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The War On (T)Error

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A recent email blast I received indicated that the author felt that the media had unfairly depicted the war in Iraq as having significant casualties when in fact the Bush administration has had fewer U.S. troop casualties than the Clinton administration.  He continued by saying that the media was in lock-step in their spin of facts not only about the number of deaths but about the racial makeup, attempting to imply that minorities were suffering more than their proportionate share of casualties.  Although I could not find any such representations in the media myself, however, I've heard talk first hand that some felt poor minorities were turning to the military because they had few other options.

Such statistics about the number of U.S. troop deaths are in fact true.  But, does a relatively low U.S. body count make what has happened in Iraq okay?  As far as I'm concerned, there is no acceptable level of U.S. troop casualties.  But, what about the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis?  Looking at the surface of an issue or a few statistics is usually misleading but provides for good sound bites and headlines.  The need for some to justify or rationalize what has been an unmitigated disaster for the U.S. and the world belies their sense of guilt.  Recent reductions in violence against Americans in Iraq don't change that.

The author went on to say that it was very important to select the new president based upon who was going to stick to the facts, seek justice, unite the nation, and spend our money wisely.  I couldn't agree more.  But, if one believes that John McCain will be a reasonable facsimile for George W. Bush for the next four or eight years, then I'm afraid he unknowingly just made a case for voting for Obama.  No president in my lifetime of 51 years has done more to skew facts, break laws, divide the nation, and spend relentlessly than George W Bush, and no amount of success in Iraq in the future will change the opinion of the left that this administration has been a disaster of epic proportions.

There are many who feel that we really are fighting the good fight.  They feel that we must fight them there to keep from fighting them here, and that any method of fighting terrorists is justified even if it infringes upon the rights and liberties of innocent Americans.   These people just can't see the hypocrisy in that argument because they are looking at it from the wrong angle.  The invasion of Iraq and subsequent war on terror are all about oil and getting a military foothold in the region to control the oil.  Labeling it all a war enables them to manipulate public opinion and scorn those who disagree and, therefore, support the enemy.  The terrorists haven't succeeded in taking away any of our freedoms, but the U.S. government has.  I don't see that as justification for the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people whose nation was not an imminent threat to us.

The lies, manipulation of evidence, torture, wiretapping, illegal detention, etc. are not necessary.  There were legal ways to accomplish the goals of national security.  At the recent Judiciary Committee hearing we heard rationalizations that past presidents have broken laws and so it is ok for W to do what he does.  This rings hollow.  Enforcement of the rule of law is not a partisan issue.  Woodrow Wilson should have been investigated for jailing cartoonists; Lyndon Johnson should have been investigated for wiretapping Marin Luther King; and Bush should be investigated for the long list of impeachable offenses recently presented to Congress.  We have a dumbed-down media that merely reads White House press releases as fact without any checking, analysis, or presenting opposing views and we have a Congress that gives this president a free pass on ignoring the law (read, signing statements).

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The hundreds of billions spent on this undeclared, outsourced, mismanaged war and subsequent occupation have led to massive deficits.  The U.S. dollar is in free fall, contributing to skyrocketing oil prices that have contributed to a failing economy.  Lack of oversight of corporations (read, political contributors such as Enron) has done much of the rest of the damage to the economy.  Ironically, these facts have weakened this country to the point where the only thing keeping this administration from attacking Iran is the lack of resources to do it and the knowledge that the world-wide reaction would necessitate even more resources that it just doesn't have without sending this country over the brink into bankruptcy.  The money necessary for what would be a large-scale war with Iran would create record fiscal deficits that would send the dollar plunging even further and would have to make the Saudis and Chinese consider pulling their investments in dollars.  If that were to happen, it would likely spell the end of America as we know it.

Military strength and the willingness to use it does not make a country strong.  Might doesn't make right.  Moral leadership and good judgment make a country strong.  This president's twisted sense of both has sent us down a dangerous path.  


The writer of the email also quoted Eisenhower in an effort, I'll assume, as the right frequently does, to convince the American public that only Republicans can keep America safe. 

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"History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." 

I agree, but if we continue to entrust the freedom of this country to the foolish, power hungry, and greedy, we shall go the way of the Soviet Union.


The art of diplomacy has been substituted with saber-rattling, name-calling, and making threats.  We should follow these old but wise philosophies:

"Walk softly but carry a big stick"  Theodore Roosevelt


"The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him your friend."  Abraham Lincoln

The deceit, lies, name-calling and other divisiveness that passes for politics these days must stop.  Our so-called leaders seem to have been taking their cues from former Nazi leaders:

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"Naturally, the common people don't want war ... but after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.  All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.  It works the same in every country."  Hermann Goering

They should be reading the writings of great American presidents instead:

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."  Theodore Roosevelt
We have been set up for perpetual war by declaring war on a tactic.  A war on terrorism can never end any more than a war on drugs.  The reasons for it are greed and the lust for ever more power.  There is tremendous profit in this kind of war and our continued imports of massive amounts of oil from the very nations that are supporting the terrorists ensure that they can continue the fight. This gives certain corporations the incentive to lobby for the continuation of those very policies that are hurting this country.  Unfortunately, there are many politicians who are very willing to oblige those corporations when they get a large campaign contribution from them.  The American people deserve better.  A major change in leadership is needed.  What is needed is a war on error.  I for one am tired of this nation being the bully of the world, turning to the military as the answer to all conflict.

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A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with an MBA in 1980, John went into the banking business from 1981-1991. John went into the gymnastics business with his wife, with whom he has two children, in 1992 and grew it enough by (more...)
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