Obama and the Princess

I had planned to lace into President Obama this morning. As I waited for Vivien to fall asleep in her pop-up castle my mother gave her for her birthday, I composed the blog in my head. I would start out saying, “Look, you all know I was a Hillary supporter during the primary, but when that went south I threw my support (like I’m Al Gore and being sought for my backing) to Obama.”  I never thought he was the transformative figure others saw. I’m old enough to have been jumping up and down for Bill Clinton and though I love me some Bill, his flaws are well documented. So, I feel like I had been through this before.

I really liked Obama’s personal biography. Single mom, abandoned by dad, involved grandparents who sent him to the best high school while living in an apartment. And throw in first president of color and I’m in. Not to mention, I cried in 2000 and 2004 with Bush/Cheney. I was going door to door in Florida for Kerry, so unlike the “Yes I can” people, I didn’t need a cult of personality to know that Bush was not smart enough to be president and that Bush/Cheney are the kind of military industrial complex hacks that Eisenhower warned us about. And one of the big shovels Obama used to bury Hillary was his opposition to the Iraq war (which I never supported) and her vote to authorize forces. I used to argue, “But he was in the Illnois Senate at the time. He might have voted differently had he been in DC at the time.” No, the Obama mamas and others were so forceful at Vivien’s ballet class, I started talking about the weather.

So, now President Change is authorizing 30 thousand troops to Afghanistan. A war we have lost lives and spent billions on for 9 years. In a place that has no victory. I spoke yesterday to a former Marine officer who works in my building. He had tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. I always say, “Thank you for your service, and I’m sure I’m talking out  of my ass, but here is what I think; I really want to know what you think.” In short, he said unless we bomb the place to smithereens there is no victory in Afghanistan. They have home field advantage. They shoot from high up the mountains. And the “bad guys” mingle with the civilians so the enemy is not always clear (Vietnam anyone?). And they move into different countries when the heat is on and come back when they can. And in Iraq they are told not to shoot at mosques, but the insurgents (during Faloujah) went into the mosques and shot at them. And then there was the story of during a siege when they ran out of ammo.

Me: “You must have been so terrified.”

“Anyone who says they weren’t are lying,” the vet said. Finally they airlifted ammo and ordered air strikes on the mosque where they were being shot from.

We know the soldiers will do what is asked of them. We knew Bush wasn’t a student of history. But Obama seemed to be. So, we are still in Iraq, escalating Afghanistan, and the GOP is using this as an excuse to not fund health care, which is something that we all need. Americans do die, become sick, and go bankrupt because they aren’t covered. I support the war tax because I think unless there is a draft the cost of war will not come home to Americans and thus no political pressure will be applied.

So, except that Sarah Palin doesn’t get to fly in Air Force 2, what’s been the advantage to electing Obama over McCain, in regards to foreign policy?

Anyway, look, that’s the rant I had planned. I don’t want anymore of our soliders to die, and I don’t want to leave my children with a debt for a folly. But instead, my friend called early this morning and said she had $100 tickets for free to a special screening of The Princess and the Frog. The princesses would be there. Would Vivien want to go?  Would she! So, I’m scrambling to get showered and people fed and out the door.  But later I’m really going to speak my mind.

16 thoughts on “Obama and the Princess

  1. Daphne,

    My initial thoughts exactly!

    But then I saw an interview with an Iraq vet this morning on the news. He said (pharaphrasing) the more troops over there, the more safe our troops are. He also said, that right now, those troops are so overworked that they aren’t acting clearly and maybe not as safely if they had some help.

    Not saying I agree with our continued presence over there, but his comments made sense.

    Have a good day!

  2. I was the same way – big Hilary supporter, then voted for Obama but wasn’t head over heels for him the way I was for Bill or Al Gore (the latter of whom I had a big nerd-crush on).

    Now my feeling is: where’s the guy who campaigned on change? Would that guy let the Stupak amendment anywhere near the health care bill? Would he give up on the public option? And would he commit thousands more troops to a war for which there’s no foreseeable end? Sigh.

  3. I was never for this war….I dont see what a “win” means anymore, plus I believe that true democracy must come from within. (not to mention, weren’t we only there to capture Osama?) But with that said, I trust this man. I trust intelligence and pragmatism. This probably sums up where this decision comes from better than I could…..

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/12/the-morning-after.html#more

    Its a chess match that Im praying Obama has the whits to think 6 moves ahead…..fingers crossed.

  4. yes, I would love to be proved wrong. fear I’m too much of a cynic though. My husband and I argued about this last night . He thinks it’s worthwhile to help the Afghans. I said, there is a long list of those that can be helped… you know that back and forth.
    love the nerd crush comment, totally get. And yes, the Stupak thing pissed me off as well. Thank you for bringing it up.

  5. I just want honesty, when he originally made his promise to bring the troops home my husband & I looked at each other & laughed. It was even funnier that people believed him. My husband’s last deploy was Afghanistan and he said is was far worse than Iraq. Our country is heading for a change: we’ll soon be a country of poor, undereducated, broken families.

  6. If you’re going to really speak your mind later, then I am in awe of your “off the cuff, rough it out for now” skills.

    Well said. And refreshing to hear real opinions about real things. Most of the women in my suburban community are appallingly uninformed and unaware. I like to think I have at least a little bit of a clue, and your post put anything I could rattle off to shame.

    Can’t wait to hear further comments. I agree wholeheartedly. Jon Stewart brought it home last night when he compared Obama’s speech to a similar one of W’s. Too close for comfort, if you ask me. It’s as if Obama has gone to the other side.

  7. Thanks Jean. I also think our war fatigue has increased. Lives lost, recession, etc. And for what becomes the question.
    Michele, I hear you. You know better than most what those deployments cost in emotions and otherwise.

  8. , yes Obama did say he was bringing tropos home but that isn’t going to happen over night. You have to take tropos out of the Middle East slowly because if you just wake up and they are all gone something worse is going to happen.In my opinion, since my Dad is currently in Iraq fighting for this country, I believe that if they need more tropos over there for help, for protection, for whatever, send them!! The tropos that are over there alone right now can’t do it on their own. I have heard personally a number of attacks actually going on while I was on the phone with my Dad. Where an alarm would come on and he would say Honey, I’m sorry but I have to go. I want more people over there so they can all help each other to finish what they’ve started and all come home safe together. There must be a reason why he wants more tropos over there, he wouldn’t just call them over for the hell of it!

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