Rhode Island US Senator Jack Reed appeared on the January 13, 2013 edition of "This Week". He joined a foreign policy round-table with Republican US Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the only Republican to win a Senate seat in the disastrous 2006 election cycle. Other foreign policy reporters and experts stepped in to comment on the growing threats looming not just in Central Asia, but the growing concerns about President Obama's cabinet nominee Chuck Hagel, who is already facing a toughened and entrenched opposition from Republicans and Democrats alike. Also discussed on the program, a nuclear Iran and an irate North Korea are as belligerent as ever, most likely due to the current President's weak policies of "Speak loudly, and wag a big finger."
Senator Reed has visited Afghanistan fourteen times. One would assume that this Rhode Island representative would go into hiding, or at least have some explanation for the nearly war-torn conditions of his own state. How many times has he visited Rhode Island in the last week, the last month, or even the last year? Senator Reed remains removed, or at least reserved, about the state of his little state. 24,000 people have left Rhode Island in the last ten years, never to return. The unemployment rate is one of the highest in the nation, and the business climate is the worst in the country. Ocean State expatriates miss the beaches and the food, but they do not miss the corruption of one-party Democratic rule.
Returning to foreign policy, Reed noted that 87% of Afghan operations are conducted by Afghan forces. The United States military leaders have been preparing for the last ten years for a more stable nation to replace the Taliban terrorism which invoked nothing but global troubles. Afghan President Karzai recognizes that the Afghans must take over full security measures in the Central Asian nation. As a reality check or the heightened euphoria of an expedited draw-down, one of the members of the foreign policy round table indicted the current administration's misguided policies. Afghanistan started out as a war of necessity. Now President Obama has plunged our troops into tribal rivalries beyond the scope of our nation's armed forces. Limited counter-terrorism is the way to go, with sparse drone attacks, much like the policy of Presidential predecessor George W. Bush.
Senator Reed did concur on one point with his Republican colleague Bob Corker, which touched on the fraught negotiations which await the US Senate over Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel. The vetting that Hagel will receive will help the US Senators determine whether to support Hagel or not. Reed emphasized the former Nebraska Senator's previous military experience. Guest reporter Martha Radditz dismissed Hagel's combat experience as less important than his claimed empathy to integrate veterans will be returning home, wounded and unemployed., over the next two years.
Reed also commented on the threat of a nuclear Iran. It will take increased pressure with other nations, he conceded, in order to keep the Islamic Republic from pursuing nuclear weapons. Reed championed Hagel one last time by sharing that he can "speak truth to power". Rhode Island voters should speak the truth to their "powerful" Washington representatives, including Senator Reed. Taxing people to park their cars and go to the beach, leading the state down the sluggish road to serfdom and fiscal crises, the Rhode Island Democratic Party machine has not served their home state. Frankly, the entire country, Democrats and Republicans, should tell their leaders the truth, and stop mismanaging our debt.
There is no excuse for Rhode Island's US Senator to be visiting a war-torn nation on the other side of the world, while Americans in their own neighborhoods are struggling to find work, fighting off heavy taxes, losing purchasing power, and facing off against a distant and unaccountable federal government.
Senator Reed has fully supported the President's policies. There was the wasteful stimulus which stimulated fraud while providing kick-backs. Obamacare is taxing businesses and manufacturers of medical devices. The ill-conceived and poorly drafted Dodd-Frank law is hurting small banks so that they cannot offer at least measured loans to struggling businesses. Now the current President's abortive policies in the Middle East are siphoning away billions in a war that the United States military cannot win. The voters in the Northeast and throughout the country should stand up and shout "Enough!"
Senator Reed, get out of Afghanistan and get back to work. Stop talking about Chuck Hagel, stop haggling about spending more in Washington, and reform our nation's entitlements. Otherwise, the voters of "Little Rhody" should let someone else represent them, someone who cares about Main Street, as opposed to the elites of Wall Street and the Providence political class. The state of Rhode Island is in a sorry state, and your party leaders are to blame. There is no point to defending this country from military threats abroad when Rhode Islanders are adrift in debt because of a tax-and-spendthrift legislature which ignores present realities and future obligations to pander to a past based on political demagoguery and rugged political arrogance.