Friday, November 10, 2006

Drama Derry

Some thoughts on how the newly-minted Democratic leaders might spend their political coin:

(1) Figure out what constitutes our current defense policy. Drop the "fight 'em there" emotionalism and assess what's actually transpiring over there. Neither Nazi or Imperial Japanese forces had the ability to project combat power onto the shores of America. Germany couldn't even hop the English Channel with an invasion. Japan shot their wad at Pearl Harbor, and this was apparent afterward at Guadalcanal, Midway and Coral Sea.

Somehow, I can't quite shake the image of an invading armada of floating camels out of my mind. America faces a terrorist threat, but it's nothing on the order of that described by Bush.

(2) Remember that Congress is ultimately in control, and if they quit playing the "emergency funding game," then the war is over. Congress can set a drop-dead date for this funding, thereby giving the C in C the opportunity to disengage U.S. forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.

(3) Resuscitate democratic values. No more warrantless wiretaps. No more torture, secret prisons, secret courts, secret fundings and secret threat assessments. If the taxpayers are footing the bill, they should be able to see it.

(4) Release the Gitmo prisoners, or try them in open Federal court. I'd even accept releasing them to the World Court/Hague for adjudication.

(5) Become an active member of the United Nations. Cooperate and graduate. More than lip service is required to solve this impasse. U.S. unilateral military actions must cease, unless addressing actual imminent threats.

(6) Return the CIA to civilian control so that it is a counterbalance to military intelligence. The President must have unbiased evaluations of potential threats to U.S. security.

(7) DoD intelligence gathering should be aimed at external enemies, not focused on U.S. citizens. The latter should be an FBI-counterintelligence function.

(8) Properly fund programs for low-income Americans. VISTA and AmeriCorps come to mind.

(9) Get the Federal government out of morality-based legislation, i.e., gay marriage, abortion, etc. In fact, the Federal government might financially underwrite voluntary abortions and institute financial benefits for voluntary sterilization.

(10) Institute cost-cutting measures, to include the use of Air Force One and consolidating aircraft useage. Let's cut out the imperial presidencial perks.


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