Saturday, March 28, 2009

I have a Dream

President Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Since Barack Obama took office as United States President, inheriting two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, his administration took an entirely different approach, embracing diplomacy, and utilizing an International Alliance to provide Humanitarian aid to impoverished and war torn zones, to aid in their recovery and strengthening their solidarity and stable, elected governments. 
President Obama delivered a heartfelt speech, in which he stated he could no longer continue with the failed war strategies, he did not want the blood and suffering of the people of Iraq, Afghanistan & Pakistan on his hands. He did not want any of the children of the world to witness war.  Furthermore, he conceded the United States financial crisis, was in fact now an official depression, and that the war and military budgets were the biggest line items in the Federal budget, and in order to avert this "fiscal trainwreck", we would have to stop spending billions on wars. 

President Obama said we had been on the wrong path, playing the role of 9-11 to the world. The United States can not and will not continue with death and destruction in the world community.  The notion of installing democracy at gunpoint is clearly not a case of "Mission Accomplished", but "Mission Impossible". 

 Historically, Afghanistan is the "graveyard of Empires", it is a harsh and rugged terrain, and after 8 long years of U.S. troop presence, it is clear a military escalation would have the reverse effect of fanning the flames of terrorist groups. 
Rather than massive military assaults, President Obama sent in scores of Peace Corps, and International Red Cross & Peacekeepers who worked closely with different regions, identifying their individual needs to help strengthen their communities. 

President Obama followed in the footsteps of Gandhi, and Martin Luther King jr. 
President Obama quoted Dr. King
"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom. Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear."

That would be my dream scenario.
That is the kind of Change I can believe in.
That is what I think
REALLY needs to happen.

I don't subscribe to the "Obama said he would surge troops in Afghanistan, and that's that" line of thinking. I think we've had war shoved down our throats so much and in such obscure & illegal ways, we've come to "accept" that's just the way it is. I refuse to be apathetic about the death & destruction the U.S is wielding in other countries. 

Instead, the reality is Obama is planning a war escalation in Afghanistan & Pakistan. 
The  that goal, as he spelled it out, is to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda, and to ensure that their safe havens in Afghanistan and Pakistan cannot threaten the United States anymore."

al Qaeda has regenerated over the past seven years, "and it is again a threat to the United States homeland and to American influence around the world and to our allies around the world."

>Is that the same seven years we spent $600 illion dollars on 2 wars?

He said he hoped the "synergy" from aggressive military action in Afghanistan and economic support in Pakistan would lead to the destruction of terrorist safe havens in the region.

> A new & improved term for war--"synergy"???

The officials said success in Afghanistan would be determined based on the levels of violence, casualties, suicide bombings and moves against corruption. But Riedel said the benchmarks and strategy needed to be flexible. For that same reason, he said, no timeline has been set.

> Of course there is not a set timeline. That's code for *endless wars*.

These wars are now Obama's wars. The same Robert Gates who acted as a CIA official, arming the Mujahideen (Afghani rebels) with weapons in a covert way against the Soviet Union in 1979, is the same Robert Gates who is the Secretary of Defense, leading the war escalation call against the Taliban in 2009. 

When will we ever learn?

Imagine ~ John Lennon

Imagine Eva Cassidy


D.K. Raed said...

this was great, Fran! talk about the power of positive thinking! or as one of my grandmas used to say, from your mouth to god's ears.

Fran said...

Ohhh I wish the first scenario were in the headlines for real.
It would be sooooooo sweet, and such a refreshing and necessary change. ~ Imagine

Unknown said...

You are right of course. We don't have to accept the bullshit in Afghanistan just because he said he would do it in his campaign.

Fran said...

Dusty- I just honestly don't think there is anything to "win" in Afghanistan. Most of the country is deeply impoverished. I think they put up with Tailban rebels mostly because they are struggling just to stay alive- they don't have the resources to stand up against
tribal warlords.
With the US in such a serious financial mess, and the debt so huge, we really do need to stop our war fixation. The financial disaster & war spending are directly related.
I think the war hawks have Obama's ear.
I wish he was getting counsel from other experts who would recommend something different- ie assessing individual region's needs. A bottom up
humanitarian aid. If the goal is to help Afghanistan stabilized..... that would go a long ways to help the people get on their feet.

Mauigirl said...

I agree, this is a very risky endeavor and I'm worried about the consequences. I'm especially worried about anything to do with Pakistan - since they have nukes. But of course we don't want Al Qaeda to get the nukes either and if they really are hanging out in Pakistan that is a distinct possibility. I hope in his usual measured way Obama will make sure not to go too far with this.

NEWSGUY said...

Afghanistan is Obama's Vietnam. Too bad, we were all hoping for something else. But not expecting something else.

Fran said...

Maui~ I do believe the financial situation here is more dire than we realize. So many states are at or about to be in red ink.
The situation in Afghanistan & Pakistan is highly volatile- for sure, but I have to question the whole thing. Since it has been publicly announced there will be a surge of troops in Afghanistan, that gave a heads up to whatever rebel factions are out there, to organize and plan as well.
Plus the US dropping bombs with drones has already done collateral damage-- which is one thing that causes countries to fight back.... having the US do random killing with bomb drops- that inadvertently wind up killing innocent women & children.
I think it is perceived like 9-11 was for us.

In any case, it is more of the same, and if we are supposed to learn from history.... well then we've already failed.

I just think more violence will cause others to feel justified in retaliating.

Someone has to break the cycle.

Newsguy.... I'm just stunned and disappointed this is moving forward (backward?) before he even has his cabinet fully in place, & in the first 100 days.
I would have preferred a Gitmo shutdown & full Iraq pullout first- also campaign promises.

NEWSGUY said...

Fran maybe that whole HOPE thing was that we would begin to HOPE Obama would finally do the right thing once he got into office. I HOPE he does, and that it works. I imagine so do a lot of other folks who are afraid they may have voted for yet another disappointing Democrat. I HOPE not.

Fran said...

I have to admit, my level of hope sank dramatically with this new Obama proclamation of the big plan to have 60,000 troops in Afghanistan.
Not only do I think it is a bad strategy....

For one thing- it's not smart to announce these things in advance... the "terrorists" have had plenty of advance notice to ramp up & prepare.

That''s a major escalation-and frankly- how in the hell are we going to pay for if (beyond lost lives and further erosion of our worldwide reputation)?

It's all the same military industrial complex jive we've been fed before.

The only questions that remain are how many more billions will this cost?
How many more years before we decide it is a fruitless effort?
Plus, having read more, one of the "reasons" given is to avenge 9-11.
7 years later? Is there a statute of limitations upon which we can no longer use 9-11 as justification for more wars?

I am not in the camp of nit picking every move Obama makes..... but this is a major issue that We the People should not go along with. Morally. Financially. Historically. Realistically.... pretty much on every front, it is a bad idea.

enigma4ever said...

I am sorry...I don't know what to think....I saw him talking about reading the breifing books every nite and I think he is being fed alot of horseshit by Pentagonal Stooges...afganistan is bad- yeah- but guess what- it was bad before all of this- it has been bad for years - an impoverished country that is at the mercy of War Lords and Taliban and ruled by the Poppy- Heroin trade...that is the way of it....

he is getting bad advice and I do too worry it is his vietnam.....

Fran said...

I wish the first part of the story were the real headlines.

How can we "afford" wars, while people here are living in tent cities????