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.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Preemptive Doctrine helps Osama not Obama

Dear Editor,
George P. Shultz is a smart and honorable man but he’s simply wrong headed when he suggests that
“President Elect Obama should practice President Bush’s doctrine of preemptive defense against terrorism” (Washington Times front page story, 11-18-08).
Mr. Shultz seems to have forgotten that Osama Bin Ladin’s goal was not mass murdering Americans on American soil but to destroy our nation. His plan was to drain us economically (like he did the Soviet Union) and divide us politically. In this context Bush’s preemptive doctrine has done more to aid Al Qaeda’s mission than anything Osama has done from his safe haven on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border.
Bush’s pre-emptive doctrine has three other devastating consequences beyond the immediate economic and political costs of waging distant wars. First, Americans are still dying and in greater numbers. More American citizens (mostly soldiers) have been killed by ‘terrorists’ since 9-11 than on 9-11 and at least three decades before 9-11 combined. Second, US military involvement in pre-emptive wars feeds Bin Ladin’s false claims that our nation is waging war against Islam. Collateral damage in the form of tens of thousands of dead innocent Muslims and the violent dislocation of millions more only fuels Osama’s jihadist recruiting campaigns. Third, the long term economic costs of taking care of our veterans needs and preparing our military for more ‘pre-emptive’ strikes and occupations will undoubtedly send our economy over the cliff if it’s not already falling.
Al Qaeda isn’t the only threat or even the most serious threat we face. Preventing or preparing for pandemics, climate change, transnational crimes and emerging WMD threats like biological weapons that won’t be stopped by pre-emptive doctrine…are all in need of limited federal resources that will continue to shrink following Bush’s doctrine.
Repeating Bush’s mistake would also confirm the justification of such doctrine being used by any other nations. This is a receipt for global chaos. We can only hope that President Elect Obama recognizes this folly and acts on his campaign wisdom that our security is less and less a function of military power and “increasingly” a function of “common security and common prosperity with other peoples and other countries”.

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