Friday, February 27, 2009

The Daily Strike-Iraq and CPAC

Bon Sois from Montreal, where The Strike and Father Strike are traveling to watch the Sharks take on the Canadiens. The posts will be a bit shorter this weekend as a result.

IRAQ: Today President Obama announced a plan to draw down troops from Iraq. In the next 19 months, all but 50,000 troops will leave the region or be redeployed to Afghanistan. All troops will be out of Iraq by the end of 2011 according to the Status of Forces agreement made last year between President Bush and Iraqi President Maliki.

This plan comes as a bit of a disappointment to some of us who were expecting swifter action on this front. Obama made it clear on the campaign trail that he favored a 16th month withdrawal, with only some residual forces to protect the U.S. embassy and train Iraqis. 50,000 seems like a lot of troops to perform those duties. Apparently, this agreement is the result of a compromise between Obama and the Bush-appointed military brass. They may have a good idea of "conditions on the ground," but Obama must remember that he is protecting the broader strategic interests. That's why we have civilian control of the military. Hopefully Obama isn't intimidated when he's in a room with Generals.

CPAC: On a far, far less serious note, conservatives are gathered this weekend for the "Conservative Political Action Conference" in Washington DC. This is a bizzarro valhalla if I've ever seen one. In the past two days, various speakers have suggested that:

-Obama is not a natural born citizen of the United States (to wild cheers!)
-Chicago could be a target of a nuclear bomb from Iran (Thanks, John Bolton)
-the best way to get out of our economic crisis would be to eliminate corporate taxes
-Sarah Palin would have beaten Barack Obama in the last election
-That Obama is a socialist (pretty much every speaker) and a communist (Mike Huckabee)
-That the only reason they've lost in recent elections is that they weren't conservative enough and were blindsided by the "liberal" media.

Ladies and Gentleman, your 2009 Republican Party. If they keep acting like this, they may be looking at extinction in the relatively near future. The more they talk like this, the more they alienate large swaths of the American public. But on the other hand, if they don't say incredibly ludicrous things, the Rush Limbaugh's of the world will criticize them for not being conservative enough.

Either way, great news for us liberals!!

That's it for tonight. See you tomorrow!

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