When someone is standing in front of you lying to you and to themselves, what do you do? I watch often when it is family, friends or colleagues and see people do nothing. They hear these lies and allow the teller to at least think that they are believed in order to avoid confrontation. I believe that this does an injustice to everyone involved and enables the teller to build these lies into bigger more ridiculous situations that will eventually fall apart. However, I also do not want to contribute to the drama or waste energy defending my point of view to someone that is not capable of understanding it. When that lie is about a promotion at work or your financial situation, the damage may be limited. When the lie is about national security or the economy, the damage is massive.
I sat a couple nights ago and watched the President give his Address on his plan for Afghanistan. [I had hoped that ABC would be airing the Christmas special "Prep & Landing" afterward, but it was moved to 12/8 at 8:30.] No President has ever selected a more home-cooked audience than Obama regularly does. I guess if you can't keep Congress from pointing out your lies in the middle of your speech, you had better go to a military institution so that you can literally order everyone to smile and keep quiet and applaud when appropriate. I can tell you how disappointed I was with Obama's lack of substance and double talk and half truths and statements about things that have not been done but discussing them as victories, but none of that really surprised me. Don't get me wrong. I was mad at all that and I sat there arguing with the television throughout.
The most disappointing part for me was the next day when my candidate for President, Mike Huckabee, sent an e-mail through his PAC supporting the President's plan. I guess there really was something for everybody in that speech, or everyone is more dumb than even I imagined. The right is all excited because they get the troops that military leadership has asked for and the left is appeased with an exit timeline. You should all know lies when you hear them. No new troops will deploy for months, but the 18 month exit time is already ticking. Why 18 months? Well about that time, somebody will be campaigning for President. What, if anything, will 30,000 more troops accomplish? What countries will supply the other 7000 troops that Obama promised? Was he serious about the 5000 Afghan troops counting toward the number? Do you think that when the General asked for 40,000 more troops, that any old troops would do? There have to be 40,000 Girls Scout troops available. I bet their moms would rather do anything than sell cookies this year.
If you were writing a plan for the Middle East tomorrow, what would you want to know and how would you make it happen? I ask only because I know that, like me, you have not thought about it that way. Your government believes that you are not capable of making an intelligent, unemotional decision. To a certain extent, they are right. The reason they are right is because that is how they want you to be. They want you to be dumb and emotional, so that your behavior is more predictable at election time. Believing what you are told as an electorate, though, makes you worthless as a citizen. Believing that your government is anything more than a collection of fellow Americans, using your money to ineffectively offer services to your neighbor is a mistake made by too many of us.
I am trying to be open minded. I have walked into the ballot box for over half my life and blindly pulled the levers, connected the arrows or pushed the buttons of the Republican candidates in the hope that of the two evils their values were most like mine. I am not doing that anymore. In the last two elections, I have apprised myself of the issues and even considered candidates outside the two "controlling" parties. Even more than listening to what politicians are telling me, I am listening to what they are not saying. In my opinion, the things that they do not say are far more truthful than those they do.
If you are ready to be open minded, too, read the Libertarian party response that I have attached in full below. My favorite part is the information from the Cato Institute that advises that in order to stabilize a country of the size of Afghanistan that it would take 600,000 troops. I don't know what you think about that, but let your elected officials know. If you do not know who your elected officials are, visit the home page for the county you live in and follow the link for the Supervisor of Elections. There you should find the contact information for your Mayor, County Commissioners and so on all the way to Obama. If you want your voice to be heard, open your mouth and say clearly what it is that you think. Don't be a hypocrite. Don't allow them to get you emotional and act dumb. Represent yourself as well as you want to be represented and demand the same from those that you elect.
Make it happen. Take it to the next level. Raise the bar.
Libertarians opposed to new war plans for Afghanistan
WASHINGTON - The Libertarian Party (LP) today expressed its opposition to the Afghanistan war plans announced by President Barack Obama last night.
Wes Benedict, Executive Director of the LP, said, "Rush Limbaugh should buy Obama a nice cigar. The liberal president has done exactly what the conservative leader wanted: escalate the war."
William Redpath, Chairman of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC), commented, "This is further evidence that the differences between Republicans and Democrats are, at most, rhetorical. This president, whose votes made him the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, has just announced an escalation of a foreign war. His campaign promise of 'Change' now sounds a lot more hollow."
Redpath continued, "Some congressional Democrats may make a rhetorical show of opposing Obama's decision, but that is all it will be. Obama is guaranteed to get the additional troops and funding that he wants."
Redpath continued, "Instead, Congress should re-assert its authority in matters of war, by passing legislation that terminates the president's authorization to make war in Afghanistan, and that calls for an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan. If the president vetoes it, Congress should override the veto."
In September 2008, the LNC adopted a resolution calling for a military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Benedict commented further, "One problem with the president's strategy is that it demonstrates a hyperinflated fear of terrorists. When we act worried and threatened, we make the terrorists feel like they're having their intended effect, which encourages them to keep doing what they're doing."
Redpath continued, "According to the Cato Institute, 'the U.S. military's counterinsurgency doctrine says that stabilizing a country the size of Afghanistan would require far more troops than the most wild-eyed hawk has proposed: about 600,000 troops.' President Obama is proposing to put a total of about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, which won't come close to accomplishing anything."
Redpath concluded, "The president's speech was surprisingly content-free. The speech was nearly all platitudes, which is typical for politicians, particularly presidents. Will someone please restore substance to American political discourse?"