President Barack Obama showed up in Afghanistan today.
President Obama made a surprise trip here on Tuesday to sign a landmark strategic partnership agreement between the United States and Afghanistan in a midnight ceremony meant to mark the beginning of the end of a war that has lasted for more than a decade.
Mr. Obama arrived after nightfall under a veil of secrecy at Bagram Air Base north of Kabul. He then flew by helicopter to the presidential palace, where he and President Hamid Karzai signed the pact, which is intended to be a road map for two nations lashed together by war and groping for a new relationship after the departure of American troops, scheduled for the end of 2014.
“With this agreement the Afghan people, and the world, should know that Afghanistan has a friend and a partner in the United States,” Mr. Obama declared as the Afghan leader looked on. “With this agreement, I am confident that the Afghan people will understand that the United States will stand by them.”
Sometimes you don’t really appreciate what kind of wonderful friends you have. I have known Dr. Robert Smith and Dr. Roxanne (Rocky) Roberts for over a decade. I met them at one of the trauma meetings we attended back in the ’90s, if I’m not mistaken. Great folks. I had no idea that they were interested in helping veterans. Hell, we are all interested in helping veterans. The difference is that they have done something. This is a great low-cost solution that seems to be working. I’m for any solution that works and is basically drug free. The program is small, but they have already seen great results. The vets have praised this program. Check out this great program. (If you would like to know more, you can get more information here. Executive Summary of the program.)
When this whole presidential hoopla started, more than a year ago, I was surprised when Newt Gingrich announced that he was running for president. I figured that his time had passed. He had been out of Washington for more than a decade, during which time he started multiple enterprises. All of his enterprises seem to be tied into his former political life as a US Congressman and Speaker of the House. Upon further reflection, all of these enterprises seem to require rich businessmen handing money over to Newt Gingrich, because, and this is important, he still had access to power. These enterprises seem to require that Newt Gingrich is still important in Washington. Therefore, I concluded that he really wasn’t running for president, but was running so that he could prove to his benefactors that he was still extremely important person.
Over the first several months of his campaign, my theory held up. He never really spent money on infrastructure or campaign personnel. Instead, Newt Gingrich seemed to go from city to city selling books. He had a lot of early upheaval with turnover in his extremely small campaign staff, but this did not seem to faze him. Then, somewhere in Iowa, it seemed that he began to believe the press. It seemed that he was beginning to become serious about running for president. In South Carolina, his stop seemed to be more about campaigning and less about selling books or any of his other products. Newt Gingrich was serious.
Now, Newt Gingrich was a front runner. I don’t know whether he lost his mojo or whether he did not know what to do with his front-runner status, but Newt Gingrich seemed to lose focus. He is in the middle of a knock-down, drag-out fight with Mitt Romney. He needed to sharpen his message. How is he going to improve the country? How is he a better Republican candidate then Mitt Romney? How could he turn the economy around? Can someone explain to me how a “major” Republican candidate in the middle of a tight primary can even suggest America going to the moon? He said it with a straight face. Did he just say this to please a Florida space crowd? Did he think through this lunar colony?
I think that this is yet another example of how Newt is not a serious candidate. This isn’t the 1970s, where the sky was the limit. Our economy is struggling to make jobs. Europe is on the brink of implosion as Greek debt seems to be an unsolvable problem. Yet, Newt is talking about spending billions of dollars not just to go to the moon but to build a colony. Wow. I can’t wrap my mind around how irresponsible a statement that was.