October 19, 2004

BAH, WHAT DOES HE KNOW:

War of Words (TOMMY FRANKS, 10/19/04, NY Times)

Contrary to Senator Kerry, President Bush never "took his eye off the ball" when it came to Osama bin Laden. The war on terrorism has a global focus. It cannot be divided into separate and unrelated wars, one in Afghanistan and another in Iraq. Both are part of the same effort to capture and kill terrorists before they are able to strike America again, potentially with weapons of mass destruction. Terrorist cells are operating in some 60 countries, and the United States, in coordination with dozens of allies, is waging this war on many fronts.

As we planned for potential military action in Iraq and conducted counterterrorist operations in several other countries in the region, Afghanistan remained a center of focus. Neither attention nor manpower was diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq. When we started Operation Iraqi Freedom we had about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, and by the time we finished major combat operations in Iraq last May we had more than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan.

We are committed to winning this war on all fronts, and we are making impressive gains. Afghanistan has held the first free elections in its history. Iraq is led by a free government made up of its own citizens. By the end of this year, NATO and American forces will have trained 125,000 Iraqis to enforce the law, fight insurgents and secure the borders. This is in addition to the great humanitarian progress already achieved in Iraq.

Many hurdles remain, of course. But the gravest danger would result from the withdrawal of American troops before we finish our work. Today we are asking our servicemen and women to do more, in more places, than we have in decades. They deserve honest, consistent, no-spin leadership that respects them, their families and their sacrifices. The war against terrorism is the right war at the right time for the right reasons. And Iraq is one of the places that war must be fought and won. George W. Bush has his eye on that ball and Senator John Kerry does not.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 19, 2004 1:51 PM
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