Barack Obama's First Day as President


How Obama could achieve more popularity
worldwide than even Muhammad Ali ever had


George Desnoyers


November 8, 2008


On Jimmy Carter’s first day in office, he lived up to his campaign promise to grant amnesty to Vietnam War draft evaders.  Because we desperately need to improve people’s opinion of the USA, and eliminate the wide-spread fear of the U.S. as a rogue nation and the world's biggest terrorist, I shall be pressing Barack Obama to take the ten [or eleven] steps below on HIS first day in office.  They will not take much of his time and energy, so they certainly won’t interfere with his efforts to fix the economy.


If Obama takes these recommended actions on his first day in office, he will have already brought significant change to the U.S., and to the entire world.  He would be a hero forever in the eyes of many all around the globe, even more popular than Muhammad Ali was at the peak of his worldwide popularity.  By virtue of the President of the United States having acknowledged the morality of these positions and actions, it would be extremely difficult for the world to ever return to the same sorry condition it was in just one day earlier under President Bush.  Here are the things President Obama should do on his first day in office:


1.    Order the closing of Guantanamo’s prison.

2.    Order the Department of Defense to evacuate U.S. troops from Iraq within sixteen months, or sooner if possible with the approval of the Iraq government.

3.     Issue unequivocal Executive Orders demanding that all prisoners in U.S. custody be treated humanely, and ordering the Department of Justice to immediately begin necessary steps to prosecute all U.S. personnel, regardless of how high their level in the chain of command, who ordered, condoned, or engaged in torture or abuse of prisoners (using internationally recognized definitions) in the past or do so in the future.  Specifically condemn all past and future waterboarding as well as the use of stress positions, temperature extremes, beatings, threats of attack by people or animals, sensory deprivation, sensory overload, prolonged isolation, and all other means admitted, or known to be used, by the U.S. during the war on terror which are illegal under international law.

4.     Issue Executive Orders to the Department of Justice and Department of Defense demanding that all prisoners in U.S. custody, regardless of classification, be given unfettered access to lawyers and legal process meeting internationally accepted standards!

5.    Publicly recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes under Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

6.      Issue a strong statement renouncing any first use of nuclear weapons, no matter how “small” and “tactical,” as well as any use of nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state.

7.     Issue a strong and unequivocal statement that, from this point on, the U.S government will fulfill its treaty obligations.  If, for some reason, that becomes impossible, then the U.S. government will either make use of its right to withdraw from a treaty, or follow rules outlined within the treaty for modification.

8.     Issue a strong and unequivocal statement in favor of international law, and specifically endorsing ICC jurisdiction over citizens from all countries, including the United States.

9.     Issue a strong statement in favor of reforming the UN, specifically advocating changing the makeup of the UN Security Council and eliminating the veto power.

10.  Announce that he will immediately send to Congress a bill aimed at ending the Cuban embargo currently imposed by the 1992 Cuban Democracy Act, the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, and Clinton’s 1999 requirement that foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies stop trading with Cuba.  The U.S.’s Cuban embargo is the longest trade embargo in modern history, and also one of the most foolish.


Should Bush’s actions during his last days in office make it necessary, Obama should take another action on his first day in office:


11. Issue a strong condemnation of any pre-pardons issued by Bush in the closing days of his term.  Order the Department of Justice to ignore any phony-baloney pre-pardons.  The opinion of most lawyers is that [attempted] pardons of people prior to convictions, like Ford’s [attempted] pardon of Nixon, are not valid.

For extra credit, President Obama could announce that he has appointed a group of history scholars and lawyers to review ALL of President Bush’s signing statements, and that he anticipates ultimately nullifying a large number of them for being attempts to unconstitutionally usurp powers not belonging to our executive branch of government.


More popular than Muhammad Ali at the peak of his worldwide popularity, IN ONE DAY??  You betcha!!!  That's how hungry the entire world is for a sign that the United States of America is going to be a responsible member of the family of nations!


George Desnoyers
, Massachusetts