Another ten young American soldiers lost their life in Afghanistan this week. Three were killed in action (KIA), while seven others were killed from other causes. Twenty young Americans were wounded in action. Despite claims that the Taliban and Al Qaeda have been greatly disabled, the facts demonstrate the opposite.
Reports indicate that more than 200 people have died in Iraq since the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The final chapter of Iraq has not yet been written. Iran, which had tough sanctions imposed on it by both European nations and the U.S. and Canada, has indicated that a vote will take place next week to determine if oil exports to Europe should stop now. This is likely to have another effect on world oil prices. China continues to import oil from Iran, while Russia has voiced the opinion that sanctions are too harsh.
The highlight this weeks was the State of the Union address by President Obama. It was a highly charged partisan speech, which showed little vision for America’s future. The President continued with his attack on the rich and advocated a minimum tax rate of 30% for millionaires. To push his point home and the “Buffett Rule”, the President used Buffett’s secretary as an example. It would appear that she could be viewed as one of the 1%, with an income between 250 – 500,000. She has also recently bought a second home near Phoenix, AZ reportedly worth $155,000. To say the least the comparison is dishonest.
The GOP Presidential Primary has developed into an all out war between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. Romney released his tax returns for the past two years and the main stream media hasn’t criticized them much.
Bottom line is, Romney made a lot of money and paid all of his
taxes and donated an equal amount to charities. Should Romney get the nomination, there is no doubt that he will be the poster child of the 1% for the Obama campaign. When you can’t run on your record you might as well talk about fairness and asking the rich to pay their fair share. The fact that the country will soon be $16 Trillion in debt is obviously irrelevant.
Most pundits agreed that the CNN debate was won by Mitt Romney, while Rick Santorum gave a strong performance and at times seemed like the only adult in the room. Ron Paul had a good debate and a few comical moments. When asked whether he would release his health records, he said he would but also challenged his fellow candidates for a 25 mile bike ride in the heat of Texas.
While the beat goes on, Republicans anxiously await the results of the Florida Primary. While there are still some undecided voters, 31% who said they had made up their mind, said they could still change it.
The primaries and the political season have pushed the war in Afghanistan into the background and it seems for the main stream media it is “out of sight, out of mind.” Take a moment this week to reflect on the men and women in harms way. Lest we Forget.
Below are this week’s updated DoD casualty figures:
Op Enduring Freedom Total Deaths KIA Non Hostile WIA
Afghanistan Only 1771 1476 295 15282
Other Locations 102 12 90
DoD Civ Casualties 3 1 2
Worldwide Total 1876 1489 387 15282
Accumulated 2012 Casualties:
KIA Non Combat Deaths WIA
13 20 125