Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tucker: Bush exploited Americans' urge for safety |

Bush exploited Americans' urge for safety | "Bush had a major advantage in persuading Americans to support his Iraqi misadventure: Voters wanted to believe that ousting Saddam would take care of terrorists. The president offered the certainty that the nation craved. It's easier to believe in a highly unlikely proposition if you desperately want it to be true.

But 3 1/2 years after the invasion, with bloodshed escalating, the spell has worn off. A CNN poll this month showed 64 percent of respondents opposed to the war. And while a handful of Republican congressional candidates still try to justify the decision to topple Saddam, most GOP candidates try to avoid the subject.

Meanwhile, we are less secure than we were five years ago. Terrorists are using our invasion of Iraq as a recruiting tool. While Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction, North Korea apparently now has nukes. Iran is on its way to nuclear capabilities. And we have few soldiers left to handle a conflict anywhere else. Even if Bush wanted to invade Iran, he has no brigades to send. They're bogged down in Iraq. Moreover, our international alliances are frayed —- where they're not ripped to shreds.

All in all, we've paid a high price for our refusal to see ourselves as we really are, not the way we want to be seen. We wanted to be 'the shining city on the hill,' set apart from the rest of the world, immune to its problems, better, safer, smarter than anybody else.

The United States is a strong and capable nation, but we are vulnerable to bird flu from Singapore, suitcase nukes from the old Soviet empire and suicide bombers from Saudi Arabia. Our best strategy for protecting ourselves will always be a nuanced and multifaceted approach using diplomacy, strategic alliances, intelligence-gathering, law enforcement and, as a last resort, military force.

That nuanced approach doesn't appeal to the bully boys who want to send other people's children out to blow up a country. But we should have learned by now to stop listening to them."


Post a Comment

<< Home