I thought Obama’s State of the Union Address last night was really well done. Right off the bat, having the Chamber guests sit together and/or cross the partisan isle was a nice change in a country that is seemingly so divided over almost every issue. I agreed with everything Obama said about us being a generation that needs to architect change. I believe he used the phrase, “Our Sputnik moment.” He was talking about changing over from a factory and mills country to a country that works, thrives, and leads in the information world. Obama talked about the pain of this nation’s working class and laid out plans to move forward. He had good things to say about education, renewable energy (80% by 2035), electric cars (a million by 2015). He swiped at oil tax relief and big business exemptions. He spoke about helping small business get started and even spiced the speech up with a few jokes about the ridiculous layering of government and the battle to get his Health Bill pushed through. Last night reminded me why we elected this man to the Top Job. All and all: Well done, Mr. Prez. But...
As the speech pushed past the 30-minute point and slipped into the blah blah blah portion of the address, I began to wonder the following, right or wrong: Can we just end this seemingly unwinnable war in Afghanistan? Here’s what I mean by that. In the midst of all these new-age, innovative, cutting edge ideas to move America into the 21st, we are entrenched in this antiquated war with this 3rd-world nation, doing, at this point, God knows what. Not only is this war sucking this economy dry, forcing all these job losses, program changes, cutting of domestic agendas, etc, etc, it's giving China and India time to work on their homfronts without distraction as we wage away in the desert. Do you know how much $$$$ we would have if we weren't the world's police force?
I know this may be impossible and sound silly for me to say, but can we just call off the dogs and come home right now? This whole war mission seems (to me) so old fashioned in a world becoming ruled by computers and renewable energy ideas. We’re in a 3rd-world desert bombing ‘em back to the stone age. And in so doing sucking this country’s economy dry and falling behind other world leaders. Can we stay stretched so thin for so long?
Of course I get it. We are still avenging the 9/11 attack and preventing future attacks on our country and interests around the world. I get that. I read the bumper stickers and hear the emcees at Monster Truck Rallies and Demolition Derbies screaming about how people hate our freedom and how important it is to put a boot in somebody’s backside ‘American Style.’ Fine. Whatever. But can we kind of, sort of begin to admit that we’re never pulling this bin Laden person out of a cave or dirt hole over there? It’s been a decade. And the whole chasing the Taliban down would have a lot more credibility if we didn’t take a left and go to Iraq for 8 years first. You know Iraq, the country we crippled in 2 days, the government we captured and killed in 6 months. Then … well you know the story.
But supposedly bin Laden has alluded us for year after year, despite being the world’s most wanted man. He has a $25Million dollar bounty on his head. But his people won’t give him up (the same people who basically eat dirt for dinner) because they believe in his anti-American mission. Really?
My point is: Learn from history. The Soviets were in Afghanistan for 17yrs and accomplished nada. Back here we have real $$$$ problems, and the first worry on everybody’s mind is the economy and jobs. That’s it. Nothing else. When I hear Gov. Cuomo talk about a Budget Armageddon, I lose interest in year #10 of the fight to find this mythical bin Laden.
The truth is I don’t honestly know who was behind 9/11 and/or why we can’t find this 6’5” Muslim in the Afghan. Mountains. Something isn’t adding up, hasn’t been adding up since the day 9/11 happened. Well hold on. One thing is adding up: The number of Americans out of work, and out of money, and out of hope. And if you think parrots like Kristen Gillibrand are going to bail this state and ultimately this nation out of financial dire straits, you're crazy.
Is it wrong for me to say let’s just leave Afghanistan and bring the boys back home? Is it wrong to just drop it and walk off? Maybe. Is it disrespectful to the fallen soldiers and the Military Families? For some I guess it could be. But 4,000 combat deaths isn't going to correct 3,000 combat deaths, the same way 3,000 didn't make better 2,000. I know there's something to say about American commitment to the cause. But at what point do you just let it go? I promise you people, there's never going to be a war-is-over ribbon cutting ceremony. We could stay there forever if we wanted. And the Afghans we are trying to empower? Whatever. Keep the American money coming in. They're not gonna fight. They don't care. Let us handle it. I say no. I say drop it and start rebuilding this country into a world leader going forward. Maybe I’m crazy. I don’t know. Just a thought.
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