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The advent of president Obama

The people of the United States can be justly proud of what they have achieved. They have achieved the incredible by enthroning merit over racial prejudice. To think that the bloody resistance to the civil rights movement was in the 1960s, and the last lynching of a black man in 1981; Yes It was indeed in our own lifetime that we watched Martin Luther King and his Gandhian struggle against racial discrimination in the US; he of course paid with his life. But his ‘Dream’ has come true, for whoever would have thought that the grandson of a Kenyan Muslim, though married to a ‘White’, would be elected President of the United States in our own lifetime, This not only speaks well for the people of the United States and for Democracy but also serves as an example to all our countries as well other than India of course, though she is presently facing the challenge of State chauvinism.

India has in recent years shown us the way by having a Muslim President, a Sikh as Prime Minister and an Italian woman as President of the ruling Congress Party. Do hope we take a lesson from this for even the Buddha preached against discrimination in all its forms when he stated Najacho vasalohothi …"By birth are you not an Untouchable nor a Brahmin, it is by deed art thou an Untouchable or Brahmin".

Yes Obama has indeed moved America beyond racial discrimination and racial politics, he has proved once again that America is indeed the land of hope and glory, a land of extraordinary opportunity and possibility, where miracles happen as did this. I am reminded of a book I read recently titled ‘The Secret’ which states you can achieve what one wishes if only if one works for it with absolute belief and faith; Obama it is said had an unshakable conviction that America was ready to shed prejudice and step across the colour line; The American people have certainly not stepped but leaped across that barrier with him.

Thanks to television we have seen millions of Whites, Asian, and Hispanics, not only Blacks, queuing for hours to cast their ballots to put Obama into the White House and create history. After CNN announced that Obama had crossed the barrier and won the Presidency, we saw not only blacks but Whites and Hispanics leap and weep for joy. They have put their faith and the future of their country into the hands of a 47-year-old black man who made history and they, as Obama himself stated became a part of that history. It was indeed a watershed in American history.

The rejoicing had been countrywide, people wept unashamedly and those tears, we should understand, indicates the depth of the hopes of the people. The sheer weight of expectation is huge and somewhat scary, for if he does not deliver he would shatter the hopes of millions of youth who voted for him; he represented the future and McCain the past. His speech after he was declared elected emphasised unity and above all CHANGE. He has at all times been an inspirational speaker and has a brilliant mind; he has indeed made the people believe that he can Pilot not just the US but our world which is engulfed not only in an economic crisis but in two horrible wars, out of this US created mess, and make this world a better place for us all. Obama’s election offers the world a sense that the imperious power which has been capable of doing such good and which has in the past done much harm — a country that preached justice but tortured its captives, launched a disastrous war in Iraq, under false pretenses to control its oil reserves, turned its back on the environment and greedily dragged the world into economic chaos — will see a course correction with the coming of Obama he represents, as stated before not only hope but CHANGE.

What does the election of Obama mean to us? He has of course first and foremost a huge financial crisis to deal with, a crisis that threatens to plunge our world into recession. The other domestic issues he faces, should engage his immediate attention and next would be the war in Iraq. It is an undeniable fact that the US has in recent years been held in contempt in most parts of the world. The hatred for the US particularly because of her policies in the Middle East has let loose the most virulent forms of terrorism both in the US (9/11) and elsewhere. The US has set the Middle East ablaze on account of her Israeli policy. We do hope that his appointment of a high profile Jewish banker as his Chief of Staff would help him reach out to the Jewish State and get them to see reason and return to almost the 1967 borders and compensate the State of Palestine for land taken away from the Palestinian people. His two state policy is the only answer if real peace is to be achieved in the Middle East. He should also be better able to ensure the return of the Golan Heights to Syria. Yes the world hope that with the election of Obama we would see a change of policy —- he has even stated that he would engage Iran in a constructive dialogue, this to us would be a tremendous step forward. This would be the only way to tackle Islamic fundamentalism and the terrorism it has bred.

I have no doubt that US policy towards Latin America too would change and we would see President Obama reaching out to Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia and more constructive relationship emerging. He would no doubt reach out to Africa in a more substantial way than before In the past the US and the western group overlooked any and every atrocity in countries where they have important economic interests in Africa such as the Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea or Angola to name but three of the oil and resource rich countries; it is these double standards that have eroded western credibility and made it possible for the likes of Mugabe to remain in power That era will surely end.

The election of Obama would also see an end of the likes of Rumsfeld, Bolton and Dick Cheney, who would have been soul mates of Stalin had the murderous dictator lived,(though of a different persuasion of course) and other detestable politicians that have inflicted themselves on our world, have brought back the Cold War by unnecessarily provoking the Russian Federation through the placement of Missile batteries on the borders of Russia with the help of the Georgian and Polish governments and plunged the whole planet into a perilous situation which could even result in a nuclear war and the feared Armageddon I am certain that Obama would also reach out to Russia and we shall see the emergence of a new Cordial Entente making our world a safer place for us all.

Vice-President Biden with his years of experience will no doubt the country’s foreign policy. There is little doubt that US policy towards Asia would have as its cornerstone her relationship with India but she would also seek a new approach not necessarily of appeasement of India but a more even handed approach bearing in mind the need to assist and not embarrass or undermine Pakistan; An even handed approach to relations with all countries including North Korea, should auger well for the world; the election of mixed race Obama does however represent the recognition of the pluralistic, multiracial, multi ethnic and multinational dimension of societies and we would no doubt be expected to understand this dimension and accept in our own interest.

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