FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2009
Contact: The Real News Network
Taruna Godric, 416-916-5202 ext. 414
The World According to Obama – Part 1
The Real News panel reacts to Barack Obama’s inauguration speech and discusses its significance for those outside the US.
The Real News spoke to Glen Ford, Nina Hachigian, and Gareth Porter about the foreign policy implications of Obama’s inaugural address in Washington, D.C.
“The event, this massive pilgrimage, in terms of black America, this has amounted to a kind of Hajj, that pilgrimage that Muslims must make to Mecca once in their lives. It really had the cultural characteristics of an African American Hajj… So of course, one gets carried away with the Hajj, with the event, with seeing comrades and family and folk; in that sense, it was a singular experience. In terms of the speech, it was an anti-aircraft flak gun of signals that can be variously interpreted and are formulated in ways that they can be explained without taking any position whatsoever,” said Glen Ford, editor of the Black Agenda Report.
Mr. Ford argues that while Obama intends to go down a more diplomatic route than his predecessor, it is difficult to pin down the new president’s foreign policy: “Every position he takes has an exit strategy embedded in the language.”
Obama has been faulted for the broad and evasive sweep of his rhetoric. It is a fault that was repeated in the inaugural address, say the panelists, but Nina Hachigian of the Rand Corporation argued the speech still set Obama apart from former president George W. Bush: “I think that Barack Obama is very clear that our military power and our power in general is not enough, that the threats that we face today demand cooperation and collaboration, even with our former enemies.”
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