Exploring the Happy Society.
Okay, how about raising taxes on people over 40 as another way to spread the sacrifice around? Our government chose this war, and we should pay for it. Not someone else some other year. Us. Now.
[sarcasm on]Sure thing... brilliant idea... people over 40 have never went to war.[sarcasm off]Truth is, the war *did* have the support of the majority of the American people back when the world's intelligence agencies were confident that WMD existed. Easy in hindsight to revise that bit of history.
As a male eligible for the draft, I’ve followed this with a close eye. Primarily because all indicators suggest that in-school deferments will be severely limited in the next draft. I am currently pursuing a serious relationship, as well as professional education, and a military draft would possibly, and permanently, change the course of my life.That notwithstanding, if there was a draft, and I was selected, I would go. To skip the draft, and to leave the country, is a perfectly reasonable example of civil disobedience. Not in this case for me, however. Setting aside all ‘consent of the governed’ and ‘patriot’ arguments, I have personal reasons. As a student of the Middle East, I would hope my knowledge would contribute more here than in Canada.Had our government followed our constitution, not granted this presidency yet another blank check, “Insert enemy here” item of legislation, and allowed the Congress to act (truly) independently of the executive branch, then this war on terror would have been fought where it was necessary—in Afghanistan—and might have taken an entirely different visage.
Even if we "go big," does anyone think we could conquer the insurgency by force? Even Kissinger has given up on that idea. We have already united 2/3rds of the Iraqi population against us, even though they are grateful that we removed Saddam Hussein. Rangel is trying to make things worse to make them better, and I always think that is a losing strategy.
Some thoughts I've had this morning...I would suggest we need to work at a short-term, an intermediate term, and a long-term timeline, not just short or just long.Short term: Concentrate our forces WHERE and HOW they can have the most influence.WHERE: "Priority One" is Baghdad itself and the hot spots on the border where foreign militia have spilled into the country with their artilery. HOW: Continued assistance to the Iraqi government to train Iraqis, with all the military forces required to meet that objective; development and implementation of a military incentive (compensation) system that serves to promote the best and the sincere, and strain out the least and the two-faced; work to more strongly involve non-radical arab national governments in the region, especially Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Jordan.Intermediate term: Continue the "How," and expand on the "Where" priorities of the short term objective... "Priority Two is a limited number of key cities beyond Baghdad, and "Priority Three" is a final tier of key cities.(KEY POINT: This may not be all that different from our initial strategy, but one difference I would hail is to take a slow approach to moving from Priority One to Two, and then Two to Three. Essentially, establish that that occurs only after a prolonged demonstration by Iraqi government forces that they have firm control over the given area... and of course, establish what constitutes "firm control" so you know what it is when you get it.)Long Term: Education, education, education. Work with the secular Iraqi government to develop an Iraqi-led-but-overtly-secular education system that begins to help prepare Iraqi adolescents and children to help their country function in the civilized world. Perhaps invent a highly-rewarding teacher program that might encourage our own college graduates to spend time in those areas of the country where control is firmly established. The best place to fight "the war on terrorism" is, after all, in the minds and hearts of the youth. The Iraqi government can't do nearly much about the adult radicals, but recognizing that, they need to work now to make such activism as "popular" and as rare as a KKK rally in the middle of South L.A.
The best solution is not a military one.Rather, it would be one where Christians pour into that country, NOT to proselytize, but to minister to the Iraqi people in all of the ways that people need assistance... in hospitals, in food provision, in teaching children, in providing technical expertise to businesses, and so on.Kill 'em... with kindness. Affirm that doing the RIGHT thing MAKES MIGHT, and not the other way around.Create such a spirit of humanity that, in the war of ideas, the violence of the insurgency is utterly rejected by the greater Iraqi population.
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