July 30, 2009

Mr. Obama, you are honest and that’s why the world’s expectations from you never end!

When Barack Obama occupied the White House around six months back, expectations from him were tremendous! A considerable amount of this expectation building can be credited to his predecessor, who had done so much of damage that people all across the globe were waiting desperately for the big change in America’s highest office. And the rest of the credit goes to Obama’s mind blowing speech that he delivered in Illinois post his win, which further exponentially compounded those very expectations that people had of and from him. So not only were those beleaguered Americans residing in the US and their brethren marines in Iraq expecting a miracle from the new President elect, but also people from all shades of life all across the world, who eagerly accepted that change had finally come. In fact, it was not surprising to observe that Iranians sitting in Teheran had as much faith in Obama bringing change to the Middle East as a Chinese sitting in Beijing. All of a sudden, it seemed that hope had turned into firm belief that change was about to come.

Six months down the line, much of that expectation has withered away and the world is perhaps none the better or worse as it was in the days of Bush. Or perhaps in the days of Bush, things ironically were a little better. The global economy then was not as much in a shambles as it is now. Obama, though, has not been as lucky as Bush as Obama inherited an economy which was no more worth calling an economy. And probably that’s why, in most of the fashionably known popularity indices, Barack Obama's popularity has been on a constant downslide. Though Americans in general approve of Obama’s foreign policies – particularly with respect to Iraq and Afghanistan – they still strongly disapprove of his policies pertaining to taxes, health care, the federal budget deficit and the economy as a whole. As per a recent Gallup data, as many as 83% of Americans feel that the steps taken by Obama would push the economy from bad to worse. Some 82% of Americans are worried about the ever expanding deficit. Around 78% are worried about the inflationary pressure and 69% are concerned about the increasing role of the US government in the economy! As a matter of fact, today looking around within the US, one doesn’t find any positive indications, except for a change in the economic condition from bad to worse after more job losses. The least said on the economic front, perhaps the better it is for everyone, as all this does is only to add despair amongst the readers. Trillions of dollars of bailout packages and billions of dollars of relief notwithstanding, American companies continue to collapse. Rhetoric on stalling of outsourcing has not helped much either. And probably no one has any clue as to when the US economy, which runs on trillions of dollars of current account deficit, would be back on its feet.

Outside the US too, Obama has failed to drive in any conclusive change till now. The Middle East is in no way better today than what it was when Obama was campaigning and promising change. True, he gave some exceptional speeches especially in Cairo with a clear cut objective to reconcile much of the notional and real differences that exist between the US and the Islamic world. Without doubt, that speech in Cairo by Obama was perhaps one of the best ever given by any US president; the speech was not only honest but carried a considerable amount of dignified humility. But then, by this time he would have already realized that however great an oration might be, a speech always has a limited shelf life. Beyond that shelf life, speeches don’t work much. The situation in the Middle East has not changed much. Iraq epitomizes what a failed state is and is a contemporary example of how the US adventure was completely misplaced. The damage is so deep rooted that even Obama withdrawing US soldiers from Iraq would not solve the problems. On the contrary, it would only aggravate the problems, as Iraq would either become a safe haven for all kinds of terror organizations with allegiance to the likes of Al-Qaida, or it would become an extension of a belligerent Iran. The animosity between the Arab world and Jews has only aggravated; and if Iran is pushed beyond a point by the US to give up nuclear options, a nuclear catastrophe is not too far away.

Obama’s speech in Prague, similarly, further pushed away Iran from Europe; and his contention that the US and NATO should go ahead with anti ballistic missile shields in Poland and Czech Republic has only helped antagonize Russia more. Reconciliation then becomes far from reality. And so far as China is concerned, it seems the Obama Administration does not have much idea about how to contain or control it, and in which direction this relationship should be taken. Pakistan, likewise, is on the brink of failure and a belligerent as well as unilateral policy of US to bombard NWFP regions with missiles fired from drones has only increased collateral damages and consolidated the fundamentalists. Terror attacks continue unabated all across the world and Africa continues to be the same old Dark Continent in exile, comparable to what it was before. Obama’s African background perhaps has not been sufficient enough to restore sanity in that continent.

Though a little too early, but perhaps Obama himself knows this that it is far easier to talk about change and give fiery speeches than to actually bring about changes. It was evident when he himself stated in his Cairo speech, “I do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight. No single speech can eradicate years of mistrust, nor can I answer in the time that I have all the complex questions that brought us to this point.”

Mr.Obama, you are honest and that’s why the world’s expectations from you never end!!!



Anonymous said...

Reverse Cycle towards the betterment of life what we expecting but is it possible in few months/years when we are far far away from the start that we did hundreds years ago ?
To change each one has to change. If not, expectations are only dreams without implementation And implementation of expectation starts from oneself And it applies to each & every individual.
Obama is a good orator no doubt but he needs more shakehands...

Jon said...

Obama came to the Office banking mainly on his oratorial skills. And McCain was not half as good to run for the office.
Now Obama will have to spend most of his time to undo the damages done by his predecessor (most of which are irreversible). So it is sad that Obama may not get a free hand to put his ideas into practice when he is bogged down by recession, Middle east,Iraq, Afghanistan.

May be the situation in Pakistan or Iraq or the recession is beyond his control. But he will be responsible for the way America meddled in Iranian political affairs when there was a faint hope of solution through dialogue regarding Nuclear weapons.

Abhinav@stage said...

Obama as a single person cannot turn the world upside down in 6 months. we should not forget that at the time obama took over-
the world economy had reduced to a cluster of empty bags. an iconoclast change requires some time. we cannot draw coclusion at such an early stage.
i personally feel that OBAMA is honest and his "wait and see" approach towards iran signifies that he is willing to change the environment but he as single entity cannot do that. Lets give him some time. Mr. Arindam is right in his statements but honestly we can only conclude that OBAMA is not running but he is walking slow..ATLEAST NOT STILL..like his predecessor

Ranji said...

Though obama is very good at his oratory skills and though he has good intention to create some change, he is not putting things on ground effectively. He takes many good initiatives, but fails to carry them along. One of the wisest moves he has done was his visit to Russia, where he and Medvedev have made some ground-breaking agreements. But still, he has to go a long long way to make those changes tangible

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