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GOP Nonsense: Fighting Them Over There So We Don't Have to Fight them Here at Home

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One would like to believe that one's fellow Americans have the good sense and basic critical thinking skills necessary for responsible citizenship in this complex democratic society.

But one does not always get what one would like.

Take for example the GOP mantra of recent years: "We're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here."

I know from good authority --a door-to-door election canvasser in my area-- that this slogan is still working for the Republicans in this election season.

But the statement is preposterous! Not only is it nonsense, but a moment's thought should suffice to expose the ridulousness of the idea. It sounds good, but even just on the face of it --employing simple logic, with a minor admixture of actual fact-- that it is nonsense.

Set aside the inconvenient fact that the overwhelming majority of those we are fighting in Iraq are not the same people as those who would wish to strike at us here in America.

Even if the insurgents in Iraq were identical with the "terrorists" against whom the "war on terror" is supposedly being waged, how could it be true that giving the terrorists more choices of where to strike at us would make us safer?

The answer is, only if our fighting "them" in Iraq keeps them pinned down there unable to extricate themselves.

But of course --and here's where a bit of factual knowledge is necessary-- the reality is exactly the opposite. It is WE (Americans) who cannot leave Iraq (at least given our leaders' insistence on "victory" in Iraq). It is WE who (much to the gratification of the North Koreans and the Iranians) have lost our ability to choose where to fight.

Meanwhile, it is the terrorists (i.e., those foreign --non-Iraqi-- fighters who have chosen to go to Iraq to fight the Americans) who are free to leave if they want to, if they felt they could accomplish their purposes better by striking at Americans here in our homeland. But they choose to stay put.

Clearly, they have decided that fighting America over there is more rewarding than attempting it here. But it is their choice, not the choice of the Bushites who have bogged this country down in a quagmire made up in part of their failed Iraqi venture and in part of their refusal to admit their failure.

The Bushites have expanded the terrorists' options while reducing America's. "Fighting them over there" --getting ourselves pinned down in Iraq-- has greatly weakened the American position vis-à-vis Iran and the Iranian drive to acquire nukes-by putting the U.S. in a position where Iran can do us great harm in Iraq, and by diminishing American support in the region, and by tying down America's ground combat forces in this grim and apparently futile war.

The United States does not now have the option of launching an invasion against either Iran or North Korea, and the leaders of those countries know it. And, embodened by that knowledge, and they have felt freer to defy American wishes and to ignore American threats.

We –the United States as a world power-- are not getting anything out of this war in Iraq. There is no good whatever to come of it for the United States. All its consequences are bad.

Fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here? Ridiculous! The blunders of the Bushites have played completely into the hands of the terrorists, and the other enemies of the United States.

These Bushites not only have behaved badly, they have done serious damage to America and its global interests. They botched the job. They lied to get us into it. And --with bogus slogans like this one-- they are lying to keep us from looking honestly at what has happened and what our true options are (none of them good).

This combination of dishonesty and incompetence should be enough to decide the outcome of the elections ahead.
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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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