Change course for national security |

Change course for national security

Michael Zucker

With catchy slogans and clever phrases, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, our Congressional representative John Doolittle, and their numerous neocon cheerleaders on talk radio and elsewhere have sustained their ruling swagger over this once-proud nation for almost six years. “Stay the course” and “cut and run”, which have been used so effectively in the past, are now so worn that even their authors are shunning them. Like a football team that uses the same play over and over, its game plan is jeopardized when the defense finally catches on as the offensive team’s coaches refuse to construct any new plays.

In this case of national policy, however, they’re not plays; they’re ploys. As we head toward the midterm elections, the administration’s once seemingly invincible political fortress has developed numerous fissures, offering yet another illustration of Abraham Lincoln’s observation that “you can’t fool all the people all the time.”

Last week Rove, the playwright for the Republican Party’s charade of governance, was shoveling more hypocritical garbage. “If Democrats have their way, our nation will be weaker and the enemies of our nation will be stronger,” he said. “It’s the reason that this election will turn … on national security.”

C’mon, let’s get real! The Republicans have had THEIR way for six years. We have been made weaker by the senseless drain of our human and financial resources in our Iraq adventure which is in shambles, the Taliban has had a rebirth in Afghanistan, there’s increased instability around the globe, and anti-American fervor has mushroomed across the Middle East. We have clearly become less secure on their watch.

While parsing words and spinning newsbreak after newsbreak, these neocon leaders continue their litany of lies and deceit, having engineered a downward spiral that’s close to being out of control.

We learned recently that the president no longer wants to use the words “stay the course,” but the basic Iraq policy is unchanged. Just hours after his national security adviser stated there would be no peace and that the violence would go on for a long time, our delusional president still insisted that “we’re winning.”

In the investment world, “cut your losses” suggests that one discard an asset that is continually losing value and replace it with something else. In medicine, you don’t tell a failing patient that he’s getting better; if a prescribed treatment doesn’t work, the idea is to change course and try an alternate procedure rather than stubbornly insist that the original plan is succeeding.

It is Rove and the Republican leaders who have made our nation weaker and our enemies stronger. As CNN’s Michael Ware reported last week from Iraq, 16 intelligence agencies affirmed that Al Qaeda strength has increased as a result of this war. Furthermore, in the midst of developing a nuclear capability, Iran is defiantly spreading its influence in the region because the Bush policy, by neutralizing its neighbor Iraq, has upset the region’s balance of power. The resulting instability is a direct consequence of immersing American military assets in Iraq at the expense of dealing with the real threats to our security Ð from Al Qaeda and Iran.

North Korea represents another example of how these neocons have made us (and the world) considerably less secure. That country was compliant under international supervision with a carefully crafted nuclear non-proliferation agreement designed by former President Jimmy Carter during the Clinton years. Bush effectively abrogated the agreement and cut and ran from one-on-one talks with that regime, thus provoking Kim Jong Il into resuming development of plutonium weapons research. The result: a maverick nation has tested a nuclear weapon and threatens to sell the same to other parties around the globe. Nuclear non-proliferation, diligently pursued for decades by successive Democratic and Republican administrations, is now in severe jeopardy, courtesy of Republican leaders in Washington.

Under the Bush/Cheney/Rove watch, our enemies are stronger and the world less safe and more vulnerable to terrorism. In the battle for Congress in this California 4th District, John Doolittle, as recently as this month’s debate with his opponent Charlie Brown, reaffirmed his “strong support” for Bush and the Iraq war, and he repeated the familiar right wing fallacy that it is closely connected to the war on terror. Brown has continually rejected that connection and calls the war a mistake. Voters here can help America put a brake on this Washington madness by voting next week for Brown to replace Doolittle. It is a rare opportunity for citizens in a local area to accept the challenge that national and world security demands: that as a country we throw out these misguided national wreckers who are running amok and replace them with fresh faces and fresh approaches.

– Michael Zucker is a resident of South Lake Tahoe and a stockbroker with Brookstreet Securities Corporation.

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