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The Obama Dilemma

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I feel sorry for Barack Obama. He is the Tiger Woods of American politics – mixed up, afraid of his lineage and anxious for white acceptance and Black understanding. Just last week this Democratic presidential hopeful shocked the world by sounding very much like Republican Vice President Dick Cheney and President George Bush – a sharp departure from his measured political responses to date. Obama’s comments that he would launch a military campaign inside Pakistan without that country’s approval if as president he was confronted by “actionable intelligence” as to where terror mastermind Osama bin Laden is has drawn sharp criticism and evoked memories of a hawk in dove’s feathers.


And if this was not enough the other Democratic presidential contender, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, refused to take “the nuclear option off the table” if the military gave her a general idea as where Osama bin laden was located. By out Obamaing Obama Senator Clinton sought to consolidate her hold as the pack leader among the Democrats vying for the White House job.


Heck, that’s scary stuff. Obama would trample the sovereign rights of an independent nation and invade it to hunt down Osama bin Laden – with or without its permission – without regard for the consequences and the impact on the war on terror. Ms. Clinton is prepared to drop a nuclear bomb to try and kill bin Laden without regard for the collateral damage and potential loss of life in the high thousands that is bound to occur.


That’s not being tough on foreign policy or tough on terrorism but patently stupid and ridiculous. Such reckless, off-the barn near-lunatic statements are not the kinds of sensible and objective utterances that one expects from presidential candidates. While Obama’s position flies in the face of international relations and laws between states on the planet and behaves like the big bad wolf, Ms. Clinton could care less about the impact and consequences of launching a nuclear attack to kill one terrorist and thousands of innocent people in the process. This is not what should pass for sound, carefully thought out foreign policy decisions but the kinds of quackery that fringe radicals espouse.


Obama had the sense not to do a Hillary Clinton and stay away from the so-called “nuclear option” that is something that only the clinically insane would contemplate in this modern world. Ms. Clinton’s immorality is evident since she feels that annihilating thousands of innocent people – just as Osama bin Laden and his goons did on 9-11 – is justified “if” intelligence says that “he might be” in a certain place.


Maybe it’s the summer heat and folks are really not thinking very clearly. Things have become very fuzzy in recent times and I find myself wondering exactly who is Barack Obama. It appears that the more he seeks to woo Black people, his natural base, is the more he gets farther and farther from them. He speaks in careful “big tent” tones of “we the people” leaving the interpretation open, ambiguous and fluid.


And when it comes to Black people Obama presents himself as offering some “tough love” criticisms, advice, and recommendations that obviously find appeal with some white voters. He carefully avoids any linkages with instutionalized racism, bigotry and systemic and endemic prejudices that are at the roots of Black socio-economic problems while obliquely suggesting that the sum total of today’s Black problems stem from individual failures and a lack of personal application and ambition.


That’s very safe territory but politically stupid because this partly explains why he’s struggling to overtake Hillary Clinton in a constituency that should be easily his own. The fact is that Blacks are not hearing anything from Barack Obama that would encourage them to rally to his side in the numbers that he so badly needs to be a viable presidential contender.


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MICHAEL DERK ROBERTS Small Business Consultant, Editor, and Social Media & Communications Expert, New York Over the past 20 years I've been a top SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT and POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST in Brooklyn, New York, running (more...)

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