The US election is close by, an election that undoubtedly has a tremendous effect on world politics. This brief post will touch on this subject, but please note that this should be interpreted as an apolitical reflection. I do not support any of the candidates, nor is this an argument for or against either candidate.
Since Obama took office he has, amongst other things, put indefinite detention into law, executed without traditional due process based on a kill list (which has included US citizens), advanced the use of drones and taken an aggressive approach towards whistleblowers.
The argument could be made, and has on many occasions, that these policies are at odds with civil liberties, unfit of a country that portrays itself as the leader of the free world.
Glenn Greenwald today has a piece in the Guardian; “Who is the worst civil liberties President in US history?” Futurama fans will notice that Nixon isn’t even mentioned in this fierce competition.
Despite Obama’s track record on civil liberties he is preferred to Romney in 20 of the 21 countries polled by GlobeScan/PIPA. Pakistan is the only one favouring Romney, with a mere 14% backing the challenger. (In another poll recently published in the Swedish paper DN (can’t find the article) I believe it was 39 out of 40 countries that had Obama as their favourite. In the latter, Pakistan was undecided, and Israel in favour of Romney.)
The “leader of the free world” has a kill list, yet he is the world’s preferred candidate.
Something to ponder on as you follow the election outcome.