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Posts Tagged ‘al-qaeda’

They’ll wait us out? Good

Posted by AB on December 7, 2009

As soon as President Obama announced his plan for Afghanistan, last week, his opponents from the right began to attack.  Proving, once again, that the President’s opponents and critics cannot be satisfied or accepting of any of his policies, they found a predictably sour note in the plan.  Senator John McCain went on NBC just minutes after the speech to declare his concern with a timetable to begin withdrawal in Afghanistan and, in the subsequent days, many others have followed suit.

Opponents of a withdrawal timetable will say that we shouldn’t tell the enemy when we will leave.  Nevermind that this July 2011 date is tentative and dependent on the realities on the ground, they believe that the enemy, which is Al Qaeda and some of the Taliban, will just sit back and wait until we withdraw.  Well, I hope that they are right.  The absolute best thing that can happen for us and the world in Afghanistan is for the entities that are destabilizing that country to retreat for the next 18 months.  That gives the United States and its allies 18 months to train the Afghan military and police.  Eighteen months to stabilize one of the most corrupt governments in the world.  Eighteen months to help stabilize Pakistan, a country that does have nuclear weapons.  Eighteen months, unchallenged.  That would be sweet.

When I hear that argument, I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.  On the one hand, it is a ridiculous argument, but on the other hand, some of those who are making that argument are our elected leaders.  The notion that we should never plan for an exit because our opponents will wait for hundreds or thousands of years is one of the most insane arguments that I could imagine.  Are they saying that we could be there for hundreds of years?  Are they saying that the President should have some super-secret withdrawal plan, so that the enemy and the American people will be surprised when we leave?  This criticism of a withdrawal plan shows a fundamental lapse of thought from a large segment of people.  It doesn’t make me laugh or cry, but it is a sad.

Republicans, conservatives, and other opponents of a withdrawal date can use all of nonsensical arguments that they can think-up, but each time that they say that our enemies will wait until we leave, someone must point out that it would be a good thing.  It would be a dream scenario for our military to operate, unfettered, for the next 18 months.  We need that time to strengthen Afghanistan’s military, police and government, so that when we do leave, Afghanistan can support and protect Afghanistan.  

We cannot stay there forever.  In July of 2011, we will have been there for nearly 10 years.  For most Americans, that is long enough.  So, they’ll wait us out?  Good.

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Obama’s Afghan Decision

Posted by AB on December 2, 2009

Last night, addressing the nation before the US Military Academy at West Point, President Obama announced his plan for moving forward in Afghanistan.  He announced that he would send 30, 000 more troops into Afghanistan through the next six months, part of a plan to begin removing American military from that country within 18 months.  The new strategy will focus on defeating Al Qaeda, training Afghan police and military, correcting government corruption, and support for the stability of Pakistan.

To the dismay of much of the media, the speech was not filled with “bumper-sticker” quotes, but with reason and responsibility.  His goal was to explain the strategy and reasons for that strategy to, not only American civilians and military members, but also to the people of Afghanistan and the world.  Something that I feel was especially significant and powerful was when the President looked straight into the camera, addressing Afghans, explaining the purpose of the US military presence in their country.  He told them, explicitly, that the United States had no desire to occupy Afghanistan.  That part of the speech might be overlooked and, although it may seem like an insignificant part of the speech, this subtle overture is important to gain the trust of the Afghan people.

This decision by President Obama has been, and will continue to be panned by the media, bloggers, and politicians.  This is one of those decisions that will please very few, right or left, but that could be a good sign, actually.  When no one in this divisive political atmosphere is championing the President’s decision, then he must be doing something right.  He, his administration, and the military seem to be on the same page on this decision, however, which is most important.  Popular support for all wars continue to wane in this country, and for good reason, but the populous reacts emotionally, while our nations leaders must rule with reason. 

Conservatives and Republicans, who are against every decision the President makes, are complaining that there are too few troops, and that the 18-month timeline for withdrawal is somehow equivalent to surrender.  Of course, all of this is nonsense.  I know that they must find something to disagree with, maybe they should remember the advice that they have repeated, again and again, for the past couple of months–listen to the generals.  Okay, let’s see what Gen. Stanley McChrystal has to say:  (from UPI)

“The clarity, capability, and committment outlined in President Obama’s address are critical steps toward eliminating an insurgency in Afghanistan and terrorist safe havens that threatened regional and global security….I believe our renewed coalition campaign is fortified by the path President Obama has put forward.”   

Democrats, liberals, and progressives–my side of political thinking–are not happy about the decision, either.  Many of them feel that it is time for us to immediately withdraw from Afghanistan.  Although President Obama, during last years election campaign, clearly stated he would place more focus of the war in Afghanistan, people on the left are disappointed or angry about this “surge” of troops.  They try to insult Obama by saying that he is acting just like George W. Bush.  That, too, is nonsense.  I only wish that President Bush would have placed the proper focus on Afghanistan.  Unfortunately, he forgot about Afghanistan.  He invaded Iraq.  He didn’t take care of business, so President Obama must.

There are no silver bullets for success in Afghanistan.  There seem to be no good options, but President Obama has properly deliberated over the facts and advice, and he has now announced the strategy that he believes is most likely to lead to success.  I don’t know if he is right or wrong but, as Americans, we should all hope that he is right.  It is time for Americans to unite.  “United we stand, divided we fall.”

Posted in Economics, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Who Said It?

Posted by AB on October 12, 2009

It’s pretty difficult, these days, to discern the differences between the rhetoric of the Taliban, Islamic Jihadists, and America’s Right-Wing.  Play “Who Said It?” below. 

*References from Politico, TalkingPointsMemo, Wikipedia

I did not realize the Nobel Peace Prize had an affirmative action quota for it, but that is the only thing I can think of for this news.

a. Rush Limbaugh, Right-wing radio host

b. Erick Erickson, Right-wing blogger

c. Mullah Omar, Taliban Leader

d. Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda leader

Answer: b

…We condemn the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for Obama.  We condemn the institute’s awarding him the peace prize.  We condemn this year’s peace prize as unjust.

a. Glenn Beck, Right-wing radio and tv host

b. Kim Jong-Il, President of North Korea

c. Siamak Hirai, Spokesman for Afghan President, Hamid Karzai

d. Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban Spokesman

Answer:  d

…It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights…

a. Nicolas Sarkozy, French President

b. Michael Steele, Chairman of the RNC

c. Kaled Al-Batsh, Islamic Jihad Leader

d. Sean Hannity, Right-wing radio and tv host

Answer:  b

Utterly ridiculous.  The credibility of the Nobel Peace Prize has been dwindling downward for years and has now hit rock bottom…

a. Mullah Omar, Taliban Leader

b. Mark Levin, Right-wing radio host

c. Craig Shirley, Republican strategist

d. Kaled Al-Batsh, Islamic Jihadist Leader

Answer:  c

This fully exposes the illusion that is Barack Obama.  And with this ‘award,’ the elites of the world are urging Obama, the man of peace, to not do the surge in Afghanistan, not take action against Iran and its nuclear program and to basically continue his intentions to emasculate the United States.  

a. Rush Limbaugh, Right-wing radio host

b. Mullah Omar, Taliban Leader

c. William Kristol, Neo-conservative writer/pundit

d. Muhammed Hanif, Taliban spokesman

Answer:  a 

Obama winning the peace prize shows these prizes are political, not governed by the principles of credibility, values, and morals….

a. Kaled Al-Batsh, Islamic Jihad Leader

b. Rush Limbaugh, Right-Wing radio host

c. Michael Steele, Chairman of Republican National Committee

d. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran

Answer:  a

 Something has happened here that we all agree with the Taliban and Iran about and that is he doesn’t deserve the award.

a. Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan

b. Rush Limbaugh, Right-wing radio host

c. Chris Wallace, Fox News Sunday Host

d. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda Leader

Answer:  b

…The Nobel gang just suicide bombed themselves.

a. Muhammed Hanif, Taliban spokesman

b. Sean Hannity, Right-wing radio and tv host

c. Muhammed Abdullah Shabazz, A name I just made up

d. Rush Limbaugh, Right-wing radio host

Answer:  d

 Whah, whah, whah.  The President gets everything.  How do we feel good about ourselves if our President succeeds?  I know that his success means that all of America is succeeding, but that doesn’t matter.  If he does well, then our country does well.  If our country does well while Obama is President, the Republican Party will be the minority party for a generation.  All of that talk about “Country First” and patriotism, from conservatives, is all bullshit.  It’s all about power.  How can we be forced to live in a country that is led by a black man? Whah, whah, whah.

a. Rush Limbaugh, Right-wing blowhard

b. Sean Hannity, Right-wing douchebag

c. Glenn Beck, Right-wing nut-sack

d. I climbed into the herads of all right-wing Obama-haters (plenty of space) 

Answer: d

I could go on and on with these, but the point is that President Obama’s critics are becoming so frustrated and deranged, they have begun to sound more like supporters of terrorism than patriotic Americans.  And while this nonsense continues, Republican leaders are eerily silent.

Posted in Misc., Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »