Peace and Security
And you thought Star Wars was just science fiction, right? Ha! Remember how the heroic insurgents were first ferreted out by a drone? Remember how the rulers of the universe were called “The Empire?” Remember their vast force of identical armor-clad soldiers? Remember Darth Vader, the Empire’s evil genius, sounding for all the world like Dick Cheney? But perhaps most of all, remember how the whole Battle Star community, pro-war and pro-peace alike, went up in flames?
The Obama administration has failed to close the facility, where—by many accounts—inmates were harshly interrogated and even tortured, by its own deadline. Now there’s talk that the prison will remain open at least through 2010. And the proposal to move detainees to a maximum security prison in Illinois superficially retires Guantánamo as a symbol, while retaining the legal problems it embodies. Equally troubling is the administration’s expansion of detention facilities in Afghanistan that are almost impenetrable for lawyers and humanitarian groups.
With some notable exceptions and a great deal of grumbling in its ranks, Congress seems to be going right along with Obama’s Afghan plan. Such as it is.
Sanctions would divert the attention of the Iranian government and its people from the real problems within Iran, including the lack of freedom of speech and other rampant human and civil rights abuses. Stepping up our sanctions against Iran would offer its hardliners the propaganda they need to gain internal political support against the United States and therefore increase the regime’s power—just as support for Ahmadinejad has begun to wane.
Thought the Bush years were over? Not so fast.
Late last month, five U.S. troops died within 24 hours in southern Afghanistan. Taliban militants have killed more Americans and other troops deployed by NATO this year than in any of the previous years since President Bush ordered the invasion in 2001.
Bank robber Willie Sutton famously said he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.” Applying this logic to cutting our Federal budget deficit would lead to this conclusion — to save money, we have to cut military spending. That’s where the Bush/Cheney Administration essentially doubled spending during its two terms. That’s where the money is.