Millennium Post

Blurred lines

United States President Barack Obama spoke at great lengths about his grand vision for America in his State of the Union address. In his own inimitable style and eloquence, Obama envisioned an America that worked towards establishing a more egalitarian society and reclaimed its ‘rightful place in the world order. Obama urged his fellow legislators on the other side of the aisle in Congress to support legislations proposed by his government that would go some way in achieving his government’s targets.

Some of the measures listed include higher taxes for the rich, tax cuts and greater access to healthcare and education for the poor and middle class. Obama also spoke of his determination to stand in the way of any attempts to undo the progress his administration has made on universal healthcare and relief for illegal immigrants in America without papers.

Of course, with no more presidential campaigns to run for and with the US economy on the upswing, Obama could afford to lay down a bold domestic vision for his country. In line with previous dispensations in Washington, however, Obama spoke about how America ‘reserves the right to act unilaterally’ against terror threats that endangers itself and its allies. Predictably, Obama failed to acknowledge his nation’s blunders in Afghanistan and his double speak on using terror. If only somebody held a mirror to the United States establishment.

Ignored in the ‘war against terrorism’ is probably the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times perpetrated by US-led drone strikes in the Middle East. This global assassination campaign, authorised by none other than President Obama, targets ‘suspected’ people that may perhaps harm American interests some day and any unfortunate civilians who happens to be in close proximity to the strike.

Two influential human rights groups, in detailed documents, have stated that dozens of civilians have died due to US-led drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, despite Obama’s contention that such casualties are rare. In addition to such stories, last December a US-led bombing raid in Syria killed 50 civilians. Of course, no one in mainstream media caught the story.

Meanwhile, in his address last night, Obama also referred to America’s alleged role in facilitating the democratic transition in Afghanistan, after a large contingent of its troops were withdrawn. The truth, however, is that the transition has been less than seamless, with the Taliban regaining a major foothold in the region.

American forces are not leaving because they achieved their goals. They’ve left because the American establishment has given up on achieving those goals. It is about saving face more than anything.
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