Friday, March 27, 2009

TGIF

Tired. By the time I got home tonight, it was a little late to take a nap (I hadn't planned on going to the gym). I'd stayed a bit later at work to finish up a project that nobody else wanted to do (I don't blame them), and then my bus got stuck in traffic due to a big outdoor concert ("Ultra") gearing up downtown in Bicentennial Park.

This morning I had a nursing appointment at my doctor's on South Beach. Arrived a little early, so I had breakfast at McDonald's a few doors down. I ordered the breakfast burritos--I'd never had them before--whereupon the lady behind the counter said, "Do you want hassas?" I said, "What?" She said again, "Do you want hassas?" I was about to tell her politely that I didn't understand what she meant when the customer behind me said, "Hot sauce." (Yes, I got the hot sauce. I can't imagine eating them without it, and I'll never order them again.) (My co-pay at the doctor's, by the way, had increased from $15 to $20. That's a steep increase, by the way.)

So, Obama made some important foreign policy announcements today regarding Afghanistan and Pakistan (with Hillary standing behind him). Good for him. Zbigniew Brzezinski was on Rachel Maddow tonight, talking about it. Obama's doing what George Bush should have concentrated on after the 9/11 attacks, i.e., going after the people who attacked us, instead of attacking Iraq. And there is no Iraq-style "surge" in Afghanistan (as some media characterized it). They're mainly putting more trainers in there.

I think Obama's foreign policy, even at this early stage, is far superior to George Bush's. He's winding up the war in Iraq, which was a mistake in the first place. Also he doesn't use inflammatory language (like George Bush's "Axis of Evil" and "crusades") which only makes our potential enemies more dangerous by offending the entire populations of these countries and angering their neighbors. Name-calling is the lowest form of discourse and surely the least productive way to score friends or attempt to modify people's behavior to our benefit.

What George Bush's policies did was actually to impede what we would call progress in these countries. The minute Bush called them "evil," the governments (which we don't like) re-asserted themselves and cracked down, and the moderate and progressive elements of the population, which are more friendly to our way of life and our existence, were pushed back to the margin. Meanwhile the radicals were energized, much to our detriment. George Bush's policies stunk. (And don't ever forget that 9/11 happened on his watch, or lack thereof, while he was conspiring to invade Iraq from the moment he took office and ignoring the threats from Al Qaeda.)

I appreciate Obama's level-headedness, which is what I would expect of a U.S. president.

The adults are in charge again, thank God. (Yes, after eight years, there is a god again.) (Half-joking.)

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