So often, subjects of discussion get changed by people in order to avoid the questions. This may be due to the fact that they either do not have an answer or that they hate to commit to something publicly that may later make them look bad on election day. As a voter, I expect a clearly-stated position on issues that are important to me. If you want my vote; first I will need an answer; then I will have to agree with it. Please try to explain to me why your position is the right one.

 There are many important issues facing the world today that are deserving of a clear plan by those in power. One foremost issue, certainly to some, is the threat of another terrorist attack against the U.S. and/or our interests. Now, by terrorism, I am not simply referring to the attack on the World Trade Center — although that is a perfect example. I am also not referring simply to Al Qaeda either, although they are certainly a force to be dealt with. I am also not just referring to Iraq, although they too have a long history of terrorist behavior as well, as seen below.

I am referring to the threatened use of all of the assorted nuclear, biological and chemical weapons that are being sought by various groups and countries that are hostile towards the U.S.

Perhaps you think that it is not a problem at all, or just a minor problem. Maybe you find other issues to be of greater importance and I certainly recognize that your priorities may be different than mine. But for those who think that terrorism is a major problem that needs to be addressed, it is certainly not unreasonable to ask those now slated for office  what they intend to do about it.

So here is the question – simple yet specific. As an elected official of the U.S. Government– What do you intend to do about fighting terrorism? The answer may not be as simple as the question, but as a voter, I really need some sort of response.

The ranges in answers could be diverse depending on one’s point of view. Let’s mention some hypothetical responses from all over the spectrum.

– Those aren’t terrorists. Americans are the terrorists and deserve the consequences.
– Terrorism is simply not a problem. I intend to do nothing. Next question.
– Do not admit terrrorism scares you because then the terrorists have won.
– It is too much trouble to fight terrorism because there is no solution that could be reached within the attention span of the average TV-“me” generation voters.
– It costs lives to fight terrorism. We are better off just taking our chances; How many people would really be killed in the next attack anyway? (A viewpoint seen in a “Letters to the Editor” column)

Enough hypothetical scenarios, here is one from George Bush, a twice elected U.S. President commenting after the September 11 attacks:

 …we will direct every resource at our command to win the war against terrorists:  every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence.  We will starve the terrorists of funding, turn them against each other, rout them out of their safe hiding places and bring them to justice. Remarks by the President Sept 24, 2001

There are apparently many skeptics to this plan of attack. There are also those that are downright hostile to this type of response to a terrorist attack. The reasons for this are no doubt varied. Some oppose this simply for political reasons; others perhaps because of things that they saw in the media.

 Look, say whatever you want about the examples above. Agree, disagree, be angry, be frustrated, gnash your teeth and shake your fists! They all are some sort of answer though, and we can take the discussion from there. Elaborate on the pro’s and con’s, iron out the differences and even compromise if you must.  Or — even insist that there is no problem if you so decide. Then once you have your position —  as a candidate, explain it to me; tell me why it might work; give me some rationale that I can consider. I understand that it is hard for someone to get elected if he agrees with what the incumbent is doing, but don’t tell me why party ‘x’ is bad. Tell me why party ‘y’ is good! That is the way that I reason and the way that I think. Please resist just telling me that you have some retired Army general somewhere who thinks the president is wrong because we know that there are at least some current generals who think that he is right.

Regardless of your stance, I provide you with some additional points to consider. These points will perhaps encourage you to analyze, investigate and reflect:

On the issue that “Bush said it would be easy, quick”: 

 “I have taken these actions pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.  It is not now possible to predict the scope and duration of these deployments, and the actions necessary to counter the terrorist threat to the United States.  It is likely that the American campaign against terrorism will be a lengthy one. Letter to Congress on American Campaign Against Terrorism 9/24/2001

On the issue of Al Qaeda; not the only target:

“Make no mistake about it, I’ve asked our military to be ready for a reason.  But the American people must understand this war on terrorism will be fought on a variety of fronts, in different ways.  The front lines will look different from the wars of the past. … I gave a speech to the nation last Thursday in which I spent a great deal of time talking about the al Qaeda organization as the first terrorist organization that we’re going to deal with.  And the reason I did is there is a lot of classified information that leads to one person, as well as one global terrorist organization. But for those of you looking for a legal peg, we’ve already indicted Osama bin Laden.  He’s under indictment for terrorist activity.  Our war is against terrorism.  Those who would conduct terrorist acts against the United States, those who sponsor them, those who harbor them, those who challenge freedom wherever it may exist.” President’s Comments 9/24/2001 

On the issue of having no plan; for those who think it is all about Iraq and the World Trade Center; for those who think it is all about oil: 

“The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself.  The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends.  Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them. Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there.  It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated. …Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes.  Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen.  It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success.  We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest.  And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism.  Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime…This is not, however, just America’s fight.  And what is at stake is not just America’s freedom.  This is the world’s fight. This is civilization’s fight.  This is the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom. We ask every nation to join us.  We will ask, and we will need, the help of police forces, intelligence services, and banking systems around the world.  The United States is grateful that many nations and many international organizations have already responded — with sympathy and with support.  Nations from Latin America, to Asia, to Africa, to Europe, to the Islamic world.  Perhaps the NATO Charter reflects best the attitude of the world:  An attack on one is an attack on all. This is a war not against a specific individual, nor will it be a war against solely one organization.  It is a war against terrorist activities. Our nation must do everything we can to protect the homeland, and we are. The Attorney General briefs on a daily basis, as the Director of the FBI, talking about what we’re doing to do the best we can to protect the American people from any further activity.” Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People 9/20/2001

On the issue of “Bush Lied”, “Bush Mislead Us”, “Iraq has no WMD’s”:

Report: Hundreds of WMDs Found in Iraq

Tests Confirm Sarin in Iraqi Artillery Shell

Iraqi Scientist: You Will Find More

Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction

“Why We Know Iraq is Lying” A Column by Dr. Condoleezza Rice

Chemical and Biological Weapons in the Middle East

Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein faces charges of genocide for allegedly ordering attacks on Kurdish population centers in northern Iraq in the late 1980s, in some cases using poison gas to wipe out entire villages
Marines Discover Terror Training Camp Near Baghdad

Former Iraqi military officers have described a highly secret terrorist training facility at Salman Pak, where both Iraqis and non-Iraqi Arabs receive training on hijacking planes and trains, planting explosives in cities, sabotage, and assassinations.

Positive test for terror toxins in Iraq Evidence of ricin, botulinum at Islamic militants’ camp

 Saddam’s regime possessed thousands of chemical weapons and tons of chemical weapon agents.

Clinton first linked al Qaeda to Saddam

1998:President Clinton explains Iraq strike:Their mission is to attack Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs.

Iraq started research into the production of chemical weapons agents in the 1970s and started batch production of agents in the early 1980s.

Iran-Iraq War, 1980–88 Use of WMD

It is easy to get into arguments over various points that may not be at the center of the issue. The Republicans did this, the Democrats said that. You will hear and see all sorts of arguments and accusations. An analytical person will recognize that there are certain facts that may currently be under dispute, many of which are missing the main point — protecting the United States of America. The enemy is terrorism at large. Our breaking point was 9/11, but the central issue since then has been thwarting all terrorist actions against the U.S., not just from Iraq or Al Qaeda. Some may think it is not worth it. Some may think that it is too much trouble or un-winnable.  If you have a different solution, please do not merely attack my reasoning, do not just give me “facts”, but show me why your way is the right way.

  I get back to my main question to all of our newest members of Congress who may have benefited from the recent frenzy over the latest poll numbers on Iraq —

What do you intend to do about fighting terrorism?

Your answer is important to our future.?