Monday, March 27, 2006

How Progressives Can Talk National Security

Conservatives in power do not care about this nation's security. "Security" to them does not mean saving lives or protecting our homeland. "Security" to them means unnecessary preemptive warfare built on a foundation of lies and deceit. It means no-bid contracts to their corporate buddies for supplying the war effort. It means appointing unqualified or incompetant cronies to positions on which lives depend. It means violating FISA, the Fourth Amendment, and a proud history of civil liberties for an unregulated program of surveillance. "Security" to them means a culture of fear and xenophobia. It means hatred and racism. "Security" to them means torture.

"Security" to progressives, and to the Democratic party, means taking care of our ports and inspecting incoming cargo. It means securing loose nuclear material worldwide. It means obeying the Nuclear Arms Nonproliferation Treaty. It means returning to the power of diplomacy, not senseless acts of war, to secure allies and confront our enemies. It means working with the UN, not against it, to fight world tyranny and poverty. "Security" to us means following the Geneva Conventions, it means being a global leader in human rights, not a consummate offender of human rights. It means a strong, efficient, and economical professional military, not a force sent into war only for the benefit of Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed-Martin. "Security" to us means protecting ourselves, and our friends around the world, from death and destruction, and that's all it means.

The United States is the richest and most militarily powerful nation in the world, but we are not the only nation in the world. And in the past six years the Republican administration has shown not a scrap of humility, not a scrap of compassion for our neighbors. In five years they have taken the compassion and spirit given to us by the world after the September 11th attacks, and turned it into hatred. It is a fool who believes that hatred directed at our nation proves the ethical character of our actions.

As an American I no longer want to see my nation walking around the world with its fists raised in preparation for a fight. I want to see my nation walking around shaking hands, securing new friendships and renewing old ones.

In a world where terrorists can roam and hide anywhere, from East to West, from North to South, and all parts in between, it is impossible to truly secure your nation from agression without global help. It is time to stop pounding our military chest in macho displays of anger and warfare and start admitting this nation made a mistake in invading a sovereign nation almost unilaterally, regardless of the ethics and actions of a hated dictator. Humility is on the march. Compassion is on the march. We are the rich older brothers to the world - it's time we stop acting like bullies and start acting like mature adults.

George W. Bush and his Republicans do not care about American lives. American lives could be saved on our highways and in our clinics through preventative medicine. They care only about money and an egotistic belief that their actions are mandated by God Himself. If their God has asked them to subject secret detainees to water boarding, then perhaps they worship a different God then the rest of us.

It is time for real security in this nation. The neoconservative philosophy has been proven not just incorrect, but morally unjustifiable. It is time for a new progressive security.

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