I lurk on this board an awful lot, and hardly ever do I post, but I had to respond to this thread. This is lengthy but about as succinct as I can make this. Sorry.
1. I think it is quite obvious that we are losing. One example would be the manipulation of official government reports on the number of terrorist acts throughout the world. Why lie and mislead if we are winning? For example, read this: http://www.comw.org/pda/fulltext/perl.pdf
Then read how the media portrayed it:http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/04/29/terror.report/
"The figure marked a 45 percent decrease in attacks since 2001, but it did not include most of the attacks in Iraq, because attacks against combatants did not fit the U.S. definition of international terrorism." Do those attacks on civilians count?
Iraq was officially occupied by the US. That means that the territory was under the jurisdiction of the US, so obviously the exclusion of those attacks from the State Department report was in error:http://www.house.gov/reform/min/pdfs_108_2/pdfs_inves/pdf_admin_global_terror_report_june_22_fact_sheet.pdfhttp://usinfo.state.gov/mena/Archive/2004/Jun/23-79015.html
Whether the error was intentional or not is open to interpretation, but assuming that the US Dept of State officials do not know how to compile data properly is awfully hard for me to accept.
They were called on it by Congress, but not after the average person was told by the media and the government that the number of attacks had decreased. Thus the illusion that "We are winning the War on Terror" and "The American people are safer..." even though we ratchet up the color-coded warnings and are told to purchase duct tape, plastic bags, and to be vigilant (whatever that means).
This created a false impression in the public, much the same way that the Bush Administration never said Saddam was responsible for 9/11, but the public believed it anyway because of the impression intentionally given by the Bush Administration:http://www.ceip.org/files/projects/npp/resources/iraqintell/adminquoteshtml.htmhttp://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-09-06-poll-iraq_x.htm
Sadly, Al Qaeda's recruitment has swelled because of Iraq: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1015-04.htm
I guess people really don't like having bombs dropped on them during their imposed liberation.
Now of course I did not particularly enjoy watching people jump to their death on 9/11 either. But if innocent life is worth a lot here, it should be worth more than "collateral damage" elsewhere IMO.
2. GentleTim: Of course they may not be experienced fighters, but how many airplanes had the 9/11 terrorists flown into buildings prior?
3. GentleTim: Why has the Bush Administration screwed up the occupation/reconstruction? Have you seen this data?http://www.publicintegrity.org/wow/resources.aspx?act=total
Compare that with this:http://www.publicintegrity.org/wow/resources.aspx?act=contrib
Correlation? Cause and effect? IMO this war is lining pockets whether they manage the country or screw it up.
4. How about some of our allies in the war on terror? How can we speak of modernizing Islamic countries and be taken seriously?http://www.cato.org/dailys/11-16-01.html
5. We are fighting against an enemy that is responding to decades of internal interference by the CIA, whether it was US policy towards Iran:http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/mideast/041600iran-cia-index.html
US policy towards Iraq:http://www.zmag.org/zmag/articles/ShalomIranIraq.html
US policy towards Afghanistan:http://www.rwor.org/a/v23/1120-29/1120/afghanistan.htmhttp://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html
US policy towards Nicaragua:http://home.sandiego.edu/~acase/nic.htm
US support for the Saudi Royal Family:http://www.cato.org/pubs/handbook/hb108/hb108-53.pdf
I could go on. See a pattern?
Can we accept that other have the right to self-determination? Because once we accept that, even if they disagree with us, we have to demand that our intelligence agencies stop murdering people around the world. Terrorism is a last-response from oppressed people with unpopular views to overwhelming force.
Example: We revolted against an "oppressive dictator" for various reasons. The actions of our "founding fathers" were treasonous, according to the British. Things would have been much different had Spain or France "liberated" us IMO. (This last statement is similar to a Bill Maher quote I was unable to find; I am not clever enough to come up with that on my own).
If Hussein was as bad as we were told, why did the people tolerate it? Why did we support Iraq financially and militarily during the Iran-Iraq War in the 80's when Hussein was committing these atrocities? And I think the argument that the people were starved, tortured and beaten into submission is fallacious, esp. when one reads about the battle conditions our soldiers braved against the British during the American Revolution.
6. John Kerry is against complete withdrawal. He is for increasing the international presence in Iraq until they can police themselves. I am about as peace-loving as one can get and even I am against troop pullout. We are, sadly, stuck there for a long time. http://www.johnkerry.com/pressroom/news/news_2004_0704.html
I did a huge research project on this last semester, in case anyone was wondering how I knew where all of this *&^% was.
Thanks for reading
Looking forward to the debate.