Friday, April 23, 2010

Mike Lee and Afghanistan

Warning: if you can’t tell already, this is a political post. If you’re not interested in politics then don’t read it. As for myself, I’m too interested in who’s trying to be my leaders.

The first ads I’ve heard for Utah’s Senate race are of Bob Bennett attacking Mike Lee for his views on Afghanistan. I haven’t heard or seen any other ads yet. Just this one. The ad claims that Mike Lee "wants to cut and run in Afghanistan ‘As soon as we can,'" and that he "demeans our soldiers service as nothing more than ‘Meals on Wheels.' The ad plays sound bits of Mike Lee saying: "if we’re there for purposes of bringing meals on wheels." The ad also plays a sound bit of Mike Lee saying, "if they have as many thugs there as we have right here in Utah County."

The sound bites start with "if" , but has no "then". Curious.

The Salt Lake Tribune give a nice synopsis of the ad and their opinion here: It provides the full quotes: if and then, and now I can’t help but note a couple of things.

The full quote that is used for the cut and run remark says, (per the Tribune link above), "We need to keep the government focused on national defense. When we’re engaged in something ostensibly for the purpose of national defense. And what I mean by that is we can’t be overseas subjecting our young men and women to danger if the purpose is simply nation building, if we’re there for purposes of bringing meals on wheels to foreign governments or building self-esteem in foreign governments. That’s not why we’re there. We need to get in, fight, kill off the military targets that present us a clear and present threat to national security and get out. And we need to get out as soon as we can.” (Italics added)

Notes: "We need to keep the government focused on national defense." True. That’s why we have a "department of defense," and it’s not called a "department of war" like it used to be. The quote doesn’t look to me like "cut an run" but rather more along the lines of lets do our job and not dilly dally. You can see why he's worried being engaged "ostensibly" or just for looks from the quote below.

The thug quote in the ad is what really got me. The full quote is, "I'm concerned with reports that I am hearing from Afghanistan in particular that we may have 100 or fewer active militant Taliban in Afghanistan. I don’t have any opportunity to verify if that’s true. I don’t get the same security briefing as the president. But if that is true, I ask the question: what on earth are we doing subjecting our brave men and women who need to be supported to that kind of danger, day in and day out, if they have as many thugs there as we have right here in Utah county?”

The Tribune disregards this as "simply wrong," but there are still some things to note. 1: Mike Lee admits he doesn’t know, because he doesn’t get briefed like the president, but he worries about what he does hear (100- enemies). (I'd be worried too.) The Tribune acts like he should know and points to a document about it (, but it’s a 94 page document. (By the way, it’s 20,000 Taliban fighters per the above link) Should Mike Lee know that at this point?

Note 2: How many thugs are there in Utah County? I know they don’t have road side bombs and suicide bombers, but I know that they have a lot of crime that’s very well hidden. I don’t even know how to compare the two. I tried, but I couldn’t. Still though, I can see Mike's concern.

I don’t know who to support at this point, but the ad does worry me. I do know that it couldn’t just be taken at face value.


At April 26, 2010 at 8:09 AM , Blogger firebirdluver said...

I'm also finding it difficult to sort through all the political bologna and determine which politician to support. I've also identified similar tactics in the political ads I see & hear. I know for sure I don't trust a politician that uses those kinds of tactics. I haven't seen the ad you mention, but it's pretty clear from your observations that there is an intent to decieve. I should think that any politician (or wanna be politician) should be able to make his or her case and be bluntly honest. I don't think there's cause for attacking one's political opponent (unless that person has an obvious record that is pertinent to the discussion).

Currently one of the issues we're looking at is un-seating a senior politician. In my opinion, his seniority is not a benefit to us as Nevadans becuase he doesn't represent what Nevada wants. I'd rather have a junior politician that votes the way I would vote than a more powerful representative that uses his political might to follow an agenda I disagree with.


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