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Volume 70, Issue 5, Friday, August 27, 2004

Opinion
 

Kerry takes advantage, Bush bungles

Brandon Brewton
Opinion columnist

Despite the respect and compassion shown by the rest of the world after 9/11, President Bush blew the greatest opportunity of his presidency. Bush could have had the world united with America in a time of war and despair, but the momentum he generated leading this country during its darkest hours has slowly evaporated thanks to his Loan Ranger mentality.

By going into Iraq, President Bush alienated many of America's allies (as well as American citizens) for attacking a country that posed no immediate threat to our way of life. The chance to capture Osama Bin Laden slipped through Bush's hands, and he continues to fumble the ball in his attempt to fight terror.

The war on terror can not be solely won overseas by invading terror cells and the countries that harbor them. The war starts right here in the United States, by cracking down on illegal immigration into the country through the Mexican and Canadian borders.

If another terrorist attack occurs and can be traced back to the lack of protection along America's borders, no politician will be able to run or hide, whether Republican or Democrat. The borders are an open door for anyone to come in and attack, and no one in Washington has done or will do anything about it. 

Frankly, the fight against terrorism has not been properly executed and we are going in the wrong direction. The fight starts right here on our home turf, and tighter border security is step one.

John Kerry knows that we need allies to fight this war, and more than just military action. His statement on fighting a more "sensitive war on terror" was taken out of context by many critics, including Vice President Cheney. Kerry likely meant that he would fight a more precise war on terror, with sensitive intelligence that would prevent such messes as those we encountered in Iraq.

The war on terror is a battle like no other, and President Bush needs to realize that. The war in Iraq has been a complete failure with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stating that "recruitment in al-Qaida has increased despite our efforts in stopping terror and even with Saddam's capture, America is not safe." It's funny how Kerry gets blasted by Bush and Cheney for saying the same thing as a member of Bush's own cabinet.

In addition to poor border security, our troop distribution is putting America in danger as well. Why is President Bush pulling American troops from Korea? Are they not an imminent threat that we must go after? They have nuclear capabilities and are at this moment producing weapons of mass destruction, yet they have not been invaded or neutralized. 

This realignment of troops is occurring at a very bad time and makes it seem as if we are not worried about North Korea's nuclear weapon advancements when, in fact, we should be.

Another problem with the Bush administration is the "if you are not with us, you are against us" attitude. Not supporting the president is suddenly synonymous with being unpatriotic and anti-American. There is an attitude amongst many Bush supporters (and the Bush administration) that the American people have no right to question or criticize the president, an attitude that President Teddy Roosevelt did not share. Roosevelt once said, "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

Brewton, a columnist for The Daily Cougar, 
can be reached at bbabyjd@aol.com.

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