By Krista Wettengel
It is April in the year 2011. President John McCain occupies the White House. The war in Iraq has not gone well in the past three years. There are still a large number of U.S. troops in Iraq. American taxpayers (a.k.a you and I) are still pouring billions of dollars per month into this endless war. Despite the fact that, way back in 2008, the Iraqi government had an $80 billion budget surplus, Americans are still paying the Iraqis to rebuild their country.
It is now June, 2012. The North Korean government has grown even more hostile than it was in September of 2008, when it started testing nuclear weapons again. President McCain does not believe in direct diplomacy with foreign dictators, so the nuclear crisis has quickly escalated. Ladies and gentlemen, we may be headed for war — again.
Now here we are in September of 2012. President McCain has asked Congress to authorize a preemptive strike against North Korea. Invasion is the only alternative. But how can we go to war with North Korea when the majority of our military forces are fighting the war in Iraq? Oh, wait a second. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? No, President McCain won’t do that. Right? Or would he? If there was no alternative, would McCain reinstate the military draft?
This is a hypothetical scenario, but a very possible one nonetheless. The war in Iraq has been raging for five long years and there is no clear end in sight. Our heroic men and women in the armed forces have fought bravely, but they deserve to come home. The war has driven our federal deficit to more than $9 trillion — we are funding this war with money our government does not have.
Of all the candidates who ran for president in the past year, only one person had the foresight to oppose the Iraq War from the very beginning: Sen. Barack Obama. Obama opposed the war in 2003, called for withdrawal of our troops back in 2005, and last year proposed legislation to bring our soldiers home.
Obama has visited Iraq and has a thorough understanding of the intricacies of the war and the players involved. He recognizes the need for Iraq to take control of its own democracy. He will engage representatives from all sectors of Iraqi society and the United Nations to guide Iraq to a new constitution and government. Obama will also embark on a massive diplomatic effort with Iraq and its neighboring countries to secure the borders and sovereignty of the country. He will make the reconciliation of sectarian groups a priority. Obama will address the humanitarian crisis as well by creating an international organization to aid the 2 million Iraqi refugees displaced inside their own country.
Finally, and most importantly, Obama will bring our troops home. As president, Obama would begin withdrawal of one or two combat brigades every month over the course of 16 months. Many of these soldiers have been in Iraq far longer than they had ever anticipated. Also, remember that many of our fallen heroes were 18- and 19-year-old kids no different than ourselves. Obama will end the war in Iraq responsibly, so that a draft of young people age 18-26 will not be necessary. So, make your voice heard on Nov. 4 if you would rather stay in the U.S. than take a mandatory trip overseas.