Friday, October 24, 2008

McCain and Obama: Their Stand on Islamic Jihad and Terrorism


The research we did on the positions of John McCain and Barack Obama regarding the causes of Islamic terrorism and how we should deal with alleged terrorists uncovered significant differences between the two candidates. These differences have either been ignored by most in the media or have been lost in the understandable wall-to-wall coverage of the economic calamity facing us.

For this reason we want to make sure that every ACT! for America member has had a chance to read and forward this research to everyone you know. What you will find below is posted on the ACT! for America voter guide section of our website, which you can access by clicking here.


The Views and Positions of John McCain and Barack Obama

Both the John McCain and Barack Obama campaigns refused to respond to the ACT! for America candidate questionnaire. In lieu of that, ACT! for America has conducted extensive research that has enabled us to determine the views and positions of both candidates on the broad issue of “terrorism.”

The ACT! for America research on the broad issue of terrorism focused on the two candidates’ positions on the causes of terrorism and how to define the threat. This is very important because how one views and defines the threat is fundamental to how one will handle and respond to the threat. The ACT! for America research uncovered some striking differences between Senator Obama and Senator McCain on this.

The research for each candidate is comprised of quotes sourced from various published reports and ACT! for America comments.

John McCain

New York Post column 9/11/2008

“The divide starts with the question: Why was America attacked?

McCain's answer is simple (or, as Obama might suggest, simplistic): The United States was attacked because a resurgent Islam has produced a radicalism that dreams of world conquest and sees America as the enemy. [Emphasis added]

McCain doesn't hesitate to acknowledge that his country is engaged in a Global War on Terror. He doesn't believe that 9/11 might've been prompted by some wrong America did to others. To him, the nation was an innocent victim of "Islamic terrorism."

McCain asserts, "America faces a dedicated, focused and intelligent foe in the War on Terrorism. This enemy will probe to find America's weaknesses and strike against them. The United States cannot afford to be complacent about the threat, naive about terrorist intentions, unrealistic about their capabilities, or ignorant to our national vulnerabilities."

ACT! for America Comment

While John McCain has at times expressed his concern for America’s national image due to allegations of torture of suspected terrorist detainees, the column above is consistent with McCain’s stated position on the root cause of terrorism. For instance, McCain labels the principal terrorist threat to the world as “radical Islamic terrorism.” See the following article.

Washington Times, April 21, 2008

“A coalition of American Muslim groups is demanding that Sen. John McCain stop using the adjective "Islamic" to describe terrorists and extremist enemies of the United States.

Muneer Fareed, who heads the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), told The Washington Times that his group is beginning a campaign to persuade Mr. McCain to rephrase his descriptions of the enemy.

"We've tried to contact his office, contact his spokesperson to have them rethink word usage that is more acceptable to the Muslim community," Mr. Fareed said. "If it's not our intent to paint everyone with the same brush, then certainly we should think seriously about just characterizing them as criminals, because that is what they are."

An aide to Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee who is counting on his pro-Iraq war stance to attract conservative voters, said the senator from Arizona will not drop the word.

Steve Schmidt, a former Bush White House aide who is now a McCain media strategist, told The Times that the use of the word is appropriate and that the candidate will continue to define the enemy that way…

… Mr. McCain, an ex-Navy fighter pilot and leading hawk on the Iraq war, regularly uses the term "Islamic" in major foreign-policy speeches and in news conferences.

In a speech last month to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, Mr. McCain said the formation of an international coalition "will strengthen us to confront the transcendent challenge of our time: the threat of radical Islamic terrorism." [Emphasis added]


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