Rae Vogeler on Homeland Security
A: Yes, strongly. The people of the United States have long been proud of our civil liberties.but those liberties are disappearing. While our government states it is spreading 'freedom' to other lands, it is moving rapidly to curtail our freedom at home. It has engaged in warrantless surveillance programs, domestic spying programs, 'disappearing' of suspects, incarceration without due process and sadly, torture. It has created secret prisons, military tribunals, and routinely listens in phone calls and examines e-mails. Proposals are afoot to establish a national identity card system. These are not the actions of a free government, nor are they the hallmarks of a democracy. If we do not act to defend our liberties, we risk losing them forever. And if we will not defend the freedoms of others, we will undermine our own claim on freedom.
A: Strongly Oppose. The United States spends as much on its military as the rest of the world combined. Yet our military has not made us safer - we have been involved in more wars in the last century than any other country in the world. Nor has our military spending made us more economically sound. Our military drains funds that could be used at home for education, healthcare and social programs.
Our leaders frequently pursue goals that are far less noble than spreading freedom and democracy. They seek to gain control over raw materials, like Iraqi oil. They aim to ensure U.S. corporations have access to cheap labor and foreign markets. And sadly, our leaders have shown time and again that they will support governments that comply with their wishes, whether those governments are democracies or dictatorships.
If we want peace and security, we need to embrace a new foreign policy: one that is based on cooperation and dialog, not confrontation and control. Military spending should be redirected to create jobs, to fully fund education from pre-K through college and to provide universal health care.
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