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If we assume that is futile to expect any reasonable decision by Bush White House, the problem of the Iraq War and the current surge is going to be handled by the next President. For that reason we should pay very close attention to statements of Senator McCain from some town meeting in New Hampshire. He claimed that if we withdrew from Iraq, the terrorists would follow us home.

The key question is how Mr. McCain has made such conclusion. It is impossible to find any historic precedent that would support the Senator’s opinion. Obviously Mr. McCain hasn’t done his homework and doesn’t know what the terrorist leader proclaimed a decade ago, which means it is very hard for McCain to predict the future terrorist moves.

As you remember, when Osama bin Laden declared war on the USA several years before the 9/11, his objective was to evict US forces from Saudi Arabia. If we project this platform, it is not hard to conclude that Al Qaeda’s goal is to evict foreign troops from the Muslim countries. I don’t recall that anybody from the terrorist leadership has ever promised to conquer the USA, not even in their propaganda messages.

The most direct historic precedent would be the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. As you certainly know, Al Qaeda didn’t follow the Russians over the border after the USSR withdrew. To claim that the terrorist organization has a logistical and organizational capacity to cross the Atlantic Ocean after we pounded them for several years and after we spent about $600 billion dismantling their organization is quite a stretch for any rational individual. Mr. McCain can not have it both ways. Either the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have failed or the terrorists don’t have the capability to follow us home. Unfortunately, Senator McCain wasn’t able to learn his lesson after the Vietnam War, so why expect him to be smarter today? By the way, did the Viet Cong follow us home after we withdrew from Vietnam? Did any guerrilla movements fighting for the liberation of their countries all over the world follow any colonial force after their withdrawal?

But, Senator McCain is extremely valuable to our country. What is his essence? He is the presidential candidate and Senator who voted to authorize the Iraq War. Who else is in his position? Senator Clinton and Senator Edwards. All three of them have voted for the war that killed more then 3,600 American troops, wasted about 600 billion dollars and destroyed our international credibility. It is the worst political decision since the vote that authorized the the President to start the Vietnam War.

If we know that more than 40 million Americans cannot afford to pay for healthcare and that about 20,000 Americans die every year from illnesses that could be cured if those people had enough money to pay for treatment, the human cost of a wrong Iraq War vote could be put at 203,600 lives, since $600 billion would pay for ten years of health care for those unfortunate people.

I am sure that all of them--McCain, Clinton and Edwards--are very patriotic and that they love this country. Unfortunately, ideas like aforementioned one have never crossed their minds. If it ever happened, they wouldn’t be running for President and they would let more capable Americans to lead this country. People like Mr. Kucincih were right several years ago and they are right today, but for some reason newspaper editors don’t think he is cool enough to be the next President. That’s why those three Senators are extremely valuable to our country. They indicate what our problem is. It is neither Clinton nor Edwards fault to be ranked #1 and #3 among the Democratic candidates nor McCain’s fault that he used to be Republican front-runner.

Uncritical reporting of McCain's statement that the terrorists would follow us home if we withdrew from Iraq isn’t the Senator's fault. It's the fault of news editors' not reporting that the historic facts and lessons give us completely different conclusion. That’s why we learn history--to be able to predict the future.

Kenan Porobic

Charlotte, NC

Jul 14 2007 - 9:24pm