Monday, May 16, 2011

Is Killing Politics?

Headline from an Al Jazeera piece: "Obama: The Courage to Kill but Not to Lead." Now, that is an interesting question or raises one anyway. The thrust of the article is that Obama's alleged "realism" is really quite empty and offers little guidance for understanding what is driving American foreign policy in the Middle East. For me, it raises a question about the statism that seems to characterize American politics now, because the killing of Osama, however bold it might have been, changes almost nothing in the political geography of the present. We are still in Iraq, still in Afghanistan, Gitmo is still open, we are still in Pakistan, we are still unable to keep any kind of "peace process" going in the Middle East between the Israelis and the Palestinians, still mired in a "war on drugs" that is endless and pointless, and still unable to grow the economy in any significant way. Obama promised "change" but as the joke from Tea Partiers has it, the only change I have is that which is in my pocket. I guess the question for me is something like: Why is killing so easy for us but politics, that is, genuine political change, so difficult? Anybody got any answers? I sure don't.

1 comment:

  1. Should it be our foreign policy to force Democracy on to the rest of the world at any cost? I think that is a losing proposition. Obviously, it should be a President's job to lead and defend our future interests when ours is threatened. Could the invasion of Iraq and forcing Pro-Democracy there been the start of this current Arab Spring? Or was it new technology such as cell phones, internet access, facebook and this revolution of social media that brought about change in these Authoritarian Middle Eastern Regimes? Why does China still censor what it's citizens can view over the internet? Forcing political change in the Middle East is hopeless, and it shouldn't be our responsibility. I wish Obama would lead us to renewable energy independence and then we all would have a lot more change in our pockets..........