Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Like the British, and more recently the Russians, the United States has no winning strategy for Afghanistan. Conservative columnist George Will is right. We should withdraw our troops. We will not keep Al Qaeda from our shores by continuing the conflict in Afghanistan.
What other reason is there to be there?
Obama called it the "war we should have fought first." It was the war we did fight first. The problem then is the problem now. We were never willing to commit the resources to the Afghan War that we eventually did to the Iraq conflict. And we allowed NATO to take the lead in how the Afghan War was conducted. The weakness of that commitment to win is exemplified in the agreement between the coalition and the Afghan government which requires any prisoner taken captive on the battlefield be turned over to the the Afghans within 72 hours. It is a foolish and frustrating mandate that hampers our troops obtaining intelligence from captured Taliban.
The incompetence of Harmid Karzai's government is exceeded only by its systemic corruption. Poppy fields flourish and the Taliban remain entrenched in their safe havens in the mountainous no-mans land between Afghanistan and Pakistan, funding their terrorists activities from revenues from those flourishing poppy fields.
Meanwhile, more Americans are dying needlessly.
Americans would be better served and protected if their government initiated the following tough policies: severely restrict visas issued to people from the middle east (recalling several of the 9/11 terrorists were in this country on visas, some of which had expired); limit immigration to this country to a half-million annually and that number would include family members of legal immigrants already in the United States; find a humane way to assimilate the millions of illegal aliens already in this country either through a path to citizenship or deportation; rescind the law that allows a baby born in this country to an illegal alien to automatically have American citizenship; build walls -high walls - like those in Israel between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, along our southern border with Mexico and along our northern border with Canada, giving precedence to the southern border.
I've just finished reading Steve Martini's chilling new novel, Guardian of Lies, about a small group of fanatic jihadists, with the help of Mexican drug cartels, who smuggle a Russian nuclear device into this country through a tunnel near San Diego, constructed by the cartels for the terrorist - a tunnel that will later facilitate drug trafficking.
Tom Clancy portrayed an even more sinister and tragic scenario in his 1991 novel, The Sum of All Fears.
Sadly, the danger to our country from our porous borders is all to real. Clancy and Martini are writing fiction, but fiction from which we can draw a harrowing truth - what happens on the pages of those books could become a nightmare reality for this nation.
Not only should we end a war we are not committed to winning, but we should begin immediately to produce domestic energy sources to replace oil imported from the middle east.
How? We can start drilling for oil off the coasts of California and Florida and on federal lands in the Western United States. If we can finance such drilling off the coast of South America, we certainly can finance the harvesting of a natural resource that is a key to our national security. Allow only American-owned companies to drill and American citizens to work on those rigs for good wages.
Congress and the Administration should immediately lay out a ten-year plan for this nation to become far less reliant on oil. Windmills are proving to be a pipe dream in some areas, but the sun shines everywhere. The government could put tens of thousands of Americans to work tomorrow by subsidizing the construction of solar panels on the roofs of all homes and businesses. Drawing power from our greatest natural source could help reduce the need for electricity from coal-fired plants, most of which are here in the Midwest. Maybe some of the unspent stimulus money could be directed at this effort, instead of putting hard-earned taxpayer's dollars into the corrupt coffers of Acorn and other such "community organizing" groups.
We should commit to build nuclear energy plants on a STAT basis.
Oh, and scrap biofuels until better research and production methods can insure a gallon of biofuel will not require an equal or larger amount of oil-fueled energy to produce it.
When American innovation and initiative join with our strong work ethic, our national goals can be accomplished expeditiously. We proved that kind of grit and determination in World War II and in the call to action by President John F. Kennedy to put a man on the moon within a decade.
Nationalism you say? You bet. Let's strengthen America for Americans. Those who choose to share our dream and the great promises inherited by each of us from the founders of our republic, can use the American example as their guide to a freer society and a more stable government. Let other peoples choose to replicate what we have. Let us not force it on them, however well meaning our intention. May God guide the path of all who seek freedom and democracy and all the blessings that flow from embracing it.
As for Americans, we will be better served by our government protecting our borders, strengthening our economy through energy independence, stimulating job growth within our private sector and ridding our country of ties to those who would do us harm, including nudging the mostly inept and mostly corrupt United Nations to find a new location far from our shores. And to do all this without reservation or apology.

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