27 January 2010

State of the Union

I wish to request a small correction to President Obama's State of the Union address. He was mistaken when he said,
Now, even as we prosecute two wars, we're also confronting perhaps the greatest danger to the American people -– the threat of nuclear weapons.
We are not prosecuting two wars. We are fighting in two theaters of operation of one war, the War against Islamofacism. Calling it the "Global War on Terror" was always a bad idea. But not calling it anything at all is worse. This is a war, not a police action. Now it is true that we must find cheaper and more effective ways to fight it than large-scale maneuver warfare employing massive numbers of troops with the attendant massive expenditures. But we (the entire world, not just the US) must fight and win it. For more analysis, click here.

I want to praise the President for this:
But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.
Fantastic. Maybe he will undo the Clinton Administration's decision to defund development of the Integral Fast Reactor.

Finally, I want to state that I think bipartisanship means that major bills should have significant content from both parties, not just a token amendment to buy a vote or two from the opposing side. That would require our representatives from the two parties to trust each other, but so far, they have proven unworthy of each other's trust, which has caused them to lose our trust. Maybe they can start fixing that by showing a little civility to each other.


Undergroundpewster said...

In place of "prosecute two wars" do you think he could have said "as we defend two fledgling democracies?"

I don't think we will hear the "Islamo-facism" term used in a SOTU address anytime soon, although it is a pretty good description of the religious/political ideology that to date has not adopted a party name.

Scooper said...

Underground Pewster,

Good point about defending fledgling democracies. Our unique mission in the world is to foster democracy everywhere. But American Democracy is based sociologically on the New England Township. The unit of election (the Congressional or other district) is geographic, because other ties the new nation of immigrants that we once were, could not automatically overrule geography. Iraq and Afghanistan have tribal arrangements that are stronger than geography. Do we try to make the basic electoral unit geographic or tribal-geographic? It's outside of my expertise to judge.

As for "Islamofacism," I am indebted to Francis Fukuyama for coining the term. The book, "The Islamist," by Ed Hussein seems to lend support to the term in his analysis of the roots of so-called Islamic extremism in Western Facism.