Well, there is no turning back history now. The inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States is too big to erase. History is written. Many people can now exhale, those who feared for Obama’s welfare.
Now he’s the Man, and like many people worldwide, I hope for his success. I have little doubt about his attentions for a domestic agenda. He will think and act big and boldly. I think he fully understands the question of accountability, a word totally missing from George Bush’s lexicon (ok, one of the billions of words missing from his very limited vocabulary).
But my main concern is Obama’s foreign policy. I have taken heat for my skepticism (I was born a skeptic) and I will admit that his inauguration speech was favourable. The speech might be an indication of what he wants to do, or then again it might be simply, a speech.
But his public statements on Iran, Hamas and Venezuela’s Chavez just previous to his inauguration indicate that he might not be so different from contemporary American jingoistic thinking.
If Obama maintains the same-old American delusion of its place in the world, then we will remain in deep trouble. If nothing else, his attack on Chavez, a democratically elected leader, is in fact not a defense of America, but a defense of George Bush.
Chavez’s belligerent attitude was almost always pointed at the Bush regime rather than at America itself. The difference between the two is immense. Chavez was only mouthing publicly, what most of the world’s leaders were thinking. Why can an American leader publicly attack another country’s leadership, but feel immune from a reply? The world has changed and Obama had better realise that.
By the way, within three days of entering the white House, there were 2 illegal American missile strikes inside the sovereign country of Pakistan… a policy he has previously sanctioned. The missiles killed 17 people. First blood on Obama’s hands.
Here is something else that is clearly indicated… politicians stick with their own. Obama is not going to allow the indictment of the George Bush’s fascist regime for war crimes or crimes against humanity… something that even many in America are demanding.
Obama’s inauguration did not strengthen the US stock market, an arena that hinges so much on confidence and good news. The rot is clearly too deep. Instilling confidence in the stock market is obviously not the strategy to use. The economic recovery is clearly not going to come through the stock market or the banks, but Washington and the people of this country.
The credo that the ‘market will save us’ is dead. Do not rely on capitalism. American greed has eaten away the insides of the system that brought it to world economic dominance. Capitalism has stopped being about the market creating profits but about manipulation creating super-profits.
The current oil-gasoline price scenario illustrates the point. I read a recent analysis addressing this issue, that tried to convince the reader that nothing is untoward. But the analysis did point out that clearly, manipulation is rife throughout the system.
It claimed that the oil companies were taking a beating on gasoline production (yet Exxon made record profits) and as such decided to reduce the the supply of the product. A clear case of manipulation, yet the author appeared to excuse it as an ethical way of profit-making. Since when does creating an artificial shortage qualify as ‘market-driven’?
Obama will have his hands full with this type of screwing of the American people. Greed is not a habit that goes away quickly.
Macy’s Inc (retail stores) recently reported that it will close 11 stores this year. In its release, the sense was given that Macy is losing money because of slow sales. But it was clearly stated that Macy’s issued returns on shares just a little bit below 2007. I’m sorry that I cannot give the 2007-08 comparisons… the story is on my now comatose hard drive.
The point is that the American capitalist has redefined what is a profit and what is a loss. A profit is anything above expectation and a loss is anything below expectations. It has nothing to do with original economic definitions. Today a business might make more money than it invested but if that ‘profit margin’ falls below predictions, then it is regarded as a loss. Weird.
Israel’s hope of gaining a morale boosting victory over Hamas has fizzled. Now Israel is now left to spin its way to a ‘victory’. Unfortunately, world opinion, even here is the United States, will deny them of that.
Israel is now looking at the possibility that its soldiers could be accused of war crimes. This is morale sapping. The unsuccessful adventure has boosted Hamas, the same way it had done for Hezbollah when they repulsed Israel in Lebanon a few years ago. This is not something that Israel could afford.
Your invincibility can only work if you keep winning. Two ‘losses’ in a row is bad. But Israel can rest knowing that any country that holds an Israeli soldier for war crimes will face the wrath of the US. That is not necessarily a good thing for the US as it will again prove that Israel wags the dog, and America will continue to lose its moral grounding.