How does fighting them over there save us from fighting them over here?

May 29, 2007 | By | 7 Replies More

Would someone please explain the following to me?  Bush and his Republican pals tell us that the reason they want to keep American troops in Iraq because they want to “fight the terrorists over there, so we don’t have to fight them over here,”  Where, exactly, is the logic in that statement?  How does having American troops on the Middle-East prevent a terrorist attack in North America?  How does it make U.S. borders more secure or American cities safer?  American troops in Baghdad can’t even secure Baghdad, what makes anyone think they are securing New York, Chicago and L.A.?

I just don’t see how keeping American troops in Iraq makes it any less likely that terrorists will attack America.  Don’t terrorists have plenty of ways to get into America without going through Iraq first?  Indeed, if a terrorist wanted to attack America, how likely do you suppose it is that he would go to Iraq in the first place?  Why not just go straight to the U.S.?

Please, the next time Bush or one of the 2008 Republican presidential hopefuls says he wants to keep American troops in Iraq because he wants to “fight them over there, so we don’t have to fight them over here,” ask him to explain how he thinks it will do so.


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Grumpypilgrim is a writer and management consultant living in Madison, WI. He has several scientific degrees, including a recent master’s degree from MIT. He has also held several professional career positions, none of which has been in a field in which he ever took a university course. Grumps is an avid cyclist and, for many years now, has traveled more annual miles by bicycle than by car…and he wishes more people (for the health of both themselves and our planet) would do the same. Grumps is an enthusiastic advocate of life-long learning, healthy living and political awareness. He is single, and provides a loving home for abused and abandoned bicycles. Grumpy’s email: grumpypilgrim(AT)@gmail(DOT).com [Erich’s note: Grumpy asked that his email be encrypted this way to deter spam. If you want to write to him, drop out the parentheticals in the above address].

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  1. ThinkingMeat · Good question | February 27, 2008
  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    Q: If we tell the Iraqis that we will leave if there are no bombings in Iraq for 6 months, will the insurgents do their part to get rid of us?

  2. Ben says:

    I guess the rationale could be that the "terrorists" will be more worried about defending their families back home. Therefore they will not have time or energy to send attacks our way. Kind of ridiculous propaganda, because this would (in itself) be justifying that anybody we attack (Iraq, in this case) are actually the terrorists we so greatly fear.

    Maybe the ambiguity is in the wording of attacking a location (middle east) or country, where in reality, the situation is more complex. Reminds me of Cheney who pointed out that and "Iraq really doesn't look all that chaotic when you are flying over in a plane".

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Good point that there are other ways to get to the U.S. than by traveling through Iraq. Imagine people living in Australia, Canada, Poland, and Japan all wanting to travel to the U.S. to take a vacation. Imagine, then, that the travel agency directs them all to take flights to Iraq in order to get to the U.S., explaining that you have to vacation over there in Iraq in order to (eventually) vacation in the U.S. Then imagine the stunned reaction of the vacationers at such stupidity.

  4. shawn says:

    the thought behind the strategy is to pick the site of the battle, of course I'm assuming the neocons have read the Art of War

  5. Erika Price says:

    Maybe it comes from that fallacious notion that we have some kind of cohesive enemy to fight? We know, of course, that this concept of a whole body of terrorists that operate together as a whole (like a nation) doesn't make any sense. Just because terrorist organizations and terrorist leaders exist doesn't mean that we can "wage war" with the terrorists the way we would a conventional army. Perhaps people haven't adapted to this paradigm shift yet, so it seems logical that killing all the terrorists over there will obliterate them and prevent them from organizing any attacks here. Unlike a soldier, who probably won't keep fighting on his own without a government or orders, a terrorist can keep inciting fear and creating violence on his own. It doesn't take a military budget to make an improvised explosive device.

  6. Timothy says:

    Ok, Ill get my two cents in here too i guess. 🙂 We fight there because that is where they come from. Please tell me how we are supposed to stop them here when we have no idea what they will do next. We fought the Nazis where the came from. We eradicated them from Europe and then Germany. To kill a snake you can cut the tail off but it can still kill you. If you destroy the brain then it's worthless. Terrorism comes from extremists of all religious but Islamic terrorism comes from Islamic nations. We have to start in Iraq and Afghanistan and go from there. If we can somehow rid the world of Islamic extremists. We will have no Islamic terrorists right. Now, all that said, I do not believe we will win this on our own. I do believe in The Bible. It has never been wrong. We will probably fail in the long run but God will save us believers. I don't know how much I support this war anymore but the President had the right intentions. He never lied to us as some say. We should support our efforts because there is a slim chance we can win. A slim chance is beter than no chance and I dont want our women being forced to wear sheets on their heads, loosing theyr vote, and basicaly all the respect they have worked so hard for for thousands of years. If we fail in Iraqe and elswhere we will have to live with that. That's why we are there. That's why we should all support the war.

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