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Open Letter To Barak Obama

By on Nov 11, 2008 in Politics | 3 comments

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Mr. Obama, President Elect – you have won, and the people cheer – and in huge neon letters, or so the media would have us understand – the world itself now sees the words ‘Hope’, ‘Change’, ‘Obama’ all writ large pnto some bright fantastical chimera. 

My skepticism is founded mainly on your foreign policies which, unfortunately, sound to me almost identical in attitude to the ones that have already cost America so much of its standing in the global community. The whole notion that unilateral actions are acceptable when America (and only America) chooses to act. The idea that America should play world leader, that somehow, America has been forced by virtue of some supposed superiority to police the rest of the world. That the injustices committed to some people are acceptable as long as they are perpetrated by ‘friends’ of America. That America would consider friends those who would perpetrate such injustices and in the process bloody the hands of all the otherwise good people that make up the nation. That America would threaten Iran as it did Iraq, with no legal basis and no proof. That it would blindly think that security is a function of power and not of the cultivation of good will and kindness. That the children, in short, will continue to pay in hunger and blood for the needs of wealthy old men.

However, despite my own opinions on the matter, the sheer scale of hope for something, anything better than what they’ve already seen is certainly palpable. That people would extend so much sheer hope that you, Mr. President Elect are their savior is on the one hand a poor exercise in naivette and on the other – well, frankly – it’s almost touching.

This raises a possibility – 

What if, just what if – I hope – You realize that this is how you won, that this is why you won – that people are so desperate for a real life super hero in office that they actually turned out, and put a cape on you – draping you in what each one believes to be the authentic American dream. Something, in any case, better than a Bush, better than a…well, Bush.

If such an effect were possible – if even its possibility is plausible – then perhaps it’s a mistake to go around telling all the Obamaphiliacs that they’re wrong. Maybe their optimism should be left to linger in the air – if there’s any chance at all that you will pick up on it. That you would be so awe-struck by the power of that hope you’ve been promising – the intense desperation with which people want it – to actually consider wearing the mantle – to actually consider for a second – like MiracleMan did on Olympus – that you have some real influence on the state of the world. That some possibilities could actually, be more than mere campaign attitudes. That if by simply invoking the possibility of hope so much support could be gained – then how much more support would surely follow if one were to actually provide not only the promise of change, but real, actual change. A change of heart. A re-examination of values. A refusal to work the tired treads of things, that in the end, yield only cruel profit. An affirmation of the value of all human life, an actual attempt to understand issues such as occupation before labelling their reprecussions as terrorism. An opportunity to work with the world, and for the world, and to understand that words such as ‘unilateral’ – are not words of change, nor are they words of hope. That American politics should stop, financially, militarily, and politically, at American borders. That when you poke your nose in the affairs of other countries, you will take no credit for anything good, and all the blame for everything bad – because you are operating illegally, imposing your will by might rather than submitting to the grace of right. That America’s opposition of the International Criminal Court is both disgraceful and shameful, that the very existence of a Security Council within the body of the United Nations is, in the final analysis, an absence of democracy, and that the absence of democracy, is in effect, a brutality.

These are all dangerous prospects for a man in your position, and I’m sure I do not understand half the complications involved. However, when reluctant, or hesitant, or not quite sure what to do or how to do it – I suggest you remember Nietzsche’s doctrine of Eternal Recurrence – that these things you do will be here forever. That nothing ever ends, and that all moments must be moments that you would be proud to live again. That you do not visit upon yourself a moment that you would not choose to have again. That you do not yield to the demands of now.

I truly hope this message reaches you, and I truly hope you consider the sentiments behind it.

We need a better world. Badly.

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3 Comments

  1. Hisham

    November 12, 2008

    Post a Reply

    Omar: well written (I am sure that is not what you wanted to hear!) , but lets consider a few points here:
    1- For some reason I do feel that even you, as skeptical as you may feel, have a glimmer of hope.
    2- The Jewish lobby funds all presidential potentials
    3- Obama wants talks with Iran
    4- Obama is black
    5- Obama’s middle name is Hussein
    6- I am not arguing against you neither in support of your view; I am simply mumbling

    Now I am not going to go through point by point because I am not a well structured writer so I will go through what I think going from one to the other in no particular order.

    Your skepticism is well deserved and anyone that thought that Usama Bin Laden may be appointed as Vise President will be very disappointed. Fact of the matter is that he is now in a position whereby he must prove to the world that he is in no way a Muslim; I personally don’t know how he will do that.

    His talks with Iran are, in my own humble opinion that he, as well as everyone in the world, are now beginning to understand that America’s military might is wanting very much so when involved in guerilla warefare; yes they can invade in two days but their suffering begins when they are settled in. America soes not have the ablilities we see in the Harrison Ford movies – sorry for sounding a little naiive but I have no other ways of expressing this. therefore, Amerca cannot afford war with Iran, nor Syria nor anyone else for that matter. They are neck deep in shit and I believe Obama is aware of that and putting it on his list of priorities was a smart thing to do.

    However, like you said, he will be better than Bush – hell I believe that I would be better than Bush but then again, so would the office boy that brings me my coffee everyday and I do not intend in anyway to be funny; it is simply how I see it. But how better are we talking about. But Bush was so bad as to have pushed the Americans to vote for a Blak man with a Muslim name. I am not taking away anything from Obama’s exceptional abilities to deliver a speech nor from his obvious charisma. I do believe we will have a better world without Bush as President, however.

    One thing I am sure of is that this economic crisis will be resolved in a year or two as it is the nature of the worldwide economy to fall into slumps around every 20 years ever since the great depression of 1929.

    Oh well, I’ve said my bit.

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