Our friend and colleague Dr. Walid Phares is an author and terrorism expert who emailed the commentary below to a select group of people around the country. He has a keen grasp of the ideology at the root of Islamic terrorism and books he has written, such as Future Jihad, are high on our recommended reading list.
As we have made clear, ACT! for America does not endorse candidates. We provide information and education on issues related to national security and Islamic terrorism. With respect to the issues of national security and Islamic terrorism, Dr. Phares’ analysis of what is at issue and at stake in this election is invaluable reading. We strongly encourage you to make the time to read 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 of the iceberg in terms of an attack against America. As I argued in previous writings, the first volley was OPEC’s driving the prices at the pumps as high as needed to crack our economic resilience. The hard core (and ideological) oil-producing regimes have been trying to affect the minds of millions of Americans in the same way al Qaeda’s propagandists did with the upset Spanish voters in March 2004.
Today OPEC launched its second offensive – possibly its last before election day – to reduce petrol production as prices fell very low. After hitting US citizens with an economic meltdown, it wants to smack them with a goods shortage crisis to force them into making the ultimate decision: jump into another realm. The current economically-induced crisis is only a treatment to provoke a regime change in America. As odd as it is, the forces pushing for the change “they need” have set the US Presidential election as a mechanism to morph this democracy into the uncharted future that awaits it, if the polls are on target.
Today Americans are readying, some have already begun, to elect a new President. This testimony I am putting forth aims at explaining my vision of this electoral benchmark in view of future developments, beyond November 4th, the next four to eight years and throughout the first part of the twenty-first century. This vote, more than any previous ones, can transform America’s destiny radically, and with it, the future of many nations, particularly those civil societies suffering from oppression around the world.
Most likely my analysis will be reviewed by a few thousand faithful readers. It is not sent out to influence the outcome of the election for it is too small in a universe of extremely powerful winds driving the electorate, on both sides of the debate. The arguments I am advancing in this piece are the least visible in the agendas of both camps, at least in the next few days. But in the next decade and perhaps as early as the next few years or even months, historians and citizens will reexamine the dimensions of this discussion of the overarching grave menace hovering over US national security. This is why, as a scholar studying conflicts, I am writing about this particular election.
As an academic and counterterrorism expert, I do not get involved in partisan and strictly political processes. But as in 2004’s Presidential election, this week’s voting choice will affect the current and future national defense and survival of this country. Hence it is my duty as a citizen with knowledge in this field to share my views and projections with fellow citizens: For the choices given to voters are dramatically opposed in terms of defining the direction in which this country will move to defend its democracy and freedom around the world.
The United States’ Presidency is endowed with powers that can impact global history 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 of proliferation of catastrophic weapons, the direction selected by the next US President will affect not only this generation but the next one as well. Hence, regardless of the voting results on the 4th and beyond, it is important to testify beforehand in writing, so that future readers would draw the lessons when confronted with similar choices. Therefore, my words will be rough and direct.
The national security experience
The US primaries produced two leaders and their running mates. With the utmost respect to their personal histories, sacrifices and achievements, are these three men and one woman the ultimate choice that could have been given to Americans? Their supporters feel it is the case while many others, including the partisans of those who were defeated in the parties’ primaries, claim otherwise. In my realm of study and concentration the question is different, simply because I believe national survival trumps everything else, in these times of world threats.
I frame it as follows: are the four contending politicians as aware of the enemy as the leaders of the enemy are aware of America’s weaknesses and resources? We will see. But I argue that we’ve seen US Presidents learning on the 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 the evening of November 3, 2008; yet he confronted the country’s enemies for seven years while learning on the job.
Today, the average citizen’s instincts know more about the threat we’re facing than the combined advisors of Presidents Clinton and Bush before the War on Terror, as per the 9/11 Commission findings. So based on their records, speeches, length of service and publications regarding the national threat, one can project that the four leaders America has to consider for the two top offices would be ranked as follows: Senator John McCain comes first, Senator Joe Biden comes second and Senator Barack Obama and Governor Sarah Palin come equally third. This ranking is quantitative and verifiable. Based on a simple examination of past decades regarding McCain and Biden, and years regarding Obama and Palin, the strict “experience factor” in matters of war and peace, national security and defense, undoubtedly among the four, McCain would be the top man for the job, followed by Biden.
Hence since the Senator from Arizona has selected Palin as his running mate, he thus would assume the responsibility of her choice as his replacement if God forbid the worse were to happen. On the experience factor alone, it is ineluctable that, according to the famous phrase of Senator Hillary Clinton, I would trust the judgment of the former Navy Pilot, if awakened at 3 AM to address a national security calamity. But let’s go beyond the mere “experience factor.”
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