1. Engage in activity that is clearly "productive."
2. STOP engaging in activity that is clearly "counterproductive."
As an example: Imagine spraying gasoline on a forest fire in an attempt to "put out the flames." Within a reasonable amount of time it should be obvious the chosen course of action is not working. More importantly, it should also be obvious the chosen course of action is actually making the situation WORSE. In this example, it would be better to "cut and run" from the chosen course of action than it would be to "stay the course." (-Better for everyone, save perhaps those profiting from the sale of the gasoline.)
Contrary to what we were told, when we left Vietnam the free world didn't collapse. The domino theory (used to justify our intervention) proved inaccurate at best. In the end, the Vietnam War (also launched under false pretenses) turned out to be a terrible strategic mistake. It went on too long, cost too much, and contributed nothing to the "safety" of America.
Here again, history is repeating itself. Only this time we're expected to believe Al Qaeda (which at the time of 9/11 numbered less than 15,000) can raise a Radical Islamic Army capable of invading our shores, overthrowing our government and subjugating the whole of America to "Sharia Law." I must say; with 80 million armed American citizens standing in their way, that sounds like a pretty tall order. Until somebody explains the logistics of such an operation, I'll have to consider this among the most ridiculous scare tactics ever stated with a straight face.
a) Terrorists pose a threat to America and;
b) Our actions in Iraq are only serving to increase the number of terrorists in the world,
c) Those responsible for the policy in Iraq cannot be trusted to "keep America safe" from terrorism. On the contrary, they can only be trusted to create more terrorism which will then be used as a justification for more war. People who benefit from war probably have no problem with this, however those who bear all the costs should find it unacceptable.
a) We cannot effectively fight a global war on terrorism all by ourselves, and;
b) Launching illegal wars of aggression makes countries more likely to unite against us,