Friday, February 16, 2007

GOP Marching Orders: Conflate Iraq with War on Terror

At least they are being honest. Reps. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., and John Shadegg, R-Ariz., wrote in a recent letter to Republicans:

"If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose. Rather, the debate must be about the global threat of the radical Islamist movement,"
In other words, do everything you can to confuse the war in Iraq with the greater war on terror.

Bush is losing Afghanistan because of Iraq. Against the best advice of the best minds on the subject like the CIA's Michael Scheuer, he did not declare war on Al Qaeda but on a tactic, terrorism, and used 9/11 to go after the guy he thinks tried to kill his daddy. The Republican letter is the clearest statement yet on what their strategy is, has always been, and always will be: Equate Iraq with the war on terror, and pretend the blunder that is on par with Hitler's opening of a second front against the Russians never happened.

The only way Democrats can win and unite the country is to split Iraq and the war on terror into the two distinct issues that they are, and point out that our presence in Iraq is actually LOSING the war on terror. Where once we had the world united behind us, against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, and in cells around the world, we have given militant Muslims who were appalled by 9/11 more reason to hate us, and to start thinking that maybe we deserved it after all. These are the very Muslims we needed to turn against Al Qaeda. Will the Democrats hammer the message all the way home? Or simply allow themselves to be blamed for not having the spine to stay in Iraq until something good happens there?

It's important, because as long as Bush's twisting of reality survives, we as a nation will always be divided, at each other's throats long after we have pulled out of Iraq. And Bush will have done what bin Laden never could. And divided, laboring under a thick fog on the battlefield laid down by the Bush administration, the real war on terror can never be won.


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