Monthly Archives: July 2007

Straight Talk on Iraq

The Iraq war began in March of 2003. It ended May 1, 2003. This is the first of many misconceptions about the Iraq war. So in this article I’ll explain some of the myths and lies told about this war, and who is spreading them.
Let me start out by saying that this article is not about Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, it’s about common sense. Even though I am Conservative, there are still myths that need to be busted, lies that must be exposed.

Pre War

So, as I mentioned earlier, the first misconception is that the “war” is still going on. Technically, it is not. President Bush declared on May 1, 2003 that major combat operations in Iraq were over. That ended the “war”. But there was still a lot of work to do, although it’s nor a “war”. In a sense we were waging peace.
Another myth is in the lead up to the war and the “pre-war intelligence” and the “weapons of mass destruction”. Many people have stated over and over that President Bush claimed Saddam Hussein was partly responsible for 9-11. In fact, Saddam was not responsible for 9-11 and had no operational control of 9-11. But the myth here is that the President never claimed that. He has never made the statement that Iraq and 9-11 had a link, ever.

Next, there was the so-called lie about weapons of mass destruction that “were never found”. That also, is false. It is true that the claims by the U.S. and U.N. were not entirely accurate in 20/20 hindsight. There were no stockpiles found. But using common sense, you can deduct where they might have gone. If you were a radical dictator and another nation (with the most powerful military in the world) said you have 48 hours to give up your WMD and leave the country or we will topple you, what would you do? Did you really expect Saddam to have rolled over and given up his weapons? Or further, do you think he would have let them lay out for the world to see? No, he wouldn’t and didn’t. That is why I suspect that he shipped them or smuggled them out of the country before the invasion.
Yet another myth has come up; the claim that no WMD were ever found. That is also false. As I mentioned above, there were no stockpiles of weapons found, but enough to worry about. In an operation on June 23, 2004, the U.S. military found 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium. The military has also seized over 1,000 radioactive materials in a powdered form which can easy be used in dirty bombs. Another instance is when soldiers found 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons agents in an Iraqi warehouse. Also, on May 17, 2004, a roadside IED, containing the nerve agent Sarin, exploded near a U.S. convoy. But because of bad bomb making, the substance was not widely dispersed. So, Saddam did have WMD that could have been provided to terrorists.
Another false claim is that Iraq and al-Qaeda were not linked. They did have connections that eased al-Qaeda’s plans. The document Able Danger, states that the leader of the 9-11 hijackers, Mohammed Atta met with the Iraqi ambassador to the Czech Republic on April 9, 2001. Also, the mere fact that Saddam was in a minority of Middle East leaders who praised al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden for 9-11. He went so far as to have a mural painted on a military base depicting the attacks. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, former leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, fled to there from Afghanistan in 2002 to prevent being captured.
Saddam also had connections with other terrorist groups. He paid Palestinian suicide bomber’s families $25,000 for their child’s act. Saddam also allowed a terrorist training camp named Salman Pak to be used by a number of terrorists. The camp featured an airplane fuselage where foreign terrorists could train to hijack planes. The designer of the bomb that killed 259 on board Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988, Khala Khadr al-Salahat lived in Iraq and was captured in there in April 2003. In the September 18, 2003 USA Today, the paper reported that Iraq sheltered a suspect in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, Abdul Rahman Yasin. Other Iraqi documents suggest the Iraqi government paid the payments on Yasin’s home every month. So, as you can see Saddam did have connections to al-Qaeda and many other terrorist groups for over a decade.
But above all there was only one document that allowed the United States to go into Iraq, and that was the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441. It stated and documented Saddam’s non-compliance of the other dozen or so resolutions that Saddam ignored. But most importantly, it gave Iraq a “final opportunity” to comply with the other resolutions. He didn’t, and that allowed the United States to declare war on them.

Mid-War Mistakes

Now, some are correct to say that there were major mistakes in the war effort. The main blunder being that the coalition did not prevent a flooding of the borders by terrorists joining the fight. If the military had shut down the borders, not as many al-Qaeda and Iranian terrorists would have gotten in. Another mistake is in the size of our force. We currently have 160,000 troops on the ground. Many generals predicted that the U.S. needs at least 300,000 troops to secure a country Iraq’s size. Those mistakes multiplied and created the major problems we see today.

Politicization

The war effort is not doing extremely well in Iraq. That is in part because of what is going on in the Capitol Building nearly every day. Now a majority of Representatives and Senators are undermining the war and the troops who fight it. Most of these are Democrats, but there are acceptations of both side of the political aisle. To win in Iraq we must first determine what victory is and what is defined as. The President’s definition is an Iraq the can govern, sustain, and defend itself and be an ally in the War on Terror. Apparently, Congress’s definition is zero suicide attacks and perfection in the Iraqi government. Now, seeing that the terrorist’s objective is to push us out and obtain a base for planning attacks, it would seem logical to assume the Democrat’s withdrawal wish, is exactly what the terrorists want. Plus, the Democrats politicize every death and attack and make it seem like there is no end to the violence. But there can be an end, when the attacks stop being politicized. Again using common sense, if you were a terrorist and you want the U.S. to pull out of Iraq; and in the U.S. there are prominent people pushing what you want and citing the violence that you cause, what would you do? Of course you would continue or even escalate your attacks so they get increasingly politicized and thus, eventually, the U.S. has to retreat. So the way to stop the violence is to stop the politicizing politicians who have adopted the terrorist’s goal and are unknowingly helping it succeed by throwing it on TV for the world to see.

So in conclusion, this was for you, I hope, some straight talk and fact-checking of the myths and lies about the different elements in the Iraq. I believe we need to focus more on that, and less on the politics of the war; because in this war, politics doesn’t stop at the waters edge. It can be broadcast for the world to see. So let us stand as a house joined together to win in Iraq. After all, Abe Lincoln said a house divided cannot stand, but an America that stands together, cannot be beaten.

The Teen Conservative

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Nature of the Threat

If I were to ask you who attacked us on 9-11, you would probably say terrorists or al-Qaeda, and you would be right. But the mainstream press and other powerful people are not encouraging you to think deeper. Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden only scratch the surface of the true nature of the threat.

First though, before I begin I would like to remind you that this article is about radical Muslim terrorists. It does not represent mainstream Islam. Whenever I use the word “they” I am referring to the radical element and not the entire religion of Islam. There are many Muslims in the United States, and most all of them are good, law abiding people.

Many citizens of the United States believe 9-11 was only an attack on the United States and its policies. But that would not explain the bombings in Britain, Spain, France, India, Israel, and many others. President Bush defines it as “the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century” and he is closer to the truth.

Actually, the true nature of the threat lies in the Middle East culture, a culture of hate. Young people like you and me are being taught to hate all westerners. I learned this from a special that aired on CNN a few months ago, “Exposed: The Extremist Agenda”. Host Glenn Beck aired footage that few in the U.S. have seen. Children as young as three being taught that Jewish people are decedents of apes and pigs. Children in elementary school being taught that martyrdom should be their goal in life. But the most shocking thing is that the children believe it and espouse it in public. On a day in Iran called Jerusalem Day, radical Iranians come to protest the Jewish state. But the Jews are not the only topic. On Iranian TV, a newscaster, live at the parade spoke to a boy that looked about nine years old. He asked “What is today?” The boy responded joyfully, “Jerusalem Day!” The newsman asks, “What did you come for?” The boy responded, “We came to do the ‘Death to America’ thing.” The “Death to America” thing is very common, especially in Iran. Many people gather and echo a leader chanting “Death to America”. Then that is often followed by “Death to Israel” and “Death to Great Britain”. It is hard to even describe the scene of thousands chanting their hatred for our country.

Not only are the children being indoctrinated, but the mass population is as well. On a reliable website called MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, there are over 1,300 clips from Middle East television. On nightly news programs, reporters report on the news of the day which is similar to our news. But on these programs there is a fundamental bias in the facts. Most bad news is blamed on Israel, the United States, or even democracy in general. The reports also attack western business. For example, in a story from Iran, it cited that the Pepsi and Coke soda company’s profits are going to Israel to topple the Iranian government. This is obviously false, but the reporter presents the story and its claims as true fact. Now you may be asking, “You’re just pointing out one station, this can’t be every one?” Well, in the Middle East there is only one news station in a country, and it is run by the government. So if the news tells you something, you have no reason to believe otherwise.

This indoctrination translates into hatred for western governments and culture. In some cases it also leads to violence and war. Brigitte Gabriel, a woman who grew up in Lebanon, and lived through their civil war in the 1970’s and 80’s, even wrote a book about the barbaric behavior she witnessed. She writes in her book, that once some Palestinian terrorists ran into a near by bomb shelter, found a mother, father and a little baby. They took the baby and tied one leg to the mother, and one to the father, and pulled them apart killing the baby. On another occasion a mother was found by the terrorists and forced to behead her only son, and then watch as other Palestinians raped her two daughters in front of her. This is only a sampling of the barbaric nature of these terrorists. This is a sampling of what they would do to any of us if they could.

Some may call it an overreaction to define the War on Terror as World War III, but I don’t. When you only count the major three terrorist groups, al-Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah, they have murdered over 4,900 people combined, and wounded over 13,000, and these are only the documented incidents. The countries they have attacked include the United States, Kenya, Tanzania, Yemen, Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Britain, France, Italy, Jordan, Belgium, Greece, Egypt, Kuwait, Denmark, Argentina, Spain, Lebanon, and numerous others. So it is not the U.S. vs. the terrorists, it is the world vs. the terrorists.

But I’ll take it one step further. The terrorists glorify death to make it seem better than life. They want to convince young children that their life here is horrible and heaven is more desirable. You can call this war what you want, but in my opinion, this war is life vs. death. And if you don’t believe that, just listen to the words of Osama bin Laden, “We love death. The U.S. loves life. That is the big difference between us.”

The Teen Conservative

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How to win

Plain and simple, here is how to prevail in the global war on terror.

Now to win the global war on terror will take many years and many things must happen and they won’t happen overnight. Right now the war on terror will never be won. That is because of three little letters, O-I-L. As long as we need oil, the war will never be won. If your enemy possesses something in which you need to survive, they can hold you at bay in return for that something. For example, Iran controls a small seaway called the Strait of Hormuz. That passage way is where all Middle East oil passes to get to the open market. Now Iran has now been proven to have tampered in the Iraq and they have literally killed our soldiers there. Why aren’t we at least taking out their I.E.D. factories? Oil. If we were to make any aggressive move towards Iran they would immediately blockade the Strait of Hormuz so that no oil from the Middle East could be shipped. By the way 85% of the world’s oil comes from the Middle East so a shut down would be a massive catastrophe. This is a trademark example of why the U.S. will never pursue Iran on its nuclear program or its human rights violations.

And the same goes for Saudi Arabia. They are our so called ally in the region even though the Saudis teach their children in Madrasas, or Islamic Schools, in which young children are taught by radical Sheiks and Imams to hate the west and everything that it stands for. Again, why don’t we demand that this be outlawed, oil. If we make the Saudi government angry they might not let us have their oil.

Oil is one bargaining chip on the terrorist’s side, the other is their media. The Arab media in the Middle East is filled with anti-American propaganda that insights violence towards the west. But the radical’s goal is not to convert adults to their cause, it is the children. I have personally seen hundreds of examples on a website called MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Initiative. They have provided over 1300 clips from all over the Middle Eastern television. There are cartoon shows not unlike the ones we as younger children watched on Saturdays, but instead of Batman fighting crooks and robbers, it is a Muslim terrorist fighting the U.S. in Iraq. This language is not just inferred, but it is bluntly stated where the main character is going and what he intends to do, blow himself up so he can kill Americans. The broadcasts are in Arabic but MEMRI translates them to English so that Americans can hear what the terrorists and their children can hear.

Now these are just merely examples of the challenges we face. So here are some solutions. The oil crisis in the west is something that will take awhile to cure, but the main thing we can do now is find new energy sources. That doesn’t mean throw a few million bucks at it, it means make it a top priority of this nation. This country has taken steps since 9-11 to solve the oil problem but not enough. The longer we need oil, the longer the terrorist states have a bargaining chip over us.

If the oil problem was easy to institute then the propaganda is the polar opposite. It is very hard to influence a state run media that doesn’t want to change. Yet it is imperative that we get this under control because the longer that goes on the more time the radicals have to breed a new generation of terrorists.

Overall the challenge we face is not easy. But this country has a mission. As President Bush announced on September 20, 2001, “Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom, the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every time, now depends on us…and we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.”

The Teen Conservative

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