Thursday, April 17, 2008

Will McCain fall into bin Laden's trap?

Al Qaeda's strategy for winning the war is to bleed America into bankruptcy (1). The way you go bankrupt is to spend more than you earn and borrow too much money. We've been doing this.

John McCain has called for tax cuts similar to the Reagan and Bush cuts -- both of which were followed by massive deficits and played a major role in creating our $9 trillion debt. McCain also wants to stay in Iraq more-or-less indefinitely, at about $100 billion a year in borrowed money. This is exactly what bin Laden wants.

We are expending vast resources to do very little damage to him. Bin Laden's al Qaeda can't lose the Iraq war because they never invested much. At the beginning of the Iraq war, al Qaeda had one small base there (2). Even destroying al Qaeda in Iraq won't do much, because al Qaeda in Iraq is home grown and cost bin Laden nothing to create. McCain will take America deeper into bin Laden's trap, and further along the road to bankruptcy and defeat.

McCain is a military man and should understand that to win wars you need overwhelming force at the critical point. To achieve overwhelming force at the critical point you must use economy of force everywhere else. There are two critical points in the war: the Afghanistan/Pakistan border and Muslim public opinion. McCain never talks about increasing forces at the critical point and shows no indication he can mold Muslim opinion any better than Bush could. Instead, he favors applying massive force where we can't win and should be economizing: in Iraq. That's a formula for defeat.

Obama, on the other hand, has publicly called for increased forces for the fight with the Taliban and al Qaeda where they can be destroyed, their main bases. He has also called, in the latest debate, for paying off some of the national debt which will put us further from bankruptcy and defeat at the hands of al Qaeda. Obama has the right strategy. He also has a major asset due to simple luck: his name.

The Muslim world thinks very poorly of America, perhaps because we bomb them (3), kill them, occasionally torture them (4), overthrew one of their democratic governments (5) and support some of their tyrannical governments (6). The Muslim world thinks they know what America is about, but they are wrong. They have seen the dark side of American power, but I know that America can be a huge force for good (7). Electing a man named Barack Hussein Obama would rock their very incomplete impression of America to the core, and create an opportunity to change the dynamics. If combined with a foreign policy that treated the Muslim people with respect and less violence we could turn around the vital PR war we are losing so badly (8).

If you want to win the war with al Qaeda, vote for Barack Obama.

(1) "Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq," Michael Scheuer. Michael Scheuer is the ex-CIA head of the bin Laden group and extremely conservative.

(2) This base was in a portion of Iraq that Saddam did not control.

(3) Attacks by American forces on Muslim people: Bombing: Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Sudan. Shelling: Lebanon. Rocket attacks: Yemen and Pakistan. Misc killing: Somalia. However justified we may think these actions were, those on the receiving end may view them differently.

(4) Abu Grab

(5) In 1953 America overthrew the democratically elected government in Iran and replaced it with a dictator.

(6) Saudi Arabia and Egypt among others. BTW: of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers, fifteen were Saudi and four Egyptian. This cannot possibly be a coincidence.

(7) Consider World War II and it's aftermath. There are many other examples.

(8) Contrary to Bush's assertion, they do not hate us because of our freedom. In a recent, high-quality Gallup poll of the world's Muslims, when asked what they most admired about America, even radical anti-American Muslims said "freedom and democracy." When asked what the liked least, they cited disrespect for Islam and American foreign policy in the region. See "Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think," by John Esposito and Dalia Mogahed.