Tuesday, September 3, 2013

THE KING AND HIM: By Ghassan Kadi August 29 2013

By Ghassan Kadi
August 29, 2013

 The US celebrates the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s historic “I have a dream” speech. Barak Obama stood at the very same podium where the King gave his monumental speech, with a skin colour pretext in a farcical... attempt to make it look as if the USA with an African American President is now able to say to its own population and the rest of the world that the King’s dream has been achieved.

If we wind back the clock by five years, Barak Obama had all the makings of fulfilling that dream, not only for America but for the rest of the world that is directly or indirectly affected by the internal politics of the United States.

In his rise to power, and his election win, Obama has had admittedly what seemed to be the makings of that dream. Obama may not be as emotional in his speeches and moving as the King, but his words, at least in his early years of rise to power, were not any less powerful. Obama is a very gifted speaker, there is no doubt about that and the words he manages to conjure up are words that resonate with the words of great reformers, great political leaders and social philosophers who have either tried to change the world to be a better place, managed to do so in their own time, or left a legacy of light for other generations to follow thereafter.

It was perhaps very hasty on the part of the Nobel Prize Committee to give Obama the 2009 Nobel Prize for Peace, but at that time, that decision looked reasonable. After all, Obama appeared to have all the makings of a leader that could change the history of the United States, not only domestically but also internationally. Let us not also forget that one of Obama’s first international appearances was in Cairo of all places, a famous speech that he gave to Arabs and Muslims heralding a promise to make America a more equitable and fairer partner in the process of establishing proper and just peace in the Middle East.

In that speech Obama went as far as telling his audience that he was brought up in Indonesia listening to the Azans of the Imams and that he understandood Islam as a religion of peace. He even quoted the Quran and he created a hope in the Arab/Muslim world that perhaps, just perhaps, America had finally elected a President who understands and respects different cultures.

It didn’t take long after Obama’s first inauguration that his “Yes We Can” election slogan was turned into “I thought I could”.

Many hopefuls in his character, history and aspirations believed that given time he would rise above the power games of the White House and be himself. Many remained hopeful later on that he was not able to be himself until his second term if he wins it. After all, if an American President cannot be his true self in his second term then he has no real substance. But, if anything, in his second term, Obama seems to be changing his slogan again from “I thought I could” to “Why Even Try”.

No one knows really what is in the heart and mind of Obama. He could be a person who had good intentions, if you give him the benefit of doubt, he may even still have some good intentions, if you want to give him the benefit of doubt again, however, there is precious little that he has done on the international scene to prove that he is any better than his infamous predecessor (GWB), apart from refusing to commit US boots on the ground of other nations.

In reality however, he stepped up drone attacks, he has allowed the US and NATO to overstep its strict UNSC’s No Fly Zone Resolution in Libya by far, he has aided and abetted Al Qaida militants in Syria, and he is now in the process of making a decision about attacking Syria before a UN sponsored expert team’s determination about the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Government.

This resonates with a great deal of infamy and accuracy with GWB’s decision to attack Iraq.

There is a difference though; GWB accused Saddam of having WMB’s when he knew it was a lie. Obama however, is not only accusing the Syrian Government of using chemical weapons against its citizens, but he is most importantly and knowingly, covering up for the real culprits who have committed the actual crime (if indeed it actually happened), and this makes him not only a warmonger on false grounds but a party that is implicit to that alleged crime.

What is perhaps more pertinent to all of this is that the United States of America, love it or hate it or be indifferent about it, is a nation that is deeply troubled on many levels. Those who have a fundamentalist dislike or even hatred for America are perhaps gleeful to see the “imperialist master” in such a decline. In reality, it is a sad indictment for humanity to witness the fall of America. America, a fairly new nation, had a lot to learn from past human mistakes. America as a nation, though predominately European, is a melting pot of different cultures, religions, ethnicities, and even though it had a very dark history dealing with its indigenous population, it had a least a very good chance to unite the world by way of “using” its migrant population (i.e non-native Americans) in a manner that could unite the ancient world in more ways than one. Last but not least, in principle, America has a humane Constitution and gives power to the people to change it. This is something, if put into action, constitutes a great foundation for the whole world to learn from.

America portrayed the USSR as the source of all evil on earth during the Cold War even though, during that same period it was really America who was busy invading other nations and trying to bring them down to their knees. But even after the breaking up of the USSR for which ever reasons, America found itself in a New World Order and a mandate to fulfil its alleged expectations to be a beacon of the principles that it is meant to be based on. If the Cold War pushed America into such conflicts as Korea and Vietnam, finding itself as the world’s only supreme power within the New World Order was in itself a great opportunity for America to rise above the Cold War politics and be itself, walk the talk, if it were truly genuine about its principles and the doctrines that it is trying to export. Sadly, however, power is a double-edged sword that can only be used wisely by the wise, and if anything, the Bush legacy, with the Clinton tenure in-between, only revealed one thing, and that is the power that America found itself in possession was too tempting to overlook. The “Ring of Power” is not a Tolkien fantasy, it is a reality when put around the finger of the power-hungry.

When Obama won his first term in 2009, America was already financially bankrupt, and he knew that because he is not a fool. Everything about him was different; not only his skin colour, but his rhetoric, vision, understanding and resolve for change.

With a national American debt approaching 17 trillion dollars and counting, a debt that is increasing by more than two billion dollars a day, 40 million Americans on food vouchers, millions of others homeless, two overseas wars in which the country is bogged down in without a foreseeable end, a decaying infrastructure that includes roads, bridges, dams, airports, and many other social and health problems, not to mention endemic drug issues, ethnic ghettos, violence etc, America is not the superpower it claims to be any more it is the financial superpower that is only surviving on borrowing and printing money.

History will perhaps record that Obama was America’s last chance; a chance that he blew, not only because he failed to make his promise of “Yes We Can” come to fruition but perhaps mainly because his new found undeclared slogans of “ I thought I could” and “Why Even Try” will be seen in the words of history as similar to the words of France’s Louis the XV when he infamously said “after me the flood”.

If he commits America into a new protracted war in the Middle East by invading Syria, he may even prove he was the flood’s master and architect.
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