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25 January 2009

President Obama's First Days

Closing Guantanamo Bay .. Good.

Closing secret CIA prisons around the world .. Good.

Prohibition of torture .. Good.

Tightening up the regulations and monitoring of the financial markets .. Good.

Return to America's true values .. Good.

Not using force just because you can .. Good.

Security but not at the expense of America's basic values .. Good.

Total repudiation of the Bush/Cheney way of doing things .. Brilliant.

It could be a brighter future for all of us; but the whole philosophy could fail. On the other hand it can't be worse than the results of the past eight years. There's nothing to lose by trying.

He's going to be a hard man to say "No" to,  European leaders better get ready, especially when he calls for better back-up in Afghanistan. Britain has been shouldering most of the Europe's burden in Afghanistan whilst other European countries have made lesser contributions in terms of military numbers and the type of operations in which they are prepared to engage.

Apparently Winston Churchill's bust has gone from the Oval Office. I can understand why .. in the 1950s, the latter days of the British Empire in Africa, Churchill sent in the troops to crush the movement for independence in Kenya. And we know Obama's links with Kenya.

Churchill might have been a great war leader, but both before and after World War II his humanitarian credentials were highly suspect in my view. In Britian's earlier involvement in Iraq between the two World Wars he was an enthusiastic proponent for the use of poison gas to put down any rebellion.

No human being is perfect, and I suspect that we shall in due course discover that even President Obama is not so, but I expect in that case the redeeming factor will be that he does actually recognise that.

I wish him, and America, well.

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