With the US election finally settled, with President Obama winning overwhelmingly both with the popular vote and in the Electoral College, the world and its problems still remained on Nov. 7 This includes Afghanistan, where another five US soldiers were killed and another 52 wounded in action this past week.
For the past two weeks the media has been occupied with Hurricane Sandy, pre-election polls, election prediction and finally coverage and more punditry. Nov. 7 turned toward analysis, with progressives in near euphoria, while those supporting the GOP did some soul-searching.
After the election the media turned its attenton to the fiscal cliff and the reality of what could be if it wasn't resolved. Obama held a press conference on Friday, in which he called for compromise, but drew a line in the sand when it comes to the Bush tax cuts for the rich. He said he would not leave the burden of paying down the debt with the middle class and students, while those making over $250,000 annually get a free pass.
Leaders of both political parties have been invited to meet with the president next week. Could this be the first showdown between the administration and Congress after the election?
While there are likely to be some shifts in the president's cabinet, withleaving State, perhaps stepping down, some noise about leaving, there was also a surprise resignation yesterday, when Gen. resigned as director of the CIA, stating personal reasons. Petraeus admitted to an extramarital affair.
The administration effectively deflected Benghazi prior to the election. Now with the introduction of a sex scandal in the story and scheduled congressional hearings next week, Benghazi is likely to get a much higher profile.
Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent Nor'easter still has many people living without electricity, fuel and in some cases, without food and water. To aggravate the situation, FEMA actually closed its offices due to weather. Go figure.
This week is Veterans week in Canada, culminating with Remembrance Day on Sunday. The US also celebrates Veterans Day in honour of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in foreign wars.
The author represented the Royal Canadian Legion at two local schools yesterday, presenting a short speech on the many sacrifices Canada made on the battlefields of World War I, and the beaches of Normandy during World War II. Canadians also sacrificed during the Korean conflict, multiple peacekeeping operations and most recently in Afghanistan, where 158 died.
It was an honor to be invited and to see a grateful nation paying tribute to its veterans past, present and future.
While war may be necessary at times, as a last resort, humanity needs to find a much better way to settle its conflicts. Mutual destruction just doesn't cut it anymore.
More than 2,000 Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan. Close to 4,500 have been killed in Iraq. Nearly 50,000 have been wounded in action and a countless number of civilians have been killed and maimed.
Surely there must be a better way. Take a moment this week and remember those young people that politicians continue to send into battlefields across the globe and the families affected by their loss. Lest We Forget.
Below are this week’s updated DoD casualty figures:
Op Enduring Freedom Total Deaths KIA Non Hostile WIA
DoD Civ Casualties--------------3-------- ----1--------2
Worldwide Total-------------2143-------- 1698------441----17939
Accumulated 2012 Casualties:
KIA Non Combat Deaths WIA