Nolton regular Earl Ingle returns with an analysis of three key points on international affairs addressed during President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union Address.
On Tuesday, January 24, 2012, President Barack Obama delivered the annual speech that is demanded of the President of the United States as per the United States Constitution. He brought up some arguably great points regarding international affairs. First and foremost, he began the speech by giving accolades to the brave men and women who have fought in Iraq at any time within the past ten years. He followed this accomplishment with the acknowledgement of the termination of several tyrannical leaders across the globe. In addition to these achievements, President Obama also pushed for tax code reform for companies operating in foreign nations. Finally, President Obama admitted to the growing threat or Iran’s quest to obtain nuclear weapons.
A key point of President Obama’s speech was geared toward the “selflessness and teamwork of America’s Armed Forces.” As sitting president presiding over the withdrawal of troops from the Iraqi War, America’s longest war, it was important to commend the troops on their efforts and ability to focus on the “mission at hand”. The comparison was also a pointed statement directed towards the current Congress. The fact that there is such adamant disagreement between Republican congressmen and Democratic congressmen is extremely detrimental to society as a whole, and creates friction in the reestablishment of the American economy. Obama praised Seal Team Six for their whole-hearted cooperation in taking down America’s number one threat, Osama bin Laden. He discussed him ambitions of a movement towards an America that could cooperate as effectively and efficiently as those members of the Navy Seals, who were forced to overcome surprise obstacles, such as an out-of-control helicopter, and who worked diligently to ensure the protection of the innocent women and children in Abbottabad compound. The praise issued to our troops was well deserved, and should be taken to heart by the rest of the country as well. Congress must find a way to work together as amazingly as our soldiers have to help ensure American security.
President Obama also focused a large portion of his remarks on tax reform for businesses that have factories overseas. Currently, companies get significant tax breaks for “moving jobs and profits overseas”. Meanwhile, the companies who decide to manufacture locally succumb to “one of the highest tax rates in the world”. Under his proposed reformation, President Obama would redistribute the increased taxes charged to domestic companies utilizing foreign factories and employees and credit them directly to companies who bring labor and factories back to American soil. Likewise, a “basic minimum tax” would be established under this reorganization to further lower the taxes of domestically based corporations.
The situation with Iran’s attempted nuclear proliferation was also discussed during the State of the Union address. The President pointed out key factors that have “allowed us to strike decisive blows against our enemies”. Within the past year this nation has seen the demise of the leader of the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization, Osama bin Laden, as well as the removal of the world’s longest-serving murderous dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. These remarks concerning their departures from tyranny were a blatant warning to Iran that they will not be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon. President Obama did not commit to war with Iran, urging for a peaceful resolution, but he also did not exclude it. With vast global agreement to the United State’s position (by way of “crippling sanctions”), Iran is “more isolated than ever before,” and will embark on a difficult journey if they choose the path of proliferation.
While the President’s annual January statement focused on many more issues that just those discussed in this article, only a few of the key international affairs topics are highlighted in the preceding paragraphs. Regardless of the proposed effectiveness of the items addressed, both sides of the aisle in Washington will have to work together to iron out the details and ensure passage of these suggested remedies. Many of the proposals seem sound in idea; however, one must also take into account the fact that this speech was made during an election year. It will be difficult to separate the feasible actions from the impractical ideas until campaign mode comes to a conclusion in November.