Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Current Political Landscape

Well it looks like the tide has finally turned and Hilary may even abandon her attempts at fratricide earlier than the Democratic convention. For a cool perspective of the election results check out this site and look at the number of states Obama has won. Obama clearly has a broader appeal: he has won 27 states compared to Hilary's 18. Furthermore, when Obama loses he does so by a narrower margins than Hilary. For example, Obama has lost only 8 states/territories by more than 10 percent while Hilary has lost 27 (and had some spectacular blowouts). They are also pretty even when it comes to super delegates and most of Hilary's must eventually recognize his broader appeal. With the ridiculous fiasco concerning Wright over (see The Guardian), Obama has shown he can weather the storms and prevail. Furthermore, his foreign policy aims offer some hope to the world; they are based on the precept that not only should the war be ended but also the mind-set that started it. He offers the "most sweeping liberal foreign policy critique ... in decades" and given the diverse background of his advisers (no neo-con hawks) there is a good chance it will be more than rhetoric.

There is no question that the loss of life from Cyclone Nargis could have been greatly reduced if early warnings were relayed more effectively and aid offers were not rejected by the military junta. Nevertheless, the selective amnesia of the media which decries Burma's response is irritating. Doesn't this situation sound familiar? Isn't this what happened with Katrina? My favourite story on the disaster involves three bowling pins which were sent as an aid package. How useless is that? Almost as useless as handing contracts to limousine and cruise ship companies. Maybe if "Al Qaeda blew up the levees ... New Orleans [would] have been safer that way." Sure put pressure on Burma, but don't present America as squeaky clean.

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