Monday, January 19, 2009

Welcome Mr. President

By Saeed Qureshi

The American people have seldom shown as much of enthusiasm in the inauguration ceremony of any president as in Barack Obamaʼs, who will take oath of office on January 20 in Washington DC as the 44th President of the United States. President Obama has earned for himself the unique and unsurpassed distinction of being the first non-white president of a country with white majority. In fact he sits over the fusion of both the white and the black races as he is neither white nor black. He is both or at best two in one. His mother is white and his father is black.

Washington DC wears a festive look. Washington DC would go into the history of swearing in functions of the preceding and perhaps the succeeding presidents, as the witness to a sea of humanity that would be present on president Obamaʼs inauguration. A mammoth crowd of over a million people is expected to attend the historic ceremony. So overflowing is the exuberance and passion of the Americans as well as of non Americans to watch this memorable and indelible moment that the venue where this unforgettable event is going to take place has run short of space to accommodate the swelling assemblage. All small and big hotels are booked with full occupancy and perhaps it is one of those redeeming occasions in the wake of the declining businesses in America that the hoteliers and private rental residences will make good money.

President Obama with down to earth postures and unassuming demeanor would take oath of office on the Bible that was used by Abraham Lincoln, the legendry Republican president of United States at his swearing-in on March 4, 1861. This oath taking on the Lincolnʼs Bible clearly indicates president Barrack Obamaʼs unmistakable message that he intends to walk into the footprints of a great president who is known for abolishing slavery and who was devoted to the precious democratic culture that is so jealously guarded by the American people. Being young and robust and with an unflinching penchant to make a difference, President Obama is expected to make momentous decisions to bring shipwrecked America back to the safe shores.

Obama is not a magician, a soothsayer or an apostle endowed with miracles. He is an ordinary or exceptional human being whose worth would be manifest in his ability and competence to clear the Augean Stables and mountain of problems bequeathed to him by his unscrupulous predecessor. Obama is candidly mindful of his crucial role at a juncture when this country lies battered and bruised not only with a tarnished image but with a devastated economy and shattered dreams. America that was destined to lead the world following the end of cold war, with a coveted and enlightened role of global prosperity and peace, is currently under the unworthy insinuation of dividing the nations across the globe and by her involvement in fruitless wars against the weaker states.

Thus instead of capitalizing on a rare and unique opportunity of emerging as a credible leader in a unipolar world, it has sadly sunk into the abyss of moral infringements and by throwing the people both within US and without in a specter of perpetual fear. While America has lost the moral rudder that it inherited after the defeat of communism, it has equally failed to demonstrate that its alternative was the best and a desirable choice. The free world and market based economy under the tutelage of the war-obsessed neucons spelled doom for the Americaʼs vibrant economy with domino catastrophic ramifications over the global economies. The world is more fractious and poorer than it was a decade ago.

The whole world together with the American people are closely watching president Obama with a curiosity if he would be able to translate his message and mission of hope and change into reality. To do so, he will have to totally dissociate his administration from the ruinous policies of the former president G.W. Bush. He cannot afford to carry on continue with the loathsome and unwise legacy of an atrociously imprudent or a macho type president.

With 80 percent approval rating president Obama would be in an exceptionally comfortable position to promote and implement his revolutionary agenda that should be aimed at bringing relief to the world as well to the American people. His immediate concern is to straighten the faltering economy but more important task would be to reduce tension around the world. The first step towards that direction is to terminate or scale down the American military involvement in various parts of the world. The dire need for America is to renew her commitment as an honest broker for world peace and uniformity in promoting democratic and civil societies without discrimination. America needs to win the hearts and mind of people through socio economic aid and not by use of force. Above all it is time that America should present itself as a friend and not a bully to the world.

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