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, October 06, 2012

Rumsfled airbrushes and distorts actual record



Donald Rumsfeld’s full page op-ed (“Obama is Wrong for America”, Oct. 5, 2012) had two clearly accurate sentences -- “This campaign has focused too little on national security policy.” And,  “We live in a dangerous world.”  Most other sentences appear to be his own “airbrushing and distortion of the actual record” of “the world situation today”, “how we got here”,  and what’s need in the future to ensure maximum freedom, security and prosperity for all.
In our past, Mr. Rumsfeld implies that Al Qaeda’s  9-11 attack was an unexpected event based on “ideology” , “excuses” and “weak, convenient justifications”.    In fact, it was the Administration he served that chose to ignore repeated intelligence threat analysis and bi-partisan commission warnings prior to 9-11 that specifically anticipated mass murder attacks on American soil.  And, every honest inquiry noted that Middle East hostility toward America was largely motivated by grievances Muslims accumulated as a result of an overly militaristic US foreign policy -- including our past and present support for repressive regimes (Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel…) that were intolerant of basic human rights for Muslims and too often lethal to hundreds of thousands of innocent Muslim men, women and children.  By airbrushing this reality, Rumsfeld would have the next President also ignore the first rule of war, to know your enemy, which would have us repeat past errors of judgment.
And, Al Qaeda was not motivated by our military weakness.   On 9-11 under Bush and Rumsfeld we had the strongest military in the world.   It was their grievances aided by Osama Bin Laden’s belief that they could break us economically and divide us politically that fully inspired their attack.     The Bush Administration’s decision to wage a war against an unbeatable tactic helped them on both accounts.  But it was our preemptive invasion of Iraq that really demonstrated our nation’s weakness of relying on military power to achieve our goal.  The most powerful military in the world didn’t stop them on 9-11 and couldn’t stop IEDs in Iraq.  And, a US military ten times more powerful  today can’t defend us against IEDs, cyber, chemical or biological attacks by lone wolfs here or rogue nations anywhere, if they are so powerfully motivated.   We must stop making more enemies and start winning the hearts and minds of people and allies in every corner of the world and all 50 US states.   President Bush, our military and President Obama have been moving in that direction since 2007.  It appears Rumsfeld would have a President Romney take us backward.
Mr. Rumsfeld implies that the current decline of America started with President Obama.  At 80 years old he can be forgiven for forgetting our economic decline started on his bosses watch.   Actually, it may have started administrations earlier when capitalist lovers and leaders put profits ahead of patriotism.  To the degree any party in power worships profits or national sovereignty over the inalienable rights of “we the people” everywhere, is the degree to which everyone and every nation will reap diminished freedoms and security in the future.   
What made our nation great was an ideology expressed clearly in our Declaration of Independence.   Unfortunately, this most righteous, noble and powerful ideology hasn’t always been implemented by our Constitution, our economic policy, our foreign policy or our nation’s use of military force.   In a world where ‘sovereign’ national borders mean nothing to infectious diseases, toxic pollutants, climate change, economic chaos, religious extremist or cyber criminals, perhaps it’s time we move beyond the ‘national sovereignty is supreme’ model.   Even our own nation’s Department of Defense, energy and business sectors agree on the value and passage of the Law of the Seas Treaty.   
Come November we need a leader that will recognize the fact of our interdependence in every aspect of modern life in this era of unbridled globalization.  At this point, it doesn’t look like either major party candidate is up to the task.  But Obama appears to be moving forward.  I vote that Rumsfeld and Romney don’t take us back.

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