Jude Collins

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Barmy about Obama

I was walking along a street near Belfast yesterday and some schoolboys passed me on their way home. “The one I want to see is Obama!” one of them shouted, the way schoolboys do. And sure why wouldn’t he? Isn’t Obama the most powerful man on earth? And isn’t he a breakthrough - the first African-American to be elected to the White House? The man who believes in a policy of talking to one's enemies rather than attacking them.

That’s the message he’ll be bringing to schoolchildren and adults when he speaks in Belfast -  put violence behind you, find new and better ways of working together. You couldn't ask for sounder advice.

Except that Obama, like a lot of other political leaders, is a hypocrite. Take one instance: his drones policy. There are no firm figures but it’s estimated that for every terrorist that a drone bomb kills in Pakistan or the Yemen,  fifty innocent people have to go with him. Such drone bombs are used on a near-daily basis. Americans would argue that this saves the lives of American troops, and it probably does. Better have CIA agents in Virginia sending in unmanned drones than risking the lives of American troops, right? But think for a minute: this is defence of the US? Going to the other side of the world and sending in bombs that wipe out fifty innocents for every  (presumably) guilty person? 

Drones are now being used in the US for ‘peaceful’ purposes - a kind of eye in the sky. I even seem to remember that the PSNI here had purchased a number, whether to use permanently or just during the G8 conference I’m not sure. Shades of 'Big Brother is watching you'. But if you think that drones which can be armed will always be used for strictly observational purposes in the US or here or anywhere else, then you really should see your doctor. 

The commentator Maureen Dowd wrote in the New York Times  two days ago: 

"Back in 2007, Obama said he would not want to run an administration that was "Bush-Cheney lite." He doesn't have to worry. With prisoners denied due process at Gitmo starving themselves, with the CIA not always aware who it's killing with drones, with an overzealous approach to leaks, and with the government's secret domestic spy business swelling, there's nothing lite about it.”

This is the man we feel honoured to have come visit us. Maybe we all should see a doctor. 


  1. No doubt Martin Mc Guinness will be protesting to Mr Obama in suitably outraged terms about his hypocrisy next Monday .Don't hold your breath!

  2. Anon 9:48 - you could ask him - he's on Twitter...

    1. I was a firm supporter of Obama until I saw him making a speech about the New York hurricane recently, as he claimed while having a convenient memory lapse, that the reason americans always bounce back from such catastrophies is that they look after and help each other. Really, seven years after Hurricane Katrina when they conspiciously failed to do anything of the kind, that's some memory lapse. The US is the example Thatcher was thinking of when she talked about there being no such thing as society. That was her ideal, to turn Britain into another America the richest country on the planet but with zero humanity.[madraj55]

  3. Nice sidestep,Jude.I think you have better access than the rest of us.The point I was making was that you were calling Obama a hypocrite but one of your favourite politicians is unlikely to say anything to the President when he talks to him next week.

  4. Anon 11:35 - No sidestep, I'm afraid. You're the one who raised what M McG might or might not do re outrage. If you want to find out, ask. I have no idea where he stands but if you truly want an answer, you have to knock on the door.

  5. If Obama was even half the liberal he was made out to be, he wouldn't have got near the White House. Obama knows his place. I think we all need to realise his limitations.

  6. Indeed, trying to lead America would put a lot of limitations on you I reckon. A lot of Americans live inward looking lives where the priority can only be the interests and welfare of America. I honestly think many Americans would think it acceptable that numerous innocent foreigners die than one US citizen. In addition, a lot of yanks don't even know what their Government is up to-they may not care but many just feel it is unpatriotic to challenge or question those in charge. They love to believe they invented democracy but the real democrats are those who do question. I do think Obama maybe did believe he could initiate change but the reality of power is that he better give into the baying mob!