Sunday, 30 January 2011

President Obama - Not What Was Said On the Tin?

Personally, I quite like President Obama. He seems a lot more genuine than most politicians, and being the first black president of the USA is surely a significant step forward for humanity? He has also, seemingly, tried very hard to improve the lot of the ordinary people of America. Mind you, I'm a bit vague on that score. I hope I never have to answer a quiz question on the subject.
It comes as a surprise to learn that, in some significant ways, he has shown himself to be not quite the shining liberal light I thought he'd be. For example, before he was elected President, gun owners in the US were buying up guns by the truckload. It seems that they thought Obama would impose severe firearms legislation - but that hasn't happened. Not only are guns still freely on sale, but President Obama has allowed firearms to be carried openly in America's National Parks. Mind you, Obama could argue that this is being liberal - for gun owners.
There is also the equally lethal issue of the War on Terror. President Obama gave the impression that the miltary adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan were abhorrent, and should be ended as soon as possible. Instead, he has sanctioned the biggest Military Spending budget ever anywhere. This has led John Pilger to comment:
"... many Americans actually believed Obama shared their opposition to Bush’s wars. In fact, he had repeatedly backed Bush’s warmongering and its congressional funding."
He has also continued America's unconditional support for Israel, and assured Cuban exiles that he will continue to impose the US trade embargo on Cuba.
This is not quite what was expected. Still, we in Britain should now be used to politicians who make promises before being elected to power, then fail to keep them when elected.
I wonder if Obama has ever met Nick Clegg?

1 comment:

  1. I was concerned about Obama's comments about Afghanistan during his election campaign. He was quite clear that he considered it important for the USA to continue its "mission" there, whatever it might be. He has many good points as a president, but he suffers from the same myopia towards Afghanistan that a lot of Western leaders seem to.

    If I were an Afghan, I'd wonder why my country had been invaded three times by the British in the last 200 years, and recently by both the USSR and the USA. And if my family wedding or funeral had been bombed by NATO forces, I would never forgive the murdering foreign invaders who were to blame.