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Nixon and McNamara

JIM NEWTON

Itasca, Ill.

As we watch Russia and China cozy up to each other and inflict general chaos on the rest of the world, I pine for a simpler time.

Moments like President Obama’s “red line in the sand” with Syria and President George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” declaration in Iraq make me wish we had Richard Nixon to kick around.

I wouldn’t want him in office, just present long enough to give us some pointers, particularly on China.

In his book “Beyond Peace” Nixon warned that “Chinese leaders don’t respond constructively to ultimatums.”

We didn’t take heed, and neither political party has distinguished itself in foreign policy since perhaps George H.W. Bush and his National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft.

Vietnam era Defense Secretary Robert McNamara would be my go-to source for counsel on Afghanistan. Ironic? Maybe. McNamara’s failures in Vietnam can’t be overlooked, but unlike many subsequent leaders, he learned from, and owned up to his mistakes.

McNamara’s painstaking efforts to set us straight in foreign conflicts are well documented in several books and “The Fog of War” documentary. Whether we learn is up to us.

I never fought in Vietnam, nor did I lose a loved one there. If I had, my views on these men might be very different. But they’re long gone, and we’re still making Vietnam-level mistakes.

For all their flaws, Nixon and McNamara tried to leave us a roadmap on how to do better. They can’t make us listen.

Fossil fuel-burning power plants are required to provide the electricity needed for manufacture solar panels. Manufacturing/disposal of solar panels causes air, water and land pollution with hazardous materials like Cadmium-Telluride, Copper-indium-gallium-Diselenide, Gallium Arsenide, lead, cadmium and other heavy metals.

These toxic materials are usually dumped into landfills or nearby water bodies causing pollution.

Production commonly includes nitrogen trifluoride and sulfur hexafluoride, some of the most harmful greenhouse gases around.

U.S.-produced panels need replaced every 20 years and those from China every 5-10 years as Australia found out.

There is only 1 recycle plant in U.S.A. recycling less than 10% of the panels thus 1.35 million will end up in our landfills every 20 years. Project “80 million tons” of solar waste worldwide by 2050.

The “Green” New Deal, a new kind of pollution!

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