When George Washington retired from office in 1797, one of his warnings to the new nation was the necessity of avoiding foreign entanglements. Our young nation need not be dragged into the swirling riptide of European politics that so often pitted various alliances of England, France, Spain, Holland, Austria, Prussia, Russia against other combinations of the powers.
The indications are that Barack Obama is returning from his visits to Afghanistan and Iraq with at least a more nuanced view of Iraq.
His view of Afghanistan remains unequivocal: It is the central front in the war on terrorism; he would deploy at least 10,000 more U.S. combat troops there; and he fears that a long-term military presence in Iraq will detract from that fight.
The next president, with Congress, will have to put aside stale ideology and engage the federal government in a crash program of job creation — the most potent way to reverse America’s economic decline and growing unemployment. Rebuilding and improving America’s rotting infrastructure — and esprit — will be one of his most potent tools, and the work can’t be exported overseas.
While religion, particularly Christianity, played a key role in the settling of this country, the framers of the Constitution were concerned enough by the potential dangers of its influence on the government to mandate a separation of church and state. With a republic that is now growing rapidly in ethnic and religious diversity, the wisdom of their efforts is increasingly apparent.
John Ashcroft, former U.S. Senator as well as Attorney General, has been featured in congressional hearings on use of torture during his tenure at Justice. Democrats have stressed immorality of torture, in particular waterboarding, while Republicans rejoin that such painful practices have prevented a second 9/11.
I’d considered titling this column with the easy and obvious Shakespearean variation "To Drill or Not to Drill." But a quick Google search reveals that more than 23,000 incarnations of that phrase are already in use: the notion of drilling for more domestic petroleum is in the air.
I just read an article in last Saturday’s NY Times that began: “Shoddy electrical work by private contractors on United States military bases in Iraq is widespread and dangerous, causing more deaths and injuries from fires and shocks than the Pentagon has acknowledged, according to internal Army documents…During just one six-month period — August 2006 through January 2007 — at least 283 elec