I am writing in part to respond to a letter several weeks ago that suggested the real issue in the coming election is how safe we are in our homes. The writer implied that somehow the policies of the Bush administration have made us safer.
Unfortunately, this is exactly the reverse of the truth. We have created a situation in the world where our friends distrust us and our motives, and our enemies have been focused and empowered by our actions. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who has written extensively about the Middle East, suggests the real possibility that we may have an Islamic Republic of Palestine and an Islamic Republic of Iraq by Election Day. The latter seems less likely with the adoption of an interim constitution last week, but not outside the realm of possibility if the internal warfare between Iraqis continues. In Afghanistan, the government of Karzai rules only within the area of the capital while warlords reassert control of the countryside. Meanwhile, the hand of Muslim extremists everywhere has been strengthened as the U.S. continues to show our willingness to pre-emptively strike where we will, act outside international law, and maintain "occupying" forces in Arab countries.