Sunday, December 07, 2014

The "war president" that needs to say we are at war

President Obama will soon have a new Secretary of Defense.  I don't see any problems with the nomination or reason to vote against it.  He is as good as we are going to get given President Obama's record with the 3 previous men who've held that important job.
We wish Mr Carter success as Secretary of Defense.  We also hope that he is ready to explain to the country what we are doing in Iraq & Afghanistan.   Let's hope that the subject comes up in the confirmation hearings.
We learned from Reuters that we will keep a larger force in Afghanistan than advertised: 
"The United States will keep up to 1,000 more soldiers than previously planned in Afghanistan into next year, outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Saturday, in a recognition of the still formidable challenge from Taliban insurgents.    
Hagel, confirming a change in the U.S. drawdown schedule first reported by Reuters in November, said the additional forces were needed because delays in signing security pacts had impacted plans to raise troops from other countries.  
However, he also said that a particularly violent surge of Taliban attacks in Kabul in the last two weeks was a reminder of the continued need for a foreign presence." 
"Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division will soon head to Iraq to participate in Operation Inherent Resolve, the Pentagon announced Monday." 
I don't have a problem with keeping a military presence in Afghanistan, specially after seeing what happened in Iraq when we came home so that President Obama could run for reelection claiming that he ended the war.
I don't have a problem with sending troops to Iraq, or fight ISIS.    Someone has to lead the effort against ISIS and I don't see any of the allies asking for the baseball.    We lead or nothing gets done.
My problem is two-fold:
1) Where is the war resolution? 
2) What hasn't President Obama spoken to the country and outlined our military objectives?  Does President Obama think that he can pretend that we are not at war when there are troops back in Iraq.  You can call them "trainers" or "support" but they are men with loaded weapons.
We can't go on escalating our military presence pretending that we are not doing so.    I understand that this is not the way that President Obama wanted to spend the last two years of his presidency but that's the way it is.   He is a war president and needs to start acting like one.
P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.

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A chat with Allan Wall about his trip to Cuba


Allan Wall is a blogger and contributor to, a website about US-Mexico issues.

Allan recently wrote an article about a trip to Cuba.   We spoke with him about the trip and his reactions to Cuba:
"We found the Cuban people to be very friendly, and we never had any negative experiences with anybody during our week there.
 In recent years there has been some opening up of Cuban society.   Nevertheless, it is still a communist country with everything that implies.  The Castro brothers (Fidel and Raul) have been in power there since Eisenhower was president of the United States.  Multiparty elections are not held and dissidents are still repressed."
There is more:
"In Cuba, signs with Communist propaganda are frequently encountered on streets and highways, extolling the virtues of communism and exhorting Cubans to keep up the communism. Images of the Castro brothers and Che Guevara, the Argentine who helped establish the communist government, are common. 
the Cuban government has built a cult around Che Guevara, and has constructed a massive monument in Santa Clara where Guevara’s remains are interred.
Many Mexican leftists see Cuba as a model for Mexico, but the Cubans I met were poorer than the Mexicans I know in Mexico.  The economic level in Cuba is low and there is an acute shortage of basic consumer goods.
In Mexico, even in poor neighborhoods there are mom and pop stores selling food items.  I didn’t see that in Cuba.  The homes we visited had a real scarcity of basic goods.
In Havana I saw people who appeared to be homeless.  In contrast, we saw the nice houses in which communist officials reside.  In the words of George Orwell, some “are more equal than others.”
In Cuba you can see (and ride in) classic American automobiles from the 1950s, which resourceful Cubans have kept running since that decade.  It was great seeing all those old cars still in operation.  Our last night in Cuba we took a one-hour ride in a ’57 Ford Fairlane convertible (with a Mercedes engine).  
After a week in Cuba we flew back to Mexico in a Cubana passenger plane.  
After disembarking and entering the Mexico City terminal, we felt we were in a free country again."
Overall, a balanced article that presented the truth of Cuba.

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