Wednesday, September 1, 2010

President Obama, let's talk

I am taking excerpts from President Obama's speech tonight and adding my "conversation" with him.
My comments have this symbol  >>>> in front of them.

So tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country.
This was my pledge to the American people as a candidate for this office. Last February, I announced a plan that would bring our combat brigades out of Iraq, while redoubling our efforts to strengthen Iraq’s Security Forces and support its government and people. That is what we have done. We have removed nearly 100,000 U.S. troops from Iraq.  We have closed or transferred hundreds of bases to the Iraqis. And we have moved millions of pieces of equipment out of Iraq.

>>>> Please excuse me if I don't break into rousing applause. You may have removed nearly 100,000 troops from Iran, but you have also added about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. Pardon me for stating the obvious, but moving about the same # of troops from A to B is not exactly ending wars- let's call it what it is- Shifting wars from one country to another. Also leaving 50,000 troops means 50,000 people are still in harms way, and still costing the US taxpayer a lot of coin. 
Furthermore, that Executive Order to shut down Gitmo prison within 1 year. Still did not happen. To quote something you said: 
"You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig".

I am mindful that the Iraq War has been a contentious issue at home. Here, too, it is time to turn the page. This afternoon, I spoke to former President George W. Bush. It’s well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset. Yet no one could doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security.
>>>> Seriously? For the record I absolutely doubt G. W. Bush's intent. He railroaded us into a fabricated war of choice based on lies. He put every one of those soldiers in harm's way. He himself never served in active combat. The troops were nothing but pawns for big oil, & money for war profiteers. It was a risk he was willing for them to take. 
If you love your country, you do not trash it's Constitution, and break scores of laws, both domestic & International. 
If there was any handholding going on, it appeared to be with the Saudi Prince Abdullah. Let's be clear- Bush supported big oil for the wealthy. While refusing to allow filming of the returning caskets of soldiers to U. S. soil, Bush claimed to have made this ruling out of respect, but clearly it was just another strategy to whitewash any negative publicity of this war of choice. 
We were told lie after lie. We're winning. The insurgents are in their last throes. We are just going to free the country of the brutal dictator. MIssion Accomplished. Just going to install democracy by gunpoint. We will be greeted with open arms as liberators...

But it was worse than that....
Here we were all riled up about Weapons of Mass destruction & chemical weapons, mushroom clouds... while WE were firing Depleted Uranium chemicals in Iraq-exposing both the Iraqis & the U.S. Soldiers present. 
For the record I have a long list of doubts-- and nothing but doubts. The only thing I have doubts about is why the man is not currently in prison. 

"Americans across the political spectrum supported the use of force against those who attacked us on 9/11."
>>>> I am not one of those Americans. Besides, Iraq did not attack the US on 9/11. These wars are not in my name. 

In closing I am quoting Juan Cole:
We cannot undo what has been done. We cannot pretend that the United States did not violate the United Nations charter and the Geneva Conventions. But we can make amends. We can seek redemption as a nation. And our salvation lies in forswearing permanent war, aggressive war, undeclared war, and police actions as a way of life. A new century beckons. Some sought to make it a new American century. It will inevitably, however, be an Asian century, a century marking the emergence on the world stage of China and India. The United States will be among the smaller of the powers in this new geopolitical framework and it may not have the biggest or the most dynamic economy. The best guarantee of the peace and security of Americans is not international anarchy and aggressive warfare, but world order and the international rule of law. We shall seek our redemption by redoubling our support of the United Nations and our commitment to collective security and human rights. We shall return to the ideals enunciated by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957, to the ideals of the man who actually led the defeat of fascism and who knew right from wrong, unlike our latter-day politicians.
We shall inscribe in our hearts and exemplify in our lives these words of his:
“If the United Nations once admits that international dispute can be settled by using force, then we will have destroyed the very foundation of the organization, and our best hope of establishing a real world order. That would be a disaster for us all . . ."

In closing, Mr. President, I don't want to be one of those people who will always think everything you do is wrong. Getting troops out of Iraq is a good step, it is. But moving them do a different country, in a place historically unwinnable, as well as drifting over to yet another country w weaponry & death- in Pakistan, is not going unnoticed. 
This is a step in the right direction-- but you are nowhere near having earned that Nobel Peace Prize just yet. I hope you hurry up and get this country out of the Afghanistan War, get all the troops out of Iraq,  and your legacy is that you were the President who ended both wars George Bush, the reckless, and ruthless crimes against humanity President started.
Because the moment you took Presidency & continued to perpetuate & escalate any war anywhere, they became YOUR wars. They are yours to stop- entirely.


nonnie9999 said...

anyone thinking that chimpy, or rather deadeye dick and his merry men, because chimpy was just too stupid to actually make any real decisions, did anything out of some kind of love of country makes my head spin. everything that they did was for profit, pure and simple.

Fran said...

Yea.... I have no *turn the page* mentality re Bush & his henchmen. Nothing less than jail time will do.
It was all about big oil & war profiteers.

D.K. Raed said...

This was a great review, Fran. I was flabbergasted by Obama's deference to Bush. Then tonight I heard Jeremy Scahill saying perhaps O's big tip o'da hat to Bush more clearly lays blame on Bush's doorstep ... making clear who to "thank" for the war crimes?

I don't really buy that.

What I think is it was just Obama once again trying to walk the middle line, reaching out to the other side. It's like he can't believe they will NEVER-EVER-EVER cooperate ... he keeps thinking if he just says something the right way, they will suddenly become interested in governance?!?

As a contrast to your thoughtful review ... Chris Matthew's biggest criticism was Obama's continued use of the teleprompter!

Fran said...

No kudos or compliments to Bush.
I consider him to be the most insidious of criminals, because of his vast violations of human rights & abuse. As Nonnie said Bush was sure not the master mind of these crimes, but he did go along & was at least an accomplice. It happened under his watch & the blood is on his hands.
The thing that bothers me the most is by not acknowledging & punishing the criminal acts @ the highest lever of our government, it condones, and leaves the door open to other crimes @ high levels, by setting precedent.
We are talking about mass murder & torture here, not just something like fraudulent money
embezzlement scams, others have done prison time for.
I feel so strongly about our need to respond w punitive action, it bothers me to the core. Obama is a Constitutional Scholar- for him to advise us to "turn the page" is the same as him telling us to sweep this under the rug.
I find it wholly disgusting.

Unknown said...

"The only thing I have doubts about is why the man is not currently in prison."

The reason he is not in prison is because most people aren't vitriolic ideologues. Most people are fair-minded and reside in the middle politically. Most people, even if they disagreed with the war understand that it isn't as black and white as you make it out to be. Even your liberal constitutional scholar-in-chief understands this. When you portray yourself as one of the few truly informed and enlightened citizens and everyone else are simply uneducated morons who don't see things rightly (as you do) you lose the majority of your potential audience and have to resort to preaching to the choir, catering to the tiniest fringe as it were, as is evidenced by the miniscule number of comments submitted on this blog.
You have the right to speak your mind, but as someone once said, "not every thought is deserving of a sentence." This is the problem with blogs.

Fran said...

Interesting how some people are only comfortable commenting in a one way format as "anonymous". I allow it on my blog, as long as it is not spam.
I don't expect everyone to agree with me. I am open for intelligent discussion, but spam gets filed where it belongs-- in the trash.

This is not a black and white topic to me. It is blood red... as in- The man is responsible for the deaths of 1,366,350 Iraqi people & 4417 US troops.
It is a slippery slope and a horrific precedent to set- allowing one country, one president to have a war of choice against a sovereign nation- to illegally occupy a country for 7 years.

If my idea of being lawful & adhering to International law & abiding by the Geneva conventions are a "tiny fringe", then I am thankful that there are a few people that still maintain critical thinking skills & have a conscience.

The number of people who read my blog have no correlation to if what I am writing is true and valid.

I will always speak out against injustice, and if it happens to be a former US president who committed mass murder, then this country had better wake the hell up, because when you open the door to violating the rights of a Sovereign nation, and violate the Geneva conventions, it becomes fair play for other countries to do the same back at us.

You see the mentality of might makes right, and self declaration of us being the good guys, which therefore sanctions us to do any vile act, then makes those "rules of engagement" fair for any other country to behave in the same way.

What if Russia, Korea & Iran unite to bestow upon the US the same kind of action we just did in Iraq?
The full gambit-- abuse in prison, taking prisoners away to a secluded foreign country to hold prisoners, blew up much of our important infrastructure, and then tortured captives. How about using toxic spent uranium in the weapons to cause long term health problems for both the people & the troops exposed?
Oh! I forgot rendition to capture people & take them to unknown prisons, in countries that allow torture.

Is turnabout fair play?

There is nothing fair minded & in-the-middle about what the George Bush regime did.

A litmus test as to if something is right is to flip the situation in reverse.

Would you be OK with a massive occupation here in the states by another country & all of the above mentioned atrocities?

Any sane person would answer no.

Our country has not only turned into the bully of the world, but a murderous & torturous bully.

What goes around comes around.
Just because Obama does not have the spine to prosecute the Bush war crimes & crimes against humanity, does not make them right.

I don't want to live in a world with my eyes closed to Justice, turning a blind eye to human rights violations in a delusion of sick patriotism.