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Posts Tagged ‘Carl Levin’

‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Is Osama bin Laden’s Last Victory Over America

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 17, 2013

Booker T. Washington High School

zerodarkthirtyI went to see Zero Dark Thirty this weekend with great anticipation. I’ve always loved Kathryn Bigelow’s movies – I’m a fan to an almost embarrassing degree. Like most people I liked the Busey-Keanu surf-and-bromance film Point Break, but I also loved the The Weight of Water, as well as Strange Days, The Widowmaker… Bigelow’s movies are visually engrossing, innovative and smart, and I couldn’t wait to see what she did with a real-life subject matter that had the potential to be both the greatest detective story and the greatest action-movie plot of all time.

So I went to see the movie and like most people I know who watched it, I was blown away. On a pure whodunit level, the bulk of the film was an unbelievably compelling thriller, and purely on the level of action cinematography, the final scene – with all its real-world drama and consequence, plus the unique fact the movie revealed secrets about one of the shadowiest, most highly-classified operations ever – was about as pulse-pounding and exciting as movies get.

The way Bigelow shot that last sequence in Abbotabad, constantly declining to Michael-Bay-ize the action sequences with goofball explosions and kung-fu battles, and not glossing over the brutality or the mission’s mistakes (God, what a screw-up to crash that helicopter!), it was ingenious. For however long it lasted, you felt exactly how long 14 or 15 minutes can be, with so much on the line, crowds beginning to form, Pakistani jets on the way. Read the rest of this entry »

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Democrats Largely Disappointed With Obama’s Afghanistan Announcement

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 23, 2011

By Amanda Terkel

WASHINGTON — Democratic lawmakers who have been pressing for a sizable and significant withdrawal of U.S. troops

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

from Afghanistan almost universally expressed disappointment with President Barack Obama’s speech on Wednesday night.

The president told the nation in a prime time address that 10,000 U.S. troops will be leaving the war by the end of 2011, with another 23,000 coming out by autumn of 2012. The drawdown will fully remove the troops that went in as part of the “surge” that Obama announced in his 2009 speech at West Point. Approximately 68,000 troops will still be fighting in the war.

Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) told reporters on Tuesday that the president needed to put forward, at a minimum, an initial withdrawal of 15,000 troops — a number that Obama fell short of — to meet his promise of a “significant” drawdown.

“The president’s decision represents a positive development, although in my view the conditions on the ground justify an even larger drawdown of U.S. troops this year than the president announced tonight,” he said in a statement after the speech. “I will continue to advocate for an accelerated drawdown in the months ahead, and for enhanced training and partnering with Afghan forces, because only they can provide durable security for their nation.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has been a vocal supporter of a robust withdrawal, also said president’s announcement was not what she had been hoping for. “It has been the hope of many in Congress and across the country that the full drawdown of U.S. forces would happen sooner than the President laid out — and we will continue to press for a better outcome,” she said.

“[W]e’ll have twice as many combat troops in Afghanistan at the end of his term than we did at the beginning. We should instead have a path to bring those troops home,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). Merkley, along with Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), was one of the authors of a letter calling for a “sizable and sustained reduction” of military forces in Afghanistan, which garnered the support of 27 senators. Merkley said he would consider an initial reduction of 15,000 to 20,000 troops to be sizable. Read the rest of this entry »

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