I just participated in an informative conference call with Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) and former senators Bob Graham and Gary Hart. The congresswoman is organizing SecureUS PAC to help Democrats talk about and actually run on national security issues. In short, Harman, Graham, et al. believe it’s past time for Dems to stop conceding national security as an issue to the GOP and to call Bush to account for the absolute mess he’s made of it.
It’s amazing to me that Dems are still afraid of the national security issue (except for the Lieberman-Clinton axis who show how macho they are by supporting the war). But after seeing parts of Gov. Tim Kaine’s tepid response to the SOTU I’m afraid that’s still the case.
From the SecureUS web site:
• Americans from both political parties and swing voters want leaders who will protect America with strong and sensible national security policies. Democratic candidates must be able to articulate those policies if they are going to win on Election Day.
• The old ways of defending America have not worked against present and future threats. We no longer face armies on the march. Today, we face terrorist networks and outlaw regimes attempting to acquire chemical, biological or nuclear weapons and attack our homeland. We need bold, fresh thinking on how to stop these threats.
SecureUS plans to train Dem candidates to talk about national security issues effectively in the 2006 campaigns. I hope this works.
Gary Hart said something that I know will interest some of you — is the U.S. building permanent bases in Iraq? Hart said he has heard from people in a position to know that the US is “welding steel and pouring concrete” for at least four and perhaps as many as 12 permanent bases. He speculated the government in Iraq will “invite” the U.S. (at our insistence) to keep a permanent force of 50,000 or so troops in Iraq. Sounds plausible.
Oh lord. The U.S. having a permanent military presence in Iraq would be a big old fancy Ramadan present especially from W to Osama. Chuck that gasoline on the fire, Dick, we’re both reaping windfall profits from the waste!
In the short term, I do take some comfort in the fact that some Dems are trying to organize a real response to BushCo’s idiotic national security mess. I hope Gov. Dean and all potential candidates (OK, not Hillary, who cares what she does?) are listening.
I read about the permanent bases several months ago. Apparently the plan is to have heavily fortified bases from which to launch air strikes against “insurgents”, thereby avoiding ground based patrols which are subject to road side bombs and small arms attack.The purpose is to guard the petroleum infrastructure and to base strikes on Iran and Syria.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the American people will be handed a bottle of asprin and a suture tray, since health care and insurance will go the way of the dinosaur.
Legislation recently adopted in your country leaves open the possibility of building a security wall to separate the U.S. from Canada. Boy, are you in dire of need of “strong and sensible national security policies”. I applaud in any effort to move in that direction. Saying that Bush has made a mess of security is one of the larger understatements of the year–no, of the past five years or so.
I’ve heard about the security wall betwwen Canada and the USA too. I saw somewhere in the Canadian press a few weeks ago that the Army Corps was quietly asked to look into how to build a security barrier down the middle of the Great Lakes. Fat Chance! China will call their loans before things get that far out of hand! In regard to Iraq, I’ve always believed and I feel in my heart and brain that the reason BushCo wants
Iraq is because of the oil. All the rest is smoke and mirrors. Nothing but pure gluttony. He also sees himself as some kind of latter day biblical king killing heathens in Babylon. The demonization of Iran is just now getting underway. Any doubts that if these jokers stay in power that those Iraq bases won’t be used to seize Iranian oil? We need to take Bush at his word. He’s a war president! He has successfully pushed the envelope on torture, wiretapping and corruption. Don’t be surprised if he isn’t making the case for battlefield nukes next. The man is evil.
Wish I could give you links, but IIRC the permanent bases, even the number of them you quote, were always part of the plan for Iraq. I remember after the invasion how hard it was to get lumber and/or plywood, because it was going overseas – this can be used for a lot of things, but especially for making forms for concrete.
It only makes sense if you realize that the main geopolitical reason for being there is to secure our fix of the oil. It’s why we guarded the oil ministry and let everything else be looted.
Read Chalmers Johnson–Blowback and Sorrows of the Empire.
I have no problem with bases, but it shouldn’t be the focus of Iraq. The base strategy worked very well in both Japan and Germany following WWII, and can be utilized wisely.
Personally speaking, I much prefer bases in Iraq to Saudi Arabia, in fact, the potential to move bases out of Saudi Arabia could finally give the US some leverage in dealing the Saudi’s. Wouldn’t that be a novel approach, a substancial diplomatic advantage over an advesary we rely on economically?
Democrats need that type of advantage in the future to stregthen the US position of maintaining peace in the region without having to leverage military action.
SecureUS PAC is fantastic news though, the current administration has indeed made Americans less safe, first by failing to win the peace, and now by failing to win the war.