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PLATFORM ISSUES :: TERRORISM

People say that the war on terrorism is not a "popular" war. When was a war ever popular? We speak about this war in an abstract manner as if we could easily walk away from if we choose to. Unfortunately, we do not have that option. In February of 1998, a Declaration of Holy War was declare against America by Osama Bin Laden, Sheikh Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Ladin; Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of the Jihad Group in Egypt; Abu- Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha, a leader of the Islamic Group; Sheikh Mir Hamzah, secretary of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan; and Fazlul Rahman, leader of the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh. This declaration of war called upon all Muslims. It states in part:

The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies--civilians and military--is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty God, "and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together," and "fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God."

This declaration calls upon all Muslim but only the most radical will heed this call of terrorism. However, with a religion of over a billion followers – even a small percentage can be a very large number to face. This is not just a declaration of war against our armies but it is against every American citizens, people like you and me and your next-door neighbor. These radicals have heard this call and they are responding.

We do not seek to wage war against any peace loving person or country. Our battle is not with religious beliefs or people of any race or color. Our battle is simply with those who threaten or attack us. Our enemy includes terrorist who operate under the cloak of religion and who use false teachings and misdirection to excite their hijacked followers into a killing frenzy. If necessary, our battle will include those false prophets, those unscrupulous hate spewing self-appointed religious zealots who use their positions of power and trust to promulgate death against the people of our country and our allies. We will target and remove them in the same fashion we would their assassins, bombers and other agents who seek to destroy us.

I understand that this war on terrorism is difficult for Americans to get behind because the attacks by the enemy are not sustained and are infrequent. Terrorist hope that their well-planned hit and run attacks will scare us, weaken our resolve, and cause us to spend billions of dollars fending off future attacks that only they know will happen or not. This is not a conventional war like those we have fought so many times before, this is a war against a virtually invisible enemy, that wears no uniform and melts easily into our multi cultured society. He uses our laws of freedom as weapons against us. His hatred for us is so strong that he is willing to die, if his death will insure the death of many of us. Terrorist attacks seek to undermine our will to fight by targeting civilians and creating enough fear that we will want to accept their ultimatums. They seek to create enough false information about attacks that our government will look impotent in stopping them. This is not a war against a weak or poorly educated enemy. The tactics they use are straight from the tactics of the great General Sun Tzu. He wrote in his often quoted book.“The Art of War” :

“Warfare is based on deception. - By discovering the enemy's dispositions and remaining invisible ourselves, we can keep our forces concentrated, while the enemy's must be divided. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. Set one party against another within the enemy if they are united”

Our country is experiencing the effects of some of these tactics now. Terrorists know that there are factions in our own country that will decry the loss of military and civilian lives and bemoan the billions that are spent supporting our troops. These so-called patriots only help the terrorist with their mission to divide us. As Sun Tzu stated, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” The assistance that the pundits, celebrity figures and political opportunist provide our enemy with their attacks on those who are burden with the prosecution of this war are welcomed by the terrorist in helping them fulfill their mission to divide our country and weaken our resolve. Eventually it comes down to a national debate between those who say that if we leave them alone then they will leave us alone, and those who say that nothing should deter us from the battle. When these debates rage we need to remember the words of Margaret Thatcher "I seem to smell the stench of appeasement in the air."

The fact is, it is too late to "leave them alone". War has been declared on us and there is much more at stake than meets the eye. Make no mistake about it; this is not simply a war between pro and anti-Americans. This is a strategic assault on our economic future that seeks to permanently block our access to the Middle East oil supply.

Our enemy recognizes and relishes our dependency on foreign oil imports. They know that they can cripple our military, our economy, our very existance by turning off our oil supply. Then, without firing one more shot, without sending one more suicide bomber into a crowded bus, without beheading one more innocent hostage, they have won. Our nation will have been brought to its knees by a lack of oil. So the war on terrorism is a war that must be fought on two fronts. One front requires military action while the other requires a call to action. Only you, through the power of your vote, can issue an edict demanding the development of alternate energy sources while we still have a country to protect and defend.

Every war has a financial cost that must also be considered, and this war is costing us billions of dollars. If left unchecked, spending will soon top the combined costs of every war that our country has ever participated in starting with the Revolutionary war right on through WW II, Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East wars of the last decade. Human losses will also continue to mount exponentially.

We can not afford to remain in the role of the world's policeman yet we can ill afford to turn away from this clear and present danger.

We must rely less on our conventional warfare tactics and, instead, fight terrorists with their own tactics. My battle plan calls for increased intelligence operations combined with precision, surgical strikes against terrorist cells and activities as they are discovered, rather than deploying thousands of troops in the full-time occupation of terror-supporting countries.

We have the potential to conduct electronic ground and satellite-based intelligence gathering with a precision that is unrivaled in the world yet we continue to depend upon Human Intelligence (HUMINT) activities which are inherently unreliable and costly in the terms of both lives and the bureaucracy that is required to support these operations.

We have spent over $200 billion dollars during the last 40 years developing, testing, and deploying satellite intelligence (SATINT) systems that are capable of positively identifying the facial features of a single person standing anywhere on the planet, yet governmental blundering and inter-agency squabbling prevents us for even remotely benefiting from these "eyes in the sky".

We have created agency upon agency, and department upon department to gather and analyze intelligence data. Recently the Director of Central Intelligence created yet another organization that is tasked with developing and monitoring SATINT. This CIA initiative duplicates existing services rendered by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO),and is only being created to ensure that the CIA has exclusive access tointelligence data that it does not have to share with other Government agencies. It is this sort of inter-agency rivalry that not only wastesbillion of dollars but actually heightens the terrorist threat to theU.S. and our allies by blocking access to critical intelligence data byother agencies who are also charged with maintaining our National andworld security.

This is one more example of the "good old boy network" mentality that places business relationships and cronyism ahead of our personal and national safety. Lives are being traded for pork barrel initiatives by both parties. This will not be allowed to happen under my administration.

Our country is also unrivaled in the area of communications intelligence (COMINT). Our National Security Agency has computers that are capable of monitoring every electronic and voice communication, eminating from anywhere in the world, as it occurs. These computers can identify and isolate any known voice and any word or phrase. Used correctly we have the capability of intercepting and identifying terror operations while they are still in the planning stages.

With all of this technology comes a responsibility to use it for the common defense and not for personal or political gain. This is a responsibility that I am willing to step up and assume. The prosecution of the war against terrorism would still require a degree of ground support, and a role for HUMINT will always exist, but we can turn the tide of this war with our high tech capabilities that no terror-supporting country or organization could ever hope to match. This lets us reduce terrorist activity and military spending at the same time.

I have become unpopular among politicians and top-level business executives of the so-called 'Military and Industrial Complex' because I call for the elimination of waste and duplication, and because I challenge entrenched industrial, energy, and political power bases.

Waste and duplication are synonyms for profit in the war industry and lost profits are the enemy of people who enrich themselves at the very cost of human lives. My position has made me an enemy of these same people, some of which have hinted of the dangers that face a country run by "and old woman who does not understand the politics of war". I understand the politics of war very well, and I understand why there are those who would silence me if they could.

As President I will take an oath to "defend against all enemies, both domestic and foreign." That is an oath that I will take seriously. My terrorism policy actually reduces the horrors of war and the instances of what we so politely call "collateral damage" which is actually the accidental killing of innocent civilians during military operations. My policy oflaser-targeted, preemptive strikes against known terrorist operatives that are actively planning or engaging in attacks against our nation, or any of our allies, will also reduce property damage, lessen the risks undertaken by our military forces, and reduce the overall costs of this ongoing war.

My policy will result in striking terror in the hearts of terrorists. They will learn that there are no safe havens. They will learn that the consequences of their actions are real and immediate. They will live their lives looking over their shoulder and waiting for a targeted strike which is sure to come. They will lose their reliance on their communication devices and computers. They will even lose their ability to appear in public lest they be detected by our satellite network.

It is my wish that not one more life be sacrificed to the war on terror or to any war, for any reason. I will constantly and vigilantly remain open to establishing a peaceful co-existance with all nations while steadfastly defending our country against all enemies, both domestic and foreign.

I pledge to focus all of our technological and human assets towards eliminating the terrorist threat from wherever it hides and to develop and resolutely follow a policy of preemptive defensive operations whenever they are called for.

America's domestic tranquility will not be lost on my watch.