Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Next Election

The U.S. presidential campaign process for 2008 is well under way. The Republicans are so fractured by W's failed presidency that they are fielding everyone from Mormon erstwhile abortion supporters to previously ousted Newt Gingrich (who began by attacking Karl Rove) and now another actor who is being compared to Reagan, but only loosely. The Democrats are busy shooting themselves in both feet as usual due to the difficult balancing act their pretense as champions of the people forces on them when placed side by side with their allegiance to the same corporate structure that so strongly backs the Republicans.

For the common man, the issues are clearer, but will never come up in the presidential debates because they are too deeply seated in our government's approach to both internal operations and international relations.

For the well-being of the people of this country, it would be necessary for the politicians to completely change the electoral campaign process and the legislative process so that, in both cases, no leverage other than that offered by public money could be allowed access.

For the well-being of the world, the next president must not only find a way to extricate American troops from Iraq but also to completely change our approach to fighting terrorism. The fact is that our military approach has not only failed to slow the growth of terrorism in the Muslim world, but has actually added a great deal of fuel to the fire.

This fact was brought home in spades over the past three days in Florence during debate between American and European officials on how to combat terrorism at an NYU sponsored law school conference. Europeans hold that police investigation and the criminal justice system are the only way to successfully fight terrorism. The U.S. military method, "foments rather than subdues terrorism". They also hold that our methods are alienating Muslim youth, citing a new alliance between Al Qaida and Moroccan based groups, they expressed expectations that more terrorist acts will take place in Europe. Britain, in particular, is bracing for increased internal terrorism. The final consensus among participants was that the next president's priority will have to be damage control – trying to undo the terrible damage that our current administration has done to international relations.

Sadly, I fear that we can only be sure of one thing that will come out of the next election and that is that neither of these essentials will be adequately met.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored. But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

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