Thursday, November 23, 2006

It's too early to start talking about '08 by Felicia Benamon

Felicia Benamon

No sooner had the 2006 Mid-Term elections ended, Democrat and Republican Presidential hopefuls lined up to announce their intentions of running for President in 2008. And so, the race is on. But we are barely over the last election and are looking to another? The politicking never ends! I need a break already!

I think we need to stop and think about the current threats to our nation. Iran, for example, is still playing a game of words. Iran's President Ahmadinejad's recent remarks to the US:

"We will talk to the US government under certain conditions. Should it correct its behavior, we will talk to them."

Change OUR behavior?! Iran is in defiance to the UN and the US by not heeding calls to halt their nuclear program and WE are the ones who need to change? I think he has it backwards.

Iran has done that before, trying to look innocent in the face of International criticism, while never revealing their true intentions.

Not only has Ahmadinejad continued in his nuclear pursuits, he is blatantly looking for the next Bin Laden within his own country to take the top spot as the leader of Al Qaeda. He practically scoffs at the US and the International community through his words and activities, and I hope that the US would point out every step Iran makes to support terror organizations, and demand an end to it.

In a statement from White House spokesman Tony Snow, the White House believes "Hezbollah and Iran remain a dangerous, global nexus of terrorism." Of course they do! Iran, for one, is training Al-Qaeda in Iraq to fight US troops and their allies, and to blow up innocent Iraqi citizens. Where is the outrage in the UN over that?

The silly thing is, President Ahmadinejad wants to hold a summit with Iraq and Syria. Will Iraq ask Iran to stop its negative influence in Iraq?

Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq Abu Ayyub al-Masri boasted, "I swear by God we shall not rest from jihad until we...blow up the filthiest house known as the White House." This statement was made as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stepped down.

Al Qaeda in Iraq is a threat to the US and Ahmadinejad has a hand in their operations. Where is the condemnation from the International community? They are eerily silent.

In the US, we face the possibility of domestic terrorists who want to do harm to the American people. And we can't forget that our national landmarks can be targets as well. With a threat placed on the White House, I would think that every government official in Washington would be on their toes to try to work together to tackle terrorism issues.

In just the past week, a man was caught at Detroit Metro Airport with $78,883 cash and a laptop with files on cyanide and nuclear material. Sisayehiticha Dinssa who is a US citizen, was in Nigeria on "unspecified business." He is now in US custody as the Feds gather more information about him.

Just that information alone should make the hairs on your back stand up. Who knows what this man was capable of doing. There are US citizens in our country who are capable of causing a lot of damage and it's imperative that we are alert to that huge concern.

I want, also, to point out actions from a country that's been carefully plotting strategy and may not necessarily seem outright threatening right now, but that doesn't mean it won't be that way later on.


No doubt China is experiencing economic growth. We can't expect that China's economy is the only thing that is experiencing growth; their military power is also growing. China's latest military "maneuver" definitely caught my attention.

Recently, a US aircraft carrier fleet was pursued by a Chinese submarine. The sub didn't surface until it was within firing range of our warships.

What does that tell you? The incident certainly wasn't an accident. The Chinese are trying to assert their power, and someday, we may see the full brunt of it.

As we are faced with all the terror threats and irrational actions taken by rogue nations lately, some politicians are looking ahead to their own ambitions in 2008. As one can see, we have TOO much on our plate to deal with than to hear that "so-and-so" is running for President in '08. I could care less about the Presidential race 2 years away.

It seems to me that certain nations feel it necessary to now test the US as we are switching hands from a Republican controlled Congress to a Democrat controlled one. They want to see what response they will get from a Democratic Congress.

Now is not the time to fumble in Congress. This is the time to work together in a bipartisan effort to confront our enemies and potential threats, to call out the "stealth" actions of certain countries, or we won't be standing as a great, prosperous, and secure nation for too long.

It's not about the politics; it's about doing your job as an elected official. Get to work Washington! And leave the Presidential positioning for 2008!

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