Ted Kennedy today told Tim Russert that Iraq had become a "haven" for the terrorists. I just have to take exception to this characterization. A haven, as any inhabitant of Massachusetts should know, is a safe harbor, a port, a place where a ship is insulated from the storm, where repairs can be made in peace, where the crew can take sustenence and comfort, unmolested by the hazards of the high seas. Surely, few terrorists view Iraq in this light. It may be attractive to them, a challenge, a glorious field, but certainly not a haven. Test in combat may be hardening them, making them more effective as fighters, breeding new terrorists even, but it is not giving them a chance to heal.
If you are looking for a terrorist haven, try to remember what Afghanistan was like. How about the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia, Sudan, Indonesia -- places where they can recruit, collect money, train in secret. Those are havens for terrorists.
I am not one who thinks Ted Kennedy is an evil conniver. I think he is an honest and humbled man trying to do the best he can for the people as long as he has the strength to speak. I think he rightly sees himself in historical terms, continuing the battles that his family represents. He has applied himself to realistic efforts for compromise and progress in the Senate. However, he couldn't be more wrong about the war in Iraq or the cost that we are paying to fight it. He sees it, as do many, through the prism of Vietnam, which was indeed painful and costly. It was also demoralizing because we lost when we didn't have to. We can only lose in Iraq if his opinions prevail.
11/6/05 01:15 PM