Well, You F***ed Up…You Trusted Him

You know, I believed this was true and just told myself that it was impossible.

I even told myself that Obama might not believe in our military activities overseas, but that he saw some wisdom in them.

And I was a fool. Here’s Jackson Diehl, in the Washington Post:

One of the most remarkable aspects of Bob Woodward’s new book, “Obama’s Wars,” is its portrait of a White House that has all but resigned itself to failure in Afghanistan. As Woodward recounts it, by last spring — just six months after President Obama announced the dispatch of 30,000 additional U.S. troops, along with a modified counterinsurgency strategy — virtually every civilian official at the National Security Council and in the vice president’s office had concluded that the plan was doomed.

If that doesn’t offend you, you’re not paying attention. Forget my outrage as the father of a soldier whose life Obama was prepared to waste in support of a cause he and his team have no faith in – I’m outraged as a taxpayer, as a citizen, as someone who relies on my government to defend me and mine and to advance the causes of our nation.

No wonder Obama is uncomfortable around military families. Not only does he think they were fools for enlisting but greater fools to march forward into hazard in the service of a plan he doesn’t believe in.

We’re Not Dead Yet…

Joe and I aren’t dead, or in an Iranian jail (take a moment to think about and act for Hoder). Joe’s in Toronto on a (good news when he can share it) family mission; I’m working two jobs in New York and California plus trying to teach myself WordPress so I can migrate this blog by next monthend.

I’m almost ready to give it a shot, and so blogging will hopefully resume on a shiny new platform in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, I’m also wrestling with my reaction to the Tea Party.

On one hand, many of their political positions aren’t mine. There is a genuinely conservative core to the movement. But…

…there’s something more than that as well. Much more. They are aligned perfectly with me in opposing the Skybox nature of our modern politics, which has become almost entirely focused on rent-seeking and dominated by self-serving elites and those who serve them in the hope of joining them.

The leaders of the modern labor movement and other ‘progressive’ advocacy movements are, for the most part, simply fighting for their place at the trough.

The trough needs to be emptied, and I need to decide if that’s more important than specific agreement on social or environmental issues.

More to come…

Beslan School Siege Survivor’s Account

From Global Voices:

Agunda Vataeva (LJ user agunya) was a 13-year-old girl about to begin her ninth-grade studies on Sept. 1, 2004, the day when she, her mother and more than 1,100 others were taken hostage at School #1 in the North Ossetian town of Beslan. She survived the three-day siege. Her mother, a teacher, didn’t. Of the 334 hostages who lost their lives six years ago, 186 were children.

Agunda is a 19-year-old college student now. In the past three days, she has posted three installments of her recollections (RUS) of Sept. 1-3, 2004, on her LiveJournal and Radio Echo of Moscow blogs.

Iraqi Civilian Reacts to Obama’s War Speech – The Daily Beast

In The Daily Beast a roundup of reactions to Obama’s speech last night. One caught my eye – a piece by a LA Times correspondent who had covered the war and went back to talk to her Iraqi contacts:

“Bush had a project in the Middle East,” said my friend Raheem, “and the politician who wants to do something, he has to create his justifications, his excuses, to do it.”

Raheem, who lost a son to a stray American bullet a few years ago, is a pragmatic and pious Shiite Muslim who argues that while the cost of the invasion was high, Iraqis now have their first opportunity to do what they want–whether that means building a secular democracy or a religious autocracy.

“We feel that Bush has done something good for us, despite all the mistakes,” said Raheem, as we made our way through the dusty streets of Baghdad. “It’s politics. In politics you look at your interests. OK, many Americans were killed, and many Iraqis were killed. But still, if he hadn’t interfered, Saddam would have stayed, and we would have been ruled by his sons, his daughters, and his grandchildren.”

It bothers me that the reactions to the war here – kneejerk on both the right and left – doesn’t spend enough time asking the Iraqis themselves.