The Road to 2012
JUNE 15, 2011
Venturing into the unknown future ---A  future that      
may or may not come ---Part 1 --- Installment 3

                                Road to 2012 by Dennis L. Pearson

(c) 2008/2009/2010/2011 by Dennis L. Pearson   All Rights Reserved --- No part of this work
may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical,
including photocopying and recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without
permission from the author.

Hate speech in the United State directed toward certain individuals and groups is forbidden
and made illegal ...  And its scope has been expanded in October 2009 by the addition of new
law outlawing  acts of violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to the list
of federal hate crimes. Congress passed the hate crimes protections as an unlikely amendment
to fiscal year 2010's  Defense Authorization Act. A rather sneaky,  underhanded and cowardly  
way to pass controversial social policy in my supposedly unenlightened mind. Critics
of the Matthew Sheppard/ James Byrd Jr.  Legislation, including several Republican
congressional leaders, argued that an attack against another person is an attack,
regardless of motivation, and that no special categories are appropriate...In regard to the
repeal of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy in the military,  Elaine Donnelly, president of the
Center for Military Readiness, a group opposed to repeal said: "The annual Defense
Authorization Act should be used to strengthen our armed forces, not to provide political
payoffs to liberal constituency groups. " Then added in regard to the 2011 Defense
Authorization Act ; "We are grateful that 43 responsible senators rejected this self-
serving attempt to force a pre-election vote on legislation that would have imposed an LGBT
policy on our military, authorized abortions in military hospitals, and circumvented orderly
systems for legal immigration.

However, former Presidential Candidate John Kerry, Democratic Senator from Massachusetts
feels differently: Today a Republican filibuster blocked funding for our troops and blocked
efforts supported by our military brass to end outdated policies that force service members
into the shadows or reject them entirely from serving their country. Gay and lesbian Americans
are forced to lie about who they are, and patriotic youth who want to enlist are barred from
service simply because they were brought to this country illegally as children. That's wrong."

But Dennis Kennethsson upon reading this said: " If Kerry's intent simply was to repeal
outdated service policies he should have authored a separate bill rather than jeopardizing the
Defense Authorization Bill by adding social policy provisions that had nothing to deal with
Defense Program allocation. Clearly, the good Senator must have believed that he had a better
chance passing this social policy agenda when included in this bill then separately. He couldn't
phantom that opponents despite the importance of passing these allocations would vote
down the bill simply because this social policy agenda was included."

Then too, Gordon Gordonsson in a newspaper article said a veteran 82nd Airborne Army officer
signed on with Defense Secretary  Gates' and  Military Chief of Staff Admiral Mullen's opinions
that DADT should be abolished. His claim was that The Uniform Code of Military Justice is
quite capable of dealing with any misbehavior of soldiers.  He added that DADT is an insult to
those who have served honorably and been discharged because of their sexual preference.
But as Elaine Donnelly notes,  the military is a strong institution, that is in fact subject to
civilian control and that makes it vulnerable to political pressures from civilian activist groups
that do not understand the military's  unique culture and mission. Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid and President Barack Obama tried to use the defense bill to score political points with
LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) activists and other groups they are counting
on to get re-elected. And it is clearly possible that Secretary Gates and Chief of Staff Admiral
Mullen must answer to them and in public might be subject to follow the party line.

Yet another veteran military voice expresses the following perspective on the issue: "The whole
'Don't ask don’t tell' is ridiculous. As a veteran who served many years side by
side with gay, lesbian, and bi-sexual Soldiers; I feel it's unconstitutional. Soldiering is
Soldiering, it doesn't matter what race, age, or gender you are. Is there some kind of
statistical information that the Senate is not showing us? Do gay Soldiers not fire weapons the
same as heterosexual Soldiers? Do gay bi-sexual Soldiers die differently in war? And lastly, do
lesbian Soldiers lead their Soldiers differently? The answer is no, not they do not. I’d like to
see them ask the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airman to vote on it. The individuals it will
actually matter to. Not some prudes in the Senate who have not fought a day of their life for the
country we live in. Funny thing is, if they asked service members to point out who is gay,
lesbian, or bi-sexual; they would point out each one easily. You work, fight, and live with
someone for 365 days a year you end up knowing more than their families."

However, Dennis Kennethsson believes; "If the homosexual community chooses to practice
homosexuality in privacy, that is their free choice. But let such persons know for certain that the
Christian Bible condemns all such practices.

Lev 18:22-23 "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."

Tim 1:9-10 "realizing the fact that (civil) law is not made for a righteous man, but for those who
are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those
who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and
kidnappers and liars and perjurers"

Rom 1:26-27 "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women
exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men
abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another,
men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of
their error."

And also, Lev 20:13 "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both
of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death."

In the end, Kennethsson understands that it is not up to Secular society or the religious society
to execute the final penalty of the sin  that homosexuality represents upon those who continue
to practice and openly promote homosexuality. Rather, That final judgment lies with God

If we follow the teachings of Jesus we know that Homosexuality is a sin not a genetic
inheritance or a disease, That the best remedy is to show kindness and love toward
homosexuals not hate ... But Christians and society ought not error by taking the attitude that
homosexuality is an acceptable alternative life style .

Indeed we live in difficult times and 2 Timothy 3: 1-15 is specific in spelling out the following:

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.

For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to
parents, ungrateful, unholy.

Unloving, irreconcilable, malicious, gossips, without self-control, haters of good.

treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather then lovers of God.

Holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power. Avoid such men as these.

Of interest.  hate speech directed toward former President George W. Bush is politically correct
in the mindset of the liberal/progressive coalition domestically and the socialist/Marxist
agenda world wide ... It goes without saying that these groups would feel comfortable
pouring out their venom and hate at an institutionalized and ritualized hate speech session two
minutes a day every day of the year ... To them there is no difference between George Bush and
Emmanuel Goldstein and for that matter Adolph Hitler.It can be said, that in Iraq the American
Surge worked ... Can we say that all acts of violence and terrorism have been eliminated in Iraq
... No ... But conditions are much better there now than before the Surge started. And, the
former Bush Administration can show comfort by the fact that during December 2009 no
American combatants in the Iraq theatre of war had died there due to enemy action.

Can we say that any sign of weakness and resolve by the Obama Administration might entice
the Al-Qaeda and the militias to regroup and renew the violence in Iraq as the Taliban
regrouped and surged in Afghanistan? Not guaranteed but possible. Will a surge in American
troops work in Afghanistan as it did in Iraq? Maybe ... At a Society of Professional
Journalists Convention held at Indianapolis, Indiana in the fall of 2009, two war
correspondences were asked a question related to a piece of equipment whose bulk virtually
sucked up the damage that a road bomb could do in Iraq and thus help in reducing American
deaths and injuries. The question was, could this weapon if utilized in Afghanistan lead to the
same results. Their answer was Maybe ... In Iraq considering its flat terrain the weapon was a
big help. But in Afghanistan which is more mountainous and the hilly , the bulkiness of the
equipment could be a liability. The enemy constantly tries to make their bomb devises much
stronger, and on the mountain hills and passes, the enemy if unsuccessful in destroying
the mass of the equipment might be successful in causing the equipment to become unstable
and tip over in ambushes, presenting a new danger to the troops...Again the question is asked
will a Surge of American troops work in Afghanistan as it did in Iraq? There is no doubt that the
much more rugged terrain of Afghanistan could make that task more difficult. The Strategy may
only work if the game plan or book is rewritten to add new plays, perhaps more creative ones  to
the existing ones that already are part of the plan.Vice President Joe Biden , ever a team
player,  apparently thinks that Obama has such a new approach. Developing a new course of
action for Afghanistan that is vastly different than that of George W. Bush, Quotes Biden: " Last
night, President Obama laid out his plan to defend our national interest by refocusing our
efforts on three clear goals: defeating al Qaeda, stabilizing Pakistan, and breaking the
Taliban's momentum in Afghanistan....To achieve these goals, the President has
authorized the rapid deployment of 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan, with a firm
commitment to begin bringing our troops home in 2011."

But Biden also evokes  the mindset of the liberal/progressive coalition, when he pours more
fire on the legacy of former Bush Administration with the following claim: It's a clean break
from the failed Afghanistan policy of the Bush administration, and a new, focused strategy that
can succeed. Our new strategy ends the era of blank checks for Afghanistan's leaders,
facilitates a responsible transition to Afghan security forces, and begins bringing our troops
home in 2011. Not so fast Mr. Vice President, some of the media may disagree ... And present
sound arguments of concern in regard to the Administration's Afghanistan proposals and
its present cost.Ironically--- The following media statements in regard to the announced  
Obama Surge was made in the context of Obama deciding to employ additional  American
soldiers in Afghanistan upon the advice of his General in Charge General Stanly McChrystal. A
decision announced at the West Point Military Academy  Tuesday, December  1, 2009, about
nine days before the President received his peace award at Oslo, Norway....Alex Newman an
American freelance writer and the president of Liberty Sentinel Media, Inc., a small media
consulting firm who was currently living in Sweden  cynically commented in the following report:
"President Barack Obama drew fire from across the political spectrum — even from die-hard
supporters — after he announced another “surge” Tuesday... With a straight face, Obama told
the nation and his audience at West Point military academy that sending 30,000 more
United States troops to fight in the undeclared Afghanistan conflict was somehow in America’s
“vital national interest.”   ....Of course, that is nonsense. Obama himself knows that. And the
people know too, judging by the polls. But much of the rest of the president’s speech was also
a carefully concocted sham designed to dupe the public. In fact, upon examination, some of his
comments and reasoning almost seem ridiculous. But nevertheless, the Commander-in-Chief
has decided to send more American soldiers and an unknown number of “contractors" to their
deaths in central Asia‘s infamous “graveyard of empires.”He mentioned al-Qaeda more than 20
times throughout the speech, when it is now widely accepted that there are less than 100 men
in all of Afghanistan who could be considered members. The Washington Post reported the
news last month. Obama has obviously been briefed, and even his national security adviser Jim
Jones admitted to CNN in October that the “maximum estimate” was "fewer than a hundred."
He also noted that the fighters had no ability to attack America or its allies.ABC news did the
calculations after Tuesday’s speech, concluding that “for every one al Qaeda fighter, the U.S.
will commit 1,000 troops and $300 million a year.” That doesn’t even count troops and
resources from other countries. Based on these figures, an uninformed observer might very well
conclude that these ragged and elusive men living in caves and clutching AK-47s were thought
to have super-human abilities.    

“I do not make this decision lightly,” Obama claimed during his speech. “I make this decision
because I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the
epicenter of the violent extremism practiced by al Qaeda.” Who could forget Pakistan? The
president alluded several times to the nation, where the Central Intelligence Agency has been
dropping bombs from unmanned drones on alleged militants for years. Presumably the
bombings will continue.Intelligence estimates put the number of supposed al-Qaeda in the
region at around 300, though Pakistanis are becoming increasingly fed up with U.S. operations
in the country (their parliament has already told the U.S. to cut it out). But since there is
essentially no more “al Qaeda” in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, President Obama
announced that he would pursue them “elsewhere” as well, from Somalia to Yemen. In other
words, endless war, anywhere.

“As your Commander-in-Chief, I owe you a mission that is clearly defined, and worthy of your
service,” Obama acknowledged Tuesday. Of course, he never really defined the mission at all,
let alone clearly. And aside from vague platitudes and various lies, he never explained
why it was worthy of the sacrifice either.

Even people who used to believe in the mission, individuals who risked their lives for it, have
since abandoned the Afghanistan debacle. "I have lost understanding of and confidence in the
strategic purposes of the United States' presence in Afghanistan,"  wrote Matthew Hoh, the
former Senior Civilian Representative for the U.S. government in Kabul province, in his
resignation letter. "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned
future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and
to what end."

Obama’s loyal supporters have also been infuriated by his attitude towards the war, and
especially by this latest announcement., traditionally one of the  presidents
staunchest allies, sent out a letter to supporters urging them to petition Congress to end the
war, ASAP. Internal polls revealed that most of their left-wing, Obama-supporting members
were opposed to this latest surge.

Even liberal MSNBC host Rachel Maddow criticized the announcement, comparing Obama’s
strategy to the infamous “Bush Doctrine” of pre-emptive warfare. Using a graph, Maddow
charted American troop levels in Afghanistan since the beginning of the conflict, showing
clearly that the Nobel peace prize-winning Commander-in-Chief was indeed the new “war
president.” Upon taking office, about 30,000 U.S. troops occupied Afghanistan.
After Obama’s newest “surge,” that number will be close to 100,000.

Obama’s strategy is also being condemned by warmongering Republicans as well, like Senator
John McCain, who criticized the alleged time table for beginning a withdrawal. “Dates for
withdrawal are dictated by conditions,” said McCain. “The way that you win wars is to break the
enemy’s will, not to announce dates that you are leaving.” He actually has a point: the
announcement of a deadline seems rather stupid considering the supposed aims of the war,
since now rebels know that they just need to hold out for one day longer than the foreign
soldiers remain in their country.

Libertarians and constitutionalists also criticized the plan, obviously. Cato’s director of foreign
policy studies Christopher Preble  called Obama’s speech “full of internal contradictions.” On
Fox Business, Ron Paul called it “a bit misleading,” noting that “Obama is actually preparing
us for perpetual war.” He pointed out that there is really no way America can continue paying
for this, adding that it would “bring us down” if America does not stop. His proposal: coming
home. “We’re following this precept of perpetual war for perpetual peace, and to me
it’s perpetual bankruptcy,” Paul said. “How many more people have to die for us to save face?”

A Taliban spokesman cited by the media, however, did not complain about Obama’s “surge,”
he merely pointed out the obvious: "The extra 30,000 troops that will come to Afghanistan will
provoke stronger resistance and fighting.” As Matthew Hoh pointed out, the people of
Afghanistan see themselves as battling a foreign occupier, so the more occupiers that arrive,
the more death and destruction will ensue.

Obama is following with remarkable similarity the failed strategy pursued by the Soviet Union
— surges and all. The irony of him receiving the now-discredited peace prize days after
announcing the war escalation would be shocking if it were not for the incredible amounts of
double speak Americans are subjected to every day. U.S. troops should come home
immediately, and they should never again be forced to risk their lives anywhere without
a constitutional Congressional declaration of war. And Obama voters should work especially
hard at the next election to oust the man who lied to the nation, over and over and over again,
along with all of his congressional enablers."

And if one critical view is not enough,  then the following commentary by Eric Margolis in the
Huffington Post of December 8, 2009  entitled "Obama's Surge"  may give more insight or
satisfaction :"There were no surprises last week in President Barack Obama's historic speech
at West Point. His decision to enlarge and prolong the war in Afghanistan had been leaked well
in advance.The ugly, messy conflict Obama inherited from George W. Bush now belongs to the
"peace president" and his unhappy party. President Obama faced a choice between guns -- $1
trillion for the next decade of warfare in Afghanistan -- or butter -- his $1 trillion national
health plan. The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate chose guns. What Obama should really have been
concerned with was Osama bin Laden's vow to first bleed the US in Afghanistan and Iraq, then
break America's domination of the Muslim world by luring it into a final battle in Pakistan,
a nation of 175 million. The president also heard alarms from his field commanders and CIA
that Taliban and its allies were taking control of much of Afghanistan and threatening the
big cities. As US Afghan commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal warned, the mighty US faced
defeat at the hands of lightly armed mountain tribesmen -- the same humiliating fate that
befell the Soviet Union.So, as expected, Obama will rush 30,000 new troops into the Afghan
quagmire, and arm-twist reluctant NATO allies to contribute 10,000 more token forces.
Obama, with his eye on the Afghan War's growing unpopularity among Americans, confusingly
promised some of the 105,000 US garrison will begin withdrawing in 2011. But Obama's aides
almost immediately began backtracking on this pledge, which made no military sense at all.
Senator John McCain and fellow Republican hawks had a field day shredding the daft proposal.
Afghans, however, listened and concluded that the US, like the Soviets, would one day decamp.
Those Afghans working for the US will quickly begin hedging their bets by making discreet side
deals with Taliban, as they did with the mujahidin during the Soviet era.The president insisted
his objective remains destroying al-Qaida. But al-Qaida hardly exists in Afghanistan. Only a
handful remain in Pakistan, likely no more than a dozen men.

President Obama's insincerity on this issue is very disturbing, undermining his reputation for
veracity and clear thinking.There is also concern that when Obama targets al-Qaida,
his real target may be Pakistan. Obama's plan mirrors the Bush administration's Iraq
'surge' that candidate Obama sharply criticized. US Marines may even go and crush rebellious
Kandahar the way Iraq's Fallujah was laid waste.The Soviets also tried the same surge tactic in
the mid 1980's during their Afghan occupation. They also decided
to pull back their over-extended troops and concentrate them defending Afghanistan's major
cities and main roads from Afghan "terrorists." Both strategies failed miserably.
Now the US is trying the same thing. Tragically, the "anti-war president" missed another major
opportunity to end the Afghan War through negotiations.Anyone who understands
Afghanistan's deep complexities knows that Obama's surge won't win the eight year war.
Afghanistan's 15-million strong Pashtuns tribal majority will continue to resist Western
occupation. Waging colonial wars of pacification against resident populations has proven futile
time after time.

At best, it will be an exercise in managing a failed policy. Americans are turning against the
war. Congress is fretting over its mounting costs: US $300 billion for 2009 in a $1.4 trillion
deficit year. This war is being waged on money borrowed from China. Some Democrats are
rightly calling for a special war taxon all Americans rather than continuing to conceal the
war's huge expenses on the national credit card.It costs US $1 million to keep each American
soldier in Afghanistan. Renting Pakistan's assistance will cost $3 billion per year (overt and
black payments combined). Thousands of US troops will remain stuck in Iraq where the
underground Ba'ath Party is showing signs of life. President Obama vowed at West Point to
fight al-Qaida in Africa and Asia. No wonder many angry, betrayed Democrats are calling him
"George Bush's third term. "The most positive interpretation of President Obama's
"surge" is that it is a face-saving exercise to cover America's retreat from the Afghan morass.
The key to US strategy is cobbling together a large Afghan army and police led by the US
military -- the modern version of the British Raj's native troops under white officers. The
Soviets also tried to build a 260,000 man Afghan Communist army, but failed. The US will be
no more successful as its Afghan forces are mostly minority Tajik and Uzbek mercenaries.
Efforts will be made to sanitize the corrupt Karzai government and its mafia-like warlords. This,
too, will fail, but Obama's hope is that he can declare victory by 2011. This would allow
substantial US troop reductions before the next mid-term and presidential elections - if all
goes well.

But things are not going well in Pakistan, without whose cooperation, bases, and supply routes
the US cannot wage war in Afghanistan. The US-backed Pakistani government of Asif Ali Zardari
is awash with corruption charges, condemned by the public as a puppet regime, and may soon
be ousted by Pakistan's military. Most Pakistanis support Taliban, see US occupation of
Afghanistan as driven by lust for oil, and increasingly fear the US intends to tear their unstable
nation apart in order to seize its nuclear arsenal. CIA-funded assassination teams have joined
Predator drones in killing Pakistanis judged hostile to US interests.Obama's advisors have
convinced him an early US withdrawal from Afghanistan will provoke chaos in Pakistan. They
don't understand that it is the US-led war in Afghanistan that is destabilizing Pakistan and
creating ever more anti-western extremism. The longer US forces wage war in Afghanistan, the
more the conflict will spread into Pakistan, where 15% of its people, and 25% of its military,
are Pashtuns who sympathize with their beleaguered fellow Taliban  Pashtuns in Afghanistan.
A grimmer view is that Obama has fallen under the influence of military-financial interests, and
Washington's rabid neocons who seek permanent war against the Muslim world. Obama's
"surge" may only expand, intensify, and prolong the Afghan conflict. In the end, there will be a
negotiated peace that includes Taliban. But how many Americans, allies and Afghans must die
before it comes?"

Then too, the following article found in the Australian of February 19, 2009, less than one
month in the Obama President  underlies the point that from the onset, the Obama
Administration was confronted with the reemergence of the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan:
"US President Barack Obama will send 17,000 troops to Afghanistan in time for the Taliban's
traditional spring offensive, as he launches an Iraq-style surge aimed at reversing the flagging
fortunes of coalition forces battling militants there. Announcing the surge yesterday, Mr Obama
said the increase was necessary to "stabilise a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, which
has not received the strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires".

"The Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan, and al-Qaida supports the insurgency and threatens
America from its safe haven along the Pakistani border," he said. He recognised "the
extraordinary strain this deployment places on our troops and military families", but the
deteriorating security situation in the region required "urgent attention and swift action".
Last year was the deadliest for ordinary Afghans caught up in the fighting, the UN reported this
week, with a 39 per cent increase in civilian deaths. Militants were to blame for 55 per cent of
the 2118 civilian fatalities, while UN, NATO and Afghan forces accounted for 39 per cent,
it found.

In Mr Obama's first significant troop deployment, one army and one marine brigade originally
scheduled to go to Iraq will be sent to Afghanistan at the request of Defense Secretary Robert
Gates. US officials said yesterday an additional 8000 marines would be on the ground by late
April -- when the warmer weather heralded an escalation in fighting. An army brigade of 4000
soldiers would follow in the northern summer, along with an extra 5000 support troops. The
additional troops will be stationed in southern Afghanistan, where the fighting has been
heaviest. The decision comes ahead of a review of US strategic policy in Afghanistan, which is
expected to recommend that troop numbers on the ground be increased to 60,000 from the
current estimated 38,000 troops fighting militant extremists in the south Asian nation.

A review of US military operations in Iraq, due in the next few weeks, is expected to recommend
a corresponding drawdown of troops there as Mr Obama moves to fulfil his election promise to
withdraw troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office. Mr Obama said the Iraq drawdown
gave his administration the "flexibility to increase our presence in Afghanistan", adding the
immediate troop surge announced yesterday did not preclude sending more forces.

Military force alone could not stop the spread of extremism in Afghanistan and his
administration would develop a more comprehensive diplomatic approach to
Afghanistan, he said.

Despite leaving the door open to negotiations with more moderate Taliban forces in
Afghanistan, the US has taken a hard line against a peace deal struck this week between the
Pakistan Government and extremists in the Swat Valley to allow Sharia law there. Mr Obama is
yet to comment on the agreement, which has prompted local Taliban-linked militants to call a
temporary ceasefire to months of bloody fighting in the Swat, but US and NATO officials have
described the deal as a "negative development".

More than 1000 civilians have been killed and as many as 500,000 displaced in a vicious
campaign waged by militants loyal to radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah for the imposition of a
draconian Islamic legal code in the former tourist mecca.

The US argues that such peace deals allow militants to regroup and strengthen. Analysts have
also warned that the agreement would encourage militants across Pakistan's now-vulnerable
North Western Frontier Province to demand similar concessions.

Taliban and al-Qaida militants already control Pakistan's lawless Federally Administered
Tribal Areas, which neighbour Afghanistan and serve as a base for launching cross-border
attacks on US and NATO forces. And finally, another posting in the Huffington Post dated
December 10, 2010 entitled "The Nine Surges of Obama's War: How to escalate in
Afghanistan" written by Tom Engelhard: " In his Afghan "surge" speech at West Point last
week, President Obama offered Americans some specifics to back up his new “way forward in
Afghanistan.”  He spoke of the “additional 30,000 U.S. troops” he was sending into
that country over the next six months.  He brought up the “roughly $30 billion” it would cost us
to get them there and support them for a year.  And finally, he spoke of beginning to bring them
home by July 2011.  Those were striking enough numbers, even if larger and, in terms of
time, longer than many in the Democratic Party would have cared for.  Nonetheless, they don’t
faintly cover just how fully the president has committed us to an expanding war and just how
wide it is likely to become. Despite the seeming specificity of the speech, it gave little
sense of just how big and how expensive this surge will be.  In fact, what is being portrayed in
the media as the surge of November 2009 is but a modest part of an ongoing expansion of the
U.S. war effort in many areas.   Looked at another way, the media's focus on the
president’s speech as the crucial moment of decision, and on those 30,000 new troops as the
crucial piece of information, has distorted what’s actually underway. In reality, the U.S.
military, along with its civilian and intelligence counterparts, has been in an almost constant
state of surge since the last days of the Bush administration.  Unfortunately, while information
on this is available, and often well reported, it’s scattered in innumerable news stories on
specific aspects of the war.  You have to be a media jockey to catch it all, no less put
it together. What follows, then, is my own attempt to make sense of the nine fronts on which the
U.S. has been surging, and continues to do so, as 2009 ends.  Think of this as an
effort to widen our view of Obama’s widening war.     Obama’s Nine Surges:

1.  The Troop Surge:  Let’s start with those “30,000” new troops the president announced.  First
of all, they represent Obama’s surge, phase 2.  As the president pointed out in his speech,
there were “just over 32,000 Americans serving in Afghanistan” when he took office in January
2009.  In March, Obama announced that he was ordering in 21,000 additional troops.  Last
week, when he spoke, there were already approximately 68,000 to 70,000 U.S. troops in
Afghanistan.  If you add the 32,000 already there in January and the 21,700 actually
dispatched after the March announcement, however, you only get 53,700, leaving another
15,000 or so to be accounted for. According to Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post, 11,000
of those were “authorized in the waning days of the Bush administration and deployed this
year,” bringing the figure to between 64,000 and 65,000.  In other words, the earliest stage of
the present Afghan “surge” was already underway when Obama arrived. It also looks like at
least a few thousand more troops managed to slip through the door in recent months without
notice or comment.  Similarly, with the 30,000 figure announced a week ago, DeYoung reports
that the president quietly granted Secretary of Defense Robert Gates the right to “increase the
number by 10 percent, or 3,000 troops, without additional White House approval or
announcement.”  That already potentially brings the most recent surge numbers to 33,000, and
an unnamed “senior military official” told De Young “that the final number could go as high as
35,000 to allow for additional support personnel such as engineers, medevac units and route-
clearance teams, which comb roads for bombs.” Now, add in the 7,500 troops and trainers that
administration officials reportedly strong-armed various European countries into offering.  
More than 1,500 of these are already in Afghanistan and simply not being withdrawn as
previously announced.  The cost of sending some of the others, like the 900-plus troops
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has promised, will undoubtedly be absorbed by
Washington.  Nonetheless, add most of them in and, miraculously, you’ve surged up to, or
beyond, Afghan War commander General Stanley McChrystal’s basic request for at least
40,000 troops to pursue a counterinsurgency war in that country.

2.  The Contractor Surge:  Given our heavily corporatized and privatized military, it makes no
sense simply to talk about troop numbers in Afghanistan as if they were increasing in a void.  
You also need to know about the private contractors who have taken over so many former
military duties, from KP and driving supply convoys to providing security on large bases.  There’
s no way of even knowing who is responsible for the surge of (largely Pentagon-funded) private
contractors in Afghanistan.  Did their numbers play any part in the president’s three months of
deliberations?  Does he have any control over how many contractors are put on the U.S
government payroll there?  We don’t know.

Private contractors certainly went unmentioned in his speech and, amid the flurry of headlines
about troops going to Afghanistan, they remain almost unmentioned in the mainstream media.  
In major pieces on the president’s tortuous “deliberations” with his key military and civilian
advisors at the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, all produced
from copious officially inspired leaks, there wasn't a single mention of private contractors, and
yet their numbers have been surging for months.

A modest sized article by August Cole in the Wall Street Journal the day after the president’s
speech gave us the basics, but you had to be looking.  Headlined “U.S.
Adding Contractors at Fast Pace,” the piece barely peeked above the fold on page 7 of the
paper.  According to Cole:  “The Defense Department's latest census shows that the number of
contractors increased about 40% between the end of June and the end of September, for a
total of 104,101. That compares with 113,731 in Iraq, down 5% in the same period... Most of
the contractors in Afghanistan are locals, accounting for 78,430 of the total...”  In other words,
there are already more private contractors on the payroll in Afghanistan than there will be
U.S. troops when the latest surge is complete.

Though many of these contractors are local Afghans hired by outfits like DynCorp International
and Fluor Corp., TPM Muckracker managed to get a further breakdown of these figures from
the Pentagon and found that there were 16,400 “third country nationals” among the
contractors, and 9,300 Americans.  This is a formidable crew, and its numbers are evidently
still surging, as are the Pentagon contracts doled out to private outfits that go with them.  
Cole, for instance, writes of the contract that DynCorp and Fluor share to support U.S. forces in
Afghanistan “which could be worth as much as $7.5 billion to each company in the coming

3.  The Militia Surge:  U.S. Special Forces are now carrying out pilot programs for a mini-surge
in support of local Afghan militias that are, at least theoretically, anti-Taliban.  The idea is
evidently to create a movement along the lines of Iraq's Sunni Awakening Movement that,
many believe, ensured the "success" of George W. Bush's 2007 surge in that country.  For now,
as far as we know, U.S. support takes the form of offers of ammunition, food, and possibly
some Kalashnikov rifles, but in the future we'll be ponying up more arms and, undoubtedly,
significant amounts of money. This is, after all, to be a national program, the Community
Defense initiative, which, according to Jim Michaels of USA Today, will “funnel millions of
dollars in foreign aid to villages that organize ‘neighborhood watch’-like programs to help with
security.”  Think of this as a “bribe” surge.   Such programs are bound to turn out to be
essentially money-based and designed to buy “friendship.”

4.  The Civilian Surge:  Yes, Virginia, there is a “civilian surge” underway in Afghanistan,
involving increases in the number of “diplomats and experts in agriculture, education, health
and rule of law sent to Kabul and to provincial reconstruction teams across the country.”  The
State Department now claims to be “on track” to triple the U.S. civilian component in
Afghanistan from 320 officials in January 2009 to 974 by “the early weeks of next year.”   (Of
course, that, in turn, means another mini-surge in private contractors:  more security guards to
protect civilian employees of the U.S. government.)  A similar civilian surge is evidently
underway in neighboring Pakistan, just the thing to go with a surge of civilian aid and a plan for
a humongous new, nearly billion-dollar  embassy compound to be built in Islamabad.

5. The CIA and Special Forces Surge:  And speaking of Pakistan, Noah Shachtman of Wire's
Danger Room blog had it right recently when, considering the CIA’s “covert” (but openly
discussed) drone war in the Pakistani tribal borderlands, he wrote:  “The most important
escalation of the war might be the one the President didn’t mention at West Point.”  In fact, the
CIA’s drone attacks there have been escalating in numbers since the Obama administration
came into office.  Now, it seems, paralleling the civilian surge in the Af/Pak theater of
operations, there is to be a CIA one as well.  While little information on this is available, David
E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt of the New York Times reports  that in recent months the CIA has
delivered a plan to the White House “for widening the campaign of strikes against militants by
drone aircraft in Pakistan, sending additional spies there and securing a White House
commitment to bulk up the C. I.A.’s budget for operations inside the country.” In addition,
Scott Shane of the Times reports: “The White House has authorized an expansion of the C.I.
A.’s drone program in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas, officials said..., to parallel the president’
s decision… to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. American officials are talking with
Pakistan about the possibility of striking in Baluchistan for the first time -- a controversial
move since it is outside the tribal areas -- because that is where Afghan Taliban leaders are
believed to hide.”

The Pakistani southern border province of Baluchistan is a hornet's nest with its own sets of
separatists and religious extremists, as well as a (with possibly U.S. funded) rebel movement
aimed at the Baluchi minority areas of Iran.   The Pakistani government is powerfully opposed
to drone strikes in the area of the heavily populated provincial capital of Quetta where,
Washington insists, the Afghan Taliban leadership largely resides.  If such strikes do
begin, they could prove the most destabilizing aspect ofthe widening of the war that the  
present surge represents.In addition, thanks to the Nation magazine’s Jeremy Scahill, we now
know that, from a secret base in Karachi, Pakistan, the U.S. Army’s Joint Special Operations
Command, in conjunction with the private security contractor Xe (formerly Blackwater),
operates “a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban
and Al Qaeda operatives, ‘snatch and grabs’ of high-value targets and other sensitive action
inside and outside Pakistan.”  Since so many U.S. activities in Pakistan involve secretive,
undoubtedly black-budget operations, we may only have the faintest outlinesof what the
“surge” there means.

6.  The Base-Building Surge:  Like the surge in contractors and in drone attacks, the surge in
base-building in Afghanistan significantly preceded Obama's latest troop-surge
announcement.  A recent NBC Nightly News Report on the ever-expanding U.S. base at
Kandahar Airfield, which it aptly termed a “boom town,”shows just how ongoing this part of the
overall surge is, and at what a staggering level.  As Iraq from 2003 on, billions of dollars are
being sunk into bases, the largest of which -- especially the old Soviet site, Bagram Air Base,
with more than $200 million in construction projects and upgrades underway at the moment --
are beginning to look like ever more permanent fixtures on the landscape. In addition, as Nick
Turse of has reported, forward observation bases and smaller combat
outposts have been sprouting all over southern Afghanistan.  “Forget for a moment the
‘debates’ in Washington over Afghan War policy,” he wrote in early November, “and, if you just  
focus on the construction activity and the flow of money into Afghanistan, what you
see is a war that, from the point of view of the Pentagon, isn't going to end any time soon. In
fact, the U.S. military's building boom in that country suggests that, in the ninth year of the
Afghan War, the Pentagon has plans for a far longer-term, if not near-permanent, garrisoning of
the country, no matter what course Washington may decideupon.”  

7.  The Training Surge:   In some ways, the greatest prospective surge may prove to be in the
training of the Afghan national army and police.  Despite years of American and NATO
“mentoring,” both are in notoriously bad shape.  The Afghan army is riddled with desertions --
25% of those trained in the last year are now gone -- and the Afghan police are reportedly a
hapless, ill-paid, corrupt, drug-addicted lot.  Nonetheless, Washington (with the help of NATO
reinforcements) is planning to bring an army whose numbers officially stand at approximately
94,000 (but may actually be as low as 40- odd thousand) to 134,000 reasonably well-trained
troops by next fall and 240,000 a year later. Similarly, the Obama administration hopes to take
Police numbers from an official 93,000 to 160,000.

8.  The Cost Surge:  This is a difficult subject to pin down in part because the Pentagon is, in
cost-accounting terms, one of the least transparent organizations around.  What can be said for
certain is that Obama’s $30 billion figure won’t faintly hold when it comes to the real surge.  
There is no way that figure will cover anything like all the troops, bases, contractors, and the
rest.  Just take the plan to train an Afghan security force of approximately 400,000 in
the coming years.  We’ve already spent more than on the training of the Afghan Army and more
than $10 billion has gone into police training -- staggering figures for a far smaller combined
force with poor results.  Imagine, then, what a massive bulking up of the country's security
forces will actually cost.  In congressional testimony, Centcom commander General David
Petraeus suggested a possible price tag of $10 billion a year.  And if such a program works
(which seems unlikely), try to imagine how one of the poorest countries on the planet will
support a 400,000-man force.  Afghan President Hamid Karzai has  just suggested that it will
take at least 15-20 years before the country can actually pay for such a force itself.  In
translation, what we have here is undoubtedly a version of Colin Powell’s Pottery Barn Rule
(“You break it, you own it”); in this case, you build it, you own it.  If we create such security
forces, they will be, financially speaking, ours into the foreseeable future.  (And this is even
without adding in those local militias we’re planning to invest “millions” in.)

9. The Anti-Withdrawal Surge:  Think of this as a surge in time.  By all accounts, the president
tried to put some kind of limit on his most recent Afghan surge, not wanting “an open-ended
commitment.”  With that in mind, he evidently insisted on a plan, emphasized in his speech, in
which some of the surge troops would start to come home in July 2011, about 18 months from
now.  This was presented in the media as a case of giving something to everyone (the
Republican opposition, his field commanders, and his own antiwar Democratic Party base).  In
fact, he gave his commanders and the Republican opposition a very real surge in numbers.  In
this regard, a Washington Post headline says it all:  “McChrystal’s Afghanistan Plan Stays
Mainly Intact.”  On the other hand, what he gave his base was only the vaguest of promises
(“…and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011”).  
Moreover, within hours of the speech, even that commitment was being watered down by the
first top officials to speak on the subject.  Soon enough, as the right-wing began to blaze away
on the mistake of announcing a withdrawal date “to the enemy,” there was little short of a
stampede of high officials eager to make that promise ever less meaningful. In what Mark
Mazzetti of the Times called a “flurry ofcoordinated television interviews,” the top civilian and
military officials of the administration marched onto the Sunday morning talk shows “in
lockstep” to reassure the right (and they were reassured) by playing “down the significance of
the July 2011 target date.”  The United States was, Secretary of Defense Gates and others
indicated, going to be in the region in strength for years tocome.  (“...July 2011 was just the
beginning, not the end, of a lengthy process. That date, [National Security Advisor] General
[James] Jones said, is a ‘ramp’ ratherthan a ‘cliff.’”)

How Wide the Widening War?

When it came to the spreading Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, the president in his speech
spoke of his surge goal this way:  “We must reverse the Taliban's momentum and deny it the
ability to overthrow the government.”  This seems a modest enough target, even if the means of
reaching it are proving immodest indeed.  After all, we’re talking about a minority Pashtun
insurgency -- Pashtuns make up only about 42% of Afghanistan’s population -- and the
insurgents are a relatively lightly armed, rag-tag force.  Against them and a miniscule of al-
Qaeda operatives, the Pentagon has launched a remarkable, unbelievably costly build-up of
forces over vast distances, along fragile, extended supply lines, and in a country poorer than
almost any other on the planet. The State Department has, to the best of its abilities, followed
suit, as has the CIA across the borderin Pakistan.

All of this has been underway for close to a year, with at least another six months to go.  This is
the reality that the president and his top officials didn’t bother to explain to the American
people in that speech last week, or on those Sunday talk shows, or in congressional testimony,
and yet it’s a reality we should grasp as we consider our future and the Afghan War we, after all,
are paying for.  And yet, confoundingly, as the U.S. has bulked up in Afghanistan, the war has
only grown fiercer both withinthe country and in partsof Pakistan.  Sometimes bulking-
up can mean not reversing but increasing the other side’s momentum.  We face what looks to
be a widening war in the region.  Already, the Obama administration has been issuing ever
stronger warnings to the Pakistani government and military to shape up in the fight against
the Taliban, otherwise threatening not only drone strikes in Baluchistan, but cross-border raids
by Special Operations types, and even possibly “hot pursuit” by U.S. forces into Pakistan.  This
is a dangerous game indeed.

As Andrew Bacevich, author of The Limits of Power, wrote recently, “Sending U.S. troops to fight
interminable wars in distant countries does more to inflame than to extinguish the resentments
giving rise to violent anti-Western jihadism.”  Whatever the Obama administration does in
Afghanistan and Pakistan, however, the American ability to mount a sustained operation of this
size in one of the most difficult places on the planet, when it can’t even mount a reasonable
jobs program at home, remains a strange wonder of the world.

In analysis, what was pictured above is not a prettypicture ... Considering what has happened
to oureconomy have we overreacted to a real tragedy  that befell the American people on
September 11, 2001 ... It may have been right to go into Afghanistan to root out those
responsible for the attack ... It may even have been right to go into Iraq to root out the dangers
there ... We were correct to do it if it were in our national interest ...But one wonders whether in
the course of fighting the battle on many fronts at one time have we lessened or enhanced the
threats to our national security interests .. The fact is, Our national security actions as we write  
have not yet planted the Oak Tree which would bring everlasting peace and well-being for the U.
S. and the World.  Although the War in Iraq seemingly at the moment is winding down, the war
in Afghanistan is getting hot. We continue fuss over Iran's Nuclear threat and Al-Qaida always
seeks to run to new sanctuaries to continue their plans against U.S. interests .... And then the
earthquake in Haiti causing the deployment of more troops ...Of course, historically Haiti has
seen the presence of American Forces before ... Throughout the Bush Administration the
Democratic leaders according to Conservative pundits have always talked defeat, comparing
our recent foreign wars to Vietnam ... We also have seen in Congressional behavior,
the bait and switch tactic ... That is call for the Bush Administration to pursue a certain
approach to the situation as it prevailed in Iraq or Afghanistan, and once the Administration
responded positively to their demands but not immediately, they switched gears once again
attacking the administrations and calling for a new approach. The moral here is that it is very
dangerous to pursue foreign war when the political parties for the most part trivialize such
foreign adventures by playing politics. Obama,  as a President who had very little experience in
world diplomacy before taking office, has been severely tested .... And that test will continue
until such time the Sun sets on his Presidency ... And the good citizens of the U.S. trust as well
that the Sunset of the Obama Presidency would not also be their own Sunset as well. We give
this warning for those that desire wisdom and truth ... Let no one deceive you with shallow
arguments and weak understanding. For, it is for those reasons that the problems we face have
occurred. Take no part in the desperate act of deception that those who failed us continue to
orchestrate. But rather, show them up for what they are. The things they wish the public
not to remember is like a mark of darkness descending upon their entire being; and we the
public should deserve better respect than that . The fact is, unlike Iraq, Obama's government
owns the consequences of the frustrating situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan; As indicated
before, the Obama Administration accepted 4 Star General Stanley McCrystal's
recommendation of sending more American troops to Afghanistan to battle the renewed
insurgency for the Afghanistan Karzai government until their security forces are completely
ready to lead security operations across the country. McCrystal actually wanted more troops
than the 30,000 the Obama Administration eventually agreed to. And surely, must have been
concerned that Obama time dated the operation by establishing July 31, 2011 as the date of
the initial American troop reduction in Afghanistan. Of course, by following this timetable
exactly, there would be no guarantee that Afghan security forces would be place to pick up the
pieces when the American troops begin to leave. And additionally, it didn't help that the
Administration placed certain restrictions on how military operations would be conducted. And
as it occurred McCrystal and his staff eventually questioned the Commander in Chief's and the
Vice President's mind set in understanding the possible adverse consequences of their
directives. And McCyrstal got in hot water with the President after these feeling appeared in a
Rolling Stone magazine article. The fact is, McCrystal got in so much hot water with the
President that he was replaced as Commander of the U.S Forces in Afghanistan by John
Pratraeus the author of the action in Iraq. Ironically, as U.S. Senator from Illinois, Obama had
attacked Pratraeus's surge proposal in Iraq as futile and said it would not work... Now Obama
praised Pratraeus as the man best able to pursue the Surge in Afghanistan. But what about the
Obama Administration time table forwithdrawal of forces from the surge ... A major
conference on Afghanistan held in mid July 2010 and attended by 70 countries has raised more
questions than answers ... Conferees endorsed Afghan President Hamid
Karzai's  goal that Afghan forces should lead security operations across the country by 2014. A
very ambitious security target since insurgents still control much of Afghanistan. Obviously
transition to Afghan-led security must be based on conditions not calendars. US Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton said the US would accelerate the process of turning over security to
Afghanistan's police and military from July 2011. She emphasised this was not the end of US
involvement, adding the US military commitment to Afghanistan would be matched by an
unprecedented civilian surge ineconomic development.

And on another matter, the Obama Administration owns the diplomatic fallout and security
headaches resultant  from its decision not to  honor the U.S. Commitment to field missile
defense interceptors in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic.  

Please note --- Gay rights activists not content or fully satisfied with the landmark initial
federal law included within a defense authorization bill voiced hope that the Obama
administration would advance more issues on their agenda, including legislation to bar
workplace discrimination, allow military service and recognize same-sex marriages... Of course,
the recognition of same-sex marriage most certainly in the end  the most controversial
of issues on the gay/lesbian menu plate. According to  TVC Executive Director Andrea Lafferty,  
Obama,  continues to talk out of both sides of his mouth on the same-sex marriage issue.  Said
Lafferty: "When he was discussing gay marriage with Pastor Rick Warren before the election, he
expressed support for traditional marriage. Clearly, he didn’t mean it. Now, he’s admitting
he wants to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act."President Obama gave a keynote speech at
the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) dinner on October 10, 2009 ---  the evening before a
Lesbian/Gay/Bi-sexual/Transgender march on Washington, D.C..What he said is the following:
"My expectation is that when you look back on these years, you will see a time in which we put a
stop to discrimination against gays and lesbians — whether in the office or on the battlefield.
You will see a time in which we as a nation finally recognize relationships between two
men or two women as just as real and admirable as relationships between a man and a woman.  
You will see a nation that’s valuing and cherishing these families as we build a more perfect
union — a union in which gay Americans are an important part. I am committed to these
goals. And my administration will continue fighting to achieve them."

During the same speech, Obama praised the StonewallRiot, which launched the gay activist  
movement in 1969. He described the Stonewall Riot this way: It’s the story of the Stonewall
protests, when a group of citizens — when a group of citizens with few options, and
fewer supporters stood up against discrimination and helped to inspire a movement. But the
Traditional Values Coalition  believes that Obama’s history is wrong about the Stonewall Riot.  
They claim what he’s celebrating is a drag queen riot that took place outside of a sleazy Mafia-
owned gay bar in New York City. Police had entered the establishment over liquor license
violations. The drag queens inside rebelled against the police and began throwing rocks,
bottles, trash cans and whatever else they could find in the streets to injure the police officers.
As a result of this riot, the Gay Liberation Front was born and lesbians, gays, bisexuals, drag
queens, and transsexuals have been agitating for their supposed “rights” ever since. But you
know what, God still speaks to us ... The question is, are we reading his lips?

                                                       GOD STILL SPEAKS TO US
                                     By Dennis L. Pearson of The COMMON SENSE HERALD
                                   (c) 2003 by Dennis L. Pearson ... All  Rights Reserved

The Old Testament (and the New Testament) speaks to the USA as much as it did to ancient
Israel. If we allow the atheists, the false believers and the secular humanists to force the USA
to turn its face from God, God will respond by taking our blessing away from us. He will allow
the enemy to come to our gates and do great damage to us. We look at world history and see
that empires have risen and fallen. Kingdoms have risen and fallen. Nations have risen and
fallen. Obviously the USA can share the same fate if the eternal God turns his face from us
because we have decided that we are a government and a people above God rather than under
God. And additionally, we have decided that we are a government and a people that no longer
place our trust in God or have become so arrogant that we think that we do not need God’s
potent forced field or shield.

We need to remind ourselves that God gives us the stewardship to rule and we must do it
wisely. In ancient Israel God replaced King Saul with David because King Saul abused his power
and sinned. He did not allow David to build the temple because he sinned. He did not allow
Moses to enter the Promised Land because he sinned. Take God out of society and wickedness
will flourish; therefore for the good of the nation it is essential that we remember that his
values are superior to ours.

We read at the beginning of the New year , an opinion in a newspaper  from an individual who
described himself as non-religious. He said  It is very heartening that, during the period
between the end of the year and the beginning of the year, agnostics, atheists and Humanists
be recognized and accepted. Then he defined Humanism as a way of thinking about living a
good and moral life without the need to believe in God, or other supernatural deities.
Acknowledging that Humanists can be atheists, agnostics or even religious Humanists.  Than
making it known that at the present time many Unitarian Universalist congregations can be
described as Humanists. It also being recognized, that Unitarian Universalist Congregations in
the religious community are one of the most so-called progressive congregations and as such
define a good and moral life differently than some of the Main Steam and Conservative
religious conservative congregations.

We trust that (Secular) Humanists live rather than just think about living a good and moral life.
If they lead a good and moral life there will be a measure of congeniality and interaction with
the religious community especially the Unitarian Universalist Congregations. However, If the
atheists, agnostics, the false believers, the secular humanists, and even the religious
humanists  believe that citizens can be safe in a nation, which, having no eternal values to set
its standards creates its own values, then they all are deluding themselves. For in such
a society the standards for morality will change from day to day and morality will be ordered
like a fad. What is in for morality one day, one week, one month, one year or one decade will be
out the next day, next week, next month, next year or next decade. And we of the religious
community ought not lower our standards for behavior that is scripturally not supportable.
The writer in the same letter to the editor mentioned above offers that the simple act of saying
Merry Christmas constitutes divisive rhetoric ... That we all should find ways to break down
religious barriers and start cooperating with each other on a human level ... Unfortunately, if
religious people must sublimate the reason why they Celebrate Christmas to appease those
who  place their faith, in the basic, inherent goodness of your fellow human being, then they
lose sight of the fact that this basic , inherent goodness of your fellow  human being exists only
because Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins ...Indeed, the federal government cannot
promote a statereligion ... The early German speaking immigrants to the
U.S were much concerned about this for In their homelands they were told by their ruling prince
what religion they were to practice. Consequently, many families have their origins in America
due to the persecution of France's Louis XIV who invaded the Duchy of Lorraine and provinces of
the Holy Roman Empire (now Southwest Germany).. These people had to convert to Catholicism
or die or the very least have their property taken away and be enslaved. Emigration of
Protestants was forbidden. However many Protestants did convert to Catholicism with the aim
to emigrate if they could and then return to their reformed Christian or Lutheran faith.

Incredibly in the period during and after the 30 Years War and Louis XIV’s incursions – that part
of the Holy Roman Empire which later became Southwest Germany lost approximately 90
percent of its population by death or emigration ... It took the economy of the area 120 years
to recover.

As far as I am concerned posting the 10 commandments is not the establishment of a state
religion. Singing the 4th Stanza of the National Anthem is not the establishment of
a state religion. Saying the pledge of allegiance is not the establishment of a state religion.

However, adopting an official atheist policy in government is a violation of the Church State
principle by adopting secular humanism as a state approved religion. Indeed in the United
State, government cannot force an individual to adhere to a certain religious way of life but
neither can government force an individual to cease adhering to a certain religious way of life.
Indeed the laws of government are affected by the pressures put on by those who adhere to or
not adhere to a certain religious way of life. And people in that society are expected to submit
to the laws of the land. But for those who practice the religious way of life, their guide for
morality will be in the time-honored writings and traditions of their faith which ought to be
accord with eternal law established by the Creator of the Universe."

And we add to the above writings, most assuredly, the agenda of the lesbian/gay/bi-sexual
and transgender coalition and the moral values it applies, may not necessarily  jive with the
moral values given to us by God over the ages. It is reported of Jesus Christ that he loved
the sinner but hated the sin ... Let not new federal law put those who profess Jesus Christ's
admonition in their public words whether in the Church or in public be placed in jeopardy
because of their beliefs.