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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, December 07, 2009

Jack Wagner Disagrees With Obama's Afghanistan Surge

Auditor General Jack Wagner, running for the Democratic nomination in the Pennsylvania Governor's race, told a Camp Hill crowd on Saturday night that he opposes President Obama’s recent decision to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Wagner is a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran of the Vietnam War.

“I disagree with the President's decision to substantially expand the number of American military personnel in Afghanistan. The previous administration squandered numerous opportunities in Afghanistan, but those mistakes should not be compounded by another.”

Wagner is also concerned about the war’s horrific impact on U.S. soldiers and their families, noting that more than 5,100 military personnel have been killed and more than 32,000 wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I fear that this is another mistake that will fall most heavily on the soldiers and their families who will bear the burden of this dangerous deployment,” said Wagner. “No matter where you stand on the political aspects of the war, we must keep our troops and military families in our thoughts and prayers for their ultimate sacrifice in protecting our freedom.”

I disagree with Wagner, but am gratified to see a candidate willing to take a position and lead from the front. Wagner may be running for a state office, but is willing to risk losing a few votes by saying what he thinks.

John Callahan, who is running for Congress, is still hiding in his city hall office, trying to figure out which way the wind is blowing.


Anonymous said...

Callahan is to smart to be baited. This is a decision Dent must face or he can resign.

Anonymous said...

Jack is a smart man. When we don't have money to save our own lives, environment, food, and health here in the US we shouldn't be borrowing money for bombs.

Many people can't even afford needed medicine right now. The debt balloons. But we have $30 billion for a troop surge?

Anonymous said...

jack should run for congress. seeing as he holds a state row office and is running for governor, I'm more interested in hearing what HE will do for PA's budget. Let the federal candidates focus on the federal stuff.

all this really appears to be is an attempt to show progressives in se pa that he is one of them: in other words, he recognizes he's going to get smashed by a se pa progressive in the primary.

Anonymous said...

What Democrat votes is Wagner going to lose?

You just love making this stuff up, don't you?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wagner is running hard and I like much of his message. His speech against an Afghanistan surge was delivered in Camp Hill, not Philly. I disagree with him, but respect any leader who is actually willing to take a tand on a controversial issue. And to the anon who said let the deferal candidates deal with the federal stuff, issues like this tend to have a direct impact on Pennsylvania and its governor. Ask the nat'l guard.

Anonymous said...

Good for him. Dems voted for Obama because we wanted a reversal of Republican policies...our healthcare, environment, education, everything is the worst in the industrialized world and like 8:36 we keep borrowing money for bombs while veterans and their families suffer and nothing gets accomplished. No draft, no paying for what we're doing, no sacrifice...this is an easy war...Let's impose a war tax and actually pay for the damage we're doing and see how everyone feels about a surge. Meddling in other countries civil wars, elections, etc...is why he have terrorism against us. Let's get out. Isolationism all the way I say....fix your own house before you attempt to fix someone else's

rylock. said...

So you approve of Dent's position that he approves of the war, but doesn't approve of the July 2011 "timeline?" Even though it's been beaten to death that the July 2011 date is simply for consideration of whether or not to start removing troops and how quickly based on conditions on the ground?

It sounds like Dent is using the exact same talking point as all other Republicans. They support the war, but need something to complain about.

That doesn't like taking an individual stand on a controversial issue. That sounds like falling in line with your party.

And I know that the argument isn't necessarily fair, because Dent may actually believe the bullshit he's spouting. Although, I don't see how that's possible, unless you're an idiot -- which I don't think Dent is.

How about taking a stand on a controversial issue? Ask your representative, if he's in such support of this war, but is also so concerned about the deficit, how does he plan to pay for it?

Bernie O'Hare said...


I'm w/ Obama on this one. Initially, I was a little concerned about the timeline, but that was explained to my satisfaction.

The world is a scary place, and our absence creates a power vacuum inviting India to use Afghanistan as a launching pad in its continuing conflict w/ Pakistan. Since both of these countries are nuclear capable, we must take all measures possible to prevent that kind of conflagration.

I'd agree that the days of sacrifice free war need to end and we should be taxed for this military surge.

Congressman Dent has taken a stand on this and many other issues. I'm sure he has an answer to your question about how we pay for it. Like Jack Wagner, he's not the person ducking issues.

rylock. said...

I'd agree that the days of sacrifice free war need to end and we should be taxed for this military surge.

Congressman Dent has taken a stand on this and many other issues. I'm sure he has an answer to your question about how we pay for it.

Sounds good! I disagree with the surge in Afghanistan, but I understand why the decision was made.

If you can get an answer from Dent on how to pay for this war (since you're sure that he has an answer for it), please let me know!

Maybe I'll even call him now.

rylock. said...

So I just called and said, "I know that Congressman Dent is supportive of the surge in Afghanistan, and I also know that he says he's deeply concerned about the debt and the deficit, so what is his plan to pay for the war in Afghanistan?"

His staffer (Michael, I think) said, "Uhh. Hmm. That's a really good question. I haven't gotten a chance to speak with the congressman about that particular issue, but if I can have your address, we'll try and get you an answer on that."

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear what this guy thinks about PA issues, as he purports to running for governor.

His thoughts on the war mean nothing to me. Were he to declare for Congress or Senate or POTUS, they would.

He doesn't seem too sharp.

Anonymous said...


I thought the surge failed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Ryloc, I am sure you will get an answer. It may not be what you want to hear, but it will be an answer. Dent conducts numerous town halls in which all kinds of hard questions are asked and answered. If he has an event anytime soon (as he did on Friday), I will try to get an answer myself.

Anonymous said...

Rylock, you will get an answer. He suggests we sell air to Maratians. They need air and we have plenty of it.

The Republicans refuse to dicuss any other deficit reduction plans until the sale of cheap and plentiful air to Maratians is addressed!

rylock. said...

Ryloc, I am sure you will get an answer. It may not be what you want to hear, but it will be an answer.

I'm looking forward to this.

The only way that he can not be a hypocrite is if he proposes some method to make the surge deficit-neutral without raising any taxes.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Ryloc, I disagree w/ that conclusion. Nat'l Defense and health care reform are completely different. As important as that issue may be, it necessarily plays second fiddle to our security. But I'll be interested to know Congressman Dent's views on the matter.

rylock. said...

Ryloc, I disagree w/ that conclusion.

But I mentioned nothing about health care reform. I'm just speaking of Dent's three general philosophies.

1) The debt and deficit need to be reduced.
2) We cannot raise taxes on anybody.
3) We should fund our troops in Afghanistan, so they have the resources they need to win.

I'm interested to see how he pulls off all three of those with regards to this troop increase.

He's going to need to propose to cut something.

Anonymous said...

Dent can't answer that Rylock but he can get you that blue suit in a 40 regular for 30% off.