Change Is Here. Or Is It?

Change Is Here. Or Is It?

President-Elect Barack Hussein ObamaObama’s win is a symbolic victory. Celebrating the end of the Bush administration is one thing, but celebrating the continuation of his policies with a different administration is another.President-Elect Barack Hussein ObamaSupporters of President-elect Barack Hussein Obama are anxiously anticipating that ever-so-overkilled term “change”. Last week, Obama was propelled to victory by a broadly popular anti-war movement and that unnerving sense of the outsider running an insurgent campaign against the political establishment (John McCain and, before him, Hillary Clinton). The most basic expectations of an Obama administration would be less war, a more balanced economic policy, and a friendlier attitude with respect to the environment. However, and as we have learned from eight year under George W. Bush, what the candidate is expected to do and what the candidate actually does may be two very different things.

Obama’s first key appointment helped extinguish any fevered expectations of revolutionary change, as his first trumpet blast of change ushered in Rahm Israel Emanuel as his chief of staff. We could almost hear the collective moan of disappointment from the Middle East when Emanuel was appointed. His father was part of Israel’s Irgun terrorist militia in the 1940s, and he himself served as a volunteer on an Israeli military base in 1991. Emanuel sent several letters to the White House accusing the Bush administration of being “too tough on Israel”. Emanuel was also a figure in the Clinton administration, and he helped push through NAFTA, the crime bill, the balanced budget, and welfare reform. Unlike his new employer, he favored the war in Iraq. More recently, when he was chairing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006, he made substantial efforts to knock out anti-war Democratic candidates.

Obama is doing a great job so far of continuing Bush’s anti-Iran rhetoric. When asked about Iran during his first press conference as President-elect, he reiterated the same US talking points about preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and demanding that it ends support for “terrorism”. However, this attitude could change. Obama will most likely wait until the Iranian elections to interpret public opinion in Iran before even trying to end the diplomatic standoff with the Islamic Republic.

In regards to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, Obama will most likely continue the growingly pointless talks between the Palestinian Authority and the current Israel government. Odds are that we will not see in any dramatic shift in policy in this regard. Obama and the Democrats don’t want to make enemies on Capitol Hill, so they’ll leave the Palestinian issue alone, which in other terms means allowing the continued humanitarian suffering in Gaza.

Throughout the two year campaign, Obama had stated time and again that he wishes to withdraw from Iraq as soon as people. Allowing common sense to prevail, it would seem highly unlikely for him to do such a thing. Iraq is still negotiating a SOFA agreement with the United States, since the United Nations mandate ends in December 2008. The hopes held by the Iraqi government for an earlier withdrawal have only increased with the election of Obama. But realities on the ground in Iraq will most likely delay any swift withdrawal.

An Obama foreign policy is already becoming a nightmare, and the man has yet to even assume office. Among the possible contenders for his top foreign policy advisers is Madeline Albright, the great supporter of sanctions on Iraq during the Clinton era which killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people. This same Albright shamelessly condoned the sanctions on 60 Minutes when she infamously declared: “I think this is a very hard choice. But the price – we think the price is worth it.” Another worrying prospect is Samantha Powers, who advocates “humanitarian intervention” in Darfur and may just lead Obama to send troops to Sudan.

Obama’s win is a symbolic victory. Celebrating the end of the Bush administration is one thing, but celebrating the continuation of his policies with a different administration is another. The current Obama plans appear to be leading us back to the Clinton era, which may be swallowed for a year or two while the economy is regrouped. This is not the change we have been promised, and this is a far cry from the change needed to reach social, economic, and environmental justice.

Alas, we can only hope for 2012.

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8 Comments

  1. Ulrick
    November 10, 14:30
    I am confused about why Samantha Powers "is a worrying prospect?" I salute Ms. Powers for talking about the genocide in Darfur. A tragedy for some reason that is lost in the hearts and minds of the mainstream Muslim community, as well as issues regarding the African continent in general. I have studied her career and am impressed with her research on the cause of genocides and how to prevent them. I would think with all the rhetoric we have been fed the last couple of years a scholar who as devoted her life to this issue would be welcomed, unless I am missing something. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samantha_Power )<br /><br />Other then this small aspect, solid and informative article. Thank you!!
  2. Brother
    November 10, 14:39
    "Humanitarian intervention" is the US government's vocabulary defining an imperialistic project. Iraq was also a "Humanitarian intervention." Darfur is talked about but Somalia, Palestine, etc is not. Why is that? It could be because of Darfur's strategic location in the region for US interests, or for resources available around there.
  3. [b]HASAN FADHIL[/b] حسن فاضل <br />****** :-)*******<br />The system of America is controlled by many. I think the strong reason for the government to choose [b]Obama[/b] is to cover their mess with a [b]black hand[/b]. Therefore, the blame or the retaliation will not be on the people who designed this mess. In my country Iraq for example, if a small tribe want to kill a person from a bigger tribe, they align themselves with other small tribes, and then, they [b]accomplish their crime with the hand of their allied[/b]!!!!!!!!!!<br /><br />[b]PLEASE SEE THE TWO VIDEO CLIPS BELOW BY CLICKING ON THE LINKS:[/b]<br /><br />[url]www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTYn1WRCuoU[/url]<br /><br />[url]www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cX8buOzQbM[/url]
  4. [b]HASAN FADHIL حسن فاضل[/b]<br /> :-)<br /><br />Government advantages in choosing Obama:<br /><br />* definitely much more blacks are going to be in the armed forces.<br /><br />* there will be much less opposition from blacks toward the government domestic decisions like attacking Iran, because the decisions is assumed to be Obama's decisions.<br /><br />* If the government went to bomb Sudan (African Region), then most of the Africans in this country will stand with the US government.<br /><br />* A much bigger division would result between blacks who support the government domestic policy and between those (Arabs, Asians) who appose America's domestic policy. As I understood, that it is the US government who elevated the leadership of Malcolm X and then isolated him from his strong leader Elijah Mohamed until they fought each other to death.
  5. Hj
    November 16, 09:21
    The biggest fallacy with an Obama presidency is expecting TOO much.
  6. Don't think that blacks are monolithic, they all have minds of their own and they don't make their decisions solely on the color of a person. eg Do whites sign up for the armed forces because a President is white? I'm sure you didn't intend it, but to me this is racist thinking.<br /><br />[quote]Government advantages in choosing Obama:<br /><br />* definitely much more blacks are going to be in the armed forces.<br /><br />* there will be much less opposition from blacks toward the government domestic decisions like attacking Iran, because the decisions is assumed to be Obama's decisions.<br /><br />* If the government went to bomb Sudan (African Region), then most of the Africans in this country will stand with the US government.<br /><br />* A much bigger division would result between blacks who support the government domestic policy and between those (Arabs, Asians) who appose America's domestic policy. As I understood, that it is the US government who elevated the leadership of Malcolm X and then isolated him from his strong leader Elijah Mohamed until they fought each other to death.[/quote]
  7. Brother Fadhil,<br /><br />Brother, your comments came across as racist and dismissive. Clearly if you are reading this magazine that can't be your intention? Unless your were taught back home that black Americans are simple sheep. BaaaaH! The people voted for Obama not the government. Respectfully, do you know anything about Malcolm X (his life, his struggle)? If you did you would give him a lot more credit and you would see the leader that he was. You appear to have a very dismissive attitude towards blacks and their contributions and individuality. Therefore I have to wonder about your concern about places like Sudan and/or other places where black Muslims are suffering silently and by themselves. Please, try to give people a little more credit. Notice in Brother Huda's excellent article and the above posts the issue of race was not brought up, so why are you bringing it up?

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