Tuesday will usher in a new era. New in many ways. Like the proverbial 800 pound Gorilla in the room, certainly race is an issue. But it isn't, except for historical purposes, the key issue. Our world is Topsy-turvy right now. We teeter on the edge of a second Great Depression. One which if it happens will cause our country more trouble than ever happened in the early 30's.
In today's European press, there is a sudden silence, after punishing Bush with every emotion they have. It has suddenly occurred to them that when Obama ascends to the presidency, he will be faced with problems that they do not have answers to either.
The expectations that we have put on this man, a politician that for the most part hasn't been tested, nor does he even have a background that would have tutored him in international relations, are huge. This isn't about criticizing Barack Obama. We elected him, we have him, now we need to support him.
Now we have handed him a recession bordering on depression. Let me just review a view of the problems he and the new congress faces:
First, the economic collapse. The scary thing about this is that no one single cause provoked it. Certainly, high oil prices for two years started it. I said back then that with the world economy counting in dollars, the oil barons were shooting themselves in the foot. I spent 20 years in the mortgage business ending in the mid- nineties. Never would I have guessed at the hallucinating marketplace would self destruct. Sure there were well meaning congressmen that wanted everyone to own their own home. Unfortunately, these head in the clouds people should be put out to pasture. The conservative lending practices that I lived by were totally abandoned and the people that created them should be sent to prison.
First and obvious in foreign affairs is Iraq and Afghanistan. If we can stabilize Iraq just a little more, then the problem shifts to Afghanistan. But Afghanistan isn't the only problem. Just across a mountain range, is Pakistan, which with the border tribes allied with terrorists, is a throwback to Cambodia during the Vietnam dust-up. A sacred hideout that the outlaws of Afghanistan can retreat toward. Obviously, a lesson we didn't learn very well in Nam.
Israel/West Bank/Gaza is probably a problem without a solution. West bank separated by Israel then again in Gaza, without common borders is a dream without a wake up call. There is no way that a country can exist with split borders. Unless Jerusalem is internationalized, no peace will ever happen there. The key word in all of this is "tribe."Most of these areas have been controlled by tribes, both in the Middle east and in Africa. They don't know how, nor do they have the education or desire to change. People like that can't govern Countries. They for the most part are still living in the stone age.
But wait, there is more! North Korea just announced the possession of several nuclear weapons and is waving swords at south Korea. Perhaps they have glad eyes for Hyundai.
Religious warfare has been fought for centuries with no winners and all losers. Even today we haven't learned. It would appear that a world wide Jihad called by radical Muslims is going to play out, not withstanding the situation in Israel.
These and more situations face Obama as he reaches the goal he sought. One wonders why he even wanted to. At this point it is important for me to say where I'm coming from. I am a conservative, albeit not severely right wing. As a matter of fact, I detest extremism from either side. Me? I'm going to support the President of the United States while I can. If he screws up, I'll comment on it. Having said that, I probably couldn't do better, and I won't second guess him as he travels this mine field. We need to lose the cheap shots, such as that aimed at George Bush. All that does is point out the pointy heads of those that sink into that sort of thing. Get back to debating issues, rather than below the belt shots.
God Bless You, Obama and I hope you know what the hell you're doing!
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