Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
May 23rd
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

 

Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival