Thursday, December 15, 2011

One war is over



US President Barack Obama has marked the end of the war in Iraq with a speech in which he welcomed home thousands of US troops.

Addressing soldiers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home of the 82nd Airborne Division, Mr Obama stopped short of declaring victory in Iraq but called the winding down of the conflict "an extraordinary achievement".

"It is harder to end a war than to begin one," he told about 3,000 soldiers gathered in an airplane hangar as they punctuated his speech with cheers and hollers.

36 comments:

  1. Bush's criminal war is over and yet to be paid for. In addition, neither al-Maliki or any of Bush's hand picked lackeys appeared for that closing ceremony. You might remember when the Iraqi football team was in international competition and the players were asked, ''what do you think about Bush?" They all replied, ''he can go to hell".

    So much for the idea that this was an honorable war, that Iraqis appreciated it in any way, and that the soldiers sacrificed for our good.

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  2. Can we send Bush and Cheney a bill for the billions in out of pocket costs, and the estimated trillions the war will cost in the end?

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  3. Before the war, Bush said the war would be paid for by oil revenues. So far, nobody has issued a bill to the oil barons for reimbursement to the taxpayers for those costs.

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  4. He meant Iraqi oil. He had some hare-brained idea that the US would be controlling the flow of this oil, or at least made it sound that way for public consumption. The only persons this war benefited were oil companies and defense contractors.

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  5. That's why we were there, right? This is GW's legacy ... thousands of dead and deep in debt.

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  6. I see the indefinite detention provision in the new defense bill is getting a lot of "bandwidth." The Republican strategy appears to be to insert provisions like this into spending bill, then leave it up to conservative blogs to pin it on Obama if he passes the bill.

    He apparently tried to have the provision removed entirely but the best he could do is have it made optional. So, now he is viewed as having asserted the option of "martial law," which he had assiduously been trying to avoid.

    Even Rachel Maddow jumped all over Obama on this. But, with the vote 93-7 in the Senate and 283-136 in the House, Congress could have easily overridden his veto. Seems this was mostly designed to rain on Obama's parade in having announced the withdrawal of military forces from Iraq.

    This is a virtual replay on the closure of Gitmo back in 2009. Seems Congress is content to have these extralegal measures stay in place.

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  7. I wonder why Republicans aren't applauding Obama for ending Bush's war (?). Such poor sportmanship, tsk, tsk.

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  8. Now they are accusing Obama of being "weak?"

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  9. The republicans think the US should stay in Iraq forever, which was the point all along I think.

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  10. Perpetual war = perpetual war profits.

    As always, it's all about the profit motive for the Repukeblicans.

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  11. I see the Pugs are trying to get Obama to swallow the Keystone pipeline project. Nice of them to sticke it in the payroll tax cut bill.

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  12. May be a moot point if the house gets their hands on it. Sounds like they want to stay in Washington and work all the way through Christmas. Now that really will be something to tune into C-Span for.

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  13. I see the Dogs in the House are pissing all over this bill,

    http://news.yahoo.com/house-republicans-oppose-senate-payroll-tax-bill-142440551.html

    maybe if they dropped the $180 bil. Keystone pipeline project the bill wouldn't seem so expensive.

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  14. What galls me is how the Democrats refuse to stand behind Obama. He threatens to veto a bill due to the crap the Republicans want to stick in it, and good ol' Harry softens the language a bit and it passes 93-7. Same thing on the Payroll Tax Cut bill with the Keystone oil pipeline, which is nothing but pork.

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  15. It's also very controversial. As I understand the law, though, he has to make a speedy decision, not necessarily decide in its favor. If that's the case, then he has two months to decide against it, if he is inclined that way.

    I have friends who have worked against it, and they say the Department of State had already agreed to it in principle. That the deal had already been cut with Canada.

    But when the political cost became obvious, Obama wanted to put off the decision -- it needed more study -- til after the election.

    My guess is that's why it's tacked on. The republicans want to force Obama to make a decision one way or the other -- and they'll benefit either way in 2012.

    I wish Donot were here. He's really against all of this and this was his industry.

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  16. During an election cycle it seems to me that Democrats are their own worst enemies. The Republicans are so vulnerable this time around. They have made complete fools of themselves, so you would think the Dems would rally together to put these old dogs out of their misery, but no, they play right into the Republicans attempt to pass controversial issues onto the Democrats, so that they can duck them when they come up on the campaign trail.

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  17. I'm beginning to think like the Tea Partiers. Go for the House and see if you can't build from the bottom up. I'm no fan of many of Obama's decisions but he's probably as good as we get in the White House and at least provides some sort of wall against the worst of the Republicans.

    We also need to work harder on getting everyone to vote. The Republicans are trying to stop that effort, so you know they are afraid of it. Everyone has to get to the polls -- even more than 2008. Or it's just going to get worse.

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  18. The GOP has alienated just about everyone except the most conservative of white voters, yet they are expected to hold onto their House majority and maybe even gain seats in the Senate.

    Meanwhile, the Democrats appear to run individual campaigns, with many keeping as much distance between them and Obama as they can. This at a time when anti-Wall St. sentiment is at all-time high, and recall voting ousted key Republicans in Wisconsin and Arizona. It just doesn't make sense.

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  19. The Democrats have been very quiet, but then there just isn't much good news out there. They are content to let Obama take all of the heat, but they did the same when Clinton was in office. There is also apparently a good deal of discontent with the way the White House does things, but this isn't new either.

    You can always count on the Republicans to overreach. The overreaching this time around, however, borders on the bafoonish. There has never been a goofier group of Republican presidential hopefuls than this one. As for Romney, he does not seem overly eager to reach the White House.

    I think Obama will win a second term. It would be nice if the sane members of the American electorate also sent packing some of the nutcases in the House, but that may be too much to hope for.

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  20. "House Republicans on Tuesday soundly rejected a bill approved by the Senate that would have extended the payroll tax cut for most Americans beyond the end of the year and allowed millions of unemployed people to continue receiving jobless benefits.

    The House vote, which passed 229 to 193, also calls for establishing a negotiating committee so the two chambers can resolve their differences. Seven Republicans joined Democrats in opposition."

    With utterly boneheaded moves like that described above, I think the House is very likely to hemorrhage GOP seats in the 2012 elections.

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  21. One would hope, but there's something really wrong with the American electorate. The only thing I can figure is Fox News.

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  22. It's not just Fox news, it is news in general. CNN is little better. Not a big fan of MSNBC either. News as entertainment.

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  23. There was that Farliegh-Dickinson poll that rated Fox and MSNBC viewers among the worst informed. Daily Show watchers fared better than most news watchers in a simple contemporary events quiz. NPR viewers topped the survey.

    The way news has become filtered by mostly conservative news media syndicates is alarming. It is not just television, but newspapers, news journals, and radio as well.

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  24. Most polls show MSNBC viewers much better informed, even over CNN. But MSNBC mostly covers politics, so unless there's a huge natural catastrophe of some sort you don't see much of anything else there.

    (They also got dinged on some factual point in one of those polls so went out of their way to go over the "facts" to be sure everyone understood it -- I thought that was pretty amazing. I'm assuming Fox News uses those misconceptions as a point of honor.)

    CNN used to be where you went for real-time coverage of events, but they really took a turn to the right in the last few years (maybe after Turner left?). I can't stand to watch it anymore.

    But t.v. news has always been entertainment. I remember returning to the states after living in England, and I couldn't believe American news. It was all flash. That's when I stopped watching US t.v. altogether except an occasional PBS week in review. Didn't start again until 2001 (and at that point honestly thought some of the "reporters" at Fox were very bad comedians). Now I watch way too much of it.

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  25. MSNBC didn't fair much better than Fox viewers in the poll. Scroll down to see the results,

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/73377350/Fairleigh-Dickinson-University-Public-Mind-Poll

    MSNBC suffers from a similar problem in that it is too much about the personalities and not enough about the information they are attemptign to impart. I've tried watching Rachel Maddow, most recently her attack on Obama over indefinite detention, and her pedantic tone annoyed the hell out of me and quit. Not only that, she got basic information wrong.

    Like the Fox pundits, the MSNBC pundits are too busy pushing their viewpoint, clipping and pasting whatever news items fit their opinion.

    I really miss the PBS Frontline episodes. Granted, they could be politically biased as well, but generally presented the information correctly. Unlike Steve Kroft's recent segment on 60 Minutes where he attempted to imply that Pelosi and Boehner both were insider traders on Capitol Hill,

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2011/1115/Did-Nancy-Pelosi-profit-from-Visa-stock-purchases

    A little too anxious it seems to nail a big one.

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  26. You can still watch Frontline on the PBS website, although there hasn't been anything new on there lately. I record on my dvr.

    I like watching Rachel Maddow on MSNBC but often have to turn down the volume because she yells a lot.

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  27. Maddow is probably an acquired taste. And I think it takes awhile to get used to a woman in that role.

    Her show strikes me as the best/worst of news as entertainment. She's very smart, and since I get my news from many sources have never felt myself misinformed based on what I've learned from her (although know nothing about Pelosi, which shows you how [self] editing works).

    I do, however, get tired of the entertainment aspect. Frankly, and this is what drives my friends mad, I prefer Chris Matthews. He is a democrat but tends to be right down the middle on most issues, or even a little to the right. He's also very transparent, and usually has someone on from both sides.

    But it's tricky if you only get news even from NPR, but they avoid or don't bother with stories too. Gintaras you're probably in the best position getting international news on a regular basis. They often see us (and vice versa) in a more objective light.

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  28. I gave up on PBS news during the first war on Iraq. Bush Sr. put up these security walls around all the airports in America, including in Montana and Madison Wisconsin. It was blatant war propaganda, trying to scare everyone into thinking that Iraq was going to attack us.

    When the editor of the Progressive magazine noted how absurd that was, Jim Lehrer jumped all over him about not wanting the American people to be safe.

    Click.

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  29. Now that the war is over, the homecomings are taking place. And with this comes a new outlook:

    http://upload.democraticunderground.com/imgs/home/111221-welcome-home.jpg

    http://hamptonroads.com/2011/12/first-lesbian-couple-get-first-kiss-navy-homecoming

    Yes, times have changed!

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  30. Political pundits in general leave me cold, av, but Matthews is fun to watch if nothing else. He at least brings some emotion to the table. But, if I'm going to have my news filtered by anyone, I prefer it be Jon Stewart, and to a lesser extent Stephen Colbert.

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  31. I see Barry stared down Bayyy-ner on this one,

    http://news.yahoo.com/speaker-boehner-surrenders-tax-showdown-023308973.html

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  32. I have friends who couldn't make it right now without their unemployment extension. In a lot of places in the country, there are no jobs -- not even dish washing which the friend I'm thinking of has even tried. People don't realize how tough it is out there.

    I'm technically a student hire, which is how I can work right now. Not sure what will happen when I graduate.... I can see it all now. No job. No insurance. Scary.

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  33. Yet, the politicians play with unemployment compensation and payroll tax cuts as if they were ragdolls.

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  34. The jobs picture has improved here in Atlanta. Whether this is a trend that continues into next year, only time will tell. We have started to see some fairly significant construction, which was nonexistent for about two years, and that is a very welcome sign. Our foreclosure rate, however, is still obscenely high. According to zilla, our home has lost about 30% of the value it had in 2008. I'm just glad I never borrowed against my equity. I have friends who did and who regret that with every fiber of their being.

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  35. Here's why there shouldn't be any more wars:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGuR7FvGMqk&feature=youtu.be

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