Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Closing In On 1,000

The U.S. death toll in Iraq has now reached 900, and by the November election we will surely have surpassed the 1,000 mark. All for a needless war. I say needless because it's not making us safer despite what our current administration would have you believe.

I believe that there is a widespread misconception that most liberals do not support the war on terror. I have to admit that I don't think that this is a winnable war. I equate it to the war on drugs. It's a noble cause, but an unattainable goal. This does not mean that I am not in support of making our country safer. I'm all for that. I do not wish to see another 9/11. Ridding the world of terrorism would be a wonderful thing, right up there with world peace. However, the war in Iraq is not the answer.

President Bush has repeatedly called Iraq a "central front in the war on terror." I disagree. In my opinion, the central front in the war on terror is right here in America. Instead of spending $100 billion in Iraq to root out a WMD program that was virtually nonexistant and wasn't threatening anyone, why not spend that money here in America to help secure our borders, ports, nuclear facilities, water facilities, and airlines? 95% of all cargo that comes into our country's sea-ports goes unchecked. Securing our border with Mexico has been underfunded for years. We've been told repeatedly about the dangers of an attack on our nuclear power plants or about the ramifications of a chemical/biologocal attack on our nation's water supply yet most are unguarded. And it goes without saying that we are all aware of the dangers posed by hijacked airplanes, yet we are unable to fully staff each airport with qualified screeners and each airplane with an air marshall. Couldn't that $100 billion be used here at home to correct these issues?

Furthermore, if Iraq is only a part of this global war on terror, how long before we get to the next step? The Korean conflict was labeled a "police action" and we still have troops there fifty years later. How long will we have to keep troops in Iraq? Fifty years? Our military is already stretched to the limits from the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq. How do we propose to continue fighting this war on terror? Normally, I'd say we could use our coalition allies, but Kazakhstan's 25 troops probably won't be too effective. Neither will Estonia's 31, or Macedonia's 37. Of the 154,000 troops in Iraq 84% are American. Our biggest ally, Great Britain has only committed 9,000 troops; a mere 6%. That's some coalition we've got. We are basically fighting this war on our own. And in the process, we are weakening our position to fight conflicts in other regions. We can't/won't even respond to the crisis in Sudan. Would we even be able to respond to a crisis here in America?


So why have we wasted almost 1,000 American lives? Why have we destroyed hundreds of families? I have my theories (PNAC), but I can't really give any difinitive answers. It certainly isn't to protect us. It clearly has not made our country safer.

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