Democrats & Liberals Archives

A Couple Good Ideas

General Wes Clark gave the Democratic radio address this week. He said, “The truth is President Bush made mistake after mistake as Commander-in-Chief, taking us into a war we didn’t have to wage, alone and under false pretenses and is now managing it poorly.”

Quite a condemnation from a man who was the US commander in another war we didn't have to wage, but one in which we acted with our NATO allies toward a well-defined purpose, which was well run, and which was quickly and successfully resolved.

Speaking of US troop's abuse of Iraqi prisoners, Clark suggested, "Amends must be made to Iraqis who suffered these humiliations through real and symbolic gestures, such as the dismantling of Abu Ghraib prison itself."

Now that is the best idea I've heard so far. As long as the Abu Ghraib prison complex stands, it will be a focal point for anti-American sentiment in Iraq. Tear it down and replace it with a memorial for all those who were tortured and murdered there by Saddam Hussein.

Speaking of really good Democratic ideas, John Kerry is calling for Peace Corps volunteers to help rebuild America's reputation around the world. Can you imagine the effect of thousands of idealistic young American men and women on the Muslim world? It's a much better image than the one they're used to seeing on the news: unapproachable, heavily armed troops in body armor, patrolling Iraqi streets in armored vehicles.

Americans do not consider themselves aggressive oppressors, yet that's how we are perceived by millions of people around the world. Muslim countries need to see Americans in jeans and t-shirts, rolling up their sleeves and working with them to build houses, dig wells, plant crops, start businesses, and teach their children the three R's.

I'm currently living in South East Asia, the most populous Muslim region outside of the Middle East, and I can tell you that actions will speak louder than words here. If Americans really aren't the Muslim hating, imperialistic oppressors we look like in the regional news, then we need to prove it.

Posted by American Pundit at May 9, 2004 10:36 AM