CEO Obama’s Pep Talk

After weeks of bitter wrangling, intense negotiations and firefighting over the economic stimulus package, US President Barack Obama emerged on Tuesday to show that he has finally taken full control of the country he was elected to lead in November and is ready to take on the daunting challenges it faces on all fronts.

President Obama’s first address to the joint session of Congress on Tuesday saw the same self-assured, dignified leader at his eloquent best reminding the Americans why they had elected him to the White House. This was a pep talk to Team America by CEO Obama. His first major speech after the inauguration was a bold attempt to reassure the Americans and the world that he is in charge now and is determined to reinvent the United States by clearing the mind-boggling mess he inherited on January 20.

Most Americans and the rest of the world were keen to know how the new president proposed to put the US economy back on the track and how he would ensure the successful implementation of the $800 plus billion economic recovery package. However, the economy wasn’t the only issue on agenda. Yes, the economy is important. But there are other equally important issues that demand the US action, like America’s foreign engagement and of course the two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Insisting the economic crisis “will not determine the destiny of this nation,” the US leader laid out a bold, wide-ranging agenda for America.

While acknowledging the dire nature of the recession and how it’s affecting the US, Obama refused to allow it to affect his sweeping governing agenda vowing to ensure transparency in government spending, reforms in banking sector, healthcare, alternative energy production and more. Addressing growing concerns about the possible misuse of stimulus package, he assured a national audience on holding financial institutions to account.

While this focus on the economy went down well with the domestic audience, it’s what Obama said about the US wars and cutting down on antiquated weapons programme that will be approached with greater interest.

The promise to cut pressure on the US forces by recruiting more troops and improve their wages and healthcare is fine. Scrapping decayed weapons and military programmes could save the US exchequer a great deal of money. Both the US and Russia continue to spend billions of dollars on most expensive weapons of mass destruction even though their so-called Cold War is over. This arms race will end if the sole superpower takes the initiative. Which is why Obama’s moves are welcome. Also welcome is his commitment to revealing the “true cost of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan” in the upcoming budget. This will help the Americans get a real idea of the price of former president George Bush’s delusions of grandeur. However, what the world, especially the Middle East, would have wanted Obama to unveil is an exit strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US cannot resolve many of its issues without getting out of these two Muslim countries. It will also help a great deal in repairing the US image around the world.

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