Cindy Antonucci-Ameen: Views outdated

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— After reading the commentary by Ms. Schubert-Akin, "Grit, Guts and Determination" (Sept. 14 Steamboat Pilot & Today), I am certain she is still living in that oyster that defined her world as a child. How else to explain her small-minded views and distortion of facts?

I would posit that a better measure of success for our country would be that suggested by Pat Schroeder, "You measure a government by how few people need help?" To those Americans who are working hard and still struggling, to those who worry that their children and grandchildren will not be able to afford the "luxuries" we now enjoy, and to those who recognize that our country's fiscal irresponsibility and reckless borrowing are crippling our economy and burdening future generations - to those proud Americans, I say, patriotism includes expecting a better government.

To clarify some distortions:

- Obama's economic plan will maintain the Bush tax cuts for the majority of Americans, those in the middle class and below, earning less than $250,000 per year. McCain's plan would add almost $4 billion in tax cuts to oil companies. It's obscene, especially during this time when Americans are struggling to put gas in their cars, and oil companies are making record profits, not to expect them to pay their fair share of taxes.

- "Keeping us on offense against the terrorists" and respecting the rights of citizens around the world are not mutually exclusive. The war on terrorism has many fronts, as stated in the Pentagon's recent assessment, The National Defense Strategy of June 2008:

"The use of force plays a role, yet military efforts to capture or kill terrorists are likely to be subordinate to measures to promote local participation in government and economic programs to spur development, as well as efforts to understand and address the grievances that often lie at the heart of insurgencies. For these reasons, arguably the most important military component of the struggle against violent extremists is not the fighting we do ourselves, but how well we help prepare our partners to defend and govern themselves."

As we now know, the surge supported by McCain and Bush, was not recommended or supported by the Joint Chiefs or the Iraq commander on the ground at the time, Gen. George W. Casey. At that time, in November 2006, they all favored "a renewed effort to train and build up the Iraqi security forces so that U.S. troops could begin to leave." (washingtonpost.com)

- Ms. Schubert-Akin's argument for who's a better steward of your money couldn't be more laughable. Do you really want to bring up that bridge to nowhere?

- A plan to drill our way to energy independence speaks to that oyster shell again. There are newer, cleaner, cheaper and safer ways to develop energy. And where would you have us deposit the nuclear waste that will be generated by McCain's energy plan? Perhaps under the backyards of his supporters?

In a year when so much is at stake, we all need to step outside our oysters, study the differences between the candidates and their plans. If you believe, as Ms. Schubert-Akin and McCain do, that the wars we're fighting are worthwhile and necessary to fight this transnational enemy, I urge you to visit with vets in our military hospitals to see for yourself if the cost is too great. My nephew, a Marine medic serving in Afghanistan, lost part of his leg this summer when he stepped on a land mine trying to save a fallen soldier. A family friend, a Marine serving in Iraq, died in Fallujah in November 2004. Our best and brightest young people deserve a commander in chief that listens to all his military advisors. I feel strongly that the cost of this war is too high, and to quote Ted Kennedy, "Young Americans in uniform must never ever be committed to a mistake, but always to a mission worthy of their bravery and sacrifice."

Cindy Antonucci-Ameen

Steamboat Springs

Comments

JLM 6 years, 2 months ago

The President is the Commander in Chief and has the final decision-making authority on all military issues. That is the way the country is organized --- civilian authority over the military. It is probably why our government has changed peacefully --- no tanks in the street --- for almost 250 years. That is a good thing!

It also means that the President has to make the final decision after receiving the advice of his Generals but only he can make the final decision. Lincoln's decision to elevate Grant --- who simply won all of his battles while being a notorious drunk --- is probably the classic example of a President making a fateful military decision. Roosevelt's decision to elevate DD Eisenhower to Supreme Commander of the allied invasion of Europe is another example. Eisenhower had been a Lt Col only 30 months earlier and was elevated to a 5-star General. He was the right guy for the job and the results speak for themselves.

President Bush selected a fairly low ranking General --- David A Petraeus, West Point '74, to command the change in tactics in Iraq. Why?

Gen Petraeus had not served in Viet Nam (too young) and was not tainted by that bad experience with counterinsurgency warfare. The guy earned a PhD from the Woodrow Wilson School (Princeton) and wrote the Army's manual on counterinsurgency.

Bush took a chance on this guy who was intellectually willing to the see the war fighting challenge without the prism of Viet Nam clouding his vision.

It was a great choice and that decision is the key decision that made the surge work. The Generals who you note advised the President otherwise were fighting the last war. Petraeus was fighting the next war.

This is exactly why executive decision-making experience is so critical because sometimes the right decision is to consider and reject the advice of your advisors.

We need a President with good judgment! Good judgment, the product of experience. Experience, the product of bad judgment. There is no substitute for experience.

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Cindy Antonucci-Ameen 6 years, 2 months ago

JLM, I really don't need a civics lesson. I get that Bush is the "decider".

My comments merely suggested that a commander in chief who disregards the opinions of his top military advisors and places in command someone who'll agree with his war plan, is someone who, in my opinion shows poor judgement. Let's see, how much war experience does Bush have?

I suspect those serving in the war now, those wounded and the families of the fallen would consider this a severe lapse in judgement, a decision made carelessly and arrogantly, against the best advice of his commanders.

As to the claims of the surge working, it's a little like "Mission Accomplished". Time will tell. The enemy combatants seem to have moved to Afghanistan where the "casualties" are rising. In the overall scheme, how is this a success?

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shoe_Z_Q 6 years, 2 months ago

I think it is about time the American people stop blaming Bush for everything they see has gone wrong. I know several people, my brother one of them, serving this country and they are very proud to serve. They sacrifice more than you know. Thank God they do, or we would not be able to be vocal about our views on issues. I commend you for yours, now these are mine." Luxureis" for our children should be last on the list. Hard work, a good solid education, and some morals, should be on the list of future "luxuries" for our children. The economic pot of stew is our own fault, not Bush. Take responsibility people, you live way beyond your means, and now you get to pay the price. Bush did not decide you should buy a house you can't afford, Bush did not tell you to max out four or five of your credit cards. Bush did not tell people to use the equity in their home like an ATM account. If you want to blame someone, look in the mirror folks. I am voting for McCain. It is about high time this country got on board and shot a moose, elk, or deer and put some food on it's own table and quit living in the" Robinhood oyster" Have a great day:)

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Cindy Antonucci-Ameen 6 years, 2 months ago

Shoe_Z_Q, just to clarify, luxuries was put in quotation marks as an attempt to facetiously re-categorize things that our children may not be able to afford like healthcare, being able to put gas in their cars or heat their homes, or afford a "good solid" college education. Sorry that wasn't more clear.

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shoe_Z_Q 6 years, 2 months ago

No problem. I do think we need to teach our kids how to do more to provide for themselves. Then the gas and healthcare would come easy. As long as we keep teaching them how to depend on the system it will never happen.

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Jason Krueger 6 years, 2 months ago

You're right shoe_Z_Q. Bush didn't tell us to start spending money right after 9/11. I am so mistaken. I remember leading up to our war in Afghanistan and Iraq Bush pleaded with the country to sacrifice and do their part. It was those liberals that told us to go to Disneyland. How could I be sooo blind??? You're absolutely right shoe_Z_Q, it's time we all go shoot a moose or elk or deer. While we're at it, lets drill an oil well in our back yard too. Lets stop living in the "Robinhood oyster" of corporate bailouts . Let everyone go down in flames- the homeowners who overextended themselves and the wallstreet firms that have now plunged us into economic chaos. You're right shoe_Z_Q- it's been nothing but those whiny socialized liberals that have kept us from realizing our true potential. Wow- how could I be so blind? The list of positive results of deregulation is just astounding. Just look at the airlines, the telecom industry, public utilities. Gosh, every one of these industries is nothing but a smooth working finely oiled machine. POW in '08 is what I say!!! Can America really risk, in this time of crisis, doing something intelligent?

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JLM 6 years, 2 months ago

If Barack Obama were running against George W Bush, I might actually vote for him. But, he is not --- though clearly he would like everyone to think he is. This intellectual dishonesty of trying to trick the electorate into thinking Sen McCain is actually George W Bush, is a sneak peek into the psyche of Sen Obama and the unfortunate dishonesty of the candidate.

He is a fakir and a poseur.

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JLM 6 years, 2 months ago

In military decision-making, it is remarkably common for senior officers to disregard the advice of their subordinate commanders.

I would be concerned if a commander failed to solicit staff advice but I would not be concerned if he failed to follow the advice of his subordinates.

That is the essence of command --- making the decision after receiving a myriad suggestions --- often conflicting recommendations --- from subordinates.

Military staffs --- including the Joint Chiefs of Staff --- are organized with clear responsibilities spread out among personnel, intelligence, plans/ops, supply, civil affairs and these staff officers exist solely to advise the commander on the possible options.

In the final analysis, there is only one "decider."

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shoe_Z_Q 6 years, 2 months ago

Jason, I did not blame the liberals. I simply pointed out no one is willing to accept responsibility for what they have done to themselves. Read my post again, take a deep breath....ahhh. I don't see a thing wrong with individuals taking responsibility for the foolish debt they ran up. The big shots got greedy. They should pay the price. How do you compare drilling for oil in my back yard, to providing food for ones family? I prefer to grow an organic garden in my back yard, thank you very much. I also can and freeze what we grow. I don't have to spend money at City Market, Safway, or Walmart. I save all my kids clothes, cut squares out of them to make quilts. I save pop cans. Trust me I do my part. I have partial solar power. But , if we need to drill and provide our own oil, I am all for it. Oh my, we may create a few jobs, boost our own economy and not have to pay such uncomfortable prices at the pump.

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JLM 6 years, 2 months ago

Actually the President did a damn good job in the immediate aftermath of 9-11. Sometimes it is difficult to remember just how chaotic the country was at the instant. I was flying back from the East Coast and got a weird transmission from ATC (air traffic control) ordering me to land at the nearest airport. I could tell from the chatter on the radio that it was being directed to every plane --- commercial, charter and GA --- in that ATC area. My first thought was --- has there been a nuclear exchange? I landed in Augusta, Georgia and could not fly home for three days. It was very, very weird. It was made weirder still by the fact that the commercial planes could only land at airports with a big enough runway to handle them while I was directed to a mid-size primarily GA airport.

Bush did a great job in calming the country down.

Ooops, gotta run there's a moose that needs killing on my back porch.

Oh well, it was just a drilling rig after all.

Liberals you gotta love them, they make the other side of the trade work. LOL

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