Tuesday, September 14, 2004

National Priorities

What should be our priorities for the next four years? I wonder if we considered those priorities, how this thinking might affect the election now just a few weeks off?

What do you think we should focus upon?

I invite you to list the five most important issues -- and your suggestion of our best policy for each. I also invite you to state which of the candidates for President is aligned with your priorities and related policy positions.

To start us off, here are my own top five:

1. Preparedness for Terrorist Attacks in America: My policy in this area would call for investment in the necessary human and physical resources (police, fire, emergency services, antidotes/medicines, public health facilities) and the plans and drills necessary to ensure readiness when needed. It would also require legislative and regulatory action to toughen-up security around our chemical plants, nuclear reactors, sensitive bio-chem facilities, ports and other border security, cargo inspection, and transportation security. Finally, it would include coordination and cooperation in readiness drills for response to terrorist attacks between all state, local and federal agencies to ensure that these elements are truly prepared to work together quickly in the actual event. Implicit in this is that the Department of Homeland Security must be an actively leading and supporting all of this activity.

2. Elimination of Al Qaeda and Islamic Terrorism: My policy would require the massive allocation of our military and intelligence resources to flush-out and destroy Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Yemen, Chechnya, The Phillipines, and elsewhere (including, now that we have destroyed its own army, police and internal security structures, Iraq). This will require a larger military and increased intelligence resources, as well as alliances with Muslim governments to aid in the prosecution of this war on terror.

3. Reestablish American Global Leadership: Restore America's moral leadership around the world and draw people of goodwill to our side for the long struggle to discredit and destroy terrorist organizations. The limits of our own intelligence capabilities and the need to counteract the recruitment efforts of Al Qaeda combine to push us toward multilateralism and to seek allies among the leaders of nations with Muslim populations. This also implies that we will move away from the unilateralist impulses that led America to walk away from a long list of treaties and agreements that enjoyed the support of the vast majority of our allies and other friendly nations. In short, we need to embrace the world and move it to work with us to achieve our global objectives.

4. End the Occupation of Iraq: Move 100,000 troops to Iraq from around the globe and crush the resistance forces through the unrestrained application of all resources at our disposal. Get it done. Arm the Kurds to the teeth so that they can defend themselves after we leave. Then get the hell out of the place. Timeline: no more than 6 months.

5. Strengthen America: Repeal the Bush tax giveaways and invest in basic access to healthcare, military and homeland security resources, and deficit reduction. Build non-partisan solutions to our priorities. End the extremism of the Bush domestic program and remove political leaders who don't get with the program -- on both sides of the aisle.

In my view, this all sums up to a vote against Bush -- and therefore I will vote for the other guy.

Vote for Kerry!