Is Obama Strong Enough?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Sinatra, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. Sinatra
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    Sinatra Senior Member

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    This pirate-hostage crisis may well prove the first true test of Obama's international street cred - so far his performance has been less than stellar. His European tour had more in common with a Britney Spears tour than actual international regard - while a popular figure, he has yet to earn true respect.

    Michael Goodwin offers some insight into this situation, tagging Obama as utilizing a "Kumbaya approach" to foreign relations...

    Is Barack tough enough to lead the world? Early signs are mixed
     
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  2. xsited1
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    xsited1 Agent P

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    no
     
  3. HUGGY
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    HUGGY I Post Because I Care Supporting Member

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    The question should be is Obama smart enough to get the captain freed. Captain freed..chalk another in the Obama win colomn. Too bad Sinatra I know you wanted the captain killed to justify your distorted politics.

    I will not take down my comment because That would be chicken shit. I do apologise to Sinatra for putting it up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  4. Sinatra
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    Sinatra Senior Member

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    Just received report that the captain has been freed and the pirates killed.

    That is excellent news.

    Kudos to our military for once again proving their capabilities as the single greatest fighting force on this planet, and kudos to the president for having the courage to give the go ahead for the action. I hope we now take a very hard stance on this pirating issue - blow those boats right out of the water.

    A wonderful Easter for the family of that captain.
     
  5. JimCo
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    JimCo Rookie

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    Do you even understand the whys of the Somali piracy, why it all started? There are thousands of fishing boats out there at any one time, most are just fishing with pirates hiding amongst them just waiting for a target of opportunity. So while it may seem the answer is to just go in and shoot the pirates ... that is easier said than done.

    History


    Due to the clan-based organization of Somalia and the lack of a central government, combined with Somalia's location at the Horn of Africa, conditions were ripe for the growth of piracy in the early 1990s. Since the collapse of the state, boats illegally fishing in Somali waters were a common sight. Pirates at first were interested in securing the waters before businessmen and militias became involved. Acts of piracy temporarily subsided following the rise of the Islamic Courts Union in 2006. However, pirate activity began to increase after Ethiopia invaded Somalia in December 2006.

    During the Siad Barre regime, Somalia received aid from Denmark, Great Britain, Iraq, Japan, Sweden, USSR and West Germany to develop their fishing industry. The fishing industry comprised either cooperatives which had fixed prices for the catch, which was often exported due to the low demand for seafood in Somalia. Aid money improved the ships and supported the construction of maintenance facilities.[16] After the Barre regime the income from fishing decreased due to the civil war. Some pirates are former fishermen, who argue that foreign ships are threatening their livelihood by fishing in Somali waters. After seeing the profitability of piracy, since ransoms are usually paid, warlords began to facilitate pirate activities, splitting the profits with the pirates.[17] In most of the hijackings, the bandits have not harmed their prisoners.[18] The attackers generally treat their hostages well in anticipation of a big payday to the point of hiring caterers on the shores of Somalia to cook spaghetti, grilled fish and roasted meat that will appeal to a Western palate. They also keep a steady supply of cigarettes and drinks from the shops on shore.[19]

    Background to piracy

    Following the massive tsunami of December 2004, there have also emerged allegations that after the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in the late 1980s, Somalia's long, remote shoreline was used as a dump site for the disposal of toxic waste. The huge waves which battered northern Somalia after the tsunami are believed to have stirred up tonnes of nuclear and toxic waste that was illegally dumped in the country by several European firms. The European Green Party followed up these revelations by presenting before the press and the European Parliament in Strasbourg copies of contracts signed by two European companies -- the Italian Swiss firm, Achair Partners, and an Italian waste broker, Progresso -- and representatives of the warlords then in power, to accept 10 million tonnes of toxic waste in exchange for $80 million (then about £60 million). According to reports by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the waste has resulted in far higher than normal cases of respiratory infections, mouth ulcers and bleeding, abdominal haemorrhages and unusual skin infections among many inhabitants of the areas around the northeastern towns of Hobbio and Benadir on the Indian Ocean coast -- diseases consistent with radiation sickness. UNEP continues that the current situation along the Somali coastline poses a very serious environmental hazard not only in Somalia but also in the eastern Africa sub-region.[28][29] At the same time, illegal trawlers began fishing Somalia's seas with an estimated $300 million of tuna, shrimp, and lobster being taken each year depleting stocks previously available to local fishermen. Through interception with speedboats, Somali fishermen tried to either dissuade the dumpers and trawlers or levy a "tax" on them as compensation. In an interview, Sugule Ali, one of the pirate leaders explained "We don't consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits (to be) those who illegally fish and dump in our seas." Peter Lehr, a Somalia piracy expert at the University of St. Andrews says "It's almost like a resource swap, Somalis collect up to $100 million a year from pirate ransoms off their coasts and the Europeans and Asians poach around $300 million a year in fish from Somali waters."[30][31]
     
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  6. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    Taking out pirates is easy, running the nation is hard.

    Time will tell if he is or not, he failed to stand up to queen nan and passed some abominal spending bills, the future does not bode well.
     
  7. FactFinder
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    FactFinder VIP Member

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    The problem with that is those aren't the ships they have been pirating.
     
  8. Meister
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    Meister VIP Member Supporting Member

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    Harry reid, and Nancy Pelosi are a thorn in Obama's side. Unless he can keep them reeled in...He isn't going to be percieved as strong, in my eyes. Just sayin....
     
  9. Sinatra
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    Sinatra Senior Member

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    On this day, I give thanks to Obama for allowing the military to do its job.

    As our attention turns back to the economy, concerns remain regarding this President, but today, he gets a reprive from me.

    Or at least for the next hour...
     
  10. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    How about the rest of the military ? Will he let them finish the job too ?
     

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