Thursday, December 4, 2008


Too many challenges out there, US role in the world, Iraq, Iran, Aphganistan, War on Terror, Middle East peace process, North Korea, China, 'NEW DIPLOMACY': FINANCE, CLIMATE CHANGE, ENERGY, but the most challening one will be, of course, RUSSIA.
Recent events in Georgia precipitated a crisis in relations between Russia and the West not seen since the end of the Cold War.
This encapsulated all the frustrations that have built up on both sides and raised the question of how the new administration will frame its policy towards Russia. It needs Russian help in dealing with other problems such as Iran and Darfur, where the Security Council is driving policy.

Russia's military intervention in Georgia raised the diplomatic stakes
The immediate issue is how fast to allow Georgia (and Ukraine) to advance towards the Nato membership they have been promised in principle.
Nato foreign ministers discuss this in December, and behind the scenes the Obama team will have its say. But even the Bush administration is now saying that Georgian membership is "years away", so there are opportunities here for progress with Russia.
The US anti-missile system to be installed in Poland and the Czech Republic remains a problem for Russia. Will that be slowed down?
Clues for how President-elect Obama will deal with Russia will also be seen in how he handles nuclear issues. A key one is whether the US and Russia will negotiate further reductions in nuclear weapons.
On the wider front, Barack Obama endorsed the call last year by four senior former US diplomats (including Henry Kissinger) for the US to aim for a nuclear weapons-free world, as it is supposed to be under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. How far will this be taken?

This man should have been the Secretary of State!

I'm very disappointed in Obama for picking Hillary as the Secreatary of State. First Medaline Allbright, then, Condoleeza Rice, now Hillary Clinton? Why do all the SoS have to be women? I think this was a mistake same as it was with McCain picking Palin because there are many more people who are better qualified for the job.

So who should have been the new SoS? Richard Hoolbroke, of course! Hnegotiated an end to a Balkan war, helped normalize relations with China and advanced American interests as envoy to the United Nations. He helped raise money for Obama, offered him advice, and argued his case in articles and on cable news shows. One article was headlined: "Why the Nation and the World Needs Barack Obama."

What is Barack Obama's greatest challenge now?

I expect Obama will simply bring US policies at home and abroad more in line with what it was before Bush came into office i.e more centrist. So nothing radically different. Some elements of US industry & finance is in trouble so Obama will do what any US President in the pockets of American Corporations has done before and that is listen to their concerns. The first priority of President Obami is to lead by example. His calm, abiding presence and keen intellect are only two of his positive traits. To those who view President Obama as a "threat to America" I encourage patience and respect. President Obama has been duly elected and we must honor the office.

Obama’s support of Kosovo

This whole election process to me was more than just about the America's security, economy, reputation, was also about my old country, now Republic of Kosovo. Even though it was Bill Clinton who helped us fight against a fascist state (Serbia), on this issue, McCain wanted to basically destroy Serbia.
I was very skeptical of Obama's election, however, the more he was talking about Kosovo, the more I supported him because as it turns out, the American foreign policy in Kosovo will not "CHANGE".
One Obama aide said during the election campaign that Obama supported the independence of Kosovo and its "democratic process toward full sovereignty." This was enough for Kosovo's Albanians to celebrate the night Obama became US president-elect. They would not have been unhappy even if McCain had won the election. However, Kosovo's way toward independence from Serbia was paved by President Bill Clinton, a democrat who ordered a military intervention against Serbia during the regime of Slobodan Milosevic.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama's pick for White House chief crushes Arabs' hope for change?

While it was very obvious that the majority of muslims and arabs supported Obama whether because of his race, his name (Barack means "blessed" in Arabic and Hussein which means "handsome one"), or his hope of change in American politics, this dream seems to have been ashort-lived fiesta with Obama's appointment as White House chief of staff of Rahm Emanuel, a tough American with Israeli roots and sympathies.

Many people worldwide, especially Arabs, who were skeptical of American democracy because even though it has a significant big minority, all of its presidents were Anglo. With the elections of Obama however, those people are now are rubbing their eyes in disbelief. People in middle east say they are fed up with colonial white faces and want to end the US presense in Iraq. I think those people who think that becuase we got a president now who is not a "white face", the US foreign policy will change are dead wrong, for very obvious reasons.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What have we learned this election?

  1. Barack Obama is the first northern Democrat to win since JFK.
  2. When liberal democrats have run, they all have been beaten. When centrists have run, they have run. Obama seemed to have broken this rule.
  3. Senators have viable again. For the past forty years, Americans have expected their presidental candidate to have some sort of executive experience. Ronald Reagan (California), Jimmy Carter (Georgia) and Bill Clinton (Arkansas) were governors. JFK was the last sitting senator to become president. But this year, the three strongest candidates - Mr Obama, Mr McCain and Hillary Clinton - were all senators.
  4. Web-based social promiscuity is definitely the way forward. Facebook and MySpace were used with devastating effect by the Obama campaign. So, too, his own beautifully-designed website. Its organisational and money-making power were extraordinary and election-changing.
  5. The veteran problem. Nobody doubts John McCain's remarkable story of wartime bravery. But does it help to be a hero?
    For the fifth election running, the candidate with the more heroic or convincing war record has lost. McCain against Obama.
    Kerry and Gore against Bush. Bob Dole against Bill Clinton and Bush Sr against Clinton.
  6. Like John McCain, Barry Goldwater, the GOP presidential candidate in 1964, was an Arizonan senator, a former pilot, a maverick and a straight-talker. He commandeered a plane during the 1964 convention in San Francisco to buzz the convention below.
    Arizonan senators with a love of dare devil aeronautics and devil-may-care linguistics? Don't call us, we'll call you.

I like the connection between Obama-JFK and McCain-Goldwater. The more I read about it, the more it seem that everything is predestined.

Suddenly, it may be cool to be an American again?

Things may indeed be changing for good, at least for now. If you google "Obama Change", you see thousands of articles where Americans who live and work abroad are no longer living in "hidding", they're not saying they are Canadians anymore. For once in eight years, we actually saw people take to the streets in Beirut, Paris, Buenos Aires and not burn the American flag but embrace it.
I wonder though, is there a price to pay for being too nice? During the elections, Obama has been attacked constantly for his "too soft" stand on some foreign policy issues. I guess we won't know that untill he actually takes charge but we should not give in on our interest just to please people world wide. It's getting more and more competitive in the world today, and with the rise of Eastern Superpowers, China, India, and Russia, and especially Russia who is invading sovereign countires and dividing them on ethnic lines, Obama is going to have to be very carefull on how he deals with these issues.
But untill then, thank God for this "change" and Americans finally got an opporunity once again to show their pride of being an American.