Three days before the Republican presidential primary in Ohio, Mitt Romney was campaigning in Dayton when a woman stood up to ask a question that pointed to one of the most important missing debates of Campaign 2012, and to a widening division in the GOP over a critical foreign policy issue.
Vicki Chura said her daughter was on her second tour in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division. She said her daughter was increasingly frustrated by the lack of clarity of the U.S. mission there and desperately wanted to come home. What would Romney do as president to expedite the withdrawal of U.S. forces?
The economy is and probably will continue to be the dominant issue in the campaign, but the shooting rampage Sunday by a U.S. soldier that killed 16 Afghan civilians could push the Afghan war into the political debate.
The killings may or may not be a shock to the political system. At a minimum, they are likely to raise uncomfortable questions, particularly for President Obama, the architect of the current policy, but also for the Republican candidates. Even for those out of power, Afghanistan provides no easy answers.
Romney’s response to Chura’s question underscored why. He began by criticizing the president. He said that Obama has not clearly defined the U.S. mission to the American people, and that a president should report regularly on the goals and progress of any such mission.
Romney described the U.S. objective as one of building an Afghan security force capable of protecting the country’s sovereignty — which is not that different from Obama’s stance. Hoping to show empathy with his questioner, he said he wants U.S. troops to come home “as soon as humanly possible.” But he offered a big, broad caveat: They can withdraw, he said, “as soon as that mission is complete.”
So, here is the question: When is the mission complete. If Obama did not answer this, neither did Romney. Why?
Answer: The empire is far from complete? The USA is on a roll, the last roll of every empire in world history. When an empire is about to crash, they go off over the horizon to see if they can justify their existence by grabbing more real estate.
It never works. Alexander the Great ended up in Basra in the Middle East where he died of systosemiasis very likely. Greece promptly collapsed into chaos.
What is the moral of this sorry satire?
If you are about to be fired from your job, go steal all the door knobs from the building and resign.
I trust that these little fireside chats help you understand the issues of life. I try hard to make it all very clear.
Well, Saint Lawrence lost heart and fled. That is what I hear from Dublin, Ireland.
You see, some devout thief was having a guilty conscience over all his past life of crime. He found no solace in his collection of brass knuckles and jim jams for breaking and entering the common abode of generic victims about the city. So, the blighter popped in to pray at the local Catholic Church, and he came away blessed with the heart of saint.
Now, the local padre is a bit disconcerted though. You see, the wayward fellow who was so blessed that day really did have the heart of a saint. The heart first belonged to Lawrence O'Toole of Dublin when he was born in County Kildare in 1128 AD. He used the heart to good effect until November 1180 when he went on to his assigned cubbyhole in Purgatory. One would assume he has moved on to heaven, at least if he was as good at applying his heart as the Roman Church claims.
You can see the cage in which Saint Lawrence has hung for centuries without murmur or repine. What patience. Frankly, I suspect old Lawrence must have been relieved to be out and about after residing in that cage since 1180 AD. You can also see a couple of Saint Lawrence's petrified turnips from his garden long ago.
Saint Lawrence was a Murry, as was my grandmother, but I doubt if she knew Saint Lawrence. I don't believe they were that closely connected. I find it sad to inform you that Saint Lawrence O'Toole passed on suddenly some time ago. I am sure many of you did not hear the sad news.
He left no issue because, in his line of fathering the flock of Ireland, he was not permitted to marry a nice Irish girl. That's the way the family tree dies.
So, Taffy came to the thy house and stole, not a leg of beef, but O'Toole's heart. The most shocking thing that seems to rattle the parisheners in Dublin is the fact that they can no longer gaze at the desiccated heart of their patron when they kneel to pray to him. You see, Roman Catholics do not have enough faith to pray to God, or Mary, or their patron saint without a bit of the old bloke hanging about.
The thief was kind enough to leave Larry's turnips for the parisheners to pray to, but somehow the effect seems a bit withered compared to having old Larry up there interceding for them.
This is why there are enough bits of wood around in pretty gold boxes in Catholic Churches to make a cross the height of the Empire State Building in NYC. Was the cross of Christ that big? Not at all. You see, any priest who has a flock of believers to whom he ministers, and the flock has no relic to gaze upon as they pray, can cut a chunk from the local oak tree, send it to the Pope, and he can "omni domini, etcetera, et rigibus in sanctorum," and that wee bit of wood instantly becomes a retroactive part of the cross of Christ.
If you believe that, I have a very nice old bridge in Brooklyn, NYC that I would like to sell you for $24.99. You can sit in the middle of the bridge and pray to Saint Bridget.
Do you worry yourself because I jest over this very serious matter? Well, I shall then give you the very real truth that gives me a lack of empathy for these diddle head Irishmen:
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
The pathetic thing is this-- these people in Dublin have been praying to a dead heart while Jesus Christ was said, in THEIR Bible, to be the ONLY object of prayer in the whole universe. So, BAH to the vicar of Dublin. His wringing of the hands is devilish mockery to the God, the Savior, who died for his sins.