While the U.S. media concentrated on the campaign, President Obama went on fundraisers, one of them at George Clooney's residence in California that raised $15 Million for the President, Afghanistan continues to be a volatile place.
Meanwhile Greece is still struggling with forming a government, France has a new President, which has promised growth rather than austerity measures. The UK had a 24 hour public sector strike, protesting David Cameron's austerity measures, which involve raising the pension age and asking that public sector employees to contribute more to their pensions.
The U.S. is approaching a $16 Trillion deficit, the economy is sluggish at best and millions of Americans remain unemployed. The election campaign has turned to name calling, digging up dirt on irrelevant events that happened in the 60s.
This week President Obama announced that he was in favour of gay marriage, a position he has flip flopped on several times, dating back to at least 1996.
1996 - To the Chicago LBGT newspaper - "I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”
2004 - "I don't think Marriage is a Civil Right" - See Video
2008 - At Saddleback Church he said hat he believed marriage is a union of one man and one woman.
2012 - He says in an interview with ABC that he personally supports gay marriage, but would leave it to states to decide.
“At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said in an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts.
The announcement came on the heels of North Carolina's electorate voting with 60% against gay marriage.
Vladimir Putin is once again the Captain of the ship in Russia and has scuttled his invitation to attend the G8 Summit in Camp David, stating that he had to work on selecting his Cabinet. There is widespread belief though, that Putin is skipping the summit to protest NATO's intention to instal the missile defence stystem. Russia's Foreign Minister has said that the Russia would station rockets close to the Polish border and if necessary destroy the infrastructure of the missile defense system.
There are less than six months before the U.S. election. Many issues need to be resolved, including the future of Europe, Afghanistan and the U.S. and global economy. Iran, North Korea, Syria and the Palestinian/Israel issues are still very much unsolved. Meanwhile the pettiness in the U.S. election campaign continues, without the most important global and domestic issues being addressed. Instead social issues seem to be front and centre, issues that should have or have been resolved decades ago. Instead both sides try to get votes with soundbytes.
While soldiers continue to die and are burdened with disabilities, neither side is engaging in a serious debate about the future of America. It's time to let the rubber hit the road, get into the serious issues, present a vision for the future of America and the world. Take a moment this week to think about the men and women who are still fighting a nasty battle in Afghanistan. They deserve our support, Lest We Forget.
Roll of Casualties
Below are this week’s updated DoD casualty figures:
Op Enduring Freedom Total Deaths KIA Non Hostile WIA
Afghanistan Only 1845 1529 316 15858
Other Locations 111 12 99
DoD Civ Casualties 3 1 2
Worldwide Total 1959 1542 417 15858
Accumulated 2012 Casualties:
KIA Non Combat Deaths WIA
77 48 680