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Friday, December 28, 2007

The Clueless Candidates

The U.S. Presidential race just got turned on its ear with the horrible events in Pakistan.

Folks just realized that the President is in charge of more than domestic pothole issues. And a couple of the candidates appeared clueless on something that will be on the next President's Top 10 to-do list: Pakistan.

Mr. Huckabee seemed to not know anything about Pakistan; others made remarks so general they said nothing. I was wondering if the American public would wake up and realize that the President has a GLOBAL job. We don't need someone sitting as President who has to guess about different cultures and how best to address complex international issues that impact our future. After having been in places like Pakistan, India and China, I can't imagine how someone who hasn't been there would have any idea how to deal with them without just guessing (or relying on potentially bogus advice).

That is like picking a ship captain who has been a businessman and never made a trans-oceanic cruise -- and doesn't know a rock from shallow water.

We have the same issue in local Congress races - people who may have been great Mayors or doctors who have never been out of the country and have no idea about how actions going on in places like far-away Afghanistan or Pakistan are best handled. It's a good way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, as happened at the end of the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

At the end of movie "Charlie Wilson' s War," the Congressman is in a committee meeting, begging for a tiny $1 million to build schools in Afghanistan. The same people who readily voted for a $1 billion in weapons to fight Russians, "didn't give a crap about some school in Pakistan" Charlie was told.

It was the lack of those schools after the Aghan/Soviet war that let people like Osama bin Laden take over Afghanistan -- and kill teachers and punish women who didn't cover themselves in burlap bags. It is that lack of foresight by leaders that makes the world more dangerous for Americans and democracies worldwide.

If we elect Congress reps who are not as worldly as Charlie Wilson was, we will have the blind leading the blind in Washington. I've heard people say that, if elected, "they would get tough on people who don't support us." They miss the point - if we pick the right leaders we can get support.

We need reps and Presidents with the global experience (and advisors with the same) to keep us from a nuclear 9/11 and find solutions to the complex global issues that bear on America's future.

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