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The Essential America: Our Founders and the Liberal Tradition - by George McGovern, Simon and Schuster, 2004

Excerpt from Chapter 5, "The Sources of Security and National Greatness", pp. 99-100

I ACCEPT THE PREVAILING VIEW of our political leaders that, considering the terrorist danger, what many citizens most want now is a strong assurance of national security. It is my view that we are not on course toward that increased security. We continue to place too much faith in reducing terrorism by military means and pay not enough attention to other vital ingredients of security. Sending our army into Iraq has weakened the nation's security and increased the terrorist danger while greatly lowering our stature in the eyes of the world. It was, in fact, a costly diversion from the real sources of terrorism.

President George W Bush made clear in his State of the Union address, January 2004, that he intends to seek reelection on his claim that he has made America more secure. I wish it were true that he has. While I am optimistic about America's future, I believe Mr. Bush's policies have painfully weakened the position of the United States at home and abroad. Every public opinion poll around the globe indicates that the U.S. invasion of Iraq is opposed by the overwhelming majority of the world's people-even in those few countries whose governments or heads of state have endorsed the war. Prime Minister Tony Blair's support for the American war in Iraq has created a serious political crisis in Britain. Beyond this, our economy, our health care, our educational system, our environment, our job prospects, our tax system, our energy system, and our fiscal health are all weaker than they were three years ago when Bush and his party took over the government and then took us into a needless and hopeless war.

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