What I want to talk about today is the lack of change in American foreign policy, change that was promised by Barack Obama when he was campaign for the democratic nomination and then the Presidency back in 2008. The main change that has not been forthcoming was the end of U.S Military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Granted, Obama has finally set a time table for the removal of U.S. Troops from the Middle East, but this removal has come much later and much slower then originally promised. Instead of a reduction in our Militaristic approach to foreign affairs, we have seen an increasing glorification of militarism in all facets of American life. I do not begrudge appreciation of the service our veterans provide, but the glorification of militarism reminds me to much of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
I want to list a few interesting and important facts of American history that are not often presented in our history book:
- The Star Spangled Banner did not become our national anthem until 1931
- “In God We Trust” did not appear on American currency until 1956
The Conservatives who have for the past few years accused Obama of being a Muslim, not American-born, and therefore not legally qualified to be President, and a Socialist, have been trying very hard to rewrite American history. They want us to believe that the United States was founded as a solely Christian country, that immigration is a bad thing, and that immigrants contribute little or nothing to this country, and the most extreme of them, see the United States as the successors to the Israelites as God’s chosen people. I will be discussing some of these topics in future posts, but the reason I bring them up now is that they are part and parcel with the increasing militarism in this country and reflect the dangerous direction that this country is taking due to the lack of courage shown by the President and the Democratic leadership. They are, as I said in the previous post, far to much consummate politicians, more concerned with their own reelection then with what is right.
The United States should serve as the beacon of Democracy in the world. We really adopted that role during and after World War 2. However we should not force other countries to adopt Democracy using the force of arms. That makes us no better then the Nazis, the Soviets, or the Maoistes. Rather, we would better serve the cause of Democracy by leading by example. We would also get far more support from the rest of the world if we stopped being the policeman and instead became the role model. Also, and this is aimed spesficially at the Christian Right Wing, we would be truer to those Christian principles they so loudly proclaim. After all did Jesus not say, “Those that live by the sword, die by the sword”.
What bothers me most about Obama is that he talks a good game of change, but he does not really have game. He comes off as weak and wavering. I believe he is neither but he needs to reassure us all that he isn’t either by standing up for what I believe he believes and what all the most reliable political polls indicate the American people want: Get us the hell out, and get us out now.
Political wishy-washiness is quite common among American presidents. This is especially true in foreign policy desicons that require a choice between standing up for our principles as opposed to expediancy or at, as Henry Kissinger called it “real politik”. My daughter, and my youngest son Michael(who is writing this at the moment), are fans of System of the Down and their former lead singer Serj Tankian. Serj is of Armenian descent who immigrated from Lebanon to the United States, he is a U.S. citizen and a strong activist for international recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. I think this video by Serj says it all. I reccomend you search your favorite music source for their music and pay close attention to the lyrics. Powerful stuff!