Tag Archives: senate

Letter to President Obama Regarding the Administrations Foreign Policy

pobamaDear Mr. President,

Please allow me to start by saying that I write this letter to you with the utmost respect for the office you hold and will therefore address you accordingly.  However, as a citizen of the United States and as a Jewish American exercising my right to free speech I intend to speak on some issues I find both concerning and disappointing.

I am by no means your usual critic.  I am a Democrat and a social Liberal who voted for you twice.  I’ve defended your performance and I’ve verbally attacked those I have felt were opposed to your presidency for inappropriate reasons.  I have been aware and willing to speak out against those whose criticism seemed to be a smokescreen for racial bias caused by the color of your skin or your middle name.  I have recognized that you have encountered serious opposition from the House of Representatives and Senate often making your job more difficult than it would normally be.  I say all this to emphasize that I, as a citizen and a supporter, have been more than fair in my personal judgments.  So with that in mind you will understand that this is not a letter from a Conservative Republican that would have found very little favor in your performance, nor is it from a racist that would have found none at all. This is a letter from someone who has been somewhat of a supporter and defender of you and your efforts over the past  6 years.

Even as I write this letter I hold out hope that the issues I find disturbing do not tell the whole story and that you are doing things behind the scenes that would explain their logic and benefit, and that I, as someone with no understanding of the inner working of politics would have no way of knowing what actually is the true reality.   I accept that as a possibility, but with the information that I do have available and with my somewhat limited understanding, I will share with you my major concerns, specifically with your administration’s foreign policy.

My biggest concern has been with the administration’s approach towards Islamic extremism.  I understand and will not question your acknowledgment of people of all faiths.  It is a commendable sentiment and in a perfect world people of all faiths can live side by side with dignity and respect.  However, as you are fully aware, not everyone in the world is pursuing that same utopia. I do not think for one second that you are not aware of the threat ISIS and other terrorist organizations pose to the free world, but as a citizen observing your actions or inaction toward their development and growth, I respectfully question your strategy.  I can understand your reluctance to engage in military conflict unless completely necessary, what I am questioning, as are many other Americans, is at what point do you actually deem it necessary? The humanitarian mission recently carried out in Iraq was a commendable one and it was easy to see the necessity there, but at what point is action taken to eliminate a serious threat to America and its allies?  ISIS has taken over land, weapons, and large sums of cash with what appears to be little to no resistance.  I understand not getting involved in the internal problems of other countries, but it seems abundantly clear that ISIS is not merely a problem that will remain isolated to the region.  Are we to wait until they do attack us on American soil?  I am sure you feel as we all do, that waiting for that to happen is unacceptable.  I just don’t see what is being done to prevent that.

There are those on the far right that not only question your tactics in dealing with Muslim extremism, but your motives as well.  I am under the assumption and belief that you mean to do what is best for the country even if I question your methods.  This is what baffles me most about your dealings with Israel. I am not alone in feeling at least some degree of abandonment and betrayal towards Israel and the Jewish people.  I recognize some of the support you have given to Israel, particularly in the funding of Iron Dome, but some of the actions taken by the administration as well as some of the statements made, have been anything but positive.  I have often said, in an attempt to be fair and objective, that the Jewish people need to understand that you were elected President of the United States, not Prime Minister of Israel.  But knowing that as I do, I am baffled that you would not put your complete support behind Israel, the country most likely to fight an enemy not only committed to its destruction, but to America’s destruction as well.

Mr. President, I know that compared to the ocean that is your set of accomplishments in life I am a mere drop of water. I also know that I do not match up to you intellectually.  That being said I am still an American with a voice and an opinion that is shared by many other Americans.  Our opinion deserves to be considered.   As a Jew who has lost a significant degree of faith in your friendship towards the Jewish people, I ask you to recognize Israel’s need for support in combating not only its enemy, but America’s as well.  Most of all, I ask you to tell us how you intend to keep us and future generations safe from enemies that appear to be growing with little resistance.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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Who suffers from Election and Disaster Fatigue?

I am an American, and truly believe that as a whole we’re a good bunch.  With all my flaws I am by no means qualified to say otherwise, but since I don’t want my words to be misinterpreted, I happily begin by complimenting my fickle countrymen for their basic decency and kindness.

As we look back to the recent presidential election, I can’t help but sense that an election fatigue has set in.  Going back to when the Republicans had what was close to a football team on the debate stage, till the final contest in which the incumbent President Barack Obama defeated his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, the process has been so long I truly believe many are happy it is over.  Even those on the winning side.

The good thing about the timing of the election was that it came just in time to help deal with Disaster fatigue.  Please forgive me if this comes across cynical.  That is not my intention.  I do not believe that most people who felt bad at the peak of Superstorm Sandy no longer feel bad.  I do however feel that many are less fascinated by the news reports than they were in the immediate days that followed.

All these stories not only continue, but they continue to be important and relevant.  The presidential election in of itself is not as important as what gets done moving forward.  Everyone knows we have a big mess on our hands and that the President, together with the Senate and Congress need to move into action and get things on the right track.  But enough about the election now. It’s old news.

Hurricane Sandy in many ways is two stories.  The first story was the immediate storm and the drama and serious impact it had.  The second story, the more serious one, is the story of the people who have suffered and still suffer as a result of the storm.  This is a story that unfortunately will continue for quite some time.  People are homeless, hungry and cold.   They are frustrated and despondent and will be needing help for a very long time.  But the story of the storm itself, the floods, fires, storm surges, well that’s old news now.

Gas shortages and long lines is becoming old news as well.  Unless of course fights break out while people wait in line.  Then the news becomes exciting again.  We are a sensationalist society and when the story loses its sensationalism the public loses some interest.  That doesn’t mean we become uncaring.  There are so many good people, people better than me, who give so much time to help those in need.  It’s just that unfortunately people’s suffering is never really news.  It doesn’t go away and being that it is a constant, loses its headline status.

Part of the biggest challenge facing us is to see to it that when these stories lose front page stature they don’t lose their importance.  It is incumbent on anyone with any audience, even a small one, to seek out and find the stories of those who need help.  That way we can continue to be the sensationalist society we obviously and honestly want to be, while not turning away from those who truly need our help.

If any of you have stories of people in need that you wish to share, please email me at hollandsheroes80@gmail.com.  Sometimes the greatest help starts from the most unlikely source.