In March 2003, when the US was pushing its agenda of invading Iraq, I supported the war. I trusted our President and our Congress that the intelligence that we received concerning the infamous weapons of mass destruction was credible. In my mind and in the minds of many other Americans, if Iraq obtained weapons of mass destruction, they would pose a considerable threat to the US and its allies.
Weeks later, President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier and proclaimed that major operations in Iraq were over and that the US had been victorious. The fact that weapons of mass destruction were not yet found seemed to be of no concern to Bush or his administration. Weeks then turned into years and as of today, April 22, 2008, these weapons of mass destruction still have not been found and heads have not rolled because of this huge foreign-policy blunder. [Also note: Osama bin Laden is still on the loose somewhere in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Could it be that the War in Iraq has distracted us from the legitimate war in Afghanistan?]
Democrats have capitalized on this and demanded that the war come to an end. Republicans have not been so forthcoming, mainly, I believe, because they do not want egg on their face, especially with a Presidential election coming up very soon. In my humble opinion, what has happened is that the Democratic base has been strengthened and the Republicans are looking like fools.
Enter John McCain: a tough-talking war-mongering Republican who, in my humble opinion, is a Democratic wolf in sheep’s clothing. What exactly makes this guy a Republican? That question is assuming that “Republican” still means “conservative” which apparently, it does not. His record on campaign finance reform and immigration is far from conservative, but since he is the Iraq War’s golden boy, a tough-talking war-mongering savior of the worst foreign policy mistake in the history of our nation (not my thought: that came from Newsweek magazine, but I totally agree), he apparently is good enough for most Republicans.
But not this one. The biggest threat to our country right now is not Islamic Fascism. It is our foreign policy. We have focused way too much on it to the neglect of our domestic policy. Our country is in, if not on the verge of, a recession, possibly a depression. Meanwhile, our money is being funneled to a war that the American people have made very clear that they do not want (mainly because I think that they do not understand it; if the war was to eliminate weapons of mass destruction like we were told and we did not find them, then why are we still there?) and that money could clearly go for much more useful things like securing our borders.
Here’s the thing: After World War 2, we got scared. How did Hitler achieve what he did and why did it take so much to stop him? Can it happen again? Our fears were confirmed by fighting Red Communism in the Korean Conflict and during the Cuban Missile Crisis followed shortly by the Vietnam War. The Soviet Union was the big threat and we had to diffuse the other bully on the block. Fast forward to the late 80’s and early 90’s when the Soviet Union broke up. The Big Red Beast was defeated, but the US never shifted its focus (Maybe President Clinton was on to something by reducing our military?). We entered another war for purely economic reasons in 1991 which resulted in U.N. Resolutions (Don’t even get me started on that) that lead us indirectly to this current war. We have screwed up our foreign policy so much that other countries are, legitimately and illegitimately, angry at the United States.
Let me make this very clear: I no longer support the War in Iraq. Our current administration trumpets the evils of Islamic terrorism and makes it sound like we are always on the brink of another terrorist attack. The forced the Patriot Act down our throats which reduces us to a surveillance state and we stand by and smile, clinging to our American flags, while our constitutional rights are taken away. Yes, there still is a thing called the Constitution and it is not a bendable document. It guarantees us certain rights and gives us certain responsibilities. We may have unjustly used it to kill innocent unborn children and start illegal wars, but it says what it says whether we choose to believe it or not. Fear cannot dictate to us our rights.
We must turn the focus from over there to over here. The very first step is to bring our troops home from this stupid, ridiculous, pointless war. The second step is to divert the money that we would have spent for the war to securing our borders. Once we stop or at least reduce the flow of illegal immigrants across our borders, then we can turn our attention to the real work ahead of once again making this country great.