McGovern lost me with his first line: "Most Americans probably agree that we have elected a highly articulate, talented president in Barack Obama." I'm not willing to concede that one, though McGovern does qualify the statement with his use of "most." I'm having problems with the "articulate" part. Better to say that he can sometimes read a teleprompter articulately. Sometimes. Off the cuff, spontaneous delivery? Not so much.
McGovern's first point of "advice" is this: "First, why not order all U.S. troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan by Thanksgiving?" Bring them home, give them a GI Bill and let them get on with their lives.
I think it's safe to say that we all want to bring our soldiers home, no question. On that much we can agree. But but Thanksgiving? Even if that were logistically possible, which it isn't, it would be dooming the mission they've been fighting for all these years to failure and totally negating the hard work we've done over there. And what of the people we'd leave behind? The civilians? Just abandon them to the Taliban and the terrorist groups that would surely move in and exploit a weakened situation?
McGovern asserts that "We now spend $12 billion a month on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- two mistaken invasions that have increased violence and terrorism in the Middle East. For a fraction of what we are spending on these badly conceived interventions, we could fund a new GI Bill with full medical care for the tens of thousands of veterans who have lost legs or arms or suffered lasting nerve or brain damage."
Maybe McGovern hasn't noticed, but casualty numbers in Iraq are dramatically down. And if there is, in fact, "increased violence and terrorism in the Middle East," why should we pull out now? Is he saying that it's OUR fault that there is "increased terrorism"? I'd like to see some statistics on that one.
McGovern's next tidbit of advice for The Won is "to ask Congress to shift half of our military budget to other sources of national security." By God we don't need no stinkin' missile defense system! If we're nice to North Korea they won't attack us! McGovern says, incredibly, that "It would seem that no nation now threatens us." Who does he think North Korea is trying to impress with its missile tests? And is it simply a threat to "us" that should concern us?
He wants to divert the "savings" from cuts to the defense budget into national health care and the environment: "If we directed the $250 billion we could save annually into national health care, improved education, a better environment and restoring our infrastructure, the nation would be more secure, better employed and have a higher standard of life. Or the savings might be used for annual reductions in the national debt."
Yes, George, and let's talk about that national debt, okay?
McGovern is also ready to forget and move on from the attacks of 9/11:
"There is the terrorist danger, but this is not a military problem. Terrorism is a by-product of military weakness. The terrorist has no battleships, bombers, missiles, tanks, organized armies or heavy artillery. The only significant terrorist attack on the U.S., on Sept. 11, 2001, was carried out by 19 young men from Saudi Arabia and Egypt armed only with boxcutters. They used these devices to intimidate the crews of four airplanes into surrendering control of their planes. The terrorists then suicidally flew the planes into buildings."
It was a fluke, folks. They only had boxcutters. No big deal. Not a military problem. Move on. Nothing to see here.
Instead of worrying about terrorists and national defense, we should build a railroad."I would like to see America build the fastest, safest and cleanest-powered railway system in the world. This nationwide system of passenger and freight rail service should be integrated with equally superior public transit facilities in our cities. Very few Americans are in the market for a tank or aircraft carrier. There are many eager consumers for the world's best, fastest and safest rail and transit systems."
He's entitled to his opinions, I guess. First Amendment and all that. Wonder how he feels about Gitmo? or the Uighurs? Do I need to ask?