01 March 2012

Two important messages Pres. Obama needs to drive home

A couple of quick points it seems to me are issues the President needs to drive home right now, and take action on in the near-term.

1.  Responsible economists are nearly unanimous that the current spike in oil/gasoline prices is not primarily caused by normal supply & demand, but by unwarranted speculation in the commodities markets. Thanks to a turncoat Democrat on the CFEC, the Dodd Frank regulations were not really implemented. Still, the President can announce (and then carry out) investigations of illegal and "unwarranted" speculation. Michael Greenberger has said that doing this would be like turning on a light... the cockroaches will scurry away. (Listen to this --audio). It's also vital for the president to make clear that gas prices are the result of "1%ers" run amok, not the result of fundamental economic problems. This issue could be a big problem for the economy and Democratic electoral prospects if not dealt with quickly and decisively.

2.  Christine Fair, who is one of the world's leading experts on South Asia, has made clear that U.S. policy in Afghanistan has become completely untenable. (Listen here). The President seems to get this, but he's dragging this out. He probably calculates that the Republicans would criticize a "cut and run" policy. It would have been better if the Administration had executed an accelerated withdrawal last year, as many Progressives urged, but it's still not too late. It would have to be framed as "we've tried to help the Afghan Security forces to build up the capacity to defend themselves, but this is a two-way street, and the U.S. cannot accept responsibility for the corrupt government there forever." U.S. interests simply are not served by continued slow bloodletting in Afghanistan. Pres. Obama should get his top military leaders to get out in front and call for accelerated disengagement, then go on TV and promise an end to the war in Afghanistan sooner rather than later. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Gyromantic Informicon. Comments are not moderated. If you encounter a problem, please go to home page and follow directions to send me an e-mail.