For President Obama the question will be what will he do with any momentum gleaned from the win gained by anti-establishment rebels in Libya. The anti-status quo rebels an have won in Libya are a symbol in many ways of the fact nations can be trusted to decide their own future without sustained interference, occupation or violence from outside forces. This is an opportunity for President Obama to seize and show that the plan he supported and considered prior to Libya, constitutional questions notwithstanding, works. He can show he understood in 2008 people were looking for action not talk.
In Afghanistan the kind of thing he did in Libya is exactly the sort of plan he could utilize. When campaigning he promised, he would not keep us in either of the two war zones at the time longer than was necessary. He promised to follow in the Bush administration’s footsteps regarding Iraq's withdrawal timetable, but vowed he would not be a follower in Afghanistan.
Thus far his words have not matched his actions. So far he seems to be just as unclear. He did not need hundreds of thousands of troops to catch the man responsible for 9/11. It was done through intelligence, two teams of Navy SEALs and some paramilitary. I'm not sure how intelligent you needed to be to spot a giant mansion with huge walls around even the balconies, in the middle of a city in one of the poorest countries in the world thought to be where Bin Laden was hiding out, full of intelligence officers from a myriad of American agencies, and not get a whiff something's suspicious. Though of course that was not his fault.
Nevertheless, he did what George W. Bush failed to accomplish. So why does he want to stay there for three years? He says to stabilize it. We got the man responsible for 9/11. Even if we got Ayman al-Zawahiri today using four hundred troops at once we know we could just as easily do it with two teams of special forces and a bit of intelligence. Biden was right. We could utilize the sorts of intelligent considered strategy applied in helping the anti-establishment rebels in Libya.
I supported assisting the rebels in Libya fighting the Gaddafi status quo to get their chance to find freedom and democracy for themselves. Whether or not the constitutionality of the involvement such as it was will hold water is another thing. We'll see. Yet there are things that are definitely constitutional under the executive powers the president can influence and even directly effect regarding American troop levels in any war.
After 9/11 there was reason for going into Afghanistan to get Bin Laden. But times have changed. We captured him and met our goal. Why spend money Americans don't have and keep more troops in the way of being harmed or killed without any reason? Nation building is not reason enough to stay and three years would not even be time enough to build a western nation style highway across Afghanistan. They have democracy and a new government in place. Let's go home and not interfere with their development. We've been there ten years helping them and we didn't need anyone interfering with ours.
Times change and when they do often people do too. In Hip Hop for example, there was a time the music reflected the streets it came from. Yet though today's urban streets do not trust the police any more than they did in years prior, not only are there certain rappers now that seem to like and even appreciate the police there are rappers that are police. There is El Paso PD's song “Think Twice.” ( There is Florida's Rick Ross. (
There are rappers that now are interested in not only supporting the police, but in doing songs with them also and that's fine. Times change and people change and they should have the right to do that. It's a free country and if they feel they like the police great; more power to them. Who else are they gonna call when somebody breaks into their mansion while they're having their toenails buffed and clear coated?
Of course there are also those rappers that seem confused in their message. They say in one song they are on the run from law enforcement or that they have no love for the police. Yet they do the opposite and do songs with police basically making excuses for them, though they say they hate the police. Not clear, though again it's their right totally and there's nothing illegal about being fake.
Some of them claim to be gangsters affiliated with this gang or that, yet anyone from the streets or who has spent time on the streets knows if you walked into a circle of true gangsters and said, “hey, here's my buddy a cop can he play with us?” there would be serious repercussions and potentially another body added to the local river. On the streets you don't bring a cop into your circle of people unless you're a snitch or the dumbest person on earth. That's it.
That's the streets. Of course they shouldn't need me to tell them that if they were really street – for those that do that, because not all do. But obviously for some rappers Hip Hop has changed and being removed from the streets and perhaps because they have wealth to protect they have started to forge relationships with law enforcement and have come to enjoy them and there is nothing wrong with that as long as you admit you are into that. Whatever.
However, like politics when you state your stance on an issue in a song you do it in front of the whole world. When you say you are solidly against one thing in one song then go ahead and do that very thing you say you are against, you are exposing who you really are to the world. But times change. There are police officers that are rapping and there are rappers that like spending time with them. It is a free world and to each his own.
Now, I use that analogy because I understand it. I spent most of my life in Hip Hop and though I'm from the burbs I spent time on the streets. Enough to know the basics about how real gangsters do and those that aren't talk about what they do. Enough to know the minute you get caught holding an officer's hand on the streets is the minute you lose credibility. Enough to know that getting popped for possession doesn't make you a gangster. Gangster's face RICO charges and when they go away they go for life. On the streets you can talk all you want but once everybody sees you doing those things you can never go back. You can't undo them.
Confusing messages can expose a person but they can also be their opportunity for a transition. They can be a signal of some dynamic movement or shift. They can symbolize a new way forward for that person. When 2008's candidate Obama told us he would be a man of change and hope people expected to see that once he got into office. I don't refer to how his critics would behave but what he would do.
It is especially important for people like myself, whatever our backgrounds, that are of independent political spirit to see words backed up with actions. As a registered independent I have no stake in either the Democrats or Republicans winning or losing. For me it is not about the notion of a team. It is about the notion of an America and the right way forward for the nation. I need to see that when a political leader says something he means it. I need to see he will not say he will do these main things, myriad of small promises aside, and then as soon as he gets into office, behave as if the words were never spoken.
Any candidate, especially those running for a second term, needs to make good with lasting policy not temporary promises. The promises can definitely be good and help, but if a person lies in front of us it taints how we view them. If they persist they lose our trust. If they lose our trust our confidence slips.
We have a recession that would be helped if we brought the men and women in uniform home now. We're spending billions annually over there and it's not a small economic hiccup we are in unfortunately this one's big, deep and is affecting real Americans from the inner cities to the suburbs to rural communities. We need that money back home. We were promised no unreasonable expenditures. We gave so much when we gave our votes. With real hope we keep the faith, for now, that we will see a return on our investment prior to the 2012 elections.
To read about my inspiration for this article go to