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POWER GRAB OR POLITICAL SUICIDE?

Justin Oldham
Mar. 21, 2006

You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to know that we may have just seen the Republican Party commit political suicide. If that's not the case, we may have just seen one of the biggest power grabs in history. During a speech in Cleveland (Ohio) on March 21st (2006), President Bush made it clear that he would not be withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq at any time during the remainder of his second term. He made it quite clear that a future President would have to make that decision.

You can read all about this at
http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=1751840

There can be no doubt that most Americans are fed up with the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war. Recent polling data suggests that the Conservatives on Capitol Hill don't score well. Mr. Bush himself polls at roughly 34% approval. Congress slithers in at just 18%. In this highly charged atmosphere, we could be witnessing one of the great mistakes in our history, or, one of the boldest power plays of all time. No matter which way this goes, one thing is clear. The GOP has abandoned any pretense paying lip-service to classical conservatism.

Mr. Bush's decision to pledge U.S. forces to Iraq for at least three more years will certainly be good news to his friends in the oil industry, and certain defense contractors. Holding to this foreign policy ensures that the federal treasury will be open to them for at least that long. Like pigs to the trough, they now know that the good times will keep rolling. This decision, so proudly arrived at, also guarantees that we have no hope of reducing the Federal deficit.

I support the need for this war. At the end of the first Gulf War, our President pledged that he would liberate the people of Iraq. He went back on his word, and they suffered for 12 long years. they've been liberated now, and they've chosen their government, so it's time to wrap it up. We can be proud of what we've done, in spite of all the mistakes. The challenge we should now be facing is the threat of tyranny from our own leaders. In their lust for power, many of them could be tempted to continue "mismanaging" the war to our detriment, and their benefit.

Let's be clear about the political consequences to the voters. If we let this stand, we invite disaster. If our leaders don't have the strength of character to bring the Federal budget under control, they will run the risk of collapsing the economy and plunging the country in to a second civil war. If they can't resist the pull of political power, we will be drawn in to an unnecessary situation that will have only one outcome.

When I wrote "Politics & Patriotism: The Fisk Conspiracy," I hoped it would be a cautionary tale. I hoped to warn against power grabs like this. I wanted to argue against the continued looting of the Federal treasury. Now, it seems that Fiction is rapidly becoming Fact. If this is a simple mistake, with nothing but good intentions behind it, we're looking at the same sort of boo-boo that President Herbert Hoover made in the aftermath of the 1929 stock market crash. If this is a deliberate effort to enhance the power of all future Presidents, we are seeing the plot described in my novel as it comes to life.


Justin Oldham
Anchorage, AK

(Enhanced for Netscape)

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