Taking the fight to the terrorists
"We're fighting them there, so we don't have to fight them here. That is a favorite Republican nonreason-reason for continuing toward infinity with the war in Iraq," A. Alexander wrote July 3, 2006, in The Progressive Daily Beacon.
"Never mind the war is lumbering on toward four long years now. Forget too, that what Republicans advocate when repeating that tired sound bite designed to prevent any real discussion from occurring, is that we must 'stay the' same failed 'course'. Forget all that, because the reality concerning 'We're fighting them there, so we don't have to fight them here,' is that bin-Laden really wants to fight us there and not here. September 11, 2001, was merely the method and means by which bin-Laden tricked Bush and Republicans into fighting a war on his terms," Alexander wrote.
Nearly a year before, on July 7, 2005, Arianna Huffington wrote:
- "Odds are we probably won’t be hearing for a while the Bush mantra that the reason we're fighting them over in Iraq is so we don't have to fight them here at home. For the last few months, this ludicrous shibboleth has been the president’s go-to line—his latest rationale for slogging on in Iraq. ... The attacks in London proved how absurd this either/or logic is when fighting this kind of hydra-headed enemy."
"Tragically, the terrible bombing in London shows we are now paying a horrible price for this silly, dangerous, short-sighted, and truly dishonest line of reasoning," David Sirota added July 7, 2005.
"The idea that, because our troops are in Iraq, terrorists will only attack us there and not 'in the streets of our own cities' is, first and foremost, an insult to our troops because it treats them as if their entire mission is to serve as bait for terrorists. That's not what our troops—or America—was told this was all about.
"Secondly, are we really supposed to believe the same terrorists who masterminded the 9/11 attack can't walk and chew gum at the same time? I mean, maybe George W. Bush and the dolts around him are so intellectually impaired they can't do two things at once—but Al Qaeda sure can, and any sentiment to the contrary is idiotic," Sirota said. 
The "puppy dog" theory
Does President Bush "think terrorists are puppy dogs? He keeps saying that terrorists will 'follow us home' like lost dogs. This will only happen, however, he says, if we 'lose' in Iraq," Richard A. Clarke, former chief counterterrorism adviser on the U.S. National Security Council under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and now chairman of Good Harbor Consulting, wrote April 25, 2007, in the New York Daily News.
"The puppy dog theory is the corollary to earlier sloganeering that proved the President had never studied logic: 'We are fighting terrorists in Iraq so that we will not have to face them and fight them in the streets of our own cities.'" 
"How is this odd terrorist puppy dog behavior supposed to work? The President must believe that terrorists are playing by some odd rules of chivalry. Would this be the 'only one slaughter ground at a time' rule of terrorism?" Clarke asks.
"Of course, nothing about our being 'over there' in any way prevents terrorists from coming here. Quite the opposite, the evidence is overwhelming that our presence provides motivation for people throughout the Arab world to become anti-American terrorists," Clarke writes.
"Yet in the fantasyland of illogic in which the President dwells, shaped by slogans devised by spin doctors, America can 'win' in Iraq. Then, we are to believe, the terrorists will be so demoralized that they will recant their beliefs and cease their terrorist ways," Clarke writes.
"The truth," Clarke writes: "If not for this administration's reckless steps to push America into war - and strategic blunder after strategic blunder that has satisfied the blood lust of the enemy - fewer evildoers would follow us home like the dogs that they are."
President George W. Bush
- "We are committed to defending the nation. Yet wars are not won on the defensive. The best way to keep America safe from terrorism is to go after terrorists where they plan and hide." --November 16, 2002. 
- "In a statement released by the White House, Bush said the United States 'works closely with every nation committed to this fight and we will continue to help our allies and friends improve their ability to fight terror.' The strategy focuses on taking the fight against terrorists directly to them, isolating the terrorists from each other and potential allies, and disrupting plots before attacks occur." --February 14, 2003. 
- "We are fighting these terrorists with our military in Afghanistan and Iraq and beyond so we do not have to face them in the streets of our own cities." --October 25, 2004. 
- "We're taking the fight to the terrorists abroad, so we don't have to face them here at home." --June 9, 2005. 
- "We either deal with terrorism and this extremism abroad, or we deal with it when it comes to us." --June 28, 2005. 
- "At posts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world, our men and women in uniform are taking the fight to the terrorists overseas," Bush stated, and upholding a universal principle of the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, "that all are created equal, and all are meant to be free." --July 2, 2005. 
- "We are pursuing a comprehensive strategy to win the war on terror. We're taking the fight to the terrorists abroad so we do not have to face them here at home." --July 4, 2005. 
- Rudi Giuliani, Real Audio, posted by Newsday.com, date unknown.
- Democratic Senator Harry Reid's website posts "Targetting the Terrorists More Effectively S. 12," in which he states: 
- "Take the Fight to the Terrorists. S. 12 contains three basic provisions that will allow the U.S. to take the fight to the terrorists in a more effective manner. First, S. 12 increases the U.S. Special Forces capability by 2,000 personnel over the next several years, greatly enhancing this nation’s ability to track down and eliminate international terrorists in all corners of the globe. S. 12 also increases foreign language experts in the U.S. government, thereby ensuring that our troops and security personnel receive timely translations of critical conversations between terrorist organizations. S.12 also strengthens measures to combat terrorist financing, a critical aspect of the war on terror."
Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas stated on his official House of Representatives website:
- "Of course, you know about President Bush's plan to take the fight to the terrorists. Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom have done just that. One by one, the swamps are being drained and the safe harbors are being denied." --undated 2004. 
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Bush administration talking points on Iraq
- Bush regime delusions
- Bush's Speech, June 28, 2005
- embolden the terrorists
- George W. Bush's news conferences
- Iraq as an imminent threat
- Iraq Coalition Casualty Statistics
- McCain doctrine
- Operation Iraqi Freedom: Year Four
- War in Iraq is fueling global terrorism
- war on terrorism
By George W. Bush
- "Winning the War on Terrorism," November 16, 2002, posted on Office of Management and Budget website.
- "National Strategy for Combating Terrorism," posted on the United States Mission to the European Union website, February 14, 2003.
- News Release: President's Remarks in Greeley, Colorado, Island Grove Regional Park Events Center, October 25, 2004.
- News Release: President Discusses Patriot Act, Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy, Columbus, Ohio, June 9, 2005.
- Text of President Bush's Speech, Associated Press, June 28, 2005.
- "Bush Honors Troops Protecting Principles of Independence Day. President's radio address celebrates July 4 during 'time of testing'," U.S. Department of State, July 2, 2005.
- "Bush Celebrates U.S. Independence as Model for Freedom Worldwide. President again pledges United States will stay in Iraq 'until the fight is won'," U.S. Department of State, July 5, 2005.
Articles & Commentary
- Frank Lucas, "Strong Defense and a Secure Homeland," Official House of Representatives website, undated 2004.
- James Scott, "Six Questions for President Bush," The Daily Texan, March 25, 2004.
- "We’re Fighting Them Over There… So We Can Fight Them Everywhere," Think Progress, June 10, 2005.
- Arianna Huffington, "London: Bush’s 'Flypaper Theory' is Blown to Pieces," The Huffington Report, July 7, 2005.
- David Sirota, "Iraq, London & America's Homeland Insecurity," davidsirota.com, July 7, 2005.
- Pie-Eyed Picayune, "President Bush's Siren Song," Analysis and documentation of every time President Bush has stated that we are taking the fight to the terrorists, July 28, 2005.
- A. Alexander, "Playing into bin-Laden's Hand - 'We're Fighting Them There, So We Don't Have to Fight Them Here'," Progressive Daily Beacon, July 3, 2006.