The Case For Obama


From an Arab perspective, foreign policy is paramount as far as the next American president’s intentions are concerned. Of course there is the ambivalent approach on Iran, the position on Israel (read this too), the condescending interventionist stance on Pakistan and all the rest of it. But let’s face it: The question here for anybody who has the privilege to vote in this crucial election and who has primarily foreign policy in mind, is, to put it bluntly, to choose the less worse candidate.

Five Good Reasons

1. His experience with poverty first in Indonesia where he witnessed -reportedly- the effects of an ill advised American foreign policy, supporting an ugly dictatorship, then in Chicago where he preferred working as a community organizer and civil rights lawyer rather than choosing a promising and predictably lucrative career as a corporate lawyer, having just graduated from a prestigious law school.

2. He opposed the war on Iraq well before the illegal invasion started, then he advocated an early and phased withdrawal in concordance with the opinion of a crushing majority of the “international community” (meaning: ordinary people’s).

3. Despite some early contradictory declarations, he generally seeks a renewed diplomacy with a more seasoned approach with Cuba, Syria and Iran. Of course, and as far as the middle-east is concerned, the pressure and the level of infiltration by the Israel lobby and by the Military industrial complex are such that it will be difficult in case Obama had the integrity, soundness and willingness to act as an honest broker, to overturn the flawed system in place. Of course Arabs have to walk the walk after having talked the talk, far from primitive and futile violence.

4. The power of symbolism. In other words: the simple fact of having a black, self-made, left-leaning (in American terms of course), charismatic and clearly smart American president (at least in comparison with the imbecile outgoing one) may in and of itself contribute to temper international relations, and inject hope an positive expectation not only amongst Americans but also to some extent, amongst young secular people over the world -literally.

5. He has met late Edward Saïd. This reason may sound childishly naive and senseless but this is a reason enough to me, if I were American, to vote for this guy, knowing that at some point of his existence, has been exposed to the reasonable discourse of a secular, exiled Palestinian intellectual explaining eloquently his plight and that of his people.

Now of course one could argue for hours about the nature of the political system in America, which is, as far as I’m concerned, more of an oligarchy that it is a democracy, but again an Obama president has the potential to change something of some size, to some extent positively to make the current status quo more viable.

The visionary dream of a compassionate pastor from Atlanta called King, nearly forty years ago may come soon true. Let us just hope that the man now about to achieve that dream will set about to also fulfill the other vision of Dr. King dreaming of a Revolution of Values.

Picture Courtesy of “Stevegarfield.”

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2 thoughts on “The Case For Obama

  1. One of the best posts I’ve read today (and that’s all I’ve been doing, working for http://voiceswithoutvotes.org)!

    To be honest, I don’t believe Obama’s public position on Israel reflects reality. And I’m happy about that.

  2. “and who has primarily foreign policy in mind”

    Si les électeurs se souviennent de la poltique étrangère de leur pays. Ce dont je doute fortement d’autant que la crise économique qui secoue les USA est leur préoccupation centrale. Pour ne pas te décourager 😉 Obama est mieux perçu dans le domaine économique que McCain qui déclarait n’y comprendre pas grand chose.

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