Right from the moment of the terrible terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon it was called an act of war followed closely by the words we are at war. The President and members of his administration have continually used the term war including declaring war on those nations responsible.
The first time in many years that I had heard the term war used regarding U.S. foreign policy was during the Vice Presidential debate when Mr. Cheney said that U.S. troops should not be used for nation-building but should be reserved for use in war. It struck me at the time that the whole idea of nation-building was to prevent war.
At the time of this writing we still do not have a clear idea of who is responsible. We are only sure that about 18 terrorists were involved. Do we really want to declare war on all of the countries who possibly could have played a role in this awful deed? It would be quite a substantial list of countries in the middle east. Virtually all Muslim countries would be included with populations of around one billion. Wouldn't we be guilty of terrorism ourselves or maybe even genocide?
It seems that there is a feeling that we have to go to war against some country in order to satisfy Americans that something is being done. That is a poor reason to go to war with the possibility of loss of life in the tens of thousands. I have to believe that the American people are better than this.
At the same time there is talk of passing more laws to curtail Americans' civil liberties. In particular the Muslim community has been singled out for racial profiling. Mosques have been visited by the FBI reportedly disrupting services. It is important to realize that over one hundred of those killed in the WTC were Muslims. It was reported that one woman who had lost her husband in the tragedy was fearful to leave her home because she was Muslim.
The U.S. Congress and Senate has appropriated 40 billion dollars for rebuilding and retaliation. This money is coming directly from Social Security funds which were still in surplus. This money is paid primarily by the poor and middle class in their payroll tax. No mention has been made of rescinding the obscene 1.3 trillion dollar tax cut for the rich so that they may participate in this patriotic endeavor.
For those among us that will say that now is not the time to criticize our President we should be reminded that Franklin Roosevelt was constantly criticized by the Republican politicians and press all during the war years.
Let us not forget that we are being asked for blind faith in our President. A President who has done the following:
Let us proceed carefully but effectively before we invest our lives and fortunes. The last time we gave unlimited power to our President we ended up dividing our country and losing 60,000 American lives in Vietnam. Remember also that there were 1.5 million lives lost when Russia engaged Afghanistan in warfare just a short time ago.
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