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  • Morning Bell: Indecision in Afghanistan Costs Lives

    Last week, upon arriving in Copenhagen for his failed mission to secure the 2016 Olympic Games for Chicago, President Barack Obama met face-to-face with U.S. and NATO Forces Commander in Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChrystal on Air Force One. The meeting was just the second conversation between the two since Gen. McChrystal assumed command of what President Obama used to call the “central front in our enduring struggle against terrorism.” Just days before, while responding to questions about his recommendation for 40,000 more troops, Gen. McChrystal told the International Institute for Strategic Studies, “Waiting does not prolong a favorable outcome. This effort will not remain winnable indefinitely, nor will public support.”

    President Obama’s advisers were “shocked and angered” by “the bluntness” of McChrystal’s speech with one White House source offering: “People aren’t sure whether McChrystal is being naïve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn’t seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly.” McChrystal may not know Washington politics, but he has impeccable credentials when it comes to military strategy. And on military strategy, Gen. McChrystal also said this last week:

    I absolutely believe that al Qaeda and the threat of al Qaeda and Taliban senior leadership are critical to stability in the region…But I also believe that a strategy that does not leave Afghanistan in a stable position is probably a shortsighted strategy.

    Gen. McChrystal is far from the only thinker to come to that conclusion. British Army Chief of the General Staff Gen. Sir David Richards told The Sunday Telegraph:

    If al-Qaeda and the Taliban believe they have defeated us – what next? Would they stop at Afghanistan? Pakistan is clearly a tempting target not least because of the fact that it is a nuclear-weaponed state and that is a terrifying prospect. Even if only a few of those (nuclear) weapons fell into their hands, believe me they would use them. The recent airlines plot has reminded us that there are people out there who would happily blow all of us up.

    Former CentCom Commander Gen. Anthony Zinni told Face the Nation:

    I think we have to be careful how long this goes on. It– it could be seen not only out there in the region by our allies even as the enemy as being indecisive–unable to make a decision. We’ve had a strategy since March. We have a general out there who is probably the best qualified we could have that’s telling us what we need on the ground to have the security space and the time to get those non-military things done. And I just don’t understand why we’re questioning that judgment at this point and I hope this doesn’t go on much longer.

    British Shadow Defense Secretary Dr. Liam Fox told Heritage last month:

    Were we to lose and be forced out of Afghanistan against our will, it would be a shot in the arm for every jihadist globally. It would send out the signal that we did not have the moral fortitude to see through what we believe to be a national security emergency. It would suggest that NATO, in its first great challenge since the end of the Cold War, did not have what it takes to see a difficult challenge through.

    Chair of the House Armed Services Committee Ike Skelton (D-MO) told Face the Nation:

    That’s the purpose of this entire mission. To quell the al Qaeda and to make sure that the Taliban is not there to invite them back. The war really didn’t start until March of this year when the president came forth with a strategy, frankly an excellent strategy. He chose General McChrystal who is the best in the business for this type of conflict. He asked General McChrystal for an assessment. He got that assessment. Of course that became known … it was public. And in essence he’s going to be asking for additional resources. … I back him up. I sent a letter to the president a number of days ago spelling out in great detail – some six pages of a letter – spelling out basically ‘Give the general what he needs.’

    And Henry Kissinger writes in Newsweek:

    The demand for an exit strategy is, of course, a metaphor for withdrawal, and withdrawal that is not accompanied by a willingness to sustain the outcome amounts to abandonment. Even so-called realists—like me—would gag at a tacit U.S. cooperation with the Taliban in the governance of Afghanistan.

    Those in the chain of command in Afghanistan, each with outstanding qualifications, have all been recently appointed by the Obama administration. Rejecting their recommendations would be a triumph of domestic politics over strategic judgment.

    The domestic politics are clear. MoveOn.org is asking their members to sign a petition calling for “a clear military exit strategy” and in the House, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) has introduce a bill co-sponsored with 21 member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus that would prohibit an increase of troops in Afghanistan.

    President Obama must ignore this pressure from his leftist base and give his military commanders the best chance for success by meeting their requests for the troops and resources necessary to fully implement the counterinsurgency strategy that his administration adopted in March. As General McChrystal warned: “We must show resolve. Uncertainty disheartens our allies, emboldens our foe.” President Obama must take the long view and avoid short-sighted policies that undermine our friends in Afghanistan and Pakistan, while encouraging our enemies.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    39 Responses to Morning Bell: Indecision in Afghanistan Costs Lives

    1. Ruben in San Antonio says:

      I wonder if our standards for victory might not be unrealistic. Then again, only this country would set such high standards as nation building, and democratic free nations at that. Further, two at a time, Irag and Afghanistan. The initial intent was to depose those in power. Once that was done, the "Mission" was in fact

      "Accomplished." Other nations might have done destruction and left them to re-build. Not U.S. I do believe that such a victory is possible, but it will take time and sacrifice beyond Obamas term, but the effort has to be consistent, unyielding. Unfortunately, that tone is played by our "leaders" and the mass media, just as it was for the last election. Too many Americans buy into pretty packaging. They ignore who it is bearing the gift. I think conservatives need to hype his bashing of the Iragi Freedom campaign and his vote to not fund the effort and contrast it with his continuing the Bush doctrine. Force his defeatist supporters to bury their heads in the sand, displaying clearly that they choose to look the other way, to the lie, as Rep. J. Wilson so rightly declared. Something like, evil thrives when good men do nothing. I applaud your stand on principle Mr. Wilson.

    2. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Why can't the people understand Obama does not want this country to succeed. He does not want this country to be as we now know it. How many times do we have to hear his words that he wants to "totally transform this country". He wants to "transform" it into a socialist society where

      we are no longer the super power of the world. He wants the government to control every aspect of our lives. And most certainly he does not want us to win in Afghanistan.

    3. Michael - New York N says:

      Obama will throw McCrystal, the American public and our allies under the bus just as he did with the CIA. No matter how copious and strong his empty rhetoric remains, he is committed to undermining American values and the American dream. Anything that happens as far as attacks on our homeland will of course is blamed on George W., who by the way kept us safe for the last 8 years. Case in point is losing the Olympics that his left base blames on George Bush. This man boy will not and cannot accept responsibility for any problem, and will certainly blame his abject foreign policy failures on George W and past republican administrations. It’s difficult to imagine the French giving us foreign policy advice on Iran to be tougher, but that is exactly what happened last week. And of course, the stimulus is working as unemployment hits 9.8 %, and will certainly pass 10 – 11%. This was stated clearly by Obama it would not exceed 8.1% and the special interest Stimulus was passed.

      The Wall Street Journal today reported that Russia’s population decreased by 6.6 million people mainly due to the high mortality rate. So much for the great Marx theory of socialized medicine that Obama wants to ram down our throats.

      He is transforming America, pray.

    4. A. Scott, El Paso, T says:

      This so saddens me. We have seen this before which led to hundreds of needless deaths during Viet-Nam where politics took front and center rather than the lives of our troops and their leaders. How shameful.

    5. harleyj says:

      Indecision is not the issue today. The real issue is where in the heck was The Heritage Foundation when the Bush Administration was paying virtually no attention to Afghanistan during the almost 8 years (8 years-8 months); thus allowing the Taliban and Al Qaeda to fester and spread? That abject and purposeful neglect has, after all is said and done, caused the problems being faced today. Once again, the Republican policy failed and many dead American troops are the result. Republican pulled the US into the dry quicksand of the Middle East Moslem world and it will take a Democrat to get us out of the mess.

      Eight years of Bush Administration economic neglect, laissez faire laxity, international buffoonery & military industrial profiteering and are the problem today. Once again, the old W H Taft/Robber Baron/Republican policy of "profit and property over people" has reared its ugly head and working class Americans pay, suffer and die.

    6. icono1,lexington ky says:

      Politics not withstanding either fight to win or get the heck out of there.

      Do not let this become another Viet-Nam for our military where good soldiers die while the politicians try to figure out a sanitized and politically correct way to fight a war.

      War is about killing the enemy not ourselves.

    7. Judith in Michigan says:

      By dithering on the whole Afghanistan-Iran-Iraq problems, Mr. Obama is finally showing where his true sympathies lie, and it is definitely not in favor of the United States of America.

      I'm sure he hopes that by not making a decision that might anger the Socialist wing of his party, or at the opposite end, the American citizens, something will eventually happen rendering a decision on his part a moot point. Thus, it won't be his fault.

      Isn't he the expert on voting "present"?

    8. harleyj says:

      On the Heritage Foundation "Facebook" site, someone asked, "What would Reagan to?" The following is what he did:

      In January 1981, Ronald Reagan, was inaugurated. US unemployment was @ 7.5%. By January, 1982, a year later, unemployment: 8.6%. December, 1982, unemployment: 10.8%. January, 1883, unemployment: 10.4%. Unemployment didn't dip below 10.1% until July 1983; it dropped to 9.4%. 2 1/2 years after Reagan became president–having promised to balance the budget in 3 years–he screwed that up with "borrow and spend" & "trickle down" policies; 8 straight record setting deficits; record national debt growth; the highest unemployment rates since The Great Depression era; took the US, the world's leading lender nation to the world's leading debtor nation in less than 8 years. Unemployment didn't go down to what it was when Reagan took office until July,1984; it hit 7.5%. When he left office in January, 1989 it was 5.4%.

      Clinton was inaugurated January 1993, unemployment was up to 7.4% & the US had suffered 4 more massive annual budget deficits via GHWBush's laissez faire "supply side" policies. When Clinton left office in January 2001, unemployment was barely at 4.7% & had gone as low as 3.6%. He had three surplus budgets.

      G W Bush left office in January 2009, unemployment was over 7%; the US had suffered 8 years of massive annual budget deficits and a doubling of the national debt! Again, laissez faireism, unenforced regulations, unpaid for tax relief for the "poor rich" and off budget wars in which $billions of unaccounted for taxpayer dollars were just given to the Bush crony companies via nol-bid contracting!

      All of the above: Compliments of the Federal Bureau of labor Statistics.

      Obama inherited a rapidly dying economy. Due to info provided by the Bush administration, Obama was led to miscalculate the damage left by the Bush administration.

      Obama inaugurated January 2009 & has been in office less than 9 months. If Obama's record parallels Reagan's record, the US is doomed. Contrary to Reagan's record in his first 3 1/2 years–aprox. 40 mos of record unemployment–the underlying elements of our US economy are already looking up. During Reagan's first 2 years, all was darkness & getting darker. Employment is a lagging indicator. Other "leading" indicators are moving up. History indicates it takes 19 months for job growth to show measurable improvement following a major recession. 9 months, not even 18 months, are enough time before condemning an administration which inherited a nation sinking into quicksand fast. If you gave Reagan a break, as I did then, give Obama a break. It is the intellectually honest thing to do. If, in time, he doesn't produce a better result than Reagan did in his first term, a .02% improvement in unemployment from 7.5% in 1/1981 to 10.8% to 7.3% in

      1/1985–then you can justifiably squeal and go nuts.

    9. Mad-andy, Missouri says:

      War can not be avoided, it can only be delayed to the enemies benefit. Machiavelli

      We are there. Fight to win or come home. Know that if we pull out, we throw away everything we fought for. The only reason we have not had any problems here is because we have them running scared. If we go home, they will follow with a vengeance.

    10. Bob Veigel, Arlingto says:

      It certainly appears that way. Those in the battlefield are asking for more help. And while the loss of life in combat is more serious than what is happening at home, Obama's approach seems to be consistent. Take whatever action necessary to ensure the defeat and destruction of America. That is a terrible comment to make about the President of the United States, but, to me, it seems appropriate.

    11. William Levor Roslyn says:

      When a general is losing troops on the battlefield and the Pres. does not have time for him immediately it is time for him to resign. Those deaths are on his hands . Two meetings with the Pres. are certainly proof he does not have the ear of Washington.He must amke a stand and resign as he is more pattent leather than Patton. What a disgrace.

    12. Gerard King says:

      Sirs,

      I have a repetoire of 18 historical narratives , which I read either publicly at institutions or privately for home consumption .One of these is 'Afghanistan the Indomitable' . If you would wish this for a reading at the Foundation . I would be very happy to oblige.

    13. Richard Cancemi, Arl says:

      The General's request for more troops is a "no-brainer"! Who knows better than he and his Staff what is necessary to fight a war and win?

      Of course, we now know, from experience, that the White House and its Staff have "no brains"!

      They are blind ideologues who, like children, never weigh the consequences of their actions. Look at the mess we're in, and even though they want to blame it all on George Bush, it is plain that they have made it all far worse!

      Dumb-head Biden and White House Staff think they knows more than the Military experts? What a joke!

      Maybe they think losing will become winning, somehow? Duh! That's how out of touch with reality they are

    14. R.U.WITHMEE says:

      THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE GENERAL IS AN OUTSTANDING TACTICIAN AND AM SURE HE IS WELL VERSED IN PROTOCOL.WHAT I AM THINKING IS THAT HE HAS BEEN A NON PERSON AND OUT OF THE LOOP IN THE OBAMA CAMP.APPARENTLY THE GENERAL WANTS TO WIN AND THESE DELAYING TACTICS OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ARE HIGHLY FRUSTRATING.HIS DAYS ARE NUMBERED IN THIS ADMINISTRATION.ANOTHER GOOD GENERAL SACRIFICED ON THE ALTER OF "LIBERALISM".

    15. Deborah, in Denver C says:

      I think we should take all the troops out and send Barack Obama with his lengthy words and high falutin ways and let him duke it out his way with alQaeda and the taliban!! Good luck!

    16. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Entire squads of American Marines are being sacrifices because our President feels it is more important to spend hours and days fretting over his hometown Olympics than to do his job as Commander in Chief. He spent how much time with the General in charge of the Afganistan War? Fifteen, twenty minutes?

      Recall this bastard and get a reall man, a real American, in that office to represent America's will, and not his own!

    17. Ella QUINN N.C. says:

      Obama needs to send more troops fast.Protect our soliders, and give them what they need to fight with.Move on . org needs to do just that move on off the face of the earth.

    18. Bob R Geologist, Tuc says:

      The Earth is my field of expertise but I will back Ruben of San Antonio in this matter.

    19. Pingback: We need decisions on Afghanistan « A Voice in the Wilderness

    20. Joan Sarasota FL. says:

      Bring all the troops home let them march on Washington. How long can we survive as a country with these unfit supercilious fools that are tearing this country apart day by day.

    21. Todd Christian - Kla says:

      harleyj: If I want MoveOn.org talking points, I can go to their website and read them firsthand and unedited.

      George Bush did not pay "virtually no attention" to Afghanistan for "eight years minus 8 months". Our NATO "allies", most of whom were not willing to send troops to Iraq for domestic political reasons, agreed to send troops to Afghanistan instead, under NATO command. Note that they used the same logic that Obama would ultimately adopt: the "real" battle against Islamic terrorists was in Afghanistan! Of course, they dithered away the effort using safe but ineffective actions while Afghanistan smouldered, just like the great and powerful Oz has done since February. If it hadn't been for Canada, there would not have been enough troops there to guard the PXs!

      Reading your diatribe against Bush (economic neglect; laissez faire laxity; profiteering) and Republicans (W H Taft; robber barons; profit and property over people; working class Americans suffer and die)) is like reading the credo of Socialist International. If you studied history in college, you should probably ask for a refund. As Ronald Reagan said, "It isn't that liberals are untruthful; it's just that so many of the things that they know to be true are wrong!"

    22. Carol, Tucson says:

      We must insist that our representatives and senators READ every bill before voting upon it. Often there are hidden bills within big bills which get passed because no one knew they were there, other than the proposer. What is hidden in the current health bill?

    23. Freedomof Speech TX says:

      The General made a fatal error – when asked a direct question he told the truth.

      Wanna bet the 25 minutes was an —chewing?

      There is no reason military commanders should be thrown, later, under the bus for stating their opinion. What was he supposed to say? I think we'll win no matter what? He is responsible for the troops and to the Commander-in-Chief. It would have been irresponsible to LIE with lives on the line.

      This is not time to say what everyone wants to hear – facts notwithstanding.

      Whether we stay in Afghanistan or not is the main issue. It's refreshing to have someone say what he believes even if it jeopardizes his career.

      President Obama should be glad he has a man of honor and integrity on the ground. These traits are sadly lacking in Washington.

    24. Martin- GA says:

      This indecision is what you get when people listen to platitudes all during an election and can't see the phoniness of a candidate. Obama is over his head but has one hell of a hate relationship with the US. He took all it had to give and now is stabbing it in the back. He needs to be be removed now!

    25. mike hutchings texas says:

      ADMIRAL OBAMA, LORD OF WHATS LEFT,SURVEYS THE UNITED STATES NAVY AT ITS NEW BASE IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO THE SHORES OF LAKE OBAMA;

      THE CAPTAIN-ADMIRAL; this new tactic we have employed by putting the entire navy in the great lakes was a stroke of genius. this should make up for all the graft we lost when the nation failed me and refused us the olympics.

      AXELROD;we had trouble getting the carriers up the mississippi but the stimulus money to widen and deepen the river came in handy.

      THE CAPTAIN ADMIRAL;this should send a strong message to the rest of the world that we mean business when we say we want to be a second rate power.

      AXELROD;the canadiens were a little nervious but i inserted a salvage rights clause in our new defence treaty giving them first call when we scrap the fleet in your second term;

      THE CAPTAIN ADMIRAL;how is the my second term looking;

      AXELROD;WHEN WE PASS HEALTH CARE AND LEGALIZE THE ILLEGALS AS VOTERS AND SCOOP UP THE AFGHAN REFUGEES THAT WILL BE RUNNING FOR THEIR LIVES AND WHAT BETTER PLACE THAN HERE. WE WILL PICK UP 15 MILLION NEW VOTERS AND USEING THE ACORN MULTIPLYER EFFECT DOUBLE THAT AND WE ARE SITTING PRETTY FOR 2012;

      THE CAPTAIN ADMIRAL; I LIKE THE WAY YOU TALK, MAKE IT SO AND TELL GENERAL MCCHRYSTAL HE IS A PRIVATE, WHERE IS HE BY THE WAY.

      AXELROD; HES TRYING TO RESCUE HIS COMMAND SOME WHERE IN THE HINDU-KUSH MOUNTAINS.

      THE CAPTAIN ADMIRAL; WELL HIS JOB SHOULD BE EASIER SINCE I DIDNT SEND RIENFORCEMENTS.HE WONT HAVE TO WORRY SO MUCH.

      AXELROD;THE TROOPS THAT SURVIVED LOVE YOU THOSE BODY BAGS WITH WITH YOUR PICTURE ON THEM WAS A STROKE OF PURE GENIUS.

      THE CAPTAIN ADMIRAL; YES THAT AND THE NEW UNIFORMS WITH THE HALO SHOT OF ME ON THE BACK SHOULD COMFORT ANY ONE LEFT OF THE IMPERIALIST FORCES.

      AXELROD; MIGHT I SAT UMM UMM TO THAT.

    26. R.U.WITHMEE says:

      HARLEYJ–THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT RUN UP BIG DEFICITS!CONGRESS RUNS UP DEFICITS.LOOK BACK AT TIMES WHEN DEMOCRATS HAD CONTROL OF BOTH HOUSES.WJC HAD THE GOOD FORTUNE TO HAVE REPUBLICANS IN CONTROL OF THE HOUSES.YOU ARE CORRECT ABOUT GEORGE 43.(BIG SPENDER). HIS LAST TWO YEARS,BOTH HOUSES WERE CONTROLLED BY DEMOS.THERE ARE SOME CONSERVATIVE DEMS,BUT FEW.TO PROTECT OUR FUTURE WE NEED TO ENFORCE A LITMUS TEST ON MEMBERS OF CONGRESS.VOTE OUT THE BIG SPENDERS S-A-P.

    27. Hauser says:

      Are we doomed to repeat: Lessons of War?5th October 2009 written by Hauser
      http://www.those4ideas.com/

      In 1905 the poet and philosopher George Santayana averred that: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

      So as Afghanistan looms large on President Obama’s agenda, the memories of past conflicts, one still ongoing, one generational, should not be ignored. But so said, there comes a twist. For our neglect in remembering one particular conflict, combined with our American sense of fairness, is costing the lives of our military youth. For eluding the Utopian desires of Michael Moore, Sean Penn, Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of Hollywood’s self-blindered wishful, and unconscionable to our Christian values, is perhaps a carnal, but none the less evident, truth. A truth only to be … well, eluded, for anyone wanting for a better world. Thus we must close our eyes and hearts in order to make a hard decision.

      But how do we… close off our desires?

      To be fair the impetus for all wars is a stupidity of religious application, but once we have been drawn into or consciously engage in a campaign of war, we better remember history. As we now fight and as we have before fought, an enemy who hides; an enemy that refuses to wear a uniform, an enemy that does not fight by international treaty, doesn’t play by the rules – a cowardly opponent; we need to remember. Remember, that as their well intended, well attired (uniformed), God-fearing troops strode into battle against, and were cut down by their foes, that King George III and General Cornwallis felt and said the same thing about our ancestoral colonists. With blinders on, we must accept that the orderly decorum of the English forces was a losing strategy. So the decision which confronts us now is: That war, regardless of all good human desire is removed from our better graces and is an abomination of the human existence. And, that especially now, especially with the enemy at hand, it cannot be conducted in a goodie-two-shoes, hand-cuffed fashion.

      One cannot help remember the contrast between America’s vain negotiations with Iran in 1979 and ‘80, which led to our hostages being held for some 444 days, and the story of how the Russians obtained the release of their hostages by kidnapping family members of the ILO leader responsible, cutting off the testicles of his nephew and delivering such as evidence of more “hit-you-where-you-live” violence to come. The Russian captives were released the same day. The Russians kept the matter secret, but Israeli intelligence, the Mossad, declared: “this [action] was what Hezbollah understands”, and directly compared the Soviets’ actions with those of the United States in which they, the Mossad, said that “the Soviets don’t engage in anti-terrorist rhetoric but simply act, whereas “other countries” engage in much anti-terrorist rhetoric but conduct little anti-terrorist action.”

      The Colonial Army and Minutemen did not kill civilians, nor did they blow up their own women and children – but our enemy does! And so we must engage them on a level that we are not comfortable with, in a way that may have some deterrent effect against a sub-species that kill their own. It may mean that we should consider hitting them where they live, even if they are not at home. Delivering a drone missile to their “last known address” instead of putting our troops, our sons and daughters, in harm’s way. We don’t raise our children to commit mayhem. so how do you fight this kind of an enemy. The answer history tells us is we can’t. Not in a politically correct manner. Not by an overly moral military and country keeping a 24 hour, televised civilian body count while the enemy fires from among the innocents.

      Many countries of the world have developed to the point where we are intent to live peaceably together, theoretically we can put hostility behind us – Shangri La. This is what we should all want, but we attempt this folly, though much of the world is led by seventh century intellects. We can’t partition the progressed countries from the retarded, and so the world is in the shape that it is. But what would be the cry of the civilized world if America refused to fight, catered to those true-believers both inside this country and abroad who think – I don’t know what – that the “Destruction of the Infidels” is a show to play elsewhere. Perhaps if civilized society has become too civilized to defend its values lethally, we should bow on our collective knee and leave it in the hands of God. But who’s God will win that war?

      Until the world community is willing to outlaw the practices of fanaticism and jail its prescribers, kill or imprison the haters and the terrorizers until they are no more, and ensure all future generations are raised with tolerant values, we unfortunately will have to remember the lessons of war.

      Idea 4. Palestinian Proposal

    28. John, Colorado says:

      "British Shadow Defense Secretary Dr. Liam Fox told Heritage last month: Were we to lose and be forced out of Afghanistan against our will, it would be a shot in the arm for every jihadist globally."

      Eureka! That's it. Let's get the Taliban to take a 'flu' vaccine that is really a binary biological weapon. Then fly over and spray them with the other half, and kill them off!! We could also fluoridate their water supply.

    29. Ellen Tulsa, Ok says:

      Obama is not only allowing our service men and women to be killed because he is clueless and blind as to the need of more troops in Afganistan…he is cold-hearted and really does not care. When I see our young men in battle, I cry thinking of how they are fighting for Obama's safety and he is sitting on his ivory tower exclaiming "I am President…I was elected." Our brave men and women (and the rest of America) have to listen to him apologizing around the world for the arrogance of the American people while his AG calls us cowards.

      "Tighten your belts, America" he says while all the time he is flying his wife to New York for dinner, spending millions of dollars flying to Denmark, serving $100 Japanese steaks at a WH dinner, using two helicopters (one should have been sufficient)getting his family to Camp David…the children go ahead of Obama and Michelle, and on and on and on.

      I don't know about the rest of America, but I am tired of being vilified by Obama.

      Also, I can't stomach any more of his proclamations to the world that America is getting better…HE is here!

      UGH!

    30. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      This is the logical thing for the dems, cut and run. They do not have the guts to win this war, so those that have given the most will end up being for nothing. The dems and obama are to busy running around the world tell all how many mistakes America has made and then telling them how sorry America is for those mistakes. I have not seen anyone telling us they are sorry for all the damage they have done to us. I believe that the dems and especially obama feel that America is indeed the "great satan" of the world. People we must get out and vote in 2010.

    31. Jean from Virginia says:

      On 10/5 comments from Lloyd, New Orleans William,NY, Bob and Richard from Tx, Lynn, Joan,from Florida have said it all. The administration has their own agenda.The country should have a weekly prayer day for our men who are dying in Afghanistan and our Great Nation that is in peril.

    32. Jim, Wisconsin says:

      There are two exit strategies: surrender or victory. Surrender is unthinkable. Victory is attained the old-fashioned way: kill them faster and in greater numbers than they kill us until they decide it isn't a good idea to kill any more of us.

      In other words, keep shooting not until we think they're dead, but until THEY think they're dead.

    33. harleyj says:

      Judith,

      You talk about "dithering" in Afghanistan but you fail to mention the pervasive "dithering" which occurred for almost eight years under your Republican president–GHWBush–and his Republican congress regarding Afghanistan. Do you have selective memory or is it that your partisanship supersedes your intellectual honesty and integrity? Where were the people who attacked the US on 9/11/2001 trained and based? A hint! It was not Iraq! The answer!! It was Afghanistan! Another question! Where were most of the perpetrators of the 9/11/2001 attack on the WTC from? A hint! It was not Iraq! The answer! It was Saudi Arabia! Until you get intellectually up to speed and honest, you have no real standing to criticize Obama with any veracity!

      Re the economy. It was in the news the other day that unemployment was at a 26 year high (@ 9.8%) and today the news said that rental vacancies were at a 23 year high! I assume that is supposed to reflect on Obama but I wonder if the Heritagers know who was president 26 years ago? Why it was Ronald "Jesus Christ come again" Reagan! Who was president 23 years ago? A hint! It was the same guy who was president 26 years ago; Ronald "I'll balance the budget in three years" Reagan! When Obama is as bad after all those years in office as Reagan was, you people may have a right to be critical! Until then, get honest!

    34. John Koss Tennessee says:

      After touring the Shiloh National Military Cemetary/Battlefield I was reminded of the sacrifice borne by so many in the Civil War. Leadership isn't electable. It's molded,forged and annealed by ones' character, virtue and training throughout life. I fear that President Obama, due to his real lack of foreign policy knowledge and misunderstanding will seriously (and has)undermine not only our credibility as a nation, he will cause our people a great despair and hardship in the years to come. In the movie: "Gladiator" Maximus tells Ceaser; "Rome is the Light!" Aren't we that light today? A great leader must make agonizing decisions that go contrary to what he may 'feel' but he must do so knowing the outcome, even after, he is long buried and turned to dust will have been just. Remember our Heritage Protect our Fr

    35. John Sitterley, Sedn says:

      Should Arab Countries Play a Larger Roll in Afghanistan??? Lets look at it.

      After the attack on 9/11, the goal was to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. Eight years latter, we are now "rebuilding" the middle-east in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is not a bad strategy because it does stabilize the area, which is usually volatile at best. Arguments can be taken for both sides, but we are there. Though there is oil in the region. The U.S. gets most of their oil from Central America, South America and Canada, but Europe does depend on their exports.

      The “Wild-Card” in this area is Iran. More specifically, the mullahs of Iran are the problem, and have compounded the problem greatly with the building of nuclear facilities to acquire a Nuclear Weapon. The “people” of Iran however want a more democratic government, freedom from their oppressors and have shown signs to fight for it.

      Israel, our closest ally in the region, even though Obama’s administration seems to be appeasing their enemies for the last 8 months, is faced with a difficult choice. Attack the facilities in Iran (either independently or as a joint operation with the U.S.) and deal with world wide retribution, or do nothing and hope that talks and sanctions persuade Iran to give up their ambitions. That’s not going to happen.

      General McChrystal has requested an additional 40,000 (1 Division) troops in the Afghan theatre to secure it. Obama would be smart to listen to the “Commanders in the Field”.

      Russia and China will do nothing militarily in the middle-east. Russia can’t afford it, and China is more interested in extending their capital in Africa and South America. So now we are faced with Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. It’s been said that if they get involved the Palestinians and Syrians (Assyrians) will feel betrayed by their fellow Arab Muslim brothers. We all ready have some military bases there so, so much for that argument.

      So, what have we got here? You have a couple countries North that’s not going to do anything, Iraq in the West is volatile but secure, Afghanistan/Pakistan theatre in the East are fighting hard to neutralize the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The prize in Pakistan is the Nuclear Weapons. Iran is developing some Nuclear Weapons and may be very close in achieving it.

      Here I think the full military and economic force of Saudi Arabia can play a dramatic part. As soon as they committee a sizable force, the other Arab countries will back down. They should also enter Iran as part of a three prong surgical attack on their Nuclear Facilities, their Republican Guard and Air Defense Units and allow “the people” of Iran to enter into a process to select a more democratically supported government, while keeping the covert American/Pakistan Force guarding the "Nukes" in Pakistan.

      We must "Fully Bring IN the Arab States".

      (Von Clausewitz or Sun Tzu)?

      What do you think? Do the unexspected!!!

      Thx Mr. John Wayne Sitterley MA, ADA,FA USA/Arizona

    36. Erich, Arizona says:

      This is yet just another rason among 100's that we better clean house in congress this next year and take away as much power from this President as we can. Then we will have a little bit of breathing room to figure out who our next President will be. I urge every Amreican no matter what party to get involved and take our country back.

    37. A. Terranova, Ormond says:

      Yesterday he was all about "transparency"; today he's all about "muzzling" the man he hired to win the war he campaigned on as being the just war. Between his total abrogation of the legitimate duties of the presidency of the U.S. of America, which he swore under oath to uphold, and his complete lack of integrity as Commander-in Chief, not only is he in dereliction of his duties as president, he is totally incompetent.

    38. A. Terranova, , FL says:

      As Commander-in-Chief, the president took an oath to preserve and protect the Republic, its Constitution and its citizenry. That includes, without question, those who serve in our military; those who are sacrificing their lives to protect and preserve our lives and way of life. Since he has chosen to disregard and disrespect that oath and all that it means, he is in dereliction of his legitimate duties and should be removed from office asap.

    39. Ken,Michigan says:

      The problems as I see them are many. The political parties reguardless of party are both lacking many if not close to all the qualities that made America the Great country it once was. While with all my being I know America is without a doubt the finest country on this good old earth . I would, as you would as well, being totally truthful and painfully honest have to agree we have lost much that made us the envy of many Nations. Never in any history that I am aware of has there been a destination more desired to reach than the shores of this Great Nation by folks from every country of the world.

      They came,they worked,they prospered and in every fiber of their being they strove to become all that was America. Some where along the way,some misguided soul decided we should set aside our tradition of learning the language,living by the law of the land and striving to become above all truely American.Some poor souls decided we should allow our values to be weakened our standards to be criticized and the very foundation of our greatness torn apart by all that is truely Un-American.

      We learned that if we didn't want to work someone would take care of us.We learned if we shipped our work out of country where wages were next to nothing the wealthy could make even more money.We learned if the work was too hard or too tedious we could hire migrants to do it cheaper. Our politicians soon learned that money was to made by engaging in both in country and out of country deals.It soon became more important to profit individually than to work for the good of the Nation and thus the American family and economy.

      Shortly after WWII we lost our intestinal fortitude to stand for right and actually fight to win.We soon began to lose our morality and began to also lose sight of our Faith in God. We soon were pushed to, at first quietly and then ever so much stronger to overlook little things we were taught by our Parents and Grandparents that were wrong. Then the little things became bigger things and soon we began to doubt what we once knew at a glance were wrong.And that my Fellow Americans and some who never were or never will be Americans is about where we are right now.

      The good news is this is still America,and still for the time being the greatest and most free Nation on earth.If you wish to keep us as such for ourselves,our Children,Grandchildren and all future Generations of AMERICANS. WE must take a stand,DEMAND our weak kneed babbling,patronizing,truthless politions ( not to be confused with some who are actually good honest folks )return our Country to its formerly Grand and Just State of Greatness.A Country that our ancestors would recognize and be proud of.A Country where our word is our bond ( if a man or a country's word is no good neither is he/it )and our Friends can be proud to call us Friends again.A Country that doesn't allow some seriously deranged missfits who kill their own citizens and preach hate to their young to dictate policy to America and invade our very Homeland with that hate.A Country where a Man is proud to work and provide for his Family and barring poor health or disability must do so to survive.A Country who contiues to welcome immigrants who want to adopt our traditional customs and values,live by our Laws and uphold our Great Heritage.A Country that has always been ( with the possible exception of a sad and missguided few ) and should always be working for a better life,standing strong against anyone who would harm our way of life and never,never bending to the will of those who would force a life style on us that would favor the few against the many.A liar is a liar no matter what his political affilation. There are still many more good honest folks in this fine country than bad ,We just need to find our voice and be HEARD.

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