Why Is This Man Smiling?

(10PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)


Barack Obama, May 22, 2010

Today in the New York Times…

President Obama previewed a new national security strategy rooted in diplomatic engagement and international alliances on Saturday as he essentially repudiated his predecessor’s emphasis on unilateral American power and the right to wage preemptive war.

So what does Obama mean by “diplomatic engagement?”

Afghanistan 54

An Afghan soldier weeps over the body of his wounded friend as an American medic tries to save him.

Afghanistan 55

An American soldier examines the charred remains of the Humvee hit by the IED.

And in Pakistan…

Afghanistan 56

US drone attack kills 10 in North Waziristan

A Pakistani tribesman stands beside his family members, who were injured in an overnight suspected U.S. missile strike, at a local hospital in Miran Shah, main town of North Waziristan.

And last week…


There was a massive drone attack in Pakistan today – one involving multiple unmanned aircraft and “up to 18 American missiles,” according to the Associated Press. 14 people are dead.

This second robotic strike in three days is the latest sign that the American drone war in Pakistan has reached a new peak. There have been 34 reported attacks in Pakistan in the first 19 weeks on 2010. That’s almost as many as the 36 strikes carried out in all of 2008. And these strikes are no longer against specific, named terrorists. Signs of militant activity are enough to bring in the drones.

Meanwhile, in Kabul…


U.S. casualties in Afghanistan hit 1,000 with massive Taliban suicide bombing in Kabul.

An Army colonel based in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., was among five U.S. soldiers killed by the powerful blast in Kabul on Tuesday, Pentagon officials have confirmed. Two lieutenant colonels from Fort Drum, N.Y., and two Germany-based enlisted soldiers also died when a vehicle loaded with explosives hit a NATO convoy near government buildings.

Col. John M. McHugh, 46, of New Jersey, is the second colonel to die in combat in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon. He had been in the country for a short time with representatives of the 10th Mountain Division, helping that unit prepare to deploy.

Also identified were Lt. Col. Paul R. Bartz, 43, of Waterloo, Wis., and Lt. Col. Thomas P. Belkofer, 44, of Perrysburg, Ohio, both assigned to headquarters of the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum.

Based in Germany were Staff Sgt. Richard J. Tieman, 28, of Waynesboro, Pa., and Spc. Joshua A. Tomlinson, 24, of Dubberly, La., who were assigned to Special Troops Battalion, V Corps, Heidelberg. Tomlinson was based in Kaiserslautern.


Why is this man smiling?


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  1. Yes, we are clear-eyed about the shortfalls of our international system,” the president told graduating cadets. “But America has not succeeded by stepping out of the currents of cooperation. We have succeeded by steering those currents in the direction of liberty and justice, so nations thrive by meeting their responsibilities and face consequences when they don’t.”

    Mr. Obama said the United States “will be steadfast in strengthening those old alliances that have served us so well” while also trying to “build new partnerships and shape stronger international standards and institutions.” He added: “This engagement is not an end in itself. The international order we seek is one that can resolve the challenges of our times.”


  2. “This war has changed over the last nine years, but it’s no less important than it was in those days after 9/11,” Mr. Obama said. Recalling his decision announced here six months ago to send 30,000 reinforcements to Afghanistan, Mr. Obama said difficult days were ahead, but added, “I have no doubt that together with our Afghan and international partners, we will succeed in Afghanistan.”


  3. And meanwhile everything is progressing beautifully, as John Burns provides a little context for McChrystal’s massive impending incursion into Kandahar!

    If it works, it will be a historic victory. But it is a long shot, as the American generals acknowledge.

    Not the least of the challenges facing them is the fact that the Taliban have shown signs of becoming, for many Afghans, the lesser of two evils. Loathed as they have been for their medieval brutalities and obscurantism, from their public beheadings to their banning of women from jobs to their ban on almost all forms of public recreation, their directness – some would say their primitive kind of honesty – has made for a stark contrast with the Karzai brothers, who are widely despised for their perceived determination to turn government into a machinery for personal power and profit.

    In many of the areas that the Taliban control or decisively influence – a Pentagon report to Congress in April estimated that 48 of 92 districts it assessed were supportive of the Taliban in March this year, up from 33 in December – the insurgents have succeeded in establishing at least a facsimile of government.

  4. Rachel Maddow interviews Obama a week before the election in 2008.

    The first 2 minutes have the “money” quotes.

    Maddow asks Obama why, in speaking to voters, he hasn’t labeled Conservative GOP ideology as a main cause of our countries’ problems?, instead of Obama primarily identifying W Bush as the problem. Obama gets very animated and laughs, as if Maddow has hit upon something he is somewhat uncomfortable with or that he would not like to talk about.

    I remember when I saw it that late October day in 08 that I noted that this was intructive as to who Obama was.

    Obama does not see anything wrong with Conservative GOP ideology because he believes in most of it.

  5. in the Illuminati Plan to Destroy America.  Plan is working.

  6. of our times.” Gee, it’s nice to know that we (the so called people) are seeking an international order. I didn’t know that. And what exactly are the challenges of our times? I wonder if he means  “… the shortfalls of our international system…” And what the hell does he mean by our international system? Barack, your cleverness with phrases that don’t mean shit just doesn’t fly anymore, dude. Gig’s up!

  7. …I’ll say this man is smiling because he’s just seen Bo Obama do a really cool doggie trick!  

    But if I were true to my judgements, I’d say the dude is playing a role which doesn’t allow him to be in touch with reality.

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