Linda Chavez

 I can just hear the objections from loyal Democrats now. How do you know that betting on Bush won't make us less safe? The war in Iraq, they argue, has inflamed the Arab world and created more terrorists, who now have legitimate reason to want to destroy us. If we just left them alone and minded our own business, Democrats would say we'd be safer than we are with Bush picking fights around the globe.

 Tell that to the families of the six men and women who died in the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, or the parents of a 9-year-old girl gunned down by terrorists in the Rome airport or an elderly man thrown overboard in his wheelchair on the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1985, or the American soldiers killed at the bombing of a discotheque in Berlin in 1986. George Bush wasn't even president when these acts occurred, nor were U.S. troops occupying any Muslim nations. And still the terrorists hated us, tracked us down and killed us where they could.

 There is no way the United States can ever retreat sufficiently to appease the terrorists. In fact, appeasement would only embolden them further. The only safe course is to take the terrorists at their word. They say they want to annihilate us; we should believe them. We are at war, whether we like it or not. Our only choice is to defeat the enemy -- preferably on his territory, not ours.

 Universal health insurance, free prescription drugs and a higher minimum wage simply don't measure up as voting issues when the nation's security and our citizens' lives are at risk.

Linda Chavez

Linda Chavez is chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and author of Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics .

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