My Turn: Some answers for your questions to Bush
Since President Bush is otherwise occupied, I will address the questions asked by MoveOn.org, er, Cindy Sheehan, er, the My Turn column “Some questions for you, Mr. President,” the best I can.First, the opening quote of President Bush is taken out of context. He is not denying his responsibility to explain the policies of his administration. Bob Woodward was quoting from his book, “Bush at War.” Woodward suggests that when Bush chairs a cabinet meeting he often tries to be provocative. Bush denies this. “Of course not. I am the commander, see?”Due to space limitations I will not repeat the 20 questions but rather use numbers. Readers may refer to the “My Turn” column in the Aug. 31 issue of the Sun.1. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, actually, was the mastermind behind the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001. Osama bin Laden was the leader of the movement Al Qaeda, which inspired the murderous attack.2. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is now in U.S. custody. Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts are unknown. He is most likely holed up in some remote area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.3. Comparisons of the war against terror and the battle of Iraq with Vietnam are not valid. A little thought will verify this.4. The Department of Defense advises the president that the current expenditures and troop levels in Iraq are adequate to assure victory.5. We are like the World War II allies, of course. But we differ in that we recognized the continuing threat to peace of Saddam Hussein’s murderous 24-year dictatorship and decided to do something, unlike the appeasers at Munich in 1938.6. The truth is that terrorists are entering Iraq to carry on their jihad against the West.7. Yes, no doubt the president is aware of this statement regarding Vietnam. This doesn’t vitiate its truth.8. Yes, the terrorists are being kept in Iraq in body bags.9. In question six the premise is that terrorists were leaving Iraq. Which way do you want it? In any case, we are taking the fight to the Islamofascists to hinder their ability to attack us on our shores.10. America is different from the United Kingdom in that we do not tolerate jihadists in our midst as have they. They are reconsidering. Egypt and Jordan are Islamic states that have long tolerated terrorists on their soil. They, too, are reconsidering.11. My only comment is to reject the premises of the question: bin Laden is anything but a free man – he is on the run with a price on his head; his lieutenants have been killed or captured; the Taliban in Afghanistan is not resurgent due to the withdrawal of American troops; and trained terrorists are not leaving Iraq except in body bags.12. Again, the premise of the question is incorrect. Troops in Iraq are proud of their service there and this is reflected in the high re-enlistment rate.13. Afghanistan harbored Osama bin Laden and provided state support for his campaigns of terror: passports, money, diplomatic cover. Iraq met the definition of a failed, rogue state: It had invaded its neighbors; committed genocide against its own people; harbored terrorists, thugs and killers; ignored United Nations resolutions regarding weapons of mass destruction and even colluded with the United Nations in setting up and exploiting the oil-for-palaces scandal. Bali, Egypt, the UK and Jordan are pursuing terrorists in their midst, not supporting them.14. See the answer to question 13. Saudi Arabia is seeking to eliminate terrorism in its country.15. No Afghans and Iraqis have died at the hands of their own governments thanks to our intervention. In Iraq alone, there is documented evidence of 600,000 civilian executions during Saddam Hussein’s 24 years of mis-rule. 16. The future of Iraq and its alliances will be up to the Iraqis themselves. But they will no longer be a threat to their neighbors and the West. It’s an overused assertion but nonetheless true: democracies do not start wars.17. The status of women and the role of Islamic law will be determined by the Iraqis as a result of democratic processes.18. The President has already met with Cindy Sheehan, in June 2004. Her contemporary report of that meeting was very positive.19. The “noble cause for which my son [Casey Sheehan] died for” you sneeringly ask about is simple – the liberation of 25 million Iraqis; the freedom of 30 million Afghans; the rising democratic tide in Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia; the renunciation of weapons of mass destruction by Libya; the freedom for you to question the policies of this great country, America; the protection of our cities and countryside from rabid, un-feeling, merciless attack by 14th century religious fanatics; the noble cause for which our forebears sacrificed their lives in foreign lands and oceans – freedom!20. The president probably does not sleep well at night – he has a great responsibility and feels it every minute.May God bless the United States of America and protect her sons and daughters in the defense of our freedom. Paul Duggan is a Truckee resident. “My Turn” is a space for Sierra Sun readers to submit guest columns that are between 500 and 850 words. Send “My Turn” columns to email@example.com.
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