For 20 years, Steamboat resident Rob Douglas was a Washington, D.C. private detective specializing in homicide, political corruption and terrorism. Since 1998, Douglas has been a commentator on local, state and national politics in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Colorado. To reach Rob Douglas, email rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

For 20 years, Steamboat resident Rob Douglas was a Washington, D.C. private detective specializing in homicide, political corruption and terrorism. Since 1998, Douglas has been a commentator on local, state and national politics in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Colorado. To reach Rob Douglas, email rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

Rob Douglas: It's time to temper Obama expectations

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Rob Douglas

Rob Douglas' column appears Fridays in the Steamboat Today. He can be reached at rdouglas@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Douglas here.

In the spring of 1968, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy were slain by assassins' bullets, igniting a summer of discontent marked by riots and the burning of American cities.

That August, frustration with the Vietnam War - combined with racial tension concerning the lack of progress in civil rights for blacks - exploded during the Democratic National Convention, resulting in violent clashes between protesters and police in Chicago's Grant Park.

Forty years later, with a resounding victory, Sen. Barack Obama completed his ascendency as the first black American elected president of the United States in a raucously joyous, yet peaceful, Grant Park.

Although this historic event should be celebrated by all Americans, it now is time for those who voted for Obama with uncontrolled adoration in their eyes - especially the media that blindly rode the Barack bandwagon - to return to their senses. If not, the inevitable wake-up call of reality will leave a political hangover for those clearly drunk with Obamamania.

The deification of Barack Obama needs to end.

Too harsh, you say? Then perhaps you'll listen to "The One" and his closest disciples.

In a front page New York Times article Thursday, Obama sought to awaken the country from the spell he inspired.

"President-elect Barack Obama has begun an effort to tamp down what his aides fear are unusually high expectations among his supporters. : Mr. Obama's advisers said they were startled, if gratified, by the jubilation that greeted the news of Mr. Obama's victory in much of the United States and abroad. But while the energy of his supporters could be a tremendous political asset as Mr. Obama works to enact his agenda after taking office in January, his aides said they were looking to temper hopes that he would be able to solve the nation's problems or fully reverse Bush administration policies quickly and easily, especially given the prospect of a deep and long-lasting recession."

Let me translate:

"Uh-oh. My devout followers bought the promises I was peddling, and now these delirious believers expect me to actually walk on water. You disciples go tell the unwashed masses to tamp down their expectations. Oh, don't forget to blame Bush. They always fall for that line."

Truth be told, this doesn't make our prez-elect a bad man. In fact, it means he's just like the 43 politicians who preceded him.

And that's the point.

He's a politician.

Barack Obama is a streetwise Chicago politician who will default on many of the promissory notes he littered the nation with during the campaign. And Obama's first official appointment of Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff demonstrates that "change" must be in the jaundiced eye of the beholder.

Emanuel is a former Clinton loyalist known in Washington as a "cross between a hemorrhoid and a toothache." And that's what his friends call him. Emanuel is just the man to select when you have a partisan view of bipartisanship.

Had the press done its job, more Americans would have realized Obama was over-selling what could be done by him or any other earthbound human. Now, in a Shakespearean twist, Obama finds himself forced to do the job the press should have done by warning he can't deliver on his deliverables. And yet, even with Obama asking them to stop, the press keeps marching on with studied ignorance.

For example, Obama's directive to tone down the rhetoric evidently didn't reach the New York Times' Tom Friedman in time for his column this week, given his view that Barack's election was the final shot in the Civil War.

"And so it came to pass that on Nov. 4, 2008, the American Civil War ended as a black man won enough electoral votes to become President of the United States : the Civil War never truly could be said to be over until America's white majority actually elected an African-American as president."

That sets the American record for hyperbole.

Then there's MSNBC political commentator Chris Matthews revealing how he perceives his role when it comes to reporting about Obama.

"I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work," Matthews said.

When asked if he believes his job as a newsman is to aide Obama, Matthews said: "Yeah, that's my job. My job is to help this country. To make this work successfully, because this country needs a successful presidency."

Edward R. Murrow is spinning.

Perhaps now that Obama himself is asking his followers to get real, they will do so. But with the likes of Friedman, Matthews and the rest of the media echo chamber continuing to ignore Obama's pleas for the nation to remove its collective blinders, there will be some heartbroken Obamaites when their sight returns.

I hope that is not the case, as we all need our new president to succeed. But we also need to be honest about Barack Obama and his efforts from this day forward if we are to succeed as a nation.

Let me close with a comment to my friends on the left. If you think I'm being too hard on our president-elect, wait till you see what I have to say to my friends on the right.

Comments

Scott Wedel 5 years, 11 months ago

I am not sure if Rob's commentary is to be taken seriously or is pure satire. After 8 years of Fox News and various conservative political commentators following White House talking point memos, Rob Douglas writes about about left wing bias of a New York Times Editorial writer and a MSNBC political commentator? Funny stuff, Rob.

And McCain would have kept his promises such as catching Bin Laden and preserving housing prices.

And we all know that Bush did so well at keeping his promises.

At least Obama picked a person with the knowledge and intelligence to be capable of doing the job well and didn't pick some ignorant outsider.

So to the list of everything wrong with Obama we can add that he picked a political insider to be his Chief of Staff. That concerns me no more than his socialist, possibly marxist, political beliefs, palling around with terrorists, being a celebrity and so on.

Is this really the best that the Republican talking points could come up with?

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Jason Krueger 5 years, 11 months ago

Nice work Rob. I bet your kids love you at Christmas too. ("Santa's not bringing you anything!"). Apart from a small handful of over-the-top folks, most of us have pretty realistic expectations. Namely, as JustSomJoe stated: "...A clear reason that Obama was elected is that a majority of the country believes he's a step in a better direction than John McCain could offer."

The election wasn't won or lost because of oversimplified talking points as Rob Douglas, Bill O'Reilly, and Ann Coulter still cling to. Obama didn't win because he was black. He didn't win solely because McCain's running mate was a hard-core right wing politician.

There hasn't been a single speech where Obama hasn't stressed the success of this country is EVERYONE's responsibility. That while we may disagree on issues, the only way to move forward is to find some sort of common ground. In essence, Obama has always asked "WE" rise to the occasion and make use of that strange gray-matter located between our earlobes which the Republican party seems to think should be exorcised from the collective population.

I have grown tired of useless statements such as, "The fundamentals of our economy our strong.", "You're either with us or against us", "core family values"l, or "real america". They neither provide any useful information nor move the accompanying issue forward. Even former congressman Mickey Edwards (R) commented the Republican party needs to re-examine its obsession to demigod education and intellectualism.

To the editor of the Pilot. Perhaps it is time to put Mr. Douglas out to pasture. Not because I disagree with his political beliefs but because his commentaries aren't based on rationalism. If the Pilot feels such emotion-driven rhetoric is valuable at least give me someone who focuses their attention at the local level and leaves the national issues to national columnists eminently more qualified. PS. JLM- I still stand by my example regarding the steak issue. Sorry.

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JLM 5 years, 11 months ago

The press didn't just jump on President-elect Obama's bandwagon --- they built it, lubed the chassis, fueled it and pushed it --- downhill both ways.

We all have understandably huge hopes for the success of an Obama Presidency and the failure to solve the current economic crisis; the failure to get the Dow back to 14,000; the failure to provide low cost, high quality universal health care; the failure to make all nations throughout the world love us; the failure to immediately end the war in Iraq; the failure to win the war in Afghanistan; the failure to curb the Russian bear; the failure to solve the Iran nuclear weapons problem; the failure to solve the energy problem; the failure to curb global warming; the failure to change the tone in Washington and get all the elected politicians to work together; the failure to balance the budget; the failure to pay off the National Debt; the failure to get every kid in America a college education; the failure to solve the mortgage crisis; the failure to transcend race; the failure to cure the common cold (ooops, not that one) and the failure to.....well, you know what I mean --- will be just FAILURE!

I will do everything in my power to assist President Barack H Obama and I will support him as well as I can but I am looking for results because only results count.

Good luck, Godspeed President-elect Barack Obama! Let me know what I can do to help!

Only results count!

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JustSomeJoe 5 years, 11 months ago

Typical Rob. Obama has been president-elect for 3 days, and you are already tearing the guy down. I think everyone recognizes what a mess our country is in today; our military is severely over-stretched, our economy is careening downward and we get worse news everyday, our budget deficit and national debt will be a drag on the country for generations, highest unemployment in 15 years. You know what's going to help, higher taxes for everyone and reduced spending. We are going to have to pay for these wars and bailouts at some point, and so far the trickle down tax policies and profligate spending of the past eight years have only driven us deeper into the ditch.

No one person is going to fix all of our ills anytime soon. A clear reason that Obama was elected is that a majority of the country believes he's a step in a better direction than John McCain could offer. Let's hope he is. Blame whoever you want, we all own this mess and I hope we elected a president that is up to the challenge.

JLM -I'm sure the Obama-Biden administration will be reaching out to you soon based on your Steamboat Pilot message board offer of help. You seem so sincere.

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nikobesti 5 years, 11 months ago

Rob, you're right. Optimism is the scourge of America! Down with hope! Bring back low expectations and pessimism! We can't fail unless we envision failure!

Speaking of unrealistic promises, wasn't it john McCain who said "no one should pay more taxes"? Well isn't that a catchy little campaign promise? Never heard that one before. What a great fantasy world Mr. McCain must live in. Can I get some of what he's smoking? But McCain supporters say, "But he'll cut spending." Yeah, like those pesky $18 billion in earmarks he liked talking about so much, right? Cut less than 1% of our budget and no one has to pay taxes! Woo hoo! Apparently he favors borrowing billions more dollars from China like his pal Dubya. I'm glad the public didn't buy it. Props to Obama for being honest. We need to pay our bills, folks.

Two final questions for JLM, Rob and all the rest of the right making excuses for a loss by blaming the media:

  1. Did the media select Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate? Did they do a voice-over on her interview with Katie Couric? Did they censor her intelligent remarks out of the VP debate?

  2. Did the media create all those hateful remarks coming from the McCain campaign that drove everyone away from him? Did they add those words to Palin's speech about palling around with terrorists? Was it the press ramming fear down our throats at every possible opportunity? Guess I was wrong about the Karl Rove proteges taking over the campaign of someone who professed to be a moderate maverick and wanted to end divisive politics. Maybe I'm just not privy to the omnipotent powers of the media in today's world.

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JLM 5 years, 11 months ago

Hey, guys, the election is over. No more of that election trifling. The contest is over and now it's time to get to work and get the results. I have stated with great and genuine sincerity that our next President is Barack H Obama. He won fair and square. That is our system and it is a good system.

He ran a great campaign and I am looking for the same performance in his Presidency. I will do whatever is necessary to assist.

While I love a rigorous competition, there is only one winner and it is President-elect Barack H Obama. I fully expect to support him and he is MY President just as much as anybody else's. I sincerely hope he is up to the job because it is a daunting task. He seems smart enough but I just don't know if he is clever and hardworking and experienced enough. I will be hoping it is so and we shall see. Now is the time to convert campaign promises into reality.

A good read is Reagan's Diaries which show how challenging it is to be President on a daily basis. Frankly, I cannot imagine too many men who could do the job. It is a very, very difficult job.

I am now into results rather than campaign rhetoric. I think you may misread Rob's comments, he appears to me to be saying that nobody expects President-elect Obama to be able to deliver on even a bit of his campaign promises. That is a graceful eventuality for President-elect Obama. Rob is, in effect, giving him a pass. I, however, am not and I don't think he wants us to give him a pass. I think he wants us to hold him accountable.

I am filled with hope and waiting for real change. I will do whatever I can to make that happen. I am waiting for the change we need, the change we want, the change we deserve; and, I am filled to overwhelming with hope, hope and more hope.

There are many things which we ponder which simply do not work. I cannot imagine that raising taxes on anybody just now will result in prosperity but I am prepared to be proven wrong and I have a completely open mind.

I can't wait until 20 January 2009.

I promise to always speak of President-elect Obama with dignity and respect because he is our President, he is my President and we owe that respect to each other. It has always bothered me the manner in which folks have disrespected President Bush.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 11 months ago

Rob: I too will accept and support Obama. If the right refuses to accept him we will seriously damage our country. The left has applied eight years of sabotage in order to sieze power. I don't think the country is in any condition to withstand a repeat. The tendency to vote a "free ride" is the achilles heal of capitalism and I am very concerned for the future.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 11 months ago

Well written folks.

JLM, I have no interest in Bush, other than his recent missles into Syria and Pakistan are provoking far more problems than they are solving.

Maybe respect would be easier if my president hadn't led my neighbors to question my patriotism in 2003 as I protested his invasion of Iraq.

Bring them home.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 11 months ago

nikobesti: You won, the ball is in your court, No more armchair quarterbacking, With responsability we don't need any more finger pointing and excuses, but then you might be mistaken for a conservative.

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playa46 5 years, 11 months ago

Gee Rob:

Sorry you believe that the media influenced America's decision. What did we see Republicans do during the election? So much money on attack ads, yet that led to the Republicans downfall.

Get over yourself, Obama is the next president.

JLM- We get it man....jk

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JLM 5 years, 11 months ago

SL ---

What problems are those missiles into Syria and Pakistan provoking? Serious question.

JLM

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upstream 5 years, 11 months ago

JLM- unfortunately, I will never be able to view any of your comments regarding our current President Elect as sincere. You have repeatedly used divisive and hateful language in your posts- a hallmark of the "conservative media" as embodied by Rob Douglas and his tabloid ilk. Seriously, how many times have you insisted on the child like Ann coulter style use of President elect Obama's middle name, Hussein?
How many times have you typed the words, "fakir and poseur" when writing about Mr Obama? In fact, on November 2nd, you wrote, "Obama is a naif, a fakir and a poseur who will do exactly what he has indicated if elected. God forbid!" Then you told us you would leave the country if he was elected. Now we are supposed to accept your sincere commitment to our new President Elect? Everything you write is sincerely snide and sincerely divisive. Somehow I don't see anyone from the Obama transition team calling you for anything. Enjoy that Mexican vacation, eh? Sincerely, Up Hussein Stream

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JLM 5 years, 11 months ago

Hussein, not me, up. Leave the country, not bloody likely. I like it too much. A spot of time in Mexico, si. But I've always liked old Mexico and cerveza a bit too much.

I am waiting for a call from that tough little ballerina, Rahm. LOL

On a very serious note, you confuse the competition with the contest.

Compete hard. Accept the terms of the competition. Annoint the winner. Live to fight another day.

Hard competition is not divisive. I doubt I said anything "hateful" but for whatever it is worth, I have no regrets. Sorry I hurt your sensitive little feelings, waif. It wasn't personal it was about the issues. But the election answered that and the American people have spoken. That's the way we Americans roll.

Nonetheless, President-elect Obama (note no Hussein for me) is my President and I sincerely wish him well. I am hopeful. I am looking for change and maybe, just maybe, he can deliver. We shall see.

In any event, I will always be respectful of our President if for no other reason than he is our fairly elected leader and that is the way the game is played. Now get over it. Hang up your tutu and get on with the change we all need, up.

Enjoy the victory with reckless abandon. Whirl like a dervish and howl like a wolf because after 21 January 2009 the world will be keeping score again and everybody's "ideas" will become reality.

Bad ideas have bad consequences. There is no time for OJT.

Good luck, President-elect Barack H Obama!

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playa46 5 years, 11 months ago

Rock on teleflypicker. I like to see how decisions you made weren't based on what party you supported.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 11 months ago

I meant to say 100 trade or skill building schools.

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JLM 5 years, 11 months ago

Tele ---

I agree with you except I cannot imagine why Obama did not win by 25%. He was blessed with a regime which was desperately in need of regime change --- we might not agree on the reasons but the conclusions are difficult to refute.

McCain is barely a Republican; and, Obama had the blessing of being a candidate designed for television, the Internet and the airwaves. David Axelrod had a much easier product to package than his opponent and he did a great job of it.

Obama is plenty smart, nobody disagrees on that front. The real issue is how good he is at governing (at which he has no experience) and how well he can control his own party. Does he really have a coherent governing philosophy and is it sufficiently developed to actually put into play? Or is it only a work in progress and not quite ready to be rolled out?

His greatest challenge is more likely to come from Nancy Pelosi's elevated expectations than the Republicans.

I think Obama has set the expectations very, very, very high. As much by his negative rhetoric as his almost unlimited promises.

A powerful orator has only one real problem --- everybody remembers what he said! For years and years.

Great events, and elections are great events, and their attendant goodwill/political capital have a very, very short shelf life. Witness the British bouncing Winston Churchill out of office right after WWII.

We shall very quickly see what President-elect Obama is really made of.

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oldskoolstmbt 5 years, 11 months ago

JLM..AM I THE ONLY ONE TO MISS HOW YOU HAVE CALLED OUR NOW ELECT PRESIDENT A FAKER, POSER,ETC...ALL WITH MISSPELLINGS????

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JLM 5 years, 11 months ago

Hahaha, oldskoolstmbt, you're a hoot!

You might want to take a quick gander at a dictionary, sport. Them's high falutin' Ivy League words complete with odd spellings and quirky meanings. Kinda like old Barack Hussein Obama his own self. Heck, you might want to even check the definitions. Can't hurt, can it? LOL

Naif, fakir, poseur --- LOL

Thanks for the comic relief.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 11 months ago

JLM, Its confusing to jump around between so many threads. This channel will have to do. I read your elsewhere posts.

You have a lot of faith with our tactical ability. I do too. Its the rest, Clear-Hold-Rebuild, that is a lot more complicated. Occupation is breaking our treasury isn't it? This new thinking of aligning with some tribes may be a breakthrough. Cheaper to pay a new ally than to field a brigade.

I agree the military is the "club in the closet" that improves diplomacy between nations. But thats country to country diplomacy. As you get down to tribal and family levels I see diminishing and reversing returns where violence begets escalating violence.

You argue they'll follow us home when we leave. Its an unending occupation then, because I believe the radicals will follow us home, no matter when and how we leave. Meanwhile the bystanders are swayed to radicalism because we won't leave.

A cross border attack of Syria feels wrong to me, though the Economist had an article that offered up more mystery than serious Syrian concern about the attack. Do these governments actually want us to attack their irritants? Strange to think that we should fight their fundamentalists for them, when their schools teach fundamentalism. That's classic Saudi Arabia. Its insane.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 11 months ago

There is no military answer. Our new tribal enemies have a long history of long simmering wars. That's some future, huh?

We have to chart some course they don't teach at West Point.

Bill Moyer showed a clip Friday of Studs Terkel years ago, "I'm worried about what Einstein was worried about. And if he's scared, I'm scared. He said, "We've taken such a leap in weaponry and technology and science. Unless we take that same leap as far as understanding one another in this society and in the world, we're in for a catastrophe." And wouldn't it be good if we had more passenger travel and if all these roadbeds were fixed, that have been on the bumpy side? And I'm always thinking one less missile and so many roadbeds and so many passenger trains traveling. Wouldn't that be something?"

Trade you a stealth bomber for 100 schools built in the middle east.

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JLM 5 years, 11 months ago

The truth always lies somewhere in the middle; and, the world no longer allows anybody to say they have 20 years of experience --- at best, one has one year of experience 20 times. The world is changing fast.

I am typically against military action subscribing to the Eisenhower concept of "deterrent" force rather than the current thinking of "overwhelming" force (the Powell Doctrine). The truth lies somewhere in the middle.

I think that Eisenhower was our best Commander in Chief (making the distinction between that role and other Presidential roles) and he was a very shrewd foreign policy President. He kept us out of war when we had enormous provocations --- Quemoy/Matsu, Berlin, U2, etc. etc. etc.

If we are to have military action, I would want it to be quick, comprehensive, violent (you always take fewer casualties on the attack) and conclusive. Also, it should be costed correctly.

My current military pre-occupation is solely getting out of Iraq on a basis which does not squander our achievements --- a fledgling democracy safe from terrorist interference and a government able to defend itself sufficiently that they will not spawn terrorists. This is our own self interest at work and will pay dividends for centuries as has peace in Europe where the Germans could be counted on for a war about every 27.33 years.

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JLM 5 years, 11 months ago

It has been abundantly clear for decades that the Middle Eastern oil producing countries really do no want anything to do with terrorists/freedom fighters of any kind. They live lives of splendor and grandeur and do not really want to risk their lifestyles in any manner.

Remember that the Arabs outnumber the Israelis by about 20:1 and yet cannot find a way to overcome them militarily. They have no heart for conflict but they like to talk about it.

This is why they "export", and even fund when necessary, terrorists and why they are reluctant to allow the same terrorist/freedom fighters to set up camp in their countries.

This is the root reason why Syria does not really care if we kill Iraq focused terrorists or why Pakistan does not care if we kill Taliban in their SE areas. We are ultimately doing them a favor.

The conflict between sovereign borders and tribal comings and goings is a fiction which only we Americans recognize. As an example, the Kurds could care less whether they are Iraqi, Turkish, Iranian Kurds. They are simply Kurds and want to be left alone to their own tribal customs and governance.

The world has come a long way in understanding the significance of the fleeting and convenient commonality of all Arabs and the significant tribal and religious differences of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds (to name just three obvious distinctions).

While military intervention is always an irritant to those on the receiving end of it (hmmm, which when I think about it is the desired result), there is nothing better for our country than a medic treating the natives or repairing the water system or providing local safety and security or reopening the schools. Peoples very rarely "hate" other peoples, it is always the governments or those governing.

Until the situation with Iran sorts itself out, we will be in the Middle East for a long time. Our presence in Europe, the Far East (Japan, Korea) and Kosovo has been useful and has had an enormous deterrent effect. Our Middle Eastern presence will not be otherwise.

If we could prevent India and Pakistan; and, Iran and Israel from going to war --- a war which might grow regional and include a theater level exchange of nuclear munitions --- would that justify our continued presence? I think so and I think that is the underlying calculas.

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 11 months ago

JLM, I understand the endgame math is complicated. Calculus is a bitch, and a fitting metaphor.

I've learned from the discussion and found some common ground about smart, non-military assistance to Muslim peoples. I prefer fewer dollars spent on foriegn military aid and high end weaponry never used. Spend it on schools and hospitals.

And spend it more on footsoldiers, less on drone delivered missles. I'm so tired of innocents being killed in my name.

"Wilsonian" principles, as borne out in Iraq, carry a heavy, heavy price.

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JLM 5 years, 11 months ago

There is a case to be made that UAVs are a surgical weapon which can be positioned and targeted over an extended period of time. The decision to fire munitions then can be made in a leisurely and thoughtful manner.

The technology exists to target weapons which are carried on drones right down the stovepipe of targets. In that way, they are quite a bit more discriminating than artillery or crew served weapons or dumb bombs.

They also have the advantage of being very inexpensive comparatively and of not risking a pilot.

When I think of UAVs and their appropriate use, I think of the tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan more than Iraq.

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playa46 5 years, 11 months ago

The Iraq War is a terrible idea, thank god we just might leave now.

JLM- You are so violent, it scares me sometimes. "If we are to have military action, I would want it to be quick, comprehensive, violent (you always take fewer casualties on the attack) and conclusive."

I now see you extending your War Ideals out of Iraq, and to Pakistan. Don't you see that we are loosing money, so far four trillion dollars, to this war? Why would you want to spread the war?

You said that troops would perfer to win this war, so we should let them fight it and win it. Haven't we already won it? I can't stress enough how pointless this war is.

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JLM 5 years, 11 months ago

In the context of the recent election, the Iraq War is only relevant as it relates to how we get out. We were already in before the election was held. I want to get us out w/ victory as I think it serves our long term strategic interests. I agree we are almost out and I hope President Obama does not screw it up.

While clearly our entry into the war was based upon faulty intelligence, the presence of a stable democracy on the border of Iran and in the midst of an otherwise unstable Mid-East will have a calming impact on its neighbors. We will look back on the creation of this democracy as a very good thing even if its inception remains a bit of a mystery and troubling.

I have been in a war and they are violent by nature. Nobody hates a war like a soldier who has seen it up close. Wars are always an admission of failure but sometimes they are necessary.

When we go to war, we should be competent and through that competence we should minimize our casualties and costs.

You misinterpret my comments in regard to Pakistan. I want to keep an eye on Pakistan because they are unstable and have nuclear weapons; but, the reference to Pakistan is solely related to the delicate work that must be done in the tribal regions in the northwest to get to the Afghanistan refuges of Al Qaeda and OBL. We have no real quarrel with Pakistan but it may take a bit of delicate statesmanship to technically violate their sovereignty to get OBL --- which BTW, candidate Obama was completely in agreement with when last we checked.

Pakistan's protestations to the contrary are for internal political consumption only much as Syria's recent protests served their own audience in a useful manner. If the truth were known, the Pakistanis would probably like us to knock out a few of their rebellious elements while we root out Al Qaeda and OBL.

Maybe President Obama will send in ACORN to get things "organized". Sorry, that violates my pledge to play nice with my/our new President.

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playa46 5 years, 11 months ago

Okay, sorry, I did read your post wrong, my bad.

I also agree with you saying that wars are sometimes a neccesity to America, however, we have done our part in this war. It is time to get us out before everything goes completely wrong, which a lot of us are starting to see.

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JLM 5 years, 11 months ago

You are buying into the media's false portrayal of current events in Iraq. Notice the dearth of articles in the MSM in regard to Iraq during the last stages of the election.

Take a look at the Iraq Study Group info and see the actual statistics are amazingly positive. Hell, Newark, NJ wishes it were so well served and comparatively safe.

That is why --- at this junction in time --- the surge has worked beyond even Barack Obama's wildest dreams and it would be foolhardy to give up that progress by an ill advised politically motivated withdrawal.

It would be insightful to talk with returning vets (particularly company grade junior officers who actually lead much of the fighting in the field) who have served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan to get a feel for how well things are going.

Take a look at the NYT's article which will break tom'w on covert operations which have been undertaken across the entire Middle East since 9-11. Why the NYT is reporting this classified information is beyond me.

The lesson is that the reason we have been safe at home is because we have been systematically killing Al Qaeda cells wherever we find them. It is not by mistake.

We have not been safe because Al Qaeda lost interest. The US Spec Ops guys have given them more than they can handle world wide and have thrown them completely off balance.

Anybody who has ever been around that part of the military could pick up the vibe and level of increased activity and could deduce that something big was going on.

I suspect that when President-elect Obama received his first PDB (President's Daily Brief) he probably said: "Damn! I had no idea."

A smart poker player does not fold a winning hand.

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playa46 5 years, 11 months ago

You also buy yellow journalism.

Pictures shown in Vietnam gave the public a reason to get out of that war, thus riots and such started. However, we see no brutal pictures in the Iraq war of what terrorists and innocent people have to go through. The government has silenced it all up, not allowing the unknown public to see, if that happened, common sense would break out and the government would be forced to leave. They do this on-purpose.

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JLM 5 years, 11 months ago

Playa, what are you about 11 years old?

The Internet and digital photography have provided an insight into the Iraq war which is deeper and more studied than any other war in history.

Where do you think the Abu Ghraib pictures came from? The AP? They came from the Internet.

During the initial assault phase of the war, the military allowed journalists to be imbedded with actual combat units on the move. Journalists have been provided unfettered access to both the war theater and the military.

The simple truth is that the Iraq war is just about over and we are winning. Even BO has said the surge has worked beyong anybody's wildest dream. Let it flow and let it go.

Victory --- a good alternative to defeat or surrender --- the old school way to conclude wars!

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JLM 5 years, 11 months ago

Tomorrow, thank a Veteran for making America safe; and, the land of the free and the home of the brave! Happy Veterans Day!

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aichempty 5 years, 11 months ago

I paid 2.099 for a gallon of gas this week.

My friend who bought a motorcycle when gas was at $3.00 a gallon admitted that it no longer makes economic sense with the cost of fuel down. He's keeping the bike for next time, though.

My cost (copay) for name-brand prescription drugs is going up from $35 to $65 for each refill.

The tire factory in the town near by second home is shutting down, putting a couple of thousand people out of work.

Obama and Biden had all the plans for solving these problems laid out before the election, didn't they? Weren't they supposed to release the details after they were elected? So, where are the details? Why can't Obama and Pelosi get started on things now, and put us two months on the road to recovery before inauguration day?

The answer is because they made promises to win votes, and now reality sets in.

Circuit City filed for bankruptcy today.

I guess the people at the tire factories and car factories have stopped buying iPods and flat-screen TVs. Oops.

Obama met with Bush in the White House, and had a nice time. They talked about the need for an economic stimulus plan NOW. So what's the government going to offer aside from tax cuts or credits or rebates? Nothing. There's nothing else they can offer, and it all comes out of the treasury, which is funded from taxes. The self-licking ice cream cone is watching itself melt, eh?

Obama won. Now let's see the hole cards. What can it hurt? The Democrats won a majority in both houses of Congress, and will own the Executive Branch in about 70 days. There ought to be stuff waiting for them to vote on January 21st, and ready for Obama to sign into law on the 22nd. This is all within the control of people who are already elected. They don't have to wait to see what the enemy does to mess up their plans. Or is it going to be like Nancy Pelosi's 100 days?

The Democrats made the plans, they won the elections, so now let's see the actions. No reason to way until January to get started.

I've converted. I'm on your side. So now DO it!

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Steve Lewis 5 years, 11 months ago

JLM, Playa is right about the war coverage being filtered, at least during Rumsfeld.

Embedded reporters got to watch a soldier's view, the army's view, of the war. Yet taking pictures of their coffins coming home was prohibited. Why?

Unfortunately, cases exist such as Pat Tillman. His friendly fire death was reported as something much different. Damn sad either way.

Thank you vets. Every soldier is a hero simply for being there. War is hell.

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JLM 5 years, 11 months ago

Hmmm, when watching in real time the Battle of Fallujah with Marines crossing the LD at the railroad tracks, what exactly was being filtered? I could have adjusted fire for their artillery from my family room. "Left 50, add 100, HE --- fire for effect!"

When watching the Abrams tanks shooting it out across the Euphrates River bridges on CNN, what exactly was being filtered?

Is there some other view of war than a "soldier's view"?

What pictures of Abu Ghraib were filtered?

When a soldier is killed and his body is being returned home to his family is there nothing sacred?

I have personally had to notify soldier's families of the loss of their loved ones and it is an onerous and difficult duty. Officers should do this kind of thing to ensure they know whose children they are being asked to lead and how sacred every soldier's life truly is. The military does a damn good job of a very, very difficult task. It is a sacred moment and the intrusion of the press defiles that moment.

If the only thing that is denied to journalists is the viewing of caskets being unloaded in a military ceremony at Dover AFB, then this invasion of privacy is probably OK with most of America.

I wonder how one would feel if a loved one's funeral was filmed for public dissemination. Would that offend your sense of propriety? It would mine.

The Tillman case was a friendly fire death which was simply falsely reported. While there are those who would argue that it was an attempt to cover up or to sensitively deal with a difficult situtation, most good officers would ultimately characterize it as a simple and unnecessary lie. The Army disciplined some very senior officers who were involved in this matter and the truth came out.

It was an aberration regardless of how well intentioned the participants were; and, it was rectified in an honest manner. It was rectified by the military not by a journalist. If someone in the military had not objected, the entire incident would not ever have come to light.

What has not been reported is the fact that Iraqi oil flows unimpeded, port facilities have been completely repaired, there is more electricity in Iraq in general and Baghdad in particular than at any point in history, the water system is working, the wastewater system is working, more schools are open than at any point in time, Al Anbar has been swept clean of Al Qaeda, 13/18 provinces are completely safe, 2/18 provinces are close to being safe and only one province remains with substantial combat operations. The Iraqi military stands on its own two feet and can fight and win against its national adversaries. Police powers are in place and the marketplaces are flourishing. Heck, they even have resort real estate being developed along the Euphrates River.

American monthly casualties are the lowest since reporting began. Elections are being held and political discourse is umimpeded by a dictator.

Happy Veterans Day!

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rujokn 5 years, 11 months ago

Been out of town but... Sounds like nothing more than SOUR GRAPES, Rob Douglas, not journalism. Your criticism neither has merit nor credibility. The blog discussion is much more insightful.

Happy Veterns Day!

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playa46 5 years, 11 months ago

And JLM what are you, Sixty?

Do a little research please, try and understand what I am talking about. The government c-o-v-e-r-s up the war in the media to stop the public from viewing the truth.

http://www.representativepress.org/LiesAboutIraq.html

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MrTaiChi 5 years, 11 months ago

Playa,

What do you love about this country?

Under what circumstances would you put your life at risk for it?

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ybul 5 years, 11 months ago

Freerider, it is unfortunate that others opinions do not count. As maybe had we listened to others opinions, maybe we would not be in the mess we are today. Everyone has valuable insight, and listening to all opinions is a valuable asset.

Peace

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playa46 5 years, 10 months ago

MrTaiChi-

Do you not think I like America. (LIKE, not love.) I would put my life under risk for it, after all we have to die sometime, right? Are you mad at me because I am young, like JLM is?

Rider- Watch it, because you won doesn't mean you need to rub your face in it. If McCain won, what would you do?

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