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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 8/31/15

Obama in Alaska: Would you buy a used nation from this president?

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During the 1960 American Presidential election match between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, one theme which was used to the advantage of JFK involved a TV and print ad with a bad photo of Nixon, appearing unshaven, and the caption: Would You Buy A Used Car From This Man? Apparently, from the election outcome, the answer was NO, as JFK won by a narrow margin. Now, fast forwarding to late summer 2015, the current American president, Barack Obama, is visiting the State of Alaska, claiming to promote sound Arctic environmental policies.

President Obama will give the closing address at the Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience, otherwise known as GLACIER. Other high-level speakers at the most-awkward-acronym-of-the-year event, to be held in the city of Anchorage, include Secretary of State John Kerry, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende. The United States appears to be employing Alaska, its doorstep to the polar region, as a setting to work toward the widespread international consensus needed to forge an ambitious treaty limiting carbon emissions at a December 2015 major conference in Paris, an event held annually in different cities under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

By inviting prominent players to Alaska, the U.S. is "offering yet another international forum for countries to come together and make a statement to their citizens at home, and to the world, that they are committed to moving forward in Paris," said Victoria Herrmann, U.S. director at The Arctic Institute in Washington, D.C. Another practical reason for Alaska as the conference setting is that the Arctic, unlike any other part of the United States, is inherently international. And that, Herrmann said, is important for bringing the Russian Federation to the table at a time of soured relations with the U.S. and the European Union over Russia's actions in Ukraine. Sergey I. Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the U.S., is scheduled to attend.

Now, what does all of this high-level discussion have to do with the 1960 JFK-Nixon election?

Consider that representing the United States in Alaska now, and in Paris in December, is the same President Barack Obama who mistakenly authorized drilling for oil and gas in those precious unspoiled-to-date Alaskan Arctic waters. By doing so, Barack Obama overturned decades of conservationism and national policy against the irreparable damage which will occur from such drilling, which is certainly unnecessary at a time when the world is awash in an oil surplus. Talk about mixed signals, and about hypocrisy.

President Barack Obama cannot have it both ways -- not even to protect his own desired legacy. Speaking of which, might it just be that he needs the energy industry and fuel interests to raise that billion dollars he plans to spend on his overblown presidential library and museum planned for the Chicago shore of Lake Michigan? To paraphrase the ad used so effectively during the JFK-Nixon election, America will be buying a used nation from Barack Obama in two years. From the hypocritical, but glossy, lip service his administration pays to fighting global climate deterioration while encouraging it to occur via unneeded drilling in pristine Arctic waters, this president is really selling a pig in a poke. The American public should not be fooled in 2015!

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Author's Biography Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)

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