We are not strengthening domestic defenses against terrorism adequately—nor pursuing true global terrorists vigorously—because of the enormous financial drain and military distraction of Iraq. That onerous burden diverts money from causes that could in fact make the world safer.
The war in Iraq is increasing the number of terrorists and the instances of terrorism world-wide because our administration has a misunderstanding of the true nature and causes of this violence.
Because of this same lack of understanding, we are not laying the diplomatic and economic groundwork necessary to reduce terrorism in the future.
Acts of oppression and occupation, the tinder of terrorism, will not quietly disappear. We have the opportunity to make a difference, especially in those areas of the world where population growth soars, economic equality worsens, and the seeds of extremism take root.
War will not rid the world of terrorism. Force does not subdue, it enrages. We have the opportunity to lead the world out of this danger by building up, not tearing down.
Friendship. The protection of the individual. A helping hand. These are what America truly exemplifies, and what America should continue to symbolize to the world.
America has an unparalleled opportunity. It is in our own self-interest to act. But while it is our duty, it is also our great honor to strive to be a light in the world when so much is in shadows.