Do I like being redundant? Nope….and eventually someone somewhere will have an answer…….after 10 years you would think that someone would have an answer…….
I have asked this question over and over….and so far there is NO good answer. There is plenty of spin from both parties and their lap dogs…but not one good answer…..funny how they try to sell the public on whatever plan they come up with…..first it was out in 2011….now it is out in 2014…..what will it be 2 years from now?
I was listening to an interview with Holbrook on MSNBC on the situation in Afghanistan and he said that any negative reports coming from the AfPak area is just counter-productive…why? Because the Afghans are very pleased with the fact that the US and NATO are present in their country…. interesting…..most unbiased reports, which Mr. Holbrook is not, say something a bit different…..
Raw Story has an interesting report……
A report (PDF) from the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) shows that 92 percent of those surveyed had never heard of the coordinated multiple attacks on US soil on September 11, 2001. It also shows that four in 10 Afghans believe the US is on their soil in order to “destroy Islam or occupy Afghanistan.”The survey also suggests that Afghans are skeptical of their own government’s ability to protect them, and have little regard for the fledgling democratic institutions the country is building. Fully 43 percent could not name one positive aspect of democracy, and nearly two-thirds — 61 percent — said they didn’t think Afghan forces would be able to keep up the fight against the Taliban if and when Western forces withdrew.
If one does not like the poll and think it is inaccurate, then find me another poll with different results and then we will talk….
I have been asking my question for several years…..why Afghanistan? In the beginning it was to get AQ…they be gotten…..what is the mission now? There are a lot of words out there about the conflict, but very few make any sense…..so once again ….since, obviously the Afghan people have NO idea why we are in their country or most likely do not want us there any longer…….WHY AFGHANISTAN? NO one has an answer!
I decided to offer my analysis of the Obama Admin before his year is up….that way I cannot be accused of letting others influence my analysis…..my technique will be a percentage grade and a letter grade for the different categories and then an overall grade in the conclusion……
I know….I know….this is a bit early for a one year evaluation…but we bloggers have been blamed with just following the leader on many issues and I thought I would eliminate that accusation before someone had a chance to level it…..onward and upward!
Diplomacy: 95%–because Obama is trying to turn the world away from the distaste for American policies–A+
War: 75%–because he ran and won on an anti-war rhetoric and he has done little to end these conflicts. He has set a couple of deadlines for troop removal….a promising turn–C
Stimulus: 90%–because he helped stop the economic skid into oblivion…..B+
Jobs: 65%–because there has been lots of lip service..no action….F
This category will cover everything from education to energy to ……well use your imagination…..75%–because little has been done to improve the lives of American citizens….C
50%–he has NOT done what he was sent to Washington to be…the leader…if he cannot get an issue passed even when he has a 60 vote majority in the Senate …then he has failed….F
Approval of the American people: 70%–because he has helped Wall Street become MORE profitable than before the crash and Main Street less profitable…..he is not holding the approval of the people……D
Finally…there is EFFORT……Obama has tried to tackle as many issues as he could….because of that effort I give him 95%…..A
Now for Pres. Obama’s score for his first year as president…….he plays well with others…..participation needs work….needs to be more assertive……his score total is 80% or educational terms ….a C+!
In his inauguration OBama said, “Change has come to America” and that was the truth…but the only change that has come is that there is not some white dude in the Oval Office……
That was the prediction of Biden in one of his speeches, so far looks like a fairly accurate prediction, at least from where I sit. India, Economics, Israel and then there is Iraq, Afghanistan and finally Iran…..now if I had to guess I would say that is a full plate on day one.
Israel’s continuing attacks on Gaza serve as a reminder that President-elect Barack Obama and his nominee to be secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, will not get to choose the world they inherit Jan. 20.
The incoming administration had planned to focus on the economic crisis and recalibrating U.S. policy in Iraq and Afghanistan in its early months — but the Israeli assault on Hamas may have instantly changed that calculus.
Obama’s views on the Israeli action remain opaque. Even as the attack continued into its third day Monday, with a Palestinian death toll topping 300 and Israel threatening a ground invasion, Obama had yet to say a word about the crisis, on the grounds that President George W. Bush (who has also been silent) must take the lead.
There were growing signs Monday that the air strikes — which came in response to increased rocket fire from Gaza, which is governed by Hamas — could be accompanied by a ground incursion. Israel’s leaders signaled that this could be an extended conflict, while emphatically denying any intention of reoccupying the independently governed territory.
Though both sides in the Middle East are intensely aware that this battle will establish facts on the ground in the region for the new administration, Obama’s advisers have sent only vague signals, with David Axelrod on “Face the Nation” Sunday calling Israel a “great ally” and citing America’s “special relationship” with the Jewish state.
A well-worn geopolitical cliché holds that every crisis contains an opportunity. But for Obama — a president-in-waiting who faces daunting dilemmas across the domestic and foreign policy spectrum — the Israeli crackdown on Hamas seems unlikely to do anything but complicate his approach to a region that he had clearly hoped to keep low on his to-do list for awhile.
Israeli leaders see the faint possibility that, on one hand, the attack could weaken and further isolate Hamas and its sponsor Iran, paving the way for a return of its more moderate rivals. But that was also one of the goals in the 2006 invasion of Lebanon — an action many believe only served to strengthen Hezbollah.
Some observers who are more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause think the conflict could clarify the depth of Hamas’ support and lead Obama or his allies to bring them to the negotiating table. But the early consequence of the attack has been the collapse of peace negotiations between Israel and both the Palestinian Authority and Syria, and analysts on both sides say the likeliest consequence is an increasingly bitter and intractable conflict.
The new President had better hit the ground running or events will pass him by and allow plenty of openings for the opposition to attack.
U.S. hegemony in Latin America has been maintained historically through military and paramilitary force, economic coercion, and since the mid-1980s through the additional strategy of manipulating civil society through a complex of programs implemented under the banner of “democracy promotion.” Democracy promotion is the topic of William Robinson’s 1996 book, Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, US Intervention, and Hegemony (Cambridge University Press).
Although the motor behind imperialism is first and foremost capitalist accumulation, public opinion requires that the government justify such violent and undemocratic actions as overthrowing and assassinating presidents and propping up dictatorships with liberal rationales; since WWII this cover has always been the defense of “freedom” from communism. However, since the USSR disappeared as an ideological enemy, the Clinton administration justified its considerable military support to Colombia as fighting the war on drugs; Clinton also escalated corporate globalization under the guise of democracy promotion. When the Bush administration decided to carry out military coups against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide, it needed a more convincing justification, so it presented the narrative that both presidents had been overthrown by popular uprisings—a story that was planted in the media by the same “democracy promotion” networks that were orchestrating the coups on the ground.
Barack Obama seems to be oblivious to the sea change in Latin America, portraying the advance of the left as a threat which came about through the incompetence of the Bush administration, who allowed a “dangerous demagogue” like Hugo Chavez to rise to power.
If Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua are the bad guys, the good guys are represented by the Uribe government in Colombia, easily the biggest human rights violator in the hemisphere and the most corrupt (and for some reason embraced by the Clinton administration). Obama defended Colombia’s illegal March 1 attack on a guerrilla camp in neighboring Ecuador, where 25 people (including four Mexican students) were pulverized by aircraft artillery as they slept. His official statement: “The Colombian people have suffered for more than four decades at the hands of a brutal terrorist insurgency, and the Colombian government has every right to defend itself.” This is almost exactly what he said about Israel during its last invasion and bombing of Lebanon.
President Obama has a decision to make: either he will be on the side of the people and ecological sustainability, or on the side of transnational capital. He cannot steer a neutral course because he will be in charge of two enormous bureaucracies–the State Department and the National Security Agency–which have as their mission the removal of all obstacles to the accumulation of corporate profits. If he decides to switch sides, it will be in defiance not only of powerful economic and military interests, but of the team of advisors he has so far relied on. He will have to let them all go and bring in an entirely new group of people. The chance of that happening is next-to-none.
The timing and motivation for last Sunday’s raid on a Syrian border town were already something of a mystery, but they have become even more so in the wake of an interview with a US military intelligence official published in Abu Dhabi newspaper ‘The National.’
In the interview, Major Adam Boyd, the head intelligence officer for the third armored cavalry regiment, describes the cooperation between the Syrian government and US forces in the border area. Though he says they didn’t “deal directly with the Syrians,” he says “they have been relatively good in the near recent past, arresting people on their side of the border.”
This seems to confirm comments by Marine Corps Major General John Kelly, who just days before the US attack said that violence in the province bordering the targeted Syrian town had fallen so low as to be “almost meaningless now.”
In the wake of the attack the US has complained that the Syrian government was not doing a good enough job policing the border, but these comments suggest that commanders on the ground along the Syrian border did not believe the situation was getting worse, and rather saw signs of improvement, leaving open the question: why launch the attack now?
To answer the question: Was it a try for an October Surprise before the election? Would the attack not have occurred if McCain had been leading in the polls? If this was copmmon knowledge, why wait to just before the US election for the attack?
OMG! Where did he (McCain) find his campaign staff? They decided the best way to fight Obama’s promise of change in Washington was to attack him on his views on the Iraq War. So they put together an ad about his (Obama’s) lack of visits to the war he was speaking of. Then McCain personally goaded Obama and the the RNC website put up a running counter of the number of days since Obama had been in Iraq.
Well well–OBama is now in the Middle East and McCain is now struggling for some air time. Yes, the whole war thingy has come bacvk to bite McCain and his campaign in the ass.
The Ad: (Narrator) Gas prices — $4, $5, no end in sight, because some in Washington are still saying no to drilling in America. No to independence from foreign oil. Who can you thank for rising prices at the pump?
(Chant) Obama! Obama!
(Narrator) One man knows we must now drill more in America and rescue our family budgets. Don’t hope for more energy, vote for it. McCain.
This is the campaigns latest lame pea brain attack. Even the lowest information voter cannot make the connection between Obama and the rise in gas prices. All these misfires are just making the McCain campaign look desperate and a bit pathetic.
People are losing their homes, cannot afford to eat, or drive to work, but yet McCain spends all his time worrying about and talking about foreign policy. What is McCain doing? Will the struggling voter actually care about what happens in the Phillipines?
The same question is being asked by the LA Times.
This week, when Barack Obama campaigns in Ohio and Colorado, John McCain will be visiting Colombia and Mexico. It’s an unusual path for McCain to follow. But even more, it’s a risky strategy for his presidential campaign.
For starters, and most obviously, there are no electoral votes to be had in Latin America or Canada, another country McCain recently visited. Even more puzzling to observers is McCain’s emphasis on national security and foreign affairs — Saturday he met with the leaders of Iraq and the Philippines — at a time when domestic matters have surged to the fore of voter concerns.
So when McCain sits down with foreign leaders to talk about terrorism, the thinking goes, it helps voters envision him as commander in chief. When he travels to Colombia and Mexico, it highlights his record as a free trader and his moderation on immigration and, perhaps, garners favorable publicity in the Latino community back home.
But that strategy has provoked consternation and confusion among some fellow Republicans. There is, after all, the cautionary lesson of 1992, when President George H.W. Bush lost his reelection bid. One big reason was that voters believed Bush — who was partial to foreign policy — was less attuned to their pocketbook pain than was his more domestic-minded opponent, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton.
McCain’s greatest political strength has always been his reputation as someone willing to go his own way when principle demands. He started running for president in 2007 as a conventional candidate, and failed miserably. He reverted to a more freewheeling form and, against a weak field, rallied to win the GOP nomination.
For good or ill, McCain is clearly determined to wage a different sort of general-election campaign, even if it leads him far from the well-trod path or away from the issues voters say they care most about. It may be unconventional. But given voters’ contempt for Washington, the Republican Party and the incumbent president, it might be McCain’s best chance of winning.
Barack Obama met Wednesday with a new national-security advisory group that includes many of former President Clinton’s top advisers, saying that if he’s elected president he’ll return the nation “to a pragmatic tradition of American foreign policy, which has been so ably advanced by the people in this room.”
With former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Warren Christopher and former Defense Secretary William Perry signing on to a panel already heavy with former Clinton administration officials, Obama continued to consolidate the support of Clinton loyalists after his defeat of Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
Their willingness to advise Obama in his general election campaign gives him a team with decades of collective expertise and one that advised the last Democratic president during a decade of peace and prosperity.
Now with these advisers in place an argument against change can be made. In the other hand, there is plenty of experience there. If he, Obama, wants to win the election he cannot have it both ways.
An unusual coalition of interest groups from left and right is launching a drive today to head off an American military attack on Iran by pushing America into high-level negotiations with Tehran.
The Campaign for a New American Policy on Iran, which bills itself as “transpartisan,” consists of more than three dozen organizations, most of them left-leaning, such as the American Friends Service Committee, the Institute for Policy Studies, and the Open Society Policy Center, which is backed by George Soros.
However, the campaign also has the backing of a smattering of right-of-center groups, including the American Conservative Defense Alliance, the Libertarian Party, and the American Cause, which is headed by Patrick Buchanan.
The campaign to push for direct talks with Iran’s mullahs is kicking off with a press conference this morning on Capitol Hill expected to feature the Libertarian nominee for president, Robert Barr, as well as several members of Congress, including Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Barbara Lee of California, both Democrats, and Rep. Ron Paul, who mounted a bid for this year’s Republican presidential nomination. Brandishing red telephones supposed to symbolize a hotline to Tehran, the group will urge supporters to call Congress and press for talks.
One advocate of a tough line toward Tehran, Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute, disputed the coalition’s suggestion that America has been unwilling to talk with Iran. “We’ve tried everything. There’s no stick we haven’t brandished. There’s no carrot we haven’t dangled,” he said. “They don’t want us. They’re our enemies.”
Some campaign participants could draw unwanted notoriety to the effort. Last year, federal prosecutors named one member of the coalition, the Council on American Islamic Relations, as an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal case linking the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation and Hamas. Cair denied the claim and asked a judge to strike the co-conspirator list from the public record. Jurors acquitted the defendants on some counts and could not reach a verdict on most, but Cair’s motion was never ruled on.
Apparently not all pundits are agreeing with McCain and the Bush rhetoric. I wish them success for a peaceful end to these smoldering hostilities.
The armed revolutionary has no place in modern Latin America, the Venezuelan President has declared. Catching his critics off guard, Hugo Chavez called on the Marxist rebel army in neighbouring Colombia to lay down its arms and release its hostages, declaring that guerrilla armies are now “out of place”.
Adopting the mantle of international statesman, the Venezuelan President appeared to be stepping forward finally to turn a page of history for a continent that for decades has been blighted by eruptions of insurgent violence, not just in Colombia but also Nicaragua and El Salvador. As most of those conflicts have come to an end, Colombia has been alone in failing to end its own internal strife.
In his statement, Mr Chavez offered a reason of his own to bring Farc’s campaign to an end, pointing to the US. “You in the Farc should know something,” he offered. “You have become an excuse for the empire to threaten all of us.” He often uses the term “empire” to refer to the United States. Washington has made no secret of its desire to isolate Mr Chavez from other governments in Latin America.