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Monday, February 02, 2009


We are now learning that Obama has been quietly bombing Pakistan since he took office.

For months and months before the election, my cousin John would refer to Obama as “Obomba” (pronounced “Obama”) in his emails. When Obama was emerging as a serious candidate, I asked fellow Green David Bicking what we had for opposition research. In addition to single payer and nuclear power, David said that Obama “wants to bomb Pakistan.”

Well, John and David sure got it right. Obama’s drones killed 18 people in one strike and a lot more since then. So Obama definitely has blood on his hands already and his supporters better hope they can justify it somehow. The best case scenario is that their intelligence is accurate and the people that they killed are really guilty, including the family members. Perhaps Osama Bin Laden was among those hit. Maybe Bush didn’t want to kill Bin Laden, either because he needed a bogeyman in the War on Fear, or because 9/11 was an inside job. The worst case scenario is that the militants retreat to populated parts of Pakistan, they use innocent people as human shields, Obama bombs them, an anti-U.S. party comes to power in Pakistan, and they sneak one of their nuclear bombs over our porous Pacific northwest border. Already today I heard a news report of a kidnapped American diplomat. See what happens when you go killing people?

It’s been almost two weeks since Obama took office. I don’t think it’s too early to ask for a progress report on the closing of Guantanamo and getting our troops out of Iraq. At the very least, the prisoners should be in comfortable quarters and be able to select their own foods, within reason. They should have reasonable accommodations for recreation and should be allowed to communicate with the outside world while the experts decide what to do with them. They should be relocated immediately to U.S. soil, and they should either be charged according to U.S. law, or given a psychological evaluation to see if they pose a threat. If they don’t, then they should be released. If we’re not sure, put them on TV and let the masses weigh in.

Now that the Iraqi elections are over, we should be withdrawing our first troops. We should be getting progress reports on how many troops have been withdrawn and how many are left to go. At the least, it should be on schedule with Obama’s 16-month timetable. At the most, they should be out in four hours by Humvee.

I know the economy is a top priority. We lost 2.6 million jobs in 2008 and the pace seems to be accelerating in 2009. If it’s too much to handle, then Obama can put Hillary in charge of foreign policy so he can concentrate on domestic policy. Of course I did not vote for Obama, and would not have selected Hillary, but if she’s the strong leader Democrats say she is, she ought to be able to handle it.


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