Obama has been re-elected and less than 24 hours into his second term another drone attack was ordered against an Al-Quaida group in Yemen. The white house has not commented yet.
I personally like Obama, he appears to be somebody you can trust, very much the opposite of George Bush. Yet looking at foreign politics, nothing much seems to have changed. Noam Chomsky defines the changes as instead of kidnappings and torture which was common under Bush it is now just murdering those one doesn’t like. Kidnappings and torture of course still happen even under Obama, but via proxy. Let somebody else do the dirty work.
Of course it would be naïve to believe that one president could change the political climate overnight. Obama can’t just decide to withdraw all troops from the international scene and make an end to US Terror. Deals have to be struck with the opposition to achieve anything. If one wants to improve things at home compromises need to be done affecting those far away.
Donald Trump on twitter made a seething attack against Obama by calling for a revolution. Now it’s down to revolutions that things have improved for the common man in the past giving us a veneer of democracy and a better standard of living. Alas, it’s not this kind of revolution that Donald has in mind but to force Obama to give up his fight to win Healthcare for everyone in the country. Had he asked for Obama to stop the insane war against terror by using terror he just might have gotten a vote from me. But this is what he said:
“House of Representatives shouldn’t give anything to Obama unless he terminates Obamacare.” (Donald Trump)
So this is what it comes down to. So despised are the common people of America, in fact all common people in the world, that the Republicans should use all means necessary not to give them one inch. Let the poor rot in their slums so that the rich can even be richer.
In light of this statement I do wonder if the latest strike against Yemen is part of a deal with the Republicans to continue the war on terror in exchange for support to push through domestic reforms.
It is often difficult to understand motivations behind decisions being made. How much is done because of personal conviction and how much are based on deals and compromises. For example in 2008 Obama promised to withdraw all troops from Iraq by May 2010. In Feb 2009 Obama negotiated to lengthen the stay and till today there are still American troops in Iraq. It would be interesting to know what happened behind the scenes that led to Obama changing his mind here.
I do believe that Obama is fighting for a better world but how much power does a president really have? How can bills be passed without making deals that compromise other important issues? Something more fundamental needs to change, a change to the whole system that is running the world. Since the US sees itself as the policeman of the world one wonders if the whole world should not have a right to have a say in this.
Maybe a president should not just be voted by the American people but through global elections. If each person in this world had a say in who should be in charge of a superpower, presidential campaigns would not be able anymore to ignore the plight of so called third-world countries and could signal the end of treating these countries as client states whose only purpose is to meet the economic demands of the West. No more would the US be able to overthrow democratic elected governments to replace them with ruthless dictatorships.
But, Alas, until this is the case presidents like Obama have to continue to weigh off domestic interests against foreign ones. Yet considering all this it seems that Obama seems be doing a good job. Within the remit of what is realistically possible he appears to have achieved a hell of a lot more than what most presidents achieved before him. In the case of foreign affairs he took personal charge over killings instead of playing a don’t want to know game like his predecessors did (leading to the many atrocities reported during the Bush regime) and ended the Iraq war. In domestic affairs improved the live of millions by providing easier access to health care.
So, why did Obama order another drone attack so soon into his new term? I can’t help thinking it might have to do with his need to win support of congress for his plans to improve the lives of millions by giving them jobs. His plan is to create one million jobs in manufacturing, 600.000 jobs in the natural gas sector and 100.000 math and science teachers by 2016. Apart from this he seeks to improve the infrastructure repairing and building new roads, bridges, airport runways and new schools. How can Obama achieve all this when the budget is under Republican control unless deals are being struck.