Gary Younge writes: Last week, Afghanistan; two coalition troops were injured and one killed by Afghan soldiers; the US reached an agreement with the Afghan government to maintain a presence in the country until 2024; and the US failed to break a diplomatic deadlock with Pakistan after the US refused to apologise for killing 25 Pakistani soldiers in November.
This week, the White House will celebrate the anniversary of the assassination of Osama bin Laden as though it were the crowning achievement of its foreign policy. On Wednesday, Obama will hold a rare televised interview in the situation room to discuss the raid in Abbottabad. His campaign has released of a web video in which Bill Clinton says President Obama “took the harder and the more honorable path, and the one that produced, in my opinion, the best result”. The video then asks, “Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?”
The man who entered the White House with the message of “hope” and “change” wants to hold on to it with a record of “shoot to kill”.
Republicans are right to criticise the president for the crass manner in which he is “dancing around the end zone”. Unfortunately, those criticisms ring hollow from a party whose leader played dress up on the USS Abraham Lincoln to announce the end of a war that is still not over, and whose presidential candidate claims Obama should stop travelling the globe “apologising for” America. Moreover, the problem is not that Obama is exploiting a moment of national unity for partisan gain – though he most certainly is – but that this extra-judicial execution of an unmourned man has proved the only event capable of uniting the country since 9/11. [Continue reading...]