Monday, July 25, 2005

How I Would Respond to Terrorism if I were President

For the last few weeks, whenever I've talked about the Left and Terrorism, a fellow blogger by the name of Brian has been challenging me to present my own solutions to the war on terror. So, to satisfy his curiosity, here it is:

Military Force should be one method of dealing with terrorism, but not the only one. When President Bush invaded Afghanistan in 2001, I fully supported him. We had just been attacked. Bin Laden had a strong base in Afghanistan, sheltered by the Taliban. We were able to disrupt his network and maybe prevent other attacks. Sometimes the only way to stop terror is to send in the troops.

However, the military should never be the only tool. It's an imprecise tool; kind of like using a sledgehammer to get at a fly. It works when the target is clear, as it was in Afghanistan, it is not as good when the target is murky as in Iraq.

Intelligence must be used. We need to have strong intelligence both within the US and without to keep a tab on suspected terrorists. Yes, we must do it while respecting civil liberties, but do it we must. I support having a national director of intelligence as requested by the 9/11 commission and also giving the FBI more power to do some intelligence of its own. Again, this has to be done with some sense of respect to our Constitution, but we need to have intelligence to stop cells from doing their foul deeds.

We must cooperate with other nations. If the attacks in Madrid and London have said anything, it is that we in the US are not alone. President Bush needs to drop his go it alone approach and work with other nations in stopping terrorism. This would come through the sharing of intelligence, and joint military operations if need be. Al Queda is a threat to the known world, not just America.

The use of diplomacy. No, I don't mean talking to the terrorists; they're a lost cause. I mean trying to steal the thunder from those who use Islam to persue their facist agenda. That means the US has to get more involved in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and get both sides to the table to deal. Bush 41 played hardball with Israel and there is nothing that says Bush 43 couldn't do that as well. Writer Tom Friedman has talked about closing down the "Arab Basement," the place where terrorists are created. To do that, we need to get at some of the issues afftecting the region, such as the Palestinians. It won't stop the terrorists, but it will give them one less fig leaf to hide with.

So that is my plan. Hmmm, Dubya's job is open come 2008....


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