Amazon Review : The Bush years have given rise to fears of a resurgent Imperial Presidency.
Those fears are justified, but the problem cannot be solved simply by bringing a new administration to power.
In his provocative new book, The Cult of the Presidency, Gene Healy argues that the fault lies not in our leaders but in ourselves.
When our scholars lionize presidents who break free from constitutional restraints, when our columnists and talking heads repeatedly call upon the "commander in chief " to dream great dreams and seek the power to achieve them--when voters look to the president for salvation from all problems great and small--should we really be surprised that the presidency has burst its constitutional bonds and grown powerful enough to threaten American liberty?
The Cult of the Presidency takes a step back from the ongoing red team/blue team combat and shows that, at bottom, conservatives and liberals agree on the boundless nature of presidential responsibility.
For both camps, it is the president's job to grow the economy, teach our children well, provide seamless protection from terrorist threats, and rescue Americans from spiritual malaise.
Very few Americans seem to think it odd, says Healy, "when presidential candidates talk as if they're running for a job that's a combination of guardian angel, shaman, and supreme warlord of the earth."
Healy takes aim at that unconfined conception of presidential responsibility, identifying it as the source of much of our political woe and some of the gravest threats to our liberties.
If the public expects the president to heal everything that ails us, the president is going to demand--or seize--the power necessary to handle that responsibility.
Interweaving historical scholarship, legal analysis, and trenchant cultural commentary, The Cult of the Presidency traces America's decades-long drift from the Framers' vision for the presidency: a constitutionally constrained chief magistrate charged with faithful execution of the laws.
Restoring that vision will require a Congress and a Court willing to check executive power, but Healy emphasizes that there is no simple legislative or judicial "fix" to the problems of the presidency.
Unless Americans change what we ask of the office--no longer demanding what we should not want and cannot have--we'll get what, in a sense, we deserve.
Originally posted by Emerald The Paradigm
I believe he will leave office within the next 31 days and resign his position of presidency.
We will see what happens, but the fact that he is going to give the green light for 34k more troops means he DOESN'T deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.
He's a liar, and a big one at that.
Originally posted by argentus
reply to post by SpartanKingLeonidas
Although my first post to your thread (and this one) is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, there is a part of me that obsessively looks for patterns and tries to identify them. I truly hope I'm wrong.
Fortunately for each and every one of us, we are all allowed to grow into our own shoes. Politicians perhaps have to utilize a hurry-up offense in order to mature politically, and sometimes I think people are just coming into their own where they might actually be in danger of doing some good, when they are voted out.
Originally posted by j.r.c.b.
I'll be honest, when Obama was running for president, I did not have a single clue who he was. Never heard or seen him before. I still often wonder where he popped up from. The whole time I've been hearing his "yes we can" nonsense, I've been saying, "o no you cant, haven't & probably won't"! I am so tired of seeing him on t.v.. I wonder if he just likes to see himself & hear himself speak. But, in answer to your question, I don't believe he will be in office long at all. This is all just my own opinion of course.
Originally posted by Electricneo
How many days til the retard birthers leave ATS?
That is the question.
Quote from : Wikipedia : Operation Cyclone
Operation Cyclone was the code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency program to arm the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, 1979 to 1989.
Operation Cyclone was one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever undertaken; funding began with $20–30 million per year in 1980 and rose to $630 million per year in 1987.
Amazon Review :
Steve Coll's Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 offers revealing details of the CIA's involvement in the evolution of the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the years before the September 11 attacks.
From the beginning, Coll shows how the CIA's on-again, off-again engagement with Afghanistan after the end of the Soviet war left officials at Langley with inadequate resources and intelligence to appreciate the emerging power of the Taliban.
He also demonstrates how Afghanistan became a deadly playing field for international politics where Soviet, Pakistani, and U.S. agents armed and trained a succession of warring factions.
At the same time, the book, though opinionated, is not solely a critique of the agency.
Coll balances accounts of CIA failures with the success stories, like the capture of Mir Amal Kasi.
Coll, managing editor for the Washington Post, covered Afghanistan from 1989 to 1992.
He demonstrates unprecedented access to records of White House meetings and to formerly classified material, and his command of Saudi, Pakistani, and Afghani politics is impressive.
He also provides a seeming insider's perspective on personalities like George Tenet, William Casey, and anti-terrorism czar, Richard Clarke ("who seemed to wield enormous power precisely because hardly anyone knew who he was or what exactly he did for a living").
Coll manages to weave his research into a narrative that sometimes has the feel of a Tom Clancy novel yet never crosses into excess.
While comprehensive, Coll's book may be hard going for those looking for a direct account of the events leading to the 9-11 attacks.
The CIA's 1998 engagement with bin Laden as a target for capture begins a full two-thirds of the way into Ghost Wars, only after a lengthy march through developments during the Carter, Reagan, and early Clinton Presidencies.
But this is not a critique of Coll's efforts; just a warning that some stamina is required to keep up.
Ghost Wars is a complex study of intelligence operations and an invaluable resource for those seeking a nuanced understanding of how a small band of extremists rose to inflict incalculable damage on American soil.
Amazon Review :
Political movies about backroom negotiations need not be dry or heavy-handed, as Charlie Wilson's War delightfully proves.
Based on the true story of playboy congressman Wilson's efforts to fund Afghanistan's defense against the Soviet invasion of the 1980s, the film is borne along on breezy attitude and a peppery script by West Wing scribe Aaron Sorkin.
Wilson, played by Tom Hanks (who also produced), is the perfect hero for this kind of tale, because there's nothing perfect or heroic about him: He's a highball-swilling, fanny-pinching gadabout who becomes radicalized on the issue of helping the Afghans against their mighty aggressor.
He has help in the form of a right-wing Texas anti-Communist (Julia Roberts) with a genius for raising money, and a sardonic CIA operative (Philip Seymour Hoffman, stealing the show) who lacks all the social skills Wilson has in abundance.
Sorkin's syncopated speech is just the ticket for director Mike Nichols, who understands exactly how to keep this kind of political comedy popping (the complicated story comes in at a hair over 90 minutes, amazingly).
Some scoundrels are on the right side of the angels, and the movie's Charlie Wilson is one of them.
Quote from : Wikipedia : Funding :Operation Cyclone
The U.S. offered two packages of economic assistance and military sales to support Pakistan's role in the war against the Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
The first six-year assistance package (1981–87) amounted to US$3.2 billion, equally divided between economic assistance and military sales.
The U.S. also sold 40 F-16 aircraft to Pakistan during 1983–87 at a cost of $1.2 billion outside the assistance package.
The second six-year assistance package (1987–93) amounted to $4.2 billion.
Out of this, $2.28 billion were allocated for economic assistance in the form of grants or loan that carried the interest rate of 2–3 per cent.
The rest of the allocation ($1.74 billion) was in the form of credit for military purchases.
Sale of non-U.S. arms to Pakistan for destination to Afghanistan was facilitated by Israel.
Somewhere between $3–$20 billion in U.S. funds were funneled into the country to train and equip Afghan resistance groups with weapons, including Stinger man-portable air-defense systems.
The program funding was increased yearly due to lobbying by prominent U.S. politicians and government officials, such as Charles Wilson, Gordon Humphrey, Fred Ikle, and William Casey.
Under the Reagan administration, U.S. support for the Afghan mujahideen evolved into a centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy, called the Reagan Doctrine, in which the U.S. provided military and other support to anti-communist resistance movements in Afghanistan, Angola, Nicaragua, and elsewhere.
Originally posted by expat2368
He will be impeached and maybe tried for treason early in 2011.