A Month Of Change

Jon Gold

President Barack Obama has been in office for one month. Prior to his coming into office, we heard that he will change the direction of this country. That he will get us back on the right track. It's still too early to tell whether or not he will live up to the hype. However, it's not too early to see if he is off to a good start.

As of right now, here is what I perceive to be the good that he has done. He asked the military leadership to "engage in additional planning necessary to execute a responsible military drawdown from Iraq." He freed years of Bush records. He "signed new measures to spur development of fuel efficient cars and to wean America off foreign energy." He ordered the closure of Guantanamo Bay. Finally, the 9/11 Families were given a meeting with Obama to discuss GITMO (something the Bush Administration wasn't willing to do).

Now for the bad. He kept a lot of Bush's war team (and did let some go). He continued Bush's practice of bombing Pakistan with drones, and now is expanding that mission. Depending on who you talk to, he preserved the "Rendition" program. He went to a party that Donald Rumsfeld and Henry Kissinger attended (that just irked me). Apparently, he sought a delay in having Rove testify. He is sending 17,000 troops to Afghanistan (Sen. Fritz Hollings wrote an interesting article about Afghanistan). He will "continue Bush Administration policy with regard to detainees held at a US airbase in Afghanistan, saying they have no right to challenge their detentions in US courts -- and denying them legal status altogether." He is "trying to kill a lawsuit that seeks to recover what could be millions of missing White House (Bush) e-mails." Finally, he used the 9/11 Families, and his meeting with them as part of the justification for sending more troops to Afghanistan (something the Bush Administration WAS willing to do, and did so often). As far as I'm concerned, Obama is not allowed to use 9/11 for anything.

I don't see many indications that "change" has indeed come. It is still early, and only time will tell. However, in my opinion, it does not look good.