Excerpts from Harrison's National Security Speech, Part III
Reminder: Meet and greet with Stephen Harrison tonight, details here
The conclusion. Part III of Stephen Harrison's speech on National Security. In this section Stephen outlines a three step solution that clearly offers an alternative to Rep. Vito Fossella and this 'do nothing' Congress and President.
"I and my fellow democrats reject that fear, and today I want to turn the people of Staten Island and Brooklyn to light and to hope. There is a route and a plan that, if taken, can restore our sense of security, our sense of peace and our sense of normalcy by freeing us from the bleak picture of our future painted by George Bush, Vito Fossella and company. It is a renewed sense of purpose that, through common sense, we can take back that, which was taken from us.
How do we do this?
First, we must restore our military capability and be prepared to defend America from rogue sovereign states and stateless terrorists. The mere existence of this military gives America the necessary upper hand in negotiations with rogue states. We must have the strongest military in the world and we can again. But to do this we must reverse the Bush tax giveaways to the oil corporations and the rich. Then we must use that money to build the military to the levels necessary and to properly equip the troops to do their jobs. And when we get that military we must only use it for just actions with clearly defined objectives so that we know we can win. With that restored military we can rein in the likes of Iran and North Korea rather than empower them.
Second, we must have an energy policy that eliminates America’s dependence on foreign oil within a decade – just like that good Democrat John F. Kennedy asked for when he wanted to put a man on the moon. He succeeded, and so can we with the same kind of focused program. Now I know that the usual goal of alternative energy sources is for environmental reasons, to stop global warning and clean our planet. It is also becoming an economic must. As oil disappears, its price will forever climb. The price of energy will only come down when we switch to alternative fuels. But rarely is this cited as a national security or national defense issue. It is. Indeed, we fund both sides of the war on terrorism right now as we buy the oil to fuel our tanks and jeeps from the same countries that use the petro dollars to buy the arms they use against us. Fifty years ago we had no problems in the Middle East because we were not dependent on their oil. Fifty years from now the dependence will disappear as oil disappears. But the next fifty years will be brutal as we fight more oil wars in the Middle East – make no mistake that Iraq was an oil war – so that we can heat our homes in the winter. In the Middle East we are unwanted guests who have taken their wealth and diminished their rich culture. When we finally complete our withdrawal from oil the terrorist attacks will disappear because our interest in the Middle East will fade away. Arabia and America will be free to pursue their separate destinies This is not cut and run, it is common sense. It is not worth the life of a single American or Arab to argue over a diminishing resource. We must invest in alternative technology, create good American jobs and end terrorism to boot. It’s quite a return on our investment and we need better leadership to make this happen.
Third, we must have secure borders and effective homeland security and a good, well funded, nationwide, second responder system like CERT to spring into action when disasters do occur. I started this speech with the success of the British in cracking the London plot. Now I will mention a failure. Last week a cloud of gas covered Staten Island. It took days before our responders knew anything about it, and important questions still remain. What if this had been a chemical or biological attack? It is unconscionable that five years after 9/11 we’re still so poorly prepared to defend our homeland. George Bush and the Congress Members who supported him, must be held accountable for this.
We can solve this problem, but it will take money, many billions that would be available had George Bush not squandered hundreds of millions in the sands of Iraq. If we end that war and reverse the Bush tax giveaways to the rich, we can swiftly implement the necessary scans to detect radiation in 100% of the containers coming into our ports and to Staten Island rather than the current 5% as supported by the Republicans who generally don’t live anywhere near our district and also by Congressman Fossella."
"The truth is that it is George Bush and the Republicans who are cutting and running from the American people. They cutting and running from his responsibility to the American people to protect them, to give them hope, to fulfill the promise of the Declaration of Independence to allow Americans to pursue happiness in its simplest form, freedom from fear, normalcy."