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Xinhua, China

Recent Shootings May Push
Obama Over The Edge

By Wu Qingcai

Many Americans have realized that Obama is no longer last year’s knight in shining armor, able to charm people with his cries of “yes, we can!” and cause the media to sigh in adoration ... whether he forges ahead or retreats, either way he will fall into an abyss.

Translated By Afra Tucker

November 7, 2009

Edited by Joanne Hanrahan

China - Xinhua - Original Article (Chinese)

For whom does the bell toll? Yesterday, thirteen people lost their lives at Fort Worth in Texas; today, the same has happened to innocent Orlando residents.

On the afternoon of November 6, all day long television images showed U.S. President Obama’s exhausted expression as he issued statements. The White House flew its flag at half mast as a sign of mourning for the victims of the Fort Worth army base shooting. Just as this was over, gunshots once again rang out, this time in Orlando, Florida—at least one person was killed, and five wounded.

November 4 was originally Obama’s “big day” when he was elected one year ago. However, accompanying the celebration is not the sound of applause, but the hissing of gunshots and the sound of protest. The Democratic party experienced losses in state and mayoral elections, the health reform bill has been suffering from public disapproval, and now there have been two consecutive shootings. With the worst unemployment rate in the last 26 years, countless desperate individuals have been pushed to the edge in these past three days. These days of commemoration have left a bad aftertaste for Obama.

Although the reasons behind these two shootings have yet to be made public, the details that have already been revealed are worth considering. The suspect in the Fort Worth case, Hasan, was a Muslim who feared deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. The Orlando case most likely is related to the issue of unemployment, as the suspect Rodriguez was fired by his company two years prior and recently ran into financial difficulties. When asked why he opened fire, Rodriguez only replied “because they left me to rot.”

These two shootings seem unrelated, but have hit Obama at a crucial point, whereby this “super star president” is already dealing with both domestic and foreign difficulties. On the one hand, he too is delaying U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. On the other hand, it has now been proven that Obama is not all-powerful, able to save the country from economic crisis and stop the unemployment rate from rising. These are all very heavy responsibilities that can only be met with a big struggle.

Since he has taken office, Obama has been waving the big “change” banner to initiate a series of domestic reforms, but his economic stimulus plans, tax policies, fiscal budget, and health care reform, have been met with harsh criticism from both parties and people from all levels of society. The public believes that if he does not properly handle the health care reform issue, it may become the new Obama administration’s Waterloo.

Taking stock of Obama’s past year of “reform,” it has become a joke in the media that one of the “changes” that he has brought is increased unemployment. And as everyone knows, a rise in the unemployment rate is frequently associated with social instability and an increased crime rate.

As for foreign diplomacy, Obama has tried to “change the world,” but his efforts are increasingly showing signs of falling short. Nowadays, U.S. foreign diplomacy prospects in Pakistan, Iran, Israel, and North Korea get gloomier by the day. In particular, the U.S. continues to sinks deeper into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover, trends show that the more emphatic the anti-terrorism measures get, the more terrorism is created.

At present, the Iraq war and the eight-year Afghanistan war have left political scars on all of American society. Americans have seen the position of the U.S. in the world slip down. Officers and officials are now suffering from the huge pressure of fighting two wars at the same time.

The Fort Worth shooting was an eruptive manifestation of the loathing felt by the U.S. Army towards the war. After Obama was elected a year ago, his promises during his run for office regarding the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and reconciliation with Muslims have not transferred into action; yet he wants to increase troops in another Muslim country—Afghanistan. It is no wonder that the suspect, the Muslim psychiatrist Hasan, was not able to overcome the tragedy of war that he had witnessed.

Can, however, the outcome of the Fort Worth shooting be a reawakening of Obama’s anti-terrorism pipedream? I am afraid he won’t be able to emerge from this in a good light. Take the war in Afghanistan, for example: it seems that according to public opinion, gradually transferring out of Afghanistan will only allow the terrorist base to reorganize and bounce back, once again causing the U.S. to face the danger of large-scale terrorist attacks. But if they continue to expand military operations, the political and economic resources that will be required to sustain the effort will incite a public opinion backlash, creating more potential for political stalemate.

Domestic and foreign policy problems have meant that Obama cannot help but make frequent appearances on camera to explain the positions taken by his new administration. However, many Americans have realized that nowadays Obama is no longer last year’s knight in shining armor, who is able to charm people with his cries of “yes, we can!” and cause the media to sigh in adoration. Obama has lost so much weight that he “no longer looks presidential.” It is very evident that Obama today has already been pushed to his limit; whether if he forges ahead or retreats, either way he will fall into an abyss.



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