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.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Maverick: Another name for cowboy.

Somewhere between Andrew Bacevich’s “He told us to go Shopping” and the Washington Post news story “Standard Warfare May be Eclipsed by Nation-Building” (both in Sunday 10-5-08) lies the answer to this nation’s economic crisis, our defeat of terrorism and our future leadership in this increasingly troubled world.
If after or even before the attacks on 9-11 President Bush had asked Americans to buckle down economically and invest a small part of our relative wealth in boosting the wealth of all people in all nations via foreign aid -- instead of shopping domestically or visiting Disney world, we wouldn’t be in the world of hurt we are today.
Stability operations, nation building or ‘development’ -- whatever you want to call it -- is as vital to our economic prosperity as it is to draining the swamp of future terrorists. But, expecting the U.S. Army or the American tax payers to achieve this essential endeavor alone is futile.
After the suffering of the last great depression and the horrors of the last World War America led the world in creating a new international institution aimed at preventing war and suffering for future generations. But when we gave the UN the most aspirating objectives, we failed to give it the power or the resources to achieve them. And now we either blame the UN or ignore it when its ideals and an empowered reforms are needed most urgently.
Our next President will inherit a giant sucking sound of dollars and power leaving our still great nation. Investment in a new global marshall plan as outlined in H. Res 1078 could help prevent more costly crisis that are inevitable. Both candidates are calling for change but small change isn’t going to do it. And, H.Res 1078 proposes funding changes for nation building that won’t add to our deficit or detract from our military readiness.
On Sept. 18, 2001, when then-defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said "We have a choice, either to change the way we live, which is unacceptable, or to change the way that they live, and we chose the latter." He was dead wrong. Both presidential candidates know admit we need change. And one of them clearly articulates the change we need to make in how we relate to the rest of the world. And “maverick”? That’s just another name for cowboy.

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