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Tag Archives: War on Terror

U.S. Troops to Leave Iraq by Year’s End?

The New York Times is reporting President Obama has announced that the last American soldier would leave Iraq by the end of the year, bringing to an end the nearly nine-year Bush/Cheney pre-emptive war which has cost the country 4,479 dead, 32,200 wounded and approximately $1 trillion. The presumptive cause for invading nearly a decade ago was the threat Iraq was developing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) – no evidence was ever found to support the claim.

The President said as of 1 Jan 12, the United States and Iraq would begin “a normal relationship between two sovereign nations, and equal partnership based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”

During a videoconference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the President told him of the administration’s decision, which grows out of an inability of the United States and Iraq to come to an agreement on leaving a few thousand military trainers in the country.

Reportedly, the United States had earlier agreed to exit Iraq by the end of the year and leave 3,000 to 5,000 troops in Iraq as trainers, with some members of Congress advocating for retaining a reduced fighting force as well. But after Iraq’s Parliament refused an American demand to give soldiers immunity from legal prosecution, the Pentagon changed its plans in recent weeks, scaling back even that meager number.

President Obama said, “As I told Prime Minister Maliki, we will continue discussions on how we might help Iraq train and equip its forces — again, just as we offer training and assistance to countries around the world.  After all, there will be some difficult days ahead for Iraq, and the United States will continue to have an interest in an Iraq that is stable, secure and self-reliant.”

The President’s announcement fulfills a pledge he made during the 2008 campaign to wind down the war.

“After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,” he declared in the White House briefing room. “Over the next two months, our troops in Iraq, tens of thousands of them, will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home.” They will be joining approximately 100,000 others, he added, who have already been withdrawn from the country.

“The last American soldiers will cross the border out of Iraq with their heads held high, proud of their success and knowing that the American people stand united in their support for our troops,” the President said. “That is how America’s military efforts in Iraq will end.”

“Here at home, the coming months will be another season of homecoming,” Mr. Obama said. “Across America, our servicemen and women will be reunited with their families. Today, I can say our troops in Iraq will definitely be home for the holidays.”

Following such a long anticipated announcement there’s really nothing else to say, except, “Thank you Mr. President”.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Iraq

 

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Musings on the Death of a Terrorist

According to the New York Times, American officials have announced that “a missile fired from an American drone aircraft in Yemen on Friday killed Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric who was a leading figure in Al Qaeda’s affiliate there.”

Of course there have been outcries of how President Obama ignored the Constitutional liberties of an American citizen in ordering Awlaki’s death, and how any American can now be killed by the President if he claims they’re a terrorist, and how hypocritical Democrats are for pointing out the GOTP audience cheering the announcement of 234 people executed, or the cheering of a hypothetical patient allowed to die with no health insurance, but that no one is batting an eye about Awlaki’s death.

Oh please, this is not someone killed based on hearsay, or on bogus intel – like what was used by the Bush/Cheney administration to start the war in Iraq – he is a well documented terrorist thug who has killed Americans and would have continued to do so; and while I agree we should not celebrate anyone’s death, especially when Awlaki’s “reward” will not be what he had hoped for, he is one more threat removed and there will be few tears shed at his passing by me. I feel sorry for him, but not because he was taken out, because of how he chose to waste his life on murder and terror.

He chose to fight against his country and was killed as a combatant in the war he had chosen to conduct – while he may have been born here, by his actions he had shown he was not an American citizen, and had denounced his claim to be such, and his protection under the Constitution – if I was the C-in-C I would not place American soldier’s lives at risk to arrest him, I would have given the same order the President gave in 2009.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in War on Terror

 

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GOTP leader criticizes handling of Somali suspect?

The Senate Republican Tea Party (GOTP)  leader is criticizing the Obama administration’s decision to bring a Somali man facing terrorism charges to New York for trial.

GOTP Senator Mitch McConnell has reportedly said that moves by the Obama administration undermine U.S. national security and makes no sense when the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is available. The Kentucky GOTP lawmaker also questioned why the man is being given the rights and privileges of U.S. citizens, such as being read his Miranda rights.

OK Senator, where to start? How does it undermine our national security to try an alleged terrorist in a United States court? Answer; it doesn’t. Your assertion that he should be detained and tried before the military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay is the quaint throw back to the Bush/Cheney era of torture, imprisonment and trial from which President Obama is trying to steer our country away from. Your idiocy knows no bounds, and you display out in the open for all to see. We read Miranda rights to anyone, regardless of their citizenship, who is arrested in the United States. We wouldn’t want the alleged terrorist to be set free because he wasn’t read them would we? And oh by the way Senator, this was also the policy under the aforementioned Bush/Cheney administration, and as hard as you try, isn’t some grand scheme by the “socialistic” Obamaites to over throw the nation.

Furthermore Senator since you have made it your stated mission to defeat President Obama, basically everything you say has to be questioned not only for its validity and relevance but also for its accuracy. You’ve attempted – once again – to portray this President as being soft on terror; I’m sorry but which President actually ordered a Navy Seal team to get Bin Laden? Oh yeah, this one!

You are not relevant Senator, your views are not relevant, and you’re making a fool out of yourself. Please, unless you ever have something of substance to say, just keep your pie hole shut.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in War on Terror

 

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McCain claims Afghan drawdown unnecessary risk?

2008 Republican/Tea Party (GOTP) Presidential candidate (lost) Senator John McCain said Sunday the Obama administration is taking an unnecessary risk in drawing down the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and has  said none of the U.S. military commanders has recommended the drawdown.

Two things Senator, first, what would you call unnecessary, and second, which U.S. military commanders? These are questions your statements do not address.

How necessary is it for the United States to remain in Afghanistan? Thanks to President Obama’s decision to take out Bin Laden the original purpose for invading has been accomplished. We spend an estimate $2 billion dollars per week in Afghanistan, money our country can ill afford to continue spending.

Which U.S. commanders are you referring too, or are you just making that up? May I remind the Senator that the President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and doesn’t need to listen to the U.S. Commanders. If any of them have disagreed as you claim let them come forward and say so, or they can cower behind you and remain anonymous. United States commanders do not criticize the President any more than any other military personal do, they follow orders. Privates do not disagree with lawful orders of superiors, and neither should these so-called commanders you claim to be speaking for. Of course, had you and the Ice Queen been elected into office you’d still have more than 100,000 soldiers in Iraq, and hardly any in Afghanistan while in all likelihood Bin Laden would still be hiding, and  you would have engaged in military action against Iran as you claimed you would have. Thank God you were not elected.

President Barack Obama has ordered troop reductions of 10,000 by the end of the year and another 23,000 by September 2012, and while the Marine general expected to carry out the president’s order to begin withdrawing U.S. troops has said the drawdown schedule is a bit more aggressive than the military had anticipated he has not said – as McCain has claimed – that it is an unnecessary risk.

You, Senator McCain, need to keep your opinions on military strategy where they belong, echoing inside your seemingly empty head. You were not elected because American voters rejected your delusional policies, and your promise to continue the same failed delusional policies of the Bush Administration. Get this through your thick skull – you are not the President and you will never be the President; thank you for your service, but now you need to accept you’re not in charge, and as I said before, thank God for that.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2011 in Afghanistan

 

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Pat Tillman’s Mom says McChrystal should be removed from White House post?

Pat Tillman’s mother is calling for the dismissal of GEN Stanley McChrystal from his recent appointment by the White House as co-chair of a commission on military families. Mary Tillman, whose son left his NFL career to become an Army Ranger following the terrorist attacks on 9-11 and who was later killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire in April 2004, said McChrystal — the commander of special operations in Afghanistan at the time — was involved in the cover-up of the circumstances surrounding her son’s death and said President Obama’s appointment of the now-retired general “makes him look foolish.”

“I was actually pretty shocked to hear it; I don’t think it’s the appropriate choice,” Tillman told ABC News. “Considering that we have plenty of evidence indicating that McChrystal was involved in the cover-up of Pat’s death. . .he’s not the right person for that kind of a job.”

Amen to that Mrs. Tillman. Anyone, least of all a senior officer, who is involved in a cover-up surrounding one of his soldier’s deaths, has forfeited the trust of his subordinates, and their families. How does any family believe this guy will ever have their best interest at heart? How can they believe anything he tells them about their family members?

Not long after Tillman was killed in 2004, he was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for bravery. The Army’s initial report did not include any mention Tillman was killed by friendly fire and misrepresented key facts of the incident; McChrystal was the approving authority and the individual who submitted the award up the chain of command.

In 2009, McChrystal admitted to being part of the cover-up and apologized for it. Last year, McChrystal was dismissed as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan after an article in Rolling Stone quoted the general and members of his staff disparaging senior Obama administration officials. So, one has to ask, why is this smuck still around? Why hasn’t he been asked to,  as Douglas MacArthur once said, “fade away”?

It’s time to fade away General, it’s time to fade away.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2011 in Afghanistan

 

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Moore Needs to Shut His Pie Hole

So, regarding Seal Team Six’s recent mission, Michael Moore has decided – in his usual self righteous way – that Americans were wrong to celebrate what he regards as an “execution”.

Excuse me? Did you just scarf down a big bowl of sugar coated stupid flakes? You’re probably the only person in America who thinks this way. You’re without a doubt the most ignorant person to speak on this subject this week, and that’s saying something considering how the right-wing talking crazies have been turning themselves inside out trying to paint this as a Bush victory – but we won’t go down that rabbit hole.

Moore said he believed the terror chief should have been put on trial in the U.S., but Americans were ‘too scared’.

Americans were too scared? You really are as ignorant as you look aren’t you? Bin Laden didn’t need to be captured and brought home to a trial? Sorry, but he was a verifiable lunatic menace, and Seal Team Six was sent in to take him out and that’s what they did – with extreme prejudice! His crimes were so horrific … that’s all.

If Easy Company had beaten the Russians into Berlin and kicked in the door to Hitler’s bunker should they have taken him prisoner too, and put him on trial? I would have no qualms if they had kicked in the bunker door and given him the same treatment the Navy gave Bin Laden.

There was no doubt of his guilt. He admitted 9-11 was his doing; 3,000 innocent dead. Sorry, nope, no trial needed here.

Moore needs to shut his pie hole. America is tired of his self righteous hypocrisy; you can’t have your cake and eat it too – well, in his case, I guess he can; it’s time to just go away. Bin Laden was a two bit murdering thug, and he was treated as any two bit murdering thug should be treated. End of story. Now please, just go away.

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2011 in War on Terror

 

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Give Bush Credit?

So, conservatives believe we should give George W Bush some credit? OK, here goes nothing …

Thanks for appointing such extremely incompetent people to head your intelligence/national security teams; you know the ones, the folks who couldn’t have gotten a scouting report for a pee wee football team right, much less figure out if Bin Laden was a threat, and who didn’t think it was odd for a group of Arab men to want to learn how to fly jet airliners but who didn’t want to learn how to land them …

Thanks for allowing those same terrorists to attack the United States on our own soil, killing close to 3,000 innocents …

Thanks for expanding the Federal Government beyond any other previous president’s dreams …

Thanks for creating/expanding federal agencies beyond all scope – DHS and TSA…

Thanks for fighting two wars – one of which was unnecessary and illegal – without raising taxes, and for paying for those wars “off budget” thereby exploding the federal debt and deficit …

Thanks for giving the OK to US troops and CIA ops to violate our own laws, and international laws, and to torture prisoners …

Thanks for unlawfully and unconstitutionally suspending habeas corpus …

Thanks for opening secret CIA prisons in former Soviet Block nations …

Thanks for giving no bid contracts to Cheney’s homeys in Iraq and Afghanistan – Halliburton ring any bells? – and for spending $2 billion per week there …

Thanks for allowing Cheney to decide your administration’s energy policy in his secret meetings with oil executives who stripped the guts out of regulations so badly the oil industry turned around and rewarded us all with the BP Deep Water Horizon spill in the Gulf …

Thanks for your ever so inspiring leadership during one of the worse natural disasters in American history, and for appointing a horse breeder to over see FEMA … “heck of a job Bushy!”

Thanks for driving the economy off the cliff …

Thanks for those tax cuts, especially for the ones at the top, you know those top 2% who were going to use their cuts to create jobs … um, still looking, and waiting for those jobs to be created … what’s that? They created millions of jobs, problem is they’re overseas …

There ya go, credit given where it was deserved … I wish I could list a whole bunch of positives concerning the Bush presidency, but I can’t think of any … W was one of the worse presidents in American history, and that’s really saying something …

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2011 in War on Terror

 

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Thoughts on Getting Bin Laden

All I can say is Thank God …

Now, the MISSION IS ACCOMPLISHED! Bring em all home Mr. President …

It’s official! He’s now gone on to his reward, and it won’t include any virgins …

Thank you Mr. President … thank you most especially to the troops who got him …

To all my students, I remember watching with you when this all began, and now we see the end of the monster who turned our world upside down. I remember your tear stained faces, and the fear in your voices. I thank God our guys got him …

A NYFD survivor of 9-11 just told NBC, “The face of evil is dead.”

On getting Bin Laden, we didn’t water board people to find him …

This is what makes us different from people like Bin Laden. We – America – hunted him down and killed him; then we treated his remains in the tradition of Islam, and buried it within 24 hours. We didn’t drag it through the street exulting over it, we treated his remains with some respect …

Unlike the Bush/Cheney model of farming out special ops to Pakistan, President Obama gave the nod, and the mission, to our Navy Seals – there was no out sourcing, and the world is a little safer today …

I’ve been walking around with a much lighter heart today … the man who took away some of my children’s and my student’s innocence has been punished … to my students who came forward and put on the uniform, and went willingly into harms way; thank you, you are my heroes …

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2011 in War on Terror

 

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Mission Accomplished

Almost a decade ago, a hate filled little man, hiding in some remote training area in Afghanistan, ordered the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in four separate terrorist attacks aimed at New York City and Washington D.C.

President George W. Bush declared he wouldn’t rest until that little man was found and brought to justice, and so American forces invaded Afghanistan with the mission to find him. But, at the moment he was corned, seemingly unable to escape, he fled across the border into Pakistan. American forces followed – sort of – but then President Bush decided to divert the country’s treasure and manpower into a personal war against a people, and against a man, who had nothing to do with 9-11, and we – America – invaded Iraq (so much for never resting until he was found).

There will be some – no doubt FOX PAC personalities, and radio talking heads – who will bemoan the fact President Obama is taking credit for finally getting Usama Bin Laden. Well isn’t that just too bad! Bush gets no credit! Nothing! Zip!

It was under President Bush’s watch, our country suffered its worst terrorist attack; it was under his watch, we “almost” got the man responsible; it was under his watch, the same man escaped because President Bush somehow decided we needed to invade Iraq, expend one billion dollars, kill possibly hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, lose 4,452 American soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen, and suffer tens of thousands wounded, crippled and maimed. It was under President Bush’s watch; America opened secret prisons, and tortured prisoners – in violation of our own and international law.

President Bush gets no credit. And that’s as it should be. He failed to protect America before the attack, and he failed to get the man responsible afterwards. He failed, and that’s how he should be remembered, as a failure. So, please spare me your “President Bush deserves some credit” speech. Had President Bush gotten Bin Laden instead of sending our country down some god forsaken rabbit hole after Saddam Hussein, and after nearly bankrupting the country – both fiscally and morally – then he would deserve credit.

Now the MISSION IS ACCOMPLISHED! Now the man responsible for killing innocent men, women and children has been brought to justice. Now perhaps there can be some rest for those who lost loved ones, and their innocence,  on 9-11 and since. Now, perhaps, we can start bringing our people home.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2011 in War on Terror

 

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House approves 10-month extension of key anti-terror provisions of Patriot Act ?

The Republican controlled House of Representatives on Monday, Valentine’s Day, approved a 10-month extension of three key law enforcement powers in the “war” on terror by a vote of 275-144.

The House measure, provided the Democratic controlled Senate approves, will extend authority for the USA Patriot Act-related provisions until 8 Dec 11; the Senate can of course move slowly and allow the provisions to expire on 28 Feb 11.

The two key – post 9-11 – over-reactionary provisions are those giving counter-terrorism offices roving wiretap authority to monitor multiple electronic devices and court-approved access to business records relating to a terrorist investigation. Of course these provisions wouldn’t have prevented the 9-11 attacks as it was not a lack of “intelligence” which allowed the plotters to carry out their attacks, but the lack of coordination within the intelligence community; but, when have facts had any play when we are debating the “war” on terror?

The third “lone wolf” provision, was passed in 2004, and permits secret intelligence surveillance of non-U.S. individuals not known to be linked to a specific terrorist organization. Basically, the government can monitor any non-citizen without cause. Without any justification, or proof, that the individual (s) are in any way connected to a terrorist organization.

It was just last week the GOP leadership attempted to pass the same bill using an expedited procedure requiring a two-thirds majority only to be poked soundly in the eye when twenty-six Republicans joined 122 Democrats in voting against it. Even with a victory, today’s vote drew 27 Republican no votes. The fact so many GOP members of the House are voting no should give voters pause as to whether “We the People” really need these provisions to continue. At question is the clearly unconstitutional search and seize authority coupled with an Orwellian-like big government intrusion into private lives.

One of the GOP dissenters,  Dana Rohrabacher, CA, said “I believe the American people have a legitimate fear of out-of-control government. And yes, they have a legitimate fear of out-of-control prosecutors and out-of-control spy networks.”

Those supporting the measure claim it’s needed so Congress can have time to study it, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, argued a temporary extension “is the only way to provide House members the time to study the law” and consider possible changes. Excuse me Congressman, but the law has been around since, oh I don’t know, maybe 9-11? That’s been almost ten years; exactly how much time do you need to “study” the law? Don’t be coy, and stop treating us like we’re stupid, what you want is to keep extending it until it becomes permanent.

In opposing the continuation of the laws Democrats got only one chance to attempt an amendment, stating investigations must comply with the Constitution and that courts must give expedited consideration when a U.S. citizen argues that his or her constitutional rights have been violated. Even after invoking the need for the law to comply with the Constitution, which is supposed to be the new measuring stick put in place by the GOP, it was defeated on a party-line vote; so much for caring about the American people’s constitutional liberties.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., plans to bring before his committee a bill extending the three provisions through 2013 while tightening disclosure procedures. Republicans have countered with a proposal to make the three measures permanent. Of course there’s a great deal of pressure to hurry up and get it done because next week, leading up to the Feb. 28 deadline, Congress will not be in session, and the laws would be gone.

The disturbing part of this extension fight is the fact the GOP leadership has waited until the last possible moment to bring it forward to sharply limit any debate or consideration of renewal. It is the same, “hurry up”, and “we have to have this in order to defend our country” mentality which allowed the Patriot Act to be passed in the first place. No one wants to oppose it, because to do so would open one up to attacks of not being a “Patriot”, hence the very cagey name. It’s time for Congress, and particularly the Democratic leadership, to rein in this insanity and allow the Patriot Act to pass into history. It gave too much authority to law enforcement, and it took too much away from the citizenry. Benjamin Franklin could have been speaking to those supporting the continuation, when he said, “They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in War on Terror

 

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