Like Ed Koch who endorsed Barack Obama citing of Sarah Palin, “She scares me”, I would have to side with the former mayor. In reading where Palin stated in her interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson she is open to the idea of a war with Russia, it does create a sense of terror within me.
While I did not watch the interview, this was enough for me and reaffirmed my support for Senator Obama and Senator Biden for so many reasons. It goes to show how little she understands this complex world we are living in and why we do need a vice president like Joe Biden.
After 9/11, while Bush did unite us immediately afterwards, he squandered the resolve coming from the American people in setting his sights on Iraq. At that moment in time, we as a country would have risen up as a whole to go after those responsible. Sadly that unity did not last. What also transpired with our plans on invading Iraq is that he squandered the good will of the world community, which we have yet to fully regain.
I was shocked beyond belief when asked if we would have to go to war with Russia because of their invasion of Georgia, her answer was a flippant “Perhaps so.” I am still trying to wrap my brain around that answer since our president and vice president must exude an air of confidence. That answer is tantamount to sticking one’s finger up in the air and seeing which way the wind blows.
What Palin fails to realize is Russia’s nuclear capability as well as the toll taken when humans are sent into the battle field. We are already bogged down in Iraq and we also have troops in Afghanistan as well as limited forces in Pakistan. With what military force can we even think of going to war with Russia?
Russia roughly has one million troops which is on par with the amount of troops we have, but with one big difference: we are already fighting two wars in two separate countries and our military is at the breaking point. Many of our troops serve more than two tours, and up to six tours of duty. It would be unconscionable for the next president to engage in yet another war when this mission has yet to be accomplished. We have also been at war since 2001 in Afghanistan, and since 2003 in Iraq, and God only knows how many more years we shall be engaged in these wars.
At this point, we have to rebuild our relations around the world and we must remember that McCain gave his carte blanche in heading into Iraq. So, this answer by Palin makes absolutely no sense should she and McCain even entertain going to war with Russia if they invade another country: “I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help." Yes, called upon, but with the rest of the world not trusting us: How is this feasible? Will the world community see McCain as a continuance of Bush? Will our allies truly join in our military action against Russia? How will countries such as China and Iran take to this when they have close ties with Russia?
In reading this statement of Palin’s, “It doesn't have to lead to war and it doesn't have to lead, as I said, to a Cold War, but economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, again, counting on our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia and Putin and some of his desire to control and to control much more than smaller democratic countries." My reaction was, “Huh?” While I do not pretend to be a foreign policy expert, her statement is indeed confusing. This is where we do need clarity and a vice president with thirty years of experience. Oh yeah, Joe Biden. Please remember he is the head of the senate foreign relations committee.
In previous articles, I have said this of Russia as we have been bogged down in Iraq that they have rebuilt the arms race as Bush and yes McCain took their eye off the ball. McCain speaks of change; well the real change cannot be found with him, if he acted in consort with Bush in allowing for this to happen.
Now we come to the cost of yet another war. Presently the war in Iraq is costing all of us $10 billion dollars a month. As I reported in a prior piece, our budget deficit stands at $9.5 trillion dollars and our trade deficit stands at $6.5 trillion dollars. With what money do we use to go to war with Russia? With the bail out of Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae: How much will the taxpayers have to dole out while the executives of those companies made off with millions?
I wrote a piece the other night discussing narco-terrorism which is happening at our southern border and where fatalities have encroached our border. Whoever the next president is, must deal with that first since it is taking the lives of Americans clear across this country. People are dying within our own borders due to the gang violence associated with narco-terrorism.
This is what I think Sarah Palin is failing to recognize and quite frankly any talk of going to war with Russia will not be met with open arms across this country by a war-weary people.
When Senator John Kerry spoke these words on January 25, 2007, profound is the word that came to mind, “We lack even a special envoy there day to day, hour to hour, leveraging the Arab League, leveraging the United Nations, working with the U.N. Perm Five, working with the neighboring countries, doing the kinds of significant, heavy diplomatic lifting our sons and daughters who are dying deserve.” I had to underscore that since that is precisely what has been missing from this broken government.
That is exactly the message and more importantly actions we as a country should be taking and with Biden being second in command, I feel countries such as Russia would listen to him instead of Palin. At this point we cannot be sending out anymore hawkish signals but dial it down. I would also suggest to Palin that the complete text of his speech be read in its entirety.
In closing we have already lost too many troops. In Iraq we have lost to date, 4,158 and in Afghanistan we have lost, 519. Should McCain and Palin choose to go to war with Russia, I cannot even fathom the count. Can you?