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Sunrise at Spider Rock

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bombs away?

President Obama continues to disappoint and misses a golden opportunity to show leadership globally. Next week a conference will be held in Cartagena discussing land mines. Only two countries in the western hemisphere, the United States and Cuba, have failed to ratify the treaty banning the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of land mines. 156 countries have signed the agreement, leaving China, India, Cuba, USA, Iran and Russia as the lone holdouts.

This issue was heavily promoted by the late Princess Diana, who died in 1997. Both Afghanistan and Iraq are signatories, and the US is prohibited from using such munitions in their countries. President Bush refused to sign the treaty and Obama is following suit.

"We made our policy review and we determined that we would not be able to meet our national defense needs nor our security commitments to our friends and allies if we sign this convention," said State Department spokesman Ian Kelly. This is a curious position for the President and has been heavily criticized in his own party, since the United States stopped production in 1997 and vowed at the time to sign the treaty.

I see no reason for not signing the ban, especially since we are no longer producing them. They are horrible instruments of death and I am sure that we have even nastier ways of dispatching our enemies both hidden away and currently on the drawing boards. I fail to see a moral differentiation between landmines and the IED's that are causing so many deaths and traumatic brain injuries to our own troops in the middle east. We sink to a new level of barbarity with these weapons.

My friend Bigdave called today and asked me if I was aware of the horrible parallels between Obama and LBJ. He thinks that Afghanistan will be the new Gulf of Tonkin. Obama's Vietnam. And the similarities are stark. My response is and was that liberals tend to get institutionalized by the graybeards in the Pentagon when they get in office and seem to always drift to the right. The young leader maybe gets scared out of his wits by somebody at the CIA and freaks out with the enormity of the threats. Stops thinking clearly. Forgets the platform that put him in office. Guess that it is natural. Wants to show a little testosterone to the Dr. Strangelove's back in the war room.

Now the bright side is if this is a sixties flashback, maybe we got a Woodstock moment coming too? Maybe we got smart and won't eat the green acid this go around. John Morris can pull out his old safari jacket one more time.

The conservatives in this country have accused Obama of everything short of raping Dolly Madison. He can't get in any worse with them. How about showing some nad and start thinking about the people who elected you for a change. That whole change thing, remember? Stop equivocating. Piss on the Republicans. You caved on wiretapping and now on land mines. What do you stand for?