Guest Author - Tracey-Kay Caldwell
Beirut, a city that our foreign aid helped to build, is now being destroyed by bombs we paid for. Israel is bombing Lebanon in attempt to disarm Hezbollah. Hezbollah, who Iran could afford to fund and arm because of the high price we are paying at the pump for the gasoline made from the oil they sell. The oil who price we have watched rise and rise under the Bush administration. In Iraq, Baghdad is now so dangerous no one would feel safe walking down the street. More American troops are being sent in to deal with the “death squads” that roam the city. In Afghanistan, the Taliban have reemerged to reclaim areas we had already secured. All over the world, Americans are paying and paying for the failed foreign policy of the Bush administration.
However, with the usual off timing that only the Democrats are capable of, they are out there discussing their new domestic agenda instead of Bush’s failed foreign policy. Do not get me wrong, the American Dream is important to me to, but the world is riveted to the conflicts erupting on our TV screens every night. Their new domestic policy is being drowned out by international concerns. Democrats need to be out there explaining how we got to where we are today.
But it wasn’t Democrats we heard criticizing Bush, it was a Republican, Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele, speaking anonymously to reporters. According to Dana Milbamk of the Washington Post, Steele said that the Iraq war is “the single thread that is weaving through every issue’ including high gas prices and Lebanon.” Steele expressed his frustration at the Bush administration for not being able to admit their mistakes and go in a new direction.
The Bush administration has embraced a foreign policy of isolation, we will not talk to you unless we like you, and we will not negotiate with you unless you give us everything we want first. Our absence in the Middle East peace process has led to an increase in tensions between Israel and it neighbors. Our refusal to talk directly to North Korea has resulted in their increasing the store of nuclear bombs. The elimination of Iraq as a counterforce to Iran has strengthened their position in the region. The reality is we do not live in a world today that is safer than the one we did on 9/11. Our National borders, ports, and mass transit are not secure. Loose nuclear materials that terrorist could use to build dirty bombs have not been secured. Bin Laden and the Taliban are still a threat. Unlike our military, al Qaeda is having no trouble recruiting. Homegrown terrorist groups are springing up around the world.
The thing is the Democrats do have a plan to make us safer. They introduced their national security plan earlier this year. It called for rebuilding our military, finishing the job in Afghanistan, to protect and restore our leadership role in the world, to lock up the loose nukes, to secure our borders and transportation systems. Democrats, instead of reminding America that they know how we got here and how we can get out of the mess we find ourselves in How we can make our world safer, they are strangely silent on foreign policy allowing the Republicans to dominate the airwaves on this issue. It is not enough for the Democrats to have the right message, they have to have the right message at the right time and then shout it from the roofs until they are heard.