Here are some rambling thoughts, in no specific or logical order, about the very difficult future that awaits President Obama......
Somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my mind I hoped that the worldwide terrorist conflict with al-Qeada was somehow all President Bush's fault. Of course, in the logical and reasoning part of my brain, I knew this was not true. The attacks on 9/11 were planned well before Bush took office, during the tenure of President Clinton. And, unlike Bush, Clinton was relatively well like and well respected world wide. And Clinton had worked hard, if unsuccessfully, for peace between Palestine and Israel.
But, somehow in the very back of my brain and in my heart, I hoped the election of Barack Obama might allow a start toward the ultimate end of our conflict with radical Islam. However, Ayman al Zawahiri brought me back to reality. In a scathing communique, al Zawahiri condemned President-elect Obama ion the nastiest possible terms.
In a flashy and well produced video al Zawahiri condemned Obama as a hypocrite and traitor to his race, unfavorably comparing him to "honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X, the 1960s black Muslim leader. Parroting the words of Malcolm X, al Zawahiri called Obama a "House Negro," a docile slave doing the bidding of the white man.
The State Department dismissed the new video as spin control and a desperate tactic by al-Qaedo to blunt the world wide popularity of the new President who not only is black but has Muslim middle name. While this is undoubtedly true, it clearly shows al-Qaeda has no intention of dialing back the rhetoric or scaling back their on going efforts to attack and ultimately destroy the United States and much of western civilization.
As if this news wasn't upsetting enough, today we learned that Iran has enough nuclear fuel to create their first atomic bomb. Just how long do we believe it will take Iran to use the weapon on Israel or pass it along to a terrorist organization? Clearly the European led negotiations to curb Iran's development of the weapon have failed miserably. Can Barack Obama bring a fresh start to these negotiations or will he quickly learn that Iran's sentiments toward the US are identical to those of al-qaeda. I fear that Iran hopes Obama will be a docile "house negro." Based on what we witnessed during the campaign, I believe Iran will quickly learn he is nothing of the sort.
But the biggest problem that President Obama will face is the collapse of the world economy. I remain convinced we are entering a period similar to, but much worse than, the great depression of the 1930s. Unemployment will quickly move into double digits and major and massive bankruptcies loom immediately as Obama in sworn into office. Even as I write this today the stock market is on the verge of losing 50% of its value from it's peak. And some people I know personally have virtually lost their life's savings.
The big issues will be the loss of jobs and the cascading collapse of the retail marketplace. It will be difficult to overcome these twin problems and solutions don't come easily or quickly.
So far I'm very impressed with the choices Barack Obama has announced for his staff and cabinet. He is assembling a team with depth and talent. He is going to need them. We all will.