smart way, the way that takes into account the kind of enemy we face.

The Bush administration has blundered in their invasion in Iraq, an invasion that has played into the hands of Osama Bin Ladin. The Bush administration has weakened us for the real fight against terrorists, and has strengthened the people who want the West and Islam to sink deeper into war.

We know that there is a threat to America and to other Western democracies. And we are hawks on prosecuting that struggle --through the kind of good work that the British investigators used to thwart this recent terrorist plot.

The war in Iraq, however, has not made us safer. Quite the contrary.

And that's why opposing this war in Iraq is just the opposite of being soft on the war on terror. Karl Rove is trying to sell that lie, as a way of covering up their disastrous decisions and their failure.

But these recent events remind us of the real nature of that war, and of what is required of us to wage it successfully.
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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
 

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