05 November 2008

All hail Obama ... and wish him lots of luck

The election of Barack Obama as president of the United States is a huge breath of fresh air after the stifling atmosphere of the Bush administration. Obama brings great promise to his country, for both its domestic and foreign policies, and therefore I suppose for the rest of the world as well. None can escape the power and influence of the empire.

We should not set our hopes too high, however. Obama will have to deal with appalling messes at home and abroad left by the infamous Bush. Once the financial mess is cleaned up, he should not have too great a difficulty improving things at home, starting with a decent medical care system for Americans and possibly even new and desperately needed fairness in broadcasting legislation. It is enormously encouraging that the three challenges facing his nation he identified in his victory speech included "a planet in peril," the greatest challenge facing all of us.

Other than the environment, it is in the realm of foreign policy that the rest of us will be most concerned. He has indicated a greater inclination to work with America's friends and negotiate with its enemies, so there is room for optimism. On the other hand, while he is in haste to get out of Iraq, he has indicated unequivocal support for Israel in Palestine, has promised to more ardently pursue the war in Afghanistan, and has threatened to raid Pakistan as he sees fit. He seems to see himself as commander-in-chief of the American Empire no less than his predecessors. And then, of course, the military-industrial-congressional complex is now nearly beyond challenge, almost making war inevitable.

So, a better America internally, fairer and more compassionate, but abroad .... well, we shall see.

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