Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

If This War Was Mine

December 3, 2009

The other night I sadly watched my President deliver his Afghanistan speech on TV at West Point. It was probably one of the lowest points in his entire career. Here is a man who has just won the Nobel Peace Prize, telling the world he is going to escalate a war. This is Barack Obama’s “Sophie’s Choice”: ramp up the war and become the next LBJ, or bring home the troops and join the ranks of world leaders who have been defeated in Afghanistan throughout history.

This is a lose-lose proposition no matter what. At the end of the day we are still at war. But I knew Obama was gonna catch heat from all sides no matter what he decided to do, and that’s what is already happening: the left is mad because we’re sending in more troops, and the right is mad because we’re talking about time-tables.

The reality is that Obama is doing EXACTLY what he said he was going to do in the 2008 campaign–pulling out of Iraq (a “war of choice”), and getting serious in Afghanistan (a “war of necessity”). I think that W/Cheney took their eyes off the ball in Afghanistan when we foolishly invaded Iraq, and now we need to do what should have been done years ago. However, it’s now really too late to do “what we should have done” because after eight years of neglect, our real enemies in Afghanistan–the Taliban and Al Qaeda–are probably in Pakistan, doing everything possible to overthrow the government there to get their hands on the Pakistani nukes. That’s what scares me.

I’ve said all along that after 9/11 the US military should have surrounded two countries–Afghanistan (don’t let anyone out) and America (don’t let anyone in). Defense is the best offense in this situation, because I don’t believe we can go overseas and stop terrorists and jihadists where they live and breathe and where they have a cultural connection to the people there.

If this war was mine here’s what I would do:

1. Pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq TODAY. Tell the world that we can no longer do this on our own, and that we need to focus on nation building back home in the USA, which has been devastated economically by the last eight years of endlessly fighting two wars.

2. Take our military and monetary resources and beef up our own borders, immigration services, CIA/FBI intelligence gathering, domestic anti-terrorism forces, and guard our turf locally. I am tired of the argument that we need to go where the terrorists are plotting against us to disrupt their plans. Bullship (I promised my mom I wouldn’t curse in this blog anymore)! Let them plot and plan all they want from thousands of miles away. If they can’t carry out their plots on American soil because we stopped them from getting in, then we will be much safer than ever before. Remember, 9/11 was successful because the terrorists were already here for a long time freely plotting their mission.

3. Commit every remaining dollar and personnel to recovering and securing loose nuclear weapons and materials around the world. This also means somehow working with the Pakistani government to make sure they help us. If this means financial aid then let’s cut them a check. If it means diplomatic support, then let’s give Pakistan the biggest hug we can. Keep our friends close and our enemies closer. We need to lead the world in non-violence and diplomatic solutions to gain back respect and end anti-American hatred around the world. We need Pakistan to be concerned about terrorists overthrowing their own government and keeping their nuclear weapons secure. If the terrorists can’t get them, and if they can’t get inside America, then we have nothing to fear.

4. Once and for all we need a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I am a Jew with Israeli relatives, and even I believe that the Palestinians need their own country. I believe that this issue is at the heart of what caused 9/11. Islamic Jihadist groups hate America for allowing Israel to continue shutting out the Palestinians and denying them their own homeland. I can’t say i blame them. Many Israeli’s are sick of the conflict and the effect it has had on their lives as well. Peace in the Middle East means peace–period.

Maybe I am simplifying things, but this is what I wish we could do. I know it’s neither politically nor practically possible, but it makes more sense to me than what Obama may have ultimately been forced to do.

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Election Day 2009

November 3, 2009

It’s the first Tuesday in November, so that can only mean one thing: time to vote. But for the vast majority of the US electorate there is nothing to vote on today. NY, NJ and VA have some important elections and Maine has a gay marriage issue to vote on, but outside of that what does election day mean when there is no President or even a mid-term to go to the polls on?

Today’s election results will provide America with a barometer of where we all stand after just one year into Barack Obama’s Presidency and the Democratic takeover of the Congress. Some call it a referendum on the President. Others call it a measure of the GOP’s power. It’s kinda like taking the PSATs–the results will tell us how best to prepare for 2010.

2010 will probably be one of the ugliest election years in American history. The Tea-Baggers will be losing their minds all year. Democrats will be running scared if they don’t get healthcare reform signed into law, and even if they do they’ll have a lot of problems if a bill passes that doesn’t make the Liberal/Progressive base happy. Rush Limbaugh will flap his gums for months about Obama and Socialism (will it morph into Communism by that time?). Glen Beck will lie about anything he can. Keith Olbermann will get nastier and angrier. Michael Steel will spout stupidity and insanity. Joe LIEberman will flip-flop on everything. And the gang over at Air America radio will rake in the ratings. But what about the voters?

That’s why today is the most important off-year election ever. By the time all the results are in tonight we will know how the country feels about Barack Obama much more accurately than the public opinion polls show. Have the Conservative lies and smears sunk in and caused the reform-minded voters on this country to lean towards the right? Or have they backfired and made voters turn to the left in disgust?

If VA, NY’s 23rd district, and NJ all vote Republican today does that mean the Democrats are in trouble next year? Yes AND No. Somebody once said “the numbers don’t lie” and that’s just as true for election returns. But while those numbers don’t lie, they can be deceiving. From a Democratic perspective, no matter what happens today will be good news for Democrats. If they get beaned in NY/NJ/VA then they will get confirmation that their agenda is off track and it will be a warning sign that they have some hardcore explaining and campaigning to do to their base in 2010.

However, if the Democrats do well today (and here’s also hoping everyone in Maine voted “no” on repealing gay marriage), then we will all know that the Conservative dirty work of 2009 has no traction, and we can expect to pound them into oblivion in 2010.

So I will personally be kicking back tonight and watching the news for all the returns–for clarity of vision in 2010. Because in this case, as Joey LaMotta (Joe Pesci) said in Raging Bull, “If you win you win, if you lose you still win.”

Where did you go, Barry-O?

October 28, 2009

images-1Remember “Fired up“? Remember “Yes We Can”? Remember kicking McCain’s ass? I remember all of it, but how long ago that all seems now.

Mr. President, I didn’t vote for you to make friends. I voted for you to push through OUR AGENDA. Healthcare for all. End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Kick the Republicans and their culture of “no” to the curb. Dude–you’ve got a mandate. USE IT!

Sure I’d like to hear you say I will veto any healthcare bill without a public option. I want to hear you say Our strategy in Afghanistan is X, Y, and Z and my Generals on the ground say we need to commit this many troops to execute that strategy. I want to hear you say Bluedog Democrats–the GOP will embrace you but I will not. And I want to hear you say, just once, The bailouts saved our butts.

But whatever you say, say it with some anger. Say it with a little bit of impatience. Because I am growing angry and impatient with all the niceties and dreams of bipartisanship. You are change I can believe in–but please don’t change into a wimp! Democrats have the majority right now, so steamroll the opposition while you can. That’s what W did for eight years.

Go back and check out some of your campaign speeches and get your swagger back. It’s okay–no one is gonna take away your Nobel Peace Prize. Just be the Barry-O I voted for again, because the guy who is getting roughed up in the opinion polls is starting to look like just another politician. You are a once in a lifetime guy for people like me, but I expect you to get things done or at least make me feel like you are as upset with the way things are as I am.

Because as much as I love you, Barry-O, there’s a guy named Alan Grayson down in Florida who is saying all the things I want to hear right now. He’s got the swagger. He’s got the attitude. And he sounds FIRED UP!175px-Alan_Grayson_high_res