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Obama - the angel of the War On Terror
Early last year the Prime Minister of Australia told the world that U.S. Democratic Presidential Candidate Obama's policy on Iraq would be good for terrorism. "I think that would just encourage those who wanted completely to destabilise and destroy Iraq, and create chaos and victory for the terrorists to hang on and hope for Obama victory," Howard told the Nine Network. He went on to say that whover was running al Qaeda in iraq should be praying for Obama to win.
Reading Obama's speech on accepting the Democratic nomination, I am praying for the man to win. He appears to realise that creating global flashpoints, fronts on which to be seen as fighting the problem, is not stopping the global splattering of death and destruction. It's a pity our own Prime Minister was not able to perceive such a fact
When (and please let it be when) Obama becomes President, hopefully the paper trail that belies John Howard's appalling participation in U.S. foreign policy may come into the spotlight, and put the incarcerations that Australia has carried out on behalf of Bush and Cheney's War On Terror into place as petty politics designed to support a philosophy of creating carnage for cash.
Below you'll find the part of Obama's speech for which I'm cheering. Others will have others, and I hope they place their thoughts here too. For me, though, the upshot that the global upheaval created by Cheney's "business practices" is about to end (pleasepleaseplease) is a cause for celebration. The end of the Halliburton Empire is nigh, and coalitions of state and corporate interests look like becoming less motivated by the monetisation of bloodshed and more by the profitability of peace. Hopefully the lines between corporate and state warfare interests will never again become so blurred. Pigs will fly, once we perfect cloning, so maybe the concept of monetising peace isn't far around the corner.
[Extract from Obama's speech, from the Guardian via Jack H Smit's Project Safecom]
"For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. You know, John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even follow him to the cave where he lives.
And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79bn surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.
That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.
You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice - but it is not the change we need.
We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans - Democrats and Republicans - have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.
As commander-in-chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.
I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace and who yearn for a better future."