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Presidential debates exposed candidates

Published (Volume 77, No. 6)

Last Thursday’s presidential debate effectively portrayed the differences between the candidates.

I felt the president’s misjudgments, and his administration’s misconceptions, about the War on Terror could not have been better portrayed.

The president claims Sen. John Kerry’s efforts to return the focus of the war to Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, and their allies in some way is disloyal to American soldiers and the national effort against terrorism.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Despite our protracted, though insufficiently supported, presence in Afghanistan:

(1) The Taliban remains a serious threat to U.S. forces and the effort to encourage the growth of democracy there.

(2) However, opium poppies still grow there in abundance, along with heroin and opiates produced by the anti-U.S. forces there.

It remains a significant source of opiates sold illicitly in the United States.
(3) In Iraq, where Al Qaeda did not exist in strength before the fall of Saddam Hussein, insurrection abounds. Al Qaeda is there, but does it matter to an American soldier, correspondent, or contractor killed by insurrectionists if the insurrectionists are Al Qaeda, Al Sadr militiamen, or from another of the increasing number of insurrection / rebel groups?

(4) The energy spent for what has been a hard-fought, frustrating and costly experience in Iraq could have been unqualified victory in Afghanistan.
Richard Clark was right about everything he disclosed to the American people, and to the 9-11 Commission.
President Bush even acted against the wisdom of his father, the former President Bush.
America is no more or less in peril than on Sept. 11, 2001, but for every terrorist killed or captured since Sept. 12, 2001, an undeterminable number of others have been created.

Gary Evans is a Criminal Justice major from Big Sandy.