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Obama Is Considering Strategy Shift in Afghan War
nytimes.com ^ | September 23,009 | Kevin Wolf

Posted on 09/23/2009 5:47:06 AM PDT by Dubya-M-DeesWent2SyriaStupid!

WASHINGTON — President Obama is exploring alternatives to a major troop increase in Afghanistan, including a plan advocated by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to scale back American forces and focus more on rooting out Al Qaeda there and in Pakistan, officials said Tuesday.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who spoke Tuesday in National Harbor, Md., wants to scale back troops in Afghanistan.

The options under review are part of what administration officials described as a wholesale reconsideration of a strategy the president announced with fanfare just six months ago. Two new intelligence reports are being conducted to evaluate Afghanistan and Pakistan, officials said.

The sweeping reassessment has been prompted by deteriorating conditions on the ground, the messy and still unsettled outcome of the Afghan elections and a dire report by Mr. Obama’s new commander, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: afghan; afghen; bho44; biden; foreign; frontpage; government; mhmmdnsm09232009; obamatruthfiles; war; weakforeignpolicy
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Unbelievable that Biden makes this trial balloon announcement/decision? because 0bama can't vote 'present.'
1 posted on 09/23/2009 5:47:08 AM PDT by Dubya-M-DeesWent2SyriaStupid!
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives

Defeat isn’t a strategy.


2 posted on 09/23/2009 5:48:27 AM PDT by SampleMan (No one should die on a gov. waiting list., or go broke because the gov. has dictated their salary.)
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To: SampleMan
Taking advise from Joe Biden is a treasonable offense.
3 posted on 09/23/2009 5:49:52 AM PDT by DAC21
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives

I’m no military expert but it seems to me the time to “explore alternatives” has long passed. Why is this just now happening? Wasn’t there some vociferous exploring of alternatives by this administration during last year’s campaign?


4 posted on 09/23/2009 5:51:52 AM PDT by austinaero ((More Bark, Less Wag))
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives
Obama Is Considering Strategy Shift in is waffling on Afghan War

There, fixed it.

5 posted on 09/23/2009 5:52:22 AM PDT by Eddie01 (freep)
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To: SampleMan

It’s a Democrat tradition.


6 posted on 09/23/2009 5:52:45 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives
scale back American forces and focus more on rooting out Al Qaeda... What a strategy! 'Scale back' to 'focus more'. I'm thinking of 'scaling back' working in my yard, so I can 'focus more' on landscaping.
7 posted on 09/23/2009 5:53:47 AM PDT by bobsatwork
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives
to scale back American forces and focus more on rooting out Al Qaeda there and in Pakistan,

Could we call this a "police action" (aka Vietnam).

8 posted on 09/23/2009 5:53:51 AM PDT by Need4Truth (Quarentine DC)
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives
Part of the core problem is that Afghanistan is not a country the way France or Brazil or the U.S. is - it is as tribal as they come - a patchwork of ethnic conflict. However, the one thing that can unify the tribes long enough to stop shooting at each other is a common enemy, and bringing in too many troops might just provide a sense of occupation that could unite them.

I'm really not sure just what can work there - the Soviets went in with no holds barred and got kicked out (with some US logistical help). Iran and others stand ready to give the Taliban and other groups similar help. This is a very difficult situation. The problem is, we have rank amatuers trying to come to grips with it - and they are so weak that political factors come in well ahead of practical/military factors.

9 posted on 09/23/2009 5:53:57 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives

10 posted on 09/23/2009 5:54:11 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives
including a plan advocated by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to scale back American forces

Haven't we learned anything about allowing politicians to control a war rather than generals? I think that happened before.
11 posted on 09/23/2009 5:54:29 AM PDT by mmichaels1970
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To: bobsatwork
scale back American forces and focus more on rooting out Al Qaeda...

It's kinda hard to drain the Al Qaeda swamp when you are ignoring the Taliban alligators that are killing your soldiers.

12 posted on 09/23/2009 5:55:20 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives

Here we go- today’s meat (actually more like a cold chicken nugget) tossed by Rahmbo and Axelrod at their morning briefing to the state-run media - for dissemination without attribution

“Joe has a plan”


13 posted on 09/23/2009 5:55:30 AM PDT by silverleaf (If we are astroturf, why are the democrats trying to mow us?)
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives

Rahm Emanuel using Joe Biden as a trial ballon boy again?


14 posted on 09/23/2009 5:55:44 AM PDT by niteowl77 (You wanted him, and now you have got him. I say, "Good day to you," America.)
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To: austinaero

Two weeks ago 4 US marines died under withering fire, screaming for air and artillery cover, as the commander of reinforcements explored alternatives


15 posted on 09/23/2009 5:56:54 AM PDT by silverleaf (If we are astroturf, why are the democrats trying to mow us?)
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives
obama, has no fear of spending money, so spend it !

Take the gloves off and win the damn thing.

16 posted on 09/23/2009 5:57:13 AM PDT by Kakaze (Exterminate Islamofacism and apologize for nothing.....except not doing it sooner!)
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives

Prayers to those boots on the ground over there.


17 posted on 09/23/2009 5:57:42 AM PDT by BillyBonebrake
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To: mmichaels1970

“Haven’t we learned anything about allowing politicians to control a war rather than generals? I think that happened before.”

Hmm. I wonder if Colin Powell has any thoughts on that


18 posted on 09/23/2009 5:58:12 AM PDT by silverleaf (If we are astroturf, why are the democrats trying to mow us?)
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives

Weakness. Obama can’t even stand up to the most radical in his administration.

If we keep up the pressure with the Tea Parties perhaps we can force him to back town. He is weak.


19 posted on 09/23/2009 5:58:59 AM PDT by o_zarkman44
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To: niteowl77
Depending on whether the bus in moving forward or backward will determine how OZero responds to any criticism. If the Congress says hell no we want to win, OZero will toss Biden under the bus. Of course this is highly unlikely given the tendencies of the dems. If they agree we need to back off, OZero will claim Biden was just promoting his idea.

Heads I win, Tails you lose Joe, get used to it.

20 posted on 09/23/2009 6:00:02 AM PDT by Mouton
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives
Obama Is Considering Strategy Shift in Afghan War

He is going to shift from neglect to failure just like most of his policies.

21 posted on 09/23/2009 6:00:27 AM PDT by paulycy (Screw the RACErs.)
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives

Obama is using the Bruce Lee strategy - way is no way, strategy is no strategy!!


22 posted on 09/23/2009 6:03:20 AM PDT by broken_arrow1 (I regret that I have but one life to give for my country - Nathan Hale "Patriot")
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives
Obama Is Considering Strategy Shift in Afghan War

Zerø has a strategy?

23 posted on 09/23/2009 6:04:46 AM PDT by TLI ( ITINERIS IMPENDEO VALHALLA)
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives

I just have a simple question - why, in almost ten years time, have we not been able to create an Afghan military capable of protecting the government and defending it against the taliban?


24 posted on 09/23/2009 6:06:57 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Welcome to the Revolution.)
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives
Yeah, that'll work out just awesome!

Turn a blind eye to the Taliban, let them run roughshod over Afghanistan, while we try to cherry pick al Q, repeatedly going across the border to Pak.

What a great idea!

And if, for some inconceivable reason, it doesn't work, plan B can be surrender.

25 posted on 09/23/2009 6:07:24 AM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
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To: TLI

“Zerø has a strategy? “

Yep! How to hand America to it’s enemies on a silver platter!!


26 posted on 09/23/2009 6:08:09 AM PDT by timetostand
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives

Too few troops so time to scale down forces? IMO we have enough forces and firepower there now if they were allowed to wage, as nearly as feasible, all-out, no holds barred war, ala WWII. Were there civilian casualties in WWII? Of course, lots of them. Was the enemy allowed refuge among civilians? Of course not. And were there sanctuaries which were off limits? Again, of couse not. So long as the ROE make our (and allied) troops hesitant to attack locations known to harbor the enemy, can fire only when fired upon (restrictions unheard of in WWII), and the enemy is allowed off-limits sanctuaries, the war can’t be won no matter how many troops are sent.


27 posted on 09/23/2009 6:08:37 AM PDT by luvbach1 (Worse than we could have imagined.)
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To: bobsatwork

“scale back American forces and focus more on rooting out Al Qaeda...”

More fighting with fewer troops-the Doublethink mentality of this administration continues to validate George Orwell’s prediction of a mega-fascist state that openly tells contradictory lies.


28 posted on 09/23/2009 6:09:26 AM PDT by Spok
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To: SampleMan
Surrender could theoretically be considered a "strategy" of sorts ... but it's a damn stupid one.

Considering the source (0bama/Biden), though, what do we expect?

29 posted on 09/23/2009 6:10:10 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives

BO has ordered his white flag from the French. He has not idea how to fight a war but he can dig up voters along with ACORN.


30 posted on 09/23/2009 6:10:28 AM PDT by Piquaboy (Military veteran of 22 years in Navy, Air Force, and Army.)
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To: reagan_fanatic

There is no “Afghanistan””- just a bunch of tribes with flags engaging in endless blood feuds and opium is about the region’s only significant export

Anyone “enlightened” by western thought or education emigrated a long time ago


31 posted on 09/23/2009 6:12:54 AM PDT by silverleaf (If we are astroturf, why are the democrats trying to mow us?)
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives

Biden’s plan???????????????????


32 posted on 09/23/2009 6:13:53 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives
http://www.cfr.org/publication/18952/

"Good morning. Today, I am announcing a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

This marks the conclusion of a careful policy review that I ordered as soon as I took office. My Administration has heard from our military commanders and diplomats. We have consulted with the Afghan and Pakistani governments; with our partners and NATO allies; and with other donors and international organizations. And we have also worked closely with members of Congress here at home. Now, I’d like to speak clearly and candidly to the American people.

...snip...

For three years, our commanders have been clear about the resources they need for training. Those resources have been denied because of the war in Iraq. Now, that will change.


YOU LIE! YOU LIE! YOU LIE! What scum. Wow, that strategy didn't last long did it? I guess you made a mistake, oh all knowing one? You had a clear strategy in March of 2009, guess that's before you learned that governing might actually be HARD. Guess that's before you started looking at polls, focus groups, and your left-wing bosses.

What makes this so hard to take is the fact that the press is complicit in this charade. What a joke.
33 posted on 09/23/2009 6:14:49 AM PDT by mmichaels1970
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To: silverleaf
Here's my Afghanistan policy.

Send Karzai back to his restaurant in Cambridge. The Aush soup hasn't been the same since he went to Kabul.

Withdraw all US forces in 90 days.

Announce a zero-tolerance policy for expressions of hostility to the US or India. Permanently station a carrier battle group in the Indian Ocean, and make it public that we will use ALL of our weapons systems to repress anti-Western or anti-Hindu thoughts, expressions, manifestations, and certainly actions.

Other than that - let Pashtuns be Pashtuns. Their barbarism, directed inwardly, is no concern of ours.

34 posted on 09/23/2009 6:19:53 AM PDT by Jim Noble (I hope Sarah will start a 2nd party soon)
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To: SampleMan
Defeat isn’t a strategy.

Correct, defeat is the outcome of strategy, as is victory.

Please define "victory" in Afghanistan.

Then we can talk about ways and means.

35 posted on 09/23/2009 6:21:32 AM PDT by Jim Noble (I hope Sarah will start a 2nd party soon)
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To: DAC21
Yes, in 0bama's narcissistical, radical, power hungry, mind no metter what the income, he can blame Joe.

It is warped beyond words that 0bama pins his failing strategy on Biden, who could not think his way out of a paper bag; over General McChrystal's dire plea. Or the advice of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates

Gates Tells Al-Jazeera U.S. Cannot Think of Afghan Withdrawal

Commander's Initial Assessment

Obama also ignores this and let's slap happy Biden ( As well as Rahm I am sure) and the left wing call the shots...

This abridged text accompanies the release [Document available here] of a policy paper dealing with the same issue, done jointly by Frederick W. Kagan's Institute for the Study of War [ISW] and the American Enterprise Institute [AEI]

36 posted on 09/23/2009 6:23:24 AM PDT by Dubya-M-DeesWent2SyriaStupid!
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who spoke Tuesday in National Harbor, Md., wants to scale back troops in Afghanistan.

Hasn't the top Military commander in theater stated he needs more troops, not less? obama, Biden and company know jack about running a military operation. If I were them, I'd listen to the people that do know something about it. I realize that goes against their "we're the elite, we know best about everything for everyone" mentality, but people are dying here.

As for the strategy, I think we can see that the obama strategy (if you could call it that) has been an epic failure. ROE more suitable for a Girl Scout sleepover; a defensive, hold just population centers while letting the insurgents safely operate and assemble their strength in outlying areas... Isn't Biden old enough to remember Viet Nam? Or are they really that stupid?

37 posted on 09/23/2009 6:23:47 AM PDT by ThunderSleeps (obama out now! I'll keep my money, my guns, and my freedom - you can keep the change.)
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives

This is another case where there were elections, apparently Obama doesn’t like the outcome, so he wants to punish the country for it.


38 posted on 09/23/2009 6:26:19 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: dirtboy

Exactly! This ‘strategy’ is based on the (false) premise that the Taliban and AQ aren’t working hand in hand. What we’re doing is pretending the situation is different than it is.


39 posted on 09/23/2009 6:26:46 AM PDT by 556x45
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To: TLI

“In looking at other options, aides said, Mr. Obama might just be testing assumptions — and assuring liberals in his own party that he was not rushing into a further expansion of the war — before ultimately agreeing to the anticipated troop request from General McChrystal. But the review suggests the president is having second thoughts about how deeply to engage in an intractable eight-year conflict that is not going well.”

Oh dear Lord, the administration has spoon fed this trial balloon to the NYT. Does anybody believe that Obama has a clue on what to do?


40 posted on 09/23/2009 6:26:56 AM PDT by teddyballgame
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To: reagan_fanatic

Part of the problem is that the Taliban is living in Pakistan, and Afghanistan can’t invade Pakistan because Pakistan has a huge army and nuclear weapons.


41 posted on 09/23/2009 6:28:08 AM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives
Hey, the rats wanted to bring back the draft....that should fix it right? (11/20/06 -- Rangel to introduce bill reviving military draft)

Oh wait, that was because Bush was president, so it was ok....never mind.
42 posted on 09/23/2009 6:28:11 AM PDT by domeika (Who is Jim Thompson?)
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives
Indecision IS a SIGN to the enemy.
So basically, he is giving the enemy a sign to proceed.
43 posted on 09/23/2009 6:36:29 AM PDT by American Constitutionalist (There is no civility in the way the Communist/Marxist want to destroy the USA)
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To: reagan_fanatic
I just have a simple question - why, in almost ten years time, have we not been able to create an Afghan military capable of protecting the government and defending it against the taliban?

I would venture that the vast majority of Afghanis hold far more allegiance to their tribal identity than to their national identity.

44 posted on 09/23/2009 6:37:52 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: dirtboy
Sometimes you have to admit there are no good guys and pick your “b@st@rd.”

We need to stop trying to “unify” them. Instead, pick a tribe, preferably a fairly strong one. Raise a military force from it. Give it leave to rape, pillage and murder their neighbors with a special emphasis on anyone or any village or any town that provides support or sanctuary to the Taliban or Al Qaeda. Provide weapons, training, technical and artillery / air support. Then let ‘em run wild.

With a little luck and planning, we won't suffer any casualties we care about, but the supporters for the Taliban and Al Qaeda will be annihilated.

And, maybe we'll end up with a “unified” Afghanistan, too. After all, if there is only one tribe it will probably be unified...

This should be combined with a war on Taliban and Al Qaeda money. We should hunt down any one who donates money to the Taliban or Al Qaeda, or to a "charity" that supports them, or runs such a charity, or otherwise handles money for them. No arrests, no trials, just a midnight visit from some very nasty people, a bomb in their car, or a PGM through their bedroom window at 3 AM.
45 posted on 09/23/2009 6:39:48 AM PDT by Little Ray (Obama is a kamikaze president aimed at the heart of this Republic.)
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To: American Constitutionalist

I think Rush summed it up best.

RUSH: President Obama wants more time to develop a new strategery in Afghanistan. His general wants 40,000 more troops, otherwise the general says we and the allies run the risk of losing the war. Would agreeing to 40,000 more troops jeopardize liberal support for Obamacare? Stop and think about that. The president of the United States is teetering; he’s flirting with the actual concept of defeat in Afghanistan. Forty thousand troops the general says makes the difference. Forty thousand troops in one hand or losing or jeopardizing support of liberals for Obamacare in Congress. What does this tell you about the man? These are the domestic political questions that haunt Barack Obama. He’s playing politics when he ought to be fighting and winning a war and acting like a commander-in-chief who gives a damn about his troops in the field.

He’s playing golf, he’s yucking it up with Letterman, he’s got his stupid Health and Human Services secretary telling people how to sneeze on their sleeves. He’s sitting on a report from his commanding general in Afghanistan that says we either boost troop numbers there or face the distinct possibility of defeat and he wants more time to study a new strategy. He’s doing nothing. He has the reports. He won’t make a decision. He’s voting “present.” It’s a dereliction of duty.


46 posted on 09/23/2009 6:40:17 AM PDT by teddyballgame
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To: Little Ray
There is a saying that the generals fight the last war. IMO a surge in Afghanistan will not work the way the surge worked in Iraq, because the two are very, very different entities. I think your bastard approach has a better chance of working - plus, it still gives the US and Coalition forces a footprint from which to maintain drone attacks against high-value targets. But I doubt the wimps in the White House have the guts to take such a hard-nosed approach. And their desire to move to drone combat in lieu of other approachs ignores the fact that, in a landlocked country such as Afghanistan, you need a secure base of operations from which to launch such attacks.

However, I think we can both agree that Obama is not giving the generals what they want for the wrong reasons.

47 posted on 09/23/2009 6:46:36 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: NoObamaFightForConservatives
Obama Is Considering Strategy Shift in Afghan War

Let me guess:

He wants to surrender?

48 posted on 09/23/2009 6:59:20 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims reserve the right to kill anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: dirtboy

You’re right of course. The political will to victory is not there. In fact I frequently wonder if the Obama administration is on the side of our enemies.


49 posted on 09/23/2009 7:00:20 AM PDT by Little Ray (Obama is a kamikaze president aimed at the heart of this Republic.)
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To: teddyballgame
" He won’t make a decision. He’s voting “present.” It’s a dereliction of duty. "
He is aiding and abetting the enemy by his stalling and indecision.
50 posted on 09/23/2009 7:20:13 AM PDT by American Constitutionalist (There is no civility in the way the Communist/Marxist want to destroy the USA)
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