On Topic: Obama’s Grade from the Left

December 16, 2009

by Andrea Burke

On Oprah’s special, Obama gave himself a B+ and while I slightly disagree with his self-grade, I don’t whole-heartedly disagree the way the good little sheep who watch Fox News do. Remember little ones B is for Baaaaad.

Hanna, in the great tradition of many Republicans before her, thinks that the conditions Obama stepped into office under are irrelevant.

And you know what, I realized tonight that each and every one of them are so right! History does not matter. If you buy a used car and it has some problems in the first month or so, its not the dealer’s problem because clearly, in that short amount of time it was in your possession, you messed it up.

It is so Obama’s fault that the economy sucks and that unemployment is up and that we are at war. The way I remember it, we’re fighting because he wants to free his Muslim brothers! THAT’s the real reason we’re over there.

But seriously, how can you smart people buy into this way of thinking?

My rule is that he has to stop referencing the problems Bush left behind when we’re out of them. We’re not out of the 2 wars Bush greenlit, we have not recovered from economic failure. Obama is having to make decisions on someone else’s policies and in essence, yes, clean up the mess that he stepped in to.

And God bless him for even wanting to take on that responsibility.

He has initiated a bill to cover something he cares about: Health Care. But we all know how that’s gone. He’s fallen in the polls and he’s being admittedly blocked by Republicans.

All in all, Obama’s followed up on most of the campaign promises I cared about. I wanted Guantanamo shut down, I LIKED the cap and trade bill (we can talk about this another day). I’m not sure how I feel about health care, but I love that he continues to stand by it even if the country is more fickle.

I want out of Afghanistan, but even more I want out of Iraq, but the right way. And I think he’s completely right not to call it a victory. I love that he cares about other countries’ cultures enough to follow customs (lowering your head below a host’s head) even though he must know psychos like Glenn Beck are going to call it worship or subservience.

And the stimulus. As one final act, Bush bailed out Wall Street, and Obama’s stimulus was an answer to those millions who asked “What about main street?”

So, overall, I’m giving him a B. He’s actively working on solutions to the wars, the economic failure, our relations with other countries and the rest of his campaign promises.

It’s just naive to think he could fix everything in one year. It took many, many years to get us to this point.

On Topic: Afghanistan from the Right

December 2, 2009

Obama Hopes to Surge Forward…a Little Bit

Well, Mr. President, it’s about damn time. Since General McChrystal asked for more troops (all the way back in August) our president has finally made a decision about it. But before I get into all that, I have to take issue with the amount of time it has taken Mr. Obama to develop this plan. I mean August was what, 4 months ago, and this quote from Gen. McChrystal is all too telling:

“Failure to gain the initiative and reverse insurgent momentum in the near term (next 12 months) — while Afghan security capacity matures — risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible.”

Well, Obama’s already managed to waste 4 months out of those 12, and how many American deaths have there been in Afghanistan since then? August was the deadliest month yet for our troops and these chilling charts show the dramatic rise in death since we first sent troops there.

There have been too many deaths while Obama has played golf, basketball, and focused on other things rather than winning the War on Terror. So, Mr. President thanks for finally doing something.

Now what about that something he has decided on? I have three issues. The first is this:  Rush made a great point on his show today about that fact that Obama traveled to West Point to make his speech rather than doing it from the Oval Office. So why all the pomp and circumstance? In my opinion it is because Obama has no credibility on winning the War on Terror. And so he must create this artificial backdrop to look presidential. What better way to do that than to give the speech in front of all our troops dressed in their military finest. It certainly makes a fine looking spectacle.

Second, I, like many Americans am tired of the war, but at the same time I want to win. I want our troops to come home victorious in battle. I don’t want all these years of fighting to be for not. And while I’m glad Obama is finally sending troops there, I wish the focus would be on defeating terrorism for good rather than having a lets-sort-of-do-something-and get-this-over-with-as-fast-as-possible-so-I-don’t-make-my-base-mad-at-me kind of mentality. I just don’t see how we as a country can be successful with that type of mentality. We must be focused on victory. But if McCrystal says Obama has given him what he needs, then so be it.

Finally, Obama talked about the cost of the these wars and about the toll it has taken on the American people economically. Well, yes that is true, but it infuriates me when Obama complains about the cost of freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq, yet has no problem with spending trillions on big government programs like health care, stimulus, and cap and trade. Priorities please!

I know that war is devastating, and innocent people are always destroyed by it. But sometimes it is a necessary evil. We cannot forget 9/11 and the 3000 innocent people that lost their lives that day. We cannot forget the millions of people we liberated during WWII, and we cannot forget that war is how we won our independence as a nation. Now we are fighting the tyranny of terrorism and we must not stop until that evil is rooted out and destroyed. After all, Bin Ladin is still out there, and he still hates America.


Please check out Andrea’s take on O’s speech while you’re here for a different perspective.

On Topic: Afghanistan From the Left

December 2, 2009

True cost of Afghanistan

Obama makes the announcement tonight. It looks like 30,000 more troops are being deployed to Afghanistan. I watched twitter as the “leaked news” hit and its fair to say every emotion is represented in the responses.

Here’s my bottom line: We all want out BUT how?

Maybe the more important question is WHY are we even there? I don’t ask this out of ignorance. I’ve heard the reasons, to protect the people from the Taliban, to stop Al Qaeda, to spread democracy…

Whatever reason you use to justify the last 8 years, by invading Iraq and Afghanistan, we entered 2 wars that go on and on and on with absolutely no end in sight (I’ll get to Obama’s deadline later)

No end because you can’t fight terrorism. Do you think that because we stationed troops in Iraq and Afghanistan that terrorism has stopped? Do you think terrorists live exclusively in those countries? If 10 people from a certain country bomb a major building in the USA again, does it give us the right to take over that entire nation?

Worst of all, people unconnected to the Taliban or Al Qaeda pay.

Do you want to know the cost?

Military deaths in Iraq = over 4000

Military Deaths in Afghanistan= over 800

Iraqi and Afghan civilian deaths= unknown.

We don’t keep records of the people we accidentally kill maim or injure, like this little boy or people celebrating a wedding

Or you can watch this documentary about how we locked up an innocent journalist in Abu Ghraib.

And you may be out there saying, “death is bound to happen in war” maybe you should tell me what these people did to deserve an invasion, to lose the ones they love. They shared a country with hate-filled extremists who committed horrible crimes and I don’t think what we’ve done will inspire a lot of love for Americans (Side note: I have spoken to army personnel who say the people do love the troops, but what about the boy who lost his father or the girl who watched her brother die? Terrorism is rooted in hate, hate sometimes rooted in bitterness)

Maybe money moves you more than human lives. Before the end of the year nearly 1 TRILLION dollars, more than Viet Nam or WWII, (this is after inflation adjustments) will be spent on Iraq and Afghanistan.

All that said, I’m against this thing, but I don’t want to pull out all at once. I think we need a plan. The decision he’s made shows patience, cooperation and courage. Patience in dealing with a mess this country was in, cooperation with the generals who asked for more troops and courage to go against his own party.

I loved what he said tonight: America seeks an end to this era of war and suffering. We have no interest in occupying your country. We will support efforts by the Afghan government to open the door to those Taliban who abandon violence and respect the human rights of their fellow citizens. And we will seek a partnership with Afghanistan grounded in mutual respect to isolate those who destroy, to strengthen those who build, to hasten the day when our troops will leave, and to forge a lasting friendship in which America is your partner and never your patron.

God Bless the troops in their efforts to bring this war to a close. I can never repay your sacrifice and I’m praying for you all.

Be sure to check out Hanna’s post from the right.