Democrats and National Security

Strength and aggressiveness are politically isomorphic. Attacking your opponent makes you strong, and disarms many of the attacks they can use against you in response. In this election we have an historic opportunity to convince the electorate that the Democratic Party is the one that will keep America safe, and we can only convince them through aggressiveness.

The Democratic Party is the only political party that takes our national security seriously. The Republican Party has given us empty gestures and pre-ordained wars that have nothing to do with combating terrorism. The empty gestures are best illustrated by the National Guard troops that "protected" our airports in the days after 9/11. They were armed with M16 rifles - very effective at letting the populace know we mean business. Unfortunately, M16s are ranged weapons, poorly suited to use in close quarters. And then there's the fact that they weren't loaded... Maybe I should have mentioned that first? It's clear that their priorities are focused on things that are highly visible, regardless of their effectiveness. Iraq is a symptom of the same priority - it was the "we gotta hit them hard for 9/11" thinking that so much of the country still thinks is valid. The only benefits of these policies have been political ones for the Republican Party, not actual security for the American People.

So many events are converging to convince the American people that Republican policies have made them less safe. The War in Lebanon implicates the ascendancy of Iran. The terrorist attacks we've seen around the world give lie to the "flypaper" strategy for Iraq. In fact, even every "terror alert" or "foiled plot" has started working against the Republicans, since they've tied the war in Iraq so successfully to the War on Terror. We are reminded with every alert that the flypaper has worn out, leaving us in Iraq... why? The rate of deaths, the rate of attacks, the hours of electricity, the employment and readiness of armed forces - every indicator you can measure is headed in the wrong direction. If we aren't approaching victory in Iraq, and the flypaper isn't working, then why should we continue dying? Why should we continue killing? We are profiting not at all from the price we are paying.

The Democrats need to realize that politics is more like boxing than like chess. You need to take ruthless advantage of your opponent's weaknesses, and right now that weakness is their tragically misguided, militant approach to national security. The Democratic Party is the only party that understands that, although the terrorists are a serious threat to America, they are not a threat that can be met with military force. We need intelligence, we need special forces, and we need law enforcement. What we emphatically don't need are more wars, more innocent deaths, and more anti-American terrorists created as a result. That's the strategy we've had, and do you feel safer?

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