Presiden Obama playing his cards. Europe is pulling back

Monday, February 20, 2012

Despite continual hounding from the Republicans, the “great (military, financial, energy and media) domain”, and strong lobbies that (as in the case of Palestine) have sometimes forced him to backtrack, President Obama is wisely playing certain cards that will surely enable him to achieve a more active and discernible position in the U.S. and worldwide:

-Health care for millions of Americans who had no access to basic social security services. The victory in the Medicare case, which all of the Republicans voted against, is truly a milestone that so many administrations have sought to achieve since 1945.

-300,000 million dollars for public works and incentives to create employment. “Create good jobs, encourage new industries, build infrastructure to support a vibrant economy and promote energy independence,” as quoted in the January 26 International Herald Tribune, are the objectives of this currency issue whose positive effects have already been felt in the last few weeks.

-Change of the U.S. administration’s principal focus from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In my opinion this is a wise decision that will have extraordinary impact in the not too distant future.

-Reduction of nuclear armament and, more recently, a strong reduction in military spending. Among others, the United States’ new “strategic guidance”, released at the Pentagon on January 5, envisions a redefinition of the superpower’s role in Europe (Weekly Report in “Política Exterior”, January 23, 2012). Washington’s decision to focus its attention on the Asian-Pacific region, cut the Pentagon’s budget by 500,000 million dollars in the next few years and reduce its military bases in Europe is very important in the short term. And in any case, the U.S. retains the symbolic value of underscoring its transatlantic ties, deploying significant parts of its missile defense shield in Turkey, Romania, Poland and Spain.

The Weekly Report likewise emphasized that NATO will continue to be Europe’s principal defense organization, underscoring the lack of political will in Europe to assume greater autonomy in the areas of security and defense.
According to Lluis Bassets, the decisions outlined above mark “the end of an era” (“El País”, January 11, 2012).

It’s true that President Obama hasn’t kept some of his promises or has done so only partially. There are still 170 prisoners at Guantanamo and there has been no urgent re-founding of multilateralism, despite the fact that he knows this is the only way to meet our current challenges, and that the groups of plutocrats initiated by Reagan and maintained by Bush are only making the situation worse.

In addition to these recently-played “cards”, it’s worth underscoring the new approach to relations with Moslems that involve excluding military intervention in Iran, despite constant incitement from Israel and Saudi Arabia’s appearing to consent.

In conclusion, President Obama is taking steps in the right direction… while Europe is pulling back to the point that the markets are appointing governments without holding elections.