TarHeelPirate

  • December 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Jan    
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    25262728293031
  • Twitter

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Posts Tagged ‘iraq’

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.”

Advertisements

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

“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 »

The President’s Address to Congress

Posted by AB on February 26, 2009

OBAMA/FEB24

Tuesday, President Obama addressed a joint session of congress for the first time.  It was not considered a State of the Union Address; his first official SOTU will not happen until next year.  Nevertheless, it was an important speech. 

The introduction of our new President into the hall really amazed me, visually.  I was struck by the vitality of the new face our nation.  He was brimming with the confidence that is critical for America at this uncertain time.  We are fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but those conflicts do not seem to be of most concern to the majority of citizens.  For those who do not have loved ones in the military, and even some that do, the economy is in the forefront.  Some people are worried that they will not have a job next week.  Others are worried that they will have no home in a month, and some are even worried about how they will feed their children tomorrow.  We are looking for someone to lead us out of this desert and, in my opinion, President Obama is that leader.     

I did vote for Barack Obama.  I am a liberal.  I am a Democrat.  But I do not know the answers to the tough questions that we face, and do not think that anyone really has the silver bullet that will return us to a vibrant economy.  Democrats and the President will not always be right about every issue, but the ideas from the left are the most promising.  The ideas from the political right are few, while Republicans attempt to regain relevance against a popular Democratic President.  Thus far, the response of the Republican party is to morph from opposition party to obstructionist party. 

President Obama promptly disarmed his opponents with another electrifying speech that was hailed by Democrats and Republicans alike.  He did an excellent job of inspiring confidence and hope before congress and the American people.  I anticipated the speech with cautious optimism, for the global economy relies, in large part, upon the confidence of consumers.  I was impressed, but Tuesday night was a nice first step, and we have a long way to go.  These problems did not occur overnight, and they will not be resolved overnight, but we will soon be on the correct path to prosperity.

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