The View From 1776
Obama’s Tough Choices
Will the president’s only executive experience - as a rabble-rousing, socialist community agitator - prove to be inadequate when tested by major foreign policy threats?
- Afghanistan should no longer be a high priority to the US national security. The Taliban is not now, and never was, a threat to the United States. They are clearly bad people, but there are bad people all over the world, and it it not possible to kill them all with our limited resources.
Except for a few cities, Afghanistan is essentially a huge, ungovernable mountainous country with hundreds incorrigible tribal clans that are not going to be won over to an "American style" democratic government any time soon, and it is foolish to think that they might.
The Afghan government that Bush poured billions into to support, has proved itself to be corrupt, much like the government of South Vietnam. It is not within our power to "uncorrupt" them by threats or by carrots of more dollars. If the people of Afghanistan do not support their government, our military presence will be seen as invaders, not saviors. Although it will be a politically tough decision, a withdrawal of ground forces is clearly in our national security interest.
Al Qaeda is fluid and can move to any country (Somilia, Pakistan, etc) so the idea that was need to "secure" Afghanistan territorially to "oust" Al Qaeda is also blatant nonsense.
- Mr. Jay, you say, "Afghanistan should no longer be a high priority to the US national security. The Taliban is not now, and never was, a threat to the United States."
- You are correct that Obama and Pelosi did make that a campaign issue. I do not agree with them on that. In my opinion, it was a political move, to say "move the troops to Afghanistan" rather then say "Bring them home" because of the success of the Republicans in painting the Dems as weak on defense.
There is nearly uniform agreement that Bush pulled out of Afghanistan before OBL was captured and before the job was adequately done, in order to get into HIS lovely war in Iraq. That was, no doubt, a huge error. But now conditions have changed. Our army is exhausted. Al Qaeda is AWOL somewhere in Pakistan, and the Karzai government has been shown to be corrupt.
- Obama could begin to solve all the problems in his world by altering his definition of 'human' to one that is consistently accurate & Constituional.
"I should think that if there is one thing that man has learned about
himself it is that he is a creature of choice." Richard M. Weaver
"Man is a being capable of subduing his emotions and impulses; he can
rationalize his behavior. He arranges his wishes into a scale, he chooses;
in short, he acts. What distinguishes man from beasts is precisely that he
adjusts his behavior deliberately." Ludwig von Mises
"To make any sense of the idea of morality, it must be presumed that the
human being is responsible for his actions and responsibility cannot be
understood apart from the presumption of freedom of choice." John
"The advocate of liberty believes that it is complementary of the orderly
laws of cause and effect, of probability and of chance, of which man is not
completely informed. It is complementary of them because it rests in part
upon the faith that each individual is endowed by his Creator with the power
of individual choice." Wendell J. Brown
"These examples demonstrate a basic truth -- that human dignity is embodied
in the free choice of individuals." Condoleeza Rice
"Our Founding Fathers believed that we live in an ordered universe. They
believed themselves to be a part of the universal order of things. Stated
another way, they believed in God. They believed that every man must find
his own place in a world where a place has been made for him. They sought
independence for their nation but, more importantly, they sought freedom for
individuals to think and act for themselves. They established a republic
dedicated to one purpose above all others - the preservation of individual
liberty..." Ralph W. Husted
"We have the gift of an inner liberty so far-reaching that we can choose
either to accept or reject the God who gave it to us, and it would seem to
follow that the Author of a liberty so radical wills that we should be
equally free in our relationships with other men. Spiritual liberty
logically demands conditions of outer and social freedom for its
completion." Edmund A. Opitz
"Above all I see an ability to choose the better from the worse that has
made possible life's progress." Charles Lindbergh
"Freedom is the Right to Choose, the Right to create for oneself the
alternatives of Choice. Without the possibility of Choice, and the exercise
of Choice, a man is not a man but a member, an instrument, a thing." Thomas
THE QUESTION AND THE ANSWER
Q: "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You
visit him?" Psalm 8:4
A: "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set
before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that
both you and your descendants may live." Deuteronomy 30:19
Q: "Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man,
that you are mindful of him?" Psalm 144:3
A: "And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves
this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served
that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in
whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Q: "What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that
he could be righteous?" Job 15:14
A: "Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way he
chooses." Psalm 25:12
Q: "What is man, that You should magnify him, that You should set Your heart
on him?" Job 7:17
A: "Do not envy the oppressor and choose none of his ways." Proverbs 3:31
Q: "What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take
care of him?" Hebrews 2:6
A: "I have chosen the way of truth; your judgments I have laid before me."
Psalm 119:30 "Let Your hand become my help, for I have chosen Your
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