[HCCN] Fwd: Obama spoke ... now what about us?

Judith Robbins JUDY at ROBBINSandROBBINS.com
Fri Sep 3 18:37:49 EDT 2010

Begin forwarded message:

> From: "Global Network" <globalnet at mindspring.com>
> http://www.timesrecord.com/articles/2010/09/03/opinion/editorials/ 
> doc4c8121bc175c3353432491.txt
> Obama spoke ... now what about us?
> Times Record (Brunswick)
> Editorial
> Friday, September 3, 2010
> President Obama’s speech to the nation Tuesday night announcing  
> that “the American combat mission in Iraq has ended” would be cause  
> for celebration, if not for his admission that we really aren’t  
> leaving that country — not just yet.
> A “transitional” force of 50,000 U.S. combat troops will remain in  
> Iraq “advising,” “assisting” and “supporting” Iraq’s Security  
> Forces and troops “in targeted counter-terrorism missions and  
> protecting our civilians.”
> That doesn’t sound like an end to our war in Iraq, does it?
> We’ll no longer be calling it “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” but our  
> president clearly has signed on for at least another year of  
> American troops risking their lives in support of Iraqi security  
> and armed forces. Did he ask us if that’s how we want our tax  
> dollars to be spent? Or does he assume our Congress will continue  
> authorizing “supplemental” appropriations — which might just as  
> well be blank checks — for the ongoing costs of supporting our  
> troops who will remain stationed in Iraq?
> Those shouldn’t be rhetorical questions, but it will take many many  
> more vocal and insistent Americans to give them political urgency.
> Then there’s the war in Afghanistan, now approaching its 10th year  
> of U.S. combat.
> On the one hand, Obama rightly acknowledges “open-ended war serves  
> neither our interests nor the Afghan people’s.”
> But he’s also ordered a surge in Afghanistan, implicitly hoping  
> that it will succeed at least as well as President Bush’s surge did  
> in Iraq — in his words, it will be “for a limited time to provide  
> space for the Afghans to build their capacity and secure their own  
> future.”
> But there is little evidence this approach will succeed in  
> Afghanistan, given its tribal factions and long history of  
> swallowing empires. Already, the president is hedging on his July  
> 2011 deadline for transitioning the war against the Taliban to  
> “Afghan responsibility” — saying “troop reductions will be  
> determined by conditions on the ground.”
> A war without end — can we afford it?
> Ironically, in Tuesday night’s speech, President Obama obliquely  
> answered that question ... without taking the logical next step  
> that should follow from the stated realities:
> “Unfortunately, over the last decade, we have not done what is  
> necessary to shore up the foundation of our own prosperity. We have  
> spent over a trillion dollars at war, often financed by borrowing  
> from overseas. This, in turn, has short-changed investments in our  
> own people, and contributed to record deficits. For too long, we  
> have put off tough decisions on everything from our manufacturing  
> base to our energy policy to education reform. As a result, too  
> many middle class families find themselves working harder for less,  
> while our nation’s long-term competitiveness is put at risk.”
> That’s an honest and succinct assessment of 10 years of war and how  
> it has pushed our country to the brink of bankruptcy, putting our  
> future well-being at great risk.
> Is there any American who doesn’t see that this is true? Speak up,  
> and show us — and our president — where that analysis is wrong.
> And those who heartily agree with Obama’s analysis of our growing  
> homeland insecurity — but can’t understand why he’s continuing what  
> many believe to be an unwinnable war in Afghanistan — isn’t it time  
> to “make him” do it and end that war?
> Yes. It’s time to redirect the hundreds of billions of dollars  
> being spent on war — our tax dollars, let’s not forget — so that we  
> can begin to take care of long-deferred needs here at home.
> letters at timesrecord.com
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
> --------------------------
> Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
> PO Box 652
> Brunswick, ME 04011
> (207) 443-9502
> globalnet at mindspring.com
> www.space4peace.org
> http://space4peace.blogspot.com/  (blog)

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