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equal opportunity?

Wednesday, 7 February 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

I have been keeping tabs on the pending 2008 presidential race.  I am watching each of the Democratic potentials give interviews and dance around questions–the questions that really matter.  For example, I am not a supporter of the War on Terrorism or the War in Iraq.  I do not think that just-war theory is possible in a post-nuclear war age.  And so, when Barack Obama introduced his plan for addressing the war and his de-escaltion act [which I wonder if its a phased redeployment], I found myself wondering if it will really work? To set a new course for U.S. policy that can bring a responsible end to the war, Senator Obama introduced the Iraq War De-escalation Actin January 2007. The legislation begins redeployment of U.S. forces no later than May 1, 2007, with the goal of removing all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008, a date that is consistent with the expectation of the Iraq Study Group.

The Obama plan allows for a limited number of U.S. troops to remain as basic force protection, to engage in counter-terrorism, and to continue the training of Iraqi security forces. If the Iraqis are successful in meeting the 13 benchmarks for progress laid out by the Bush Administration, this plan also allows for the temporary suspension of the redeployment, provided Congress agrees that the benchmarks have been met and that the suspension is in the national security interest of the United States. (More info: Press Release on Iraq War De-escalation Act and Senator Obama’s Speech about the Bill.)

Everyone on both sides and in the middle are concerned about how the U.S. does business and how we are able or unable to cultivate international relationships.  Whether you are concerned with the humanity and ways in which we contribute to the inhumane or humane treatment of others OR whether your concern is how will be able to address the spending with respect to the war and your desire for this country to be fiscally conservative, the issue surrounding the current war in Iraq comes into play.  And so, how can we have honest conversation about our needs, concerns, and joys when the overwhelming debate/concern is whether to send more troops?  And, when did the troops stop being human?  These are soldiers we’re talking about here!

I would love to advocate cutting off funding.  Is this a likely remedy to the war?  Is it even our money that we’re funneling to the armed forces?  certainly, its tax dollars and such, but how much of this money is money that should be used for armed forces?  So, cutting off funding is not likely a remedy.  What is?

We live in a post-war world.  Our philosophies, ideologies, and societies deepened the activities of war and perpetuate violence.  How do we, U.S. citizens, become world citizens again?  The anti-war protesters do not have credence with anyone, the pro-war folks can’t seem to keep the respect they would like, and so we are left awfully divided.

Is Hilary Clinton’s plan workable?  How does she plan to end the war?  She originally voted for Bush’s plan [as did Edwards], but what is her plan?  She doesn’t propose cutting off funding; she says that is an unlikely remedy.  However, in a recent speech, she said that if Congress doesn’t stop this war, then she will when she is president.  I like that attitude, the energy, but stopping the war and opposing the ideology behind the war are two very different things.  Perhaps that is where we are failing one another.  We are not addressing the ideology of this war and relationships we have with other countries [including our neighbors]?

Bottom line question…is this an equal opportunity playing field when its mostly about “stopping this war?”

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