The Small Things…

The policy challenges facing the United States were radically altered by the event of the 9/11, 2001, which in my view, has more to do with defining the actual cause effect of the expectant result of the policy challenges. The day after the terrorist attack, President George W. Bush announced that they have been planned and executed by members of Al Qaeda an international terrorist group, mostly of Islamic fundamentalists lead by Osama Bin Laden. In the CNN outline speech report, Bush declared that their attack against the US wasn’t an act of terror but an act of war. In a resolute statement, Bush further said that the US was going to fight an act of terrorism and friends who are harboring and sponsoring terror. It therefore means that the US will make sure that its campaign against terror wasn’t only purported towards the Al Qaeda but also friends and nations harboring these terrorist fundamentalist groups, lead by Osama and co.

The 9/11 episode, changed dramatically and totally the focal point of the US policy, the new war was unlike any other in American history. Although things were a little bit different from a moral point of view. The enemy was not another nation-state such as imperial Japan in the world war 11, or even a seceding section of the US, like the confederacy in the American civil war. The worst challenges in determining the American new policy came about. Consequent of the fact, there were no organized army to be defeated in the battle by the US armed forces; no any government to acknowledge defeat and sign peace treaties. Indeed no way to tell when war was over, and whether the US had won. Instead the enemy was an unknown member of shadowy hard-to-find secret cells of terrorists dedicated to destroying the US and all its stands for at home and in its foreign policies with no way of knowing what victory and who will recognize it.

In the article of public politics, Austin Ranny hit the core by saying that “so the unified state now faces a long and difficult twilight struggle, in which most of its other policy challenges will take second place”. In my honest comparison Austin was right, because many such challenges will remain in domestic affairs. The problem of the economic status of African-American, some version of which has bedeviled the nation from its beginning; this has remained on the US congressional agenda and the national policy. African-American in today US are in many respects no different or better off than they were a generation ago, even though numerous authors and theorist have proven otherwise. They still on the whole lag behind while in many areas including family, crime and imprisonment rate, formal education, housing quality, family stability, vulnerability to such diseases as AIDS and prostrate cancer and life expectancy. Also in the new Millennium Hispanic-Americans in ever growing numbers are joining in the demand for better status, and the national debates about whether compensatory racial preferences, sometimes called affirmative.

These are not just the only challenges stated, other domestic policy challenges has continued in varying parameters, such as “the war on drugs”, national standard of educational achievement measured against national standard by national test, reconciling environmental protection with economic growth, and perhaps addressing the bitter conflicts over abortion between pro-choice and pro-life forces within and outside the congressional platform.

POLICY OPTIONS

In the early years of 21st century, the American economy as the largest in the world was struggling its deepest recession in a half century featuring such woes as increasing unemployment, a weakening dollar problem and a comparative stock market that from early 2000 to 2004 lost 40% of its value. In addition to coping with this slump there were also numbers of unresolved structuring problems and other challenges. One is the longstanding of the complex often incomprehensible, sometimes unfair national tax system with proposed reforms ranging from a flat rate income tax, with a one-page 1040 to national sales tax. Another problem is finding a politically acceptable structure for universal health-care that will control health cost and enable all Americans to get the care they need. Yet another is learning how to keep the federal budget balance even when the economy is not booming and producing record tax revenue, within the ambit of the national treasury.

From the above consequence, it is imperative that the US will maintain an unchallenged position as the world’s most powerful nation, and leader of the forces supporting democratic and capitalist government and free market economies, which still enumerates on capitalism will certainly continue in the early 21st century. On the contrary, national hubris is not warranted for such a position as the US holds carries perils in foreign arena which though different from what the US faced during the cold war.

The worst policy the US has ever faced in time was the 9/11 scenario which was mainly or solely brought about through an act of the United Nations (UN). During the 9/11 it was imperative that a new theory sprang up, and this was grossly considered as “the Bush Doctrine”. First enunciated by President George W. Bush, after the Al Qaeda attacked September 11, 2001; the doctrine declared that the United States should no wait to be attacked before it acts. It should with the help of allies if possible, but alone if necessary take preemptive military action against any nation or terrorist group that possess weapons of mass destruction that might be used against the US. This doctrine indeed replaced Truman doctrine (Containment of hostile regime), the Reagan doctrine (Support all freedom fighter) and the Clinton doctrine (Always act multilaterally).

The doctrine underlay the Bush administration’s decision in March 12, 2003, to invade Iraq despite his failure to win a resolution from the United Nations Security Council authorizing the use of military force against Saddam Hussein’s regime for his refusal to honor previous Security Council resolution directing him to disclose and destroy his weapon of mass destruction. Whether this was to be the only the use of the Bush doctrine or the first of many uses by Bush and subsequent President remain to be seen. But our paramount concern should be geared towards the Bush doctrine reconciliation and his administration’s aftermath in both national and foreign policy.

MEMO.

In an obvious opinion, since the policy in the domestic affairs i

s always at a debating closure, while foreign policies are taken with high priority is not the case with little consideration to national security. Although taking this into account is better seen as patriotism by each successive government due to the heck of terrorist manoveour.

In regard to the Mr. Bush’s administration, I feel it should be considered from the party point of view, and of course as with regard to public opinion, and those of the US allies. But the case was different with the Bush administration. Why is simple, the leaders of most parties in the world democracies have a number of tools to ensure that the legislators bearing their parties labels support the parties policies in the national legislatures. For one, they can make sure that no usually visible or persistent rebel against the party’s position is given ministerial position or preferment of any kind. If that fails to bring the fractious member into line, they can expel him or her from the parliamentary party altogether. Many parties in many countries give their leaders the ultimate weapon: the power to deny the rebel reselection as an official party candidate at the next election. But this is a view of what is happening in the outside world with similar democracies like the US or those of the floundering like the developing world or the transformed social capitalist worlds.

I hardly believe if this can happen in the US. But with regard to political history, in the sharp contrast, in the United States any person who wins a party’s primary for the house of senate in any congressional district or state automatically becomes the party’s legal candidate for that office, and no national party agency has the power to veto the nomination. On one notable occasion, called by historians “the purge of 1938”, Franklin D. Roosevelt, an unusually popular and powerful national party leader, tried to intervene in the primary elections of several states to prevent the renomination of Democratic senators who had opposed his New Deal policies. He however failed in twelve of the thirteen attempts, and most people have since concluded that any effort by a national leader to interfere in candidate selection at the state and local level is bound to fail, and it has always been failing. Another analogy appears to be a lukewarm attitude towards opposition party, unlike the past Clinton administration that he whole-hearted listened to the opposition in some areas of his policy from the Republican Party.

In contrast to this, it is paramount that the Bush Administration listens a bit to John Kerry’s opposition against his policies. It will make more progress in policy ties and in terms of US foreign policy. Because when internal policy is take care of, and then Bush can gain much popularity from Americans on any National security agenda that is laid before the American congress. It is imperative that the congress is a whole array of side-effect Republicans and a little of Democrats. Although the foreign policy of President George W. Bush’s Administration had secured the American border a great deal, nevertheless, is has also reduce some other policy initiations, like the pro-choice and pro-life abortion litigation within the ambit of the congress as aforementioned. This might be a problem with Senate majority leader Frist to either accentuate or improvise on whether they are to approve Bush’s go ahead on some vital foreign policy at the expense of national ones is what cannot be decided now. Every American must be part of this crusade to defend the integrity of America while still upholding our strongest relationship ties with our allies and non-allies.

So we must not do that by forcing policies on the people of America. But that does not mean that we should be weak, but rather that we should in strength and in unity face all the troubles that are in front of us. We must hold together, and all out petty troubles and difficulties and conflicts must be ended in the face of this great disaster of making things right; fighting against terrorism and act of war, and reconciling with terrorist at bay. A great disaster is a symbol to us Americans to remember all the big things of life and forget the small things, of which we have thought too much. But I still would point here that these small things are the most significant to the Americans, which entails shelter, health, social and economic status.

Written by
Carl Collins Ogunshola Oshodi
Join the discussion