The Presidential honeymoon

  Forum Editor 22:47 15 May 09
Locked

appears to be ending.

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In keeping with the age-old political tradition of appearing to say one thing whilst reserving the right to do something else President Obama has begun the process of reinstating military trials for some Guantanamo detainees. He's doing it against a background of criticism from protest groups who say that any trials should take place within the American justice system.

It's a sign that the new President is facing the realities of needing to balance the changes he has promised with the realities he has inherited from his predecessor.

  WhiteTruckMan 23:23 15 May 09

So...?

WTM

  ky72 23:57 15 May 09

When he was elected he stated some huge commitments & changes, now the honeymoon period is over i aggree with fe that reality has now took place & the people of america wait very anxiously

  rdave13 00:00 16 May 09

He is reinstating but under new rules. That's what people of such high caliber do, don't they?
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  Forum Editor 00:21 16 May 09

Well, seeing as you ask so politely.............

Obama voted in favour of military trials in 2006 (although he called for them to be made 'fairer') yet on the campaign trail he called them "An enormous failure". As soon as he was elected he asked military judges to suspend the trials so that the legal process could be 'reviewed'. He didn't say what form this review process would take.

Now it seems that although the trial system has been widely condemned internationally it is to be reinstated, but made 'fairer'. It seems to me that the way to really make it fairer would be to allow detainees to be tried in the federal courts, like everyone else who is charged with a crime.

I repeat - it's a sign that Obama is prepared to backtrack on what appeared to be a promise made to the American people when it's expedient to do so. There are those who (rightly) point out that the promise to stop military trials wasn't made in so many words, but it was interpreted that way by the people, and he was happy to go along with it at the time - there was much talk of prosecuting terror "....in a manner that is consistent with our values and our ideals."

And there was me, along with millions of others thinking he meant trying these people fairly and openly in the American justice system.

As I said - the honeymoon appears to be drawing to a close. Stand by for a healthy dose of political expediency.

  Forum Editor 01:13 16 May 09

Justifying an action by telling journalists - in answer to criticisms - that “First and foremost, the president does what is in the best security interest of the United States.”

Which is what the White house Press secretary did today doesn't strike me as a particularly constructive way for people 'of such high caliber(sic)' to set about the job of running an open administration. It smacks of a 'daddy knows best' mentality, which is precisely the thinking that Obama promised would not prevail in his administration.

  rdave13 01:34 16 May 09

Caliber(sic)..calibre; apologies for spelling.
Politicians are politicians; does not really matter whether in USA or UK. They do what is best for their country; or should do.
Obama is a new broom and it will surely take time for him to impliment his ideals. Give him time, bit too early to gloat I think.

  laurie53 07:29 16 May 09

Don't think anybody's gloating, just a wee bit disappointed that he seems to be falling back a little from his much publicised ideals.

  crosstrainer 08:47 16 May 09

That's how politicians get elected! Say one thing, do another. Obama is a huge improvement over GWB, but then, so would an intelligent dog.

  Forum Editor 08:47 16 May 09

I wasn't gloating - I'm an admirer of Obama's stated aims and philosophy. What I was doing was highlighting the need to receive information from politicians in a considered way, rather than allowing ourselves to be swept along on the tide of euphoria that can follow events like Obama's election.

There was a good deal of near hysteria when he came to office - it was almost as if a god had come to walk amongst us. Expectation was always going to exceed delivery, and as the realities of American politics sink in I think we'll begin to see dissatisfaction spreading - certain groups of people and certain factions will realise that their problems aren't going to be solved by a stirring speech or two and a flourish of the Presidential pen. Obama has many serious problems to worry about, not the least of which is the success or failure of his plan to resolve the situation in Afghanistan by beefing up the US military presence. If that goes badly wrong, and it could easily do so, he will see his popularity ratings plunge pretty quickly.

  WhiteTruckMan 09:49 16 May 09

Now I understand that this thread actually has a point instead of being just another general gripe, thankyou.

WTM

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