Thursday, January 29, 2009

Week 1 for Obama, as opposed to 8-year 'Weak 1' of Bush

Rosa Brooks

President Obama succeeded in eliminating four of Bush's 'wars' in his first days in office.

Barack Obama ended four wars during his first week as president. With just a few words and strokes of his pen, the president ended the war on terror, the war on Islam, the war on science and the war on women.

On the 'war on terror':

That means: No more torture. No waterboarding, beatings, sexual humiliations or deprivation of food or medical care. And in case anyone's confused, the order makes it clear that those seeking guidance "may not rely on any interpretation of the law governing interrogation ... issued by the Department of Justice between September 11, 2001, and January 20, 2009." (That means you, John Yoo).

Since Ms. Brooks brought it up, the coward/bully/scared-shitless-pussy Yoo still thinks torture is the only thing that keeps the U.S. safe, and in a dark twist of irony gone fucking crazy, DOJ lawyers will have to defend, that's 'defend', him for his anti-Constitutional support of Bush's detainee policies even as we want them to put the torturers and their enablers in jail. Another weird irony about this clown, of course, is how he ended up teaching law at the most Liberal university on the West Coast, UCBerzerkely. Irony may not be dead, but it's certainly drooling all over itself and babbling away in a straitjacket.

The war on Islam is also over. Officially, of course, it never existed. But that's how the "war on terror" looked to many around the world, a misunderstanding fueled by the war in Iraq and the irresponsible rhetoric of many Bush administration officials.

"Officially, of course, it never existed." If you figure, like the Repugs do, that everything prior to Nov. 4 was Clinton's fault, and everything after is Obama's, then neither did the Bush administration. An eight-year black hole in reality and sanity.

Obama also ended the undeclared Bush administration war on science. [...]

The undeclared war on women? Also over. On Jan. 23, Obama reversed the "Mexico City policy," which prohibited recipients of U.S. foreign-assistance funds from providing abortions or even providing information about abortions. Family planning groups worldwide will no longer have to choose between providing honest information and receiving crucial funding.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that these assorted "wars" were only metaphors, incapable of producing real harm. The "war on terror" was practically a gift to Osama bin Laden: Our detention and interrogation policies probably fueled far more terrorism than they prevented. Ditto for the Bush administration's undeclared war against Islam.

The Bush administration's replacement of science with ideology was equally devastating: How many lives will be lost or blighted as we all pay the price for a decade of denial about the human causes of global warming? And some estimate that as many as 500,000 women worldwide have died since 2001 as a result of botched abortions, many of which might have been prevented if the Mexico City policy hadn't pushed abortions and abortion counseling underground in many countries.

Obama's job is just beginning. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will be far harder to end.

Still, not bad for a week's work.

No, not bad at all. I think next week Obama should rethink his 'bipartisanship' fantasy. A simple hint that will help him: It takes two to Tango.

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