But It Doesn't Have To Be That Way

The desire for change is not easily swept aside.  Cheap sparkly stuff cannot permanently assuage a deep down hunger for a freer life and a more liberated path.  When a nation selects a new way forward those that opted for change are not easily dissuaded if at all.  The idea to sell empty shells coated with a glittery sprayed on finish instead of true substance is always a temporary fix doomed to backfire eventually.

       In 2008 America, fed up with what was increasingly an out of control federal government, chose between two candidates for change.  Both claimed they would bring it and ultimately the majority of Americans only believed one of them.  The economy was slipping fast and the way that led to the disastrous circumstances was easily tied to one of them.  This especially as they belonged to the party that had been in power for two terms that not only didn't improve things from the way they had been, but arguably made them worse.
    The economy has always had ups and downs.  It is tied to private markets and circumstances national and global that's as it should be.  It can never always just be strong not when people change, trends are born then die, consumer habits always evolve and the keeping up with markets is a hit and miss science.  People are free to purchase what they like or can afford and that's also as it should be.  So long as they are safe and won't be responsible for serious health concerns or deaths people should be free to introduce new products to the market free from undue big government or unfair corporate pressures against doing so.
    But when people start to say, “hey let's let people in businesses with the potential to steal millions, billions or trillions from others, ruin lives and destroy national and global markets police themselves,” problems start to occur.  When regulatory agencies meant to monitor those businesses  to ensure fair play is practiced and laws are enforced are cut back severely what else but problems are likely to occur?  As noted in an article written by F. William Engdahl from October 2008, “In recent testimony under oath by Mr. Lynn Turner, Chief Accountant of the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) testified that the SEC Office of Risk Management which had oversight responsibility for the Credit Default Swap market, an exotic market worth nominally some $62 trillion, was cut in Administration ‘budget cuts’ from a staff of one hundred down to one person. Yes, that was not a typo. That’s one as in ‘Uno.’” (http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/print/Behind%20the%20panic%20Finan...)  
    Problems that led to the current recession built up and manifested over two terms were in large part because an overriding ethos saying “let markets just do what they want and police themselves” as if they suddenly developed some miraculous moral compass unbeknownst to the rest of us.  The lack of oversight and enforcement of regulation directly contributed to the crash.  The majority of Americans chose the person they believed would follow through not only on promises to institute stimulus packages, but to also institute regulations to prevent the specific problems from recurring.
    The first happened with slow progress thus far but progress nonetheless.  The second was not aggressively pursued thus all the money dumped into the national economy may be for naught as the same thing can occur the way things are currently structured.  Why really should taxpayers be on the hook again for the reckless greed of corporations or the lack of proper action on the part of certain politicians again?  That isn't fair.  But, it doesn't have to be that way.
    The two wars were the next big problem.  The Bush administration dropped the ball on Afghanistan and went into Iraq.  As a recent write up about a book written by retired CIA officer Gary Schroen in the CIA's government website notes regarding the initial military forays into Afghanistan right after the 9/11 attacks, “joint CIA-special forces teams made short work of the Taliban.  Agency officers provided the cultural and language expertise, while the military personnel coordinated air and ground fire-support assets.  These working relationships remained excellent through the crumbling of Taliban resistance on 6 December.”  The write up then goes on to note how the administration then focused on the 'mistake' of pursuing WMD in Iraq.  “Schroen speaks out in the book’s Afterword against what he attests is the administration’s relative loss of interest in Afghanistan.  With the National Security Council’s increasing preoccupation with Iraq after mid-2002, Afghanistan took a back seat in the allocation of financial and personnel resources, he argues, and the possibility of the capture of Bin Ladin and defeat of Al Qaeda receded.” [(https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-pub...)  The entirety of the write up should be taken with a grain of salt as it is obviously biased.  That becomes apparent fairly quickly, but there are truths placed between the self aggrandizement.]
    On and on it went, and right now people are no doubt fed up with the economic situation, but the wars are essentially fruitless at this point.  The president might or might not have power over the recession, we will see.  But the wars – oh yes he has a lot of power over those and can swing through with the right moves to  fulfill the promises for the change and belief in him cried out for in 2008.  That change still gets prayed for around dinner tables, at night before bed, in rides to or from work, upon seeing stories or hearing of them on the news, in houses of worship and hearts worldwide every day.  That man of change can again bloom before us as the fulfillment of those hopes and wishes to end the unnecessary bloodshed and bring money being wasted back home to America.
    He said it – we never should have gone to Iraq – we elected him believing those words.  He said it - we would ramp things up until we found the one responsible.  He was indeed found.  He said it - after that there's no more reason to stay.  We're still there.  He said them and we elected him believing the words spoken.  Many of us still hold hope in our hearts and wish to see the words uttered have life breathed back into them.  It can be done and an entire nation would immediately respond.  33,000 troops coming home would be great, but really what that is saying is, “see, I will bring change from the other guy by going back to what that guy was doing when I was elected...”  Wait what?  That... that's…  that's  not change...  That... that's Bush...  you know, the guy you were supposed to bring change from... ?
    Between now and 2014 there will be no drastically different changes in terms of Afghanistan from the point of the Afghani government.  Retired General Barry McCaffrey was asked on June 26th 2011 on MSNBC “How long before you believe the Karzai Government is ready to take over?  And if it takes over will it bring about the change that the United States is hoping for?”  His response was, “I think the problem is that we've essentially got an army that looks like it can fight, we've got road networks, but there seems to be a lack of political will.  Karzai's unstable, volatile. That's the problem now.”
    He went on to say, “I think the president did probably the best he could given domestic politics to give the situation in Afghanistan a chance to work.”  He goes on to say it has more to do with Afghanistan's current political culture of corruption and incompetence and whether ultimately staying so long was worth it or not. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33107901/vp/33268418#43540115)  LBJ was warned also.  Make the decision to step off the path.
    In the end what will it be?  What shall be written?  We got Bin Laden finally.  Staying and just pumping money into nation building - that is nothing we can sit and nurse along until it becomes what certain Cold Warriors would like it to be.  We do not have the extra cash to indulge their fantasies. We have already won.  Already.  Afghanistan will never be what we want it to be, but that was never the goal.  Once medication is applied and the wound is bandaged and has started to heal just let it heal.  Don't disturb the process.  We won and they may now forge their own destiny as we once had to.  Let's not pick at it.  Let them grow and heal.
    It is a mistake to stay and pour money into building them.  We need to build ourselves.  Who else are we going to invade and attempt to shape through nation building?  What's next?  Can we really afford that in treasure and consequence?  It seems unrealistic.  It isn't about doves or hawks, it's about where we are with regards to Afghanistan and it's over.  Way over.  President Obama won.  Really.  Seriously.  What's the point in souring it?  The rest is just wasted lives and treasure we can save now, today.  Bring 'em home.  We are there, but it doesn't have to stay that way.  Not at all.
    There is still time and that can allow some of those changes once promised to root. No matter what the political voices giving advice tell a leader, it is not a matter of appealing to the left right or center.  You were not elected by radical flaming liberals that somehow held the nation hostage with strategically released pinko liberal WMD's forcing the millions to vote you into office.  The current president wasn't voted into office by Democrats alone either.  He was voted in by Democrats, independents and even Republicans.  They didn't think he would continue Bush era policies, but be the change offered.  People believed him.  Really.
   It isn't about changing course from the promise, but fulfilling it.  Not all of it because that can never be expected of any president, but just the big stuff.  Do it.  Watch what happens.  Allow yourself to be surprised.  Allow the world to relax.  Reciprocate the faith placed in you and your words by Americans and they will come back in huge numbers.  The smell of something funny will be replaced with the fresh air we hoped for.  We need actions that smell less like inaction.
    For those afraid of saying what they feel because they are afraid of what may happen, the president is not a giant candy lollipop in danger of breaking if pressured too hard.  They are there for more than being sweet.  Don't break them, but make them great by applying a little pressure to bring in those still on the sidelines unsure. Have the faith to allow their actions to make them great.  For it won't be staunch loyalists that will elect either side.  It will be the ones in the middle still waiting - unsure.  If you have already made your choice - make the people you wish to see win follow through on some of the big ones to create momentum and create friction leading to the sort of stabilizing traction desired.
     There are one or two other promises and it is not too late – not at all.  If votes are desired that candidate should take the steps America took towards them. Take the leap of faith with America.  It was supposed to be a two way street and a shared journey.  To whichever candidate is ready and honest - let's take it together.
    To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.

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