Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html en-gb 30 Fri 22 Aug 2014 18:51:10 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html sean33z http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=99#comment131 The Rebels who created Waziristan launched a separatist movement from Kabul and Islamabad. This central state established their government through terror and propaganda. Barack Obama is not fighting a street gang. Afghanistan and Pakistan will not win the war with an American occupation. These two nations must re-establish district governments in the border areas to succeed. Mon 07 Dec 2009 19:43:27 GMT+1 Maria Ashot http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=98#comment130 Ah, but it's a legend -- and you know the dating has long been debated. Admirable, 'smiths are. Fri 04 Dec 2009 20:04:35 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=97#comment129 lol 293 I replied on the wrong thread . your welcome. I see it not as a metaphor just as a truth turned to a metaphor.Just as O tells a truth and the right and left turn it into a metaphor. GW tells the truth and they think metaphor. it happens so much. My guess is that at some stage the simple smithing that would have led to a stronger tool (either plough or spear) would be rewarded. If the smith were to get from Ore a useful Blade then there is little chance that he would be ignored. Not i n a time of fragile stones or copper blades.i did see the 'fact busters or someone" try to explain it as a bronze sword.Fair nuff, no one was around back then that is still here.Maybe a similar story unfolded when the copper age began and the bronze age. but I would guess myself that when the iron age began.Then I'm a Blacksmith so I'm bias. Fri 04 Dec 2009 18:31:43 GMT+1 Maria Ashot http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=96#comment128 Lord Nathan, Actually I was thinking of Pakistan & India (much earlier), but I think even the list you provide will do. Iran has sunk to new depths of late, of course, yet even so: Afghans take the prize when it comes to tormenting the young they are holding hostage to this conflict.Moreover, infrastructure development, communications, roads, health care: all lag far, far behind any of the candidates on your list. Not to mention rights for girls & women.Lots of abuses in many places to work on & worry about, but I do believe the situation in Afghanistan is hard to match -- except, perhaps, for the problems of Darfur & Congo. And yes, I would have supported intervention in Darfur, but no one seems interested enough in that situation...Fluffy, Thank you for the exegesis on the legend. It is an interesting metaphor, however alchemically justified or not... Lord Nathan, a namesake of yours (of course in his case it was not a Title) used to teach Folklore & Mythology in my alma mater. Over the years, I have been fascinated by some of the "debunking" that turns out to be bunk itself.And then, of course, we have the talking ravens of the Tower. Not to mention other birds with grammar.So, hmmm? Not so simply, to be sure: yet might there not be a young person out there, even now, who will emerge as a suitable new inspiration for other Afghan people? Is anyone looking? Anyone out there doing a particularly impressive job in some backwate? Who deserves support? Fri 04 Dec 2009 17:10:50 GMT+1 BienvenueEnLouisiana http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=96#comment127 The President needs to go out reassuring the public that his new strategy will have a positive effect on American interests in the region and I think this speech, and more importantly the contents of the speech, were a step in the right direction. Now let’s get the job done. Thu 03 Dec 2009 18:06:23 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=95#comment126 "very time politicians meddle in the tactics of warfare...its been a disaster.."so start having a go at Dick GW and donny dear. let this guy who did listen to his commanders and not sack them do his job, support his crap as much as you supported the last 8 years of crap. Thu 03 Dec 2009 15:49:21 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=94#comment125 PS if you can't figure out the date of withdrawal (not your problem) is not fixed and why it should be mentioned then thank GOD you don't run the military.Do you need a peace nik to point out the strategy?I thought they trained you in the military. no wonder we are LOOSING this war. Thu 03 Dec 2009 15:46:57 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=93#comment124 95 " When is the last time we got to vote for a teacher, a police man, a small business owner a plumber? " well there is part of the problem. you guys are so busy voting on the sanitation workers and the police chief and her school board and the what ever so called democratic bull that you think makes your country any better than the rest.when was the last time the GOP fielded them poor candidates. Go bitch to them they are YOUR party right?96 Pub the president said "i don't want to leave this for the next guy. he not being a realistic fellow knows he better timetable for the next election cause he has no Diabold to help him win this time.So far he has done EXACTLY as he promised in the elections and all are bitching. what do they want?;)Curio george can you tell us how much protest you made against GW and dick and donny.Can you tell us that you did not support the war in Iraq?If I could have your reassurance you were shouting "send every one we have. all of them to secure the peace" after they Ignored you and went any way. can I assume you were "the real war is in Afghanistan" No troops to Iraq"tell us oh even handed derider, did you deride "your" side. Or did you save that for the "enemy" Thu 03 Dec 2009 15:44:23 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=93#comment123 curious george as I pointed out to another. on 7/7 Britain was attacked for supporting YOUR WAR. Spain was attacked for helping YOUR war. so next time you want to go on about ungrateful. go to hell. Thu 03 Dec 2009 15:30:52 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=92#comment122 George Bush caring for the peope" we don't need body armour their flesh will do the job and I don't want to waste money cause my buddies don't make dragon skin." Thu 03 Dec 2009 15:27:31 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=91#comment121 77 curious george"Consider youself slapped for being such a political hack to blindly attack someone you don't know just because I'm calling out "your guy" on caring more about politics than the people."slap punch kick in the head. what do you think you are on.cause I think you were sold counterfeit goods.You attacked someone You don't know with your political crap.YOU politicised the Armu as republican. You voted for the dumb idiot that didn't understand that there might be some opposition to being invaded so went in with a "light foot print" and the acted like storm troopers wearing full gear every day.Or did you not vote for Dick and george.Don't pretend that you were not the one politicising the army. and next time you care try making sure the people around you do not get built into an anti islamic rage that allows their small minds to invade a country for looking wrong.Your Party of the GOP without dick and george was so up their own about war they did nothing but talk war. You republicans KILLED american service personel with your LUST for war. So get a new high horse Thu 03 Dec 2009 15:25:44 GMT+1 David http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=90#comment120 Curious American,You sure do sound "un-curious" Or are you talking about the National Inquirer? (YOU WANT TO KNOW) Thu 03 Dec 2009 04:37:29 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=90#comment119 85. At 7:28pm on 02 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:“The only way you commit troops to the field is with CLEAR instructions of how to win (victory).”The Nazis lost because they only obeyed clear orders to the letter. The American military, at its best, is flexible. The same has to be true of the civilian leadership. Obama is obviously more flexible than Bush [who favored just keep on keeping on, whatever]. The jury is still out as to whether he can pull off the miracle of getting us out of the hole GWB dug. People either expect too much [left wing nuts] or nothing good [right wing nuts] of Obama. Thu 03 Dec 2009 02:12:49 GMT+1 KScurmudgeon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=89#comment118 114. At 01:01am on 03 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:USA doesnt choose anything, all it has to do is to show itself in form of its soldiers and somehow after a few yrs of killing and destruction, one evil is replaced by another..one ism is replaced by equally bad ism..I dont under estimate european power, it has accepted to be on the second place and has given the first place to america.. Russia isnt weak, but the others you mentioned are not only weak but weaklings..they cannot survive on their own.._________________________________________I agree with all of this - to our shame and confusion.But I think I see a principle underlying your analysis - that military power is the measure of strength. Certainly the EU nations have not chosen to be second in economic power - that was the rationale for their union, to surpass American dominance of the world's economy. They have clearly chosen to let the USA carry the ball for them in military development, expenditures, and activity, now for two generations.Is this how you see the world, primarily in terms of military strength?But perhaps it is perseverent will - something the Russians have in abundance?KScurmudgeonKScurmudgeon Thu 03 Dec 2009 01:54:53 GMT+1 Lord Nathan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=88#comment117 "Guilty as charged on the exaggeration. My wife has the same observation"And I can guess on which matters Thu 03 Dec 2009 01:44:38 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=87#comment116 46. At 4:58pm on 02 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:“The sad fact is that the opportunity to overthrow a tyrannical fanatical state was at hand....”So easy to say, so simple a world, so hard to do. Have you ever been in Iran [I lived there for 3 years] or do you know any Iranians? Even those who hate their government, and like the US [in the abstract] would hate us if we invaded them and changed their government [again, we did it before and they still hold that grudge]. You seem to have forgotten that the Iraqis who hated Saddam, nevertheless did not and do not shower us with flowers and candy, just IEDs.I agree with you that the Dem and Rep parties are both controlled by special interests. I don’t think throwing American money and blood into the fray for the profit of the military industrial complex is a good idea though.First you say you are not wedded to the right or the GOP, then you attack “liberal double standards.” You try to sound neutral or centrist then make quite right-wing statements [attacking “liberals” for example].I am a real centrist. FOX and Michael Moore [for example] are both guilty of propaganda, the former right-wing and the latter left. A true centrist distrusts both. Obama has been president for less than one year. I am in favour of giving him as much of a honeymoon [or rope] as George W. Bush got. After all he has 8 years of mistakes to clean up, and, yes, too much is expected of him. Thu 03 Dec 2009 01:41:29 GMT+1 Lord Nathan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=87#comment115 Curiosity, "Obama's plan is to begin withdrawal in mid-2011, not to be packed up. I expect it will take some time to remove all combat forces, and the schedule will depend on the conditions at the time..................................................This is NOT what he said...why do libs hear just what they want?"Au Contraire, it is precisely what her said beginning in 18 months."why do wingnuts hear just what they want?"Been on any covert operations recently, stud? Thu 03 Dec 2009 01:39:30 GMT+1 McJakome http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=86#comment114 17. At 1:24pm on 02 Dec 2009, SwannyWilkinson wrote:"There is only one option I can see to truely root out the taliban and ensure true democracy (not the mob goverment the Afgans have at the moment) that is to stay for another 10 years with a much bigger force. But that is unpractical both economically and politically."Do you, your family or your friends have any teenagers to throw in that meat grinder? Do you have stock in the military industrial complex that would benefit from this plan?"Another would be to install a ruthless dictator but one who was "our man". Thats how it used to be done back in the cold war days."And didn't that work out SO well? All of South America hates us for the dictators we occasionally saddled them with for the benefit of ITT and the United Fruit Co. Oh, and one of "our guys" was Saddam Hussain, so enough said. Thu 03 Dec 2009 01:02:01 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=85#comment113 109 The US didn't just choose to replace Nazi with Communist Russia,that is such nonsense.You really don't understand American or European history very much.Yea US is so powerful they can pick who or what attacks them,when.As if anyone can can just decide who going to be their enemy and arrange it,You greatly under estimate European Powers and their Countries.Something they can easily return to at any time.Europe is richer and just as advanced as the US or North America.Europe is a lot more powerful than they let on.England,France,Germany,or Russia are not weak countries.-------------------------------------------------------------------------USA doesnt choose anything, all it has to do is to show itself in form of its soldiers and somehow after a few yrs of killing and destruction, one evil is replaced by another..one ism is replaced by equally bad ism..I dont under estimate european power, it has accepted to be on the second place and has given the first place to america.. Russia isnt weak, but the others you mentioned are not only weak but weaklings..they cannot survive on their own.. Thu 03 Dec 2009 01:01:39 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=84#comment112 109 The US didn't just choose to replace Nazi with Communist Russia,that is such nonsense.You really don't understand American or European history very much.Yea US is so powerful they can pick who or what attacks them,when.As if anyone can can just decide who going to be their enemy and arrange it,You greatly under estimate European Powers and their Countries.Something they can easily return to at any time.Europe is richer and just as advanced as the US or North America.Europe is a lot more powerful than they let on.England,France,Germany,or Russia are not weak countries. Thu 03 Dec 2009 00:45:48 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=84#comment111 110. At 10:53pm on 02 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:Ref 104 GH1618Good article on General Schwarzkopf you to which you linked.__________That is a good article. Wed 02 Dec 2009 23:39:54 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=83#comment110 And there were once two friends walking along the river ganges in a city once called banaras one fine winter morning..All of a sudden one of them saw a thick black blanket floating on the river..He decided to swim and get it..So he swam, approached the blanket, grabed it to find out that it was actually a large black bear which grabed the guy and the guy started to drown, his friend standing on the river bank, got worried when he saw his friend drowing and shouted at him to leave the blanket and swim back as no blanket is worth dying..The drowing guy shouted back and I quote " I am trying to leave the blanket, but the blanket isnt leaving me"...I dont know why but obama's promise of bringing the soldiers back has made of think of this story..Why should he send just a few thousand soldiers just three yrs before he will bring back the rest...It doesnt make any sense...except that its just to give a false perception of the whole situation..The situation in afghanistan is not going to get better than it is today..these 30 000 soldiers should have served their country well by remaining inside their own country not in some recreational holiday camps in afghanistan.. Wed 02 Dec 2009 23:03:11 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=82#comment109 Ref 104 GH1618Good article on General Schwarzkopf you to which you linked.If General McCrystal can constantly, almost seamlessly adapt to changing conditions as well as 'Stormin' Norman did upon arrival in Saudi Arabia with too few troops to handle an immediate invasion from the Iraqi forces, then the plan our President outlined has a fighting chance of success.It may also do well for the citizens of the U.S.A. who follow and post on this blog to remember the overwhelming support we, as a nation, gave to our President, his Commanding General, and all the troops so that they could complete the planned objective in the Persian Gulf War.Let's see you tie your yellow ribbons, once again, around every tree, lamppost, flagpole, war memorial, entire buildings...like you did back in the days of the Persian Gulf War. Better yet; help the military families struggling to make ends meet while their soldier is stationed in a combat zone. Word will get back to the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. They will then know that they are being supported at home. Wed 02 Dec 2009 22:53:01 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=81#comment108 Yea...that whole stopping the Nazis was a bad idea...oh...and rolling over for the communists would have been a good idea too..and don't forget that whole crazy civil war and freeing those slaves...shouldn't have done that either.......your meds are wearing off chapp...time for another pint...-------------------------------------------------------------------------It was the worst idea of the last century...Ended the nazis and gave the whole eastern europe to the communists with whom you fought a very cold war in europe and hot wars in asia and africa for sixty yrs..Americans dont end an evil they just replace it with another one...I guess americans thrieve best when they are at wars...thats why they have to always be in a constant state of war... Wed 02 Dec 2009 22:45:05 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=81#comment107 What if FDR had announced to the world that we would only fight the Nazi's for 18 months...how much longer would the fighting have dragged on and more americans die? Or would we have given up and said..oooppps time's up..time to give up and go home...------------------------------------------------------------------------After 18 month, drop an atom bomb or two, say that it saves lives and ended war.... Wed 02 Dec 2009 22:39:27 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=80#comment106 publiusDetroit (#106) "This brings us back to the speculation that Barack Obama is using the 18 month date for the beginning of troop withdrawal as a political tool for re-election."It's pretty obvious, I think, that the President wants to see positive results by the next general election season, but there is risk associated with his schedule. If the situation is not favorable for beginning to draw down US forces, what then does he do? Start withdrawal anyway, and have the situation deteriorate further as the election nears? Or push out the planned withdrawal? Either way is bad politically. I expect he will be highly motivated to get good results by mid-2011, and we'll see how it turns out. Wed 02 Dec 2009 22:21:07 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=79#comment105 Ref 102 InterestedForeigner-"At the time, during a TV press briefing, General Schwarzkopf called the decision to halt 15 minutes short of Baghdad "fateful"."Norman Schwarzkopf knew he said a mouthful in that single word.As a long term student of military tactics and history, I would have loved to have seen the double envelopment completed before the remnants of the Iraqi Nation Guard units could escape the pocket. Nothing less than a brilliant, well-executed maneuver by the Coalition Forces made the total envelopment a distinct possibility, only needing fifteen minutes (or so) more time before the truce.If one is aware of the communications logjam taking place during the hours leading up to assigning time for a truce; then one can forgive what may seem to be a gross error, or complete negligence, or a conspiracy to leave the war unfinished. I believe all of the Generals on the field confirmed this in their autobiographies of the war.As a husband of a U.S. Army nurse in the arena of battle, all I wanted was for my wife to come home alive and well. I do not think I would be out of line to speak for military families in saying that we all wanted the war to end as quickly as the mission could be successfully completed.George H. Bush was an excellent Commander in Chief. His troops loved him. Bush the Elder chose an superlative commanding General in Norman Schwarzkof and supported him in great fashion. The military is a tool used to gain political objectives. It still comes down to politicians calling the overall shots.A brilliant achievement marred by one, failed communication in what is know as the "fog of war".Still does leave one to wonder; what would have happened if the Presidential election was to take place 6 months after the Persian Gulf War, as opposed to a couple years?This brings us back to the speculation that Barack Obama is using the 18 month date for the beginning of troop withdrawal as a political tool for re-election. Also illustrates how easily things can go wrong in a war; thus, why it would be foolish to consider such an adventure for the purpose of re-election. Wed 02 Dec 2009 22:08:00 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=78#comment104 Don't blame Ross Perot or Ralph Nader or 3rd parties for losses,you can't assume people would just vote for the 2 parties by default.3rd parties are because of the incompetence of the 2 party system,and I have voted for a 3rd party and maybe will again.More Choice,More Voices.People who vote for 3rd parties are because they have a conscience and would rather vote their conscience than stay home or pick the lesser of two evils.I wish their were more parties besides aren't we supposed to be about competition,and weaker products or parties don't get bought or voted for. Wed 02 Dec 2009 22:06:46 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=78#comment103 InterestedForeigner (#102) "At the time, during a TV press briefing, General Schwarzkopf called the decision to halt 15 minutes short of Baghdad "fateful"."Interesting, but somewhat cryptic quote. Here's a link to an article in the Washington Post from January 2003, which shows that Schwarzkopf was not eager to see war with Iraq at that time (two months before it started). Wed 02 Dec 2009 21:56:06 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=77#comment102 Ref 100 CuriousAmerican-"You forgot the real issue was the Perot was the trick used to syphon off votes from Bush 41 to get Clintion the victory but not the majoriy of votes. If memory serves, it was around 45%."Perot was a spoiler during the 1992 elections. Perot was addressing that great "sucking sound" of jobs going south of the border because of the North American Trade Agreement he opposed. Once again, a domestic issue that came to the focus during the long days of campaign after the successful military mission in the Persian Gulf. The U.S. was going through a mild recession. Pocketbooks voted.Consider if the elections took place right after the Persian Gulf War. George H. Bush had an 89% approval rating. Would any potential candidate stand a chance against such a high approval rating? One can only speculate that an 89% approval rating would carry over into the voting booth to bring about a landslide win for the sitting President. Wed 02 Dec 2009 21:14:32 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=76#comment101 Publius:"Unfortunately for George H., the war ended well before the next election cycle came around for him to benefit from that victory. Domestic issues whittled away at his popularity in the polls. The continued problems in Iraq caused the U.S. public to forget what was the stated mission in Iraq, and began to see the successfully concluded mission as a failure.Both political machines took note of this when George H. lost the re-election."_________Fair enough. But I also think that voters began to realize that half a million men had been sent half way round the world to do half a job. Legality or no legality, leaving Saddam Hussein in place at the end of the first Gulf war was bound to cause most voters to think the job had been botched: The miscreant varmint hadn't been brought to justice.And therein lay the seeds both of the subsequent electoral defeat of President Bush (Sr.), and of the non-sequitur Invasion of Iraq, because "that sumabitch made a fool of my pappy".There are many people who have tried to explain the real motivation behind the invasion of Iraq. Clearly Iraq had been thumbing its nose at the sanctions, which were doing more harm than good; clearly the situation in Iraq was perceived as a continuing provocation to the US government; clearly the expected overthrow of Saddam in the wake of the defeat in the first gulf war was not going to happen. I have yet to hear an explanation that is more consistent with the facts than that the tenor of the times (post-September 11) gave the political opportunity, and the administration looked as Iraq as unfinished business.At the time, during a TV press briefing, General Schwarzkopf called the decision to halt 15 minutes short of Baghdad "fateful".So it seems. Wed 02 Dec 2009 21:00:57 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=75#comment100 96. At 8:09pm on 02 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:I have to agree with colonelartist on this point. Wars are fought by two sides. One never knows when the other will lay down their arms.Planning the end of a war to specifically correlate with an election cycle is political Russian roulette. -----------------------------------------------------------you are making my point as to the absolute stupidity of annoucing that you will pull out the troops at ANY arbitrary time.....What if FDR had announced to the world that we would only fight the Nazi's for 18 months...how much longer would the fighting have dragged on and more americans die? Or would we have given up and said..oooppps time's up..time to give up and go home...The decision to go to war IS political and establishes the goals for victory...BUT once you start, the military does it's thing without interference and kills people and breaks things as hard and fast as possible so we can get our people back ASAP...every time politicians meddle in the tactics of warfare...its been a disaster...look at history and tell me where this has worked? On the contrary, every military disaster was predicated on political interferrence by people who have no clue what they are doing....Sounds like Obama should have read more military history and less Karl Marx Wed 02 Dec 2009 20:39:53 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=75#comment99 96. At 8:09pm on 02 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:Ref 83 CuriousAmerican-Both political machines took note of this when George H. lost the re-election......................................You forgot the real issue was the Perot was the trick used to syphon off votes from Bush 41 to get Clintion the victory but not the majoriy of votes. If memory serves, it was around 45%. That is a landslide victory for Bush if not for the 15% to Perot. That is the real reason for the loss...just as in 2000 with Nader drawing much less, closer to 2% but still enough to make a difference in a close race.So the moral of the story isn't about war...its about playing with 3rd party politics to get your way against the will of the majority...In a two party system...all kinds of junk like this happens every election cycle.I say we need a new system....but that's just me... Wed 02 Dec 2009 20:29:06 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=74#comment98 89. At 7:39pm on 02 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:"You don't always get what you want. In your case, I suspect you never get what you want."________Now, now. Hold on there. No need to bring the fellow's marriage into this... Wed 02 Dec 2009 20:29:01 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=73#comment97 90. At 7:46pm on 02 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:The only serious and worth fighting war that americans have ever fought is their war of independence, the rest are as pointless or purposeless as these two recent wars, one with afghanistan and the other with iraq...........................................................Yea...that whole stopping the Nazis was a bad idea...oh...and rolling over for the communists would have been a good idea too..and don't forget that whole crazy civil war and freeing those slaves...shouldn't have done that either.......your meds are wearing off chapp...time for another pint... Wed 02 Dec 2009 20:15:00 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=72#comment96 93. At 7:51pm on 02 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:to a successful conclusion"------------------------------------------------------------------------Why is he so scared to even use the word victory..its shameful and disgusting that your leaders are so hypocrtical and bigot that they cannot even tell you in simple words and talk to you directly...................................................More like too liberal and must speak in approved PC terms to not hurt the feelings of those we are about to kill.So how's that hope and change working out for ya? Wed 02 Dec 2009 20:10:40 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=71#comment95 Ref 83 CuriousAmerican-"Its not about speaches...its not about politics...it's not about getting re-elected to some stupid political party...its about doing the right thing for american...regardless of the personal consequences..."I have noted before that all wars are political in nature. Unfortunately, one cannot separate the politics of re-election from war.Case in point:George H. Bush led the nation during the successful Persian Gulf Wars. His polling figures skyrocketed after the swift completion of the well stated objective of removing the Iraqi army from Kuwait.Unfortunately for George H., the war ended well before the next election cycle came around for him to benefit from that victory. Domestic issues whittled away at his popularity in the polls. The continued problems in Iraq caused the U.S. public to forget what was the stated mission in Iraq, and began to see the successfully concluded mission as a failure.Both political machines took note of this when George H. lost the re-election.I will not speculate that "beginning" to withdraw troops does not, in someway, correlate with parts of the President's plan in a way that could be thought helpful to his re-election. I do think that it will be quite skillful if the war in Afghanistan can be successfully ended in time to result in the re-election of Obama from a mass euphoria at the polls.The U.S. troops in Europe during WWII were certain they would be back home for Christmas after the break-out from the Normandy beaches. Bastogne sobered that dream. The troops in Korea kept looking for a truce which only seemed to need a couple strokes of an ink pen.I have to agree with colonelartist on this point. Wars are fought by two sides. One never knows when the other will lay down their arms.Planning the end of a war to specifically correlate with an election cycle is political Russian roulette. Wed 02 Dec 2009 20:09:50 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=71#comment94 89. At 7:39pm on 02 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:"I want a REAL leader as our president not another !@#$!#@$ politician...what happened to the natural destrust of ALL politicians that americans used to have..." (from CuriousAmerican #83)You don't always get what you want. In your case, I suspect you never get what you want..................................................Sadly, this is the truth. Our system is broken, the game is rigged. Who represents the American People? Who represents the British people?We are a republic in search of representation. When is the last time we got to vote for a teacher, a police man, a small business owner a plumber? NO...its always lawyers, the powerful and connected or their proxies. Can we recall a member of govt. when they mess up? NO. Can we get rid of corrupt and rotten bureocrate that makes a living on our tax dollars?NO..Our taxes go up every year and our power goes down ever year. Is it time for a new system of govt. I say yes...but what to replace it with? I say its time for a constituional congress to meet and discuss a new way of doing things around here.....but then I'm just one guy... Wed 02 Dec 2009 20:07:27 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=70#comment93 90 I disagree.the American Civil War has been probably as important as Revolutionary War.WW1 was a waste and WW2 wasn't a choice.but every war after has been a result of the stupidity of Woodrow Wilson policy both domestic and international during his Presidency and the establishment we can't get rid of.Sometimes it hard to go back to were you started like telling a lie it just lead to another. Wed 02 Dec 2009 20:02:12 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=69#comment92 to a successful conclusion"------------------------------------------------------------------------Why is he so scared to even use the word victory..its shameful and disgusting that your leaders are so hypocrtical and bigot that they cannot even tell you in simple words and talk to you directly.. Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:51:53 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=68#comment91 84. At 7:27pm on 02 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:Wow..I don't know what to say to such hatred of Americans and Jews...I thought people like you didn't exist, but where only a cartoon of the western secular liberal left....guess I was wrong.....well good luck with that whole hate thing...hope it works out for ya... Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:50:46 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=68#comment90 "... you do remember it was you ... euros that started the last 2 world wars that killed millions of my countrymen and tens of millions of others?" (from CuriousAmerican at #80)CA is exaggerating here. Out of perhaps 60 million or so dead in WWII, less than one-half million were American. US deaths in the European War (WWI) were a little over 100,000 out of 15 million or so. Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:49:50 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=67#comment89 The only serious and worth fighting war that americans have ever fought is their war of independence, the rest are as pointless or purposeless as these two recent wars, one with afghanistan and the other with iraq.. Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:46:46 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=66#comment88 "I want a REAL leader as our president not another !@#$!#@$ politician...what happened to the natural destrust of ALL politicians that americans used to have..." (from CuriousAmerican #83)You don't always get what you want. In your case, I suspect you never get what you want. Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:39:37 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=65#comment87 82. At 7:19pm on 02 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:If he hadnt set the date, your opposition would have called him a hypocrite and his followers would have called him "just like bush, he didnt set a time table"...thats why he didnt set a date...18 months is a convient future, not too soon, not too far. He wants to give this impression that his vision of calling back troops would be completed in his first term........................................Do what is right if you are to be hated no matter the decision and let history sort it out. I'm looking for LEADERSHIP and PRINCIPLE from our political leaders...sadly..there are none for america yet again.. Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:38:50 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=65#comment86 what happened to the natural destrust of ALL politicians that americans used to have...------------------------------------------------------------------------It has been outsourced..as in " we dont trust iranian president". As in "karzai must do more". etc etc.. Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:38:19 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=64#comment85 82 it one of the only time I agree with your reasoning,our elections are about internal issues not foreign,and I don't think you can get rid of people like you said but find a compromise so they can live together,fighting in courts and political arenas in stead of with guns and by force and yes I know it sounds hypocritical with us having an army there but it's there now so what can do with out a time machine,but fix what we broke and try to establish some kind of peace for people of Afghanistan and get refugees back to their homes safely. Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:33:35 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=63#comment84 79. At 7:09pm on 02 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:And by the way, the President did not even use the word "victory" in his speech, so I'm not sure what CuriousAmerican means by "conditions of victory."CBS News - Mark Knoller"I'm sure Obama's choice of "to a successful conclusion" was made deliberately, as having the right mix of optimism and ambiguity............................................Ambiguity? are you some kind of hyper partisan? The only way you commit troops to the field is with CLEAR instructions of how to win (victory). If we are not trying to acheive our goals (victory) then what the !@#$!# are we even going there for? Tea and crumpets? Sight Seeing? Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:28:33 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=62#comment83 ummm....you do remember it was you damn euros that started the last 2 world wars that killed millions of my countrymen and tens of millions of others? What did we get out of it? The only land we've asked for was enough to bury our DEAD to keep you ungrateful euros free. Hell for the last 60+ years we've kept your socialist governments afloat by providing you the military projection from the USSR. and all this from the Greatest Generation of americans who you now denegrate...Good day to you sir..-------------------------------------------------------------------------You got what you asked for, if you had, like jews, asked for a country, the europeans would have carved a country for you, to bury your deads..You could have called it the "country of the dead". Russia was inside its borders before the world war, americans came to europe and when they left, russia was in easertn europe..exactly those countries where jews had the most influence...Out of the nazis into the ussr, and you still pretend that you won the war and liberated some few million people of jewish religon who left europe for middle east.. Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:27:25 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=62#comment82 76. At 7:02pm on 02 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:"Exactly my point...the quote should have said ... "Maybe you should apply for a job as Obama's speechwriter, so his statements will come out exactly the way you want them to..............................................Its not about speaches...its not about politics...it's not about getting re-elected to some stupid political party...its about doing the right thing for american...regardless of the personal consequences...I want a REAL leader as our president not another !@#$!#@$ politician...what happened to the natural destrust of ALL politicians that americans used to have... Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:20:31 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=61#comment81 "...as commander-in-chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home."...................................Exactly my point...the quote should have said..."as soon as the conditions of victory are acheived our sons and daughters will come home"...Why 18 months...why not 6, 12, 24 or 36 or some other arbitrary number....I'll tell you why...its because thats right before the next election cycle starts up...Making milary decions on a political schedule is NOT acceptable to me...and it shouldn't be for any american...-------------------------------------------------------------------------If he hadnt set the date, your opposition would have called him a hypocrite and his followers would have called him "just like bush, he didnt set a time table"...thats why he didnt set a date...18 months is a convient future, not too soon, not too far. He wants to give this impression that his vision of calling back troops would be completed in his first term...But these are all premature things, every tom dick and harry knows that in the war, there are always two sides, and he has forgotten the other side which could change everything...However this also is not important...the important is what is happening unseen...talks to taliban, hopefully, some taliban would be paid enough money to murder mullah omar in these three yrs, once he is gone, taliban will be taken back in your circle..your administration will call them moderate taliban..or not call them taliban at all...their names would be used or their ethnicity, for eg, sher khan, who is a pathan..or saif khan a barkzai pathan...this renaming of the bathiests, who are now called sunnis, helped a lot in the withdrawl of nato forces..As far as elecitons are concerned, trust me, your elections for the past 30 yrs, have always being about internal issues...and personality matters, so i give you my word, this issue will be on the last page of the issue list...Forgein policy isnt important when it comes to elections.. Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:19:13 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=60#comment80 Ref 69 CuriousAmerican"Guilty as charged on the exaggeration. My wife has the same observation."I hope you will know that I share your frustration and anger with this war in Afghanistan and how it has been waged.While I was at home with our child, and my wife was half way around the world dodging SCUD missiles and treating wounded soldiers from both sides, I had come up with a 10 point peace plan that was based solely on the use of nuclear warheads. A plan ill conceived with hot emotions, frustration, and anger.I too would like to see a plan where we could "hurry up and get it done and do it right". The soldiers and their families I work with also share that hope. Multiple deployments to combat theaters are creating a hidden monster that our soldiers and their families try to overcome between each new deployment. Many do not.There are some big ifs in this current plan the President outlined. Pakistan being one of the biggest ifs. The Afghanistan government being the other big ifs. Those two factors, in themselves, will be the determining factors in the success, or failure of the President's current mission.Thank you for seeing the irony with my exclusion of the minor children of your family as members of the military. In a very real way; they are members of the military. They are the ones struggling with the constant fear of losing a parent, as their young minds and bodies grow at incredible rates; every aspect of their young lives bombarded with change and confusion. I know. I raised a three-year old child under those awful conditions. Not easy; but I am happy to say that he is now a successful young man attending college. Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:15:43 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=59#comment79 73. At 6:53pm on 02 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:Thanks for the homage. And none under the age of 18 are serving the armed forces (expect for my grandparents that lied to enlist when they where 15, but that was another age. The greatest generation I believe it's called for all the right reasons)-------------------------------------------------------------------------Its kind of a very funny and amusing thing, that on one hand americans and their western and israelian allies, scream like crazys blaming their enemies for "propagandizing" under aged boys to join them, and on the other hand, they are proud to tell stories about how their relatives fought when they were 14 or 15...and you call them the greatest generation....Does it ever for a second occur to you that people whom you fight against could do the same? .......................................ummm....you do remember it was you damn euros that started the last 2 world wars that killed millions of my countrymen and tens of millions of others? What did we get out of it? The only land we've asked for was enough to bury our DEAD to keep you ungrateful euros free. Hell for the last 60+ years we've kept your socialist governments afloat by providing you the military projection from the USSR. and all this from the Greatest Generation of americans who you now denegrate...Good day to you sir.. Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:14:00 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=59#comment78 And by the way, the President did not even use the word "victory" in his speech, so I'm not sure what CuriousAmerican means by "conditions of victory."CBS News - Mark Knoller"I'm sure Obama's choice of "to a successful conclusion" was made deliberately, as having the right mix of optimism and ambiguity. Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:09:20 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=58#comment77 But taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, ------------------------------------------------------------------------The only way he can prepare afghan forces within three yrs is to provide the militia guys of the war lords with a brand new military uniform..The only military that is eager to protect karzai and his state are the americans and the NATO. Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:05:51 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=57#comment76 72. At 6:48pm on 02 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:you don't know that I didn't scream about it as I am new to this forum....you assume too much...I PRETEND to care if my uncles or cousins get blown up and die or get captured and tortured to death?-------------SLAP------------Consider youself slapped for being such a political hack to blindly attack someone you don't know just because I'm calling out "your guy" on caring more about politics than the people....but go ahead and tell us "your guy" is 100% great...his actions are not allowed to be questioned...and if you do...you must be evil or stupid or something... Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:04:53 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=56#comment75 "Exactly my point...the quote should have said ... "Maybe you should apply for a job as Obama's speechwriter, so his statements will come out exactly the way you want them to. Wed 02 Dec 2009 19:02:57 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=56#comment74 67. At 6:32pm on 02 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:Again....why the arbitrary date to begin withdrawl? and right before the next presidential election?Why not say that the commanders on the ground will have the final say as to when our boys and girls come home..?...not some politicians half the world away.Ask yourself if this was BUSH making this call...would you agree with it? Wed 02 Dec 2009 18:55:14 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=55#comment73 glad to see you got civil with pub. I can see that your passion is real.I think the GOP failed the country and you should help fix it. Wed 02 Dec 2009 18:54:13 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=54#comment72 Thanks for the homage. And none under the age of 18 are serving the armed forces (expect for my grandparents that lied to enlist when they where 15, but that was another age. The greatest generation I believe it's called for all the right reasons)-------------------------------------------------------------------------Its kind of a very funny and amusing thing, that on one hand americans and their western and israelian allies, scream like crazys blaming their enemies for "propagandizing" under aged boys to join them, and on the other hand, they are proud to tell stories about how their relatives fought when they were 14 or 15...and you call them the greatest generation....Does it ever for a second occur to you that people whom you fight against could do the same? Wed 02 Dec 2009 18:53:40 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=53#comment71 "This is exactly what I was talking about before with playing with the lives or our sons and daughters. Once the decision for military action is in place, you go in with all your might."How loud did you scream this when the USA was lined up for Iraq?Any FOOL could tell that a small force would need to be backed up with huge numbers. but the GOP who wanted to slip this war in to make some arms sales, didn't want GW to let the cat out of the bag. So not enough troops were sent. A friend of mine was stationed in Afgahanistan. he would have loved it if the whole army turned up instead of heading off to get saddam cause daddy wasn't man enough.So situation Created by those that blindly follow patriotism kills the soldiers nort liberals saying " hey is this war right" If there had been this much criticism before these wars started then we would no be in the situation we are in now. so go ahead. complain about Obama and his decision. but don't PRETEND to really care.all you care about it seems is winning the political battle. Wed 02 Dec 2009 18:48:31 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=53#comment70 68. At 6:38pm on 02 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:"...as commander-in-chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home."...................................Exactly my point...the quote should have said..."as soon as the conditions of victory are acheived our sons and daughters will come home"...Why 18 months...why not 6, 12, 24 or 36 or some other arbitrary number....I'll tell you why...its because thats right before the next election cycle starts up...Making milary decions on a political schedule is NOT acceptable to me...and it shouldn't be for any american... Wed 02 Dec 2009 18:47:22 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=52#comment69 This is NOT what he said...why do libs hear just what they want? It would be the correct thing to do to let the conditions of victory decide when our people come home, not some arbitrary time table set up because of domestic politcal pressure....------------------------------------------------------------------------Why do you have to win? why not call it a draw? do what russians did, they never once talked about winning or losing...they consider their mission accomplished....they still dont believe they withdrew because they lost...Your problem is that you invaded,their luxury was that they forced the communist party to invite them...If obama wasnt all that mentally slow, he would have told karzai to ask him to send more troops..and then had announced the mother of all announcement of sending 50, 000 troops...or 75,000. Atleast that way both afghanistanis and americans would both be unhappy.. Wed 02 Dec 2009 18:44:22 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=51#comment68 63. At 6:00pm on 02 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:Ref 50 CuriousAmerican-"Actually my entire family on both sides are in all branches of the armed services, for several generations."I would like to pay homage to your entire family serving in the U.S. military. I do presume that the minor children in the family are not yet in uniform. That would be an extreme measure of patriotism.Then; I have noticed you do have a tendency to exaggerate. .........................................Thanks for the homage. And none under the age of 18 are serving the armed forces (expect for my grandparents that lied to enlist when they where 15, but that was another age. The greatest generation I believe it's called for all the right reasons)Guilty as charged on the exaggeration. My wife has the same observation.Thanks for your wife's service and your continuous stuggle in dealing with the aftermath of war. We too suffer the consequences of war in our family with some never recoving either mentally or physically. War is hell on earth, but when it is unleashed, hurry up and get it done and do it right. Doing it in half-measures is a recipe for disaster. Wed 02 Dec 2009 18:41:07 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=50#comment67 Ref 64 CuriousAmerican-"This is NOT what he said...why do libs hear just what they want?"The following words are taken directly from the Presidents speech:"...as commander-in-chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home."The President stated that the troops will "begin to come home" after 18 months. The key word there is, "begin". I find no mention of a specific time period when all troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan. There are a number of conditions laid out in the speech which, when met, will precipitate total withdrawal. There are specific requirements and standards that the Afghanistan government must meet before all our forces are withdrawn.The President also reiterated:"Let me be clear: none of this will be easy. The struggle against violent extremism will not be finished quickly, and it extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan."Are you hearing only what you wish to hear? Wed 02 Dec 2009 18:38:47 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=50#comment66 "This is NOT what he said...why do libs hear just what they want?" (from post #64)This is exactly what President Obama said, taken from the ABC News transcript linked below:"But taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011. Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground. ...."transcript from ABC NewsThe plan is to begin to withdraw in July of 2011, and the completion is unspecified, depending on "conditions on the ground."I heard the entire speech, and linked to the transcript to confirm what I heard. Why is it that people who would refute my statements never link to any evidence?And by the way, I am not a liberal or a Democrat; I am an independent. Wed 02 Dec 2009 18:32:09 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=49#comment65 61. At 5:53pm on 02 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:curioyou mention the american people. but not the majority.just the racist rednecks who plan to" take it back".all those that were happy with their vote are to be ignored?--------------------------So all those that disagree with you are racist rednecks?....I think you have a serious hatred issue...I feel sorry for you...must be hard hating hundreds of millions of people you don't know...How can I be fake..if I've never claimed to be an "independent". For the record I don't like any political parties because their too full of people like yourself(my side perfect, other side evil). However I do have a very libertarian world-view, but since there is no Libertarian party for me to vote for..I am left with no representation....funny since this is supposed to be representative republic...thats sarcasm...just in case you also have no sense of humor to along with your hate. Wed 02 Dec 2009 18:31:19 GMT+1 dceilar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=48#comment64 This post has been Removed Wed 02 Dec 2009 18:26:45 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=47#comment63 51. At 5:21pm on 02 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:InterestedForeigner (#48) "I don't believe that the US Army will have packed up in 18 months, come what may."Obama's plan is to begin withdrawal in mid-2011, not to be packed up. I expect it will take some time to remove all combat forces, and the schedule will depend on the conditions at the time..................................................This is NOT what he said...why do libs hear just what they want? It would be the correct thing to do to let the conditions of victory decide when our people come home, not some arbitrary time table set up because of domestic politcal pressure....This is exactly what I was talking about before with playing with the lives or our sons and daughters. Once the decision for military action is in place, you go in with all your might. Trying to cut the baby in half by placating domestic political groups resolves nothing and results my family getting shot and killed.Am I supposed to think this is good policy? Wed 02 Dec 2009 18:03:31 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=46#comment62 Ref 50 CuriousAmerican-"Actually my entire family on both sides are in all branches of the armed services, for several generations."I would like to pay homage to your entire family serving in the U.S. military. I do presume that the minor children in the family are not yet in uniform. That would be an extreme measure of patriotism.Then; I have noticed you do have a tendency to exaggerate. Wed 02 Dec 2009 18:00:09 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=46#comment61 I don't see where the supposed "hypocrisy" is in keeping dangerous people locked up (#53). Sounds like justice to me.As for the implication that military tribunals are per se unjust, consider the case of Salim Ahmed Hamdan. He is the Yemeni who appealed to the US Supreme Court for relief from the unjust rules of the military commissions under President Bush, and won. He was tried under new rules, and was acquitted of the most serious charge against him. For the charge of which he was convicted, he was sentenced to five and one-half years, much less than requested by the prosecution, and was given credit for time served. He has since been returned to Yemen and is now free. This trial and sentence was just. American courts do not rubber-stamp the requests of prosecutors, whether civil or military. Wed 02 Dec 2009 17:55:12 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=45#comment60 then I wonder how your will handle the next coming years when the american people rise up out of disgust for this current crop of terrible political leaders and give us a new set....will you accept in silence the reversing of your political world-view?...curio you mention the american people. but not the majority. just the racist rednecks who plan to" take it back". all those that were happy with their vote are to be ignored? You are a fake when you pretend to be independent. like so many of them these days.While complaining about liberal thinking occasionally throw an anti GOP comment as well. then we might be gullible enough to believe you are as you say you are. curious or american. cause last I checked americans were supposed to be for justice and democracy. not armed insurrection by a violent and rejected minority. Wed 02 Dec 2009 17:53:20 GMT+1 SwannyWilkinson http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=44#comment59 "....making one weak speach....at a time when aggresive covert action could have toppled the regime and allowed the "people" their country back from the wack job mulllas and secured the region for generations.never send a college professor/community organizer to do anything important..its all talk and half measures....what do they know about the real world? He's spent his entire life in a make-believe world of theory and radical leftest politics."__________________________Its you who is living in a dream world. The harsh reality is that the current Iranian "president" enjoys much support in Iran. How much the votes were cooked only his spin doctors know for sure, but a significant number (even if not the majority) of them would be up in arms at the thought of U.S involvement in their country. A quick glance at just why Iran had an Islamic revolution in the first place should make that pretty obvious.Iranian television at the time accused the British goverment of doing exactly what you suggested.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8132397.stmThat was the result of a false accusation designed to draw attention away from the election. Real spec ops would have not only been unsuccessful but also damaged America's reputation making it impossible to conduct any real foreign policy.There is rhetoric and there is reality, in reality very few sane historians will look back on that moment and accuse Obama of having missed a chance to bring democracy to Iran. Wed 02 Dec 2009 17:51:03 GMT+1 faeyth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=43#comment58 Does Afghanistan really matter,we all knew we can't walk away yet.But now it gives corrupt politicians an excuse to not do the right thing when it comes to our real problems.I am more scared of Bankers and Corporations than Terrorist.Banks and our oil dependence,tax break for the rich,bad trade agreements and out sourcing=Unemployment are the real debt piling up for the US.Problems congress has not addressed or even care too.Our economy and middle class are in their own war with the rich in this country and we are losing. Wed 02 Dec 2009 17:47:34 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=43#comment57 "So far this politician has been a HUGE disaster for our country...any serious look at the actual facts (not the hype) will prove this out...But for many of the true believers out there...I will be cast out as heretic for proclaiming that the "the king has no clothes"....Let the insults commence.."this is what gives away you as someone who is trying to pretend to be reasonable about it.what do you want. how hard did you complain when GW was running things? If you think this president is bad surely you agree the other two we just got rid of should be in the hague on trial?you can scream till the Rockies crumble that the "emperor has no cloths" but we can all see him as well. At worst you could say "that's a bit revealing" or' oh that is a risky number" but naked. Only you are naked. Wed 02 Dec 2009 17:46:08 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=42#comment56 49. At 5:06pm on 02 Dec 2009, dceilar wrote:#42 CuriousYou are not an expert on truth I can tell you that. This Brit knows not of these 'kool-aid' drinkers that you speak, however, you sound like someone who finds no fault in Faux News. Following Fluffy's link @38, just drink your beer and go to bed there's a good boy/girl.So do you have relatives who experienced war and loved it!? You right wing whiners lost in 2008. Deal with it!....................................Typical liberal thinking....If you don't agree with me..then you're an idiot or a bad person...Yawn...If your world view says that those in power have absolute right to do whatever they want...then I wonder how your will handle the next coming years when the american people rise up out of disgust for this current crop of terrible political leaders and give us a new set....will you accept in silence the reversing of your political world-view?......but that's ok...I'm used to liberal double standards...How do you even know that I read or watch "Faux" news as you state..I'm here on a BBC site reading news and leaving my commentary and observations. I gather my news from all sorts of sources and make my own conclusions...you should try it...if you can stand the challege to your fragile belief system... Wed 02 Dec 2009 17:43:29 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=41#comment55 curio george You started in on the R and D against Pub who I happen to think is not one to play politics when people might die.You stated how D is good and R is bad. one side always expresses it that way then pretends to be in the middle. How about R is good D is bad. Cause that is what I hear most often. Most dems I know just think the right are crazy, not bad, just crazy. Though I find some to be hypocritical in accusing you of being an donkey only in looks I would not disagree with them. Wed 02 Dec 2009 17:41:42 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=40#comment54 Ref 44 InterestedForeigner-Thank you for your support. It is always good to hear from you. Wed 02 Dec 2009 17:34:07 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=40#comment53 44. At 4:55pm on 02 Dec 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:42. Curious.You have not been posting here that long, or you would not have written so rudely to Publius on this subject. Publius knows what he is talking about, and has the pertinent experience.What you have said is actually quite offensive. You probably ought to apologize to Publius.----------------------------------------------------.....Blind faith and excusing the terrible actions or NON-actions of our politians is a cancer. I've had enough of the Cheerleading of the political parties and personalities in this country. ....I'm SICK of it....This is not a game where "my team" is better than "your team". This is serious, life and death stuff. In my book....All politicians are guilty first and must prove their innocence of betraying the common good.So far this politician has been a HUGE disaster for our country...any serious look at the actual facts (not the hype) will prove this out...But for many of the true believers out there...I will be cast out as heretic for proclaiming that the "the king has no clothes"....Let the insults commence.. Wed 02 Dec 2009 17:30:08 GMT+1 PursuitOfLove http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=39#comment52 The president said in his speech: ""we must make it clear to every man, woman and child around the world who lives under the dark cloud of tyranny that America will speak out on behalf of their human rights, and tend to the light of freedom, and justice, and opportunity, and respect for the dignity of all peoples. That is who we are. That is the source, the moral source of America's authority." Oh God. No wonder so much of the world thinks we're smug!Kind of hard to "tend to the light of justice" when we intend to try many Guantanamo Bay prisoners by military tribunal, and further still, transfer many more to maximum security prisons in the US because they're "too dangerous for release," isn't it?Hypocrisy anyone? Wed 02 Dec 2009 17:23:11 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=38#comment51 Ref 42 CuriousAmerican-I have not drunk kool-aid since I was a child, many years ago.I had a wife who served as a nurse in the U.S Army during the Persian Gulf War. She was stationed in a hospital in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. You may recall that Dhahran was one of the chief SCUD missle targets. Our child and I have lived with her terrible, continuing Post-Truamatic Stress (PTSD) episodes. I work with families of veterans suffering from PTSD; not only from the Persian Gulf War, but also from Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan; even Korea. Trying to help them understand and come to grips with PTSD.No. I do not see this as "some political game". It is very real to me. I hear the screams in the night. I get the frantic telephone calls at all hours of the day and night asking for my help.I hold all Presidents accountable; as well as Congressional Representatives and members of the Supreme Court. It does not matter to me whether they are Democrat nor whether they are Republican. Their duty is to serve in the best interest of our country while upholding the Constitution of the United States of America.How about yourself? Do you have any family members in the U.S. military? Wed 02 Dec 2009 17:22:37 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=37#comment50 InterestedForeigner (#48) "I don't believe that the US Army will have packed up in 18 months, come what may."Obama's plan is to begin withdrawal in mid-2011, not to be packed up. I expect it will take some time to remove all combat forces, and the schedule will depend on the conditions at the time. Wed 02 Dec 2009 17:21:30 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=37#comment49 43. At 4:53pm on 02 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:"Do you even have one family member in the US military? or is this all just some political game to you?"Interesting question, what about you. Do you believe all military vote GOP.You seem to think that only R join up for their country.Your question about political game seems very appropriate.you play politics with the military. You try to "own" the military for the R's .They do not own the military. Just the supply lines......................................Actually my entire family on both sides are in all branches of the armed services, for several generations.Did I ever say that only R join the military or are not guilty of using the military for domestic political games?.....You assume that by pointing out the obvious of this liberal politician that I support your hated R?.....which I don't by the way...I'm playing politics...how? I am just an average citizen that pays attention and gathers my news from mulitple sources (BBC being one) and make my own analysis. I have no power to effect any decisions on how our national treasure is spent our how the lives of our loved ones are wasted on whatever current crisis is brewing.Wise up to the reality sir....One of the biggest defense contractors in the country is Nancy Pelosi's husband...the last I checked she claimed be a liberal Democrat...But its just for show....Trying looking through the RED VS BLUE game that is american politics and you will see that its all the same flavor of ice cream with different toppings... Wed 02 Dec 2009 17:15:51 GMT+1 dceilar http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=36#comment48 #42 CuriousYou are not an expert on truth I can tell you that. This Brit knows not of these 'kool-aid' drinkers that you speak, however, you sound like someone who finds no fault in Faux News. Following Fluffy's link @38, just drink your beer and go to bed there's a good boy/girl.So do you have relatives who experienced war and loved it!? You right wing whiners lost in 2008. Deal with it! Wed 02 Dec 2009 17:06:19 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=35#comment47 40. At 4:27pm on 02 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:"I thought it was the best example of plain speaking we have heard from a US president since Harry Truman. I've listened to every president since Eisenhower, and we never got straight talk from any of the four presidents who presided over the Vietnam ...""I have confidence in President Obama, and am satisfied to wait to see how this plays out."__________Agreed.I don't believe that the US Army will have packed up in 18 months, come what may. Nonetheless, the President has established a basis upon which to make an orderly withdrawal if need be, within a reasonable timetable (anything up to two years or even 30 months would have been reasonable); and he has sent enough troops to make this and other options possible on the ground. The commitment of money is capped.If the Afghan government takes real steps to deal with corruption, and if the government of Pakistan takes effective steps within its own borders, then there is always the opportunity to revise this decision as circumstances may suggest. And if they don't, then there is a plan in place to bring the forces home. Wed 02 Dec 2009 17:05:22 GMT+1 OpenRoads http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=34#comment46 CuriousAmerican, all that is being asked of you is to weigh evidence. Evidence. Not ideology. Wed 02 Dec 2009 16:58:28 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=34#comment45 32. At 3:31pm on 02 Dec 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:"at a time when aggresive covert action could have toppled the regime and allowed the "people" their country back from the wack job mulllas and secured the region for generations." Oooooh! I just wet myself in admiration of your bold courageous virility!-------------------------------------------------------------I do enjoy the British dry sense of humor and am bit of an admirer of most things British in History and culture.However...the recent tendency to do nothing and pretend your enemies don't really want to kill you, but just want to talk about it over tea and crumpets at the UN is very sad for me to watch. The sad fact is that the opportunity to overthrow a tyrannical fanatical state was at hand....and the "dithering" of this president and yours allowed for a golden chance for a peaceful solution that the people wanted was lost...so much for our "moral authority"...if we've ever had such a thing... Wed 02 Dec 2009 16:58:16 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=33#comment44 If Obama wants to get forging then he should come take some lessons;) Wed 02 Dec 2009 16:55:43 GMT+1 Interestedforeigner http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=32#comment43 42. Curious.You have not been posting here that long, or you would not have written so rudely to Publius on this subject. Publius knows what he is talking about, and has the pertinent experience.What you have said is actually quite offensive. You probably ought to apologize to Publius. Wed 02 Dec 2009 16:55:33 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=31#comment42 "Do you even have one family member in the US military? or is this all just some political game to you?"Interesting question, what about you. Do you believe all military vote GOP.You seem to think that only R join up for their country.Your question about political game seems very appropriate. you play politics with the military. You try to "own" the military for the R's .They do not own the military. Just the supply lines Wed 02 Dec 2009 16:53:01 GMT+1 CuriousAmerican http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=31#comment41 34. At 4:09pm on 02 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:Did you see that their Commander and Chief was just as eager to shake their hands and pose for as many pictures with the cadets as he could before his departure?Certainly not a sign of disagreement.-----------------------------------------------------...ohh please...you sound like all the other kool-aid drinkers that find no fault in anything a politician does as long as he has "D" next to his name and hates the exact same decision if it's done by someone with a "R" next to theirs...Holding the president accountable regardless of party? Is that possible for one such as yourself. Do you even have one family member in the US military? or is this all just some political game to you? Wed 02 Dec 2009 16:34:19 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=30#comment40 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhL4gJpbh50&NR=1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Soc7S-pQZ6M&NR=1here's bush telling the truth every word of it. "to ignore this would be.."The man wasn't a liar just the american people heard what they wanted so here's the reason it has got to the state we are in. Listen to those words of GW and he admits his plan all along. How is it they could consistently see the truth as he says here, ,then do exactly what is needed to create the horror reality? Wed 02 Dec 2009 16:33:01 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=29#comment39 I thought it was the best example of plain speaking we have heard from a US president since Harry Truman. I've listened to every president since Eisenhower, and we never got straight talk from any of the four presidents who presided over the Vietnam debacle over two decades, or from most of the six who followed them, with regard to military operations. There are exceptions here and there for specific operations (such as Ford's dealing with the Mayaguez incident), but they are few and minor.I have confidence in President Obama, and am satisfied to wait to see how this plays out. Wed 02 Dec 2009 16:27:15 GMT+1 colonelartist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=28#comment38 Is his mother of all reassurance to the americans or the people of afghanistan? President nasser of egypt's generals , used to joke about that everytime the israelian said the word, "peace", the president told them to be prepared for the war... And everytime obama will resaure his people, the afghans will have to be prepared for the war... Wed 02 Dec 2009 16:24:27 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=28#comment37 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkZQ2Fx1j9E&feature=relatedhere's the link for that Wed 02 Dec 2009 16:20:42 GMT+1 fluffytale http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=27#comment36 26 no one from outside the states could think that you were ever curious if you were you might have looked at things or situations to study them I fear you spout but without intent.Can I ask why the" last great leader of the free world " didn't go in and do the same to Saddam and his brothers?Or to Bin Laden .( really should have mentioned him first but hey , we all know GW wanted Iraq but got Afghanistan for free as a taster.)Hell Bin Laden was in some cave. Why is it easy for "covert action" when it is a dem but the GOP get to use all the fun toys;)Back to the complex issues.google "BILL HICKS on war and freedom" Wed 02 Dec 2009 16:20:18 GMT+1 GH1618 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=26#comment35 I doubt very much that it was a Marine band at West Point. More likely, the United States Military Academy Band. Wed 02 Dec 2009 16:16:19 GMT+1 Mandolinist http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=25#comment34 #18- Must disagree on one item in particular... The failures of planning you speak of are failures of the civilian politicians (primarily Bush and his advisors), not of the "typical educated American military planner". Kipling is quite well known to American officers. One former Army Ranger told me that most every good officer he ever met was a Kipling fan. But that didn't do any good when Bush just fired any general who disagreed with him. Wed 02 Dec 2009 16:11:12 GMT+1 publiusdetroit http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=25#comment33 Ref 26 CuriousAmerican-"[N]ever send a college professor/community organizer to do anything important..its all talk and half measures....what do they know about the real world? He's spent his entire life in a make-believe world of theory and radical leftest politics."It was only this past Monday you had posted on another thread that 100% of the West Point cadets disagreed with the President. Did you notice after his speech last night how many of those cadets were eagerly pressing together in an effort to shake the President's hand and have their picture taken with him? Did you see that their Commander and Chief was just as eager to shake their hands and pose for as many pictures with the cadets as he could before his departure?Certainly not a sign of disagreement.Are you not the one who posted that 95% of those West Point cadets are barely old enough to vote? Did you notice that these cadets had reached the age of majority? They were not minors? Well over 95% of these young men and women are fully old enough and able to vote?Leaves one to wonder what you really know about the real world. Wed 02 Dec 2009 16:09:17 GMT+1 DigitalJanitor http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2009/12/the_commanderinchief_walked_on.html?page=24#comment32 All the rest aside, it will be interesting to see how the neocons attempt to thread their own needle: our country not being able to afford health care/infrastructure/real movement towards alternate energy (for critical security and economic issues even if you don't believe in AGM)... yet... supposedly we should stay indefinitely in at least one, maybe 2, infinite money sucking vortexes of war. The disconnect represented by supposedly 'fiscally conservative' mainstream GOP leadership is stunning. Ron Paul and a few others on the fringes have been yelling, but they're usually relegated to 'that weird guy in the corner'. Democrats OTOH appear more willing to admit there's a problem, but few seem to display the political will required for solutions.It often feels like we've been hit by a corporate locust storm, stripping every political, economic, natural, and moral resource from the country and vanishing to points unknown. Wed 02 Dec 2009 15:40:38 GMT+1