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March 27, 2009

Friday's "Question of the Day"

Posted: 06:40 PM ET

Tonight, President Obama says he'll order 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan, in addition to the 17,000 additional combat troops he authorized last month.  Is this enough for victory there?  Too little?  Will the conduct of this war haunt the Obama administration?  We want to hear from you!

The Question of the Day is:

"WILL AFGHANISTAN BECOME PRESIDENT OBAMA'S VIETNAM?"

Sound off by CLICKING HERE!

Also tonight:  Will President Obama make history and legalize the use of marijuana?  Not if opponents can help it!  Montel Williams, Stephen Baldwin and other debate the issue tonight on the program.

But up first on the program, floods threaten Fargo.  People prepare for the worst! The latest from North Dakota with families whose homes are at risk!

It's all tonight on "Larry King Live," as Tavis Smiley sits-in for Larry as guest host.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Larry King Live • Question of the Day


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Frank in OC   March 27th, 2009 6:47 pm ET

President OBAMA say it isn't so!!

Let's concentrate on the ECONOMY. We cannot afford another war, or to give Afghanistan $25 Billion over years. Last time I looked the 911 terror, they were Saudi Nationals.


John   March 27th, 2009 6:48 pm ET

The only reason to be in Afghanistan is to find Bin Laden...... all the rest is a waste of time, effort, and money........ if terrorist camps get set up...... bomb them...... Afghanistan would not respond......enough already........ the USA is broke and cannot afford adventurism....... John


Rose KC,MO   March 27th, 2009 6:53 pm ET

No. Diplomacy should be tried first and showing mutual respect and concern goes a long way. I trust President Obama he is intelligent and sincere and that shows. The other countries see his concern for the US and they realize he's not Bush and is not trying to BULLY anyone. Also letting them know all the same he will not hesitate to protect us. I am extremly proud of our new President. And proud to be american.


evan   March 27th, 2009 7:18 pm ET

please bring the troops home..wars are costing 90 billion dollars a month ! thanks to GWBush who began this mess !...& how many lives lost now? 44oo ?


Valerie   March 27th, 2009 7:24 pm ET

John you said it all. I agree


Michael C. McHugh   March 27th, 2009 8:36 pm ET

Afghanistan won't become Obama's Vietnam, if he has learned anything from history. He should keep a picture of LBJ close at hand, to remind himself every day what happened to the Great Society by 1968. These reform eras only come around every 30-40 years, and we don't dare waste this opportunity in our generation. We won't have another one. If Obama is not derailed by a major disaster overseas, then our reform era should last 8-12 years.

This means using only as much military power as necessary, and heavily emphasizing social and economic development at the grassroots level. We should not fight their war for them or imagine that we can come in there as outsiders and remake their country for them. That just won't wash, no matter if you're talking about Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran or Mexico. We can assist them, and we should do more to reform international institutions so they are more "user-friendly" for developing countries. I hope we don't waste the chance at the upcoming G-20 summit to at least get started on that.

In the final analysis, though, it's their country and only they will be able to determine its future in any meaningful way.


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 8:38 pm ET

No more war! Too many innocent lives, money and energy going to waste. If the CIA finds Bin Laden or his gang, then get rid of them. We need to turn the focus back on our country. Work with NATO. That is what it was intended for.


Mari, Utah   March 27th, 2009 8:51 pm ET

No....... its not President Obama's Vietnam ....... its Bush's Vietnam.

The president who started the war, must take full responsibility!

@ John....... Well said, sir!


Anthony   March 27th, 2009 9:02 pm ET

My question for the guests is this: Why do we continue to keep marijuana illegal, while more dangerous drugs like alcohol and cigarettes are openly bought and sold? Couldn't legalizing marijuana prevent illegal fertilizers and pesticides from finding their way into the bud? Couldn't taxing it provide a huge stream of revenue for the United States and end the Mexican drug cartel's major money source?


jack   March 27th, 2009 9:08 pm ET

Huge waste of money and lives. History tells us this will simply continue to be a quagmire, sucking in more lives and money . Concentrate on carefully pulling out, and look for precision opportunities to find the opposition leaders


James from TN   March 27th, 2009 9:09 pm ET

Good Evening Tavis,

We should've been in Afganistan all along. Why is it that we've spent so much time in Iraq and let Afgan get out of hand? Why have we not found Bin Laden?

To the town of Fargo, we pray for your safetyu and recovory.


joanne osinkowski ontario canada   March 27th, 2009 9:12 pm ET

YES,YES,YES, Marijuana should be legalized. Alcohol is much more dangerous than weed and weed has pain control benefits for many life threatening illnesses oppose to alcohol. When was the last time you heard of someone killing another human being because they were on marijuana. Alcohol should be banned and made illegal not cannibus.


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

Legalize, Tax and treat Cannabis with the same restrictions we do with alcohol.


James from TN   March 27th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

Legalizing marijuana would only make it worse becausethen our goverment woould have control of it. The problem is supply and demand as more people are using the drug more supply will be neccesary. We should place troops on our border and stop the flow and until we do it will be a problem.


jack   March 27th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

The people of Fargo are a hardy lot who really do work together and help their neighbors. My prayers go out to your people and I commend the wonderful spirit of cooperation which energizes your hard work.


Paul Greenberg   March 27th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

With all the insightful, informed individuals who could provide perspective on Afghanistan, why on earth would the Larry King Show book comedian Gary Shandling to speak on such an important issue? I'm very disappointed in the producers. I've watched this show forever, and I've never seen anything like this.


Victoria   March 27th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

I have been put on All Pain Meds. from my doctors, THEY DONT WORK. I started useing Cannabis for my Pain Med. And IT WORKS.I wile useing it Have A Qulity Of Life. I cant understand why No One Understands , ITS A MED. It WORKS.And Wile Useing Cannabis As My Pain Med. I never Once Wanted to use Stronger Drugs, And I never Wanted To Break the Law Wile Useing Cannabis As My Pain Med. Thanks , Victoria...


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

Iraq war is a failure. Al we succeeded to do was kill many innocent people. Bush, Cheney who is CEO of Halliburton made Billions... well more likely TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM THE IRAQ WAR!


George   March 27th, 2009 9:20 pm ET

War is not an answer, it will ruin our economy even more and more people will die to accomplish nothing.


jack   March 27th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

It makes no sense not to legalize the harmless herb, marijuana. There has never been a reported death from the use of cannabis. What big-pharmn drug can make this claim? It would not only be a safe medicine for a wide variety of ailments, but would stop the large amount of gang violence virtually overnight, were it to be legalized. Also, think of all the jail cells freed up, and the many law enforcement people who could be free to pursue real crime...violent crime .


Taylor   March 27th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

marijuana is a safe drug and harmless. There has not been any known death. Only alcohol and cigs have caused death or cancer, not marijuana. Marijuana is a healing plant that helps people with Aids/Hivs, sleep apnea, glaucoma and more. Scientists have already done research on marijuana..why is Congress and other politicians are not taking this issue seriously??


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 9:23 pm ET

@ James from TN

I completely disagree with you.

First of all, we can grow marijuana anywhere in California. I can throw a couple of seeds in my backyard tonight and will have several plants growing in a week. We don't need to get it from Mexico

Second.... you STOP the black market exposure by legalizing it.

third: I have never heard of someone loaded on marijuana running around killing people or beating their wives or husbands or kids. Alcohol facilitates that kind of behavior


Joan from Nebraska   March 27th, 2009 9:24 pm ET

None of you seem to REMEMBER that Bush started all this and now Obama is just trying to clean up the messes that he left. Get behind your President!


Ben   March 27th, 2009 9:24 pm ET

As a Canadain I would hope that pres obama will pull em out of iraq and focus in afghanastan and pakistan. It would be a big boost to canadians... afterall this is where the real evil is. Bush never brought the head of Bin-Laden, lets see if pres Obama can get this done.


jj   March 27th, 2009 9:25 pm ET

Afghanistan is not Vietnam because Vietnam never attacked the US. But we were attacked by people who had free reign in Afghanistan. I think it is high time we focused on the people who attacked us.


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

@ Jack

LOL big-pharmn


soliman   March 27th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

never, you should invade Pakistan, the afghan people have been always been telling the US that Pakistan ISI intelligence agency were behind taliban and still are. The warning has been way before 9/11 people like Gen. Massoud who before his death 2 days before 9/11 warn Pres. Bush
about the threat of bin laden. Nobody listens to the afghans, as afghan american this is good war and needs more resources to stablize the the area


Joan from TN   March 27th, 2009 9:27 pm ET

What's up with Tavis Smiley? His speech is so garbled, it is very hard to understand him.


jack   March 27th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

yes, Joan, bush and his gang set this country back in almost every way one can think...how refreshing it is to wake up, and not see his smirking, devious mug on our TVs


Claudio Dealmeida   March 27th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

I am so sorry about it that I could give my life for it. The evidences that AFGHANISTAN BECOME PRESIDENT OBAMA’S VIETNAM comes first by the fact that Russia left there with no more no less their empty hands after 30 years of occupation and many thousands of dead soldier left on Afghanistan land. In those days Americans support Afghans so now it will be the time Russia will give its support to them against us.


Ben (Toronto)   March 27th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Whats the point of having a law where the public wishes not to have it illegal...there is much more benifits for its use than smoking it. Fer one will cut down alot less trees!!! And in my opinion those man made chemical drugs is what you need to stay away from....and booze..yeah really isnt good for you either...infact can do worse damage to you in the long run.....


Charles Schuster   March 27th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Obama's Vietnam? I personally think he has more focus and perspective than to let that happen. I mean, the only thing Obama and Lyndon Johnson have in common is the democratic affiliation.


Deborah from Blue Springs, MO   March 27th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Montel,
You have a prominent enough voice to mobilize every supporter of marijuana together. Do you believe legalizing cannabis will improve our economy, unemployment, criminal justice system, and border violence?


miguel   March 27th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

It always amazes me when i listen to some of your guests and reporters who seem to believe that they have all the right answers to the myriad of problems facing the country.If they are so smart,why don't they run for office,get elected and solve the problems ?Your guests tonight are a case in point.


911TruthGuy   March 27th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

The plans to invade Afghanistan were sitting on George W. Bush's desk the day before 9/11. We had two aircraft carriers off the coast of Pakistan in the Arabian Sea before 9/11. Just days before 9/11 ISI Chief Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmad had $100,000 wired to 'alleged' lead 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta here in the US. On the morning of 9/11 Mahmoud Ahmad was meeting in Washington DC with the heads of Senate Intelligence Sen. Bob Graham and House Intelligence Head Porter Goss. Do your own research because you know CNN isn't going to do it for you. (I doubt that they will allow this comment past the moderator.) 9/11 was an inside job!


jack   March 27th, 2009 9:30 pm ET

but I welcome Cheney and Rush and Palin to speak out often, because the more people listen to their humbuggery, the more they should become aware of how they should never let them have power over us.


James   March 27th, 2009 9:31 pm ET

We need to find Bin Laden and kill him before he becomes another Sodam Whosane


Ian MacGregor   March 27th, 2009 9:31 pm ET

It will be Obama's Vietnam, ( like Russia's Afghanistan ) if the administration deludes itself into believing there is a military solution to the problem. No outside nation will ever "win" in Afghanistan; none ever has.


Roger   March 27th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

It's the taxpayers Vietnam.


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 9:33 pm ET

@ jack

I completely agree. If I see Bush, Rove or Cheney on the TV, I turn the channel! I have had enough of all three of them.

I had enough of all three of them in the 2004/2005 elections


Judith   March 27th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

Although I didn't vote for Carter and didn't care for him as a President he does know more about these Countries then most who call themselves 'the know it alls'.
On the Rachel Maddow Show a person close to Carter and knows the Countries has stated that our Country chose to go to Nam and Iraq where President Obama didn't choose Afghanistan,but this is where the 911 terrorists were from.
Many have stated that before that Bush wanted to go after the ones from 911 why did he pick Iraq when they had nothing to do with it.Why
was Halliburton who Cheney was a CEO before a VP was the only ones that could get the job and no bids were taken by others?Now they have to re-do the electrical at the showers because some of the troops have been getting shocks or electrocuted because it was half butt done.


Andrew Jake Mladinich III   March 27th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

It is a meat grinder that the Russians and the French before them found out. The problem is there is vast oil, unmined copper riches (bigger than the cali gold rush) for China and America with the Opium trade. Sounds like America written all over it.
This war is no more winable than the mexican border war on drugs and guns.


jack   March 27th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

Dodie that was a typo...see you are afraid to weigh in on the issue itself, so you take pot shots at a one letter error in spelling


darryl   March 27th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

If the rest of the international world not going to put in a strong effort to help in Afganastan and Pakastan than we should pull out and put our effort in to protecting our borders nation and build our national security to stop any attacks right here and spend the money right here. We will never win the fight there so we need to just try to protect our self right here spend the money here.


Nathan   March 27th, 2009 9:34 pm ET

With me being a Navy veteran, I think we should whatever it takes to get Bin Laden and bring our troops home. We are over there for a reason and that is to eliminate the terrorist threat.


Jim   March 27th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

I think we're using a lot of resources to chase a "ghost" (Bin Laden).


Andrew Jake Mladinich III   March 27th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

ps...Steven Balwin swore he was leaving the country if Obama won. Would you drive him to the airport, please!


matt   March 27th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

RESIST_ THE _NEW _WORLD _ORDER


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

@ jack

I was not laughing at your typo... I was laughing WITH you calling the pharms what they are....


jack   March 27th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

Dodie, sorry, I see you did weigh in on issues, and quite well at that.


mish   March 27th, 2009 9:38 pm ET

I have a different opinion about Iraq and Afghanistan
How about getting off their soil, maybe just maybe they will settle down! Billions are being spent on War and killing people ,a lot of them innocent people and noble troops ,also the troops are completely burnt out from continued deployments for 8 years
Why not end this Kaos and spend * that money* on the economy and more IMPORTANTLY beefing up the *borders and ports and subways and airports* and *better screening* on who comes into the country and watching suspicious characters who are already here!!
the mess over there is unwinnable in my opinion


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

Jack...

I don't pick on people's typos of spelling... as I would have to start with myself first. I just enjoyed what you said about the Pharms... No need to apologize here.


jack   March 27th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

Yes, it is the pharms propaganda that helps keep the "war" against herbs and vitamins going. It would be a shame if people used safe herbal medicines rather than the poisons that they push, which kill many thousands each year.


Michael Castro   March 27th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

Marijuana is not your average pain med. Legalizing it will do the same good legalizing alcohol did. And let's not forget there are other drugs out there, should cocaine, heroin, crack etc. be legalized too?


matt   March 27th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

Medicine, Fuel, Food, Textile. This plant WILL heal the planet


Tyler   March 27th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

Legalize It! The money will go to the government instead of the criminals


BrianR   March 27th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

Marijuana should be legalized, it is amazing


Vietnam Vet   March 27th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

The word "Advisor" concerns me, just as the "Establishment" of an Afghani Military and among whom? Which Tribes? And if Bin Laden has been so successful in eluding our attempts to capture or kill him thus far, it makes one wonder at what cost yet to come? Another twenty year "Police Action?" Or have we learned our lesson, and not be so hesitent to act the next time we have him in our sights.

I hope Afghanistan does not be the Quagmire of the 2000's like Vietnam did in the 60's and 70's. We need our troops home, out of Germany, England, Iraq, and then maybe we can justify more military response, but stretched as thin as we are, spending money we don't have, trying to get revenge in the guise of justice, and yet our homeless population increases, our jobs become scarce and more difficult to find, and our Veterans are treated worse than third class citizens.

When do the Korean and Vietnam Vets get what was promised to them? Oh, I'm sorry, how stupid of me, we arn't in "Vogue" anymore.

Combat Infantry Medic, Republic of Vietnam, 1969-1970


Lisa Garfinkel   March 27th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

THE PROBLEM WITH THE REPUBLICAN IDEAL OF GETTING A LOAN THAT YOU CANNOT DEFAULT ON IS THAT OUR SYSTEM IS NOT SET UP FOR A MIDDLE CLASS OR LOWER FAMILY WITHOUT INSURANCE, ONE ILLNESS AND THEY HAVE NO CHOICE BUT GO BANKRUPT......YOU CANNOT PUT FAMILIES IN THAT POSITION!


matt   March 27th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

How many people have died from marijuana use?
None.


Lisa Walden   March 27th, 2009 9:42 pm ET

This is completely irrelevant to the subject at hand, but I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying Tavis Smiley filling in for Larry. Tavis is an amazing host and extremely likeable. He also allows the guest to make their point without interrupting, unlike some of the other guest hosts.

Just like Larry King, Tavis asks the right questions and I certainly hope that CNN will allow Tavis to guest host more often in Larry's absence. He is one of the few who can properly and professionally fill that chair.


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 9:42 pm ET

I completely agree... Pharms may lose a lot of money if Cannabis is legalized.


soliman   March 27th, 2009 9:43 pm ET

invade pakistan thats it


dohdot   March 27th, 2009 9:43 pm ET

Marijuana's has never killed anyone. There's no reason it should stay illegal when alcohol and tobacco stay legal and completely accessible.


WillD   March 27th, 2009 9:43 pm ET

If Mr. Frum has all the answers, why does he not run for office and correct everything according to him?


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 9:43 pm ET

Yikes... I am glad I live in California. That is pretty scary


Rich   March 27th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

In 2006.....GOP seats in the House and Senate were voted out to end our involvement in the Iraq War!!.

Afghanistan would not be the tinderbox it is today had we cut off the funding for Iraq and withdrawn troops and forced Iraqiis to take responsiblity for their own government and security.

We are now stretched to thin and don't have the forces to fight successfully on both fronts!!.........Time to make a serious draw downs in Iraq and rebolster our military so we can make inroads against those who perpetrated the attack of 9/11.......al-Queda!!


darryl   March 27th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

If we ever going to win than were going to win by keeping them out and protecting our nation on our own ground.


Anthony   March 27th, 2009 9:44 pm ET

Legalize it, tax it, regulate it, and destroy the cartels by doing so.


Toni   March 27th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

Legalizing marijuana is not the answer. Its much bigger than the U.S. It may not be immoral to smoke or harmful to the person smoking but with the law of unintended consequences legalizing it we would be legitimately funding things like the violence on the border or in South America. It has a greater impact beyond our borders.


Judith   March 27th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

I trust President Obama than I ever did Bush.He is out there working while Bush loved going to Camp David all the time.President Obama will take any questions of the media and the people.No matter what anyone says about him he is True President Material because he's calm and will talk about issues.He campaign on what he's doing.He did say before Jan 20 that they know there is a mess but do not know how much.He sure found out.This is a man that had 2 wars thrown at him in his face,the economy etc etc and he does things by being calm.
Guess maybe that's why the GOP Party is the No Party because they are not use to it.
Bottom Line President Obama has no choice but to go into Afghanistan but Bush did have a choice to go into Iraq.Sorry if I'm repeating


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

Montel and Stephen do NOT work in the drug field. I do. They do not know what I know. So why even listen to them. Good Grief


Skyler   March 27th, 2009 9:45 pm ET

Yes! It should be legal, what right does the government have to tell us what natural substances we can and cannot enjoy.


whitney   March 27th, 2009 9:46 pm ET

Marijuana is harmless – what happened to trusting science and not propaganda?


Terri   March 27th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

Legalizing and taxing marijuana increases tax revenue and eliminates destructive illegal market. Let's do it!


Joey, Vegas   March 27th, 2009 9:47 pm ET

Legalizing may revive the economy,maybe its obama's plan.


Needlemyer   March 27th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

Do the names Anslinger, Hearst or DuPont ring a bell to anyone?

Couldn't keep prohibition going so they had to go after cannabis.

HEMP FOR VICTORY!


jack   March 27th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

It is telling how a number of people snickered when the question of legalizing was raised at the news conference. Like Jack Cafferty and many others have pointed out, it would save a huge amount of tax payer money to legalize, both in terms of saving on wasted enforcement efforts and the violence that reults from prohibition, and also the huge wasted taxation opportunity . The snickering was telling because the real fried egg represents the brains that have been wasted by misinformation , rather than the use of a proven harmless herb.


James   March 27th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

Frm Pres. Bush didn"t crash 3 panes. Obama has inherited a mess similar to Vietnam in respect to Americans losing the will to get the job done if it isn't easy. We have the means to do this! Let our men and women in uniform do what they signed up to do. The public and media need to bow out.


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 9:50 pm ET

I want to hear one good argument that Montel and Stephen have for NOT legalizing Cannabis!

I have been in the field since 1980, and to date, I have never heard or seen anyone on cannabis running around killing people or beating people. Alcohol causes that behavior.


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

MONTE! THE SAMPLE IS TOO SMALL FOR IT TO BE EFFECTIVE


Rick   March 27th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

Here in California, the local growers get our money, not the international drug cartels. We're investing in our local communities while cutting out the crime element.


Leslie   March 27th, 2009 9:51 pm ET

Its time these laws became based on scientific fact not on religious right wing propaganda based on ignorance and fear. Free all the good people who are in prisons in the US on pot charges. They are the real victims in this matter. I'm surprised Amnisty Int. hasn't gotten involved


dennis   March 27th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

just legalize it and leave it alone...dont tax it or regulate it...people would grow it so they wouldn't have to pay tax on it anyway...the government taxes us enough...the money they would save in the endless war to stop it alone would be enough...use the law enforcement to make our streets safer from real crime...not a crime against ones self


ravid   March 27th, 2009 9:53 pm ET

yes absolutuely it should be made legal. thirteen states have already decriminalized how long until the rest of us jump on. its not a gateway drug, weak personalitles are the culprate.


Judith   March 27th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

About to Legalize Marijuana yes that will help to bring in more money.
The crooks will get mixed up for awhile,maybe.They might already know what else to do by being 4 steps ahead of the ones trying to get it clean up.


Needlemyer   March 27th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

There is no sound argument for keeping marijuana illegal.

Everyone forgets that alcohol has taken more lives than marijuana ever could.


Marilynne Quick   March 27th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

I believe that marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes and should be dispensed by medical professionals so they can monitor their patients. I see no difference in prescribing marijuana as medicine than prescribing oxicontin or hydrocodone. If marijuana will help relieve patients' suffering then the government should enact laws to legalize marijuana.


Mary Stippert   March 27th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

Marijuana has proven to be effective on glacoma and better then pain medication


blackhippychick   March 27th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

I appreciate the fact that President Obama cares enough about the American people to actually make a real effort to defeat Al Qaeda. This is not going to be Vietnam whether we win or lose because our motives are just. The situation of Al Qaeda has been allowed to fester too long, everyday that Al Qaeda exists means a day that the world sees that we are weak and incapable of protecting our innocents. It encourages people to attack us more. It could even be the reason the drug war has escalated, people believe that there are no Nation States only roving bands of gangs who can terrorize countries if they have the nerve and the resources to terrorize.

President Obama has a demonstrated track record of doing the impossible. I have no doubt that if he's given the support he needs from congress he will succeed in defeating Al Qaeda.


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

Stephen,,., you seem afraid of control, So do the same as Alcohol. Its legal to buy it... NOT make it.

Cannabis make it legal to buy it... NOT grow it.

Very easy


Needlemyer   March 27th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

BALDWIN YOU ARE AN OLD MAN... MARIJUANA IS NOT A GATEWAY DRUG!


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

Mary

Marijuana has proven to be effective on glacoma and sickness from Chemo.

The only reason cannabis leads to harder drugs is because it is Illegal and people go on the BLACK market to purchase it.

If it was legal, no need to get it on the black market... can purchase it at a liquor store


Megan   March 27th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

Obama blew it off yesterday. It's way more important to some than he knows.


MARILYN R.   March 27th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

MAKE IT LEGAL, WHY NOT IT HELPS SOME PEOPLE...


heather   March 27th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

LEGALIZE IT! I smoke daily and would love to feel safe in my own home. I am a law-abiding citizen and don't feel appreciated by my government, it's not fair that we're treated like criminals!


Needlemyer   March 27th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

Baldwin, just because you acted a fool while high, doesn't mean the rest of us do...


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

@ Needlemyer LOL


Melinda   March 27th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

Legalize and tax marijuana, More tax dollars at work...


MARILYN R.   March 27th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

IF IT HELPS PEOPLE WITH SICKNESS THEN GO AHEAD...


Kris   March 27th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

Afghanistan first bacame Soviet Vietnam when Soviet Union tried to put a government of its choice in Afghanistan. American – Bush Administration repeated the same policy that Soviet Union could not succeed. Bush administration – not the people of Afghanistan crowned Hamid Karzai as the President of Afghanistan and hence people of Afghanistan resent the fact that Hamid Karzai repesents United States and is not the representative of people of Afghanistan. It is also known that President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan is the Citizen of the USA and hence people will continue to get rid of the governor who is representing the USA.

If President Obama admisnistration wises up, they should allow the people of Afghanistan elect its own President or Head of the State and the government. If we continue support the President Bushe's crowned Afghanistan President, chances are there that we will be generating another American Vietnam in Afghanistan. Did we learn lesson from the defeat of Soviet Union who lost millions of men and we are repeating the same policy knowingly the defeat of soviets in Afaghanistan.

The world knows that people of Afghanistan never allowed rule by alliens such as Soviets, UK and others.


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

Awe Anderson... why not go across the border?


Aaron King   March 27th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

This is so absolutely ridiculous and so very obvious. We need to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana. America Wants it. You had better listen up Washington. We will do it with or without your help/approval. So I suggest you listen to those of us to elected you into office Mr. President.... Word to the wise, it's time to legalize.


Linda in Arizona   March 27th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

It has been proven without question that marijuana does NOT lead to harder drugs. Hey, Baldwin, I'm betting there was not ONE TIME you ever used marijuana without booze. How about it? You know it's true. You are no one to talk about pot when you were an alcoholic the whole time you smoked. Why don't you stop crusading? You are not the savior of America's youth, and you are woefully ill-informed.


Retired Police Officer   March 27th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

Marijuana should be legalized for medicinal purposes for use by patients with chronic pain. All states in the union should legalize it.


kevin   March 27th, 2009 10:03 pm ET

The fact that the feds are contradicting CA state law is further proof that the Bush administration was a sham in its commitment to conservative ideals. Isn't one of the biggest pillars of the so-called "conservative movement" the desire to let states make their own laws while big federal programs back off and shrink up?


J.J.   March 27th, 2009 10:04 pm ET

FACT: marijuana is a gateway drug because dealers don't always sell JUST marijuana. I'm sure the gov't dispensary wouldn't sell coke out the back door to make more money.


Maxwell   March 27th, 2009 10:04 pm ET

My comment is on medical marijuana. It should not be legalized. Already we are using a cannabinoid (Dronabinol or Marinol) for treatment of severe of patients with chemotherapy -related nausea. Just like cigarettes, smoking marijuana does not only give off cannabis; other toxic sunstances follow it. Moreover, we should be careful what we ask for. Just because morphine and heroin come from opium poppy, and we are using one of those products of opium legally in medicine, don't mean the other has to be legalized. Should we legalize marijuana, no one should be suprised to wake up one day, five or ten years from now, to find that a group ( and their vote pandering political friends) are making a strong case for the legalization of heroin for "pain relief". After all, like morphine, it could make you forget your pain.


MARILYN R.   March 27th, 2009 10:07 pm ET

MARILYN FROM SHREVEPORT,LA.... MAKE IT LEGAL


jack   March 27th, 2009 10:08 pm ET

My thoughts were , that by taxing the substance,it might make it more palatable to lawmakers to change the crazy law. Keep the tax low, sell to adults only, and it will still be so much cheaper and available that the violent drug cartels would not handle it any longer.
As adults, in a free country, why should anyone have right to dictate what plants or food you wish to ingest? Behavior, if it wrongs others, is what should be punished. Seems to me that punishing people for using a harmless herb is very counter productive to a free country.


Needlemyer   March 27th, 2009 10:11 pm ET

They just don't understand how many people use cannabis daily and are able to maintain a responsible and respectful life.

Yet our pill poppin' authority figures can continue to do so while dictating how we should run our own lives.


rick   March 27th, 2009 10:17 pm ET

I have never heard of the guy in for Larry this morning but he is absolutely the most irritating,aggravating person I have ever seen on TV. He does not talk he jabbers, and so fast he must be taking some of the drugs he was supposed to be discussing. Please Larry no more


Chris   March 27th, 2009 10:24 pm ET

Waht is the diffrence in pot for pain managment and to help cancer patients on chemo tohelp them keep weight on and some sort of strength. I am a 15 yr Army vetrian and 100% disabled with several severe orthapedic including 3 ruptured disk in my back and a shoulder with a 95% threw and threw tare of the muscle and tendon that cant be repaired. Ihave had 14 operations both in and out of the Army and was medical Boarded out in 1993 for a job that I loved. Ithen spent 10 years in the civilian world as a Paramedic.
My VA Md's have me on Methadone, Oxycodone, Soma and a few other narcotics (20 meds in all) to manage my pain.
Could we narrow this down to one or two, I like most people my age mid50's tried pot once or twice in my life. I know some vets who use pot and say it controls there pain better than any pill they ever got from th VA and its cheeper they grow their own.


Candice W.   March 27th, 2009 10:36 pm ET

I want to comment on the marijuana issue...I am tortured with marijuana everyday by one of my neighbors...I live in an apartmnet building and the smell comes up my pipes...I have woken up not being able to breathe because my neighbor was smoking marijuana while I was sleeping...I hate the smell...It causes me asthma attacks..and I'm tired of it....I smell it right now...I hate the affects it has on people...Poor judgement and inconsideration to other people...It enrages me...I sympathize with Montel Williams about pain...I go through physical pain from time to time and I understand the desperation...but I'm sorry...anything but marijuana....I see the side effects in my neighborhood everyday..Paranoia...sluggishness...second hand smoke...Why should I get Cancer because someone is smoking marijuana...


Candice W.   March 27th, 2009 10:38 pm ET

Can someone tell me why Gary Shandling was on the show?


Chris   March 27th, 2009 10:40 pm ET

I have spent a total of 2 – 1/2 years in Korea on the DMZ in the earily 80s and the earily 90s and was depolied to a total of 6 Team Sprits. Thats at 6 month at a time including pre deploynebt or advanced party.
The north Koreans do not know how to tell the truth and to me they are a Huge therat to the US and world at large. I been their enough to tell you this if they not if But when Kim ill Jun has a nucular weapon he will use it.


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 10:40 pm ET

@ Candice W. Good question!!!


Candice W.   March 27th, 2009 10:40 pm ET

I am so sick and tired of people calling marijuana "harmless"....You don't know how many asthma attacks I had because of someone smoking marijuana


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 10:43 pm ET

@ Chris

You are absolutely correct!!!

I watch CCTV and I saw a news report on North Korea threatening the US if we stop them from sending up their satellite.

I have a home 155 miles from N. Korea...and I am not happy with that.


Chris   March 27th, 2009 10:49 pm ET

@ Dodie


Chris   March 27th, 2009 10:53 pm ET

I have been 3ft from them remember the war there is not over it still gos on every day with fire fights and things you never hrer about here at home, and my heart goes out to every service member that has ever did a tour of duty on the DMZ.


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 10:56 pm ET

@ Candice W.

I agree with the asthma attacks! But smog, cig smoke, especially cigar smoke, fireplace, BBQ all cause the same problem.

Cigs, Cigar, fireplace and BBQ are not illegal because of this.

I push to legalize it for 2 main reasons.

1. you keep people off the black market where they can get a hold of other drugs being given to them by dealers...

2. you hurt the drug cartel's money pocket

3. We can tax it which would help our economy

we treat cannabis the same as alcohol with the same restrictions


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 11:01 pm ET

@ Chris

Yes, I completely agree with you. There seems to be no news about this on our news media. I learned of this on CCTV... central china TV. My home is in China. I feel OK because I do not think N. Korea would mess with China. Their military has more people than we have in this country. Plus I hear their fighter jets fly over head securing their country... so I feel safe for now.

I am glad you are back here and safe. You must still have nightmares from that experience


Chris   March 27th, 2009 11:07 pm ET

The sham of it all for every service member who has served on the DMZ in Korea that gets wounded or goes above and beyond the call of duty to save a buddies life during a fire fight he is not awarded a Purple Heart or a Bronz Star or any other award for his actions. Why because it's not concidered a combat zone. If there is not apeace tready and you have a DMZ and you are shot at and you shoot back what is it!!!!


jack   March 27th, 2009 11:08 pm ET

The question of public exposure to any combustable substance is a valid , but seperate issue. In my opinion tobacco, a very toxic and addictive substance should not be allowed in places except for private clubs or places where no one is exposed without their consent. The same should apply to marijuana, should it become decriminalized or legalized.
The main thing is to make this harmless, medicinal heb available to those adults who choose to use it . It is strange when the results of the thing being illegal does harm, when the substance itself,(according to many scientific studies) is essentially harmless.
Wouldn't you want jail cells freed up for real , violent criminals and your taxpayer dollars spent on real lawenforcement rather than hassling those who wish to use a medicinal herb? Laws should make sense, rather than be based on long disproved propaganda.


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 11:15 pm ET

Chris... That is very sad. It reminds me of Cambodia. We were not at war there or declared war... so the guys there did not receive the same benefits.


Dodie from Irvine CA   March 27th, 2009 11:16 pm ET

@ Jack

In California, no one can smoke in a public building.


Diane   March 28th, 2009 12:17 am ET

The hipocrasy of how the Marijuanna laws were enacted in the first place on the backs of the poor Mexican Immigrant at the turn of the Century, laws from over l00 years ago. Of course there was no one lobying for it`s use back then, only for Liquor & Tobacco, look how sucessful they were, offering legal poisoned laced products. Make it a different kind of tax grab, a user fee rather than a fine with a criminal record. The Ancient Chinese 3000 years ago recognized Marijuannas medicinal values & prescribed it widly.
I feel sorry for any soldier who wakes up from a legal drunken stuppor & have to fight for his life on the battlefield, especially since it has been proven that booze affects over 80% of the brain & grass only 20%. No wonder many Canadian soldiers who were tested before being deployed to Iraq tested positive for Marijuanna use. Legalize it & tax grab away at least it will be truly sanctioned by the people & put the money to good use – NOT buying assault weapons. Perhaps we should sue the Bush administration for allowing all those semi & aut.matic weapons to be legalised then used against ourselves. Time for new thinking, put the puzzle toghether the right way. Diane


Stacey Raburn   March 28th, 2009 12:36 am ET

President Obama said in his campaign he wanted to pull out of Iraq, and focus on Afghanistan... Why are you people questioning this like you have never heard him say this before? I lost my father in Vietnam. God forbid this should be repeated. However, if this is truly where the culprit of 911 is... Then Yes, we should be there.


justjoe   March 28th, 2009 12:39 am ET

this is not a war it's an overseas conflict


Colin Macleod   March 28th, 2009 12:39 am ET

The legalization of marijuana is the easiest, cheapest, and most effective way to neutralize the violence on the border of El Paso and Juarez, not to mention help pull this country out of the economic crisis. 60% of the money flowing to these cartels is coming from marijuana and the easiest way to bring them down is to cut off the flow of money, the money that is funding the weapons, the corrupt police and the curriers of these drugs. Marijuana and the growing of cannabis have been proven to be less detrimental and more lucrative of an industry in the United States than alcohol. The billions of dollars per year this country could be making/saving from the taxation and redirection of law enforcement should be reason enough to legalize this substance.


bill oreilly   March 28th, 2009 12:40 am ET

marijuana kills, death penalty i say!


bill-o the sad clown   March 28th, 2009 12:43 am ET

marijuana is worse than alcohol and cigarettes


Mary Parker   March 28th, 2009 12:45 am ET

Hi
I enjoyed Tavis Smiley as the host. I am glad to see him get more time on format such as yours. Please have Tavis more when you are out or Ed Gordon from BET.
Thanks
Mary


justjoe   March 28th, 2009 12:45 am ET

I think obama should start taking this conflict with a bit of common sense. We are there to find and kill the people who want to do harm to every American. Te extra 4,000 is not going to do anything and trying to bribe Pakistan with 6.9 billion isn't going to make them like us any more.


justjoe   March 28th, 2009 12:50 am ET

Pot is the last thing we should be worried about. They are just trying to distract you. Stay focused on what is really going on. We are losing all our rights as Americans first by that sorry excuse for a President Bush and now by the worst president ever elected to office obama.


Sean   March 28th, 2009 12:51 am ET

Why not make a legal prescription drug from marijuana like we do with everything else?


Robert   March 28th, 2009 12:52 am ET

Marijuana will be the end of this country. What we need is to bring back prohibition, I swear it will work this time. All these pain killers are making this a country full of pansies who need to take 1847593 Tylenol just to remove a splinter. Marijuana will just decrease any motivation and with the shape our nation is in we need all the motivation we can get. XXX


Elizabeth   March 28th, 2009 12:52 am ET

Why not, he smoked, we smoke


Diana   March 28th, 2009 12:54 am ET

Yes it should be legalized because it helps people who suffer with chronic pain. Alcohol should be ill-legalized and marij. should be legal. We would probably see less abuse of families if marij. were legal and alcohol done away with for good. I lived with an alcoholic who made my life a living hell because of it.


Elizabeth   March 28th, 2009 12:54 am ET

They will never leagalize it. The feds would lose too many jobs.


justjoe   March 28th, 2009 12:58 am ET

Pot should be legalized.


Andy   March 28th, 2009 12:59 am ET

I don't see why the government doesn't regulate the sale of marijuana as it does tobacco and alcohol. Tobacco and alcohol are sold in every corner store in almost every state, and there are still millions of people that neither drink nor smoke. Just because it's legal doesn't make it right, nor does it make it mandatory.


Michelle   March 28th, 2009 12:59 am ET

Marijuana should be legalized. It's non-addictive, unlike alcohol, cigs, & caffeine (all 3 legal and 2 are know carcinogens), aids in pain relief, & inhibits cancer growth! We load patients up with Vicodin, which is highly addictive, but we can't use a safe drug like marijuana!? Wake up, people!


justjoe   March 28th, 2009 12:59 am ET

Stop convicting people of somthing before they do something wrong


Gary   March 28th, 2009 1:00 am ET

I have not seen what in my mind the most important issue addressed. What does the Afghani people want us to do?? There should be a vote among the Afghani people (just like the celebrated 'blue finger' one) on whether we should go now or stay and try to make their country a safer place. We went in and messed up their country! Maybe we went in with the best of intentions but at this point, we are responsible for them. Since we messed up their country, we have the responsibility to stay until they no longer feel they need us ... and the moral obligation to go if that is what they desire.


Elizabeth   March 28th, 2009 1:01 am ET

Because Baldwin in an addict and apparently an idiot, does not make a case aganist the legalization of marijuana


AJ   March 28th, 2009 1:08 am ET

Marijuana is no worse than alcohol or tobacco, and they are legal.
Fact – Tobacco causes lung cancer due to the tar, no one has ever developed lung cancer from marijuana.
Fact – Alcohol causes many health problems it affects your kidneys, and liver just to name a few, no one has ever developed health problems from marijuana. As a matter of fact it can be used to treat many ailments including Alzheimer’s.


Elizabeth   March 28th, 2009 1:08 am ET

Justjoe, on the best I've read. You summed it up precisely.


Elizabeth   March 28th, 2009 1:12 am ET

Robert,
Crack, cocaine, heroin are the killers of society, not the pot smokers. Ergo, our present President was a smoker and didn't do too bad for himself.


Tammy   March 28th, 2009 1:12 am ET

Baldwin was always too loaded on real drugs, and alcohol to even know the affects of marijuana. dah... What an ass he is making of himself to the millions of americans who only smoke marijauana,and dont use pills and alcohol, who do know the affects of cannabis,are daily users, and are wonderful honest people. Cant say that about drunks and druggies can ya?


Will   March 28th, 2009 1:15 am ET

LEGALIZE MARIJUANA!!!!!!!!!
THINK ABOUT HEMP!
I'M SERIOUS HEMP PRODUCTS INCLUDE OIL, TEXTILES, PUBLISHING,, NUTRITION FOR THE WORLD OVER, BUILDING PRODUCTS, AND LOADS MORE FORMS OF GREEN PRODUCTION!
HEMP CAN SOLVE WORLD PROBLEMS!
CHINA DOES NOT NEED MORE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS!
MEXICO DOES NOT NEED TO BE SO IMPOVERISHED AND DANGEROUS!
AND THE UNITED STATES DOES NOT NEED TO BE WORRIED ABOUT IT'S FINANCIAL, POLITICAL AND MILITARY FUTURE AMONGST WORLD ALLIES!
WE CAN DO SO MUCH WITH BOTH MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND HEMP PRODUCTION!
WE CAN DO SO MUCH WITH HEMP!
PLEASE CNN DON'T LET UP!
HEMP CAN DO AMAZING THINGS AND SO CAN MARIJUANA!
IT'S UP TO RESPONSIBLE JOURNALIST TO GIVE AN EVERY DAY AMERICAN A PROPER REFLECTION OF THEIR SOCIETY!
AND WHAT SERVICE THAT IS!
DO THE RIGHT THING!
MAKE HEMP, NOT MARIJUANA THE STORY!
REMEMBER WHAT I'VE MENTIONED ABOVE!
THOSE AREAS ARE KEY AND HAVE SIGNIFICANT POSITIVE GLOBAL IMPACT!
PLEASE, THIS IS IMPORTANT!
SOMEBODY DO THE RIGHT THING!


Will   March 28th, 2009 1:16 am ET

PLEASE TALK ABOUT HEMP!


Will   March 28th, 2009 1:18 am ET

PLEASE TALK ABOUT HEMP AND HOW IT CAN SAVE ARE ECONOMY AND OUR COUNTRY IN GENERAL!


Gary   March 28th, 2009 1:18 am ET

Marijuana is a 'gateway' drug. But that's only because it's illegal .. therefore, to get it you go to the same people that have the other stuff and are tempted a lot more. Make it legal and it would no longer be a "gateway' drug. Just like they blame the violence in Mexico on drugs .. but it's really caused by the war on drugs. The cartels aren't buying the guns to kill the people that's doing the drugs but to kill the people that's trying to stop them! There has always been drugs flowing through Mexico and the violence has escalated exactly in time with the escalation on the war on drugs. I don't know why anyone should be surprized about the violence .. we've been fighting a "WAR" for 40 years .. wars always involve violence .. the war is creating the violence ... wars always create violence. Stop all wars .. including the war on drugs!


Gary   March 28th, 2009 1:19 am ET

Also .. about blaming the guns going to Mexico from .. supposedly from the US .. maybe ... but the drug cartels bought submarines from USSR and could have easily have bought them full of guns while they were at it. The cartels are very active on the international markets and would have easy access to guns .. it's not like Mexico has ANY KIND of border control to stop them! (;


Gloria   March 28th, 2009 1:24 am ET

As a cancer survivor whose treatment involved surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, insertion of a mediport in my body, and prescription drugs, I definitely support the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The benefits obtained from marijuana while undergoing the above regimen can't be overstated. Not only did it bring alleviation from pain that was present all over my body in various degrees and areas, but it also helped me emotionally by elevating my mood to a place of relaxation and light heartedness. It also helped to curb my frequent nausea (non of the prescription medications that where prescribed for nausea worked) while undergoing chemotherapy and increased my appetite which was important because I needed all my strength to fight the cancer that had infiltrated my body. I am now a 6 year cancer survivor. I didn't smoke marijuana before I was diagnosed with cancer and I'm not addicted to it now. I think marijuana can play an important role in alleviating physical pain and the emotional stress caused by physical pain.


kuttmann1   March 28th, 2009 1:30 am ET

No this is a war like the war in Germany where we are stopping yhe insanity of an enemeythat's hell bent of total destrution of the U.S.A.


Tammy   March 28th, 2009 1:34 am ET

I wonder how many government workers would be fired tomorrow if they were made to take a drug test. Oh yah, I forgot being a past employee and knowing people who work for the government right now, they dont do drug testing. Who knows what drugs our government workers are under including everyone from teachers to our presedent. Makes ya wonder .


Colin Macleod   March 28th, 2009 1:37 am ET

no way, marijuana destroys lives, i mean there is no way someone can smoke pot and become president of the united states, or win 14 gold medals, win the nobel piece prize (Al Gore), be a supreme court justice (Clarence Thomas), become a billionaire and own your own airline, phone service and chain of islands (Richard Branson), everyone who opposes the legalization of marijuana have convinced me that marijuana destroys lives and none of these things are possible if you use marijuana.


kuttmann1   March 28th, 2009 1:45 am ET

Buy the way on marijuana it should be legalize for the sick and in time it will as accepted as beer is accepted as a source of after work chill out time


noworriez   March 28th, 2009 2:06 am ET

REFORM EDUCATION!


noworriez   March 28th, 2009 2:07 am ET

We are spending way to much time focusing on legalization of marijuana lets focus on education PLEASE! Then you can smoke a joint you pot heads


noworriez   March 28th, 2009 2:09 am ET

Don't get side tracked people you can smoke pot on your own time why is it such a big issue you know your going to do it anyway what about edubacation?


noworriez   March 28th, 2009 2:10 am ET

Education sollutions anyone? anyone? Its a set up and your high azes are falling for the oky doke stay focused.


noworriez   March 28th, 2009 2:13 am ET

Education is important Obama has so much on his plate the least of his worries is the legalization of marijuana, I can't believe that we are still talkin about this. Theres health care and energy and keepin peace and restoring our reputation as a nation. Come on people you have to represent. Let legalization of marijuana be on your agenda not his are you kidding me or what


Stacey Raburn   March 28th, 2009 2:14 am ET

At any time One fires a gun in self -defense... by order of Our Commander in Chief, it is War.


Berhanu   March 28th, 2009 2:35 am ET

It's hard to believe after six plus years we are still dealing with this...I have four deployments thus far and I must that I am tired, my family is tired...now we have to go to AFGHANISTAN for who knows how long...the troops, DA and DOD's civilians are burnt out we can not support this war...Bush screwed us by coming into Iraq...We should have gone to AFGHANISTAN in the first place and dealt with the people that were responsible for the 911 attacks...We have wasted so much money in Iraq it blows the mind and what have we gained from invading Iraq...NOTHING!!!!!
I have served this country since I was 17 and I have done what was asked of because I believed in the end goal...but I have to say that I no longer have that sentiment...I have lost faith...lost faith in all politicians...lost faith in our ability to do the right thing for our country...lost faith in gerneral...

Berhanu
currently serving in Iraq...4th tour


Tammy   March 28th, 2009 2:38 am ET

I have medical conditions that marijuanna eases the negative debilitating symptons. I can pop a few pills legally, drink a few beers,legally, so why cant I use an herb to ease my suffering and go to work,I would be able to work,it takes care of symptons for many different conditions. Would I rather stay at home and not be able to work, or smoke pot which would help me be a working law abiding tax paying person? Its a wonder herb. no doubt. Too many good benefits to not legalize. alcohol causes an enormous amount of way bad consequences. death,in overdoses, it is a phsycodic lethal poison that litarally makes people out of control crazy in there minds. there are people right now driving in this drunken crazy state of mind out on our roads and hiways. Lots of innocent people will die tonight, by drunk drivers, by a drunk with a gun who wouldnt pull that trigger if his mind wasnt poisoned by alcohol. that wouldnt beat their wife, or their child if only they were sober tonight. Alcohol is the gateway drug. you'll try anything if youre drunk enough. a gateway to a life of hell in more ways than one. And its legal. What a messed up society we have to continue to allow this to go on in our beautiful country.


Martha M. Trescott   March 28th, 2009 2:40 am ET

I used to think that it is possible that Afghanistan could become another Viet Nam for the U. S., but I've seen things differently the last number of weeks. I believe I even posted on a CNN blog that I was worried that Afghanistan could be another Viet Nam. I think I may have expressed this concern to President Obama at the White House and to McCain on his website. There are parallels. But, as I mentioned, the terrain is certainly quite different, and the U. S. military has been there a while and knows that and "gets it" (an expression that President Obama uses at times). So we get it about the terrain. We also "get it" that the Russians and others have not been successful there, After our loss in Viet Nam, through whch I lived and had many nightmare, although not hing like the nighmares of those who actually served there, I don't think we're foolish enough to try to go very far into the mountains and rurual areas of Afghanistan. We will secure whatever cities need to be secured there for now, I think. These are just my ideas. I haven't discussed them with anybody in the military or government.

For weeks now, an image keeps coming up in my mind, very strongly, and that is that of the snake symbol used by our American colonists on banners and flags, as we saw so often in the great John Adams series, particularly in relation to the Massachusetts colony. Our military clearly , even at that relatively early date, had the strategy of getting at the snake's head, the only way one can really stop one.

So does this analogy work for our current conflict with Alquaeda? I think it might. I think also that our commanders-in-chief, generals and other military have recognized the existence of the snake as a total entity and have seen where it lies. So, from Desert Storm on (and perha[s before), we saw the tail in Kuwait and in Saudi Arabia, which is, I think, Osama Bin Laden's home country.Further up the tail is Iraq. We have done fairly well in securing the tail end of the snake.
Afghanistan is not the head of it, despite the fact that we have been told that Osama Bin Laden has lived in "them thar hills." No, he and these awful Taliban who behead and throw acid on poor women and girls involved in just trying to get and give an education, are luring us into the inner sanctum in Afghanistan, where, as I recently wrote John McCain, we're bound to fail in that terrain, with all kinds of snipers and God knows what else aiming at us.

I think now, though I too was afraid of that outcome, that we're not that stupid. We're in Kobul and other cities, and we wait there, where we have a better advantage. They are afraid of our milirary. The whole world respects our military. They lure us in. That is their plan. They have not wanted us to see that the head of the snake is in Pakistan, but they couldn't fool us. And so now the whole world sees that the war is really to be joined finally in Pakistan, as has been said frequently lately. That became fairly clear, too, with the Mumbai horrors and Pakistani commandos in the Taj Mahal Hotel, targeting Americans.

They think Americans are foolish and naive. Americans may have underestimated our miliary strategy, too, and also underestimated both Presidents Bush. I think, in retrospect, that our commanders have seen this monster for quite a while but started at the tail, where some evidence could be seen, and gradually cut the thing into sections. Without the muscles of the tail and mid-section, it can't coil, and the head has much less power to strike. Our generals from Washinton on have seen this.Hence on the colonists' banners, we see the sections of the snake cut apart.

I see what I think may be our good, old American milirary strategy here for quite some time, and I don't think we have to worry that this will be another Viet Nam. I also saw, as I've told friends, that when the FBI was called in to help with those commandos in the Taj Mahal, the whole horrible episode ended. As people know about me, I am a great fan of the FBI. No one defeats the FBI.

That episode and the following months showed us the head of the snake. It's in Pakistan, as many are now recognizing. It seemed to me then and it still does that the murders (and I'm sure we haven't heard how terrible it all really was, by any means) in the Taj Mahal were not only horrible crimes against all humanity but also a true blunder militarily by the Pakistanis in this overall war.

This may not be a good analogy, but aspects of it may be serviceable in our thinking about Afghanistan vs. Viet Nam. I also draw on my own personal experience of severe ID theft over the last 6 years. I think I now know what stung or bit me, perhaps one of several kinds of lethal insects or snakes. There was one I found several times in my condo-a long, white tendril-like snake. I don't know what it was. It wasn't ever really coiled. It stayed stretched out, and when someone came near, it stiffened and got ready to strike from a reclining position.

The monster in the Middle East has stretched from the area south into Iraq and Afghanistan to Pakistan. It may not be the entire monster, but it may be. In any case, we mustn't fall for the trap of the impossible terrain in Afghanistan. For God's sake–and I mean that reverently–the Khyber Pass and the like, people, is not something we should end up on! We can do better, and our military knows that. We will somehow help those so horribly treated there. We don't allow people anywhere to suffer those kinds of things. We're the Americans, but we're not stupid. We'll get it right and will bring as much peace and justice as possible to the situation. And I do think that we can finally say to our commanders and miliary and to those brave soldiers who have died in getting to the head of the snake, so far, job done as well as possible. And thanks,instead of only complaints, thanks for rooting out the monster.

I have thought in our economc meltdown that all our money is maybe in Dubye and that area. Osama Bin Laden apparently has lots of money. There are lots of different possible connecting links. And also to the drugs, heroin, drug wars. The U. S. has been targeted in so many ways in some kind of warfare. And they all seem linked. And also in the meltdown of our "extreme ice," polar ice, going much faster now that anyone had earlier thought, destined to inundate much of the earth's land mass.

But we still have a lot going for us in all this, as I recently told President Obama, most especailly the FBI. We have our military still seen as the best in the world, our great natrual resources, our determined, educated people who have great hearts and the willingness to work hard. God be with us all! God save our earth now, the only blue planet in our system, the one God created.


Stacey Raburn   March 28th, 2009 2:40 am ET

Don't lose the faith. I know... .


juxtapostle   March 28th, 2009 2:53 am ET

People who smoke marijuana are often called 'losers'.

If caught smoking marijuana,
university students can be denied scholarships or expelled,
veterans can lose their VA health benefits,
employees can have their employment terminated and are blacklisted,
parolees can be denied parole,
people in general can face court costs and prison, denied insurance, ...

Does the weed cause people to be 'losers', or does the discrimination?

Some may consider it 'stupid' to do something that comes attached with such high and legalized social costs, but 'real' Americans are raised to value freedom, and marijuana is viewed by many as a stand against gross injustice. To many, the marijuana leaf is a symbol of freedom. With 20 million marijuana arrests and greater incarceration rates than any other country, less can be said regarding what the American flag has come to represent.


Berhanu   March 28th, 2009 3:06 am ET

Stacey...I wish I felt different...but unfortunately...I don't ...I have given my all to our country as well as others...and please let not forget the ones that have paid the ultimate sacrifice...We give and give and give a little more and it seems never to be enough...I have a lot anger for Bush and all in his administration for taking us into Iraq...something that I will probably never let go because we should have gone to AFGHANISTAN...the men and women who lost their lives in Iraq[GOD BLESS each and everyone them]paid the ultimate for a war that was not needed a war that was trumped up...I say again we should have focused on AFGHANISTAN...now look where we are, we have to re-focus on AFGHANISTAN and commit even more resources to get the job done...It is of my opinion that Bush failed..he didn't bring Bin Laden to justice...and for me that is the greatest insult...one that I will hold against Bush until my last breath..


Tammy   March 28th, 2009 3:09 am ET

We need for the war to end!!!!! Bring the troops who have survived home and legalize marijuana so they can have their pain,depression,anxiety, and post traumatic stress relieved. seriously, it works to ease all of the above conditions. shame on all who made this war what a waste of our hard earned tax dollars and most of all, all of the precious lives lost. we should allow anyone in prison who are there for marijuana convictions go free, and make room to incarcerate all involved in allowing this war to happen.


Femi Ariya   March 28th, 2009 3:10 am ET

When one considers the argument for or against the legalization of the sale of marijuana in the United States, there are considerably ponderous arguments for or against. To be brief, yes marijuana is arguably the most harmless illicit drug available, easily trumping both alcohol and cigarettes from the health perspective. However, even with this and many other positive aspects of the legalization of marijuana being considered, there is still no point in doing so for the sake of diminishing the propensity of the tension at the Mexican border or the economy as a whole. Why? Because primarily, those who are doing this smuggling are not going to be benefactors in the legalization, thus will force them to seek alternative revenue streams to maintain their current profits. Furthermore, I’m sure the cartels across the border can sell the substance at a much cheaper rate than the hypothetically taxed American version. Either way, the only pro for legalizing marijuana is the billions it would save from the legal paradigm, money spent on campaigns, sustaining jail inmates and paying to have these relatively harmless people convicted would be a huge save among other factors that would contribute to a big save for the government. My opinion legalize it’s use, make it illegal to sell without a license or permit. This would allow some government regulation and still allow pushers that get the cheap stuff from across the border to be convicted.


Stacey Raburn   March 28th, 2009 3:11 am ET

I Understand.


Femi Ariya   March 28th, 2009 3:15 am ET

We've dug ourselves into a considerably unstable hole when considering the war. Leaving now would be akin to stopping antibiotic treatment before it's time, allowing the infection to come back stronger than ever. We must finish what we started (not during the Bush admin, but when we TRAINED the very force we're fighting) or sleep with one eye open for the rest of our existence. The only feasible peaceful solution it to get these groups to come to an agreement with us, kind of like a treaty, yet a quick pinch will bring one back to the reality of that never happening. They hate us too much (rightly so...)


Berhanu   March 28th, 2009 3:15 am ET

Stacy....Thank you


Femi Ariya   March 28th, 2009 3:18 am ET

Vietnam was an evoked move to generate funds for special interests in a certain country, this war was escalated to the point it is for, I believe, the same reason, yet there is a key difference between 'Nam and Now, the Vietnamese weren't a threat of attacking us and did not have the power of fear over our general public.


Stacey Raburn   March 28th, 2009 3:24 am ET

My soul understands... I don't know how to explain what this is ... I hear you loud and clear. Faith is the only reason I still exist... You need to feel your stength, You need your faith, no matter how small. Your family needs to feel your strength... your faith. Without faith we have absolutely nothing. And then "They Win".


Gary   March 28th, 2009 3:26 am ET

I myself am sort of disappointed in Obama .. he had said that he'd be willing to talk with the enemies .. I think the only real solution is to open up communications and I haven't heard of any attempts .. messages sent through the press addressed to the Taliban. I think he should try to open up communications and try to resolve the conflicts peacefully. A lot of them have reasons why they don't like the US .. some of the things we did in the past was wrong and most of us admit that. And no I don't think they deserve the response that they got (9/11 and everything) but a lot of people in that area did .. so what we helped cause there must have been pretty bad!

A simple act of sitting down to discuss your grievences can often turn into a bonding situation and you end up with a good frend. If you don't talk, differences of opionion can never be resolved.


gangresearch dot org   March 28th, 2009 3:26 am ET

It is amazing that many people have forgotten that Osama Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda decimated the World Trade Center killing thousands. We ignored it for nearly eight years. It is about time we go in to Afghanistan and finish what was started in late 2001. Until Osama is Captured or killed, we better remain in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Vietnam no. We are not trying to change policy and rid communism, we are tracking a known terrorist that murdered thousands on US soil. Get a clue people.


Gary   March 28th, 2009 3:34 am ET

And Obama said that legalizing marijauna wouldn't help the economy .. of course it would!! Legalizing it would mean freeing all the prisoners in jail for marijuana charges .. they'd come out and set up businesses. (with loans from the economic recovery plan!)

And what kind of business would they set up .. growing marijuana of course! We have the best growers in the world (ever had any Cincinnati Windowbox Gold???) .. we'd quickly become known as having the best MJ in the world .. everyone would import their pot from America .. our exports would shoot through the roof! (all this is because most countries would quickly follow our lead on legalizing it .. most countries only went along with the war on drugs because we paid them big bucks for it!)


Stacey Raburn   March 28th, 2009 3:35 am ET

True, Always remember and never forget... If, Then................... .


Stacey Raburn   March 28th, 2009 3:39 am ET

To communicate.... . Obama is on the right track... The weary need reprieve.... .


Berhanu   March 28th, 2009 3:39 am ET

Faith....common sense...doing the right thing...Hmmm! I have to say that the faith is not doing it for me...In my core it's about applying common sense and doing the right thing...this war in Iraq was not about faith, it wasn't about common sense and it most certainly wasn't about doing the right thing...We have lost almost 5 thousand American service member lives on a lie...I am on my fourth tour and I know that I am on borrowed time...it just a matter of time before I and or others that serve are added to that list of the fallen...no amount of faith can change that...it's realness of the realty that I live in...


Berhanu   March 28th, 2009 4:07 am ET

WOW! I am currently serving with the 101st now...GOD bless your father
HOOAH!
I agree with you in that energy will always be, it changes forms as it moves through the universe...


Terry, TX   March 28th, 2009 4:16 am ET

Marijuana no...anybody been to a California Park lately....talk to California teachers.....everybody has a medical slip....it's a farce....I think this is a stupid subject. We are losing manufacturing jobs in this country....and the California celebrities want us to proudly start the marijuana industry. Give me a break. Their big concerns ....homosexual marriages and getting stoned....no wonder they are bankrupt. This is also the proud state that give us Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters and Boxer.

As for sending troops to Afghanistan...he actually did something Presidential...with regard to security and the Terrorists....we still are calling Terrorists....aren't we?


Brenda   March 28th, 2009 5:34 am ET

I also enjoyed Tavis Smiley as the stand in host for Larry. A million times better than that nasty woman from 'The View'. Unfortunately he talks WAY too fast. He should just talk a lot slower and a little more clearly, as this show is on CNN International too, and although English is my first language, I developed a headache straining to hear and understand him.


Da Vinci   March 28th, 2009 5:42 am ET

Why are we in Afghanistan again ? 11 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudia Arabia. Al Qaeda ? You mean the CIA funded and NSA Brzezinski trained to fight the Russians. Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI (2006) – " The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.” 1999- Taliban almost eliminates opium growing completely in Afghanistan, 2007- Opium growing is the largest its ever been according to UN. So why are we in Afghanistan again ? Think people, you know it doesnt add up !


Michael Domnitz   March 28th, 2009 5:51 am ET

For medical use,absolutely!

Yes, Marijuana should be legal. I don't personally use, but it should be sold just like alcohol.


CannArithmetic   March 28th, 2009 6:46 am ET

- – I am very disappointed wtih Obama's trite response to the scores of cannabis questions on the open-discussion website;
(The SPECIFIC concerns stated in EACH question were not addressed with reasoned, thoughtful replies...only derisive jeering!)

– - Cannabis was and is actually an AGRICULTURAL crop, and ought to be treated as such.

- – All laws FORBIDDING its cultivation for use as SUPERIOR-STRENGTH fiber, OIL-RICH seed and MILD-EFFECTIVE medicine need to be REPEALED; Keeping it illegal is only hurting the economy because our money is going to OTHER COUNTRIES, (for food-seed, fiber, PETROLEUM), and to the underground-market, (for its purchase as a quote-unquote 'drug'), when instead, it could be grown HERE, OPENLY, for its multitude of uses.

- – Concerns about the plant-specie's intoxicating flowers can be resolved better with a regulated system of age-limits, licensing of retail-sales, quality-control, labeling and grading according to THC content, rather than the present unjust system we now have.

CannArithmetic


Geo   March 28th, 2009 8:20 am ET

Hey Evan,
How many lives were lost in 911? A war those people didn't even know was happening or was given the means to protect themselves. Our soldiers, lives that are no less important volunteer to protect our nation and are given the means to protect us and themselves are fighting a war that they know is happening. Get out of your 3 foot circle and take off the rose colored glasses. Do you people really think that a defense is better than a good offense in this war,??? Your wrong!!!! 911 proved that, and that is thanks to Clinton not Bush!

G-


Jim   March 28th, 2009 8:21 am ET

Why are we in Afghanistan again ? 11 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudia Arabia. Al Qaeda ? You mean the CIA funded and NSA Brzezinski trained to fight the Russians. Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI (2006) – " The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.” 1999- Taliban almost eliminates opium growing completely in Afghanistan, 2007- Opium growing is the largest its ever been according to UN. So why are we in Afghanistan again ? Think people, you know it doesnt add up !


Geo   March 28th, 2009 8:24 am ET

Obama is contradicting and hypocritical, he throws things out to see what sticks. He has no clue what he is doing and I suggest anyone that does have confidence in this man starts to realize it. Troops’ going to Afghan is the only smart thing he has done thus far....


Dave of Detroit   March 28th, 2009 9:46 am ET

My problem with Obama's Afghanistan Poiicy is his original campaign promise to involve the United Nations and not take Unilateral action...He has compounded my concern with "Bush" rhetoric and the U.S. cannot afford to"win" another war. Instead of an "Exit" strategy, I want a non-entrance strategy without full U.N. support and sanctions-Course that may mean that we have to stop using our missiles to wipe out innocent civilians while geting one or two terrorist but that could help outr relationship with the locals and our credibility as a Christian Nation. What I am saying to Obama is this-Stop using our Military to combat a world wide terrorist network and start shoring up our defenses at home that have already been neglected for 8 years and tell Haliburton to find another source of revenue besides the American Armed Forces!


CannArithmetic   March 28th, 2009 10:36 am ET

- – Even though he may have been too apprehensive AT THE TIME to fully elaborate on the subject,
I was still disappointed wtih Obama's brusk, abrupt response to the scores of cannabis questions on the open-discussion website;
(The SPECIFIC concerns stated in EACH question were NOT addressed with reasoned, thoughtful replies...)

– - Cannabis was and is actually an AGRICULTURAL crop, and ought to be treated as such.

- – All laws FORBIDDING its cultivation for use as
* SUPERIOR-STRENGTH fiber,
* OIL-RICH seed
and
* MILD, EFFECTIVE medicine / relaxant
need to be REPEALED.

*** Keeping it illegal is only hurting the economy because:

Our money is going to OTHER COUNTRIES,
(for FOOD-seed, fiber, PETROLEUM in lieu of HEMPSEED-OIL),

and

To the underground-market,
(for its purchase as a quote-unquote 'drug'),

when instead,

It could be grown HERE, OPENLY, for its multitude of uses.

- – Concerns about this plant-species' intoxicating flowers can be resolved BETTER with
a regulated system of age-limits,
licensed, retail-sales,
quality-control,
labeling and
grading according to THC content,
rather than through its UNJUST suppression and illusion of control we presently have.

CannArithmetic


John Panicker   March 28th, 2009 10:44 am ET

It is so sad that the Administration does not understand the eastern and Middle Eastern culture. The books will not provide that. What you see with your naked eyes or naked mind is not what is Eastern and Middle Eastern Culture. One has to understand the depth of religion based faith and other tradition deeply imbedded in the people. No psychologist could ever define that. If one looks back, the utter failure of British in India, and Middle East was simply because of the people of those countries and their deeply rooted patriotism in the religion.

I am sure the decision to stay in Afghanistan, Iraq is a big blunder. The US administration needs someone who really understands the Eastern Culture, not career diplomats, professors of theoretical politics etc. It is simply appropriate to focus on protecting the borders of America by strengthening America in its on homeland.

Countries like Pakistan will take all the money it can get and finally America will understand the blunder.
The people of America must wake up and influence the Administration to change its policy.


juxtapostle   March 28th, 2009 12:43 pm ET

Terrorism is sponsored in part by black market marijuana money. Regulating and taxing marijuana would hit terrorists and drug cartels where it hurts: the wallet. Marijuana monies should be made to profit the citizenry, rather than the black market.


Mike Deist   March 28th, 2009 1:38 pm ET

Afghanistan can't be Obama's Vietnam because it was George Bush's Vietnam. We won't stay there because we cannot win. The Russians learned that years ago, and we will go bankrupt trying to achieve the impossible. America needs to stop projecting military power in the Middle East and come home. The risks of staying far outweigh the risks of leaving.


Chris Zimny   March 28th, 2009 4:32 pm ET

I don't see why anyone would be opposed to the war in Afghanistan, Bin Laden attacked us and now we want him... What's so wrong with that?


HERNOT VERSAINT   March 28th, 2009 5:46 pm ET

WHAT MOSTLY HAS COMPOUNED MY ANXIETY, THE PRESIDENT SHOULD WAIT FOR AT LEAST THREE OR SIX MONTHS TO INCREASE THE MILITARY FORCE IN AFGHANISTAN. BUT THE LEFT-SIDE CRITICS MUST REMEMBER CLEARLY THAT THE IS NOT FROM THIS YEAR; OF COURSE, SOMETHING MUST BE DONE BY AN AGANDA, SOONER OR LETER! ABOUT THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA, THIS ISSUE IS SO HOT AS IT'S OWN SMOKE. THEREFORE, WHOEVER W'D WORK ON IT, MIGHT BE CAREFUL. BECAUSE IT'S A SERIOUS FACT LAUCHING TO THE FUTURE IN WHICH THE NEW GENERATION WILL GET INVOLVE, NOT LIKE US, HAVE GREWN UP TO CERTAIN STRICT PERIOD INDEED GAVE US ENOUGH TIME OF REACHING THE AGE OF REASON...


montse lopez-beverley   March 28th, 2009 9:24 pm ET

Any was is a waste. I support Obama. However, this is a Bush's mess and if this goes ahead it is an error! The money could do wonders in supporting our economical needs at this moment on time. Afganistan is a lost case we cannot cotrol and turn around such a culture and their ways. Please don't do it!
Montse-uk


Stacey Raburn   March 29th, 2009 12:37 am ET

Berhanu, It was truly a Godsend talking to you this morning...


Stacey Raburn   March 29th, 2009 12:46 am ET

God, Keep watch over You Berhanu 101... You are now in my Prayer's... . As are all of You... .


Joshua Anderson   March 29th, 2009 12:54 am ET

It is foolish to believe that we can stop Global warming. While I believe that we should pursue better forms of energy. what makes you think that they will ever be allowed to emerge on the market. Where do you get the numbers for you global pollutants?


Keri Keenan-Tasker   March 29th, 2009 4:00 am ET

I don't think we can make that connection yet. I mean, he's been in office for one-hundred-and-how-many days? Besides, we have been neglecting to deal with Afghanistan for thirty years already, and if we don't deal with them we face another tragedy. Perhaps if we had acted when Senator Wilson had made such progress already in the region then we wouldn't have to now. Or if we had focused on Afghanistan like we should have after the attack of 911, but Bush decided to ignore the country (possibly because he was too incompetent to effectively lead) in favor of attacking another country- let's not pretend that that war is not on a parallel to "Vietnam" itself. On that note, Vietnam has become a catch phrase for all unpopular, unnecessary, and insupportable war. We should not forget that that war took place in a different place and time. All war will be unpopular, all war will be insupportable. Some war might be necessary to rebuild the region and bring long term peace. What we really need to bring to Afghanistan and it's people is infastructure building cash and patience. Peace is possible.


edward m gasambelo   March 29th, 2009 6:03 am ET

Actor edward norton you are wrong, switching off the bulb no matter how small is the wattage has an effect on the carbon emission. That is a load and not only symbolic but actual.

Encouraged use of hand of native fan (fan made of grasses or leaves) instead of electric fan then you reduce carbon emissions more.

I am Edward M. Gasambelo in the Philippines. I am a Professional Electrical Engineer.


MASSALE ZACCHAEUS   March 29th, 2009 10:02 pm ET

meghan mccaian why do you belive in gay marrige in one city god destroyud the city becaused they were all gay in bible it said to not do that


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