- Obama will probably end the Iraq War. Committed to a withdrawal in 16 months, he rejected a private entreaty from the leading military figure in US-Iraq strategy, General Petraeus, for the US to remain Iraq’s occupier. A major source of international tension, terrible blood-letter and drain on the US economy is about to end. Iraq will not recover for generations from the carnage wrought, the conflict there will not end anytime soon, and the US must now pay hundreds of billions of dollars for decades to come to care for tens of thousands of horrifically injured veterans. But here it starts.
- Obama promises a massive investment in alternative energy and an 80% cut on 1990 levels in CO2 emissions by 2050. If that remains his intention, the US will be transformed from the leading obstacle to international action to prevent catastrophic global warming to the most environmentally conscious nation on Earth. It’s hard to overstate what fantastic news that is.
- An Obama administration won’t be ideologically opposed to the kind of regulatory regime that can shift power from unelected banks and corporations, back to elected governments. Not only can that mean amelioration of the global recession we now face, but it also provides scope for governments to take action to reduce poverty and protect workers, consumers and the environment without the effective veto of business.
- He supports the Employee Free Choice Act – a piece of legislation that will allow American workers to unionise without management being able to squash them. Many employees will finally have the opportunity and the right to say something about their stagnating wages, poverty incomes and harsh conditions.
- For US citizens only – an Obama administration is likely to do what Harry Truman and Hillary Clinton could not and finally reform a health care system that treats sick people who can’t afford tens of thousands of dollars to pay for their treatment, where insurance companies refuse to provide cover for people with chronic illnesses and seek excuses not to pay up at every opportunity.
- Supreme Court Justices sit for life, until they choose to retire or die. The Justices they appoint are any presidency’s most enduring legacies. George Bush I and II have furnished the court with the kinds of men who defend torture and suspended vote counts in Florida in 2000 to put their preferred candidate in the White House. The next appointments will be made by Obama.