April 1, 2008 [LINK / comment]
And now, a message from the "grassroots"...
! WIN THE WAR
Victory in Iraq
(but don't raise my taxes to pay for it!)
Have a "patriotic" April Fool's Day, everyone!
Well, sometimes it takes satirical humor to make a serious point. In this case, it seems to me that many of those who are gung-ho on the war against Islamic-inspired terrorism are a little weak-kneed when it comes for asking their fellow citizens to shoulder the burden. That, I'm afraid, is one of President Bush's biggest failures. This country's financial system is every bit as important in preserving national security as our armed forces and intelligence services are. Yet the declining value of the U.S. dollar, stemming largely from the growing trade gap, the budget deficit, and the recent mortgage crisis (especially the buyout of Bear Stearns by J.P. Morgan), highlights our nation's growing vulnerability to foreign pressure, making us less secure. On the personal level as well as in the Federal government, getting used to borrowing money for things we should be paying for up front is putting us in a dangerous predicament.
It is clear that the huge financial cost of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan (which I support, in general) is starting to cause "collateral damage" on the home front. Indeed, the days of living the easy life with dangerously high debt ratios may soon be coming to an end. Then we will learn what "tightening our belts" really means: victory gardens, scrap metal recycling drives, and maybe even rationing certain commodities like they did during World War II. "We can do it!"
Whatever one thinks about the strategic wisdom of the war, it should be clear to all that we cannot ultimately prevail over our enemies unless our armed forces are given enough financial, human, and material resources to WIN THE WAR. Putting up patriotic yard signs is a nice gesture, but is grossly inadequate for the enormous magnitude of the struggle that we face. Accordingly, I would suggest that folks who consider themselves to be true patriots consider donating the bulk of their "economic stimulus" handout from Uncle Sam to some charitable cause or causes in support of our troops.
United we stand.
Let us also remember that no party has a monopoly on patriotism, no party has a monopoly on religious faith, and no party has a monopoly on moral virtue. If we really want to "Take the politics out of this war" and unify this country, we on the Republican side had better stop slamming the opposition party in toto, lest we lose some potential (moderate) allies on the other side of the aisle. "Get it?"