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Reid's Rallying Cry

2:14 PM, Aug 10, 2006 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
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From the Senate minority leader:

I commend British authorities for defusing this terror plot and apprehending the suspects. Their actions protected the lives of innocent civilians, including many American citizens. Today's events are an important reminder that we need to renew our focus on the war on terror and to continue to work with our allies to protect Americans from terrorism.

Terrorism remains the greatest threat to our security. As the five year anniversary of the September 11th attacks approaches, we should take this opportunity not just to remember, but to take stock of what progress has been made to protect Americans and what steps remain unfulfilled. As a result of mismanagement and the wrong funding priorities, we are not as safe as we should be and we still have not implemented the bipartisan 9-11 Commission's recommendations to secure our ports, airports, and chemical plants. The Iraq war has diverted our focus and more than $300 billion in resources from the war on terrorism and has created a rallying cry for international terrorists. This latest plot demonstrates the need for the Bush administration and the Congress to change course in Iraq and ensure that we are taking all the steps necessary to protect Americans at home and across the world.

So Democrats like Harry Reid vote for the Iraq War resolution (which passed http://senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm... target=_blank>77-23) and now want to cut and run, handing a victory to al Qaeda. Remember al-Zawahiri's first priority in Iraq? It's to "http://weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/203gpuul.asp target=_blank>expel the Americans." Bin Ladin used the American withdrawal from Somalia and other events to rally jihadists. America was "a weak horse," he told his followers in the '90s. Al Qaeda, he said, was the "the strong horse. " It worked -- see here. Evidently, Reid's unaware of all this. Are we supposed to believe that al Qaeda will react differently to the Lamont-Kerry-Pelosi-Murtha withdrawal plan? Joe Lieberman certainly doesn't believe so.

As to the lesson of the latest terror plot, Reid should listen to Sen. McConnell:

This is yet another reminder, if anyone needed one, that the war on terror is not over. And it is a reminder that our military, law enforcement and intelligence forces are working around the clock and around the world to prevent attacks here at home.

That's why we need more tools, not less, to fight terrorists. It is clear to anyone paying attention that our law enforcement and intelligence forces need every legal means at their disposal to be able connect the dots and prevent and disrupt al Qaeda's attacks. Tools such as the terrorist surveillance program and others allow us to prevent the attacks before they happen, not just to respond when it's too late. We must continue to arm our forces, so that they can disarm terrorists.