As I write this roughly minutes before the opening of the stock market which suffered a blow yesterday and where the Dow plunged by roughly 300 points, this economy is our new war to fight and that means all hands on deck. Do you hear that Republicans as you chide this administration? What that does is lessen our resolve as a nation to confront this evil recession that has taken all of us down with it. Well, maybe not you since most of you look well fed, have a roof over your heads unlike an increasing amount of Americans.
After 9/11, Democrats fully backed former President Bush and this is an event similar to it, yet Republicans think it is patriotic to stand alone and be the party of no. At this point, political principles and ideologies as one stands in opposition, surely weakens us. Joining together strengthens us and yes, elections do have consequences and Republicans must bear its consequences.
Having just read Bob Herbert’s NY Times column, Wars, Endless Wars, it is one of the most profound pieces written as of late. When former Vice President, Dick Cheney sent the signal that we would be in a war that would last one hundred years, our country, much less any country cannot afford to do so both in resources and treasure. Thanks for putting the costs of these wars on the books, President Obama since many columnists over these past years have tried sending up that flare.
When a fire department comes across a structure that is engulfed in flames and beyond any hope of saving, they will use a term NWS (not worth saving), meaning they cannot put all of their resources in to save one lone structure. Well, it is about time we get our heads in the game and say of this war on terror or whatever one chooses to call it, and come clean by saying, NWS.
Yes, there will always be people who will hate us: But do we use a broken military to combat all? I will get to that in a moment. But the shortened answer is no. Can we be at all corners of this Earth to fight these terrorists who have offshoots in many countries and not just Afghanistan as well as Iraq?
Herbert writes in his column, “We have not captured or killed Osama bin Laden. We don’t even have an escalation strategy, much less an exit strategy.” Bravo to Herbert for stating the obvious. I suppose there are many citizens in this country who think by capturing this elusive terrorist, it will signal to Al Qaeda that we have won as well as signal to the rest of the country we won. That is complete and utter nonsense. I have to be totally honest that I wanted him captured as much as others, but as I see bank-after-bank fail, citizen-after- citizen thrown out of their homes as well as millions-upon-millions losing their jobs, capturing him comes in a distant second, third, whatever. Let him rot wherever he is, that is if he is still alive. At this point, whenever a bin Laden tape surfaces as he bloviates, the name Rush Limbaugh comes to mind. Both are becoming just noise to me.
As far as an escalation and exit strategy, one only has to look at how Russia was defeated in Afghanistan and how at that time weakened them. At this juncture, we cannot afford to be weakened further. This moment in time is far different economically than when Russia went in with guns blazing. I just do not understand how one can fight a conventional war when dealing with tribal war-fare. While not an expert on war-fare, something has to give and looking at our exploding deficits, it is time we commit those fiscal resources into rebuilding this nation. Trying to restore something so elusive in Afghanistan should be thought of NWS.
How long can we commit our military who have already given so much especially when Herbert points out in his article, “Time magazine has reported that “for the first time in history, a sizable and growing number of U.S. combat troops are taking daily doses of antidepressants to calm nerves strained by repeated and lengthy tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Just how does one fight an enemy when one’s own military are on these drugs? Well thanks to this economy when work is hard to find, increasing numbers are enlisting in the military. Will we have an increased number drugged in order to cope? Forget about the war on drugs whose target is illegal drugs, we have a new populous who have the propensity of becoming addicted to legal ones. Again, NWS. But, our soldiers are worth saving!
Herbert points out the suicide rate of our soldiers where 128 of them took their lives last year and no one is screaming about that. Oh congress and the American people will scream out in indignation when corporate heads take private jets to congressional hearings, yet mute on the suicide of these soldiers. A salient point. These soldier’s lives must stand for something instead of just sending them into the meat grinder of the war on terror which is NWS.
How does this administration and congress deal with this quagmire where we have sunk ourselves deeper into debt and have lost so many soldiers? That is for them to think of a plan to finally extricate ourselves from this war on terror since it is one NWS. Find other ways to confront them and to make us secure, but we have a larger and broader war to fight and that is for our very survival as a nation. Which means finding our way out of this deepening recession where some are now sending up the flares we may have already entered a depression. Getting ourselves out of this economic crisis is one worth saving.
Congressman Barney Frank appeared on the Rachel Maddow show last night and stated we need to cut our defense spending and he is correct. Through our tax dollars we are funding the military industrial complex which the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us of in his final farewell speech to the nation in 1961. It is time to retool our defense industry to serve the public good instead of building bombs and planes to feed these endless wars.
I know, I know I can just hear some hawks scream at me for daring to write this column where they may find that ending the war on terror shows our weakness. If anything it shows our strength since it signals to the entire world we need to take care of the home front first since what is happening within the financial markets is affecting the global economy as well as populations.
After all, the true terror we found ourselves in yesterday is that we may not have found bottom. The Dow closed at 6,763.29 and that scares me more than Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden because both are not within my home and our homes but this financial beast is. There is your real terrorist, folks.
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