The Beer: Today, I brew a Lawnmower de Saison. Quite possibly the most refreshing of my summer beers. French though it may be, it has a smooth, cool taste that makes the hottest day bearable.
The Bicycle: While the rides remain fairly short, I'm continuing to make progress. Yesterday, about 1/3 of my course was wet and cold from earlier rain. But I have the proper clothing and use proper care. The next several days appear to be unrideble. Cold and snowy.
Tom Hayden still lives in the 1960's. Because he opposes any war, he has no credibility here.
I don't know that I completely support President Obama's plans for Afghanistan, but I can tell you for certain that I don't support Hayden's. None of these items should be particularly negotiable:
...the American military and civilian presence in the Arab Peninsula.
As long as the free world relies on oil and there are people out there who would deny it, there should be no negotiation on this policy. To do so is economic suicide.
...the unqualified US support for Israel.
I would argue that US support for Israel is not "unqualified" any more than the Muslim world has an "unqualified" hatred of the existence of Israel. I believe in Israel's right to exist. I don't believe they are the bad guy. Historically, Jordan was supposed to be the Palestinian homeland (see Churchill's writings-sir Winston, not that moron Ward). Historically and Biblically, Israel has occupied that land. Biblically, if Israel had done what God told them to do, we may not be in this mess in the first place. As decendents of the Judeo, and hence Judeo-Christian ethic, we have an obligation to defend their existence.
...US support for states that oppress Muslims (China, India, Russia).
Here Hayden suggests we should work diplomatically with people sworn to wipe us from the face of the Earth, but spurn our friends/trading partners? I'd argue for working diplomatically to ensure human rights in countries with ICBM's, rather than fight with them. Further, what is Hayden's advice for dealing with them otherwise?
...US exploitation of Muslim oil and suppression of its price.
What is the evidence of US suppression of the price of Muslim oil? $140/barrel oil last summer? OPEC's decisions to raise or lower production as price fluctuates? News flash, Tom: the US is not the only consumer of oil. Oil is a global commodity, subject to supply and demand, not the whims of this country. Maybe it occurred in the past, I don't believe it is occurring now.
I am fairly confident that Islamofacists would attack regardless of US position. Their hatred is based on power and history. Hatred of the US and the West in general is the only unifying doctrine of the Muslim world. Are there "sins of the past" to be dealt with? Sure. But this is not Vietnam (though Hayden would love to think so).
Is this the absolute correct approach for the Administration? Probably not. But policy can be altered along the way as conditions on the ground warrant. Hayden's advice would be much more difficult and dangerous from which to recover.