EspañolThe excitement and hope the world experienced in 2009 is still undeniable. This incoming young, cool-looking president meant, for many, fresh air when almost every nation on Earth saw Washington as the planet’s meanest bully.
But — it’s time to face it — that had a lot to do with Barack Obama’s very unpopular predecessor, George W. Bush, also known as “the planet’s meanest bully.”
For some reason, people across the world believed that this new pop icon would keep his promises, but Obama’s promises to the global community were too many. Above all, they proved too noble for him to fulfill.
Obama has failed abysmally to close Guantanamo, which is only one of many CIA detention camps overseas (black sites). And this is no minor detail, but rather a major issue that sends the message that in the United States human rights mean little and the rule of law is basically nonexistent.
With this act of omission, Obama failed the laudable ideals of the Founding Fathers. By ignoring human rights, Obama likewise failed the American people.
In the face of this glaring failure, Obama still managed to become a Nobel Peace Prize laureate (only nine months after sitting in the Oval Office), an honor he accepted with “deep gratitude and great humility.”
Perhaps it is the same humility that led the purportedly peaceful leader to send military drones to Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Libya. It is that gratitude, I can only suppose, that might have made Obama violate international law.
But then again, what can we expect from a man who doesn’t respect his own nation’s constitution? If a memory refresher is in order, here you have a few: tracking and profiling through the IRS, assaults on the Second Amendment right to bear arms, recess appointments, and an immigration reform imposed by executive order.
There is one thing, nevertheless, that Obama seems to dislike more than the law or peace: whistleblowers. Obama has charged more people under espionage than all previous administrations — combined. And the president’s long list doesn’t even include Jeffrey Sterling or Edward Snowden, whose cases remain pending. Chelsea Manning alone was sentenced to 35 years in prison, as jail time has proved hefty for those who speak up.
Ruling by executive orders and imprisoning those who tell what you, for obscure reasons, want to hide: these are the acts of a cruel emperor, and a far cry from a president who respects freedom.
President Obama, you spied on one of the United States’ closest allies, which happens to be Europe’s strongest economy. You stuck your nose into Brazil’s internal affairs — only for commercial purposes, of course.
Don’t expect the world to trust you when you obviously don’t trust the world — or even worse, when you don’t trust your fellow US Americans.
You were a synonym for “fresh air” and “hope” once, but “better than” is not enough. “Good” was the least of the world’s demands, and even that has now passed by the wayside.
Priscila Guinovart is a teacher, blogger, and writer. She has lived in London and Santiago de Chile, where she wrote her book La cabeza de Dios. An ardent fighter for the cause of liberty, she has been based in her native Uruguay since 2014. Follow @.
Edited by Fergus Hodgson. Update: 11:30 p.m. EST, March 16.