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Posts Tagged ‘conservatives’

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’s Afraid of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad?

Posted by AB on November 17, 2009

Remember when Republicans acted so tough on the issue of terrorism? You know, the days and months after 9/11. Remember when we weren’t going to allow terrorism to defeat us? Most Americans bought into that then, and we came together as a nation because of that belief, but fewer and fewer believe that in the subsequent years.

After our nation was attacked by religious extremists, our president assured us that those responsible would face justice–there was reason to believe in our nation. All that we needed to do was to go shopping, for if we allowed those terrorists to change our ways of life, they will have won. Do you remember that? All of that tough-sounding cowboy talk really got the red-blooded, “real” Americans’ juices flowing.

Time and truth, however, uncover the facades of even the most strident conservatives. As we moved farther and farther away from that infamous date of 9/11, the attacks have become less of a cause to do good, while becoming an excuse to forget that we have stronger values than others.  Behind the leadership of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, conservatives used the attacks of 9/11 to justify just about anything:  wars, wiretapping of American citizens, holding prisoners without charge, torture, assassinations, the corporate rape of the American people (think Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater), etc. 

Recently, current United States Attorney General, Eric Holder announced that the mastermind behind 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, and four of his cohorts would be tried before a federal court in New York City, the site of the attacks on the World Trade Center.  Republicans, conservatives, and some Democrats seem to have forgotten that we are a nation of laws, and they are huffing and puffing about how scary it will be to try these terrorists on American soil.  They are outraged and afraid; they want you to be outraged and afraid. 

Is it that they have so little faith in our justice system that they fear that the killers might be acquitted?  Do they fear that our law enforcement system cannot protect New York civilians?  Those are a couple of the excuses that you’ll hear, all designed to make you afraid of terrorism, all designed to paralyze this nation in fear.  It should be of no surprise, however, because conservatives have been doing this for years–using the threat of terrorism to weaken domestic opponents.  This time it is to weaken the President of the United States, Barack Obama.  It is easy to see that is the case, because terrorists were successfully tried in civilian courts during the Bush Administration, including the so-called 20th hijacker, Zacharias Moussavi.  That prosecution was supported by conservatives as a triumph of the American way of life.

Well, guess what fraidy-cats.  Trying these terrorists in the courts is not only the right thing to do constitutionally, but it is quintessentially American.  In our country, even the worst of the worst get due-process under our laws.  Even admitted murders get their day in court.  Even admitted child molestors have a right to a trial.  And yes, terrorists, domestic and foreign, must be tried and convicted if they are responsible for crimes on our soil.  Why?  Because we are America, stupid.  We do things the right way, no matter the fears of partisan politics.  If we forget that we are a nation of laws, then the terrorists have won.

This is the man that makes Republicans/conservatives wet their beds.  As an American, are you afraid of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad?

View Image

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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.

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“Country First?”

Posted by AB on October 9, 2009

Friday brought the announcement, by the Nobel Selection committee, that the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the President of the United States, Barack Obama.  The Nobel Prize in Peace is an enormous honor, and one in which all Americans can be proud.

Unfortunately, many Republicans and/or conservatives in politics and media were outraged that President Obama has received the award.  They were as outraged today as they were joyous one week ago, when the big news story was the announcement that the city of Chicago, and the United States, would no host the 2016 Olympics.  Last week, these same people were laughing and dancing at the President’s “failure.”  Today, they are angry and frustrated that the international community would dare recognize Barack Obama’s efforts toward nuclear disarmament, increased dialogue with hostile governments, the effort to reach out to Muslims around the world,  continued attempts at peace among Israeli’s and Palestinians, the reduction of troops in Iraq, and the demand that Guantanamo Bay prison be closed.

Yes, there is much yet to be accomplished.  The work has just begun, but President Obama is very much deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize.  He should, in no way, be embarrassed by this great honor.  And for those who celebrate his failures and detest his successes; I have some troubling news for you:  You are going to have a very bad eight years.  This man is going to succeed many more times than he will fail.

It’s too bad that the campaign slogan of Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, means nothing to many Republicans and conservatives.  “Country First.”  That’s a great slogan, but it means much more when that vow is honored.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

9/11, Eight Years Later

Posted by AB on September 11, 2009

American-Flag.jpg america bitch image by FELMZ420

Eight years ago, today, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon burned.  America was attacked, from the sky, by a yet to be identified group of enemies.  It was one of those moments in our history in which everyone can remember where they were and what they were doing.  I always heard my elders telling stories of where they were and what they were doing when they heard that President Kennedy had been killed, or when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, or Bobby Kennedy. 

I never really had that moment until September 11, 2001.  Well, there was the moment of the Challenger explosion.  I remember where I was at that moment, but I was just a child, and that was an accident.  9/11 was something completely different.  The feeling that most Americans had on 9/11 must have been like when the “greatest generation” learned that Pearl Harbor had been attacked.  There were, however, no 24-hour news channels in the 1940’s.  We were inundated with information about the 9/11 attacks.  We lived the attacks. 

The attacks of 9/11 seem like just yesterday.  Unfortunately, the unity that our nation felt in the months following seems like millenia ago.  We survived because we were united.  We will fall if we continue to be divided. 

Let us not forget how we felt on that sad day.  But let us not forget how we came together.  We did not think about Democrats or Republicans, or liberals or conservatives.  We were, trulythe United States of America.

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Any Bill a Failure for Conservative Groups

Posted by AB on August 11, 2009

What do conservative groups want out of this health care debate?  Many conservatives, in public, say that we need health care reform, but they seem to have a problem with absolutely everything about it.  Conservatives in the media, in congress, and in other groups say, “No, no, no” so much that it is difficult to see what they are for.  Well, Politico has a short article about a recent conference call by conservative groups, including the National Tax Limitation Committee, the American Liberty Alliance, the Tea Party Patriots.  Apparently, they are pressing members of congress to kill health care.  An AFL-CIO union official who listened-in on the call, quoted the moderator as saying “The goal is not compromise, and any bill coming out this year would be a failure for us.”

There you have it.  What are conservatives for?  It sounds like they are for, well, anything but reform.  I assumed that this was the case, but was surprised that someone let it slip.  Any health care reform would be good for Americans, but their biggest fear is that any success would be accredited to President Obama and Congressional Democrats.  So, if you are for health care reform, and you run into someone who is against this bill or that amendment, the easiest way to shut them down is to just ask them what they are for. 

Always be respectful, civilized, and peaceful as you debate, even if others aren’t.

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Supreme Court Nomination = Madness

Posted by AB on May 27, 2009

It’s already begun, and yes, it’s madness.  Yesterday, President Obama announced his nomination for the Supreme Court seat vacated by the retirement of  Justice David Souter.  The nominee is United States Second Court of Appeals Judge, Sonia Sotomayor.  If confirmed by Senate, she will become the first Latina, and only the third woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court.  The Republican Party and conservative special-interest groups have been waiting to fight this nomination, whoever it was going to be, for years.  They wasted no time, as Judge Sotomayo has been eviscerated in the last 24 hours.

US President Barack Obama applauds his nominee for Supreme Court ...

Sonia Sotomayor’s academic record is stellar.  She graduated summa cum laude and phi beta kappa from Princeton.  After that, she graduated from Yale Law School, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Review.  Her professional record is just as impressive.  Out of Law school, in 1979,  she landed a job as an Assisstant District Attorney in Manhattan.  In 1984, she entered into private law, and in 1988, she became a partner at Pavia and Harcourt.  Miss Sotomayor became a trial judge in October of 1992, when she was appointed to the US District Court by President George H. W. Bush.  In 1998, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the US Second Court of Appeals, where she was also the first Latina.

Anytime there is an opening on the highest court in the land, a fight can be expected.  After all, this is an exclusive club of only nine, and to increase the stakes even more, this is a lifetime appointment.  The importance of this process demands that difficult questions be asked about the nominee’s judicial philosophy, so I would never argue that she get a soft ride through the confirmation process.  It should, however, be a respectful process.  So far, it has not been.

Barely a few hours after the announcement of Sonia Sotomayor as the nominee, conservative radio show host, Rush Limbaugh declared that she was racist, or “reverse racist.”  He also demeaned the President as a “reverse racist.”  Also last night, former Republican Representative, Tom Tancredo, along with a never-ending list of right-wing pundits and bloggers, all called her racist.  And today, the former and disgraced Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich “tweeted” that she should remove her name from nomination because she is a “Latina racist.”  This from a group of individuals who constantly complain that they can’t criticize the President without being accused of being racist.  Of course that’s not true, but false political outrage has been used by all sides for many years.  These remarks are simply disgusting, but these are disgusting men.

Strangely, Republican Congress members, who actually have to vet this nomination, have been cautious with comments about Judge Sotomayor.  I don’t know how long they can resist the hatred of fellow conservatives, but let’s hope they can focus upon the job of, respectfully, vetting the nominee.  Unfortunately, they are also being silent about the attacks being brought about by the haters.  If the Republican Party is to survive, its members must be careful to be respectful to this nominee, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but she represents the fastest-growing demographic in the country. 

Get ready.  This thing will be debated throughout the Summer, ending in the likely confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor as the next United States Supreme Court justice.  If the early rhetoric is any indication, this will be really nasty.  I hope that all sides will be respectful of one another, but I am not mad.

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Get Your Tea Bags Ready! It’s On!

Posted by AB on April 14, 2009

Tomorrow, “teabaggers” will gather across the nation to protest…tax cuts?  That’s not why they think they are protesting, of course.  They will tell you that they are protesting taxes that are too high, but how can that be?  President Obama kept a campaign promise to cut taxes on the middle class by signing The American Recovery and Reinforcement Act–$288 billion worth of tax benefits.   

Dissent is a pillar of our American democracy, and it is guaranteed in the First Amendment of the US Constitution.  Peaceful gatherings of citizens in protest, on public property, have been a powerful form of free speech in the history of this country.  Protests bring together large or small groups of citizens to give individual voices more power, no matter the perceived importance of the issue. 

Tomorrow, April 15, is an important date for most Americans.  It’s “Tax Day”–the deadline for filing tax returns.  But now, for many consevative citizens, there is a new reason to mark the calendar:  “Tea Parties!”  These “tea parties” have been building since very early-on in President Obama’s first term in office.  For the most part, the “tea parties” have been very small, but with the endorsement of Fox News and other well-financed groups, the Tax Day version will be the biggest yet.

I certainly see nothing wrong with criticizing President Obama, as I did my fair share of criticizing President Bush, and will do the same when I disagree with President Obama.  There are some issues I do have with this movement, however.  These “tea parties” have not been, and will not be what these “teabaggers” portray.  The “tea parties” are portrayed as anti-tax protests, but that’s only the disguise for an opportunity to attack the President, for numerous reasons. 

              impeach.gif

The idea that these are anti-tax “tea parties” is baffling in and of itself.  The tea party participants seem to lack some of the facts.  First of all, President Obama has signed a stimulus package that included the largest tax-cut in American history.  There will be a tax increase–sort of.  The tax cuts passed during the Bush administration, which were not for most Americans, will expire in 2010.  Some might call it a tax increase, but in reality, the wealthiest Americans will return to the tax rates pre-Bush, when our economy was prosperous.      

Previous “tea parties” have included numerous far-right, anti-Obama groups.  From pro-gun activists to white supremacists, from anti-immigration activists to “birthers” (people who believe that President Obama was not born in the US), from anti-abortion activists to secessionists–they will all be there, and have been to prior events.  The anti-tax meme will be the facade, but beneath the surface is the ugly face of hate disdain (hate is such a strong word, but I am sure that there will be some of that, as well).

I can envision a looming disaster for the political right, conservatives, Republicans, Fox News, and others that have been supportive of the gatherings.  I do not think this is because everyone attending a “tea party” is some kind of anti-Obama kook like Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity, but there will be enough of them to taint all involved.  That’s too bad, because many good people are being misinformed to do the bidding of a few.  

http://taxdayteaparty.com/  (Revolution Brewing?  Really?) 

So, I say to all of the “teabaggers,” I am happy that you have the opportunity to protest, and I hope that the weather is beautiful nationwide, tomorrow.  You should be aware, however, that people are laughing at you, not with you.  Why?  Because this scheme is nothing like the “Boston Tea Party.”  That point in history occurred because the British  lowered the taxes on its tea, imported into the American colonies, providing it with an unfair market advantage over domestic teas.  The “Boston Tea Party” was not about taxes that were too high, but that’s okay, because neither is the current, less honorable version.  Those 116 patriots who were involved in the 1773 tea party knew that.  The people that will protest tomorrow will not.

I found an outstanding website about the Boston Tea Party:  The Boston Tea Party Historical Society http://www.boston-tea-party.org/index.html

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