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Posts Tagged ‘president bush’

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.”

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

Not This Again

Posted by AB on November 16, 2009

It’s been a while since I have posted, but I really need to write about the most recent, predictable outrage displayed by right-wing pundits in response to President Obama’s trip to Asia.

The first thing that I must say is, “Not this shit again.”  Earlier this year, the President visited Saudi Arabia, and while meeting King Abdullah, there is a photo of a bow.  The right-wing crazies were incensed.  They believed that it showed weakness, even though it is not customary in that culture to bow before the King.  Saudis do not even bow to their King, so it hardly makes sense that there was a conscious bow by an American President.  It doesn’t matter, though.  There was a photo at some angle that made it look as though the President was subordinating himself to the Saudi King.  That’s all the right-wing television and radio pundits need in the overt attempt to weaken and harm President Obama.  They talked about it for weeks and weeks and weeks.

This weekend has created a reawakening for outrage toward the President for bowing.  While in Japan, the President bowed to the Japanese Emperor Akihito during a meeting.  This time he clearly bowed, and rightly so.  The custom in Japan is to bow, and that is for everyone, not just civilians to Emperors or Kings.  The custom here, in the United States, is to shake hands.  But customs and protocol mean little to the President’s most vociferous critics.  They are having a panty-wetting contest about what they perceive as weakness.  Most sane individuals would call it being a respectful guest in an allied country, but sanity is not the strength of the right-wing or the Republican Party.

This is just further evidence of the Obama Derangement Syndrome.  Our President can do nothing satisfactory for these people, not because he’s a screw-up like our previous President, but because they are so bitter and petty.  Everyday, these blowhards find something insignificant to attack, but all they are doing is showing themselves for what they truly are–HATERS.  They stay up late at night, ignoring their spouses and children, thinking of the outrage du jour (yes, “du jour” is French for “of the day,” which means that I must hate America).

I really try to ignore this nonsense, but it’s becoming far too frequent.  All of this hate toward our President is becoming tiresome.  If anyone dared, during the Bush Administration, to criticize the President while he was overseas, they would be labeled by these same right-wing clowns as a traitor, or un-American.  It’s funny how those things change after a single election, but there it is, and it’s not going to end anytime soon.  That’s unfortunate.  Who will stand up, and call this b.s. for what it is–nonsense.

For those Obama-haters out there; remember this?  Where was the outrage back then?

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Chicago, USA Loses Olympics. Right-Wing, USA Rejoices.

Posted by AB on October 2, 2009

olympic rings by choithim.

Today, in Copenhagen, Denmark, the International Olympic Committee selected Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to host the 2016 Summer Olympics.  The four finalists were Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, and Tokyo. 

The story should be the pride that Brazil and all of South America should feel as they celebrate the continent’s first ever Olympic Games.  Unfortunately, the story in this country has become the non-sensical joy of the right-wing punditry and political class.  As soon as President Obama announced that he would be going to Copenhagen to give a presentation in support of Chicago’s bid for the Olympics, bloggers and talk-show hosts from the right were openly rooting against the bid from the United States, insulting the city of Chicago and its citizens.  Republican politicians hit the President, insinuating that he didn’t have time to speak in Copenhagen, with so many other things going on.  I guess they forgot that President Obama’s trip of less than 24 hours pales in comparison to President Bush’s four days as a spectator, last summer in Beijing.  There were not complaints from the right, or the left, for that matter, as our economy was nearing collapse.

The news that Chicago, USA was the first city eliminated by the IOC became music to the ears of President Obama’s critics and opponents.  It was as if they had just won the lottery.  They are rejoicing at the thought that our country has lost-out on the Olympics, and that President Obama has “failed.”  Openly rooting against the United States?  Some might call that un-American or anti-American.  Not only that, but to rub it in the face of those who worked so hard to bring the Olympics, once again, to the United States.  These reactions are beyond the pale, and I would be embarrassed to be connected to these opponents of our country.

No doubt, this is a disappointment, but not only for Chicago or the President.  The Olympics would have brought hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to the midwest.  I guess the question that must be asked to all of those hucksters hoping for America’s Olympic bid to fail is this:  “Why do you hate America?”

While I am disappointed that Chicago lost its Olympics bid, I am happy for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and all of South America.  All of these years, and South America has yet to have the opportunity to host an Olympic Games, Summer or Winter.  If not here, in the good ‘ole USA, then I’m glad that it was Rio.  But let’s face it; despite the oversized expectations, Rio de Janeiro was a shoe-in.  No other country could overcome the this long-overdue nod to a South American city.  I have no hard feelings toward the IOC for selecting Rio, but I do have hard feelings toward Right-Wing, USA for its actions.

Maybe Chicago officials should have pulled a Salt Lake City and paid bribes to IOC officials to secure the bid.  In fact, that embarrassment might have played a part, in the minds of voters, for denying Chicago’s bid.  Whatever the case, the right-wing hacks of America will have their fun at the expense of Chicago and the President, but President Kennedy said, after the Bay of Pigs, “There’s an old saying that victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.”  Well, this is not the Bay of Pigs, but this is a small embarrassment for the President, and one that will go away, despite the joy of Right-Wing, USA.   

Get to work Rio!

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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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