Obama's Cairo speech shifted the discourse, away from justifying reckless imperial hubris, unilateralism and militarism and towards a more cooperative and potentially even internationalist approach. It is the task of people across the US to mobilise and turn that new language into new policies.
This article analyses the intersection of torture, aggressive war and Presidential power in the 21st century, with particular attention to the current US Constitutional crisis and related international humanitarian/human rights law.
The recently approved multi-billion-dollar U.S. economic and military aid packages for Pakistan suggest that the US policy of prioritising security policy over development remains unchanged. This could lead to Pakistanis becoming even more hostile towards the United States
Obama's caving in to the pressures of Pentagon to escalate the war in Afghanistan will inevitably mean weakening his programmes at home and losing the support of the broad progressive coalition that brought him to power.
President Obama's speech reflected accountability not to his base, the extraordinary mobilization of people who swept this anti-war and anti-racist candidate into office, but rather to the exigencies of Washington's traditional military, political, and corporate power-brokers who define "national security."