Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Republish: Time for a Home Front Surge?

[Saylor's note: Originally distributed prior to the 2008 Presidential election's primaries.]

Time for a Home Front Surge?
An American Muslim asks presidential candidates: How will you wield your greatest asset, the American people, in our conflict against extremism?

By Corey Saylor

In 1941 Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the mind behind the Pearl Harbor surprise attack, was asked about the course of a possible Japan-U.S. conflict. He replied: "I shall run wild considerably for the first six months or a year but I have utterly no confidence for the second and third years."

Responding to Japan's Pearl Harbor attack President Franklin Roosevelt, in his famous "date which will live in infamy" speech the day after the attack, said, "No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory."

In August, 1996, Osama bin Laden showed considerably less respect when outlining his thoughts for an Al-Qaeda-U.S. conflict. Referring to a 1993 firefight in Mogadishu, Somalia, he said: ".you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge, but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal."

Bin Laden followed his taunts with attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the U.S.S. Cole and, another date which will live in infamy, September 11.

Responding to the 9/11 attack President George Bush, in an address to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001, said to the nation, "Americans are asking, 'What is expected of us?' I ask you to live your lives and hug your children."

This response is not working, this is not the second or third year-it is the sixth. Bin Laden still runs wild. The righteous might of the American people was channeled into "living your lives."

Bush's recommendation unfairly places the burden of winning the struggle against extremism primarily on the shoulders of our military and their families. Finding the struggle less of a burden are several corporations which profit greatly from armed conflict.

So here is a simple, yet unaddressed question to those who wish to lead us: what will you do to better tap the time, treasure and talent of your greatest asset in the war against extremism? Is it time for a home front surge?

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