Americans' View of Afghanistan Rapidly Changing

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Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post has posted an article this morning concerning a respected U.S. Foreign Service Officer, a former combat marine with Iraq experience, who has resigned from the State Department and his posting in Afghanistan.  He no longer believes we have a real purpose in Afghanistan that he can support.  The article is here and is entitled "U.S. Official resigns over Afghan War – Foreign Service Officer and former Marine Captain says he no longer knows why his nation is fighting"

I never knew.  Not even for a minute. 

     

In other news Bill Kristol, a hard right conservative with a plastic smile, has written an Op Ed piece in the Washington Post today which essentially states that 40% of the American people are conservative and that the GOP needs to get even more conservative than it already is to represent these people.  The story is here.

What do you think?  Is this ever present talk-show neoconservative wonk correct?  Are 40% of the American people so conservative that they want a return to the Bush years and a madonna and child statue erected to Palin at the Smithsonian?  What is your opinion?

Eugene Robinson of the Post has written an Op Ed piece openly calling on President Obama to bring the troops home from Afghanistan.  The piece is here. I agree with his assessment.

Richard Cohen writes an ususual piece, for him, in the Post today.  His point seems to be that General MacChrystal should be trusted exactly to the same extent that we trusted Westmoreland during Viet Nam…only with our eyes open this time to the fallbilities of generals and admirals.  Good advice.  They are only men. 

I worked directly for many of them.  Smart? Yes.  Professional and insightful?  Yes.  Should they be believed at every turn?  NO!  They are humans, they have agendas and they are not infallible.  Good point.  The article is here.

For any GOP die hards reading this piece of mine right now, here is a walk with Dubya you will enjoy.  The former President is now a motivational speaker.  Yes, that is right!  Do not "mis-underestimate" him!  The story is here.

In this article, the King of Saudi Arabia has waived the sixty lashes awarded in court to a 22 year old Saudi female radio producer who was convicted of something like public indecency last week for allowing a Saudi man to talk about sex on her radio show last year. Allah be praised!

Spencer Hsu of the Post writes a very insightful article on privacy abuses of American citizens by the Department of Homeland Security.  The story is here.  Here is a quote:

"Specifically, critics said the DHS office in the past year has assessed privacy effects of practices such as suspicionless searches of travelers’ laptop computers and other electronic devices at border checkpoints, and funding for state and local police intelligence analysis centers, but has done little to scale them back.

DHS also apparently could not stop such practices as "whole body imaging" at airports. The government says such images cannot be recorded and are analyzed by security officers at remote locations who never see the passengers. Privacy advocates are skeptical that the technology will not be abused.

The rebuke comes amid growing frustration among civil liberties groups that President Obama has not made greater changes to post-Sept. 11, 2001, security measures put in place by his predecessor, George W. Bush. In recent days, privacy advocates have criticized the White House’s support for renewing the USA Patriot Act."

And finally we have this news from the Associated Press.  Technically the worst recession since the 1930s is over.  But realistically it is not and there is no end in sight.  GDP has come way up in the last year as well as other figures that get figured into a recession equation but there are still 15 million people at least that are unemployed.  That does not count the people that have given up looking for work or are underemployed.

The White House has gone public as of yesterday as saying that they believe we are still in recession until we start creating jobs again.   So do we.

So what do you say?  Shall we bring that Afghan and Iraq war money home and start creating jobs with it?

The more things change the more they remain the same.  Remember , an informed veteran is a comfort to his friends and a danger to his enemies. Get informed.  Stay informed.

CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)

 

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