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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/5/09

Barack Obama's First 5 Months in Office

By       (Page 1 of 4 pages)   2 comments
Message Leon Bloom

An assessment and some suggestions as to how to proceed
In rhyming couplets. Is it Change or Rearrange?

On January twenty, two thousand and nine
The sun was shining and the weather was fine,
A million people had come to D.C.
The inauguration, perhaps to see.

Barack Obama was soon to be
Our first Black president in this land of the free
He promised to bring change, he would really push
To change the direction of George W. Bush.

His foreign policy would be soft, in the old tradition.
He'd speak to all leaders, with no pre-condition.
Whether the leaders were friend or foe,
He'd make long-standing animosities quickly go.

We wouldn't torture any more, "We never did", was our position.
When a question arose as to what torture was, the lawyers just changed the definition.

"It's not torture", Rumsfeld said, "when a prisoner must stand
For hour after hour", 'til he felt his head was being pounded by a heavy metal band.
"I often stand all day," he said,  "It's one of my favorite styles."
But it's my guess, he does not want to sit, on his very painful piles.

And Dick Cheney still insists that 'enhanced interrogation'
Has saved thousands of American lives and helped protect this nation.
'Though all the experts say that the methods tried and true
Extracted ALL the FACTS that each of the prisoners knew.

And the rest of the information that every prisoner imparted,
Was meant to stop the pounding that they wished had never started.
So the stories that were told, about events planned far and near,
Were only what the prisoners thought the interrogators wished to hear.

Now although Barack Obama has outlawed torture and renditions,
He has not kept his campaign promises on many other positions.
He has not released the documents that tell details of their actions,
He says, "Investigating their wrongdoings would only be distractions".

"We should keep looking forward and never turn our heads.
We'll get ourselves all tangled up, if we follow all those threads."
We have too many problems on our plates to spend our time looking back.
The economy, health care, energy and education are the things I want to attack."

But holding them accountable, is looking forward, too.
It's the only way of making sure that those who follow you.
Won't feel that they can break the law by just changing definitions
And that Administrations doing whatever they want, is one of our great traditions.

He said he'd get us out of Iraq, that was one of his most important stands,
But we'll likely be stuck for at least two years longer than he had originally planned.
And Afghanistan is heating up, as more troops are being sent there,
While the drones are still killing civilians, as if we didn't really care.

Now, I know we do care and we try our best to keep civilian casualties down,
But it isn't easy when the Taliban is holed up throughout every town.
Perhaps we should change our strategy; don't destroy, but build instead,
That's how you win the hearts and minds of the people, and keep them content and well fed.

That way, before too much time has passed, they'll all be on our side.
Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri will have no place to hide.
The people will turn them in, with just a little bribe,
Leaving the people to live in peace as each warrior returns to his tribe.

But other spots around the globe are still causing lots of trouble,
Pakistan, with loads of nukes, could burst any time, like a bubble.
And Iran is bursting at the seams, with what may be a real revolution,
While the Israelis and Palestinians should be looking for a solution.

Obama, it seems to me, is doing the right thing in these situations,
And North Korea, because of their actions, remains isolated from all other nations.
But on another military front, one begins to wonder just what Obama meant.
He said he's get rid of "Don't ask, don't tell". But it's still in place, to our country's

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I am an 80 year old retired designer and developer of computers and computer systems. I started in the field when when internal memories were on drums, moved to magnetic cores and eventually to chips. I'm a co-holder of patents on a version of cache (more...)
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