Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama: time for optimism?

Obama managed to raise more than any other candidate in history and that did not involve saying no to the lobbyists.

Anyone is better than Bush but they must be judged by their actions not fine words. It is all very well saying to the Muslim world that we will extend a hand of friendship and so on but when in practice you are planning a 'surge' in Afghanistan that will kill god knows how many Muslims, that is indeed a very bad omen. Afghanistan does not need a surge nor is it a threat to the USA. I am no fan of the Taliban; most of them are ignorant armed bandits but their AK47s and Kalashnikovs are no threat to the US and never were. There is no secret lair of international terrorists sitting in a cave despite the fantasies of the Western media. There are a lot of pissed off tribesmen who unsurprisingly are out for revenge and will probably take it by killing more Pakistani civilians by targeting westerner frequented hotels in the nearest country.

How will Obama be judged? My guess is that if he invests in green technologies to tackle global warming and some social welfare programmes, even despite the US forces carrying on killing in Afghanistan and Israel carrying on murdering Palestinians and robbing their lands, he will be judged by the media as a success and a hero.

There is nothing wrong with optimism but it has to be balanced with some healthy skepticism. He may and I hope he does manage to benefit the poorer sections of the US society - but if he wanted he could end the war in Afghanistan now. The US military have no real reason to be there.

He could say enough is enough and bring the troops home but he will not and thousands more will die and millions will suffer. He is not some secret weapon of the working classes but a wily politician who knows that he need to press a few popularity buttons to get votes. Keep watching out for the omens but don't get carried away with his 'brilliance'.


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