troops

He’s right: Glenn Beck says it’s time to bring our troops home

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck went into a lengthy, brilliant monologue on his talk show on Tuesday in which he offered a mea culpa over his support for the Iraq war and called on the United States to alter its approach to foreign policy and bring its troops home.

The conservative talk show host reflected on some areas of agreement in American politics, including the bipartisan outrage over the VA scandal, though he admitted that the United States is polarized, and suggested that “[m]aybe we could come together now on this nightmare in Iraq.”

“Now, in spite of the things I felt at the time when we went into war, liberals said: We shouldn’t get involved. We shouldn’t nation-build. And there was no indication the people of Iraq had the will to be free. I thought that was insulting at the time. Everybody wants to be free. They said we couldn’t force freedom on people,” said Beck on his show. “Let me lead with my mistakes. You are right. Liberals, you were right. We shouldn’t have.”

Beck, who sounded an awful lot like Ron Paul in the nearly 16-minute monologue, lamented the human cost, the deaths American soldiers and innocent Iraqis who were killed in the war, as well as the $2 trillion fiscal impact. But, he explained, the people of Iraq need to work the problems they face out for themselves.

Reflections on Veterans Day

One of my duties as Music Associate at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Birmingham, AL, is to play the organ for the annual Veterans Day service. The first of these for me was one year ago. The one part of the service that really struck me was the reading of the names of all U.S. military personnel who had died in all wars during the past year. A staggering 336 names were printed in the program and read, amidst the background of a snare drum roll, with the ominous boom of a bass drum after each name. With each boom of that drum, a penetrating, sinking feeling came over me as I thought of how the loss of that one life impacted so many loved ones. It was the longest part of the service, and it went on and on, for some 45 or 50 minutes.

#ThrowbackThursday: Obama promised to reform the “broken Veterans bureaucracy” in 2008

Barack Obama

President Barack Obama’s response, or lack thereof, to the VA scandal motivated Politico to come up with a “Throwback Thursday” of statements he made during his 2008 presidential campaign.

Then-Sen. Obama called the VA patient backlog “an outrage” and said he was “tired of hearing stories about vets navigating a broken Veterans bureaucracy.” He promised “no more red tape, no more, no more delays.”

Perhaps the most damning clip comes from January 2008, when Obama said: “If you’re serious about our troops, then you are going to make sure that they aren’t being put in the position you are, and I will promise to make that a priority of mine when I’m President of the United States.”

U.S. sends troops to Niger

Mali

President Barack Obama came a step closer to engaging in military action in Mali. The Associated Press reports this morning that the White House has notified Congress that 100 military personnel have been sent to Niger, which borders Mali to the east:

In a letter to Congress, Obama says the forces will focus on “intelligence sharing” with French troops fighting Islamist militants in neighboring Mali. He says the American forces have been deployed with weapons, quote, “for the purpose of providing their own force protection and security.”

The U.S. and Niger signed agreement last month spelling out legal protections and obligations of Americans who might operate from the African nation. But U.S. officials declined at the time to discuss specific plans for a military presence in Niger.

The French military has been battling Islamic militants in Mali, but they’re expected to begin a troop withdrawal in the next month, turning over operations to African military forces. This withdrawal comes despite new skirmishes with radicals.

Even though the presence of American troops in the region is small, we’re involved in yet another conflict with against a forces who don’t represent any real threat to us. Not to mention that it’s another undeclared war, as Ron Paul recently explained, with a good risk of escalating.


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