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Archive for October, 2011

On Foreign Policy

Since announcing that all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of this year, Barrack Obama has, for all intents and purposes, ended that war – or at least, America’s involvement in it. While this should be a cause for celebration among all Americans, it seems that the Republicans simply cannot find it within themselves to give him credit. Instead, they are calling him foolish, saying that this is a premature action to take.

Since the end of the Cold War, Republicans have not been happy unless this nation is at war somewhere in the world. While we are still involved in Afghanistan, this apparently isn’t enough to satisfy them – perhaps because Obama is in the process of trying to reduce our involvement there, as well.

It seems that the Republicans are going to be left floundering during this election campaign, because really, all they have left to say about Obama’s foreign policy record is that they think the war in Iraq should last longer. Well, with the single exception of Ron Paul, who isn’t, as far as I can tell, in much danger of actually gaining the Republican nomination.

Let’s think about it for a moment. Since taking office, Obama has authorized the killing of a band of Somali pirates, Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, and played an instrumental role in taking out Qadaffi. To paraphrase Bill Maher, this is one badass president when it comes to fighting terrorists.

It would seem, at least to me, that the war on terror is effectively over, and that we’ve won. What’s left is pretty disorganized.

Remember how the right attacked Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience during the last presidential election campaign? I think he’s pretty much proven them wrong. So wrong, in fact, that at least one of them, Mitt Romney, has been reduced to uttering complete fabrications. Romney has stated that if elected, he will reverse “Obama’s massive defensive cuts.”

Excuse me?

Under Obama, defense spending has increased, not decreased. His first year in office, the defense budget was $594 billion. Last year, the defense budget was $666 billion. And next year, he wants to increase it further, to over $700 billion. I disagree with that idea, but that’s not the point. The point is that it seems the Republicans feel they can simply lie and get away with it.

They think we’re stupid. And Mitt Romney is a bald-faced liar. If Obama’s foreign policy record says anything, it says that he’s been very, very effective as the commander-in-chief.

And speaking of being weak in the area of foreign policy, the only thing Romney has had to offer regarding Afghanistan is to form a committee to study what we should do. How very decisive of him.

Obama has been so effective, at least in part, in our ongoing military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan for one reason: He does not have to ask for Republican permission to act. There can be no obstructionism on this front, and so, he is able to accomplish the goals that he sets to bring about an end to our country being at war.

Can you imagine what he may have been able to accomplish domestically if he didn’t have to face the kind of obstructionism that Republicans have set up? We might well have a single-payer health care system, or at least a public option. We might well be on our way to a faster economic recovery.

And not one Republican has stepped forward to give this president credit for any of the things that he’s been able to do. Again borrowing from Bill Maher, it’s as though there’s some sort of hidden Republican clitoris, and they won’t let him find it. Every time he tries, they say, “No, that’s not it.” A crude analogy, perhaps, but pretty damned accurate, in my opinion. They simply can’t bring themselves to give him credit for anything that he does right.

And they have the nerve to attack his foreign policy decisions. I only have one question:

A committee? Really, Mitt?

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I heard an interesting statement come out of Herman Cain this afternoon. In an interview on CNN, John Anderson asked Cain how “President Cain” would deal with the problem of illegal immigration in the United States. I’m not going to focus on the topic itself – I’m not in the mood to try to dissect and analyze our illegal immigrant situation here.

However, during the exchange, Cain said that he would put the power back with the states, and let them do what the federal government has not done. When asked why he would do it that way, Cain said, in part, “Because I trust the government.” The implication is that he trusts all governments in the U.S., which would mean that he also trusts the federal government.

“Because I trust the government.”

If you trust the government, then by default, you trust the elected officials who are in charge of that government. Herman Cain may not be a career politician, but the above statement gave me pause. I can only think of three ways to describe someone who actually trusts the government, and the people who are running it. You are either extremely naive; incredibly stupid; or a flat out liar.

Okay, so there’s a fourth way to describe you: You are a politician.

I don’t consider Herman Cain to be naive. You don’t run a business as large as Godfather’s Pizza for the length of time that Cain was CEO if you’re naive. He also doesn’t strike me as being stupid – for the same reason. So, this brings me to the sticky part.

Cain is showing himself to be either a liar, or a man who is learning the fine art of political rhetoric, which basically boils down to telling people what they want to hear.

“Because I trust the government.”

When people begin to place too much trust in their own government, the situation becomes ripe for all kinds of negative results. Just ask the people of Germany. They trusted Adolph Hitler initially. He was seemingly putting the economy back on track, jobs were being created, highways being built. After the long years that followed World War I and the despicable Versailles Treaty, he must have seemed like their Messiah.

But eventually, the German people learned something.

Once a society has given its government unlimited power, that government will – not if, but will – eventually use that power against its own people. Or, as the cliche says, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

I’m going to blaspheme here, and tell you that I don’t even trust Barrack Obama completely. I trust him a lot more than I do most other politicians I’ve listened to and followed, but I do not have implicit, unwavering trust in him. I cannot, because he is a career politician, and part of his job is to tell me what I want to hear. I am proud of having voted for him, and I intend to vote for him again.

But he is a politician. I will never completely trust him. While I trust him far more than the majority of our elected officials, and believe him to be a basically honest man at heart, I will never give him or any other politician my complete trust.

While seeking out some interesting little tidbits that I might be able to use in writing this, I stumbled on this little gem:

“Why should the Government be trusted or not be trusted?”

It should be trusted because it is a democratic institution and directly answerable to the people.

It should not be trusted because representatives may be corrupt, it can use false information to mislead people into voting against their best interests, it can persecute minorities with the approval of the majority, and because it has all the flaws of the average voter.

A good system of checks and balances and an informed, rational electorate are important safeguards against bad government.

I really don’t think I can add anything to that statement. I found this at, of all places, Yahoo Answers. Will wonders never cease?

Representatives “may be corrupt?” I think it might be more accurate to say, at least in our present society, that the vast majority of our federal representatives are corrupt. Yes, I’m comfortable saying that. When corporate entities are designated as “persons” for the purposes of political contributions, corruption is absolutely inevitable.

Governments “can use” false information? When, over the past fifty years, at a minimum, have you known of our government NOT using false information? Does anyone remember the USA Patriot Act? I do, and I still shudder in fear when I stop to think about the power that it gave our government officials.

Government “can persecute minorities,” with at least the tacit approval of the majority? When, in this country, have minorities not been the victims of persecution? Even “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was a form of persecution. Quiet and crafty, but it was persecution no matter how you look at it.

“Because I trust the government.”

Where has Herman Cain been for the past two years? We have watched our elected government officials do everything in their power to stop this president at all costs, no matter what the man may propose. We have watched our government betray us at almost every turn. We have watched our officials acting like schoolyard bullies at every turn. We have watched our elected government officials, in the face of the absolutely undeniable facts about what the majority of the American do or do not want, utterly ignore those facts, and proceed to tell us a completely different version of what it is that we want.

But Herman Cain trusts our government.

I’m sorry, Mr. Cain. I cannot trust a man who is either that naive, that ignorant, or that much of a politician. For me, the word “politician” is a synonym for the word “liar.” I’ll trust them to a point, but only as far as I would trust anyone that I know is not honest.

An honest man doesn’t stand a chance in government these days.

Just look at Barrack Obama…

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The Lost Souls Radio

Well, the video pretty much explains itself. Yeppers, I’m still a DJ at the site, and it’s a blast! Anyone who wants to come and register, and check things out, just tell them “Loopy” sent you!

Hope we see you there!

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