Skip navigation

Tag Archives: USA

Am I the only one who wouldn’t really object to prisoners from Guantanamo settling here in Australia?

An article appeared in the Australian this morning, suggesting that it could happen. By the end of the day, our poorly-rated opposition leader called the idea “completely and totally unacceptable to the Australian people” and the acting prime minister admitted that it was “very unlikely” to happen. Read More »

Everyone at my school was celebrating this afternoon, because word had filtered through that Obama was about to win the election. They were still counting at that time, and at least half the states hadn’t yet been called, but based on projections Obama had twice as many electoral college votes as McCain. Twice as many. He appeared to have the presidency in the bag — as, we discovered later that evening, he did. Even before waiting that long, my year level got into the celebratory mood, running and crying, “Have you heard? Obama’s gonna be the president! The black guy’s gonna be the president!”

From next January, the US will have its first-ever black president. This is undoubtedly a historic moment for the US. They’ve come a long way from segregation, and before that, from slavery. It’s a big symbolic event. I’m not even sure how to describe it. I suppose it’s a sign of reconciliation, in a way. African Americans were long mistreated, or regarded as inferior, to white Americans, but now everyone is equal. And not only that, but everyone accepts that everyone is equal, and that there is no problem in electing an African American to be the president.

Awe-inspiring as this is, race is not the reason I was supporting Obama. Read More »

I have to admit that, for the last couple of weeks, I have been almost wholly absorbed in reading about the deepening crisis between Russia, Georgia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, the USA, and — seemingly — the whole entire world. The kinds of things being said and done right now are the kinds of things I’ve only read about in history books, or learnt about in History class. The kinds of things being said and done right now feel like the kinds of things which will have an immense impact on our future.

It has been almost three weeks now since this conflict began, and already the media is going wild, speculating about the possibility of a “Second Cold War”. I have to confess that — despite the title of this entry — I do not believe another “Cold War” is on the (immediate) horizon, but there is no doubt that the international political landscape has been irrevocably changed. Russia has occupied huge chunks of a neighbouring independent country, and there is nothing the Western world can do about it. That is significant in itself. War with Russia is out of the question, just as it has been out of the question since 1949. Sanctions can’t be imposed when half of Europe relies on Russia for its energy supplies. All the Western world can do is criticise. “My God, Russia, it’s not 1968 any more!” That’ll show them!

Except, of course, it doesn’t. Read More »