Friday, August 06, 2004

Duty: Bush's biggest mistake in this war was not getting the American people involved. In World War II, it was simple. We needed to draft every able-bodied man and send everybody else to the factories to build the "Arsenal for Democracy". Everybody was rationing materials and collecting pieces of scrap metal to donate to the cause.

We've become so separated from this war that some people have forgotten that a war is going on at all. The military has done such a great job keeping the terrorists at bay that we're being lulled into a false sense of security. So then we nit-pick specific operations, like going into Iraq.

It was tough at the time of 9/11, because we were in the middle of a recession that was only made worse by the attacks on our financial infrastructures. Bush was smart to encourage everyone to live normally, to buy things, and to not worry about the health of this country. That helped spur the economy back faster than it otherwise would have.

But now it seems like it's too late to get people involved in this war. Hopefully it's not, and this election would be a perfect time for the candidates to propose ways to recruit more Americans into the war effort.

I would like to see a Peace Corps type program sent to the Middle East to help Palestinians and Arabs, bringing economic help as well as a PR boost to the American image.

We should be cutting back on gasoline and other oil consumption. Not only would a decrease in demand help lower the price of the skyrocketing oil costs, but we need to hit the Middle Eastern governments in the pocketbook so they don't keep supporting terrorist groups.

We should organize civilian programs to provide security for subways, skyscrapers, and other potential targets. We could have training programs to teach people how to spot suspicious activities, then rotate shifts at high-risk targets.

These are just a few ideas, and we need more. I don't know if these specific proposals would do anything, but we need to do something. We're all targets in this war, and the fighting will come to our soil again. There's been more division in this country than we can live with in this dangerous period. We need something concrete to bring us together.


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