United States of America has got the Change it desperately needed at a moment in History when the financial melt-down and bankruptcy of hitherto revered Banks of the Country and the specter of the looming recession and rising unemployment and increasing percentage of people without Health Insurance, a must in the U S, without which HealthCare can only be a distant dream for the common man, creates uncertainty and hopelessness in the hearts and minds of Millions of American Citizens.
Barrack Hussein Obama, a Christian by belief, and Muslim as most of the Republicans and the Neo-cons would want us to believe without much success, owes his victory not only to his campaign of “Change” but also to the Republicans who chose to fight Obama the individual rather than his policies. When it comes to policies, Obama, according to the majority view of the Political Observers in the U S, has not been forthright or drastically different from his opponent, on matters that are going to affect not only the U S, but the entire world.
Much water has flown down the Mississippi by now. The question that remains in the minds of all is whether Barrack Obama will mean change, in places where it is required most, and in required scale. The changes that are all the more necessary are in Foreign Policy and Economy. In Foreign Policy, whether he is going to withdraw troops from Iraq, and what kind of arrangements he makes for the Unity and Security of the country torn in different directions by different factions in the absence of a cohesive force which can unite the country under one umbrella like Saddam did, although using rather unpleasant methods, to say the least. And next comes Afghanistan and increasing the presence of American troops there will be unavoidable, if he wants Al-Qaeda to be prevented from regrouping and strengthening itself. Apart from the theatres of war, it will be his response to the Resurgent Russia with its coffers rich with Petro-dollars and proposal to form a Natural-Gas Cartel with Iran and Yemen, on the lines of the OPEC. The security concerns of Russia on the advancement of NATO towards its door-step and encircling it with Theatre Missile Defense System are to be taken care of by the new President. A policy of pro-active engagement of Russia as an equal partner alone shall be in the best interests of the U S, rather than a policy of unnecessary provocation of the erstwhile superpower of the Cold-war era, which had been the hallmark of the Bush Administration.
For the Economy, Obama needs to enforce drastic changes to the system if he wants to put the country on track. He has to take certain drastic steps, like in the case of Universal Health Care, taking it away from the hands of greedy private financial companies, which are sure to earn him the epitaph “Communist”, a dreaded word still, in the U S. But he must understand that all over the Capitalist World, the wind is blowing towards Socialism, as the rejection of the European Union Constitution by France and the Netherlands as being too capitalistic and against the interests of the common man and against a Welfare state.
The main obstacle Obama will be facing in his presidency will be the things which are considered to be his strength, ironically. His youth and racial background will be under greater attack than ever before. Any mishandling will be termed as being a consequence of his inexperience while any drastic change in Foreign Policy will be termed as “Un-American” and the actions of the “Other Fellow”, especially when it comes to dealings with the middle-east and Iran.
All the more, Obama will be under tremendous pressure to do the right things but those right things should not be “Right” things. And he will try to be “more faithful than the King” to prove that he is a Christian, Not a Muslim and Not a Communist. This is where he may err on the side of caution.
Obama is at the cross-roads of History. What he is going do to in his first year in the Oval Office is going to shape the U S and the world. He has to take immediate steps to change the way America views the World in order the World to Change the way it views America. Only a drastic Change can help America from sliding down the path of dangerous decline. Superpower status for a country has never been permanent. If he has any doubts, he may better ask his counterpart across the Atlantic, where, it was once believed, “the Sun Never Sets”.
The people of the U S and the people of this entire planet, as is evident from the fact that largest ever gathering for Obama was not in the U S but in Germany, expect a lot of Change through Obama. If he is courageous enough to effect Changes, he will be creating History. But if he hesitates, fearing criticism and being over-cautious by foolishly considering his race and lineage a dead-weight around his neck, then he would be confined to the Dust bins of the History as a man who had failed miserably to make of a golden opportunity handed over to him on a platter.