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Friday, July 23, 2004

Winning the War on Terror

I realize the media is focused on the 9/11 Commission's report ("available in bookstores nationwide"), but I'd also be quite interested in a national debate on the recommendations contained in a different report: "Winning the War on Terror." Both reports are in pdf, by the way.

This latter report was issued by Congressman Jim Turner (Representing the 2nd District of Texas) back in the spring (April 27).

Matt Yglesias blogged about it on TAPPED back at the end of April (and wrote an article for The American Prospect), but I've seen virtually nothing about it since.

The ideas haven't just died however. First, Turner is viewed as an expert on these issues. For example, he was quoted in the NY Times story on the 9/11 Commission Report Thursday.

More importantly, the Democrats are planning to allow Turner to speak (albeit last) on Monday night, which is the first evening of their convention. Jimmy Carter, the Clintons and even Al Gore are speaking that same evening, so don't expect Turner to receive that much public attention.

Still, that night's theme is "The Kerry-Edwards Plan for America's Future." Given the Kerry TV commercial emphasis on rail and port security, which reflects some of what Turner recommended in his spring report, I think this is going to receive major play in the next few months during the campaign.

It's a one-two punch on security:
1. Iraq is a foreign policy disaster and has made America less security.

2. The administration has ignored real plans for improving homeland security (like ports and rails). Their tax breaks for the wealthy created huge deficits, which makes funding such security very difficult. The result is that first responders are being threatened.
Given that Guard callups to Iraq are often first responders at home, this all really fits together well.

General Wesley Clark is also addressing the convention and he too made many of these same points during his campaign. Kerry is a better politician and won the nomination, but the message is very strong -- and genuinely important to US security.

I'm going to try to see/hear Representative Turner on Monday -- or at least find a transcript.

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