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Here's the transcript of Obama's "war on terror" speech yesterday. The president called for closing Guantanamo and possibly rescinding the AUMF...the Authorization to Use Military Force...passed in 2001, which legalized the "endless war" against al-Qaeda that the U.S. military has been waging in 6 or 7 different countries simultaneously over 12 years.
I believe the Obama speech yesterday was meant to counter, and perhaps change the subject away from Scandal-Mania. The usual Village suspects have been speaking in tongues for the last 10 days, caught up in the spirit of emotional exuberance over potential "special counsels" being appointed and/or potential impeachment articles being drawn up in the Tea House.
Scandals involve gossip and rumor and unsubstantiated claims....and that may be why corporate media love them so much....it's really all they are capable of doing. Whatever the case may be, Obama harshed their hysteria mellow yesterday by daring to give a speech on our "shining city on a hill's" 12 year long war.
But right on cue, the oh-so-loyal GOP opposition quickly described Obama's speech as a surrender to al-Qaeda. Didn't see that one coming.....
"The president’s speech today will be viewed by terrorists as a victory," said Sen. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee. "Rather than continuing successful counterterrorism activities, we are changing course with no clear operational benefit. We knew five years ago that closing Guantanamo was a bad idea and would not work. Yet, today’s speech sends the message to Guantanamo detainees that if they harass the dedicated military personnel there enough, we will give in and send them home, even to Yemen. With the recidivism rate now at 28% and the increased threat from al Qaeda and its affiliates, including in Yemen, GITMO must stay open for business."
“On Guantánamo, it is shameful that they would take an asset that is extremely valuable and just because a certain element of the liberal constituency out there is opposed to it, to not use this asset,” said Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
I don't recall the Soviets calling their gulags "assets".....but they probably did. I suppose a secret prison which pride's itself and honors Americans by purposely skirting international law and holding innocent people without the hope of ever receiving their day in court to face charges......could be called an "asset." I just don't understand how.
Gitmo, like Abu Ghraib, is a recruiting-tool-gift to Islamic extremists. Every day Gitmo is still open is one more day vengeance-seeking extremists can point to Gitmo as a reason to kill Americans. So, no....Gitmo is not an asset to America, it is a liability.
“The theme of the speech was that this war is winding down… [but] the enemy is morphing and spreading, there are more theaters of conflict today than in several years,” said GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
If what the Hucklebery says there is true....then the U.S. military....the most powerful and sophisticated military force ever to grace the planet....has failed miserably in reducing the threat from the "enemy." If Huck is correct....our 12 year long hunt for al-Qaeda members has actually made things worse. That's if you accept what Huckleberry said.....which would be a very foolish thing to do.
"We are still in a long, drawn out conflict with Al-Qaeda," said Senator John McCain, Obama's rival in the 2008 presidential race.
"To somehow argue that Al-Qaeda is quote 'on the run,' comes from a degree of unreality that to me is really incredible."
The one constant about get-off-my-lawn Grandpa Johnny Mac is his desire to wage war, forever. Again, if after 12 years and a couple trillion dollars and 7000 U.S. military deaths and tens of thousands more wounded....if we have made no progress and the future still looks like a "long, drawn out conflict with al-Qaeda".....then perhaps the U.S. is not up to the task.
"This war will continue whether the president acknowledges it or not," "The president's policies signal a retreat from the threat of Al-Qaeda, which has decentralized and spread throughout the world," House Homeland Security Committee chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) said in a statement. adding that the administration's "return to a pre-9/11 counterterrorism mindset puts American lives at risk."
I suppose we should regard all this as a breath of fresh air coming from Republicans. Instead of the GOP criticizing Obama for plotting with low level IRS clerks to grant every submitted 501(c)(4) tax exempt application from extreme-right political groups.....he is now only being accused of "retreating" from al-Qaeda, endangering American lives, surrendering to terrorism, and returning to a pre-9-11 mindset.
So, I guess that's progress?