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Inauguration Fever

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Rob West
Rob West

The world celebrated as Obama took office today. It was possibly the biggest event in international media history with Akamai and Mogulus who power many sites including CNN, C-SPAN and USA Today reporting record breaking traffic. This probably won’t come as any surprise as the majority of viewers doubtless wanted to make sure that they weren’t due more of the much hated Bush. I am not sure whether the festivities surrounding Obama’s victory and inauguration are more to do with getting rid of Bush or Obama’s colour. It is a mighty day for equal rights to have the first black president and also a fantastic day for the world’s population to be rid of the war-monger. So that being said, what does it mean for us?

The media surrounding the inauguration has been prolific, and indeed has been hailed as a pivotal moment for internet media, with such a huge percentage of viewers choosing to watch through that medium. The problem with that is though the internet is capable of such a feat, and it is wonderful that this is the case, is it right that we have all tuned in to the same few sites and earned these huge media corporations more money from the inevitable bump they will receive from the ratings? I am merely playing devil’s advocate in order for the frenzy around the inauguration to have some meaning, so please bear with me. The inauguration itself cost in excess of $170 million. Take a moment and digest that number, that is equal to half of Samoa’s GDP. It is a massive figure, though fear not, as the Government intends to pick up the bill for just under a third of it. For essentially a big party, and for a noble cause, that is surely in excess of what is sensible. Why is it this high? Most likely because of the massive income media companies are set to make from it. American politics is seriously big business! I am pretty sure that money could have been spent on a cause much more fitting to such an occasion, what however is another big question.

So what is the international spending likely to be focused on for the new President? Well, sadly probably exactly what the international spending was on for the last one: war. With the Israelis committing various atrocities in the name of freedom and in response to terror, can we expect anything less than America’s full support? Israel is merely following where their big brother has lead them after all. Afghanistan will also occupy his mind frequently with troops deeply embedded, and we all know too well that it is not likely to end any time soon.

That said, he is a staunch supporter of the environmental movement and will hopefully lead the way for all states to follow in that. Whether Key will drag his feet further with such impressive opposition is yet to be seen.

It may sound cynical, but when you look at the facts, despite him being democrat and black there is little that will distinguish this president from the last. People may be distracted by his rhetoric and his apparent ideals but America will still riddle the world with war. The only things likely to gain, and it was the same from Bush’s administration, are the media corporations, the banks and the weapons manufacturers, definitely not those who need it most.

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