The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

An Email to the Governor

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Ordinary personIowa’s Governor Tom Vilsack has recently and publicly hoped that the Democratic party agenda will be shaped by ordinary people. Feeling ordinary enough, I decided to send him a note, which I include here:

Dear Governor Vilsack:

You have publicly expressed hope that ordinary people will shape the agenda of the Democratic party in coming years. Here is an ordinary person’s agenda item:

Why not create a foreign policy that addresses the causes of terrorism, rather than its results alone?

In the last presidential election, Sen. Kerry labored to prove that Democrats were as tough as Republicans. I had hoped to hear that Democrats were different on terrorism than Republicans.

Islamist terrorism is not complex. Muslims generally legitimate jihad only as a defensive necessity. Islamists, with an eye toward history, assume the West to have expansionist motives. Every time American military presence in a Muslim nation expands, the Islamists’ outlook appears to be confirmed. Recruitment soars. Americansand many othersperish.

When confronted, the President responds with jingoism: “Strength doesn’t create terrorism. Weakness creates terrorism.”

Why not develop language that clearly challenges these over-simplifications? Are nations of small military capability really Islamist targets? Does Osama bin Laden have his sights set on, say, Costa Rica?

The President knows it is hard for us to believe anyone sane regards America as a threat. Islamists, he insists, must be unreasonable fanatics. Force, then, becomes the the only virtuous response.

And Americans—and many othersperish. Seems like they get us one way or another.

I hear no one addressing the underlying questions of this terrorist era: Why is it that America is a target of terrorism? Why can’t we create a foreign policy that contributes to a fizzling-out of Islamist extremism?

It seems like a void that Democrats could fill.

Sincere best wishes,

Monte Asbury

Washington, Iowa


Written by Monte

July 4, 2006 at 12:41 pm

Posted in Iraq, Terrorism

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