Democrats & Liberals Archives

Look in the Rear-View Mirror!

Driving with one eye focused on the rear-view might be a way to avoid being run over by the Humvee behind you. Other than in times like those, the rear-view mirror should only be used when you are changing lanes in a big truck, not when you are about to change the people who run your government. Oh yes you should note how people voted during their career in the process of evaluating them for high office. In every case you will find inconsistent voting records on some issues and not on others. Except where people always voted for their personal agendas over the interests of the voting public, at least, you will find inconsistencies or apparent inconsistencies. In a twenty year or longer career in politics you should find some major inconsistencies in voting records regarding military spending. If you don’t there is something wrong with the person casting those votes. If the judgment of the politician in question is so poor that they never find a military expenditure that they don’t like they don’t belong in office in the first place.

That said; why is the loudest voice in the office of Vice President since Spiro Agnew decrying John Kerry’s voting record on military spending? This babbling baboon with Halliburton halitosis has one hell of a lot of gall talking about military spending as an issue. For all practical purposes you would think that he would keep his mouth shut about the militaristic approach to the world that he has always promoted in his long and deviant career of promoting huge military expenditures as the only way to win the cold war. We won the cold war by out producing them because we have a superior economic system based on private ownership and a strong work ethic. Our Military expenditures during the Cold War were excessive but understandable as the threat from their military forces was real if overstated by our intelligence agencies. We also created a National Debt with ill conceived military adventures like Vietnam. It is that debt which will threaten most our ability to sustain our status as the only superpower in the world.

That is the legacy of the Cold War that Cheney wants to project into the future. The War on Terror is supposed to give these guys a free ride back into the White House. Unfortunately Cheney and his pals are responding to terrorism in the same fashion as they did to the Soviet Union. The huge army of the Soviets is no longer a threat. Al Queda has no army in a conventional sense against which our standard military force can be used. Regardless of the inappropriate nature of our defense budget in fighting terrorism, that mountain of money is their greatest contribution to our fight to keep terrorists at bay. Among other prospects, the war on Terror will supposedly get Cheney and Bush back into office. It will do that no doubt courtesy of their impeccable credentials in voting for every military measure ever to come down the pike. How can you be tough on “terror” if you haven’t spent everything you have on weapons? Or for that matter on contracts for reconstruction handed to your former employer without so much as a fixed cost bid?

That whole set of issues revolving around how much “money” you have spent on military preparedness is such a crock of horse puckey. We spent around three trillion dollars during the Clinton Administration’s eight years in office. He was no doubt weak on defense too. That is in spite of the fact that the attack on the World Trade Center during his Administration resulted in the prosecution and conviction of the perpetrators. Not one of the three hundred trillion pennies in those budgets made one iota of difference on 9/11. It is not the money that we spend on conventional military forces that will offer us the greatest protection against terrorism. It is far more likely that local Police and Fire Departments will play a key role in anti terrorist activities on our own soil than military forces not near the civilian targets of terrorist attacks. Military spending will not protect us against terror! Can I repeat that again for your edification? Military spending will not protect us against terror! Terror lies not in our enemies but in ourselves, dear people. NO! I am not saying that we are the terrorists in the world! I am saying that we are too easily terrified into spending ourselves into a gigantic hole of debt that will consume our wealth. It will make us poorer without protecting us against the attacks of terrorists here where we live. Equating the expenditure of vast sums for defense with winning the “war on terror” is one of the biggest lies ever told a sovereign people in human history.

First of all if there is a real war going on out there, it is not being waged by the terrorists. They have neither the means nor the manpower to wage a real war. They are not warriors; they are criminals everywhere in the world except here. We are calling them enemy combatants. They are using criminal tactics that are only used when you are without real power. They must use stealth and destroy non-military targets to gain their political, social or religious ends. Terrorism seldom works as planned. Israel was the last entity to reach statehood through the use of terrorist tactics. While governments sometimes fall due to the actions of terrorists it is also true that they never attain their ends by terrorism alone. At some point they must gain a popular following. Terrorists seldom win the minds and hearts of the people that they terrorize. They must terrorize someone who will become the enemy of the people they need to bring them to power. In this case it is the Moslems of the world that the terrorists are hoping will support them. The war in Iraq has helped the terrorists. If you believe it has not, read the polls taken in other nations since we attacked Iraq one year ago.

Should our foreign policy be decided by polls taken in other nations? Of course not! But we ought to carefully assess what the outcome of our actions taken in other nations will be over the long run. That is the purpose of real foreign policy analysis. We should also honestly identify the true nature of any threats generated by those opposing us in the world. Otherwise our credibility will be that of the little boy who cried Wolf without the wits to look for one first. We must act preemptively only when we are virtually certain that there is a real and substantial threat, based on real intelligence estimates. We must not utilize concocted con jobs as intelligence because they will be proven false as they have with Iraq. That will make those who distrust us already, fear and hate us over time; and those who trust us begin to doubt. The lies promoted about Iraq have backfired badly against our nation. Those lies have aided the terrorists. Those false reports were used to convince a fear-filled people here, full of the justified fire of patriotic anger, that we should use our military might in Iraq. Now we are losing the respect of many decent people in the parts of the world where terrorists sleep at night. That is not a victory in the “War on Terror” or if it is, it is a victory for the terrorists.

I neither hate President Bush nor his Vice President Dick Cheney but I can clearly see the flaws in their approach to fighting terrorism around the world. Terrorism is what we are fighting! Terrorism is what we are fighting! Terrorism is what we are fighting! Repeat that mantra daily and nightly with your prayers and you will find this battle less confusing. Terror is in our minds and hearts; we can control that without war. Terrorism is in the actions of those who kill indiscriminately, those who would like to destroy our society with one, one hundredth of one percent of our annual military budget. They can only win if we overreact to the real but limited threat they can make against us. They are aided more by our inability to focus on real threats posed by unsecured facilities within our own borders than they are threatened by our huge military budgets.

First we need to secure our one thousand most dangerous locations here at home. I have watched in amazement while our President and Vice President and others in this administration have wrongly terrorized our people more than 9/11 ever did. They did so by posing one of the least likely terrorist attacks as dangerously close. They focused their attention and ours on Saddam’s ability to provide a nuclear weapon to terrorists. The idea that a nuclear weapon would be detonated on our soil in one of our cities was promoted in order to quiet opposition to the war in Iraq. The terrorists lacked the financial support and technical ability to create such weapons. So did Saddam who still had some of the oil receipts of his nation at his command. The greatest threat of nuclear attack in our nation remains within our own borders. Our nuclear plants are still unsecured at this late date. If we allow our Foreign Policy to weaken our hold on limiting the availability of nuclear weapons in the world we will have done ourselves grievous harm. Nonetheless it is the unsecured waste material and electrical plants in our own nation that pose the greatest nuclear threat to our nation’s security. We are being distracted from that real mission of securing our nation by non existent threats like the weapons of Saddam. He had no capacity to create nukes at all.

We are over a million times more ready to fight a conventional war than Al Queda, so they will never fight us in an open battle. That is where the vast majority of our military budget goes, toward tools that help us win conventional battles. When terrorists attack us with airplanes it is the airport guards and the Air Marshals who are our first line of defense. Then it is our air traffic controllers who must report the hijackings. Only then will the military scramble fighters to destroy the plane, if it becomes necessary. If it gets that far, then the people on the plane clearly offer more of a threat to the terrorists than the military. Remember, it is the people closest to the event who can most easily thwart the terrorists. Remember, that before our military could respond, the heroic people on the flight which crashed in Pennsylvania prevented those terrorists from carrying out their mission. Remember also the case of the shoe bomber and the fact that it was the people on that plane who prevented a disaster. There was nothing that the military did in either of those cases that prevented the success of the terrorists, just the actions of a few alert and brave citizens.

Funding the people in our front line of defense adequately makes the need for a military response less likely in the event of an actual attack. If they attack us at a nuclear power plant it will be the guards posted at those facilities that must fight them. We need to secure and defend those facilities better or we will possibly lose a major city and a lot of land to radiation. That nuclear plant just down the road is far easier to turn into a weapon of terror than hard to obtain nukes carried into our nation from outside. Our military does not protect those facilities today. We need to raise our level of response to that possible threat. It is not a current policy, why not? Does Mr. Cheney even know the potential threat posed by our undefended nuclear plants? It is these issues that must make it to the surface of our consciousness if we are to find the person who should be President next year. What we see in our rear view mirror related to voting for funds used by conventional military forces is meaningless and a mirror distraction. God bless and keep you all safe and aware in this first Presidential election after 9/11. ©Henri Reynard/GoldenBrush Interactive

Posted by Henri Reynard at March 23, 2004 12:20 PM