Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Jan 27th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall with Rep. Sam Farr

SamFarrNewPresident Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan to sign a strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan. What do you think of President Obama’s handling of the Afghanistan War and this agreement?
There is one common consensus on the Afghanistan War: our nation wants to see an end and our troops brought home. After more than a decade of war, I also believe that we need to do this as soon as possible, and President Barack Obama’s visit to Afghanistan last week was a critical step in that direction.

The signing of the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement is a necessary step forward in bringing our troops home, and placing the responsibility for Afghan security on the Afghan people. Ultimately the future of Afghanistan must be determined by the people of Afghanistan and not by a U.S. military presence.

Our nation was deeply shocked by the attacks of Sept. 11 in New York, as was the rest of the world. In the aftermath of that terrible day, the international community rallied around our nation in condemnation of those responsible. These nations also joined us in targeting the epicenter of where the plot was planned in Afghanistan. This was the goal, and it was centered on weakening al Qaeda and its leader Osama bin Laden. 

One year ago, Osama bin Laden was killed. His terrorist network has been weakened, and al Qaeda’s influence in Afghanistan has been deeply diminished.

President Obama inherited this war, but I applaud him for sticking to his promise to prioritize the capture of bin Laden and bringing our troops home. His trip to Afghanistan was a welcome reminder of his efforts to fulfill this promise.

But as this U.S.-Afghan agreement brings this war closer to an end, we cannot hide from the fact that our nation has been tested through more than ten years of war. I have not been shy in expressing my steadfast opposition to an extended military presence in Afghanistan. This prolonged war is now the longest in our nation’s history. Active military fighting has taken a heavy toll on our brave men and women in uniform and their families. As a result, patience has run thin, and calls for a faster military pull-out have grown louder.

While I understand the need to end this war in a responsible way, I also sympathize with the families that have been affected by this war. And I understand the need to support the service members that are coming home. I have made this a priority in my work in Congress.

I am also struck by the lessons we have failed to learn. We cannot achieve long-term peace and stability through military strength. Our military is one of the best in the world, and that is due, in no short part, to the dedicated generations of brave service members that have fought to protect our nation. But many of these brave Americans have had to pay a heavy price. Our nation has lost too many lives and seen too many families torn apart by war to continue down the same path with limited success.

Long-term security will require that we look past guns and bombs, and toward strategies that uplift communities from poverty and integrate them into the world economy. Winning hearts and minds is done by providing a helping hand. Going down this road is not only the surest way toward peace, but it also the most cost effective.

After more than 10 years of war we have an obligation to stop and reexamine our nation’s foreign policy. We also have a responsibility to learn from past mistakes that have cost our country many American lives.

I applaud President Obama for his efforts to end military operations in Afghanistan, but until all of our troops are home I will continue to stress the urgency in getting this done as soon as possible.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Bye Bye Benten!

Benten closing, plus Award-winning gin, a massive burrito and chocolate review

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Scanning the shelves of Deluxe Foods of Aptos, which carries an impressive selection of local and imported wines, I picked up a bottle of Trout Gulch Vineyards Chardonnay 2012, described as “a local favorite” by the busy market.

 

Cremer House

What’s old is cutting-edge again in Felton

 

How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.