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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Barack Hussein Obama
Yes, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange still has asylum inside the Embassy of Ecuador in London, where he has resided for more than a year. That hasn't stopped him from staging news conferences, issuing statements and making broadcast appearances — so many that Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa reportedly has sent Mr. Assange a letter requesting that he stop using the embassy as a backdrop while making fun of politicians in Australia, the whistleblowing activist's home turf.
Barack Hussein Obama took the presidential oath at 11:55 Sunday morning in a small ceremony at the White House, gripping the reins of office for another four-year term and a chance to build on his already historic legacy — though unlike the beginning of his first term, he now faces a divided Congress capable of thwarting him.
Before the clock strikes noon Monday and Barack Hussein Obama takes to the podium at the U.S. Capitol and again recites the presidential oath of office, moments of reflection on symbolism and substance are in order.
Barack Hussein Obama became the nation's first black president on Tuesday, beckoning Americans to move beyond divisive politics and a "collective failure to make hard choices." Now Wednesday, the real work begins.
"Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly. Our schools fail too many. And each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet," Mr. Obama said.
"To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect," he said, though he immediately then warned "those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy."