Thursday, January 22, 2009

End of an era...

It's the end of an era, and one I'm not going to be too nostalgic about. That is the US Presidency of George W Bush. In ordering the closing of Guantanamo Bay and other oversea detention centres as his first presidential act, Obama is sending out a clear message that his presidency is a rupture from the one before. In my last entry, I said that Obama was sure to fail to meet up to the high expectations the world has of him, but perhaps, particularly this early on in the precedings, clear symbolism is what we need. We want to be comforted that the right choice has been made by the American people.

Is this the end of the War on Terror?
Obama, in his speech today, said, "The United States intends to prosecute the ongoing struggle against violence and terrorism," but "in a manner that is consistent with our values and our ideals." I believe that this shift in ideology, from the Bushist 'we have the right to do anything necessary if we need to', a concept that increases fear in the unkown other, the mysterious terrorist, while at the same time denying more and more rights to the known, that is, the normal American people. And America, it seems, is no longer going to be the lone wolf on the political stage, defying the UN and international community. Of course, America was never completely alone in its fight, but international support wasn't unanimous and became significantly weaker as time went on. Obama is putting America back in line with the world, which will be welcomed by many.

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