Obama announces end to Iraq War
President Obama just announced in a news conference that all American troops in Iraq will be withdrawn by the end of the year, and the troops will be home for the holidays.
This was expected, but it’s still monumental. After spending trillions of dollars and suffering thousands of American casualties, we’re finally leaving Iraq.
The U.S. was open to keeping trainers in Iraq past the end of the year, but the Iraqi government would not grant immunity to American soldiers, so we told them to forget it.
Posted in: Policy, Politics, War on Terror
Tags: Barack Obama, Barack Obama foreign policy, Barack Obama Iraq, Barack Obama Iraq War, Barack Obama terrorism, Barack Obama war on terror, Iraq War, Iraq WAr ending, President Barack Obama, President Obama
Reports that Muammar Gaddafi was killed in Sirte
Libyans are celebrating with the reports that Muammar Gaddafi was killed in Sirte. It’s not completely confirmed but more reports are trickling in.
This is further validation of the policies President Obama pursued in Libya in the face of withering criticism from the left and the right. It’s an example of how air power can work, and how we can avoid problems when we don’t send our troops.
Osama bin Laden killed by U.S. forces
We can all celebrate the killing of Osama bin Laden in our own way. Many took to the streets near the White House, Ground Zero and other landmarks. College students at Ohio State jumped into Mirror Lake, an act usually reserved for Michigan weekend. Many were jubilant. Others were somber as well as this brought back the horror and pain of 9/11.
It shouldn’t have taken 10 years, but at least this murderer is finally dead.
Republicans block benefits for 9/11 first responders
After demagoguing 9/11 for the past decade and constantly talking about the heroes of that terrible time, the Republicans blocked benefits for 9/11 first responders. Many of the have become seriously ill and some have died due to what they had to breath while responding to the terrorist attack. Jon Stewart lets them have it.
Gen. Petreaus says closing Gitmo and ending torture helps U.S. security
Will Republicans heed his words or excommunicate him like they’re trying to do with Colin Powell?
Olbermann haters should skip to the 0:54 mark to hear Petreaus speak for himself.
Two of the most respected military minds say that torturing detainees and keeping Gitmo open hurts national security. Why doesn’t the right get it?
Posted in: Foreign Policy, Homeland Security, Policy, Politics, Republicans, War on Terror
Tags: David Petreaus, Guantanamo Bay, Petreaus against torture, Petreaus Gitmo, Petreaus Guantanamo Bay, Petreaus torture
Olbermann fillets O’Reilly yet again
I recently got into a somewhat heated argument with a conservative friend of mine about Fox News and whether it was more or less misleading than the other mainstream media outlets. I pointed to the two or three Pew polls that show that Fox News viewers on average were the least likely of all the major news outlets to have a clear understanding of the facts. I argued that MSNBC may on the whole be liberal, but at least they “deal in facts” (i.e. they cite their sources and don’t just make stuff up as they go along, like Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity do). The following video is a great example. Bill O’Reilly attempts to debunk Obama’s assertion that Winston Churchill was anti-torture, even when he was under the most dire of circumstances. Notice how O’Reilly makes statements as if they were fact, with no supporting documentation, and how he distracts his audience by going on tangents that have nothing to do with the torture question. Then watch as Olbermann counters Bill O’s argument with facts and actually cites his sources.
It’s amazing to me that anyone still believes that Fox News is “fair and balanced.” What’s even more amazing is that the same conservative friend watched the documentary “Outfoxed” on my suggestion and agreed with much of what it had to say. Three or four years later, now that Obama is in the White House, that objectivity has vanished.
Don’t bother reconciling the two…it’s impossible.
Posted in: Democrats, Media, Politics, Republicans, Video, War on Terror
Tags: Bill O'Reilly, Fox News, Fox News misleading, Keith Olbermann, MSNBC, Sean Hannity
Obama will close Gitmo
President Obama continues the clean break from the policies of the Bush administration. Today he signed new executive orders regarding the closure of the Guantanamo detention facility within a year, the review of military trials of terror suspects and a ban of the harshest interrogation techniques. Obama made his intentions clear:
The message we are sending around the world is that the US intends to prosecute the ongoing struggle against violence and terrorism and we are going to do so vigilantly, we are going to do so effectively, and we are going to do so in a manner that is consistent with our values and our ideals … We intend to win this fight, and we intend to win it on our terms.
I find it interesting that he did not use the phrase “war on terror.” I have no idea if that was intentional, but as I’ve said in the past that phrase was always overly broad and misleading. Hopefully we can move beyond simple slogans to a more sophisticated policy that effectively fights those who wish to do us harm and rebuilds our bonds with moderate and peace-seeking peoples around the world.
Posted in: Civil Liberties, Culture War, Foreign Policy, Policy, War on Terror
Tags: Guantanamo, military trials of terror suspects, Obama administration, Obama will close Gitmo, President Obama, torture, War on Terror
Spying on Americans by the NSA
I’m watching Countdown and Keith Olbermann is interviewing former NSA analyst Russell Tice. Tice has been explaining how the NSA has been snooping on ordinary Americans, including phone calls, faxes, emails etc. He specifically stated that the NSA was tracking major American news organizations and their reporters.
This is outrageous and scary as hell. It will be interesting to see what the Obama administration does with this.
Posted in: Civil Liberties, Media, Policy, Politics, War on Terror
Tags: former NSA analyst Russell Tice, Keith Olbermann, NSA, NSA domestic spying, Russell Tice, Russell Tice on domestic spying, Russell Tice on NSA spying, Spying on Americans by the NSA
Feds say fires brought down World Trade Center 7
9/11 conspiracy buffs have long pointed to the collapse of 47-story building 7 of the World Trade Center as evidence that there was a conspiracy behind the attacks. Many have speculated that only a controlled explosion could have led to the collapse of the building.
The government has just released a study in an attempt to refute these theories.
Federal investigators issued a report Thursday concluding that fires brought down a skyscraper next to New York’s twin towers on Sept. 11, refuting conspiracy theorists who have long believed that explosives somehow caused the collapse.
Scientists with the National Institute of Standards and Technology say their three-year investigation of the collapse of the 47-story World Trade Center 7 was the first known instance of fire causing the total failure of a skyscraper.
The investigators also concluded that the collapse of the nearby towers broke the city water main, leaving the sprinkler system in the bottom half of the building without water.
The structure has been the subject of a wide range of conspiracy theories for the last seven years, partly because the collapse happened about seven hours after the twin towers were felled. That fueled theories that something else might have caused the collapse.
This explanation seems very plausible to me.
Rudy Giuliani will give keynote address at GOP convention
Rudy Giuliani is the genius who compared George W. Bush to Winston Churchill at the 2004.
If there’s one reason I’d like to see Joe Biden as Obama’s VP choice, it’s to watch him ridicule guys like Giuliani and of course John McCain for some of the ridiculous things these guys say about national security. After his performance in 2004, and in the primaries this year, Giuliani ought to be too embarassed to speak in public. Of course, none of the networks will call him on these comments. All of the news anchors are still in awe of Giuliani.