Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Saturday, 8 November 2008

US Presidential Update

Image source: here

Those of you who live in England will be familiar with the "Party-Political Broadcast", ten minutes of mind-numbing stuff from the various political parties, that usually appears around nine o'clock in the evening.

Once upon a time, I think it might have been in the 1970s, a Conservative General Election victory was followed up by some party-political broadcasts entitled "Report to the People" which I suppose was intended to demonstrate that all the promises made in the election campaign had been, or were being, met.  Of course this series of broadcasts ceased relatively quickly.

This lengthy introduction relates to the fact that I am determined to be "difficult" about Mr Obama's election as President of the United States.  This is not because I believe that Mr Obama will be a bad president - far from it - but I am determined to do my little bit to stop the nauseating self-congratulation that I have witnessed here in France on television.  The gullibility of the general public beggars belief, but really I should know well enough by now not to be surprised.  Whatever are they expecting from Mr Obama?  Do they imagine that as a true American he does not believe in "America First"?

There was a "special" after the news today on France 2 TV, showing various black - and white - people in tears following the announcement of the election result.  There was one individual in a t-shirt bearing a likeness of Mr Obama, accompanied by a red star!  There was a group of misguided individuals chanting "Af-ri-ca, Af-ri-ca".  They should visit the Congo or Zimbabwe rather than visit that on us... EDIT: or Nigeria for that matter.

Now to the real stuff - realpolitik - the things a real US President does and deals with; forget the touchy-feely nonsense: let's start with the US plan to install a missile defence shield in central Europe.  I quote from this BBC article:

In a statement published on his website on Saturday, Poland's president said Mr Obama had "emphasised the importance of the strategic partnership of Poland and the United States and expressed hope in the continuation of political and military co-operation between our countries."

"He also said that the missile defence project would continue," the statement added.

When asked about the declaration, McDonough said that the US president-elect had had "a good conversation" with Mr Kaczynski about the American-Polish alliance and discussed missile defence, but "made no commitment on it".

"His position is as it was throughout the campaign, that he supports deploying a missile defence system when the technology is proved to be workable," Mr McDonough told the Associated Press. 

This is bullshit: the US has already declared that the system is in no way intended or designed to, shoot down Russian missiles - indeed I recall that the US invited senior Russian military personnel to inspect the facilities etc.  Politics in action No  1.

Here's No 2: concerning Iran.  The International Herald Tribune, one of my favourite sources for news items, is associated with the New York Times and Boston Globe.  These are not right-wing publications and indeed I get the impression that they are more inclined to a Democratic point of view.  In an article published today I read:

Iran's head of parliament on Saturday criticised U.S. President-elect Barack Obama for saying its development of a nuclear weapon would be "unacceptable" and repeated the Islamic state's call for fundamental policy change.

"Obama must know that the change he talks about is a fundamental change and not changing of colours or tactics," Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said in comments on state radio.

Larijani, echoing Iran's official line, called on Obama to carry out his campaign slogans of U.S. foreign policy change, including change to U.S. dealings with Iran.

"Repeating objections to Iran's nuclear programme will be taking a step in the wrong direction."

Obama, at his first news conference since Tuesday's election, said on Friday an international effort must be made to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, adding that the country's development of a nuclear weapon was "unacceptable."

President-elect Obama is an American, further he is about to become President and Commander-in-Chief of the USA.  As I wrote on 5th November, he is not likely to be a cuddly little pussycat; his achievements to date suggest that he is a tough egg and I see no reason why he should change.  The "touchy-feelies" should take note.

If you have read this far, you might wonder at the purpose of my rather lengthy introduction to this article.  Well, it was just to indicate that I have no intention of publishing regular updates for the next four years!

Until the next time.

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