With Syria in turmoil, the election campaign in full swing and the Olympics underway, twelve more US soldiers died in Afghanistan this week. Two more soldiers were killed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. 86 US soldiers joined the list of wounded warriors.
News on the US economy continued to be disappointing with the Commerce Department reporting that the economy had slowed to a growth of 1.5%, while consumer confidence dropped to its lowest level in 2012. Consumer spending accounts for 70% of economic activity.
embarked on his international tour of the UK, Israel and Poland. He raised some eyebrowes with his comments that he finds the security arrangements for the London Olympics disconcerting. British tabloids, which like a juicy story, had a hay day, with one of the tabloids using the headline "Mitt the Twit."
Meanwhile President Obama is still under attack for his comments "you didn't build that." He tried to walk it back, of course, but perhaps a little too late. In a USA Today/Gallup poll this week, the President leads Mitt Romney in foreign policy and popularity, while Mitt Romney beats the President 2-1 on the economy.
The international community is at odds of how to handle Syria, particularly there is concern of Assads' chemical arsenal. The whole region is volatile and neither the Administration nor his Republican contender have presented a plan on how to deal with the situation.
Congress continues to play a game of chicken with the Bush tax cuts, with the House of Representatives presenting a bill to extend all of the Bush tax cuts for another year and the Senate wanting them to expire for those making more than $250,000. The sad part of this story is that neither bill will be passed, leaving more uncertainty for businessess and the American people. After a week of polititics, Congress is once again in gridlock over an important issue, but nevertheless will take a recess in August, leaving doubt that the issue will be resolved before the election.
In Canada, the Northern Gateway Pipeline, which is to transport Alberta crude to the west coast for Asian markets, has become a showdown between the Premier of Christie Clark has put five conditions for approval on the table. Yesterday the BC Premier walked out of a National Energy Strategy meeting at the Premier's Summit. Alberta's Premier Alison Redford is not prepared to discuss sharing of revenues with the Christie Clark. Sooner or later someone has to talk.and Alberta. BC Premier
While Congress plays its political games, Syria is threatening to explode and the Northern Gateway pipeline is the subject of a major spat between two western provinces, lives continue to be lost in Afghanistan. Young men and women put their life on the line daily. Perhaps it's time for politicians to grow up, quit their silly games, and think of the example they're setting. With 14 more dead this week 86 more wounded, take a moment this week to think of these brave young men and women. Lest We Forget
Roll of Casualties
Below are this week’s updated DoD casualty figures:
Op Enduring Freedom Total Deaths KIA Non Hostile WIA
DoD Civ Casualties--------------3-------- --1-----------2
Accumulated 2012 Casualties:
KIA Non Combat Deaths WIA