Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Renewing American Leadership" by Obama

fter Iraq, we may be tempted to turn inward. That would be a mistake. The American moment is not over, but it must be seized anew. We must bring the war to a responsible end and then renew our leadership -- military, diplomatic, moral -- to confront new threats and capitalize on new opportunities. America cannot meet this century's challenges alone; the world cannot meet them without America.

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1 comment:

Waqqas Akhtar said...

I just read the text of "Renewing American Leadership" by Barack Obama. I am somewhat disappointed after reading this somewhat narrow-visioned monologue. I hope that he has changed his mind many times and on many issues since July/August 2007 (a year ago) when this long commentary was written. No, really. For his sake, I hope he does change his mind about many things he has written in here.

-- He chooses "Renewing American Leadership" as the title? What exactly is so 'renewing' about continuing calling an illegitimate, foreign, imposed war on Iraq as a 'civil-war', what exactly is 'renewing' about pledging to continue helping Israel kill and banish more Palestinians from their rightful homeland and what exactly is 'renewing' about baselessly branding Iran as 'dangerous for the regional stability'. 'There's nothing 'renewing' about any of this, it's more like continuing the old bull$%^&.
-- And then Barack has the audacity to state that, "our starting point must always be a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel, our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy" ...? Please. That's exactly what Bush was doing, long before you came and 'renewed' it.

-- Well, for starters, my dear Obama there wasn't any 'civil war' in Iraq when you weren't there, blindly backing Israel is not the solution but THE problem and Iran is an independant nation that doesn't need you to go 'liberate' it. Thanks, but no thanks.

-- Next, for first-graders, my dear Obama, President Harry S. Truman's era is not what you want to idealize, least of all to implement. Please stop idealizing a fear-monger, one of the most cunning enemies of the cause of Democracy, the cause that is so dear to you and your nation. Launching a propaganda of fear (including the sham cold-war) to rule the people of America was the worst gift of American politics to it's people in Truman's era. Trust me. Or, you can choose to read "The Fifties: The Way We Really Were" by Douglas T. Miller.
Here's an excerpt:

If one were attempting a precise periodization, the fifties could well be divided into three parts: 1948-53, 1954-57 and 1958-60. These three periods might then be labeled “The Age of Fear”, “The Era of Conservative Consensus” and “The Time of National Reassessment”.
The Age of Fear: The post-World War II era really begins around 1948. By then the nation had essentially adjusted to a peace time economy; depression had not recurred and people were coming to believe in the possibility of perpetual prosperity. But then, at the same time, the cold war [was made to] become a debilitating reality. A chronology of terror began unfolding. In 1948 a communist coup was successful in Czechoslovakia and the Soviets blockaded western access to Berlin. That same year in the United States the talk of treason and communist infiltration [was made to] become commonplace [...]. Early in 1950 President Harry S Truman announced plans to begin development of a hydrogen bomb (it was perfected by 1952) and his senator, Senator Joseph McCarthy added the loudest voice to the already sizable outcry of anticommunist witch hunters. Nineteen fifty also saw [...] the outbreak of the Korean War [thanks to the covert involvement of U.S. Forces]. Such events shocked and frightened people, and the last years of Truman’s presidency proved a trying time – a period of suspicions, accusations, loyalty oaths, loathing, extreme chauvinistic Americanism.

Republicans, attempting to regain power, were not averse to charging the Democrats with being soft on communism, though in reality both parties were excessively anticommunist. Tensions raised by Korean fighting, supposed communist infiltration, spy trials, loyalty Investigations, Inflation, crime, and the bomb reached near hysteric proportions in the early fifties. Dissent was suppressed, conformity demanded. With the exception of a few legitimate espionage cases, none of which really endangered national security, most victims of the anti-red mania were guilty of little more than holding unpopular opinions. Not only the national government, but thousands of local communities as well felt obliged to search out and destroy suspected subversive views. Teachers, government workers, entertainers, and many others were dismissed. The combined anxiety and hope of this period is well illustrated in the title of a 1950 song - “Jesus is God’s Atomic Bomb”.


-- Next, for second-graders, my dear Obama, when you tell us that in Iraq, "Our servicemen and servicewomen have performed admirably while sacrificing immeasurably", I come to know very clearly how insensitive you are to human suffering caused by these very "service-beasts" in Abu-Gharaib and Guantnamo bay and Bagram Airbase and other hundreds of prisons in the U.S. "liberated" lands. If torturing and abusing those human beings is what is considered "sacrificing immeasurably" in your books, then your sacrifices are not required. Thanks, but no thanks.

-- Next, for third-graders, my dear Obama, who exactly are you kidding here, when you write, "Throughout the Middle East, we must harness American power to reinvigorate American diplomacy. Tough-minded diplomacy,
backed by the whole range of instruments of American power -- political, economic, and military -- could bring success even when dealing with long-standing adversaries such as Iran and Syria."
Get the hell out of there! What part of that do you not understand? Isn't people shooting at your "service-beasts" not a signal clear enough that U.S.'s "sweet, re-invigorated, political, successful diplomacy" is not welcomed in that region? Pack your stuff, wear your boots and out you go. Good-Bye. That's the only "sweet, political, successful, diplomacy" you ARE required to display.

-- Next, for fourth-graders, my dear Obama, who told you that, "The world must work to stop Iran's uranium-enrichment program and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It is far too dangerous to have nuclear weapons in the hands of a radical theocracy." The only thing that the World MUST do is to mind it's own business and stop creating false-pretexts for messing up with other people's way of living. Theocracy or not, I don't recall God ever nominating you to decide who wears what!

-- Next, for fifth-graders, my dear Obama, "U.S. is the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases. While many of EU industrial countries are working hard to reduce their emissions, U.S. is increasing its at a
steady clip -- by more than ten percent per decade." Thank God, you got that one right. But then, immediately after admitting this, in the next sentence you go on to suggest, "I will work to free America of its dependence on foreign oil". What? No, no! Not foreign oil, but all OIL. If you want to work for anything good, stop digging for, or buying, or stealing, or looting, or burning oil, at all. Let the oil rest in peace, finally. Use sun, wind, water, tides and other geographic phenomenon to generate energy. Once you, start looking into it, you'll find out, there's a hell lot of energy in-there. Oh, and btw, all sixth-graders already know that. ;-)

Next, welcome to the sixth-grade. My dear Obama while, "People around the world have heard a great deal of late about freedom on the march, tragically, many have come to associate this with war, torture, and forcibly imposed regime change", given that that's true, let me add that they also exactly know who is behind that, something that you and your people very conveniently over-look. Has it ever occured to you that may be people don't hate you and your country just because "they are jealous of the liberties in America" but because they don't want you to force those liberties onto them? Has it ever occured to you that may be, they are doing just fine without the "bountiful help and happiness" that CIA brings to their lands. Has it ever occured to you that, may be they don't really need America (as much as America wants to believe that they do)? Oh, and by the way, above sixth-grade some thinking is required, too. :-)

-- Next, my dear Obama, when you promise the world that, "As commander in chief, I would also use our armed forces wisely", I can only hope that you are capable of doing that, since, for now possibly a sixth-grader (and definitely an eigth-grader) is doing much better in understanding the world than you, Mr. President. For your sake, I hope that the promised CHANGE is coming. And I sincerely hope that at home it begins, much like charity.

Best wishes,
Regards,
Waqqas.

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