Friday, October 29, 2010

Obama undercuts his promise - and "American Values" - again

The AP reports that the US has decided to exempt several countries - including Yemen and Sudan - from its law penalizes countries for using child soldiers (a law, BTW, that Senator Obama supported as it made its way through Congress).  The rationale evidently is that enforcement would contravene US "national interests."

Those of you who've read Bob Woodward's recent book Obama's Wars may have been impressed - as I was - by how hard President-elect Obama was struck by the top-secret assessments he received from the CIA.  Indeed, they would be sobering for anyone.  Yet, this was a candidate who made change, and a return to America's "true values," a rallying cry and centerpiece of his campaign.  Those "true" American values, we were raised to believe, included respect for human rights and, implicitly, a refusal to be complicit in violating them.  

Well, Guantanamo has yet to be closed, the Obama administration has used the cover of "national interests" to deny terror suspects the rights of due process of law - and now, in the pursuit of "national interests," is acceding to the use of child soldiers in some of the most conflicted and poverty-stricken countries on the planet.

Yes We Can?

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