by Tom Barnes, Staff Writer
This week we learned that President Obama is searching for an ‘endgame’ in Afghanistan prior to deciding on troop committments. It is a good idea, eight years late, but a good idea nonetheless! What a mess!
In a related story "Afghan minister accused of taking bribe", we find that American military intelligence has found that the Afghan Minister of Mines has almost certainly taken a $30 million dollar bribe from the Chinese in order to allow them to mine for copper on a sole provider contract.
Hmmm! Maybe I have been wrong about the Afghan government all along. Maybe they really are learning how to govern themselves modeled on how we operated in Iraq!
In the Washington Post story "Holder answers to 9/11 relatives about trials in U.S." we find the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, telling the Senate that the American people have nothing to fear from trying the alleged 9/11 co-conspirators in New York City in a civilian court.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has visited Afghanistan on the eve of President Karzai’s innauguration to make sure that he understands that the U.S. will allow this to go forward only if he makes a new contract with the Afghani people to root out corruption in the Afghan government. (read "Clinton visits Afghanistan with message on corruption")
Now my only question is, who is going to visit us and tell us that our government must take immediate steps to root out corruption among government officials? The Afghanis might be among the worst in the world, but we ain’t exactly pure as snow ourselves. We need to take the two-by-four out of our own eye on this one.
Iraq’s vice president vetoed a law that organizes his country’s elections next January. It seems that both the Sunnis and the Kurds are demanding more seats in Parliament and he is in their corner. (read "Iraqi election measure vetoed")
In another twist in the never ending Iranian Soap Opera that is getting more Byzantine by the day, Iran’s foreign minister announced today that Iran would not be sending its enriched uranium out of the country after all. I am no intelligence type, but it seems pretty obvious to me that these people are playing for time.
Talk about "on again, off again Finnegan", these people change their minds on this issue more times than I change my socks in a week! (read "Iran rejects deal on sending uranium abroad")
If this continues much longer I would not be one bit surprised if the Israelis launch an attack. I am not an intelligence type, but I can read the paper and I can see the handwriting on the wall.
If these people are playing for time and playing the West for fools, this is a very dangerous game to play.
From Politics Daily we learn that the White House has just created a task force to investigate financial entities that defrauded investors in last years financial meltdown.
According to poll watch in Politics Daily, the shootings at Fort Hood have had no effect that is appreciable on anti-Muslim feeling in the U.S. (read "No Spike in Concern About Islamic Extremism After Fort Hood")
According to the BBC News, President Obama has admitted publicly for the first time that the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center closing will miss the January 2010 deadline.(read "Obama admits delay on Guantanamo")
Also reported by the BBC there is little evidence to support the Iraqi government’s contention that most of the violence in Iraq is caused by people infiltrating the border from Syria. American troops stationed there as border security do not see evidence of this. (read "All quiet on Iraq’s western front")
A press release from the Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee is "AKAKA HOLDS HEARING ON VETERANS’ EMPLOYMENT" They held a hearing today there concerning employment support and opportunities for veterans.
Get informed and stay informed. It is your duty as a citizen to have an informed opinion on major issues so that you can participate effectively in governing this republic.
Remember, an informed veteran is a comfort to his friends and a danger to his adversaries.
CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)