Category Archives: Iraq

Mike Capuano Brings US Senate Seat Campaign to Newburyport

Mike Capuano 11-1-09

Mike Capuano talks to Democrat supporters in Newburyport

Mike Capuano was in Newburyport this Sunday AM (at the Caffe Di Siena) to seek and solidify support for his bid for the Massachusetts US Senate.  He’s trying to win the Senate seat that belonged to Ted Kennedy.

First, he needs to win the Democrat primary on December 8th and opponent Attorney General Martha Coakley may have a lot to say about that.  She is well ahead in the polls so far.  The actual election will be on January 19th and the Democrat primary winner will almost certainly be our next US Senator.

I attended, not to solidify Mike’s support, but rather to see what he looked like and what he had to say.  There was also talk of an open mike and questions being fielded.  It was amusing for me to try to anticipate what questions I might have for someone as unashamedly liberal as Mr. Capuano. 

Mike has been in the US House since 1998 representing the “Harvard” district.  Talk about a haven for liberal elites!

Amesbury’s mayor (Ted Kezer) and the area state rep (Mike Costello) introduced him. 

The candidate explained that he had experience at numerous levels of government and that this separated him from the other US Senate aspirants.  He talked of the benefits of being a Washington insider. 

He said that he fully supported the public option in the Healthcare bill.  He said that not only was he reading the bill but also making sure, he understood it as he went along.  That second part would separate him from other reps, he claimed.

He bragged about being opposed to the Iraq War and added that we should pull our troops out of Afghanistan.  He claimed that there were only about 100 Al Qaeda terrorists around and that they were moving into various countries.  I wondered if he cared what the Taliban would do in Afghanistan after we left.

I concluded that he was keen on interventionist policies at home but not abroad.  He seemed very convinced that government had the answers to this country’s domestic issues.  A person, like Mike, who has never had a non-government job, could easily think this. 

I wanted to tell him that according to actual polls, a higher percentage of people believe in UFOs than approve of the job Congress is doing.  Folks want less government not more. 

He talked about his early years in politics as mayor of Somerville and how he had wanted to be available to make sure that he could help his constituents in any way.  He mentioned getting an unplowed street plowed after he had received a late phone call.  I wanted to ask him, “Since you have swallowed Al Gore’s global warming fantasies, wouldn’t hot air likely be a bigger threat than snow?”

I came away thinking that the nanny staters in his seventh Congressional district could easily elect someone with Mike Capuano’s views forever.  Taking those views statewide might not work so well.  His views do not differ one degree from Teddy’s but he clearly lacks the notoriety that carried Senator Kennedy into power and kept him there. 

I believe that the wave that rolled Obama and numerous liberals into office has now hit the shore.  The country has seen what those pleasantly presented sound bites look like in real life and many don’t like what they’ve seen.  A stimulus plan that takes money from one group and gives it to another is on thin ice.  A group that punishes folks who choose not to carry health insurance is out of control. 

I guess I should be thrilled that Mike Capuano shook my hand.  I guess I should also be thrilled to have been in a room with so many of the Democrat big shots of this area.  Alas, I did not get the “Chris Matthews thrill” up or down the leg over either of those. 

The Democrats are in trouble nationally.  President Obama has figured this out and now is shifting from having all the sound-bite answers, to searching for real-life answers. By shifting away from his original message, the President alienates the likes of Mike Capuano and his supporters. 

Can Mike run successfully by running against Obama’s most recent waverings?  I’m guessing he tries and loses the primary to Martha Coakley on December 8th as a result.

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Filed under Iraq, Mike Capuano, Mike Costello, Newburyport

I Voted for Barack Obama

Barrack Obama

I am writing to congratulate myself for voting for Barack Obama and being part of his 28-vote victory in Newburyport in the Democrat primary.

My vote was not based on Mr. Obama’s skin color because I’m not a racist.  I do admit,however, that I do not watch BET (Black Entertainment Television) or support the United Negro College Fund because they’re racist.

My vote was not based on Barack’s middle name, “Hussein.” That middle name is part of his Moslem background.  If I let his background factor into my vote, I would be a racist and I’m not.  However, if I learned that his hand was going to be on the Koran instead of the Bible when he was sworn in to the presidency I would vote against him.  That’s not being racist. That is believing that the Bible, not the Koran, contains the truths that I want my leader to pledge allegiance to.

My vote was not based on Barack being against the war in Iraq.  Barack was in the State Senate, not the US Senate, when the vote for that war took place.  If he had been confronted with the same evidence that President Bush and Hillary Clinton were confronted with he would have voted to go ahead with the war. 

My vote was not based on Barack’s belief that abortion should be available in all nine months of pregnancy.  I am opposed to abortion and consider the slaughter of unborn children to be a horrific tragedy.

My vote is not based on Barack’s willingness to put an end to some of the tax cuts that have been enacted during the current administration.  I defy anyone to explain to me how sending me out into the buying world with less money is going to help the economy. 

My vote is not based on Barack’s talk of unifying the country.  I believe that his idea of “unity” is for me to change my previously held positions and switch to his.  I have a right to my opinion even if it disagrees with his opinion.  Labeling opinions that are different from his, “divisive,” is a step toward trying to shut off constructive dialogue. 

My vote is not based on the endorsements of Senator Kerry and Senator Kennedy.  Those two are the punch lines of jokes in any comic setting.  Kerry was offered $1 million to clear up the controversy surrounding his service in the Vietnam War.  He proved that either he didn’t need the money or he couldn’t clear his name by taking no action.  Kennedy looked out his ocean-side window and decided that his view was more important than a wind energy program that would lower electricity rates on the Cape.

So why did I vote for Barack Obama?  Quite simply it was a vote against Hillary Clinton. 

At a dinner party recently, I heard someone say that they were voting for Hillary because, “she was the only one that they could trust.”  You’re right, it stunned me too!  If past performance means anything, Hillary is the one that can’t be trusted.

Let me make a prediction: Barack Obama is going to get the Democrat nomination but during the trip to also-rans, the Clintons are going to tear that party apart.  It gives me pleasure to think that I may have had a hand in that process in a voting booth at the Brown School.

( Appeared in both the Newburyport Current and the Newburyport Daily News on February 15, 2008. )

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Filed under Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, Newburyport, Newburyport Current, Newburyport Daily News, President George Bush, Senator John Kerry, Senator Ted Kennedy

Iraq Improves, Surveillance a Necessity

I read Michael Cook’s letter-to-the-editor (“Bogged down in Iraq, under surveillance in U.S. – October 8th) with both interest and disbelief.

I can always count on Mr. Cook to reveal a wide assortment of illusions that the Far Left wants the rest of us to believe.

He would have us believe that the war is a disaster – “quagmire” is his term.  No mention is made of the recent optimistic report from General Petraeus.  No hint that a world without Saddam Hussein is a better place for a whole lot of people. 

This part was expected.  The disbelief part kicked in when Mr. Cook suggested that he and his political associates are the real supporters of the military not the President.  That’s laughable.

These people fool no one with their opportunistic interest in patriotism, least of all the military itself.  A survey taken in 2004 among active duty personnel showed Bush favored over Kerry 73-18 per cent.  I wonder what the poll results today would be with the same group if Hillary/Obama/Edwards were matched against Bush.  Mr. Cook might not want to know.

The desire for peace by Mr. Cook and his friends is admirable.  The problem is the price they’re willing to pay to achieve it.  They are not willing to fight for peace. To them Pearl Harbor happened because of a misunderstanding with Japan.  To them 9-11 was our fault.  They never seem to want to accept the idea that evil exists and that we have options as to where and when we will deal with it so that peace can result. 

Mr. Cook finds fault with the way we are fighting the terrorists.  What he doesn’t mention is that if it were up to him and his friends we would flee the Middle East entirely.  He has no concern whatsoever for what such an exit would cause to happen in the Middle East.  That our early withdrawal from Vietnam was a travesty for our friends in and around that country appears to be unimportant to him.

Another source of disbelief for me was Mr. Cook’s suggestion that our government goes too far in gathering information about people traveling overseas.  Oblivious to evil, Mr. Cook cannot comprehend the necessity of such action.  I’ll bet he has complete trust in the millions of illegals in this country as well.

Mr. Cook closes by saying that, “soon I’ll be back in the rain forest.”  I think that a better place for him might be the desert.  There he could resume burying his head in the sand.  Those periodic burials have apparently caused him to have missed the lessons of history and prevented him from having any sense of the real world the rest of us live in.

( Appeared in the Newburyport Daily News – October 15, 2007 )

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John Tierney Still Wrong on Iraq

John Tierney

We learned in the Salem News September 11th (“Tierney challenges general’s update on Iraq”) that our Congressman John Tierney is unhappy with the report given by General David Petraeus regarding Iraq.  If the report of General Petraeus was predictable then Mr. Tierney’s reaction was predictable as well.

To offset the positive progress report Mr. Tierney feebly attempted to belittle the message.  It didn’t work. General Petraeus comes across as John Roberts did in the Supreme Court hearings and so straw-grasping verbal assaults on either of them make the assaulters look like the nonstop partisans they really are.  Osama Bin Laden in his recent appearance on CNN (Caveman News Network) was better at making his point.

Mr. Tierney seems to think that it is possible to support the troops but not the mission.  I strongly believe that he cannot have it both ways.  His reaction to General Petraeus’s report and his other attempts to undermine our efforts in Iraq ultimately raise the risks our troops face there.  Pull out in a hurry?  The enemy sees a light at the end of the tunnel and has more reason to continue.  The purpose of this war is to destroy the will of the terrorists.  They need to become convinced that their disruptions in Iraq and elsewhere accomplish little.  A well-arranged combination of leadership, manpower, and willpower can get this done.

I also worry that Mr. Tierney has a huge blind spot regarding the aftermath of our withdrawal from Vietnam.  We betrayed the people that supported us there and we emboldened evil folks elsewhere with that betrayal.  Ignorant of that history Mr. Tierney dangerously wishes for our country to betray yet another area of the world and appears unconcerned about the near-certain consequences.

His approach is unfortunate and dangerous.  Was he elected for life?

( Appeared in the Salem Evening News – September 15, 2007 )

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Filed under Iraq, John Tierney, Salem Evening News

Exit Strategies: What War Has He Been Watching?

In “Exit Strategies” in the Bridgton News (July 28th) Mr. Henry Precht continues on with his faulty premise that things are not going well in Iraq and that it’s time to get out of there as fast as possible to avoid defeat.  What war has he been watching?

Let’s look at a couple of examples that would hint at how things are really going;
1. Seen much of Osama bin Laden lately?  In 2001 he went to any number of places.  Now he’s stuck in some cave in who-knows-where.
2. In 2001 the horrible Taliban controlled Afghanistan.  Now reports have them hiding out hoping to just survive somewhere.
3. Then there’s Saddam.  Back in 2001 he’s tossing UN inspectors out and firing missiles at NATO aircraft.  Now he makes news washing his underwear in a prison cell.
4. Then there’s Libya.  Back in 2001 they have no use for gatherings to limit nuclear weapons.  Now they are limiting the weapons and offering to go to North Korea and suggest the same thing to them.
5. In 2001 Syria has troops in Lebanon and is treating that country as if it belongs to them.  Now the Syrian troops have departed and Lebanon, like Afghanistan and Iraq are having elections.

The US leadership decided that Moslem terrorism was a serious challenge to our security.  The only way to put an end to it was to go to where it was coming from and root it out. I think it’s fair to say, based on the evidence that we have made great strides in that regard.  I am not sure where Mr. Precht discovers “losing” in all this.

I’m not too thrilled with the current high oil prices.  I am pleased though that our government decided that we should no longer be held hostage to Arab dictators over oil.  We wanted their help in getting rid of the terrorists in their countries and we had less concern about the oil price consequences.  You have to decide which you would prefer: Low oil prices and high terrorist risk or high oil prices and lower terrorist risk.

I think that Mr. Precht might also want to take another look at the Vietnam War.  There are experts now saying that we could have won that war if we hadn’t lost our nerve.  President Kennedy in his oft-quoted inaugural address promised that Americans would pay any price for the survival and success of liberty.  Sadly, the leadership that followed him didn’t have that kind of commitment.

Thankfully this time around we have leadership that insists that others deserve the same liberties we enjoy and will commit to accomplishing that end.  The road there has not always been smooth and there are certain to be bumps ahead but persistence will win the day.

So when should the US pull its troops out?  Let me quote Amir Taheri of the Gulf News: “The answer (to when we should withdraw) has been there all along: when the current political process in Iraq produces a new elected government based on a new democratic constitution ratified in a popular referendum.”  You’d have there a government that speaks for all of the Iraqi people.  When they then demand that we should pull out we should do so immediately.

( Appeared in the Bridgton News – August 4, 2005 )

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Iraq Talking Points or Walking Points?

Iraq Talking Points?  Probably ought to retitle it, “Iraq Walking Points.”  The Nike’s are laced up and as Jackie Gleason used to say, “Let’s hear a little traveling music!”

I sensed from Mr. Henry Precht’s article in the Bridgton News (July 21, 2005) that he apparently is not one to be counted on for support for his country and its troops when the going gets tough.

Made me think about the young folks in the water around here who can’t swim.  They’re in the water thrashing about in an uncoordinated fashion.  I could hear Mr. Precht on the shore assuring one and all that we never should have come to the beach and the child in the water is in danger and its time to get them out of the water and home on the porch.  Fortunately, there are other parents who offer encouragement to the young splashers and ultimately things get much smoother in the water.  It might not happen in one visit but with support things usually get better.

Let me quote writer Dennis Prager on what I think folks like Mr. Precht would say to our troops: “You troops may think you are winning; you may think you are doing good and moral things in Iraq; you may believe you are fighting the worst human beings of our age and protecting us against the scourge of Islamic terror.  But we on the Left believe none of that.  We believe this war is being fought for oil and for Halliburton and other corporations; we believe you are waging a war that is both illegal and immoral; we believe you have invaded a country for no good reason and have killed a hundred thousand Iraqis for no good reason; but, hey, we sure do support you.”

Mr. Precht could you live with the following as motivation for invading Iraq?  “It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.  Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.”  Before you say, “There goes that rascal George Bush making up stuff,” understand that this quote was from your candidate in 2008, Hillary Rodham Clinton on October 8, 2002.

There are people in this world, Mr. Precht, who are intent on doing us harm.  They can’t be reasoned with.  If you show weakness they will take advantage of you.  They have to be engaged.  The stakes are high and there is no time-table.  Do you want them dealt with in Bridgton or Baghdad? 

It would help if you stayed away from the New York Times, Boston Globe, and Washington Post.  Use the clicker and get away from CNN as well.  Trust me, Mr. Precht, our troops are doing great things in Iraq and support from home will make their stay in harm’s way a lot easier to take.  Don’t turn your back on them now.

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Filed under Bridgton News, Iraq