Stop-Loss

With our country in its current quagmire of war, debt and scandalous ethics, we are in a must-act, STOP-LOSS situation.  We have to make it our priority to cut our losses in the two wars in which we are engaged, stem the financial meltdown and return to ethical government.  Obama is all about reconciliation and our citizens should get on that bandwagon.  To accuse, to defame, to get even, will not solve any problems at hand.

The term “stop-loss” is most commonly used to describe a type of transaction in the stock market.  A stop-loss order is entered to limit one’s risk, or losses, on the downside.  For example, if an active trader wants to take a chance on a volatile stock for the short term, upon entering his “buy” order, he would also enter a “stop” order for those same shares.  Maybe he would place the stop order at 10% below his purchase price.  In this way, the trader is making an unemotional decision to cut his losses right from the get-go.  Additionally, if an investor has large gains in a particular stock he has held over time, he might enter a stop- loss order to protect his gains.  If his profit margin continues to increase, he can move up the limit of that stop order accordingly.

Applied to our military currently serving on two war fronts, the term “stop-loss” means :

Stop-loss, in the United States military, is the involuntary extension of a service member’s active duty service under the enlistment contract in order to retain them beyond their initial end of term of service (ETS) date.  (Wikipedia)

This military’s use of stop-loss is at best, unfair and dishonest.  At worst, it is criminal.  To require that our servicemen return repeatedly to war zones, above and beyond their initial contractual agreements, is nothing short of abuse of our military personnel.  Trust me, if we had a draft, not a volunteer military, this would never be happening.  The public outrage would be so loud that this policy would be done away with at once.

Obama is correct in his view that the real war we need to deal with is in Afghanistan.  Any future terrorist attack on the U.S. will  have its origins, whether in theory, dogma or actual training and planning, in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Obama is on point when he says we must turn our attention to that area for the sake our national security.  We must adopt a stop-loss attitude to that area of the Middle East.

How can we do that?  First of all, we must be willing to learn more about that region.  It is imperative for peace that we grasp their history, religious beliefs, tribal factions, and economy.  To institute economic or military sanctions before we even understand the problem is not a solution.  It is just a strong-arm, short term measure.  It won’t help them and it won’t help us.

Hamid Karzai, the leader of Afghanistan, is called the “Mayor of Kabul” for a reason.  His country, economically driven by the growth and sale of the poppy, is ruled by tribal leaders.  There really is no central government.  The different factions each rule over their own territory.  So indeed, Karzai is simply the mayor of the capital.

In order for us to have some success in protecting ourselves against terrorism, we must learn these peoples’ histories and their current ways of life.  Foremost, they must be taught a new way to earn money other than growing poppies and selling heroin across the globe.  So far, they have not been given any viable alternatives to earning their living. Then we can sit down with them and try to work things out for both parties.  This sounds simplistic, but remember the USSR’s many-year invasion of Afghanistan?  The USSR spent so much money on trying to defeat the rebels in Afghanistan.  They never did make any headway and, eventually, the USSR’s foray into that country was one of the main reasons that the Russian Communist government collapsed.  The Russians spent and spent and spent on arms, hoping that would eradicate the radical elements.   It did not work.  How much more beneficial it would have been to both sides had they sat down and discussed matters, gotten to the root of the problem, and worked out a mutually satisfying solution.

War, as we know it, is outdated.  We need to exercise a stop-loss policy on new wars.  We must use different methods of solving problems.  Enough of this folly and destruction.  What differentiates human beings from other life forms here on earth is our ability to reason.  It is time we used that ability to our advantage and stop acting like savage animals.

It it necessary also for us to apply this stop-loss to our economy.  It is NOT socialism for the U.S. to offer assistance to banks, insurance companies, etc. in order to try and stem the tide of total financial collapse.  Most of these measures are in the form of loans and are temporary in nature.  When the Republicans call this socialism, they are just being inflammatory, just trying to get votes in this hotly contested election.

This brings me to another phenomenon that I have experienced over the last two weeks.  There is an incredible BACKLASH  to a possible Obama victory being expressed by Republicans.  For Heaven’s sake, Obama hasn’t even been elected yet!  How can there be a backlash if the causal event hasn’t yet occurred?  In anticipation, these Republicans are using fear-mongering and propaganda to cover up their desperation over a prospective Obama Presidency.

Let me cite some examples of this that I have experienced.  Many of my longest and dearest friendships are with people who are Republicans.  It never interfered previously with our relationship, but it is getting to a tipping point.  One friend said to me last week that how could have Obama titled his first book, “Dreams From My Father”  when his father wasn’t in his life?  I asked her if she had actually read the book.  She answered “No.”  Then I told her that maybe she should read the book and the title would become clearer to her.  Continuing our discussion, she said that the Democrats, who have had the majority in Congress for the last two years, are the ones responsible for our quagmire on various fronts.  I told her that yes, the Democrats DO have a SIMPLE majority, but they have only 51 Democratic senators (if you count Traitor Joe as a Democrat) and that does not come close to the 60 votes they need to override a Presidential veto.  Bill O’Reilly spewed this propaganda on his radio show about six months ago.  Garbage!  Do your homework.  A simple majority is useless in the Senate.  Unless one party has the 60 votes to override a veto, there is no control.

I am sick and tired of people resorting to using sound bites as their political rationale.  They need to make the effort and dig deeper.  They owe it to themselves, their children, their country.  All the information is out there, but one must do the homework.  I have told my various friends who are attacking Obama and warning me that they will “hold me accountable for the next four years” if Obama wins, that my politeness is gone.  If they have the nerve to speak lies out of desperation, so be it.  But I will not sit there and accept their stupidity.  So I say to them:  say what you must, but if  you do not know the facts, get out of my way.  I no longer will waste my time on your inflammatory, fear-mongering, last-ditch efforts.  And on top of that, I should be polite?  No way.  No how.

McCain has (yet again) changed his campaign message this week.  He is now telling people that it would be outright dangerous for Democrats to hold the Presidency and the majority in both the House and the Senate.  He used the term “liberal” to describe this triumvirate of power if the election favors the Democrats across the board.  Inflammatory and desperate.  I for one would finally welcome a majority in our government because something might actually get done.

I also think is it fallacious for people to automatically assume that the candidate who DOES get elected next Tuesday will be the worst form of himself.  I do not like McCain and I detest Palin, but it might be possible that, if elected, they would rise to their highest achievement levels, not their basest.  The same holds true for Obama.  It is so self-defeating to expect the worst in a person, especially before he even starts the job.  This is the backlash I have seen.  Ironic, isn’t it?  A mean, vengeful backlash even before the election has happened.  I will not respond to these threats, but I will answer with facts.  I am better than their miserable desperation.

That is exactly what Obama has taught me through his calm, ruffle-proof temperament.  Not for even a minute has he strayed from his professional, reasonable and logical attitude.  It is working.  Hit your “enemies” with reconciliation, i.e. what can I do for you to make us get along better?  My mom, G-Momma, had her own way of describing this need for us to all get along.  She said, “You catch more flies with honey.”

Let us work together to put a stop-loss on this insanity, starting at the level of the individual, progressing to our leaders and finally, spreading to the world at large.

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One Response to “Stop-Loss”

  1. Natalie Rosen Says:

    Amen. I hope you sent a copy of your blog to your Republican friends. I have one Republican friend and recently our friendship almost came to an end. She is more careful now, so I forgave, BUT I do NOT forget!

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