On March 29, House and Senate Democrats unveiled their new plan for U.S. security. The five-page document entitled “Real Security” details Democrats’ plans to bring security back to America. Sounds like a valiant effort, until you realize that some of their goals seem like they were copied and pasted from the Bush Administration’s agenda. And the goals that are not “copied and pasted” seem pointless. The Democrats’ first outlined goal is to “rebuild a state-of-the-art military.” They plan to do this by providing troops with protective gear and equipment. But troops report that they already have the protective gear they need, and some Marines say that extra armor would add too much weight to an already heavy load.
Democrats also pledge to eliminate Osama bin Laden and destroy terrorist networks such as al-Qaida. Sound familiar? Hasn’t this been the primary focus of the Bush administration since 9/11? Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., outlined how Democrats plan to do this. He claims they will be successful by increasing pressure on Pakistan to seek out bin Laden and al-Qaida members who are seeking shelter there.
Could this work, and if so, why hasn’t the Bush administration done this already? Well, the fact is it would never work.
Sure, Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf would love to cooperate with America. However, if he began raiding the homes of Pakistanis looking for bin Laden, the country would fall into civil war. Bin Laden is obviously among supporters of his evil, so why would they peacefully give up the man they have kept hidden for at least the last three years?
Next, Democrats plan to secure America by inspecting every cargo container that enters American ports. Sounds great. I would love for this to be implemented, but the cost would be way too great. It would cost billions of dollars and slow the port system down greatly if this were to come into effect. The cost of imported goods would skyrocket. High-risk containers need to be pointed out and inspected thoroughly – not every single container. The system can be improved, but the economy does not need to suffer as a result.
The Iraq war is also a main concern of Democrats. Since Democrats have been pressing for a timetable in Iraq from President Bush, you would expect a timetable from Democrats. Yet, they do not give any specific timetable at all.
However, they do acknowledge that 2006 will be a year of great transition in Iraq. They plan on doing this by pressuring leaders in Iraq to stand up and take responsibility. The Iraqi government officials cannot stand up until they are ready. Complete withdrawal from Iraq cannot be accomplished until the government can stand alone. Leaving the country too soon would be a drastic mistake. Simply pressuring Iraqis to take control does not mean they are ready to undergo such a task.
Finally, Democrats outline how they will free America from the grips of oil dependency. Bush is also campaigning for the same goal. At the State of the Union this year, Bush said, “We are addicted to oil.” Afterwards, he continued to outline a plan to pour billions of dollars into alternative fuel sources.
Democrats plan to bring about new sources of energy using the same plan. Just because money is poured into a cause doesn’t mean a solution will be reached immediately.
Democrats built up the unveiling of a great plan, followed by a big disappointment. If Democrats constantly criticize every move Bush makes, why would their great plan mirror the Bush administration’s agenda? On key public issues, Democrats hold the same stance. Also, it wouldn’t be a Democrat proposal without the Bush bashing, right? The “real security” document is filled with allegations of manipulated intelligence and inadequate leadership against the Bush administration.
The words sound great at first glance, but when you look a little deeper you realize the Democrats’ flawed plans and the mirror images of the Bush administration.
Phillip Godwin is a student at University of Alabama.