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See no jihad, speak no jihad
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The unconventional method of asking questions in the so-called Democratic presidential debate a week ago produced the same conventional responses by the presidential hopefuls. We must end “Bush’s” war in Iraq immediately.

President Bush and the Republicans in Congress are to blame for all of the nation’s problems. And more government is the answer to everything.

Many of the responses to the YouTube-generated questions were filled with the usual platitudes, pandering and “woulda-coulda-shoulda” insights. Such as, “We should have had better intelligence information, and I could have voted against funding the war in Iraq.” Well, we didn’t have better intelligence information, and neither did the president. And despite the shortcomings of the intelligence information, Iraq is a newborn democracy struggling to survive with our help.

Void of any real highlights, the most noticeable lowlights of the candidates’ YouTube exchange were Hillary Clinton’s reference to her leadership experience as First Lady, and the glaring absence of any reference to jihad or Islamic fascism by any of the presidential candidates.

With all due respect to Mrs. Clinton for the demands and responsibilities of the first lady, experience by osmosis has rarely produced a great leader. Granted, good leaders can be developed with the right kind of training and coaching in the right kinds of situations, but born-great leaders are very rare. I would be very hesitant to fly on a plane with a pilot who had only read the instructions manual and sat in the co-pilot’s seat, while never having been the pilot of a plane. Direct accountability for one’s decisions builds leadership ability and character.

Maybe Mrs. Clinton did learn by osmosis the art of political redefinition from her husband, former President Bill Clinton. When Sen. Clinton was asked how she would define a “liberal” and whether she was a liberal or not, she did not answer the questions. Instead, she described herself as a “modern progressive, someone who believes strongly in individual rights and freedoms.” Let’s test this definition.

Mandated universal health care — where bureaucrats would eventually choose your doctors (if you can find a doctor) and approve medical procedures you are entitled to receive — sounds like less individual rights. Taking profits (her words not mine) from successful businesses to pay for universal health care, and raising taxes on the evil rich to fund more government programs for the common good, sounds like less freedom with my money. Obviously, I need help in understanding the definition of a “modern progressive.”

CNN and the candidates wanted to appeal to an unconventional audience with questions being submitted by way of YouTube videos. But it was very troubling that there were no questions or comments by the candidates about the bigger war against Islamic fascism. It was equally troubling that there was no mention of the worldwide jihad declared against the United States and all of western civilization by militant Muslim extremists. The candidates are either naive about the desire of militant Muslims to kill us, or they choose not to bring it up, because it might distract people’s attention away from their “Bush bashing.” I tend to believe the latter.

Avoiding any subject that might suggest that President Bush is or was right about something appears to be a Democratic talking-points mandate. Bush has admittedly made many misjudgments about the handling of the war, but if we were not fighting the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, we would be fighting them here on our soil.

That reality may eventually come to pass, and if it does, I would hope that even a Democratic president could put politics aside and recognize the biggest threat to our national security, Islamic fascism. Denial that the enemy exists is not a winning strategy under any circumstances.