The State of the Union Speech = Tough Road Ahead

Ibrahim Iman - (Keydmedia) - The last night's State of the Union Address by President Barack Obama was mainly about U.S. domestic issues, including a bipartisan appeal for a divided house of representative, addressing deficit spending and a call for winning "the future" by focusing on ways to "out-innovate, out educate and outbuild the rest of the world."
Editorial Keydmedia Online

With Democrats and Republicans sitting next to each other out of respect for the wounded Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords, the president's speech didn't raise any foreign policy issue with the exception of speaking, passingly, to the crisis in Arab World, " Tonight, let us be clear: the United States of America stands with the people of Tunisia, and supports the democratic aspirations of all people."

If anything, the speech was another great exhortation by a president whose grandiose plans often meet with a cumbersome politics in Washington. But America faces tremendous challenges, not only from two theaters of war in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but a growing conservative movement known as the Tea Party, with strong political and economic agendas that are antithesis to what Obama was prescribing to preserve America's economic standing in a century that already favored China, Brazil, and Turkey as great emerging economic powers of 21st century.

The great recession has proven itself formidable to the economic policies put forward by Obama administration, especially in efforts to deal with the growing unemployment that hovers at double-digits, making most Americans pessimistic towards an unemployment rate at 4 or 5 percent at anytime in the near future.

Mr. Obama spent the first two years of his presidency for signing into law social and health legislations that made the Republican base energized to regroup against what they described as "the big government", triggering an old debate between the Democrats and the Republicans. In fact, this debate is going to be the center of the issues as each party proposes legislations in the coming months that reflect partisan efforts to either downsize or oversize the scale and the role of the federal government.     

But the realm that won't be affected in America's politics will remain always the foreign policy, despite the change of hands in government between the two major political parties.

For one thing, the political squabbling will persist in Congress and last night's break with traditional sitting across party lines will be remembered by many as a creative symbolism of unity that existed perhaps during founding father's era.

But for this nomad, it suffices to say Aragaanee* of what lies ahead for President Obama's great speech.

*Aragaanee is a Somali word used to express a feeling of skepticism towards the future.

Ibrahim Iman's column appears regularly on

Editorial 13 May 2021 2:35

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