2008 is not even over yet, and it already seems like 2009 ain’t going to be just peachy. We all had high hopes when President-Elect Barack Obama launched his transitional period with a vow of transparency – you can watch his weekly addresses on YouTube, always thoughtful and informative – but then another violation of civil liberties took all of our joy away. As reported by the Washington Post, the United States military plans on deploying 20,000 soldiers over the country to serve Homeland Security.  (link on Allison Kilkenny’s blog here).

Defense Secretary Robert Gates might not consider the possibility that creating a police state might generate more insecurity and more violence than the threat it is supposed to fight. History has always proven that pre-emptive repression is conducive to social disorder. This tendancy to anticipate an attack by creating a war is precisely the reason why the Bush Administration operated on a high deficit budget and alienated the country from an international community that was under as much threat as the United States were (unfortunately, between 2002 and 2005, London had its fair share of terrorism attacks and bomb scares, mainly claimed to be retaliation against Blair’s decision to support the United States in the unlawful invasion of Iraq).

One would logically believe that the themes around which the 2008 Presidential Campaign ran would be some sort of clue for George W. Bush to understand the reason why his popularity rates were down the rabbit hole towards the end of his first mandate – and below zero at the beginning of the year. The election of Barack Obama, not just a Democrat candidate but one that organized his entire campaign around change, cutting losses with the past decade or so, starting anew, afresh, with a new found faith in the capacities of the American people, was a clear sign that the electorate was not ready for war, tired of violence, thirsty for change, for peace, for positive reinforcement and collective effort.

This is exactly why, in the face of that fearful Washington Post report that are going to cause more freedom violations and more individual restrictions, I fail to understand why Barack Obama chose to reconduct Bob Gates in his position of Defense Secretary.

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