President Obama

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ali Akbar Abdolrashidi

In an unprecedented, exciting and historic vote, the American people elected a young and inexperienced black African-American to administer the affairs of their country. The election is regarded an important event in the history of the United States. Many analysts opine that Barak Obama was elected because the American people were fed up and frustrated with the eight year operation of the NeoCons in Washington.

Obama's victory was predictable since long time ago but a number of analysts did not dare to voice their forecast and certain power circles in the United States and in its satellite countries around the world did not wish for Obama to succeed. Years back, presence of a black man at the White House seemed unlikely as does the presence of a Muslim today.

Before considering Obama's victory a success for him, it should be regarded a failure for the NeoCon movement in the United States, who brought nothing but war, destruction, manslaughter, insecurity, budget deficit and dissatisfaction for the American and world people.

Obama's victory can be analyzed in the context of a change that has either occurred in the country or is going to happen. We have not forgotten that in the 1960s in this very United States a combatant and intellectual priest Dr. Martin Luther King who supported human rights was shot to death only because he had promised equality of blacks and whites.

With such background, one can speculate who or which circles are not happy with Obama's election. However, one should believe that the majority of the American people have voted for him and have given up all veteran and professional conservatives and renounced war and hegemony in various parts of the world.

There are numerous reasons behind Obama's victory. The most important may be is the American peoples hope for change in the domestic policies especially in economic arena. The recent economic crisis was a big nail on the coffin of neoconservatives who had watched their dreams vanish in different places including Iraq and Afghanistan.

George Bush and the NeoCons at the White House have provided the best ground for the victory of a person like Obama because of their record during the past eight years. Emergence of a personality like Obama in the American political arena was inevitable as a result of the performance of the neoconservatives and that is why Obama managed to find his way to the Oval office.

The Republicans were well aware of the failures of George Bush and its impacts on the prestige of their party. John McCain might not have been a bad option under normal conditions and could have secured votes for the Republicans. McCain, however, was a traditional cliché for US presidency and anyway a legacy to George Bush and should have shouldered the heavy load of parts of the failures and inefficiencies of the neoconservatives. This played an important role in his defeat.

Naturally, Obama is well aware that his main responsibility is to meet the expectations of people who are fed up with the neoconservatives. Even if he wants, he cannot continue the path of former US presidents. The American people want change and are ready for it. What matters here is just Obama's platform which should come out of the campaign aura and become operational.

The American people worriedly compare Obama with the former US president John F Kennedy. Kennedy came to power in a process similar to that of Obama. He too was young and stood against the traditional and old world of the neoconservatives led by Richard Nixon. In the eyes of the Republicans, Nixon was not a bad choice. But Kennedy managed to gain supremacy over Nixon due to his fundamental opposition with the Republican way of thinking. Kennedy, too, promised change. His supporters cast their votes with the same enthusiasm that people voted for Obama this time. The American people believed that Kennedy too had high self-confidence. This question has remained unanswered not only today but for years as to whether Obama could change the existing political and social conditions of the United States in his own interest or the political and social conditions of the United States made Obama popular. Whatever it was, Obama managed to meet the expectations of the people with the slogan of change and enumerating the components of the type of change he has in mind and during two years of campaign showed what kind of a president he would be. Obama's rivals called him socialist and even terrorist during the recent months but the American people still preferred him to his Republican rival.

Obama's election, as a turning point, cuts off the US connection with its past and it may take a long time before the US people realized what an important event has happened in their country. Maybe people in other countries would realize before the Americans what this election really means.

What is important today is materialization of Obama's promises. Obama talked about his opposition to the occupation of Iraq during his election campaigns but never said he would pull back US troops from Baghdad overnight. Therefore, one can expect that Iraq would remains under US occupation for some time but the number of US forces would be reduced a bit in that country.

On economy, Obama is expected to rise up in support of the middle and lower classes but he is not expected to find a chance to strongly confront the macro economic policies approved by the US Congress or be able to deal with the octopus of powerful economic institutions in the country.

At international level, Obama's election will help diminish the waves of hatred and opposition with the US foreign policy in the world. Many world people especially the black people in Africa and the colored in Asia think they are like-minded for understandable psychological reasons. Therefore they would try to reconcile with him and with the United States at the beginning.

However, if Obama wants to stabilize these positive sentiments he must implement broad publicity and practical measures and use public relations. This would create a golden opportunity for the entire power institutions in the United States to take advantage of Obama's popularity in the US interest. Obama is, therefore, expected to receive the support of power institutions in the country.

Obama has launched a mission too big for him and numerous conservative resistance centers exist against him. The expectations of people of the world and the United States are so big that their materialization apparently seems beyond his power. Can Obama keep the people of the United States and the world satisfied with his performance during his presidency in the next four years or perhaps eight years?

These days, the US media quote the following statements made by Obama during his election campaign: "It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today."