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From Abu Ghraib To Grant Park

Obama has a hard road ahead of him. Who knows where his presidency will lead. "The climb will be steep" indeed. But it's hard to dispute one thing: Tonight's results have given America a second chance on the world stage. In a fell swoop they have undone vast amounts of the damage inflicted upon our global standing in the past six or seven years--damage wrought by Lynndie England and her disgusting leash, by the terrified and furious Marines at Haditha, by those indelible neon orange jumpsuits. No, our enemies won't disarm. Al Qaeda is still plotting. Pakistan is still a very frightening concept. And Obama's election is not a redemption for everything we've done so horribly wrong. But it feels now as though we're starting a new honeymoon abroad--a period reminscent of that fleeting, fumbled moment just after September 11, when the rest of the world was actually excited and proud to stand with us. In a sense, America has been given a second chance. And even knowing how hard it will be to make something of that new opportunity--in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Waziristan, in North Korea, in Iran--there's something simply exhilarating, and even hopeful, about that.  

--Michael Crowley