The Weak State Of The Union
In a few days Mr. Bush will offer his State Of The Union address. Like all other administration misinformation and disinformation, it will be a shallow propaganda speech, when the real trend in the past five years of the Bush Administration is towards a path of weakness in so many vital fronts.
Iraq: It will claimed that great successes have been achieved by Bush. Yet the fact of the matter is that our military forces which number more than 150,000 there are unable to control an insurgent force that at best probably amounts to no than several thousand fighters, a force much weaker than the combined forces of the Viet Cong and NVA(North Vietnamese Army). The Iraqi election results have been largely held up since December 15, because of the fraud allegations which were partially resolved today with 227 ballot boxes thrown out, but with large segments of the Sunni population no doubt still feeling left out. This a recipe for continued conflict and a pool of anger to continue to fuel insurgent forces and possible ethnic civil war.
And because the U.S. is so overextended in Iraq, with a full 40% of the units, National Guard units, who went into Iraq very short on ammunition, radios , body armor and other vital goods, partially due to complete Bush Administration miscalculation not expecting a long occupation and insurgent war, and economic reality, there will be a partial drawdown of U.S. forces in 2006. And because of severe American government economic problems along with Republican political considerations to avoid a voter backlash over Iraq, the U.S. troop levels will be drawn down. But as the recent video by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri claimed, this is seen as a "victory" by Al Qaeda and insurgent forces over the U.S. Mr. Bush challenged terrorsists to a battle of wills, but then because of economic, military manpower shortages and political considerations is now seen as backing down and "giving the aid and comfort to the enemy" that he long argued against in his very partisan speeches to recruit political support for his failing Iraq War efforts.
The War On Terror: It's very important to either win this war over terrorism or to even do the unthinkable, to meet with leaders of Al Qaeda in a third country and negotiate some end to this conflict much like England did with the Irish terrorist group Sein Fein. Israel may be forced to do a similar thing if Hamas wins a majority of seats in the Palestinian elections. It may be unthinkable to hold talks with organizations that are in a state of terrorist war with the U.S. , however during previous wars such as WWII and other conflicts there were some channels of communication between the combatants. During Vietnam, there were peace talks with the North Vietnamese government for all the years while we dropped bombs on Vietnam. This eventually led to treaty between the U.S. government and North Vietnam in 1973, although the peace failed to hold and the North continued to push for a victory by 1975. But some sort of dialog or even cease-fire agreement between the U.S. and Al Qaeda may eventually take place. Some secret meetings may even exist now to create a dialog between the two combatants. The fact of the matter is that both Al Qaeda and the U.S. have suffered big losses in this conflict, and both would benefit from some sort of cease-fire or mutually realize that neither can clearly win this conflict.
If Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri or other top leadership in Al Qaeda may have been killed in the recent attack in Pakistan, at some point the organization may consider a cease-fire to also be in their interests. At some point if both sides consider that they cannot defeat one another completely, a cease-fire may prove the only honorable way to conclude the mutual hostility. Al Qaeda is too elusive to be completely defeated by the U.S., and the U.S. is strong enough to militarily crush Al Qaeda's top leadership with high technology such as Predator drone aircraft in states in most parts of the world if the U.S. can only have the intelligence ability to know where this leadership is. Neither can completely win this conflict. Both would benefit by some agreement to eventually end the conflict. If peace could come in Ireland between the terrorists and England, then between other combatants should see that a mutual end to hostilities serve little purpose and entertain an end to the conflict. Even the PLO was a terrorist organization but was eventually copted by both the U.S. and Israel to become a legitimate political leader of the Palestinian people and now looks like moderate compared to more radical Hamas organization.
It is unknown to most Americans, but the CIA has a warehouse full of openly available items and public information items. It also has a large number of Osama Bin Laden T-shirts that sold and worn by children and adults all throughout the developing world. In most of these states, support for Osama Bin Laden runs at 40-80% among the populations. Unless the U.S. has some secret plan to nuke the populations of all the nations of the developing world, there is no way to weed out this massive pool of support for Osama Bin Laden, or possible persons inclined to join Al Qaeda. Even in Pakistan, the unpopular government opposes terrorists, but there is much support among the public for Al Qaeda. Defeating this pool of public suport is extremely difficult for the U.S.
9/11 said something about a weakness in the American economy as well. Only two large buildings were attacked,yet an economic ripple went all through American society. A large and properous economy should not have been effected, even though the attacks were outrageous and dastardly against innocent civilians.
The Economy: Bush may claim strength in the U.S. economy. But the U.S. has a national debt of $8.1 trillion dollars against a U.S. Treasury income of just $2.2 trillion dollars. In just the five years of the Bush Administration, Mr. Bush has allowed a foreign debt of $1.09 trillion dollars to build. It took 42 American Presidents 242 years to build up a foreign debt of $1.01 trilion dollars. Japan holds $682 billion in U.S. Treasury bonds. China holds $248 billion. Other states including those in the Caribbean hold the remainder of the $1.09 trillion dollars in this foreign debt that keeps our government from economic collapse.
In 2004, the U.S. had a trade deficit of $617.2 bilion dollars. By 2005 it worsened to an estimated $710 billion dollars. $29 dollar an hour union jobs are disappearing at GM and Ford as foreign companies such as BMW and Toyota replace our high paying union jobs in Detriot with lower wage jobs in Southern "right to work" states such as South Carolina or Alabama. By 2005, nearly every American textile job disappeared to low wage nations such as China where labor is only an average of 24-40 cents an hour. Even big companies such as J.C. Penney, long known for quality American made T-shirts and other items, now are made in countries like Honduras, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates. And trade agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA and WTO have backfired, creating a wave of illegal immigration problems fro the U.S. as major U.S. corporate farms dumped cheap corn and wheat on South American markets, forcing many farm families into poverty and headed to the U.S. to seek a better life.
American airline employees now work for 40% less than a few years ago. And unions, union membership and work related pension plans are all under attack and fading in the U.S., as more and more high paying jobs disappear and the U.S. lags nearly $17,000 a year behind the average wages in a state like Germany.
In a few days Mr. Bush will try to falsely portray strength in his vision of America. But the fact is that out economy is losing vital industry. We're losing union jobs. We've got terrible foreign debt and national debt problems. And we're involved in a losing effort in Iraq. The state of the union is nowhere as strong as Mr. Bush will attempt to suggest. The U.S. is locked in many frustrating problems with difficult solutions. But instead of the U.S. growing stronger during the Bush years, it has instead weakened. The current state of the union is far weaker than Mr. Bush will claim in his propaganda address.