By Brent Budowsky - 08/01/07 08:27 PM EDT
In his brilliant and comprehensive comments at Camp David, Brown spoke to the aspirations of overwhelming majorities of Americans, Britons and other men and women throughout the democratic world.
In Brown’s vision, Afghanistan, not Iraq, is the central military battleground in the fight against terrorism; and hope, not fear, is the central weapon in the great battle of ideas that will determine who prevails in the great conflict of our times.
In Gordon Brown’s world, for the first time since Sept. 11, world leaders would lead, with an all-out attempt to seek a comprehensive peace in the Middle East that offers young men and women the aspiration of a life free from endless war, hunger, injustice, corruption, despotism and disease that are terrorism’s greatest allies.
In Gordon Brown’s strategy, world leaders issue a global call to action to deal with poverty and AIDS, to protect the world from global warming and save the world from deadly dependence on oil, to take a moral and aggressive stand against genocide in Darfur and to mobilize what Thomas Jefferson would call the decent opinion of men and women everywhere.
What a powerful contrast with the world of George W. Bush, in which Iraq is treated as our 51st state, the only nation in the world, and an obsession that deforms the force structures of our military, bitterly divides our people and thoroughly dominates our national life.
Gordon Brown is not waiting for the Petraeus report in September.
His vision is clear, his program is actionable, and for the first time since Sept. 11 a world leader has offered a comprehensive strategy and a concrete plan to answer our challenges by addressing the forces that truly move the world.
Imagine: world leaders uniting against poverty, AIDS, pollution, genocide and despair and offering children a better way than the hatred of the suicide bomber.
Imagine what is possible with an America that is united and at the forefront of the causes that move humanity at the beginning of the 21st century.
Imagine an America that is not all Iraq, all the time, debating timelines and torture, dealing with virtually no other global issue of our age, held hostage by a president who is obsessed with a war without end that he appears driven to continue in perpetuity, while he imprisons a great nation in a political torture chamber that has deformed our democracy and done grave damage to our national interest.
Imagine: an American president who would speak as Gordon Brown speaks, and do what Gordon Brown proposes to do!
November 2008 is coming and Americans will be astonished at the outpouring of idealism, optimism and excitement when the dead hand of the current course is removed, and a new government brings new life to our democracy and renewed
appeal as a beacon for the world.
Gordon Brown, a man who prepared to be prime minister for a decade, has spoken the words with eloquence, and offered the plan with depth, that is a gateway to the future and a forerunner to what is coming.
A new Democratic president, backed by a new Democratic Congress, working with a brilliant British prime minister, backed by a Labour Party majority in Parliament, would create a program that would rally support throughout the world, lifting two proud nations while lifting the aspirations of people everywhere.
Imagine: a special relationship truly in the tradition of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.
While Democrats must fight rearguard actions until Inaugural Day 2009, Democratic leaders and progressive leaders around the world can inaugurate today a great debate about shaping the world of the post-Bush era.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) might begin by hosting a gathering that could include leading enlightened thinkers such as Gordon Brown, Ehud Barak, Lech Walesa, Al Gore and Nelson Mandela to begin to chart a new and more visionary course.
The challenge is great; the time is now; the future is ours to build.
Budowsky is a contributing editor to Fighting Dems News Service. He is a former aide to Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, former chief deputy whip of the House. He can be read on the The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .