It's always a bad sign when the President of the United States starts having his staff refer to him as the "Commander in Chief." Next it will be "Emperor for Life." Why can't they be satisfied with being called the President? "Commander in Chief" has such a militaristic tone to it. Yes, I know the Constitution says the President is the Commander in Chief, but do we need to always emphasize that over the primary role of the President, which is to preside over civil society, to help the people inside this country, to guide the Congress and provide leadership to create internal strength through good jobs, strong communities, affordable housing, education, healthcare.
I would prefer the president call himself the Commander of Cheese. He could issue a presidential order that the brie be placed out at least one hour before the guests arrive, and that St. Andre must be served at every meal.
Why do these men who are elected president become so enamored of the idea of being warmongers, of killing people in other countries? They think it makes them powerful instead of pathetic. They believe that, just like when they were children, they can be super-heroes just by the push of a button, ordering drones to kill bad guys, and ignoring the reports that they actually landed in the middle of a wedding and killed lots of civilians. No wonder people hate us with this type of madness being run out of our nation's capital, missiles being launched on a hunch, with no accountability for the death and destruction we cause to others.
Instead of all those photos of Obama reading about Lincoln and FDR, I wish we could have seen him reading about presidents who presided during peacetime, or presidents who were destroyed by the pursuit of war. But all these men seem to become so enthralled with the idea of becoming military leaders. They love the idea of bringing peace to the world by killing people who stand in their way. It doesn't work.
Lyndon Baines Johnson was a man who championed programs to end poverty, civil rights programs to help the excluded become part of the mainstream. But all his great society efforts were overwhelmed by his decision to escalate the U.S. War Against Vietnam. He listened to his advisor, McNamara, just as Obama is reportedly listening to his advisors, Generals McChrystal and Petraeus, even though neither one of them has shown a lick of common sense in all these wars. Too bad Obama doesn't realize that many of the military leaders just want to "win," no matter what the cost, even if they have to kill every single person in the country. Winning, like a football game, is everything.
The Nation recently titled their11/9/09 issue "Obama's Fateful Choice" re Afghanistan, and included many good articles from knowledgeable people as to why Obama should reject the general's recommendation that he escalate the war. For one, see Robert Dreyfuss's article "How To Get Out" at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20091109/dreyfuss (he recommends Obama fire McChrystal and Petraeus, immediately dismantle the U.S. empire being created in that region, withdraw most of the U.S. troops over a two-year period, convene an international conference involving all of Afghanistan's neighbors and all the major groups from inside Afghanistan and create a coalition interim caretaker government, and create a Marshall Plan type of financial program to help Afghanistan rebuild its country.) Sounds good to me. We helped to break it, we should help pay to fix it.
Nobody can explain why we're even in Afghanistan, or what it would mean to "win" that war. It's just more mindless killing, more death, more madness, more insanity. The Graveyard of Empires. Doesn't anyone in our government listen?
In the meantime unemployment keeps going up along with foreclosures, several of the major states of the nation are bankrupt, there are cut-backs in teachers, libraries, cops, firefighters, courts because the states have no money, millions cannot afford health care and the Congress's answer is to hand the health insurance and doctor and hospital and drug criminals billions in give-aways in the "health reform" proposal which does nothing to reform, does nothing to help, and does nothing to increase the health of the nation, although it guarantees very lucrative bribes and kick-backs to the Democratic politicians for years to come.
How many men in this country will support the escalation of this war even though they do not know why we are there, they are unemployed and facing foreclosure? How successful is the brainwashing done on men that they will support war and the killing of others at the expense of safeguarding their own families, or arranging for healthcare or housing or shelter. They think they're being heroic, but they're just stupid.As for the rest of us, for most of the people who supported Obama, we have been sold out, betrayed. We have no one in the national government who is going to help us. And now the war is being escalated while the U.S. is secretly waging a new war in Pakistan, and planning one in Iran. This war escalation will also undoubtedly be used as the rationalization for why there can be no domestic programs to help the people of our own country. I did not expect Obama to have a magic wand or to make miracles, but I did expect him to at least try to set a new direction for the country. You know -- Change.
Obama is making a very bad decision, and a lot of people are going to die because he failed to read about Richard Nixon and Lyndon Baines Johnson and the war in Vietnam. Instead, Obama apparently sees himself as the victorious Lincoln or FDR. Delusions of "winning."
Somebody should send Obama a book about Johnson, or send him The Fog of War. I think he needs to change his reading materials.
"President Barack Obama has issued orders for the implementation of his Afghanistan strategy to military officials and cabinet members, spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Monday.
'The commander in chief delivered the orders,' said Gibbs, adding that the calls went out from the Oval Office between 5 and 6 p.m on Sunday afternoon, communicating his strategy to allied world leaders."
"Obama's strategy is believed to include an escalation of approximately 30,000 troops...."
See Sam Stein reporting at Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/30/gibbs-the-commander-in-ch_n_373860.html
Michael Moore is appalled by the decision to escalate the war. So am I. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-moore/an-open-letter-to-preside_b_373457.html
Finally, here is a link to the website for the Campaign for Peace & Democracy, and its petition calling for an end to the U.S. Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. You can sign the petition or at least read it. http://cpdweb.org/stmts/1014/stmt.shtml