Sunday, December 02, 2007

Will ‘they’ follow them home?

I was watching the Republican CNN/YouTube debate the other day, couldn’t help but be amused by this view that unless the US is in Iraq, the ‘terrorists follow us home’ subscribed to by almost all GOP candidates.

First of all, are the terrorists lost or something? They can’t find the way perhaps now? They have to wait till the US troops go home to follow them? That’s kind of idea people would have got they encountered the argument for the first time in that debate, the idea however is slightly (note slightly) more sophisticated. It’s this notion that if ‘extremists’ get hold of Iraq, they can use it as a base for attacking the US and other ‘moderate’ leadership in the region.

This is the dominant view among the Republican presidential candidates, all of them – except Ron Paul. Paul (of whom I’m a huge fan) advocates a strict non-interventionist foreign policy for the United States, and calls for an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq. He claims that the extremists in the Arab (and the Muslim) world are motivated to attack the US because of its interventionist foreign policy towards the region, and particularly because of its troop deployments in the region.

Now, I don’t think that US should employ a strict by-the-book foreign policy, but I find it extraordinary that the NeoCons in media in the US and the rest of his colleagues running for president considers Paul’s views as some sort of a discredited conspiracy theory, when it's clearly not.

The 9/11 commission report for example, comprising of testimonies from experts on terrorism, the middle east and intelligence articulated exactly what Paul says.

Further the follow-home theory doesn’t have much currency from the experts either, the Foreign Policy Magazine reporting on its “terrorism index” which measures opinion of intelligence experts, military persons, and other academics as well as national security advisers, etc. on the US performance on the ‘War on Terror’ reports that experts find it unlikely.
Only 12 percent believe that terrorist attacks would occur in the United States as a direct result of a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq. Eighty-eight percent of the experts said that either such a scenario was unlikely or that they see no connection between a troop withdrawal from Iraq and terrorist attacks inside the United States. This line of thinking was consistent across party lines, with 58 percent of conservatives saying they did not believe terrorist attacks would occur at home as a result of a military drawdown in Iraq. [Link]
It has also long being established that what’s going on Iraq now is more of an internal sectarian power struggle, and not an attack on the US or ‘American Values’.

Paul has surprised many with the success of his candidacy, partly because he’s right on many of the issues. Its highly unlikely though he’ll actually get the nomination (not that I’d have believed he could raise 4.3 million a day either) But if republicans are to win a anti-war majority who's just fed up of Iraq, I think its high time they start moderating a bit.

NeoCons aren’t cool anymore and besides whatever the mistakes Americans have made, no country deserves a Rodham presidency. Paul Save America.

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