In his State of the Union speech tonight, President Barack Obama addressed many of the most pressing issues on the world stage including the tense diplomatic situations in Iran and North Korea and the War on Terror in Afghanistan.
On the campaign trail, President Obama vowed to pull all American troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. However, shortly after the election, the White House said they would not be able to commit to a specific withdrawal schedule in Afghanistan. Addressing the nation tonight, President Obama returned to his campaign promise and said the remaining U.S. troops in that country would be withdrawn in the next 22 months.
This morning, President Barack Obama spoke to a group of soldiers, veterans and family members of fallen troops gether at Arlington National Cemetary for Memorial Day. The president took note of the fact this is the first Memorial Day in nine years since the end of the Iraq War.
“For the first time in nine years, Americans are not fighting and dying in Iraq. We are winding down the war in Afghanistan, and our troops will continue to come home,” he said. “After a decade under the dark cloud of war, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon.”
Newly elected French President Francois Hollande had his first meeting with President Barack Obama today. In a press conference with reporters after their conversation, President Obama said he was eager to hear Monsieur Hollande’s assessment of American cuisine after the upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago.
“I was reading the President’s biography … he actually spent some time in the United States in his youth, studying American fast food.” President Obama said. “Although he decided to go into politics, we’ll be interested in his opinions of cheeseburgers in Chicago.”
Monsieur Hollande responded with a promise to never besmirch burgers.
“I would like to thank President Obama for the knowledge he has of my life before I took office,” he said, according to an interpreter. “I will say nothing against cheeseburgers, of course.”
Mr. Obama replied diplomatically.
“I just want to remember that cheeseburgers go very well with French fries,” he said.
War & Peace
Council member Jumaane Williams is getting behind the push to have a ticker tape parade in New York for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Williams introduced a resolution in support of a parade at the Council’s Stated Meeting today.
“I am proud to author a bill that will hopefully push forward the ‘welcome home’ that our nation’s veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars so rightfully deserve,” Mr. Williams said in a statement announcing the resolution. “While I am generally opposed to war, including these particular conflicts, I recognize that those who volunteer with the aspiration of doing good for their family and their country should be given the highest regard for their commitment and sacrifice.”
Stand By Your Man
WASHINGTON Michele Bachmann made a speech at the American Conservative Union’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. where she accused President Barack Obama of making a series of dangerous foreign policy “miscalculations” including failing to support Israel and not standing by ousted Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak in his quest to keep the Muslim Brotherhood at bay.
“Obama failed to stand by Mubarak and that helped fuel the revolution in Egypt and it led to a regime that was based on sharia law with 72 percent of the seats in the Lower House in Egypt now occupied by the Brotherhood and an even more radical Salafist party,” Ms. Bachmann said.
Republican Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman outlined his foreign policy ideas in a speech today at Southern New Hampshire University. Mr. Huntsman wants to pull back from Afghanistan, but he’s ready to get a lot more involved in Iran.