Bush undermines his credibility even more as he attacks John Kerry by not only quoting him out of context, but by attacking him on something he said himself. Bush attacked Kerry for calling terrorism a "nuisance," even though that is not what was actually said. The quote was taken from a larger quote in the New York Times Sunday magazine, that his goal as president in waging war on terrorism would be to "get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance." Kerry was not calling terrorism a nuisance, but wanted to diminish the level of terrorism to such a low level that it is no longer the focus of our lives. He wants to return to a time where we can focus on education and health care. Bush shows his character when he will knowingly distort, twist, and misquotes his opponent.
Bush is not only playing fast a loose with words, but himself said that the war on terrorism is "un-winnable." As mush as I dislike the man, I happen to partially agree with Bush on this. Throughout human history, there have been a segment of the population that is willing to kill innocent people in order to prove a point, but we can remove many of the factors that lead someone to take such an extreme measure and reduce the number of terrorists. Unfortunately, Bush has a fundamental misunderstanding of terrorism and how to fight it. Brute force alone will not fix our terrorism problem. Take Chechnya for example. This is not a new problem for the Russians. Due to a century of brutally suppressing the Chechens, Russia was able to subjugate the region, but it also made for fertile breeding ground for separatists and terrorists. Now they are paying the consequences of their grandfathers' actions. Even though Russia continues to use extreme force to fight terrorism (makes our Iraq effort look like a day at Disneyland), terrorism has grown even more extreme. While the killing of innocent school children is never acceptable under any circumstance, understanding the root causes of why there is hate is vital in winning this war, or at least diminishing it enough to be only a nuisance. My fear is that my grandchildren will pay the consequences of Bush's actions and him not understanding the root causes of why someone is willing to kill himself to hurt us. Bush does not have the intellectual capacity to understand this. We need to understand the causes of terrorism, and terrorists need to understand that we will never give in and their actions only make us more resolute and less sympathetic.