I knew this would happen…

Saturday, 4th August 2007 at 17:47 UTC 1 comment

The thing with electoral politics is, you know that some time soon, that candidate you love so much, and think is doing such wonderful things and coming out with great speeches that show wonderful vision and policy ideas for change, will do something that really turns you off, or pretty much outrages you. If they don’t, that’s probably not a good sign either, as it means you’re letting them tell you what to believe instead.

Those reading this blog over the months will know that I’ve talked about Barack Obama before. I like what he seems to be achieving, and a lot of how he’s achieving it. In an election which will grant someone enormous amounts of power I wish no one had, Obama seems to be the one person who might actually use that power to good ends; perhaps the closest to a Chavez type character, doing a lot of good things, few bad ones, but not dealing with the underlying dynamics of power.

So anyway, I follow Obama’s campaign at a distance, reading what news stories I see about him, reading his email updates and stuff. But just lately there’s been one turn of events that’s really got to me, and that’s this whole stuff with Iraq being “the wrong war”. Obama has started saying that he wants to pull the troops from Iraq so he can refocus on Afghanistan and Pakistan. He’s even said that he would have no problems authorising military adventures in Pakistan to deal with anything Musharraf doesn’t.

While much of the email I agree with, particularly the bits about not compromising values to get the desired ends, I’ve got to say the statement he is asking people to sign up to is just completely unacceptable (specific issues in bold):

The next President of the United States must commit to getting our troops out of Iraq and taking the fight to the terrorists. We must reinforce our mission in Afghanistan with additional troops. We must press Pakistan and President Musharraf to close down terrorist training camps and stop the Taliban from using Pakistan as a safe-haven. If Musharraf acts, we will stand with him. But if Pakistan will not act against Osama bin Ladin and the terrorists who killed 3,000 Americans, we will.

Basically he’s arguing that we should stop fighting in Iraq and instead go and war-ravage an equally vulnerable area in a more focused war of vengeance. There’s no hint of desire to forgive and move on; sure the threat is still there, but some day, American’s must start to forgive. The death of Osama bin Ladin will not bring about the healing of America’s 9/11 pains.

I certainly can’t say any other candidate in that race is giving me warm fuzzy feelings. I think its inevitable that whoever wins will in some way continue the hateful, fearful politics that has been the US’s trademark over the centuries, from the day it began abusing its native population, through the slave era, then later in the anti-communist and anti-terrorist eras.

Hilary is just winding me up: there’s no way she can be a voice for working mum’s when she has that much money. I think Barack’s background lends itself better to an understanding of the hardships of balancing kids with long hours and no childcare, though even that is dubious. So I guess I’ll just be a yet more vague supporter of Barack’s campaign anyway.


Entry filed under: Afghanistan, Barack Obama, Elections, Iraq, Peace, Politics, Terrorism.

Searching words Rediscovering the Crucifixion

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Greg  |  Monday, 6th August 2007 at 8:55 UTC

    I’m not convinced that he’s talking about vengeance in Afghanistan/Pakistan. The Taleban and Al Quaeda have hardly been fluffy bunnies for all time, except for the abberation in 9/11. They’ve done, and continue to do, plenty of bad things, and also to put most of our heroin on our streets. Afghanistan was a war I agreed with from the beginning, and still do, and one of the problems with Iraq was that it over-stretched resources which should have been spent doing the job properly in Afghanistan.

    Talk of going into Pakistan does make me wince, though. I hope and pray that what Barack’s thinking of is something that’s at least slightly consensual.


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