Afghan War

Surprising Report: Barack Obama Rejects Afghan Military Options Presented To Him!

Emerging news reports indicate, to the surprise of many, that President Obama has rejected various alternatives for troop buildup in Afghanistan, and has told his national security team to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to start the process of handing over the war to the Afghan Army as soon as possible!

If this is true, it is fantastic news! It comes at a time when Colin Powell has made clear his belief that Obama should not be pressured into a decision to commit more troops, and the US Ambassador to Afghanistan has sent word of his opposition to any more troop commitment in that nation.

This is a major change from recent news reports that had indicated Obama was leaning toward a major troop upsurge. One can only hope that the latest reports are accurate, and if so, all committed Democrats and liberals need to do everything they can to support the President on this and other issues, and teach the Republicans and conservatives that they LOST the election, and will not dictate or be allowed to undermine the necessary changes in foreign and domestic policy that are urgently needed and wanted by the American people!

The Sad Truth About Wounded Veterans Of Iraq And Afghanistan

Politicians love to say that they honor the sacrifices of our veterans who go to war, but when it is suggested that we need to do more for veterans, many have problems with the concept and the funding involved.

On Veterans Day, we are reminded of the ultimate sacrifice paid by those who have died in the service of their country. The fact that over 5,000 soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan is noted, and these people are mourned.

But we forget those military personnel who are wounded in war, whether physically or mentally, with the reality that mental injuries are often hard to detect, and may take years to show up, as with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

The fact that veterans who survive have a high level of PTSD, suicide, drug addiction, alchoholism, divorce, and violence is very troubling, and has not been fully addressed by our government, although now the Obama Administration is trying to give new attention to these issues.

But how many Americans realize that if we count reported injuries, which are certainly the tip of the iceberg, that over 35,000 American soldiers have been wounded and disabled by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, seven times the total who have died?

The problems they have, therefore, will exist and be part of the long term future of our nation, and we need to dedicate ourselves, on this day, 91 years after the end of World War I, to action on a massive scale to assist all of our warriors in their adjustment to their injuries, both physical and mental. They deserve nothing less!

Wise Men Expressing Doubts About Afghanistan

As the Afghanistan debate rages, wise men are expressing doubt about further commitment of troops to that war.

Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the 2004 Democratic nominee for President, and the Chairman now of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has warned against going down the same road we did in Vietnam.

Former Defense Secretary William Cohen, who served under Bill Clinton in his second term, and was earlier a Republican senator and congressman from Maine, also has demonstrated his doubts of the wisdom of commitment of more troops in a war where we have no faith in the leader of that nation, President Karzai.

These men may soon be joined by Al Gore, former Vice President and 2000 Democratic nominee for President, who will be expressing his views on Larry King Live on Thursday evening. It will be interesting to hear what his advice is, and I would be very suprised if he endorsed commitment of more troops to the Afghan War.

The distinguished citizens who are speaking out against this escalation include many Democratic senators and representatives not specifically mentioned here, and it is important that President Obama listen to this advice, and not just to the generals and cabinet members who advocate escalation.

This may be the most important decision the President will make during his time in office, and we have to hope he makes the proper decision!

Barack Obama At Eight Months In Office: Time Of Troubles And Turmoil

President Obama was everywhere this Sunday morning, appearing on five taped shows (from Friday) to explain his health care plan, the Afghan war, the economy, and the flu virus threat.

Obama has hit a rough patch in all of these areas. The honeymoon is over, but of course, it was bound to end in any case.

Criticism is rampant on the left and the right on these issues. At a time of such economic hardship and the growing fear of terrorism at home with the recent revelations of plans to attack the NYC train transportation system, the President is facing harsh attacks on both extremes of the political spectrum.

The fear of growing costs for health care reform at a time when unemployment continues to rise makes any action on this issue highly questionable that it will succeed. The growing debate on increase of troops in Afghanistan places the President more with his domestic GOP critics than with his Democratic supporters, an example being Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin of Michigan, who has made it clear that we should not send more troops there, even though Obama today pointed out that it was from Afghanistan where Al Quaeda struck on September 11. Obama seems to be on a tightrope on this issue, not yet willing to agree to increased troops, but not hinting that he will change course either.

The H1N1 virus threat also plagues many Americans, and the reality that vaccine will not be available for awhile, and one can not be certain that when it is available, that it will work and not cause more grief than protection for American citizens.

Obama backed away from backing President Jimmy Carter on the issue of racism causing a lot of the problems and division that now exists in America, the only statement he could be expected to make. Still, it is troubling that we are allowing so much attention to be drawn to those who promote hate and controversy for their own aggrandizement, so why does Time Magazine have to put an outrageous picture of Glenn Beck on the cover of its magazine this coming week? All this does is feed the paranoia and insanity that he and other talk show hosts represent.

So basically, it is reality that Barack Obama in in very difficult circumstances at eight months in office, but yet his public opinion rating remains in the mid to high 50s, despite all of the attacks and criticisms.

One thing is for certain: We live in challenging times, and constant turmoil will continue as we try to face the many difficult issues this country faces. We can only pray that we do not see a resort to violence and bloodshed because of the poisonous environment that we find ourselves in.

As Barack Obama said, Franklin D. Roosvevelt and Ronald Reagan also faced vitriol and wild extremist reactions because they represented fundamental change, and that he understood that is occurring again because he is involved in similar actions, and there will be predictably negative responses as in the past.

Obama called for civility and decency in political discourse, but unfortunately, that seems extremely unlikely. 🙁