Sunday, June 14, 2009

Obama Endorses DOMA...As Only A Cowardly Democrat Can

(Bloomington) Well, the cracks are forming. Beyond the lack of prosecuting members of the Bush camp - let's face it, that was little more than a pipe dream for those of us who in a previous lifetime participated in the French Revolution - Obama is collapsing into little more than an impotent populist. Moreover, he has officially broken his first campaign promise, not that you would be seeing this on the CNN Politics page or anything.

President Barack Obama has considered the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) to not be unconstitutional. Just what is DOMA? The current federal law in effect from DOMA is two-pronged:

"1. No state (or other political subdivision within the United States) needs to treat a relationship between persons of the same sex as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in another state.
2. The federal government may not treat same-sex relationships as marriages for any purpose, even if concluded or recognized by one of the states."

DOMA was signed into effect on September 21...1996? What?!

That's right - a Democrat. The same Democrat who promised to allow gays in the military throughout the 1992 election, only to do it in the most backhanded and cowardly of ways, with the discriminatory and oppressive "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Obama promised to repeal the policy during his own campaign last year, saying that he agreed with the stance of former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General John Shalikashvili, who wrote in 2007:

"I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces [...] Our military has been stretched thin by our deployments in the Middle East, and we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job."

In actuality, the Obama Administration is defending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in court, a contrast to his post-election announcment of delaying the repeal until 2010, which said he "first wants to confer with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his new political appointees at the Pentagon to reach a consensus, and then present legislation to Congress." I guess a letter from 28 retired generals and admirals or the current Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, telling the West Point graduating class that there should be a repeal just wasn't enough persuasion.

Ok, so this actually makes a second broken campaign pledge.

This entry chronicles the details extraordinarily well.

Rather than give a full endorsement of DOMA, the Obama Administration has instead taken a cowardly route, in a move Clintonian in nature. They have expressed that it isn't unconstitutional, using some parallels straight out of the James Dobson/Pat Robertson playbook, in that they compare a state's right to not recognize a gay marriage performed in another state with a marriage of an incestuous nature or a marriage involving a minor similarly being unrecognized.

Beautiful - gay marriage is in the same category as incest or preternatural courtship. Why don't you throw in a comparison to bestiality for good measure? The argument is also made that it will save the federal government money.

Mr. Obama, with all due respect, this stance is cowardly and a misstep. Upon your election, I fully understood your fallible nature and knew you would make statements and decisions with which I did not fully agree. But this stood as a key domestic issue, involving a demographic that is reliant on you to liberate them from inequality, discrimination, and social stigma.

Ours is the generation raised on 9/11, Bush's compassionate conservatism devolving into a push for ideological absolutism in a war that has proven little more than a failed attempt to corner the oil market, and a world where the Internet functions as a forum of accountability-holding fact checks. Ours is a skeptical, authority questioning generation. The online community held your opponents Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Sarah Palin responsible for half-truths and full-on falsehoods during the 2008 election cycle.

As the candidate who endorsed CHANGE as the almighty buzzword throughout your quest for the highest office in the land, reneging your stance on this sensitive, crucial issue is a move that smacks of butt-kissing populism. You made lofty promises, which in tandem with your honest, untarnished nature and your youth, put you into office. More than McCain's senescent gaffes, more than Palin's hypocrisy and stupidity, more than Hillary's reptilian game of race-baiting politics, it was your merits.

Don't buy into the Washington ball-playing you set out to bring to an end. Your re-election hinges on it. And don't think this won't go unnoticed or unforgotten.

Guest columnist Alex Charles DiBlasi is a Master's student at Brooklyn College. The opinions expressed are solely his.

North Korea To Weaponize Plutonium

So, the UN passed a resolution condemning North Korea's test back on 5-25-09.

Among the provisions:
+ Authorization of member states to inspect, "in accordance with their national authorities and legislation, and consistent with international law," North Korean cargo on land, sea and air, and to destroy any goods suspected of being connected to the DPRK's nuclear program.
+ Requires the North Korean government to return immediately to the six-party talks and renounce its announcement of withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
+ Preventing financial services that could contribute to the nuclear or ballistic missile related programs.
+ Instructs member states not to provide financial assistance to the DPRK nuclear programme, or enter into loans with the country, except for humanitarian or developmental reasons.
+ Extending the arms embargo on North Korea by banning all weapons exports from the country and most imports, with an exception to small arms, light weapons and related materiel – though member states must notify the Security Council five days prior to selling the weapons.
+ Demands that North Korea halt its nuclear weapons programme and conduct no further nuclear or missile tests.
+ Asks member states to notify the Council of steps they are taking to implement the sanctions within 45 days.
+ Affirming the Security Council's commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic resolution to the situation.

North Korea responds by saying any further sanctions or resolutions would be considered a "declaration of war", while weaponizing their plutonium, carrying on with the enrichment of uranium, and taunted that any blockade was "act of war that will be met with a decisive military response."

President Obama, where are you? This is your chance to step up to the plate and show your critics, skeptics, and indeed the global community that you have a hard edge. I'm not asking for another game of nuclear brinksmanship, we have learned our lesson from the Cold War (we have, right?), but this is frighteningly threatening rhetoric. These aren't the words of Osama Bin Laden, whose threat to the United States since 9-12-01 has been little more than propaganda delivered from a perpetually undisclosed location.

We found no enriched uranium coming from Africa into Iraq. We found no enriched uranium in Iraq. Here is North Korea - a developed nation, not a terrorist organization, but a nation with a constitution and a government, a global power - promising to carry on a WMD program.

Sanctions and resolutions only go so far. I don't advocate a campaign to send North Korea back to the stone age, but should this situation continue to escalate, I'm able to comfortably step away from my pacifism and say military force may be needed to ensure an end to their nuclear program.

Why didn't we invade them back in 2003? Their withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty wasn't enough of a hint of things to come? What could they possibly stand to gain from nuclear armament? Are we too scared to confront them because of their ties to China? Or worse, their ties to Russia?