Barack Obama: George W Bush Mark 2?

I’ve always been slightly sceptical of (now) Democrat Presidential candidate Barack Obama since his speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention. It was delivered brilliantly – and there’s no doubt his style and content wowed many, many people – but to me – a non-American – there was something very insular, even insulting, in his claim that – after recounting how he came from a poor immigrant family that came together from across the world – “that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible”. Nonsense – there are examples of similar moving, amazing stories from many, many other countries.

So it did worry me a bit how – if he ended up US President – he would really look at the rest of the world. Now I’m worried even more – because he’s arguing the case for unilateral military action – in this case saying the possibility of bombing Pakistan without any discussion with Pakistan, the UN or anyone else would be OK.

Sounds like he’s getting very close to a George W Bush Mark 2 foreign policy!

0 thoughts on “Barack Obama: George W Bush Mark 2?

  1. Not that I like or support Obama, but I don’t think he said what you seem to be implying, and you appear to be making a bit of a leap with regard to what you seem to think GWB’s policy is. All politicians have to speak to their base – they have to say what people want them to hear, in simple terms. The nuance can be added once in office.The first bit you complain about is a simple recounting of “The American Dream”. It’s like talking about “the stiff upper lip” or “the bulldog spirit” of the British or even the “ppirit of the blitz”, which I think I heard recently with regard to some floods you’ve been having. It’s one of those glowing myths of rhetoric that you use to inspire people. As if there were no other peoples with similar tales of bravery and determination in the face of incredible hardship.That’s no indication that he is an insular xenophobe, just that he is a politician.Regarding Pakistan, he is absolutely not saying he would bomb Pakistan without discussing it. But if Pakistan continues to obstruct action, shielding and appeasing the Taliban/al Qaeda terrorists, it might be necessary to do it without their permission. It’s not entirely clear that Pakistan wouldn’t secretly welcome it, either. They’re caught between a rock and a hard place – they want to get rid of the Islamists (and not just to placate the Americans), but depend heavily on the religious vote. After selling the “Great Satan” line for decades, they can’t be seen to be too eager to support the US against Muslims, and there’s a lot of popular support for Jihad-type fundamentalism there.Arguably, if the Pakistani leadership can claim they’re only cracking down on the Taliban to avoid being bombed by the “nutcase in the White House” (which Islamists and their supporters are always ready to believe) then they might be able to get away with it. A certain amount of posturing and aggressive rhetoric might be the best way to avoid actual bloodshed.Something needs to be done about the Islamist ideology. The best thing would be for Western politicians to understand and challenge the ideology itself, and for Muslims themselves to lead serious movements for reform. Since that isn’t happening, and doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, other means both more and less direct are needed. Al Qaeda are sitting in the mountains of Pakistan and are untouchable – because Pakistan doesn’t have the ability or will, and won’t (or can’t) let us do it for them. What do you suggest we do about it?

  2. Lynne, your spot on, as always. Im for Hillary all the way! Hillary Clinton and Gordon Brown, now that would be one hell of a special relationship.Lynne- who are you backing?