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May 8, 2009

Shoved Aside Campaign Promise

Roy Meachum

It seems to me calmer on the domestic front, for all the noises and agitation aimed at Barack Obama. Keeping his cool, his trademark, has helped the nation to settle down.


In essence, fewer people seem to pay attention to rabble rousers and partisan politicians; they talk as usual. But who's hanging on to what they have to say? Chiefly themselves; and they are a dwindling number. I would expect ratings for oral gad-abouts such as Rush Limbaugh to decline, and quickly!


While definitely not out of the woods, signs and indices indicate matters may not get as low as gloomy soothsayers predicted. The first housing markets to flatten out are breathing easier; they seem in the process of actually improving, and fast! Nobody has restored thousands of jobs, not that I've heard; but it's safe to say the unemployment picture has improved – although people will still lose paychecks.


With all the lashing about and finger pointing, I've heard little said about the $3 billion a year war. In this one important area, the president ignores the candidate; on the trail Mr. Obama called for America's disastrous stay in the Near East to end quickly. I understand what's happening politically. The military brass sees withdrawal – as in Vietnam – tantamount to defeat. No one wants to be the last guy closing the door behind him.


Barack Obama must suck-it-up and order the military to clear out. Continuing to lose young lives in a situation where the local forces want us out makes absolutely no sense to me. Otherwise, bad politicians hold onto power strictly because of U.S. bayonets. Since his lopsided triumph in November, the president neither needs nor should care about the militaristic mentality.


This particular foray into Near Asia can only get worse, not better. Ignore those people who insist we can do better than England's Victorian army and Russia's Special Forces that packed it in around 1989. Moscow had a version of all the modern weapons we bring into the fray. Furthermore, they didn't carry the heavy baggage of Iraq and a special relationship with Israel, the ultimate boogey man of the Islamic world.


Having been heavily involved with the Israel-Arab situation since the Six-Day War, in 1967, I have witnessed the U.S. decline and all over Islamic countries. It's not that we are seriously failing; it is they're growing stronger every year. Witness the astonishing economic growth in the Gulf States, places like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and even Jordan. Yemen threatens to cast off its medieval mentality and stand on its own – for the very first time in history.


To maintain an armed presence breeds enemies, when there's continues to sully the national honor and increasingly makes America appear impotent. The same thing happened to the mighty Soviet Union when they undertook to conquer Afghanistan in 1979; in 10 years, communism came to ashes and the Red Army's image was a risible wreck.


As I said, it's likely to muffle opposition from the generals that stayed Barack Obama's hand from following through on the calamity in the Near East; but a campaign promise is being smeared. He's got to right it.


While the economy demonstrates gaining strength, we can never be a united people while a war rages on and our young people die in foreign fields.


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