|Osamaism Was Already Dead|
|HAD Osama bin Laden been
killed during the presidency of
George W Bush, he might have
become an iconic martyr for
throughout the Muslim world. Those
days are gone. Jihadist websites mourn
their slain mentor, but few in the Arab
street care for a man who brought nothing
to the region but havoc and desolation,
provoked the United States into
waging war and, above all, reinforced
the very rulers whom radical Islamists
most wished to topple.
Arab despots initially saw their life
expectancies extended after 9/11: better
Ben Ali, the...|
|THE past three years have
been a disaster for most
Western economies. The
United States has mass
for the first time since the 1930s.
Meanwhile, Europe´s single currency
is coming apart at the seams.
How did it all go so wrong?
Well, what I´ve been hearing with
growing frequency from members
of the policy elite - self-appointed
wise men, officials, and pundits in
good standing - is the claim that
it´s mostly the public´s fault. The
idea is that we got into this mess
because voters wanted something
for nothing, and weak-minded
politicians catered to the electorate´s
So this seems... |
Obama hopes to ‘elevate’ toxic immigration debate at Texas
AFP WASHINGTON PRESIDENT Barack Obama will seek on Tuesday to “elevate” the toxic US debate over illegal immigration, in an apparent bid also to appease Hispanic voters who will be crucial to his 2012 reelection bid.
Obama headed to El Paso, Texas, in his first visit to the porous southern US border as president, to highlight his efforts secure the frontier with Mexico and to call for a route to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants.
“He is trying to lead a constructive and civil debate on the need to fix America’s immigration system,” said a senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of the president’s major speech.
“He is hoping to elevate the debate,” said the official.
El Paso is situated on the Rio Grande, across the border with Mexico, the departure point for millions of illegal immigrants who penetrated the US border, but have no legal status in the US.
Comprehensive immigration reform has sparked furious and bitter debate in the US in recent years — the last attempt to enact comprehensive change by then president George W Bush in his second term ended in failure.
If anything, the prospects for reform — with US presidential and congressional elections looming next year — appear even less promising now.
“We are going to continue to be forceful about this in order to create space in the Congress,” said another official.
“Part of what you will hear him give is a call to action to the rest of the country to create the momentum we need to get this over the top.” The parameters of immigration reform appear clear — what is difficult is moving the debate forward.
Many leaders believe a path to citizenship needs eventually to be laid out for 10.8 million illegal immigrants and their offspring, with some price to be paid for entering the country illegally.
The concessions to immigrants would be matched by a border enforcement regime and attempts to punish those who use illegal labor.
Many Republicans insist the border must first be secured ahead of reform efforts leading many observers to feel reform has almost no chance and that Obama is therefore seeking a political payoff from discussing immigration.
Immigration reform is an article of faith for Hispanic voters who are becoming an increasingly important demographic in presidential elections.
Hispanic voters will wield big influence in swing states in the next year’s November poll which could pave the way to Obama’s reelection — including New Mexico, Colorado, Florida and Nevada.