So our future glorious leader was on “Meet the Press” today and basically told us that the economy’s ‘a big problem, and it’s going to get worse.’ My comment on that is.. “Like DUH!” as if the entire US doesn’t already know this. Sorry, I reverted to my 80s mentality however, a stupid statement like that deserves a stupid comment. But lets focus taxes and on what’s going on in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, shall we?
FIRST BROKEN PROMISE
In what is now officially Obama style, he gave strong indications that he’s backing off his stance on two promises that he made during his campaigning. SURPRISE! The first is whether to repeal Bush’s tax cuts for the rich, something Obama’s economic advisors have quietly been saying for weeks.
“My economic team right now is examining – do we repeal that through legislation?”
“Do we let it lapse so that, when the Bush tax cuts expire, they’re not renewed when it comes to wealthiest Americans?”
This doesn’t include him saying that he’s now not going to tax the oil industry because oil is less than $40 a barrel. Hmm.. what about all those records of income that the oil industry made last spring and summer? Anyway…..
SECOND BROKEN PROMISE
The second possible broken campaign promise is his call for bringing U.S. combat troops home from Iraq in 16 months. As if those of us who never believed a word he promised find this surprising.
He only said he wanted to do so “as quickly as we can do to maintain stability in Iraq, maintain the safety of U.S. troops, to provide a mechanism so that Iraq can start taking more responsibility as a sovereign responsibility for its own safety and security, ensuring that you don’t see any resurgence of terrorism in Iraq that could threaten our interests.”
Brokaw asked Obama directly about the rumors of “residual force” of how many troops are going to be left in Iraq, with that number being 35,000 to 50,000. Brokaw asked him, “Is that a fair number?”
Well, well I’m not gonna speculate on the numbers. [Why can’t this man EVER answer a direct question with a direct answer instead of rehashing what he has said before? While if a news reporter does the same, then he is accused of Obama of trying to stir up trouble.]
Uh, what I said is that we are gonna maintain a large enough force uh, in the region to assure that uh, our civilian troops, or our, our, our civilian personnel and our embassies are protected to make sure that we can uh, ferret out any remaining terrorist activity in the region, in cooperation with the Iraqi government. That we are providing training and logistical support maintaining the integrity of uh Iraq as necessary. And one of the things that I’ll be doing is evaluating the kind of numbers required to meet those very limited goals.”
Now this confuses me. First Iraq just passed a new law in conjunction with the Bush Administration that all US troops are to be removed by 2011. And in fact, this new law will be taken and if that fails to subscribe to the withdrawal, the U.S. troops may be forced to leave earlier. But Obama is saying that he wants to leave troops in Iraq, not commenting on the numbers, in cooperation with the Iraqi government. Didn’t they just vote and pass a law that they want all US troops out? And didn’t Obama say he was going to “end the war” in Iraq and bring ALL the troops home from Iraq? Can you say “double speak” boys and girls? So I guess that would be a “no” that all the troops aren’t coming home, with guestimates of 35,00 - 50,000 troops staying beyond 2011. Right now there are about 15 birgades defined as combat forces, but the overall number of troops is more than 50 brigade equivalents, for total of 146,000 troops. So, if 30,000 – 50,000 stay behind or are rotated around, that means that 20% to 34% of the troops remain past 2011. Is that what Obama call’s bringing our troops home from Iraq?
And on another note, has Obama said anything about removing troops in Afghanistan? Which by the way, are getting about 3,500 to 4,000 more troops early next year to be deployed near Kabul. With the Defense Department planning to add more than 20,000 troops to Afghanistan over the next 12-18 months. Right now, there are about 32,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
How do we know that when the troops leave Iraq, if they are going to leave Iraq, that they aren’t going to head straight to Afghanistan? Well Brokaw questioned Obama about Afghanistan quoting Jim Jones, Obama’s new national security advisor. He said that when he first talked to Jones when the U.S. first went into Afghanistan he said “I know how we’re going to get into Afghanistan, I don’t know how we’re going to get out of Afghanistan.” Brokaw asked Obama about what he was telling him today of how we are going to get out of Afghanistan. Obama stuttered and clamored for a few seconds before answering this question.
“I think were starting to see a consensus, uh that uh, we have to have more effective military action and that means additional troops but also means more coordination with our NATO allies. Uh, it means we have to have much more effective uh, diplomacy in the region. We can’t solve Afghanistan without solving Pakistan, and working more effectively with that country and we are gonna have to make sure that India and Pakistan are uh, normalizing their relationship if we are going to effective in some of these other areas. And we’ve got to really ramp up our development approach to Afghanistan, I mean part of the problem that we’ve had is that the average Afghan farmer hasn’t seen any improvement in his life. Uh, we haven’t seen the kinds of infrastructure improvements. We haven’t seen the security improvements. We haven’t seen uh, the uh, reduction in narco trafficking. We haven’t see a reliance on rule-able law in Afghanistan that would make people feel confident that the uh, central government can infact uh, deliver on it’s promises and if we combine effective development, more effective military work, as well as more effective diplomacy, then I think we can stabilize the situation. Our number one goal has to be to make sure that it can not be used as a base to launch attacks against the United States and we’ve got to get bin-Laden. And we’ve got to get al-Qaeda.”
When questioned about India, Brokaw quoted Obama that the United States “has the right to go after terrorists in Pakistan if you have targets of opportunity” and then questioned Obama if India was now included in that right. Obama flatly stated that he was not going to comment “on that.” In a CNN poll, 8 out of 10 believe the U.S. should side with neither country. In a side note, things in Pakistan are heating up a bit. Over 160 vehicles, including dozens of Humvees, thought to cost about a cool $100,000 each, destined for U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan were torched today.
Also what you probably don’t know about Afghanistan, is that the U.S. has been on a building spree, planning a $100 million airfield expansion in Kandahar and a $50 million prison facility near Bagram Air base.
What you probably also don’t know is that on Feb 27, 2008m, after two days of meetings in New Delhi, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates quietly announced negotiations between the U.S. and India to develop a missile defense shield program on Indian soil.
But he stated he was going to re-state, again in typical Obama fashion, repeating the same things over and over again, that each country has a right to defend itself against terrorism, that we the United States need diplomacy between all countries in the region, and;
“as I’ve stated before, we can’t continue to look at Afghanistan isolation, we have to see it as a part of a regional problem that includes Pakistan, that includes India, that includes Kashmiere, that includes Iran, and the kind of foreign policy I want to shape is one in which we have tough direct diplomacy combined with more effective military operations focused on what is the number one threat against US interests and US lives, and that’s al Quaeda and their various affiliates, and we are going to go after them fiercely in the years to come.”
BTW, if you missed that, it means “Yes we might leave Iraq for now, but guess what, we are going to go elsewhere in the middle east or have to go back to Iraq for specialized operations.” But he’s still pushing that he’s teams will come up with strategies to “fix” all these problems. And that Hillary Clinton will be able to “rebuild alliances” and “send a strong signal that we going to do business differently and place an emphasis on diplomacy.” He’s still in his little bubble that setting up “meetings” and talking in a civilized manner will “fix” and “change” everything.
People, it’s time for a reality check. Yes, some troops are going to leave Iraq and head straight for Afghanistan, especially since fingers are pointing towards Pakistan for the bombing and recent terror raid in India. Then we have the whole nuclear deal in Iran. We are NEVER going to get out of that “region” at least NOT in the next 4 years, much less the next 8 years. Wars in the name of religion and God have been going on in that region since the beginning of time. Why do you think that Obama can end that which has been going on since the beginning of time? Please tell me how he is different from so many others over time.
ONE OTHER COMMENT
Obama pledged to not smoke in the White House.
Also, did anyone else notice how tired Obama looked? The man actually had circles under his eyes, and for the fist time, I noticed gray in his hair.
Here’s the entire episode of December 7th, “Meet the Press”.