There Is No Plan

Nobody Reads This Blog

Posts Tagged ‘United States

Turns Out We’re Not Leaving Iraq After All

leave a comment »

gates, are you trying to tell us something?

gates, are you trying to tell us something?

It was a reminder of the bad old days.  But it was today in Baghdad. Big suicide bomb, coordinated attacks on rescuers, dozens dead and wounded, and the customary “bears all the hallmarks of an Al Qaeda operation designed to ferment sectarian strife”.  It’s doubtful whether it had any effect on the tone of Robert Gates‘ interview on NPR this evening, but I’m sure the bombing was on the Secretary’s mind.

We’re not sure whether his boss is on board with this, although it seems likely, but Gates might have given us a little glimpse of reality during the interview. In response to a question about differences between him and the President on a final departure date for our troops from Iraq, Gates was less than convincing about the finality of that. From the NPR report. (My italics)

With regard to Iraq, Gates noted that under the Status of Forces agreement, all U.S. troops will be out by the end of 2011. Gates says he’s on the same page as Obama with the withdrawal and, barring a new agreement with the Iraqis, there will be zero troops in Iraq by that time. But he also speculates that the Iraqis could ask for logistical and intelligence support.

“The president’s statement is absolutely clear and it conforms to our current commitments, that is, according to the agreements we have signed, we will have everyone out of Iraq by the end of 2011,” Gates said. “And unless something changes, that is exactly what will happen. …[A change] would have to be at the Iraqis’ initiative. And the president will have to determine whether or not he wants to do that.”

“Logistical and Intelligence” support might well be a good cover-phrase for something a little more, shall we say, effective. In other words a new agreement ‘at the Iraqis initiative’ to guarantee some “we need your firepower because we’re getting our asses kicked” type support. Obama suspects that Al Qaeda is just waiting for us to shut the door after us before going all out again, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the President could make a judgment that keeping a few brigades on base for selective “logistical and intelligence support” might just be the insurance policy we need.

There’s been an awful lot of talk about the President’s philosophy. Nobody seems to know what it is. The reason is simple. His philosophy is the absence of a philosophy. Pragmatism.

Bookmark and Share

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements

Written by coolrebel

March 10, 2009 at 9:53 pm

The Recession Is About Who We Are – Just ask Dolly Parton

with one comment

Don’t ask why, but I just relistened to Dolly Parton’s song, “9 to 5” for the first time in many years. Even though it was written thirty years ago, it’s an anthem for the times we’re living in. It reminded me that the harsh recession (and maybe depression) we’re in isn’t just about economic statistics, or even jobs lost or lives destroyed, it’s about who we, as Americans, are at our very core.

Take a listen, study the lyrics.

Tumble outta bed

Dolly in "9  to 5". Her fellow secretaries were played by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, at the time two of the most politically progressive actors in Hollywood.

Dolly in "9 to 5". Her fellow secretaries were played by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, at the time two of the most politically progressive actors in Hollywood.

And stumble to the kitchen
Pour myself a cup of ambition
Yawnin, stretchin, try to come to life
Jump in the shower
And the blood starts pumpin
Out on the streets
The traffic starts jumpin
And folks like me on the job from 9 to 5

Chorus:

Workin 9 to 5
What a way to make a livin
Barely gettin by
Its all takin
And no givin
They just use your mind
And they never give you credit
Its enough to drive you
Crazy if you let it

9 to 5, for service and devotion
You would think that i
Would deserve a fair promotion
Want to move ahead
But the boss won’t seem to let me in
I swear sometimes that man is out to get me
Mmmmm…
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by coolrebel

March 7, 2009 at 11:19 am

America Must Renew Its Mission

with 3 comments

there's no place like home

there's no place like home

History has a habit of surprising us. Rarely, have so many disparate causalities clashed so profoundly, so quickly, as they are now. The world is at a crossroads for a multitude of reasons, and stepping into the gauntlet to face it all is President Barack Obama.

Elected, in the eyes of many, as an agent of change, it’s beginning to seem hard to believe that he can still be that agent. It’s as if all the stirring rhetoric for which he has become quickly famous will soon be lost in an almost janitorial drudgery of merely cleaning up the mess that is the modern world. The dream of change that he offered us was not a matter of damage limitation, but on just about all fronts, both at home and abroad this is what Obama is presented with. But looking back to our past might once again provide us with the path to the future. Read the rest of this entry »

The Mumbai Massacre – An Opportunity For Clarity

leave a comment »

800px-taj_mahal_palace_hotel_at_night

peace will once again come to the taj

“Rogue Elements” is a big word du jour right now. The idea that within an organization there’s often a fifth column conjures up all sorts of conspiracy theories about CIA spooks with their own twisted agendas. Usually, this stuff is confined to fiction or the far reachs of the blogosphere. But what happens when the lunatics truly have taken over the asylum?

The strong suspicion that Lashkar-e-Taiba, a group of jihadists once nurtured by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, ISI, is behind the horrific massacre in Mumbai a few days ago has turned the simmering distrust between India and Pakistan into a potential supernova. Read the rest of this entry »