OBAMA - change you can’t believe in


The election of Barack Obama to the White House in 2008 was one of the most celebrated electoral victories of recent times. Not since Nelson Mandela’s win in South Africa, following the collapse of the Apartheid regime, was the supposed power of the ballot box so publicly celebrated and displayed.

Obama’s victory was hailed as a triumph for the ‘democratic process’ and was widely touted as a fine example of how people power and electioneering can trump entrenched bigotry and money.

Obama + Internet + Money = HOPE


The electoral system in the United States is notoriously conservative.  Two political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, dominate.  To be a Presidential hopeful, you need to have stacks of money – to pay for advertising and campaign teams and so on and so forth.  Usually this means courting big business and corporate interests in return for campaign donations.

As a former senator Obama was well aware of this situation and how things worked.  Ultimately, however, his success lay in the fact that he mobilised in two distinct constituencies - among the business community but also amongst the grassroots voters.  This latter aspect – his grassroots mobilisation - received considerable prominence because it was ‘news’ and noteworthy.  His clear and unambiguous business friendly comments received less attention, but were nonetheless important.

A promise broken: Obama & Guantánamo Bay


The Guantánamo Bay detention facility was created under George Bush’s Presidency in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001.  Described as ‘a place where normal legal rules’ do not apply, it quickly became infamous for harsh and extreme conditions of detention.  Interrogators practiced a variety of torture techniques on prisoners at the facility including the now well known water-boarding procedure.

Windsor and Obama visits: Good for Tourism?


At the moment, the predominant view in the Government , the media and in business circles is that the two large, high-profile state visits by the British Queen and the US President will give a massive boost to Ireland, both in terms of increasing tourism and in terms of improving Ireland's current image of a bankrupt and disfunctional isle in the eye's of the world's media.

However, is this viewpoint accurate? It seems to me to be a naive and ill-thought out endeavour, without thinking seriously about the facts and implications.

10,000 to guard the Queen and Obama


10,000 soldiers and Gardai will be deployed to protect the queen of England and US president Barrack Obama during their visits in May. Over 20 million euros will be spent by the state on the visits.

The state of the USA one year after Obama


 The failure of Obama to live up to expectations can be disempowering to many on the Left, even those who understand the limitations of the current political system and how it truly serves only a wealthy elite. We must fight against this tendency with all of our might. Now more than ever, those who are committed to a just society must put forth a viable alternative to the present system, both through words and deeds.Obama’s charisma and oratory was all too achingly reminiscent of fallen civil rights leaders, playing on people’s longing for a time free of today’s suffocating cynicism, when change seemed not only possible, but tangible.

Obamania, the factory of illusions...


The victory of Obama in the US presidential elections, echoed all over the world through the mass media, tried to convince us that the single most relevant event in 2 millions of years of human existence had just happened.

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