Last Advice Before Election Day

Friday, 31 October 2008 13:04

Our friend and colleague Dr. Walid Phares is an author and terrorism expert whoemailed the commentary below to a select group of people around the country. Hehas a keen grasp of the ideology at the root of Islamic terrorism and books hehas written, such as Future Jihad, are high on our recommended readinglist.

As we have made clear, ACT! for America does not endorse candidates. We provideinformation and education on issues related to national security and Islamicterrorism. With respect to the issues of national security and Islamicterrorism, Dr. Phares’ analysis of what is at issue and at stake in thiselection is invaluable reading. We strongly encourage you to make the time toread this and then forward it on to others.

Last Advice Before Election Day:Vote for National Survival

After Comparing McCain and Obama's agendas on Terror wars: I made my choice.

Dr. Walid Phares

In short, the financial drama that we’ve been living through is only the tip ofthe iceberg in terms of an attack against America. As I argued in previouswritings, the first volley was OPEC’s driving the prices at the pumps as highas needed to crack our economic resilience. The hard core (and ideological) oil-producingregimes have been trying to affect the minds of millions of Americans in thesame way al Qaeda’s propagandists did with the upset Spanish voters in March2004.

Today OPEC launched its second offensive – possibly its last before electionday – to reduce petrol production as prices fell very low. After hitting UScitizens with an economic meltdown, it wants to smack them with a goodsshortage crisis to force them into making the ultimate decision: jump intoanother realm. The current economically-induced crisis is only a treatment toprovoke a regime change in America. As odd as it is, the forces pushing for thechange “they need” have set the US Presidential election as a mechanismto morph this democracy into the uncharted future that awaits it, if the pollsare on target.

Today Americans are readying, some have already begun, to elect a newPresident. This testimony I am putting forth aims at explaining my vision ofthis electoral benchmark in view of future developments, beyond November 4th,the next four to eight years and throughout the first part of the twenty-firstcentury. This vote, more than any previous ones, can transform America’sdestiny radically, and with it, the future of many nations, particularly thosecivil societies suffering from oppression around the world.

Most likely my analysis will be reviewed by a few thousand faithful readers. Itis not sent out to influence the outcome of the election for it is too small ina universe of extremely powerful winds driving the electorate, on both sides ofthe debate. The arguments I am advancing in this piece are the least visible inthe agendas of both camps, at least in the next few days. But in the nextdecade and perhaps as early as the next few years or even months, historians andcitizens will reexamine the dimensions of this discussion of the overarchinggrave menace hovering over US national security. This is why, as a scholarstudying conflicts, I am writing about this particular election.

As an academic and counterterrorism expert, I do not get involved in partisanand strictly political processes. But as in 2004’s Presidential election, thisweek’s voting choice will affect the current and future national defense andsurvival of this country. Hence it is my duty as a citizen with knowledge inthis field to share my views and projections with fellow citizens: For thechoices given to voters are dramatically opposed in terms of defining thedirection in which this country will move to defend its democracy and freedomaround the world.

The United States’ Presidency is endowed with powers that can impact globalhistory in addition to the evolution of America as a democracy and as a nation.In this era of confrontation with the global Jihadi threats and ofproliferation of catastrophic weapons, the direction selected by the next USPresident will affect not only this generation but the next one as well. Hence,regardless of the voting results on the 4th and beyond, it isimportant to testify beforehand in writing, so that future readers would drawthe lessons when confronted with similar choices. Therefore, my words will berough and direct.

The national security experience

The US primaries produced two leaders and their running mates. With the utmostrespect to their personal histories, sacrifices and achievements, are thesethree men and one woman the ultimate choice that could have been given toAmericans? Their supporters feel it is the case while many others, includingthe partisans of those who were defeated in the parties’ primaries, claimotherwise. In my realm of study and concentration the question is different,simply because I believe national survival trumps everything else, in thesetimes of world threats.

I frame it as follows: are the four contending politicians as aware of theenemy as the leaders of the enemy are aware of America’s weaknesses andresources? We will see. But I argue that we’ve seen US Presidents learning onthe job, including the current president. On the evening of September 10, 2001,President George W Bush knew much less than Senators McCain and Obama on theevening of November 3, 2008; yet he confronted the country’s enemies for sevenyears while learning on the job.

Today, the average citizen’s instincts know more about the threat we’re facingthan the combined advisors of Presidents Clinton and Bush before the War onTerror, as per the 9/11 Commission findings. So based on their records,speeches, length of service and publications regarding the national threat, onecan project that the four leaders America has to consider for the two topoffices would be ranked as follows: Senator John McCain comes first, SenatorJoe Biden comes second and Senator Barack Obama and Governor Sarah Palin comeequally third. This ranking is quantitative and verifiable. Based on a simpleexamination of past decades regarding McCain and Biden, and years regardingObama and Palin, the strict “experience factor” in matters of war and peace,national security and defense, undoubtedly among the four, McCain would be thetop man for the job, followed by Biden.

Hence since the Senator from Arizona has selected Palin as his running mate, hethus would assume the responsibility of her choice as his replacement if Godforbid the worse were to happen. On the experience factor alone, it isineluctable that, according to the famous phrase of Senator Hillary Clinton, Iwould trust the judgment of the former Navy Pilot, if awakened at 3 AM toaddress a national security calamity. But let’s go beyond the mere “experiencefactor.”

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