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Where we must correct the norm

July 02, 2010|Dan Kimber

Editor's Note: Numerous instances of plagiarism have been discovered in Dan Kimber’s “Education Matters” column, which ran in the News- Press from September 2003 to September 2011. In those columns where plagiarism has been found, a For the Record specifying the details will be appended to the piece.

We Americans like to think of ourselves as being pragmatic, as being more influenced by the practical consequences of an idea than by any other considerations. But that self-image is marred when political and economic considerations complicate the picture.

What follows are what I believe to be very practical suggestions to some seemingly intractable problems. Some of you will find my thinking to be naïve or that I am tilting at windmills. Nevertheless, here is my offering:

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Bring our troops home

Our nation's immigration problem, assuming that we can all agree that we have a problem, can be likened to the Gulf oil spill, where the flow has proven to be unstoppable despite efforts to contain it. My solution is wide ranging and would solve an even larger problem at the same time; kill two birds with the same stone, as it were.

All over the world, we have more than 700 military bases employing hundreds of thousands of troops. Let's bring them home and deploy them along our porous borders, and finally plug up a mass migration that this country can no longer absorb.

I would ask: Do we really need 116,000 U.S. military personnel in Europe, including 75,603 stationed in Germany? Same question for the 30,000 troops in South Korea.

I do realize that our presence in the Middle East is a slightly more delicate matter, but I must also ask: Does anyone believe that the United States can bring democracy to people who cling ferociously to a culture and a religion centuries old and decidedly undemocratic? Will women there suddenly achieve basic human rights because America has dictated it at the point of a gun?

What makes us think that we will succeed in subduing a nation (Afghanistan) that has defied similar efforts by the Greek and British empires and Russia? Some people, myself included, believe our continued occupation of Middle Eastern countries fans the very flames of terrorism we're fighting so desperately to control.

Let's bring our brave and dedicated troops home to address a real need.

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