Hope renewed

By Ben Hoffman

The battle for the most important title in the world rages on south of the 49th parallel, with little content aside from maligning and attacks on credibility. Yet, oddly, both major candidates have well outlined support for the newest war on a buzzword, the disaster that has made U.S. foreign policy look less intelligent every time news is released from the warfront. “Terror” in name, if the buzzword must really be fought against, the methods used to do so must be reassessed by whoever wins the coveted presidential post, lest the world itself is worse off.

The latest, greatest scandal from the front lines in Iraq involves the refusal and subsequent detainment of soldiers unwilling to perform a mission that they were ordered to perform. The mission, a simple transport of helicopter fuel along a dangerous route in Iraq, was refused on the grounds of improper vehicle maintenance and lack of an armed escort. In addition, the fuel was reportedly tainted.

It is difficult to understand how the richest army in the world would wind up with bad fuel, poorly maintained equipment, and a lack of staff to ensure security in missions. Speculatively, the lack of funding could be related to non-armed-forces military presence (read mercenaries) funded by the U.S., or the large amounts of cash being diverted to protecting interests (read oil).

Whatever the case may be, it is time for a paradigm shift in America. The only achievement the current government has made with its war is drawing the ire of many Islamic third-world countries and the silent contempt of many world powers. If the new president does not think twice about his approach to this war on a buzzword, the situation will only worsen.

Thankfully, one scant light of hope shines through the darkness of this new election’s inability to provide a president who is against the War on Terror. President Bush and Senator Kerry have both promised to reassess the methods used. Presidential candidates promise many things unfulfilled, but if they were insightful, either of these new potentials would do well to follow through on this promise.

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