Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Political Iceburg...

In the run up to the midterm elections in November, the political wheel continually gains speed. However, it seems like the messages from the President targeted at aiding other Republicans in their reelection bids continue unabated. The President has embarked on a whirlwind tour to promote White House policy on security leading up to the five year anniversary of the collapse of the World Trade Center. The only clear message from this speech is that we are still not safe, and now the battle front of the war on terror is Iraq. The more disturbing trend, though, is the administration's tactic of making comparisons between this conflict and other more notable historical battles waged with the goal of protecting American liberty. I think Kieth Olbermann's words provide the best rebuttal to this new approach to politics.

There are many things about the President that should give us, as Americans, pause. The most telling of which is the President's irreverence for the people and the institution that came before him. This lack of respect for the system by the President and his staffers is clearly articulated through his policies that disregard the historical operation of checks and balances in American government. Especially when others had attempted to things the right way. We, as subjects to a government with great power, should be leery of this kind of perspective because it can, and has, yielded systemic abuse contrary to the libertarian guarantees of our governmental structure. A new book namedHubris demonstrates another example of the self-serving, anti-citizen, approach to domestic and foreign policy, along with the media's inability to cope with the situation. However, the citizens have the power to make changes. These efforts, though, must be calculated so they are affective. Essentially, we must use the system.

Now, more than ever, we need to be more speculative about the acts of government leaders since their behavior could put us at greater risk. Even though western governments continue to foil terrorist plots some of our allies are stepping away from the table or have brokered their own deals (though Pakistan insists this won't give Bin Laden a way out). The fact remains that policies regarding waging the war on terror put us at risk because they have been ineffective at accomplishing their goals. If we were truly aimed at bringing down al Qaeda, why hasn't Bin Laden been caught? The effective way to wage this war is to destroy the enemy. This means focusing our efforts to accomplish the goal. Send 100,000 troops into Afghanistan to root out Bin Laden and quell the remnants of the Taliban like we should have done in the first place, instead of being side-tracked by efforts in Iraq. As far as Iraq is concerned, crush the insurgency through massive military operations.

What current policy has accomplished, though, is exposing Americans to more dissension by extending its stay in these locations without marked improvements. The Iraqi government can't control the insurgency because our operations haven't done enough to break it down. Similarly, the Taliban, who gave a tremendous amount of support to al Qaeda, are regrouping and trying to retake Afghanistan because the American military response was not sufficient to destroy the threat indefinitely. Even with everything going on in the world, the President's approach to doing his job is costing more than it's helping. His willingness to disregard and disrespect the operation of government places our liberty in jeopardy. His inefficient international policy regarding waging the war on terror has exposed us to more threats. The fact of the matter is, things need to change, either by his own initiative (unlikely) or by voter fiat.

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