I’ve been reading a lot of right-wing reactions to Osama bin Laden’s death, and most of them make sure to mention that this wasn’t solely Obama’s victory. “Bush helped too!” is the common refrain.
I don’t want to downplay former President Bush’s desire to capture OBL, which I’m sure was insatiable, but you have to remember what a huge waste of time Iraq was. Thankfully, The Guardianhelps us out:
The American effort faced other problems too. Crucial assets such as surveillance drones and personnel – some of whom had spent 18 months learning the ground – had been diverted to Iraq. “By April, May 2002, we began losing people to the groups that were preparing for the Iraq war,” said Scheuer, who after heading the CIA’s Bin Laden unit from 1996 to 1999 was its chief adviser from 2001 to 2004. “We were losing Arabic speakers. Very experienced people.”
The US military’s elite commando unit, Delta Force, had been transferred out of Afghanistan. So too had the 5th Special Forces Group, which included the best linguists, and was replaced in Afghanistan by a unit largely composed of Spanish speakers with mostly Latin American experience. The CIA case officers with tribal contacts were rotated out. The result was that “we ended up with the best and the brightest chasing the wrong man in the wrong desert,” said former senior CIA officer Riedel
This was Bush’s prominent role. Starting a misguided, wasteful, and distracting war. All it took was a realignment of priorities, better intelligence cooperation, and some diligent field work to finally bring OBL down. And that’s what Obama brought.
Which is not the first time one can say that on many issues, where Obama’s caution and incrementalism have begun to create a legacy that is deeply unsatisfying in the present but looks rather substantive from the rear-view mirror.
I think this is exactly what drives the reactionary left, particularly on the blogs, crazy. We live in a media environment today that encourages instant reactions, and puts a very strong disincentive on reflection. And when you look at the Obama Administration’s actions on a very small time scale, things don’t really look that great. It’s only when you take a step back and look at things in a broader way do you really see the real progress that has been made.
It’s like a wise woman once said, Obama’s like a full-on Monet. In a good way.
One of the things that I took away from this speech is something that I usually just take for granted every day: Intel, by and large, manufactures in America. How many other high-tech firms can say the same thing?
This is one thing that I think a lot of people don’t really know. I’m sure that a lot of people think of Intel making high-tech products and automatically assume that it’s happening in China or Taiwan. But it’s not. That Core i5 you’re rocking was probably made in America. And if it wasn’t, then it was made in Israel or Ireland. Not China.
And in this day and age, I think that’s something to be proud of.
One thing that I’ve learned working in a data-intensive field is that people don’t understand what you’re talking about unless you have a graph. One good graph is worth about an hour of explanation. This is why it always baffles me how little political media, and politicians themselves, utilize graphs as an effective means of communication, especially when talking about number-based issues, like tax rates for instance.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it had contacted the social networking service Twitter to urge it to delay a planned upgrade that would have cut daytime service to Iranians who are disputing their election.
Confirmation that the U.S. government had contacted Twitter came as the Obama administration sought to avoid suggestions it was meddling in Iran’s internal affairs as the Islamic Republic battled to control deadly street protests over the election result.
Twitter and Facebook have been used as a tool by many young people to coordinate protests over the election’s outcome.
President Barack Obama said earlier on Tuesday he believed “people’s voices should be heard and not suppressed” in Iran.
I was thinking Obama’s presidency was going so well. There were the occasional broken promises and slip-ups. The standard things. I’m realistic, I know not everything he promised he could, should, or would do. I just wanted him to stay true to his principles, get some of the most important tasks done, and not be evil. I never would have thought that last one would be a stumbling block for him.
The fact that he could straight-faced talk about “preventative detention” is appalling. There’s no excuse. It’s actually to the point where I don’t even feel like I should even muster an argument against it, because it is so clearly and obviously wrong. This seriously is a deal-breaker for me. I cannot bring myself to vote for a man who would push for the idea that we can take away someone’s freedom because we think they might do something bad in the future. I mean that if he pushes for this power then I seriously can no longer support him as President. Top duty: defend the Constitution. He would have failed at that.
I’m confused here. I feel like popular culture has enough warnings about these kinds of powers. Under Bush I got the painful impression we were starting to be 1984ed, and now Obama wants to Minority Report us. Instead the references seem to laughed off. It’s just too easy I suppose since our lives don’t change with these policies. We get to keep living on as normal. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t evil.
I really hope Obama wakes up and realizes the road we’re going down is not where we’re supposed to be going.
Now that the election is over there’s all kinds of information being reported by the press that wasn’t allowed to be reported earlier. While I could take this time to talk about the many, many errors of Sarah Palin, I was really happy to read the following quote. It’s one of the better things I’ve heard Obama say.
The debates unnerved both candidates. When he was preparing for them during the Democratic primaries, Obama was recorded saying, “I don’t consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, ‘You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.’ So when Brian Williams is asking me about what’s a personal thing that you’ve done [that's green], and I say, you know, ‘Well, I planted a bunch of trees.’ And he says, ‘I’m talking about personal.’ What I’m thinking in my head is, ‘Well, the truth is, Brian, we can’t solve global warming because I f—ing changed light bulbs in my house. It’s because of something collective’.”
For more interesting bits of knowledge on this subject visit Newsweek
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