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.