To my fellow Democrats who have been somewhat intimidated by the Republican campaign jingoism which brands all Democrats as being members of the “Cut and Run” party. In advance of the upcoming congressional elections, I wish to publicly declare that I am a “hard core”, “unashamed”, “card-carrying”, Run and Cut Democrat.
As a Korean War veteran, I have lived through a substantial portion of the landmark historical events that built those traditions that the world has come to recognize as demonstrative of the strength of the American character. There is a unique feeling that binds us to this land in which we reside, a feeling so strong and fierce that in its heat it summarily transcends all of our petty personal differences.
Many decades ago when Barry Goldwater ran for President, a popular political expression at the time was “My Country, Right or Wrong!” This saying not only epitomized the true patriotic fervor of belonging to America, while also acknowledging the ultimate responsibility of every citizen for America’s welfare and protection.
I recall an oil painting that I viewed many years ago. The gripping image captured in the artwork showed a large bald eagle snared in a dangerous situation where it is trapped atop a short woody shrub. One of the eagle’s claws is entangled inside the shrub by several twisted vines, which have snaked their way through the thick forest undergrowth. I find this depiction of the eagle’s struggle strongly apropos to America’s current state. The message from the painting is obvious. Unless someone cuts the eagle loose, she is certain to perish in the clutches of the snare. Likewise the message from the national picture is just as clear. Unless we cut America loose from her current dilemma, she too faces a similar prospect. It is in this spirit that I will “run” to the polls on November 7 and cast my vote with the unrelenting intent of “cutting” America free from her current destructive entrapment.
The infrastructure of America has decayed to the point of falling apart. roads, bridges, the water and sewer piping that feeds our cities, the national electrical power and communication grids, our public buildings, schools and municipal, are all falling into dangerous disrepair across the nation. The National Debt is currently $8.5 Trillion and is rising on average at the rate of $1.75 Billion per day! Recently some cash bound states have leased their parkway toll roads to foreign investment cartels in an effort to provide some fiscal relief. Some see this as the first step in the selling off of America to foreign interests. This certainly is not the picture of America that those veterans, interred in Arlington Cemetery envisaged as they gave their lives in service to their country.
America is a great country with unlimited potential for achieving new wonders and marvels, but she does not have infinite resources. The main damage to America is the result of catastrophic mismanagement of OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom), the Iraqi war. The total cost of the Iraq war is projected to eventually be somewhere between $700 and $1.2 trillion, assuming a withdrawal starts in 2006 with the gradual final withdrawal taking place over the next 5 years. The official figures of the number of American servicemen wounded stands at 19945. However, due to inaccuracies in the military procedures tracking this statistic, the estimated number of wounded personnel ranges from the 19945 upwards to as high as 48100. Misspent resources (both personnel and fiscal) deplete America’s real defensive preparedness.
The purpose of the National Guard and the Reserves is to have a standing citizen/soldier military force available to defend the homeland against possible military invasion or a large scale internal insurrection. The indisputable truth that no politician will utter is the fact that the American homeland is more vulnerable now to an invasion by a sizeable foreign military force than at any other time in American history. The facts behind this assertion are as follows. At this time the National Guard and the Reserves are depleted. Army and Marine Corps enlistment levels are way down. There are approximately 160.000 American military deployed currently in Iraq. If a military threat arose against America, the draft would have to be activated. However, it would be impossible to train the draftees in time to produce an effective military counter force. Make no mistake; perceived American military weakness is certain to tempt a foreign aggressor to take the gamble. A foreign military invasion preceded by a series of high profile terrorist attacks around the country would be devastating to America.
The President’s argument for the status quo in Iraq is that if we “cut and run” from Iraq, America will lose all influence in the Middle East. The Republicans also argue that we would also be guilty of abandoning the Iraqi people to the “islamo-facists”. The old axiom, “Pride goes before a fall” certainly holds true here; and I for one will “run” to the voting booth and cast my vote in the sincere hope that it will help “cut” America loose from the deadly trap in which she is so deeply entangled.