Atrocities

This will be short and sweet. Not because the world isn’t complicated, but because it’s late and I don’t care to tease apart all the little details of history and politics and religions.

There was quite an uproar over President Obama’s speech at the Annual Prayer Breakfast the other day. As true as it may be, I see no point in saying the things he said about all religions having their extremists.  In most, if not all religions, we find adherents who don’t see eye to eye on some pretty important details, like matters of life and death, and love and hatred. (Maybe if he’d said that the same religion that was used to justify slavery was also used to end it, that might have kept some folks from being offended.) However, this was a Prayer Breakfast attended by folks from all over the world who don’t want to fight each other or anyone else. They want peace which makes his comments sound pretty bizarre. So, who was he talking to at this Prayer Breakfast?

After today’s announcement that he wants authorization from congress to go after ISIS, and any cohorts of ISIS, with no geographic boundaries, I think he was talking to congress when he addressed the folks at the Prayer Breakfast. I think he was trying to suggest that bad people shouldn’t be allowed to continue committing their atrocities, without actually saying that. I think on that day, he had today in mind.

As far as what he is actually asking congress for, it sounds to me like he wants to use drones to drop bombs on anyone who is thought to be a member of ISIS, or anyone thought to be affiliated with them, no matter where on the planet this suspect is found. If that’s what you are thinking, Mr. President, that is trial by death. Tell me that’s not an atrocity.

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My Thoughts On The Most Recent Mess In The Middle East

Normally I’m not in favor of this sort of thing. Until I saw enough and read enough, I wasn’t sure we ought to be messing with this at all. A few months back when there were discussions about whether or not we should arm rebels in Syria, I didn’t think we should because we didn’t know who was who over there and I’m glad we stayed out of it. As usual, I think John McCain and Lindsey Graham were wrong. I think what I saw on 60 Minutes online last night, along with what I’ve seen on CBN News has been very informative and helped me make up my mind on this.

Looking back, I think our involvement in Iraq to take out Saddam was a very bad idea. I think what is happening now could not have happened if we would have stayed at home and not started something over there. Now we have This. This is different. Iraq is losing territory to ISIS and Syria has lost land to them as well. They have a certain area staked out that they want to claim and rule. They are beheading and shooting anyone, Muslim or Christian or whatever, who doesn’t agree with them. They have killed Americans. Is that not an act of war?

We had Syria’s permission before we dropped the first bomb. France has been dropping bombs as well. ISIS has 40,000 troops, no telling how many supporters worldwide and is bringing in $6 million a day. At least 100 American citizens are involved with them over there and there are some who have been there and trained with them and are now back in the US. These are people who have a legitimate passport to come and go from here to there. I’m not big on believing I should be afraid of everyone the government says is a threat. I don’t need the government to say a word for this to make me uncomfortable. Plus, some of this information comes from an intelligence source from the Middle East who spoke on camera. I think they know more about what is going on than what our intelligence has known, such as how many fighters there are and how much money ISIS takes in on a daily basis.

Last night after seeing the 60 Minutes report, I told my husband I wish the other countries nearby would do something. Why is it just US? I wondered if the leaders that surround Iraq and Syria even care about this, or do they just expect us to come do everything for them? Today I learned that five of those countries do support what we are doing. Those countries are Saudi Arabia, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain. Knowing this made a difference to me and solidified my conclusion. I’d like to see Turkey and Lebanon get involved, too, since they are so near where ISIS has taken land.

So, these are my thoughts.

 

ADDENDUM: One of my sons gave me some info that I didn’t have, so there is a correction to make. We didn’t exactly get permission from Syria. This is what the US State Department said:

“[W]e informed the Syrian regime directly of our intent to take action through our Ambassador to the United Nations (Ambassador Power) to the Syrian Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

We warned Syria not to engage US aircraft. We did not request the regime’s permission. We did not coordinate our actions with the Syrian government. We did not provide advance notification to the Syrians at a military level, or give any indication of our timing on specific targets. Secretary Kerry did not send a letter to the Syrian regime.”

Also, where is congress? There is a way to go about whatever needs to be done and a way not to. I hope they have all their ducks in a row.

I Know Where Obama is Leading

I’ve been reading and thinking about Obama and his promises and his results. He wanted to lead us to Someplace. Ha. As we can all see from his low approval ratings,  he’s leading us to huge disappointment. Well, I’ll only be a little disappointed because I didn’t vote for him and had no hopeful expectations, other than hoping he won’t get his way often enough to destroy us. I thought he might be a bit better on matters of civil liberties than the republicans, but his putting Janet Napolitano in charge of Homeland Security was a letdown. Especially last April when that report was released on Right-wing Extremism.

Did you know that according to a poll done by Reuters and Zogby back in December, 72% of Americans expected a better economy this year because of Obama? What is the unemployment rate? How is Wall Street really doing? I read that the latest bump in stock prices – before this latest slide in stock prices – was a result of the banks investing some of the bailout money in the stock market. And they say it’s only electronic money and not real money anyway. What is this? The economy of illusion? All is illusion?

Obama also seems to be caught between groups. The gay rights folks have sort of been promised a few things and that has upset a whole lot of black pastors. They said homosexuality is not a civil rights issue, it’s a moral issue and they won’t vote for democrats any more if Obama follows through on the promises. I do have to wonder about something. Did these Christians vote for him in the first place because of something he promised to them? He made no contradictory promise in this instance. Did they want him to keep some promise to them and break only promises they didn’t support?

And then there are the folks who thought he would get us out of Iraq. Did they not hear him say he wanted to beef up forces in Afghanistan? I got the idea he planned on shifting – if he could – troops out of Iraq and into Afghanistan. I hardly think if someone thinks we shouldn’t be in Iraq, they would think we ought to be in Afghanistan instead. He is pleasing no one on this issue. Except the folks who make tons of money on wars by producing the hardware and supplies it takes to fight wars. And maybe a few others who think, as I used to, that it takes a whole army to go after one person. And that person is not in Afghanistan, by the way.

There is one group who won’t be disappointed. Just as there is a sliver of way right-wing neoconservatives, there is also a sliver of way left-wing, uh, progressives, aka, communists, and folks in this second group like the direction he’s trying to go. Next year, 36 states will elect governors. These elections are as important as the congressional elections. I will be looking for a candidate who will stand up for the right of my state to refuse to follow mandates from the federal government that they have no authority to require. The state’s right to refuse comes from the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. It says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Well, we can all see where he is trying to go and it’s not where I want to go.  It’s not what most Americans want. I think we can make our own changes starting when we vote next year. In the meantime, it sure is interesting to watch him try to keep everyone happy.

Oil

Well, it’s not what it used to be with Mortimer and me. I’m speaking of Mortimer B. Zuckerman, Editorial-in-Chief of US News and World Report magazine. I used to read and agree with almost everything he said. Not anymore. Today I was reading his column in a back issue – Sept. 10, 2007 – and thought since it wasn’t about Iraq and it wasn’t about Homeland Security and issues of our personal freedom, this would be a pleasant read. We would once again have harmony. It was not to be.

He was writing about oil. He lays out our precarious situation with the oil producing countries and the control they have over us. He even said oil could go over $100 a barrel and cause a world-wide recession. (I think Fred Thompson needs to read that part! He looks at our economy as if it stands alone, according to his discussion in the debate yesterday.) Up to that point, Mortimer and I were thinking alike and I was enjoying it so much.

Then he used the words, and these are his VERY words – “Keeping oil safe for the West.” I was probably one of the last people on the planet (whose mind could be changed!) to believe we actually would fight a war for oil. It’s one thing to believe we’re doing that very thing and not liking it, but to believe we would do it and, should do it, is something else!! He says we have to have ships and troops and alliances to protect supply routes.

He goes on to say we should raise taxes on the oil companies in order to curb demand. So, he DOES know that would raise prices on everything, including FOOD? Higher gas taxes would put a terrible crunch on the disappearing middle income class who are re-appearing in the lower income class. Does he want to cause a recession?

It gets even worse. He believes the Federal Government should “devise a way of meeting environmental concerns while seeking reliable domestic production of energy at home.” Why does the government have to do this? Don’t they make things worse the more they try to ‘help’? Couldn’t the companies and consumers work this out? I, for one, would keep an eye on these companies and hold their feet to the fire so they are careful how they do things. “We the people” can make them be environmentally responsible.

Well, bless his heart, Mortimer realizes we are ‘over a barrel’. I just don’t agree with him on the solutions.