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Life Talk!

what should Obama do?



Many here have expressed their support or admiration for new President-elect Obama. 


It seems clear that domestic issuses will be first on his list of priorities, but many people internationally think that he will be better president with respect to America's relationship with the rest of the world. 


In terms of international relations, trade, diplomacy, etc. What would you like to see Obama do as President?


My short list

Push Congress to ratify the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia

Task General Petraeus of CENTCOM with eliminating Al-Quaeda and the Taliban and giving him the resources to carry out the mission.

Withdraw American troops from Europe, Korea and Japan.

12:25 AM Nov 06 2008 |

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United States

I'm not sure I understand how the Free Trade agreement with Colombia helps the US. What is it that that Colombia exports that holds high tariffs that prohibits trade? I know Peru, for example, exports little and imports a lot which their government taxes coming into their country. I'm guessing the same is true for Colombia?


I'm watching Karzai on MSNBC right now. He's America's handpicked leader of Afghanistan and he's "demanding" that the US find a way to reduce civilian casualties. Afghanistan is more complex in its solution than simply a directive for a military mission to kill the Taliban.


I used to believe that the USA should bring all its military home. I'm not sure that is practical. Fast response and the presence of the US military around the world is not only good for the local Economies, but it carries with it a certain deterrent effect to neighborhood military outbreaks. We should go if a country asks the US to leave. If they allow us to stay, it is good all the way around.

12:51 AM Nov 06 2008 |



Right now, most Colombian products exported to the US do not carry any tariffs. The FTA would eliminate a lot of the tariffs on US goods coming to Colombia. 


This would open the Colombian market to more US businesses and while some fear that some Colombian sectors would be hurt, I think that the increased competition would be better in the long term. Colombian consumers would benefit the most, I think. Speaking as a consumer, it's good for me  :)


I agree that the situation in Afghanistan is complex, especially when Pakistan. Few military situations are simple. But this should have been the focus of the US and the Coalition all along.  Of course, a mission to eliminate the Taliban might mean involving them in the government, negotiations, something that eliminates them as a threat. 


As for Al-Qaeda. Killing is good enough


the military does need bases and some presence in areas for quick response, etc. But there are 56,000 US troops in Germany. why?   33,000 in Japan, and  26,000 in Korea?  why?


There are threats, and these countries are allies, but they are also not poor countries. The EU, Japan and Korea can afford to defend themselves.  Reduce our forces drastically there, put the resources into improving special forces, intelligence and counter-terror efforts. 

01:13 AM Nov 06 2008 |



United States

Many say the US's biggest export is weaponry and the military. As long as places like South Korea, Japan and Germany don't kick the US out, I say it is a good investment. I'd rather pay taxes for a military that sits idle in those countries than one that swoops into places like Iraq murdering people.


I'm not convinced there is anything in it for the US to have a Free Trade agreement with Colombia. I'm pretty sure anyone like Bush that would push this is doing it for his rich cronies. If Colombians want US products, just get the Colombian government to end their corrupt tax structure that punishes local consumers by jacking up prices with taxes that go to the Colombian government. Wink

08:38 AM Nov 06 2008 |



One World Government, Memo?


What kind of government would you like to see it have?



worldmikel, I suspect the biggest benefit for US exporters would be for farmers. I'm not sure if they are among Bush's cronies or not. 


The whole point of the FTA is to change the tax structure and eliminate the tarrifs. 



With regards to the military, it hasn't really been a choice of having a military presence in Japan, Korea and Europe, OR one that invades places like Iraq. We got both. Obviously having troops there didn't prevent the governent from invading Iraq.


I'd rather NOT pay taxes for a military that is ostensibly protecting countries that can afford to pay for their own protection.

11:09 AM Nov 06 2008 |



personally, Obama may be in favor of gay marriage, but politically, it would be difficult for him to support that. 


The most central postion and the one that seems not to alienate too many on either side is to support some kind of civil union and equal rights for gay couples without going so far as to legalize gay marriage. 


I personally think that the civil unions are the way to go, and take government entirely out of the marriage business. Civil unions for anyone. Marriage can be something you do in a church, but it has no legal status. 

04:36 PM Nov 06 2008 |




* I mostly agree with you on that topic : civil union as a start to equal rights. It would be a good thing for the LGBT community. But Obama, according to the last news we have from the web, wants more. It seems that he wants to legalise adoption to everyone, disregarding sex, orientation, race, single/couple or whatever . Homophobic crimes will/would be considered as reprehensible as racist crimes. Discrimination on employment will/would be forbidden too ( regarding to the same LGBT standards ).

* Economy should ( and will ) be the 1st subject of course…

* A change in international relationship should be good too. For example, as it has been said before, US army is no longer needed in Japan and Europe and it would save money…in my humble opinion. Maybe ( I'm not that sure ) it's time to stop being a sherrif to the rest of the world. This was the reason of the argue between France and USA which was really sad for us because French people really loves America.

* Last but not least, environment protecting laws would be necessary. We all need America to lead the way….once again.

12:40 PM Nov 26 2008 |