The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

Iran, Afghanistan Crises Test Obama

By Ben Pershing
Thorny problems in Iran and Afghanistan are testing President Obama's ability to navigate international crises, as his administration presents a resolutely united front on the former country but remains divided on the latter.

Much of the recent coverage of the Afghanistan issue has focused on divides within the Obama administration on the question of whether to send more troops. The New York Times laid out the opposing sides over the weekend, with Vice President Biden, Rahm Emanuel and James Jones all skeptical of a troop buildup, and Hillary Clinton and Richard Holbrooke joining Stanley McChrystal on the more hawkish side. But Robert Gates' position has been described as unclear, at least until the Defense secretary made it a bit clearer on Sunday.

Speaking on CNN, Gates said, "The notion of timelines and exit strategies and so on, frankly, I think would all be a strategic mistake. The reality is, failure in Afghanistan would be a huge setback for the United States." (Gates also took an interesting shot at his last employer, the Bush administration, saying: "I think that the strategy that the president put forward in late March is the first real strategy we have had for Afghanistan since the early 1980s.") On ABC, Gates said the decision on whether to send more troops would be made in "a matter of a few weeks." But Jones told Bob Woodward that Obama had not set a deadline for the decision. As for Hamid Karzai, The Washington Post reports that the U.S. and its allies have told the Afghan president "that they expect him to remain in office for another five-year term and will work with him on an expanded campaign to turn insurgent fighters against the Taliban and other militant groups."

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Posted at 8:34 AM ET on Sep 28, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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Surely the candle point is Afganistan, Iran can wait for a while…together with all that crocodiles…
This is not just a test for Obama, not only for his presidency, not only for American citizens, but to everyone in this blue planet. The strategy must be perfect and responsible, without doubts. The results should be victory.
To reach this objective is necessary to weigh the pros and cons., money / life, democracy of them / our democracy, their security or global security.
The government must take into account history, culture, civilization and the actual position they occupy in the global system. It is very important to learn about the experience of other countries in the same position and the recommendations made by
the experts.
After that, it is time to look back on our own religion. The Christian heaven is something ethereal, spiritual, has nothing to do with earthly desires or needs. In those days of persecution, history tells us that, people who sacrificed their lives in the line of their faith were called martyrs. During the Roman era, Christians accept their fate and were crucified or eaten by lions to defend their thoughts.
For them, this is not a war but a holy war. Their religion has the sky, more like real life, with one important difference that in their heaven, a mortal realizes all dreams and desires and is entitled to the company of many virgins. This brief retrospect should lead us to the conclusion that their paradise is more desirable and less painful martyrdom.
Considering that, Faith Can Moves Mountains and that today distances between enemies are not distances and that, the other, may be sleeping by your bed with almost all the information on the web. And above all, knowing that whoever comes out will always be the intruder, the attacker and that when things go wrong; will be the first to be massacred.
I firmly believe in the maxim, a withdrawal time is always a victory.

Posted by: avesaabrasil | September 30, 2009 5:05 AM

Health care reform will happen now or it will never happen. This is a point in American history where the oil wars are going to bankrupt the country. Iraq and Afghanistan are delaying actions in the fight for cheap energy that we will inevitably lose. Oil is not the answer for the long run. Americans are going to have to face the reality that European countries have already embraced and are leading in, alternative energy sources. It will mean a drastic lifestyle adjustment for some, but not for those who are forward thinkers. People who think America has all the answers and is the most powerful nation in the world are living in a bubble. The same faulty thinking applies to health care. European countries do it better and cheaper. They think we are the barbarians, the idiots, and cannot understand why our citizens cannot make rational choices. Adapt or die, that is the rule in nature and also in the contest of nations. We are losing stupidly.

Posted by: seemstome | September 29, 2009 12:14 AM

There is a major blunder the MSM seems to have ignored in the negotiating stance with Iran.

Obama gave up a powerful element when he backed off the Europe based missile shield without concessions from Putin.

Russia continues it’s rhetoric, and now there is little chance that Iran's leadership will fall into line on the nuclear arms front.

… And forget about sanctions.


Posted by: JamesRaider | September 28, 2009 3:35 PM

Obama's Freshman Midterm Exam in The People and Customs of Iran:

From Today's NY Times-

Iran Reported to Have Tested Long-Range Missiles

Published: September 28, 2009
"Locked in a deepening dispute with the United States and its allies over its nuclear program, Iran was reported Monday to have test-fired long-range missiles capable of striking Israel and American bases in the Persian Gulf in what seemed a show of force.

The reported tests of the Shahab-3 and Sejil missiles by the Revolutionary Guards were not the first conducted by Iran, but they came at a time of high tension, days after President Obama and the leaders of France and Britain used the disclosure of a previously secret nuclear plant in Iran to threaten Tehran with a stronger response, including harsher economic sanctions.

Iran says it wants to develop a nuclear capacity for peaceful purposes but many in the west say it is seeking to create a nuclear weapons capability. Tehran says its missile tests have been planned for some time and are not linked to the nuclear dispute."


From Today's NY Times

Warmer U.S.-Russia Relations May Yield Little in Action Toward Iran

Published: September 27, 2009
MOSCOW — "The Kremlin has long responded to proposals for tougher sanctions against Iran with arms folded and a scowl. Last week, that attitude began softening, bringing the Obama administration closer to a diplomatic coup in its efforts to contain the Iranian nuclear program.

But the relatively conciliatory statements by Russia’s president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, present an opening to the administration that could turn out to yield little. Russia, a neighbor of Iran, is far more intertwined with it geopolitically than any other world power, and has more concerns about upsetting relations.
Already, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, appears to be positioning Russia to back away from the supportive stance suggested by Mr. Medvedev’s comments.

Asked about the announcement on Friday by the United States, Britain and France that Iran had failed to disclose a secret uranium enrichment plant, Mr. Lavrov said it was not evident that Iran had done anything wrong. He said it was premature to assert that new sanctions were necessary."

NICE JOB OBAMA- Iran's testing long range missiles, you're abandoning antimissile bases to make nice with the Russians, who laugh behind your back and withhold support against the Iranians.


Posted by: thecannula | September 28, 2009 11:57 AM

President Obama has warned Iran and North
Korea that a line has been drawn in the
sand. They are bold words, and rightly so.
But, he forgot to explain to the American People and the world at large, what his intentions are. In other words, before a
president has the courage to issue these
words of wisdom, in the same breath, he should be identifing the consequences that these rogue nations will have to pay, provided they do not conform to the rules that other world members are following.
The United States President, has to keep in mind, that he is dealing with a tribal mentality, that collectively, they only understand one thing: POWER. Words are
cheap, I agree, therefore, a little
saber-rattling is warranted in this case.
A few countries in the Western World may
not approve of the United States assuming the role of the International Policeman,
but in reality, the nations that do not want to get involved, are secretly hoping that the United States gets more involved
to rid these vermin from the face of the
earth. It has always been this way.

Posted by: dennishabern1 | September 28, 2009 11:33 AM

Barack Obama, the wimp-in-chief, is desperately trying to vote “Present” as he has done numerous times while he was a senator. But he is unable to locate that darn button which he regularly relied upon to register his timid reluctance to commit himself to a decision.

Rumour has it that Barack Obama is frantically searching for a Ouija board so that he can devise a comprehensive strategy for military action, surrender, or withdrawal in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And he’s open to all suggestions, so he will be visiting a kindergarten class to gain some advice - mmm, mmm, mmm Barack Hussein Obama!

Heck, this empty suit is even willing to invite a few Taliban and al Qaeda leaders to Washington to quaff a few brews on the White House lawn and provide some intelligence for him regarding Iraq and Afghanistan, and even life in general.

Posted by: Davole | September 28, 2009 9:46 AM

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