Iraq War Takes Back Seat to Domestic Issues – NY Times

Iraq War Takes Back Seat to Domestic Issues
By ADAM NAGOURNEY
Published: January 3, 2008
Economic anxiety may be at least matching national security as a factor driving the 2008 presidential contest as the voting begins.

When looking for our candidate of choice it’s tough to read through the “vote for me” rhetoric and see what these politicians really stand for. In this article we have John Edwards, one of the Democrat front runners:

John Edwards of North Carolina has a ready answer when asked about immigration at rallies here — a subject that rarely if ever came up at Democratic gatherings a year ago. He drew cheers at a New Year’s Day rally in Ames when he said that while he would support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, he would insist that none could become naturalized “until they learned to speak English.”

What is he implying by stating “until they learned to speak English?” This makes little sense to me as it does not qualify what that means. Our president can barely speak proper English himself. So what does this mean? I see it as a way to pander to the hysteria that states we’re being “invaded” by people that want to change our language, our culture (which is all imported), and our way of life. What many people fail to recognize is that our most elderly citizens probably don’t recognize this country anymore. It is ever evolving and changes just as the world is. The key is to change in positive ways using positive language and actions.

So it’s definitely hard to find a candidate when those with a real chance of winning are pandering to the worst of our fears rather than speaking clearly about issues that need to be addressed. I have often wondered how Iraq became a non-issue, but it’s not hard to see how easy it is for politicians to grab onto local issue and use our fear to bring us into the comfort of their leadership. Why should they talk about Iraq? It’s so far removed from our day-to-day reality because we can’t see it. If bombs, bullets, and death were part of our daily lives it would obviously be the most pressing issue for the American people. But with the war so far away and the focus turned to housing and immigration it’s not too hard to let those images of the war slip from our minds. I find this to be a sad state of affairs as I believe the Iraq war is in many ways responsible for our problems here in the states. With billions upon billions being sent to Iraq for the war and our military being stretched to its physical and mental limits it’s not hard to see that we’re going to have similar problems here. What’s been gained in Iraq anyway?

I believe the politicians need to focus on getting us out of Iraq first and foremost. However, I believe the challenge of that request is far too much for many politicians to handle. The quagmire that Bush and his administration have gotten us into is like a comedy routine where the actor tries to get something sticky off their hand. No matter how hard they try they just keep getting more caught up in the sticky mess. Unfortunately this isn’t a laughing matter and we desperately need to find a way out of Iraq. It’s damaging the psyche of our military personnel and it’s damaging the psyche of the American people. Sadly, with the ease of making migrants into criminals many politicians will continue to use that as their stepping stone into office.

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