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"There's one thing I must confess .... I'm not really a pacifist."

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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 06:58 PM
Original message
"There's one thing I must confess .... I'm not really a pacifist."
Because the one thing I CANNOT tolerate is an uninformed opinion, I offer this as a bit of a refresher.....

And just as we keep our keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.

For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.

And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice - but it is not the change we need.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans - have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

These are the policies I will pursue.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/28/barack-obama-d...


I do not remember a huge uproar here at DU when he made this speech in August of 2008. I presume some of you all were in the kitchen during that part?

I'm not arguing that sending more troops to Afghanistan is the CORRECT thing or the wise thing .... but we had fair warning.

As you can see, he has already delivered on that last promise. Keeping this in mind, is it asking too much to give him the benefit of the doubt a wee bit longer and save our rage until we've at least heard his side of the argument?

(Note: The title of this thread is not a quote of the President but of Pete Seeger, the godfather of American folk music and I thought it was fitting.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4-w2FYIJbw
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SIMPLYB1980 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R!
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. I disagreed with his position then, and still do.
He made that promise over a year ago. A lot has changed on the ground since then. We have a corrupt, illegitimate government there, now. The US death toll has reached record numbers under Obama's first surge. And, now he is getting ready to double down.

Only the Pentagon brass and his inner circle(and the repukes) think this is a good idea.
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. +1 n/t
:dem:

-Laelth
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
45. +1
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
3. Wow! My hatred for McCain blinded me to Obama's imperialism
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Here then...........
Edited on Mon Nov-09-09 07:05 PM by Clio the Leo



grrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!! You scared again yet?
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. Yikes!
:rofl:


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timeforpeace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Hatred? Blindness? On DU?
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
28. It's not "imperialism" and you know it.
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HopeOverFear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
5. It won't matter, Clio
when he announces troops, DU will turn into a war zone itself. I plan to be gone then LOL
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. ha ha.......
.... I plan on reading old Rick Warren threads from the archives ....... sigh ........ the good old days when we all got along!
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Sinti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
9. I heard him at the time
I don't see where understanding what the candidate said at the time and desiring to end the war against the people of Afghanistan are incompatible. He said that at that time he would have done it, but what about now? Things have changed wildly on the ground. Even if he had said he was going to stay in Iraq he would have been better than bomb-bomb Iran dude, right.

Pro-Peace people have an obligation to stand up and decry war as a criminal enterprise that enriches the makers of death machines. That's not to say we don't love our president, we just want to make sure he has our perspective on war, also. It's the least we can do - silence is consent.
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kayakjohnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. That's really a good post.
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. Well, five months ago he said....
So let me be clear: al Qaeda and its allies - the terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks - are in Pakistan and Afghanistan . Multiple intelligence estimates have warned that al Qaeda is actively planning attacks on the U.S. homeland from its safe-haven in Pakistan . And if the Afghan government falls to the Taliban - or allows al Qaeda to go unchallenged - that country will again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can.

<snip>

As President, my greatest responsibility is to protect the American people. We are not in Afghanistan to control that country or to dictate its future. We are in Afghanistan to confront a common enemy that threatens the United States , our friends and allies, and the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan who have suffered the most at the hands of violent extremists.

So I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan , and to prevent their return to either country in the future. That is the goal that must be achieved. That is a cause that could not be more just. And to the terrorists who oppose us, my message is the same: we will defeat you.

To achieve our goals, we need a stronger, smarter and comprehensive strategy.

<snip>

The United States of America did not choose to fight a war in Afghanistan . Nearly 3,000 of our people were killed on September 11, 2001, for doing nothing more than going about their daily lives. Al Qaeda and its allies have since killed thousands of people in many countries. Most of the blood on their hands is the blood of Muslims, who al Qaeda has killed and maimed in far greater numbers than any other people. That is the future that al Qaeda is offering to the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan - a future without opportunity or hope; a future without justice or peace.

http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=12515



The only way his strategy would need to change would be if al Qaeda was no longer taking refuge in Pakistan and the Taliban had been rendered powerless in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, neither of those things has happened.
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Sinti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Well, I do respect your commitment
and appreciate the way you stand up for the president around here, not that I think he can't defend himself, but he's not around :) I don't believe he's incapable of changing his mind like *. I see nothing wrong with stating a strong preference for peace to the White House, whether or not they think war is a good idea. If we asked Bush to consider peace, the least we should do is encourage the man we elected to also seek peace.

Technically, Al Qaeda is not in Afghanistan (technically it doesn't really exist, it's a catch-all name not an organization with members who know they are members). The White House and others have addressed the problem of corruption in the country. The UN has pulled out half their people due to corruption and NATO is looking more askance at their operations there all the time. You don't bring anyone a bright future at the wrong end of a rifle, or with bombs and drones.

Even McChrystal says there's no large Al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan. If you tried to get every person who follows an extreme style of religion, to the point of murder, you'd be there and everywhere else in the world forever.


"I do not see indications of a large al-Qaeda presence in Afghanistan now," McChrystal told reporters at the Dutch Defense Ministry, where he met military officials.


Additionally, most of the Taliban insurgency is really the $10 a day Taliban who fight for money. Only 5 percent of the fighters are committed to the ideals, everyone else it's just a paycheck. We are trying to recruit them/give them money to do stuff other than kill us (I'd prefer they build roads and repair buildings, etc) - I personally think this is one really good prong in a multi-pronged approach. Then again, I don't believe in collective punishment, i.e., 1 Taliban and 7 civilians killed in drone attack = not good.


Paying Taliban foot-soldiers to switch sides could spare US lives and save money, say its advocates. A recent report by the Senate foreign relations committee estimated the Taliban fighting strength at 15,000, of whom only 5% are committed idealogues while 70% fight for money the so-called $10-a-day Taliban. Doubling this to win them over would cost just $300,000 a day, compared with the $165m a day the United States is spending fighting the war.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/Afghanistan...

I don't think it's ever wise to tell people to give up on the possibility of peace. Even wars of necessity (which I don't think this was) end eventually. Right now, for every person you kill you are creating another potential West-hating terrorist, because it's someone's brother, sister, father, mother, uncle, etc. It's really that simple. The way we fight kills more innocent civilians than fighters by several hundred percent. All you can do with the war tool is make war, I think that's pretty clear.

If you must bomb though, bomb them with rice and such, IMO. That's how you put an end to it.
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Which is why he said.....

Technically, Al Qaeda is not in Afghanistan...

Which is precisely why he said....

The future of Afghanistan is inextricably linked to the future of its neighbor, Pakistan . In the nearly eight years since 9/11, al Qaeda and its extremist allies have moved across the border to the remote areas of the Pakistani frontier. This almost certainly includes al Qaeda's leadership: Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. They have used this mountainous terrain as a safe-haven to hide, train terrorists, communicate with followers, plot attacks, and send fighters to support the insurgency in Afghanistan. For the American people, this border region has become the most dangerous place in the world.


And that doesn't even address the fact that Pakistan has....



.... I'm sorry, but the notion that al Qaeda suddenly has the ability to start producing dirty bombs is not something that brings me joy.

If you must bomb though, bomb them with rice and such, IMO. That's how you put an end to it.

To advance security, opportunity, and justice - not just in Kabul , but from the bottom up in the provinces - we need agricultural specialists and educators; engineers and lawyers. That is how we can help the Afghan government serve its people, and develop an economy that isn't dominated by illicit drugs. That is why I am ordering a substantial increase in our civilians on the ground. And that is why we must seek civilian support from our partners and allies, from the United Nations and international aid organizations - an effort that Secretary Clinton will carry forward next week in the Hague .

At a time of economic crisis, it is tempting to believe that we can short-change this civilian effort. But make no mistake: our efforts will fail in Afghanistan and Pakistan if we don't invest in their future. That is why my budget includes indispensable investments in our State Department and foreign assistance programs. These investments relieve the burden on our troops. They contribute directly to security. They make the American people safer. And they save us an enormous amount of money in the long run - because it is far cheaper to train a policeman to secure their village or to help a farmer seed a crop, than it is to send our troops to fight tour after tour of duty with no transition to Afghan responsibility.



(above is excerpted from....
http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=12515 )


Without fanfare, Obama signs Pakistan aid bill
Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:48pm EDT

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama quietly signed a $7.5 billion aid bill for Pakistan on Thursday that drew criticism in the nuclear-armed South Asian country because of conditions linked to the assistance.

Obama signed the bill behind closed doors at the White House without a public ceremony before leaving on a trip to New Orleans. The law provides $7.5 billion in nonmilitary aid to Pakistan over five years.

Pakistan's military had complained because the legislation ties some funds to fighting militants and is seen by critics as violating sovereignty.

The United States is the biggest aid donor to Pakistan and needs its help in hunting al Qaeda leaders and stopping Islamist militants from crossing the border into Afghanistan to fight U.S.-led forces there.

The aid is designed to fund projects in Pakistan that include schools and roads, agricultural development, energy generation, water resource management and the judicial system.

The funding must still be allotted by Congress and the law must be renewed each year. The White House must certify that "reasonable progress" is being made to meet the objectives of the aid and give lists of recipients to Congress.

http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-Afghanistan-Pakistan...


Obama Boosts Aid, Troops for Afghanistan, Pakistan
FrontLines - May 2009
By Ben Barber

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

President Barack Obama laid out a new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan on March 27, increasing military force and civilian aid to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Our troops have fought bravely against a ruthless enemy, Obama said in Washington. Our civilians have made great sacrifices. He pledged increased aid.

The president ordered an additional 17,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan to defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future, and 4,000 troops to train an Afghan army and police. This push must be joined by a dramatic increase in our civilian effort, said the president. U.S. specialists in agriculture, education, engineering, and government would help Afghanistans government eliminate corruption and win Afghans away from Taliban recruitment.

USAID will be growing to carry out parts of the new strategy.

This is the biggest recruitment for USAID since the Vietnam War, said Jim Bever, head of the Agencys Afghanistan-Pakistan Task Force.

Some 450 people are to be hired.

Obama backed increasing aid to Pakistan from $600 million to $1.5 billion each year for five years as proposed by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.).

The money will go to build schools, roads, hospitals, and democracy. He also backed creation of industrial parks known as reconstruction opportunity zones along the violent Afghan-Pakistan border region to develop the economy.


FIRST SCHOO L: Pakistani boys attend their first school, set up by USAID beside the Indus River in a camp for people displaced by an earthquake in 2005. Classes included basic hygiene and Urdu language. The United States is strengthening aid to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
http://www.usaid.gov/press/frontlines/fl_may09/p1_obama...


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Sinti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Thanks for the addition of good news stories
I've seen some of them, the civilian aid and such, and they give me hope. I've seen the president using all sorts of tools to address the problem, and that kind of approach is much more promising, IMO. I appreciate the fact that he realizes this is necessary. While the task he got saddled with is infinitely more complex than the reduction I've made of it, I still don't believe that large numbers of troops and drones are a good answer.

I'm a patient human being. If he sends in more troops it's not like I'm going to leave the party and start voting republican, or start some silly name calling in this or any other forum. I'll just make a fuss, and encourage others to do the same :)
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. But isn't the problem....
.... that we cannot safely send in JUST UN Peacekeepers at this point?

I agree, that would be ideal. I would venture to guess as someone with two-life long Pakistani friends in who's country he lived one summer that the President would agree with you to. (The campaign down-played this fact so effectively that I dont think most of us realize just how well he understands the area and the circumstances involved.) But I honestly think we'd be putting them in harms way if we do not first attempt to stabilize the situation.

If a man is beating his wife and she's bleeding, sure, we have to send an ambulance to her but we have to send in the police FIRST or else the paramedics may be injured to a point where they cannot help the wife.

That's the way I see it anyway.
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Sinti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. I understand your point of view
As I said, I realize the situation is infinitely more complicated than any of us can imagine. I expect the president will do whatever he feels is best not only for us, but for the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan. I'm not going to pretend to know enough details to make the kinds of decisions the president has to make - I'm actually grateful I'm not in that position. I don't think the gun-jumping and second-guessing around here helps things much. After the 11th (last I heard) we'll know what he's going to do. He's a communicative guy, so I imagine we'll know his reasoning also.

The original * plan as I understood it basically called for a special forces only kind of mission, you know, shoot and scoot - very targeted on the thugs, while leaving the civilians unscathed. This is the typical action you would go with for the threat they described. It would have worked, and we wouldn't be in this mess now. It obviously didn't happen that way, but * didn't give a damn about anyone but his Oil Monopoly friends.

At least our president is using all the tools in his toolbox, not just the FU hammer.
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. "the situation is infinitely more complicated than any of us can imagine."
.... and that is the ONE thing I wish we could ALL understand. Of all of the matters that must be nuanced, Afghanistan/Pakistan the most important.

Glad you get it. ;)
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #9
20. And I'm not asking for silence.....
.... I'm urging patience.

The man cut his teeth in national politics as an early opponent of the war in Iraq. Unless we presume he has become a completely different person, we must assume he is using the same mind-set to approach this probable troop increase as he did when he was criticizing Bush regarding Iraq.

Yes, please make sure he's heard your perspective, just please keep an open mind when he gives you his.

This is a different President we are dealing with and our approach to whether we decide to support or oppose him should be as well.
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Sinti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Oops, I should have read this one before responding to the other
I agree, we need to be patient and thoughtful about things. It would also help if we were respectful of our elected leaders (with one another, too).

When he makes a statement, I'll listen to what he says. I expect that President Obama is a good human being, and that's an understatement. I'm sure to some it looks like "he's a first" and it's all wonderful making history - but, I don't see it that way. IMO, he risks his life every day just being there, and I don't think a man would do that just to serve the International Resource Acquisition Mafia (oil men, United Fruit...) It's completely illogical.

If he says he's sending more troops, I would expect peace lovers to organize and send a strong message that we think it's a bad move - not that we hate our president, but that we'd like him to consider other, better options. :)
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mkultra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #9
46. my consent is audible
I want Bin Laden and as many Al queda as possible dead. I have many reasons for this and anyone who picks up a gun in the name of Al Queda shouldn't be surprised if they get hurt.
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martymar64 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. When are you shipping out?
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mkultra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. i already returned
Thanks for trying that though.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
10. and most ironically the administration's statement that it is sending a
diplomat to North Korea for direct discussions is one of DU's best kept secrets.


Have to keep this one a secret as it doesn't really fit with the whole Obama is a warmonger meme.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. His NK move is more than counter balanced by his keeping the Cuba embargo on
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. lol how absurd

so he engages Iran and North Korea - the two hottest areas and this is wiped out because the embargo that has existed for 50 years under both Republicans and Democrats hasn't been wiped out.


Of course short of the explosive issue of the full embargo the President has also started on initiating relaxed conditions with Cuba

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/13/cuba.travel /
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Obama lifted all restrictions Monday on the ability of individuals to visit relatives in Cuba, as well as to send them remittances.
The changes in Cuban policy was unveiled before President Obama's trip to the Summit of the Americas.

The changes in Cuban policy was unveiled before President Obama's trip to the Summit of the Americas.

The move represents a significant shift in a U.S. policy that had remained largely unchanged for nearly half a century. It comes days before Obama leaves for a key meeting of hemispheric powers, the Summit of the Americas, in Trinidad and Tobago.

"President Obama has directed that a series of steps be taken to reach out to the Cuban people to support their desire to enjoy basic human rights and to freely determine their country's future," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

Obama also ordered new steps to promote the "freer flow of information among the Cuban people and between those in Cuba and the rest of the world, as well as to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian items directly to the Cuban people," Gibbs added.



The next step, removing the travel ban requires the President has removed the ban on Cuban Americans to travel back to Cuba and is pushing Congress to repeal the travel ban.

http://www.boston.com/news/world/worldly_boston/2009/11...

Congress is considering legislation to lift the 46-year-old travel ban. Growing numbers of Cuban-Americans, who had long supported it, now favor lifting the measure, thinking that more American travel to Cuba would help persuade the country to embrace change. But the Cuban-American delegation in Congress still supports the ban as necessary to isolate Cuba and pressure it to embrace reforms. There appears to be less support to lift the economic embargo, but its usefulness is also being debated intensely.



And while I think that we should remove the embargo unilaterally I also recognize that politically it works better to get some concessions from Cuba.

So while the President has been using the bully pulput to advance the issue

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0409/21413.html

it is clear that if Cuba were to make some significant gestures - like releasing political prisoners - the process would be sped up considerably.

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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Why is Obama afraid to let Americans to travel to Cuba?
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Sinti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #16
30. The world is not as simple as we would like it to be
All of your mainstream media is owned by a handful of multinational corporations. Nearly all American people get their information from that same media. When an elected official agrees with what those multinational corporations would like to do, they appear very powerful. When they do not agree, they appear powerless. Media creates the perception for the nation, regardless of who is in office.

There is forward motion into sanity on Cuba. I think it's unkind to disparage righteous efforts. A man has no reason to continue to do the right thing if you're going to bash him anyway. You get from here to there via a series of steps - nothing happens immediately. We've been suffering from this kind of stupid for a long time, it takes a while to get the average citizen to see different approaches to the world as safe to take - mainly because they watch too much damn conglomerate-owned TV.


Americans with Cuban relatives will now be allowed unlimited visits the island, up from once every three years, and unlimited money transfers. The administration will expand the list of items permitted in gift packages to include clothes, hygiene items, seeds, fishing gear and other personal necessities.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/13/barack-obam...
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #14
27. You have no idea what President Obama is doing..
you've made that crystal clear.
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bikingaz Donating Member (110 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #27
49. would that be McCrystal clear? eom
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. ha ha ..... shall we take turns posting this over and over?
US to send envoy to NKorea for nuclear talks
(AP) WASHINGTON The Obama administration is planning to send a special envoy to North Korea for talks on nuclear matters.

Two administration officials said Monday evening that the decision to accept a months-old North Korea offer for direct talks is to be publicly announced as early as Tuesday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

The administration's hope is that its special envoy, Stephen Bosworth, can persuade the North to return to stalled international nuclear disarmament negotiations. Bosworth's talks will be the first of their kind since before President Barack Obama took office in January.

No date has been set for the meeting, which first was reported by The Washington Post.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hYphB...




We can insist we didn't have time to check and see if it had already been posted .... or we got it in an email and just want to make sure it's true ..... or heck, I'll lie and say I heard Big Ed mention it (but Big Ed wont mention it, will he?)
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TlalocW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
12. Oh, there's something I should tell you as well
I am not left-handed either. (throws sword into right hand and dominates the sword fight against Inigo Montoya)

TlalocW
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. ha ha! Well, sleep soundly........
.... and dream of LARGE women. ;)
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-09-09 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
26. Thanks Clio for bringing the reality on board..
even though it will still go right over some posters heads'..WOOSH!!
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yowzayowzayowza Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
32. "...benefit of the doubt..." ... for PO ... on DU?
:rofl:
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jeanpalmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 01:55 AM
Response to Original message
33. Using his own words
"You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq." And you don't defeat them by occupying Afghanistan either. And yet that's what he's doing.

"When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11...." But according to reports, bin Laden and al Qaeda are in Pakistan. So how is occupying Afghanistan going to get the 9-11 terrorists who are in Pakistan?

Does he know where bin Laden or al Qaeda are hiding? If he does, why doesn't he get them? If he doesn't, why is he sending troops into Afghanistan?

He's not making any sense. If the reports saying he will send more troops are true, he's going to be LBJ all over again. Or maybe Nixon. Nixon spent the first two years of his presidency escalating in Vietnam, going for victory, and then did a 180 and started withdrawing when he realized victory wasn't possible, timing the last withdrawal with the 1972 election. It was a ploy that worked, politically.
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. Perhaps because you are ignoring all of what he's said....
So let me be clear: al Qaeda and its allies - the terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks - are in Pakistan and Afghanistan . Multiple intelligence estimates have warned that al Qaeda is actively planning attacks on the U.S. homeland from its safe-haven in Pakistan . And if the Afghan government falls to the Taliban - or allows al Qaeda to go unchallenged - that country will again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can.

The future of Afghanistan is inextricably linked to the future of its neighbor, Pakistan . In the nearly eight years since 9/11, al Qaeda and its extremist allies have moved across the border to the remote areas of the Pakistani frontier. This almost certainly includes al Qaeda's leadership: Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. They have used this mountainous terrain as a safe-haven to hide, train terrorists, communicate with followers, plot attacks, and send fighters to support the insurgency in Afghanistan . For the American people, this border region has become the most dangerous place in the world.

http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=12515
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jeanpalmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #35
52. According to all the reports
al Qaeda is in Pakistan, not Afghanistan, as Obama acknowledges when he says " Multiple intelligence estimates have warned that al Qaeda is actively planning attacks on the U.S. homeland from its safe-haven in Pakistan." He also said they are in 80 countries. Why aren't we occupying 80 countries? Why aren't we occupying Saudi Arabia, where they originate from? The Saudis train them to be extremists right out in the open. It's their fucked up religious system that allows it to happen. SA is the source. Go to the source. Why not invade Saudi Arabia and get rid of that system at the source? Could oil be the thing keeping the US out of SA?

I'm tired of his fk excuses and explanations. Just get the hell out of there. If he doesn't get out, I'll vote for someone else. It's that simple.
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PVnRT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 07:03 AM
Response to Original message
34. Sigh
How many more times is this argument going to be posted?

"Obama supported the war in Afghanistan, so you can't criticize him for it now."

Has it occurred to you and others that we voted for him IN SPITE OF this?
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. (bigger) sighhhhhhh...........
And has it occured to you that that's not what I'm saying?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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PVnRT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. How many more people are going to die while we have "patience"?
We've been waiting eight fucking years for someone to do the right thing and pull out.
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #37
38. And how many will die if we pull out?
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 10:26 AM by Clio the Leo
I am not so callous as to think that the only lives worth saving are American ones. If the President was able to achieve a total end to bloodshed with either option, he would have decided long ago.

How many American servicemen were killed in the ultimate liberation of Auschwitz, Buchenwald or Dachau? Or should we have pulled out of Europe in 1942?

As President Obama considers the way forward in Afghanistan, factions within his party are increasingly torn between their strong wish to bring U.S. troops home and their equally passionate desire to protect Afghans particularly Afghan women from a return of the dark rule of the Taliban.

Signs indicate that after a lengthy review process, the president is leaning toward sending more troops and is simply considering the exact number. But he has come under heavy pressure from his Democratic liberal base to pull back and even to shut down the U.S. military effort completely.

It is this disconnect the relegation of women's rights to secondary status by the political constituency that is the standard-bearer for feminism that alarms human rights advocates, said Karl Inderfurth, who was an assistant secretary of state for the region under President Clinton.

"If the darkness descends again on Afghanistan, meaning a Taliban takeover, that will mean that women will pay the greatest price. They will be returned to that almost subhuman species that they were under Taliban rule," Mr. Inderfurth said.

<snip>

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who has broken with the liberal anti-war movement to support a troop increase up from the 68,000 U.S. forces already in Afghanistan, said the fate of Afghan women must not be overlooked during Mr. Obama's review.

"Women, as the Chinese said, make up half the sky, and it's very important that women's rights be considered and be part of this," said Mrs. Feinstein, who added that she thinks Mr. Obama is weighing the issue.

The president said so himself during an interview with NBC last month.

"My own background is somebody who was taught by my mom that the single-greatest measure of how well a society does is how it treats its women. And so, we are going to redouble our efforts on that front," Mr. Obama said. But he offered no specifics.

All the expressions of hope do not change the reality of what is likely to descend upon Afghanistan's female population if large portions of the country fall back under Taliban control.

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/10/democrats-t...



The Young Afghan Girl by Steve McCurry
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PVnRT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #38
50. Oh, how I love Afghanistan = WWII connections
Good job playing the Holocaust card as well.

You obviously support this quagmire - what sacrifices are you making to aid in the war effort? Or, like most Americans, do you just support it by waving a flag and agreeing with other columnists who have never been in combat?
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
39. How dare you introduce reality into irrational knee-jerk misinformed rant-laden DU...
:hi:
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #39
41. It would appear as though I'm a glutton for punishment. :-) NT
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Hutzpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
40. K~R

:kick:

:thumbsup:
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
42. I'm no dove and certainly am not pretending to be sold a bill of goods
but I think it is increasingly clear this counter-insurgency strategy is a boondoggle that should be avoided like the plague. Anytime you are absolutely sure the cost of doing nothing is quite a bit cheaper (by any measure) than what you are planning then its automatically time to tread carefully.

When you can count on losing more lives and expending more treasure than even the worst case scenario of what you're expending the effort to stop then it is required of you to completely rethink what is going on.

I'd love to support the President and will where I can even if it is a stretch but everyday this makes less sense not more. I can still see viable arguments for counter terrorism but the general is planning a strategy that I believe is counter to the interest of the country by emptying the treasury to purchase nothing, making Pakistan less stable at least in the short term, by depleting our exhausted military and handcuffing any ability to respond to any new crisis, by creating a troop pit where ever increasing forces will be required, and certainly not least by spilling our own blood for a non concrete set of objectives.

I'm not anti-Obama, I'm not a peacenik, I didn't misunderstand or ignore the President when he discussed the issue but I'm still dead-set against this because no case has been put forward to make a clear argument that the reward will ever make the risk pay or even balance out. We're just never going to get 3-6 trillion dollars of value (we'll set lives aside) by any definition out of Afghanistan nor do any actions we take there prevent us from taking a hit from organized terror.

Hell, I could even be convinced to support a more comprehensive strategy that works more with Pakistan and other surrounding countries to utterly root out and crush organized terror even though it might be more costly in blood and treasure because I could see how such a plan might work and therefore be worth of a larger sacrifice but hanging out in the gravel for 10-15 years playing target and building up other countries while ours falls down around us isn't something I can get behind.
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. But cost to whom?
How do we determine when someone's basic human rights are too expensive?

The following are two excerpts from....
http://www.aihrc.org.af/2008_Dec/PDF_Anti_G/Eng_anti_G....



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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #44
51. To the American people. Everyone else is secondary to me.
I don't have a vote in any other country nor are taxes levied on me by any other nation. I speak from the American perspective.
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
43. K&R Thanks for the refresher and the additional info you've since posted
I've Google bookmarked it.

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