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.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

3000 on Dec. 31, 2006. 2007?

There is nothing magic about the number 3000 but it's significant that the number both surpasses the number of Americans killed on 9-11 and that this number of dead American soldiers in Iraq was reached the last day of 2006. As this is being written the number killed in Iraq stands at 2999. There is little doubt that before midnight one or more American sons or daughters will lose their life… and dozens more scared for life.

It would be different if an end to the killing was in sight. But, we appear to be more focused on the hanging of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and honoring the life of one of our own dead Presidents
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With virtually no focus on Darfur, Bird Flu, global warming or the next terrorist attack, and none on the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi men, women and children, most of us will comfortably welcome in the new year...without a national plan for improving prospects in Iraq...or on the larger global war on terror.

President Bush is 'working' on a plan. One with the addition of more US troops into the killing zone at the core of the new strategy. Iraq is nothing like Vietnam (its far worse) but it’s extremely hard to see how more occupiers will make radical, or even moderate Muslims, more likely to like, or even tolerate American soldiers. Soldiers kicking down their doors and killing their innocent loved ones via collateral damage.

When we view ‘war’ as a solution…the only answer is ‘more troops’. But the fact remains that in Iraq, we are not in a ‘war’. We are in an occupation. We are in ‘nation building’/occupation mode where civilian security is infinitely more vital for acheiving peace than fighting terrorists.

There is hope. In the new military 'rule book' that outlines the most effective means for dealing with insurgencies suggests less fighging - more building. Soldiers however are trained for killing.

Even so, there appears to be some hope in the air. As we enter the New Year with a new Democratically controlled House and Senate, at least half of America is hopeful.

As citizens in this most amazing and powerful nation, I’m hoping more will become active in politics in 2007... and get us off this path to Armageddon.

I really hope 2007 will be better but the odds simply are not on our side. The world is growing more complex and interdependent each hour of each day. Yet we fail to even consider making the changes that are really needed in our own government or the global institutions that now try to deal with a lawless world.

God help us. It certainly doesn’t look like we are yet up to speed for helping ourselves.

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