Bid adieu President Barack Obama, a look back into his presidency

By: | Updated: January 20, 2017 7:24 PM

His presidency which spanned for two consecutive terms have been the focus point of the world as far as international geopolitics is concerned.

President of the United States, Barack Obama (Reuters image)President of the United States, Barack Obama (Reuters image)

President of the United States, Barack Obama is all set to say goodbye to the people of America for the last time on Wednesday January 18. His presidency which spanned for two consecutive terms have been the focus point of the world as far as international geopolitics is concerned. Living intellectuals like Noam Chomsky have often been critical about the policies of the Obama administration. As he sets out to hold his last press conference lets take a brief look back at some of the major achievements and fallout of his presidency.

Obamacare

Also known as Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) which is nicknamed as Obamacare is an initiative from the part of the US government enacted under the presidency of Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The plan was to bring as many as uninsured American population under the fold of health insurance when the conditions of health of an average American was at a decline due to high cost of existing health insurance plans. As on June 2016 the percentage of uninsured people saw a decline from 16 percent to 8.9 percent, a reduction of 43 percent. The question lies that if Obamacare have done good to the people of America then why does the incumbent President Donald Trump wants to repeal the plan.

Gun laws

Though there have been restrictions on the usage of guns and access to guns, the deaths due to gun misuse have only risen during the presidency of Barack Obama. Gun sellers are prohibited from selling handguns under the age of 21 and long guns to those under the age of 18. As per estimates of Trace.org from the year 2005-2015, 71 Americans were killed in terrorist attacks in the homeland while 301,797 were killed due to gun violence in the same time period. It is an astonishing fact that during this time Obama ruled 7 out of 10 years of the mentioned period.

Middle East crisis

It is no secret that the ongoing crisis in the middle east has much to do with the government of America than with anything else. The involvement of the US in various regime change operations in the middle east perticularly that of Iraq and Libya and most currently the Syrian civil war has given rise to the growth of a brutal outfit called the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant/Syria (ISIL/S). This has also given rise to an unending exodus of Muslims from Iraq, Syria and other affected nations that has fallen due to war between the ISIS and the Russian and American forces. The assassination of long time Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and the fall of Libya is what is seen as a major flash point to the rise of the present refugee crisis.

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Pardons

All is not bad either for the outgoing president. He knows to win hearts of the people back home. On Tuesday January 17, he commuted the sentence of former army soldier Chelsea Manning who was sentenced for supplying highly classified documents and videos to Wikileaks. The decision came when Obama overruled the objections raised by Secretary of Defence Ash Carter. Barack Obama also pardoned James Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff who pleaded guilty for making false statements to investigators in 2012 on the issue of passing of classified information to journalists on the efforts of the US to shut down Iran nuclear programme.

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