Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Just a few random thoughts after Obama's big day.

Gotta admit that our new President is inspiring, no matter what you may think about his policies, beliefs or associations. There's a certain discipline about him, a firm focus on achieving his personal objectives. In this case, those objectives will become a part of our corporate future. Heavy stuff.

As many have said already, let's hope that he's the best President ever. Heaven knows we're going to need a rediculously good one.

Talking of heaven, Pastor Rick Warren served his saviour well today. He gave Jesus honour before millions at the mall and around the world. When he lead the attendees in the Lord's Prayer, he made sure to note who the author was. Obama could not have made a better choice. Good signs.

With all that is going on though, you won't be hearing much about Gaza. Israel very thoughtfully pulled its troops out in time for the new President's swearing in ceremony. Its mission for the most part complete, they have done Obama a huge favour by delivering a new reality on the ground. Hamas came out of this conflict less popular than ever. They thought their fighters would stand up to Israel as Hizbollah did in Lebanon, but instead they cowered behind women and children and have lost credibility throughout the Arab world.

Tomorrow, President Obama won't have to deal with having to make a call between allowing Israel to defend its citizens from Hamas terror or stopping the loss the civilian life in Gaza as Hamas fights a war from behind its own people.

However, as many a President has learned, the Israel-Arab conflict is not one that can be ignored for long. The world will pressure the new President to take a harder line with Israel than Bush did. And Muslims around the world will be looking for Obama to deliver on his promises of reconciliation. The decision Obama will inevitably be faced with is a choice between improving America's "standing in the world" or standing up for Israel in the world.

May God help him, guide him and give him wisdom. He has our prays.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Bush standard

It's popular nowadays to bash Bush. Few will rally to his defence. But, today, that didn't stop the President from defending Israel, and laying the blame for the ongoing violence in Gaza squarely at Hamas' door. He said that Israel has the right to defend itself and that a truce must see Hamas unable to launch more rockets into Israel.

Bush has set a standard for dealing with the Israel-Palestinian conflict; no moral equivalence. Try to find another world leader who's ready to call it like it is, who's willing to take a side and admit the obvious that Hamas and the Palestinians who voted them into power have brought this trouble upon their own heads.

Obama has many challenges before him when he takes office this month. Meeting the Bush standard on this issue will certainly be one of them.