REAL SECURITY: The Democratic Plan
On 29 March, Democratic leaders across the country joined House and Senate Democrats and unveiled a comprehensive plan for providing the American people with real security.
The Democratic plan, entitled "Real Security: The Democratic Plan to Protect America and Restore Our Leadership in the World, is supposed to outline a 'bold vision' for how Democrats will lead on National Security.
It's not too great on specifics, and there are some platitudes; but it does offer fresh thinking on the big issues facing Americans. These are my clips on the five general issues:
This statement is what it is. It's a step toward finding a position on the anti-terrorsim and national security issues upon which all Democrats, excepting Joe Lieberman, can agree.
- REAL SECURITY: The Democratic Plan to Protect and Restore Our Leadership in the World: ....To protect the American people, we will immediately implement the recommendations of the independent bipartisan 9/11 Commission and finally protect our ports and airports, our borders, mass transit systems, our chemical and nuclear power plants, and our food and water supplies from terrorist attack....After September 11, all Americans trusted President Bush to take the steps necessary to keep our country safe. Since then, inadequate planning and incompetent policies have failed to make Americans as safe as we should be.
After September 11, all Americans trusted President Bush to take the steps necessary to keep our country safe. Since then, inadequate planning and incompetent policies have failed to make Americans as safe as we should be....
Under President Bush and the Republican majority in Congress, the war in Iraq began with manipulated intelligence and no plan for success; our ports and other critical infrastructure remain vulnerable, while both soldiers in the field and first responders at home lack the basic equipment and resources they were promised. Both in the Persian Gulf and our own Gulf Coast, lucrative no-bid contracts have gone to companies such as Halliburton, Kellogg, Brown and Root, and others with friends in high places and records of cheating taxpayers...
- 21st CENTURY MILITARY: To Ensure Unparalleled Military Strength and Honor our Troops, we will:
....Guarantee that our troops have the protective gear, equipment, and training they need and are never sent to war without accurate intelligence and a strategy for success.
Enact a GI Bill of Rights for the 21st Century that guarantees our troops -- active, reserve, and retired -- our veterans, and their families receive the pay, health care, mental health services, and other benefits they have earned and deserve.
Strengthen the National Guard, in partnership with the nation's Governors, to ensure it is fully manned, equipped and available to meet missions at home...
- WAR ON TERROR: To Defeat Terrorists and Stop the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction, we will:
Eliminate Osama Bin Laden, destroy terrorist networks like al Qaeda, finish the job in Afghanistan, and end the threat posed by the Taliban.
Double the size of our Special Forces, increase our human intelligence capabilities, and ensure our intelligence is free from political pressure.
- HOMELAND SECURITY: To Protect America from Terrorism and Natural Disasters, we will: Immediately implement the recommendations of the independent, bipartisan 9/11 Commission including securing national borders, ports, airports and mass transit systems.
Screen 100 percent of containers and cargo bound for the U.S. in ships or airplanes at the point of origin and safeguard America's nuclear and chemical plants, and food and water supplies.
Prevent outsourcing of critical components of our national security infrastructure -- such as ports, airports and mass transit -- to foreign interests that put America at risk.
- IRAQ - To Honor the Sacrifice of Our Troops, we will:
.... Hold the Bush Administration accountable for its manipulated pre-war intelligence, poor planning and contracting abuses that have placed our troops at greater risk and wasted billions of taxpayer dollars.
- ENERGY INDEPENDENCE: To Free America from Dependence on Foreign Oil, we will: (offer platitudes?)
Its best feature is that paints Osama Bin Laden (about whom Bush rarely thinks anymore) back in the center of the bullseye and Afghanistan as the center ring. The primary issue should be the capture of the 9-11 mastermind, and the rebuilding of the nation-state which his Taliban hosts ruined.
Also on the top tier is the fundamental issue of homeland security: border, ports, airports, containers, and mass transit systems; repairing and securing our national infrastructure. That sort of things - all those which Bush has not been able to fund because of his ruinous war of choice in Iraq.
Although not in so many words the statement brand Bush's vanity war as an un-provoked, unnecessary, unplanned, under-funded and largely unilateral invasion and occupation of Iraq (UUUULUIOI). This document squarely promises to make clear that this war to be the defining element in Bush's legacy:
Other issues such as the GI Bill of Rights for the 21st Century anti-nuclear proliferation and energy diversification are platitudes; but these are useful because they highlight other Bush promises which have not been implemented by his one-party government in six years.
Hold the Bush Administration accountable for its manipulated pre-war intelligence, poor planning and contracting abuses that have placed our troops at greater risk and wasted billions of taxpayer dollars.
All in all, a good start.