Hope Alone is Not Audacious

Obama Question MarkWhat is audacious about hope? In general, I think the answer is nothing. There could be something. If you combine hope with a strong will and commitment, then it can be audacious indeed. But I’ve never gotten the idea that Obama means this. Instead, he seems to offer nothing more than the hope that we will all come together and sing Kumbayah. Sure, his perfect world is likely very similar to mine. But is he willing to fight for it? No.

In most ways, what the last four years have shown is that Obama goes along to get along. That is nowhere more clear than in his continued prosecution of the supposed war on terror. Glenn Greedwald wrote an article that documents the many ways that Obama is primarily responsible for the injustice that is the Guantanamo prison. To start off, he notes that Obama never wanted to close it; he only wanted to move it to Illinois. And an Obama task force that looked into the prisoners decided that “48 detainees were determined to be too dangerous to transfer but not feasible for prosecution.” In other words: people we will never release. I don’t even understand this. It seems to me that most of the evidence that has been used to convict these people in the past is pretty bad. If they don’t even have evidence that is that good, how can they possibly believe that these detainees are dangerous? This just sounds like, “I don’t like the cut of your jib so I’m never letting you out.”

By far the biggest sin that Obama continues to commit is his ban on releasing any detainees to Yemen. More than half of the detainees are from Yemen. Most of these have been cleared for release—many, long ago. And yet they sit in prison because Obama freaked out about a terror attack. I guess that he is hoping that there will never again be any terrorism so that he will be free to release people who are even innocent by the “cut of your jib” standard.

This last bit is totally on Obama. I think there are two ways to see Obama when it comes matters like these. Either he is committed to the same world view as Dick Cheney or he is a coward. I tend to think it is a mix of both. Certainly we know that Obama has no iconoclastic tendencies. The installed power structure has been very, very good for him. But the bigger issue is that he is afraid. And that’s nothing short of evil. Placing your own political power above the very lives of innocents is evil. It is also the very basis of United States foreign policy.

And I have no hope at all that it will change.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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