The crashing silence of Mr Obama

On the economy we have heard from the President elect. Apparently the only thing wrong with the high spend high borrow strategy of George Bush is that he didn’t overspend and over borrow enough. We should expect more of the same when President Obama sits in the Oval Office.

On the alleged corruption within the Democratic party over the future of Mr Obama’s Senate seat in Chicago we hear loud and clear that whilst the police have interviewed Mr Obama he had nothing to do with whatever did happen.

Yet on the terrifying war in the Middle East that is daily claiming so many victims we hear the sound of silence. We are told that the USA can only have one President at a time. That is useful line when the wind is in the north.

The worry I have had about an Obama Presidency is twofold. Someone who was so good at persuading many that he is on their side will not find it easy to come off all the fences he has been elegantly astride. Being in power means taking sides and making decisions.Someone who put the case for change without specifying what changes will struggle in practise to differentiate what he is doing from what his predecessor was forced to do as he saw it by circumstance and by the mighty high spending Washington machine with all its vested interests.

With Mrs Clinton as Secretary of State it is difficult to believe there will be much change over Middle East policy. With Mr Obama himself wanting to intensify the war in Afghanistan it is difficult to believe there will be much change in policy. With the present Secretary for Defence staying in office it is difficult to believe there will be much change of policy. Yet surely, if change is needed, it is above all needed in the US approach to the Middle East?

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One Comment

  1. Stuart Fairney
    Posted December 29, 2008 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Yes, Mr Obama has studied at the Blair school of “nice-sounding vacuous-ness” Quite staggering he was elected really.

    You are quite right, on the economy, his views that Bush was not sufficiently profligate seem very odd indeed, but I think he may even do worse in foreign policy. There is this view amongst several democrats that Iraq was the wrong war and Afghanistan, the right one. That’s dead wrong. Despite my massive misgivings, it looks like Iraq might, just might, be able to be a reasonably country in a few years with a decent oil-based economy. Many dangers of course, but there is a chance.

    In Afghanistan, there is none. The elections are a farce to elect a talking shop with no power outside of the foreign troops. The economy is wholly drug-based and as we refuse to deal with the farmers of opium, who do you think maybe funding their war with drugs money? Yep, the Taliban. So until we deny the Taliban funding, the war continues and we won’t deny them the funding because of the “war on drugs” No other viable economy can emerge in Afghanistan for several years (I understand it was formerly agrarian, vineyards etc) so drugs will continue.

    The Russians tried with 100,000 troops and no moral restraint, they failed. Can we hope to be more successful with far fewer troops and more restrictions? The troop surge that Obama will possibly deploy, though doubtless welcome to the guys on the ground, won’t achieve its long term aim, UNTIL WE STOP FUNDING THE TALIBAN.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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