Posts Tagged ‘nation’

How’s Obama Doing In Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq? Not So Good

April 7, 2010

Let’s take them in alphabetical order.  First, How’s Obama doing in Afghanistan?

Not so good.  Our foreign policy is so deteriorated there that Obama is refusing to even acknowledge whether or not the leader of the country we are fighting in is an ally:

White House won’t say if Karzai is still an ally
By Jordan Fabian & Sam Youngman – 04/06/10 02:00 PM ET

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs would not say Tuesday if the Obama administration considers Afghan President Hamid Karzai an ally.

Gibbs criticized the Afghan president after Karzai took a shot at Western leaders and the United Nations for election fraud in his country during last year’s presidential contest.

Administration officials said Tuesday that they will continue to “evaluate” remarks made by  Karzai, and that the evaluation could result in Karzai’s May invitation to the White House being revoked.

President Barack Obama extended an invitation for Karzai to visit the White House on May 12, but that could be in jeopardy if Karzai continues to make “troubling and untruthful” comments.

Asked at the daily press briefing if the U.S. considers Karzai an ally, Gibbs said “Karzai is the democratically elected leader of Afghanistan.”

Pressed on the issue, Gibbs said that “the remarks he’s made I can’t imagine that anyone in this country found them anything other than troubling…when the Afghan leaders take steps to improve governance and root out corruption, then the president will say kind words.”

Gibbs added that the administration will continue to use “stern language” with Karzai if it doesn’t take steps to root out corruption and questioned the rationale behind Karzai’s controversial statements.

“Whether there’s some domestic political benefit that he’s trying to gain, I can’t say,” Gibbs said.

So Karzai defends his country’s elections, and his own political credibility, from foreign attacks and demagoguery, and as a result Obama snubs him in what seems like a rather petty emotional response.

Maybe Karzai should start meddling in Obama’s election-status by pointing out that Obama’s own wife strongly suggested Obama was not born in the United States when she remarked that she and Obama visited “his home country in Kenya.”  Which of course is what the birthers who say Obama was not an American-born U.S. citizen have been saying all along.  Even the Associated Press at one point described Obama as “Kenyan-born” before it became inconvenient to so-describe him.

Given that Obama is becoming unglued over Karzai defending himself over attacks regarding the legitimacy of his election, it would be interesting if we could see how Obama would handle attacks over the legitimacy of his election.

In any event, things aren’t going so well when we have hundreds of thousands of troops fighting in a country while our president openly doubts whether the leader of said country is an ally.

That was the first thing that went truly, truly wrong in Vietnam, you know.

How’s Obama doing in Iran?  Really, really bad.  It has become abundantly obvious that Iran WILL have nuclear weapons under Obama’s watch.

How does this Washington Times headline grab you?

CIA: Iran capable of producing nukes

And what is Obama’s reaction to this intolerable and incredibly dangerous development?  Try acceptance.

I know, I know.  Iran was supposed to reflect upon the sheer, transcendent wonderfulness of Obama, and agree that Obama’s empty words really were more important than reality, and abandon it’s nuclear weapons program.  But somehow something went wrong in Obama’s calculation that Iran and the ayatollahs would decide to embrace Obama’s narcissism.

Who would have ever thunk it?

Oh, wait.  I would have.  I wrote an article in August, 2008 patiently explaining why a vote for Obama was tantamount to a vote for a nuclear-armed Iran.

In another August 2008 article predicting that “President Obama” equaled “nuclear Iran,” I wrote:

This is the question that will effect – and possibly haunt – American foreign policy for generations to come.

If we elect Barack Obama, we are tacitly choosing to allow Iran to develop the bomb. Any of his tough-sounding rhetoric aside, you need to realize that Barack Obama has already repeatedly philosophically condemned the very same sort of preemptive attack that would be necessary to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

Heck, I can go back to April 2008, when I was already explaining why electing either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton over John McCain guaranteed a nuclear-armed Iran.

When Iran obtains nuclear weapons, the world will dramatically change.  We will not be able to control this rogue terrorist nation – a nation with a radically apocalyptic view of the world – which has repeatedly threatened to “wipe Israel off the map.”  When Iran develops the bomb, they will be able to block the Strait of Hormuz and shut off the oil supply, skyrocketing gasoline prices to over $14 a gallon.  When Iran gets nukes, it will be able to launch a global terrorist jihad without fear of being attacked.  When Iran has the bomb, it will result in a nuclear-arms race in the craziest region in the history of the world.

Ultimate Armageddon will be guaranteed when Iran gets the bomb.  And it will get the bomb because of Barack Hussein Obama.

How about Iraq?  Well, things are hardly looking up there under Obama, either.

A few weeks ago, Joe Biden was ridiculously asserting that Iraq “could be one of the great achievements of this administration.”  What was asinine about that statement was that it utterly ignored the Bush administration, that deserves all the credit, and instead assign credit to two men who foolishly tried to undercut everything that Bush did which led to the success we attained in Iraq.

But things were clearly going well in Iraq, such that Joe Biden tried to steal credit for it.

Not so much now.

From the New York Times:

Baghdad Bombing Streak Stokes Fear of New Round of Sectarian Violence
By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS and YASMINE MOUSA
Published: April 6, 2010

BAGHDAD — Deadly blasts shook Baghdad for the second time in three days on Tuesday, deepening fears of a new outbreak of insurgent and sectarian violence.

At least seven bombings of residential areas of the Iraqi capital, both Shiite and Sunni, killed 35 people and wounded more than 140. The violence came against a backdrop of continuing political instability after March 7 parliamentary elections left no single group able to form a government, forcing a scramble to form coalitions.

A similar political void after the 2005 parliamentary vote preceded Iraq’s bloody sectarian warfare of 2006 and 2007, from which the country has only begun to emerge.

There are also new concerns that Iraq’s army and police may drift back into sectarianism.

It’s logically impossible for the Obama administration to one day say Iraq will be one of their “greatest achievements,” and the next day blame Bush for the failure of Iraq.  That said, I guarantee you that that is precisely what Obama will try to do if Iraq turns sour on him.

Ayad Allawi, the likely next prime minister of Iraq, had this to say only yesterday:

ALLAWI: The process of democracy where you would have a stable Iraq is being hijacked.  And because it’s being hijacked, it’s going to throw this country into violence. And once this country is thrown again into violence as before, then this will spill over to the region and vice versa. Problems around the region will be transferred here also.

I bold and red-font the statements that it is “being” hijacked.  It is something that is beginning to happen just now.  And Iraq is being “thrown again into violence as before.”  Obama can’t blame Bush for this increasing violence.  He can only blame himself (not that he ever actually WILL blame himself).

We are beginning to escalate our withdrawal out of Iraq, and lo and behold, the Islamic jihadists are determined to make it appear as though we are withdrawing with our tails between our legs.  They are also making it rather obvious that when we leave, they will be present to fill the newly created vacuum with their poisonous presence.

Allawi is pleading with the United States to discontinue the timetable for withdrawal and remain through this difficult period.  But the report by correspondent Dominic Di-Natale concludes by saying, “Ayad Allawi’s call for a troop withdrawal suspension will fall on deaf ears for the time being even if it is a serious plea for help. ”

One of the fears is that Obama is tunnel-vision focused on getting the hell out of Iraq, and is ignoring the delicate state-of-affairs there.

So how’s Obama doing in Afghanistan, in Iran, and in Iraq?  Pretty darn horrendously.

An article that encapsulates the Obama disaster of a foreign policy is “The Karzai Fiasco” by the Wall Street Journal.

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Bush’s Address To Nation Over Finance Crisis (Transcript)

September 25, 2008

Transcript: President Bush Address to Nation on U.S. Financial Crisis, September 24, 2008

(Source: White House Press Office)

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. This is an extraordinary period for America’s economy. Over the past few weeks, many Americans have felt anxiety about their finances and their future. I understand their worry and their frustration. We’ve seen triple-digit swings in the stock market. Major financial institutions have teetered on the edge of collapse, and some have failed. As uncertainty has grown, many banks have restricted lending. Credit markets have frozen. And families and businesses have found it harder to borrow money.
We’re in the midst of a serious financial crisis, and the federal government is responding with decisive action. We’ve boosted confidence in money market mutual funds, and acted to prevent major investors from intentionally driving down stocks for their own personal gain.

Most importantly, my administration is working with Congress to address the root cause behind much of the instability in our markets. Financial assets related to home mortgages have lost value during the housing decline. And the banks holding these assets have restricted credit. As a result, our entire economy is in danger. So I’ve proposed that the federal government reduce the risk posed by these troubled assets, and supply urgently-needed money so banks and other financial institutions can avoid collapse and resume lending.

This rescue effort is not aimed at preserving any individual company or industry — it is aimed at preserving America’s overall economy. It will help American consumers and businesses get credit to meet their daily needs and create jobs. And it will help send a signal to markets around the world that America’s financial system is back on track.

I know many Americans have questions tonight: How did we reach this point in our economy? How will the solution I’ve proposed work? And what does this mean for your financial future? These are good questions, and they deserve clear answers.

First, how did our economy reach this point?

Well, most economists agree that the problems we are witnessing today developed over a long period of time. For more than a decade, a massive amount of money flowed into the United States from investors abroad, because our country is an attractive and secure place to do business. This large influx of money to U.S. banks and financial institutions — along with low interest rates — made it easier for Americans to get credit. These developments allowed more families to borrow money for cars and homes and college tuition — some for the first time. They allowed more entrepreneurs to get loans to start new businesses and create jobs.

Unfortunately, there were also some serious negative consequences, particularly in the housing market. Easy credit — combined with the faulty assumption that home values would continue to rise — led to excesses and bad decisions. Many mortgage lenders approved loans for borrowers without carefully examining their ability to pay. Many borrowers took out loans larger than they could afford, assuming that they could sell or refinance their homes at a higher price later on.

Optimism about housing values also led to a boom in home construction. Eventually the number of new houses exceeded the number of people willing to buy them. And with supply exceeding demand, housing prices fell. And this created a problem: Borrowers with adjustable rate mortgages who had been planning to sell or refinance their homes at a higher price were stuck with homes worth less than expected — along with mortgage payments they could not afford. As a result, many mortgage holders began to default.

These widespread defaults had effects far beyond the housing market. See, in today’s mortgage industry, home loans are often packaged together, and converted into financial products called “mortgage-backed securities.” These securities were sold to investors around the world. Many investors assumed these securities were trustworthy, and asked few questions about their actual value. Two of the leading purchasers of mortgage-backed securities were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Because these companies were chartered by Congress, many believed they were guaranteed by the federal government. This allowed them to borrow enormous sums of money, fuel the market for questionable investments, and put our financial system at risk.

The decline in the housing market set off a domino effect across our economy. When home values declined, borrowers defaulted on their mortgages, and investors holding mortgage-backed securities began to incur serious losses. Before long, these securities became so unreliable that they were not being bought or sold. Investment banks such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers found themselves saddled with large amounts of assets they could not sell. They ran out of the money needed to meet their immediate obligations. And they faced imminent collapse. Other banks found themselves in severe financial trouble. These banks began holding on to their money, and lending dried up, and the gears of the American financial system began grinding to a halt.

With the situation becoming more precarious by the day, I faced a choice: To step in with dramatic government action, or to stand back and allow the irresponsible actions of some to undermine the financial security of all.

I’m a strong believer in free enterprise. So my natural instinct is to oppose government intervention. I believe companies that make bad decisions should be allowed to go out of business. Under normal circumstances, I would have followed this course. But these are not normal circumstances. The market is not functioning properly. There’s been a widespread loss of confidence. And major sectors of America’s financial system are at risk of shutting down.

The government’s top economic experts warn that without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic, and a distressing scenario would unfold:

More banks could fail, including some in your community. The stock market would drop even more, which would reduce the value of your retirement account. The value of your home could plummet. Foreclosures would rise dramatically. And if you own a business or a farm, you would find it harder and more expensive to get credit. More businesses would close their doors, and millions of Americans could lose their jobs. Even if you have good credit history, it would be more difficult for you to get the loans you need to buy a car or send your children to college. And ultimately, our country could experience a long and painful recession.

Fellow citizens: We must not let this happen. I appreciate the work of leaders from both parties in both houses of Congress to address this problem — and to make improvements to the proposal my administration sent to them. There is a spirit of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans, and between Congress and this administration. In that spirit, I’ve invited Senators McCain and Obama to join congressional leaders of both parties at the White House tomorrow to help speed our discussions toward a bipartisan bill.

I know that an economic rescue package will present a tough vote for many members of Congress. It is difficult to pass a bill that commits so much of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. I also understand the frustration of responsible Americans who pay their mortgages on time, file their tax returns every April 15th, and are reluctant to pay the cost of excesses on Wall Street. But given the situation we are facing, not passing a bill now would cost these Americans much more later.

Many Americans are asking: How would a rescue plan work?

After much discussion, there is now widespread agreement on the principles such a plan would include. It would remove the risk posed by the troubled assets — including mortgage-backed securities — now clogging the financial system. This would free banks to resume the flow of credit to American families and businesses. Any rescue plan should also be designed to ensure that taxpayers are protected. It should welcome the participation of financial institutions large and small. It should make certain that failed executives do not receive a windfall from your tax dollars. It should establish a bipartisan board to oversee the plan’s implementation. And it should be enacted as soon as possible.

In close consultation with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and SEC Chairman Chris Cox, I announced a plan on Friday. First, the plan is big enough to solve a serious problem. Under our proposal, the federal government would put up to $700 billion taxpayer dollars on the line to purchase troubled assets that are clogging the financial system. In the short term, this will free up banks to resume the flow of credit to American families and businesses. And this will help our economy grow.

Second, as markets have lost confidence in mortgage-backed securities, their prices have dropped sharply. Yet the value of many of these assets will likely be higher than their current price, because the vast majority of Americans will ultimately pay off their mortgages. The government is the one institution with the patience and resources to buy these assets at their current low prices and hold them until markets return to normal. And when that happens, money will flow back to the Treasury as these assets are sold. And we expect that much, if not all, of the tax dollars we invest will be paid back.

A final question is: What does this mean for your economic future?

The primary steps — purpose of the steps I have outlined tonight is to safeguard the financial security of American workers and families and small businesses. The federal government also continues to enforce laws and regulations protecting your money. The Treasury Department recently offered government insurance for money market mutual funds. And through the FDIC, every savings account, checking account, and certificate of deposit is insured by the federal government for up to $100,000. The FDIC has been in existence for 75 years, and no one has ever lost a penny on an insured deposit — and this will not change.

Once this crisis is resolved, there will be time to update our financial regulatory structures. Our 21st century global economy remains regulated largely by outdated 20th century laws. Recently, we’ve seen how one company can grow so large that its failure jeopardizes the entire financial system.

Earlier this year, Secretary Paulson proposed a blueprint that would modernize our financial regulations. For example, the Federal Reserve would be authorized to take a closer look at the operations of companies across the financial spectrum and ensure that their practices do not threaten overall financial stability. There are other good ideas, and members of Congress should consider them. As they do, they must ensure that efforts to regulate Wall Street do not end up hampering our economy’s ability to grow.

In the long run, Americans have good reason to be confident in our economic strength. Despite corrections in the marketplace and instances of abuse, democratic capitalism is the best system ever devised. It has unleashed the talents and the productivity, and entrepreneurial spirit of our citizens. It has made this country the best place in the world to invest and do business. And it gives our economy the flexibility and resilience to absorb shocks, adjust, and bounce back.

Our economy is facing a moment of great challenge. But we’ve overcome tough challenges before — and we will overcome this one. I know that Americans sometimes get discouraged by the tone in Washington, and the seemingly endless partisan struggles. Yet history has shown that in times of real trial, elected officials rise to the occasion. And together, we will show the world once again what kind of country America is — a nation that tackles problems head on, where leaders come together to meet great tests, and where people of every background can work hard, develop their talents, and realize their dreams.

Thank you for listening. May God bless you.

Coca Cola, Typical Pluralistic (Except for Christianity) Company

August 20, 2008

Bob McCarty came across this:

The crescent moon and star — yes, the same symbol featured on the flags of so many Muslim countries — is an internationally-recognized symbol of the Islamic faith in much the same way as the cross represents Christianity and the star of David Judaism. When I learned the symbol of the Islamic faith will appear on Coca-Cola packaging during Ramadan 2008, I found myself wondering whether or not the Atlanta-based soft drink maker will soon include the Christian cross and Jewish star of David in future holiday packaging designs targeting people of those faiths.

Here’s what the new cans look like:

Coca Cola – ever the profit-seeking enterprise – puts cute polar bears on their cans to “celebrate” Christmas. Jews don’t even receive the token snub that Christians get for their Hannukah.

In the name of pluralism and multiculturalism we are downright hostile to our own religious traditions even as we eagerly celebrate others.

Coca Cola and companies that now shun “Merry Christmas” greetings in favor of the neutral “Happy Holidays” pursued this reverse discrimination tactic only after years of lawsuits and judicial-activist government rulings.

World Net daily had an article titled “‘Five pillars of Islam’ taught in public school” that begins:

Another school has been “teaching” Islam by having students study and learn Muslim prayers and dress as Muslims, and a lawyer who argued a previous dispute over this issue to the U.S. Supreme Court said such methodologies wouldn’t “last 10 seconds” if it were Christianity being taught.

Educational Issues has an article titled, “Muslim Prayer in Public Schools: Are Public Schools Accommodating Islam Over Christianity?” And the answer is clearly, “YES.”

The ACLU, so vigilant of any “intrusion” of Christianity into public life, make it a point to look the other way when Islam is thrust upon us even when public funding is used to do the thrusting.

It is frankly amazing how liberals and secular humanists are so unrelentingly hostile toward Christianity in the name of “multiculturalism” and “separation of church and state” even as they embrace religions such as Islam in the name of the very same things!

As government creates a “gulag-like” mentality about expressing Christianity in public, corporations like Coca Cola follow the trend and go where the most money – and the least controversy – is.

And we continue to surrender everything that made this nation – and the Christian religious tradition that both formed and informed it – great.