Viva Obama!

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by The BKP, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. The BKP
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    The BKP Grand Inquistor

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    My grandfather always said to give credit where credit is due, regardless of what political party someone might be a member of. So, in keeping with Pa Pa's sage wisdom, I believe kudos are in order for our esteemed President on two fronts as of late.

    First, there is the President's response to the kidnapping of the Captain of the MV Maersk Alabama.

    After a botched attempt to seize the vessel by Somali pirates, Captain Richard Phillips found himself their hostage as they attempted to flee the scene in one of the Alabama's lifeboats. Responding to the hostage situation, the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge intercepted the lifeboat on the second day of Phillips' ordeal. Remaining on-scene, the Bainbridge served as both escort and eventually tug for the craft when rough waters later set in.

    Though the President's cool response to press inquiries about the situation bordered on giving the impression of disinterest, behind the scenes the White House was closely monitoring the situation along with the Pentagon. After an attempted escape by Phillips, with the teenage pirates growing increasingly tense and aggravated, the President approved a plan for Navy Seals to execute a rescue operation, should the opportunity present itself.

    On Sunday, with split second percision, three Seal snipers simultaneously killed three of the pirates holding Phillips, with a fourth on the Bainbridge for negotiations and medical treatment being taken into custody without incident.

    The President earns kudos on this front for two reasons.

    - First, he has demonstrated a willingness to listen to and accept the recommendations of his military advisers, including his in-the-field or on-the-scene commanders. In light of the President's lack of military and national security experience, this is a promising sign.

    As the drawn-down in Iraq progresses over the coming 32 months, conditions in-country may change, perhaps dramatically so. Should security deteriorate and the Iraqi government find itself destabilized and unable to effectively respond, changes in the drawn-down schedule may need to be implemented. In such a circumstance, the President will be faced with decisions that may be politically unpopular with voters weary of the ongoing occupation and seemingly never-ending troop rotations. In particular, he will be under tremendous pressure from the Left Wing of his own party. That will be met by countervailing pressure on the Right, as Republicans seek to portray the Democrats and Obama as weak-willed and untrustworthy in matters of national security. Multiplying the magnitude of these political pressures will be the countdown clock winding down to the 2012 campaign and Obama's all-but-certain re-election bid.

    Should that happen, the President must trust his military and national security advisers to provide him analysis and options that are firmly rooted in the strategic interest of the nation and free of domestic political influence. Hopefully the President will do what President Bush so often said, but equally as often failed to follow through on - listen to his commanders in-the-field and placing their recommendations ahead of domestic political considerations.

    - In addition to listening to the military, it is promising to see the President is willing to utilize it when appropriate and necessary. While it remains to be seen the extent to which that continues and what situations or circumstances are considered out of bounds, it is nonetheless gratifying to see the President will act decisively when he and his advisers deem it exigent.

    Pray God they are granted the wisdom to continue to clearly differentiate between those occasions when military force is or is not critical to the national interest.

    Can I get an "Amen" from the faithful?

    Moving on to the sun-kissed shores of the Caribbean, the President has taken the first steps down the long and winding road towards normalization of relations between the US and our Communist friends across the Straits of Florida in Havana. This is long overdue; twenty years so, in fact.

    In the wake of the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the moment was ripe for the US to pursue detente with Cuba. For whatever reason, George H. Bush chose not to capitalize on the historic opportunity, though. One can only imagine what the state of American-Cuban relations might be today had Bush 41 had the intestinal fortitude to boldly move to dispense with what was clearly an archaic relic of the recently-passed Cold War at the time.

    Regardless of what may have been, relations remained stagnant to icy over the next two decades between the two antagonists facing each other across the Floridian Straits. That is till a series of overtures from Washington that began with the announcement earlier this week that the President was easing restrictions on family remittances, communication, limited trade and travel to the island of rum, revolutionaries and cigars.

    The President's overtures sparked an increasingly warm exchange that played out of the course of the week and culminated in Cuban President Raul Castro's statement that Havana was willing to discuss "everything".

    Following this, speaking at the opening ceremony of the Summit of the Americas, Obama said, "The United States seeks a new beginning with Cuba."

    While no direct dialogue has occurred as yet, the potential long term geopolitical significance of this first round of warm wishes should not be underestimated. That being said, observers should likewise be keen not to naively assumed progress will be quick or easy.

    There are significant, deep-seeded differences and issues between the two decades-long antagonists. Property rights, political dissent, brand trademarks and human rights are all potentially thorny points encompassed in "everything" Castro indicated his was willing to discuss. Many of these will take considerable amounts of effort, patience and time to resolve. Along the way, it should be expected that progress may often be fitful and accompanied by the occasional setback. Accordingly, all, including the President, would be well-advised to remain realistic, however earnest and hopeful they might otherwise be.

    Nonetheless, join me, if you will and raise your Cuba Libre as we give the President warm Caribbean kudos for taking the first tentative steps towards normalized relations between ourselves and our comrades in Cuba.

    Viva Obama, faithful readers! Smoke 'em, if ya got 'em. If not, you may well have in the not-so-distant future.

    Stay tuned for further updates as events warrant and we see if something more substantive than warm greetings crosses the Strait of Florida anytime in the near future.
     
  2. FactFinder
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    FactFinder VIP Member

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    Obama did jack shit about the hostage. The sharpshooters did. The economy is still fucked and about to be worse as the debt rolls in and inflation kicks in from all the money printing the Fed is doing. The Treasury has sold out the FDIC making it all but insolvent. It will become insolvent if there is any run on any banks unlesss the Fed prints even more cash further spiking infaltion and making any money that was withdrawn worth one hell of a lot less.
     
  3. DavidS
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    DavidS Anti-Tea Party Member

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    We had relations with the Soviet Union since the 1960s. We've had relations with China since the 1970s. We normalized relations with Vietnam a few years ago. What is our grudge with Cuba? It's a communist country? So what? So is China! It treats its citizens brutally? So what? So does Saudi Arabia! Who are we to dictate to a country what kind of economic philosophy they should use? Cuba's people are poor. We should do something like having full, normalized relations with Cuba - trade with Cuba would energize the economy in South Florida, would skyrocket Cuba's GDP - and would be great. I'm not saying we have to be best buds - but allowing free unrestricted travel to Cuba, like we have with China, would really energize their economy. Trade and toursim are two things that are recession proof. I, personally, would LOVE to buy a Cuban cigar and smoke it.

    Our attitude towards Cuba has GOT to change.
     
  4. FactFinder
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    FactFinder VIP Member

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    Well I take exception to the terms our 'comrades" in Cuba. I am not a "comrade" to those who abuse thier own people. That being said I have no problem with relationships with the Cuban people, as long as we can properly dis thier government.
     
  5. DavidS
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    DavidS Anti-Tea Party Member

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    So then you have a problem with the US presence in Afghanistan where it's now legal to rape women?

    Do you have any idea how bad the human rights violations are in China? Do you remember Myimar from a couple of years ago with the Tibettan monks being slaughtered by the Chinese in the hundreds? How many products do you own that are made in China? What about the abuses of human rights in Pakistan? Yet you've never uttered one word about the sale of dozens of F-16's and other weapons to Pakistan.

    If you are such a force against countries that abuse their own people, why have I never seen anything from you in regards to Clinton with Kosovo? And what about Darfur? Why haven't you spoken out against Darfur? What are your opinions about Rwanda and Bosnia during the early 1990s? Do you have any idea how many countries that not only do you and I use products from but our government openly supports and arms that abuse their people? Why have you never spoken out against this?

    To be honest, I'm not trying to attack you. I'm just trying to show you that Cuba isn't the worst of the worst. We've had a grudge against Cuba for a very, very long time. Probably because of the Bay of Pigs failure. When Dubyah's daddy was head of the CIA, we "invaded" Cuba and failed. Since we've had Bush policy in the White House since the early 1980s, with the exception of Clinton, we wouldn't want to re-visit that failure. Why Clinton never engaged the Cubans I dunno - I guess he was doing his best to appease to both sides of the aisle like Clinton masterfully did.

    Obama is the yang to Dubyah's ying. We have not had a true, die hard liberal in the White House in a very, very long time. In fact, I would say this is probably the most progressive liberal we have ever elected. Look how much he's done and how much he's set out to do in his first 100 days. This is gonna be an interesting 4 years.
     
  6. krotchdog
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    krotchdog BANNED

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    Who are we, me personally, my family was victims of tyrants, my family and friends fled the countrys you mention. Who am I, a refugee from tyranny. What right do I have to interfere with tyranny. What right do I have to demand that the lives of those left behind be saved. Yes, we must bow to tyrants, we have no business demanding tyrants do not rape or kill the mothers and daughters left behind.

    Who am I, a better question is who are you.
     
  7. Indiana Oracle
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    Indiana Oracle The Truth is Hard to Find

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    Having relations with countries around the world (think Nutty Professor at the dinner table scene), in my view at least, is meaningless - either way. All of these people are in everything together one way or another. Even a junior player like The Prophet probably figured that out fairly quickly (he is a quick study if nothing else).

    The only things worth watching and acting on are what they cook up that screws us for their own purposes. With all due respect, the rest is diversion or public mind conditioning.
     
  8. Epsilon Delta
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    Epsilon Delta Jedi Master

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    The embargo against Cuba is a joke. A complete anachronism, from ages past- the funniest thing is that Cuba is STILL banned from the OAS for being a "tyranny" in 1962, when the US was OPENLY SUPPORTING a dozen dictatorships on this continent. What cynicism!

    But the cynicism continues up to today. Like DavidS mentioned, they've normalized relations with Red China and Red Vietnam, even the Soviet union when it was still around. US almost single-handedly supports the most radical fundamentalist regime in the world- Saudi Arabia. And not two decades ago it it was much worse- Indonesia? Saddam Hussein? Pinochet?

    Yeah, this embargo is nothing more than a 40-year grudge. How can they not get over it after half a century? Then, as Now, the American leadership was absolutely dumbstruck- how can this... how dare they... this tiny dwarf... this backwater island, ours by RIGHT, possibly think they can escape our sphere of influence? Defecting to the other side? After we came right in at the end of their war of independence and "saved" them from Spain, after we brought them into our wing, gave them casinos, supported their dictators, ran the place for them... And now they think they can do this!?

    It's one of those instances where ideology just totally trumped common sense. The embargo, first of all, has benefited NOBODY more than the Castro brothers, and hurt NOBODY more than the Cuban people. It's the single biggest legitimator of the Cuban state since the Bay of Pigs fiasco. 50 years, Castro has just had to say "Look at them, they're still at it, they're still hostile, they're still trying to choke us... just as they always have." And people listen. Who knows where Cuba would be now without an embargo. It would probably be a hell more democratic than now. The flow of information and just plain things to and from the US would've had an impact. What if the 2 million Cubans in Florida and American tourists could come and go? Trade and tourism would account for a gigantic portion of GDP, Cubans would be wealthier, they might've demanded more rights, they would be less afraid, there would be more ideas.

    But nooooooo.........
     

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