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Total number of comments: 7 (since 2013-11-28 16:37:23)

Pankaj

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  • Petraeus Memo Widens scope of US Military Covert Operations in ME
    • Aaah, I meant "got elected", and "the buck stops at his desk".

    • We still can be a country of laws, not men, can’t we? It isn’t too late?

      I would very much hope that.

      It was that hope that led in part to the election of Obama, who promised us that there was no conflict between upholding our laws and our security. But since he got election, Obama has done a 180 degree turn. Obama is still the commander in chief, and the buchk stops at his desk.

  • Pakistan's Social Media Ban Endangers Economic Growth
    • Personally I think sites like Facebook and Twitter are a big waste of time. Twitter especially contributes to the dumbing down of discussion whereby issues are not articulated well but rather packaged in neat 10 second bites.

      Blackberry on the other hand is immensely valuble.

  • Iran Threatens to Pull out of Nuclear Deal over new UN Sanctions
    • Prof Cole - I disagree with you that running as a hawk is good for the Democrats. Surely there is pressure from the Israel lobby and Congress, but as you mention Obama in 2008 did not run as a hawk and he won handily. Unfortunately once he won, he got convinced that what would get him relected is not sticking to his positions of the 2008 campaign, but rather being hawkish on some positions so that he can appear to be "centrist".

      The Obama formula is (Left on health care + Hawkish on wars + extreme right wing on civil liberties) = "Centrist" sweet spot for victory.
      Personally I think it is pretty dicey and stupid.

      It is the same mistake he made in Afghanistan, a strategy which even you acknowledged was full of pitfalls.

      So I would not blame Hillary or Gates, but would blame the guy on the top - namely Obama.

  • US Troop Withdrawal in Iraq on Track
    • And Obama revised his plan because the Pentagon asked him to.

    • There is nothing in the SOFA which prevents Obama from withdrawing. Furthermore there also is a clause which gives both sides the ability to give each other a one year notice and withdraw within a year. Also, there was an Iraqi referndum which was supposed to be held in March 2009 and unless the Iraqi people approved SOFA, US troops were supposed to have left by July 2010. We both know how why this referndum was never held as the Iraqi people have been always opposed to the continued presence of US troops. 50,000 troops are a lot of troops, and while they may not be patrolling the streets, it costs us a ton of money to keep them there - money that we simply cannot afford in our current situation. Always when it comes times to withdraw there are excuses about how Iraq will blow up. Obama is not going to withdraw the 50,000 troops in another 16 months either - there will be some excuse about how "fragile" the situation is there. The failure of the left to hold Obama to his promise is simply inexcusable.

    • Well it is almost 16 months since Obama took office, and Obama ran on the campaign promise that he'd get the troops out in 16 months. Just one of the long list of promises broken by Obama. This was his signature issue (the one which differentiated himself from the other Democratic nominees) on a deal which was done once Bush signed the SOFA.

      50,000 troops is not a residual force.

      The additional troops that we are maintaining (compared to the promise of getting us out in 16 months) is costing us Billions of dollars - money that we cannot afford.

      It is ironic that the person who will really get us out of Iraq is not Obama but rather Muqtada al-Sadr, who has enough MPs to be an influential deal maker now.

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