Friday, October 01, 2004


Going Fishing?

While reviewing the transcript from last night's Presidential Debate, I was struck again by our president's inability to respond to John Kerry's attacks. He was clearly unprepared for Kerry's assault. Maybe he had fallen victim to his own rhetoric, thinking that Kerry would weakly collapse under the flip-flop accusations, or maybe Kerry would break-down and cry when George spoke of freedom and liberty. But for those of us that have been following Kerry beyond the five second soundbites that you hear on the news, we knew different. We knew that Kerry would fight, and that he did.

What I found to be the most telling comment of the night came during George W. Bush's closing statement:

Aside from the fact that this is a conglomeration of recycled soundbites, the statement concerning fighting terrorists around the world struck me as odd. I know that this is not a new statement, it's been a part of his stump speech for months now and there has always been something that bothers me about it. It's been called the "flypaper" tactic meaning that if we are in Iraq, we'll attract the terrorists there to fight against us therefore keeping them away from our shores. But it occured to me that there may be a better way to describe this approach: going fishing. We are casting our line out into the world of terrorism hoping to catch something. We're trolling, as the anglers would say. What disturbs me the most about this approach is what we are using as bait: our soldiers.

George W. Bush likes to say that our soldiers are dying for a noble cause. While I mean no disrespect to anyone in uniform, past or present, I wonder how the families of our soldiers would feel to know that their sons and daughters are being used as bait to draw the terrorists into Iraq. They are the proverbial carrot on a stick in Bush's plan. It sickens me to think that our children are being dangled in front of the terrorist's noses in order to entice them out of their holes.

Our local Guard unit is getting ready to deploy in November. The men and women going to Iraq include colleagues, friends, neighbors, and former students of my wife and myself. It twists my stomach into knots to think that they are going to Iraq to be used as bait, because any good fisherman will tell you that for every fish you catch, you're bound to lose some bait.

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