Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

President's Softer Tone a winner.

“President’s softer Tone uncalled for”

What goes around comes around. Diana West’s Washington Times op-ed (6-2-06) “Warm, Fuzzy: President’s softer Tone uncalled for” is typical right wing thinking in asymmetrical times. Talk tough, carry a big bazooka. Does she not believe in the bibilical passage about those who "live by the sword."

Ms. West just doesn’t get it. Tough talk and offensive actions (invading Iraq) will make us more enemies in the world. Winning a war on terrorism (if that’s even possible) will require making more friends.

Rumsfeld himself recently made the statements, “Anyone who thinks the US military can win the war on terrorism alone, just doesn’t get it.” And “Anyone who thinks the US military alone can protect the United states, just doesn’t get it”.

Wild west diction, Abu Ghraib asses, Guantanimo Gestapo’s, and Haditha hit men, are not winning hearts and minds. The reason they want to kill us isn’t because we are being nice in the world. Yes, we offer occasional assistance in the form of food and medicine, but this pales in comparison to our persistent offers of assistance (and guns) to authoritarian and repressive leaders.

Projecting military power isn’t nearly as effective in making friends as projecting moral power. Accepting collateral damage of over 30,000 Iraqi citizens is hardly morally persuasive. Our aid efforts to help Muslim Tsunami victims and Pakistani earthquake victims made us far more likable.

Contrary to Ms. West’s view Abu Ghraib was a military setback for us. It provided valuable ammunition to insurgent and Al Qaeda recruiters.

The primary reason “American superpowerdom” is a “risky enterprise” is because advances in technology have given almost anyone with a small budget and a grudge the superpower capacity of powerful biotech killing capacity or cyber tech disruption capacity. A few guys with razor blades will pail in comparison to a few biologists with anthrax, botulism or -- Allah forbid -- weaponized small pox.

If President Bush really values protecting the freedoms and security of Americans there is a lot more he ought to “apologize for”. DTFM


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