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     Volume 7 Issue 24 | June 13, 2008 |

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Writting the Wrong

The Fear after the Euphoria

Sharbari Ahmed

It is 11:08 pm EST in the United States on June 3, 2008. I am watching Democratic Senator John Tester of Montana officially endorse the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee, Barack Hussain Obama. Montana, a state known for its purple mountain majesty, somewhat lax attitude towards gun control and its general lack of diversity, unless one counts bison as a minority, just clinched the nomination for the first black presidential candidate in US history. South Dakota, Montana's neighbour to her southeast went in another directionto the Clinton Camp and these were the primaries on this night. I forgive South Dakota. As Corazon Aquino the former (now disgraced) president of the Philippines said the night she won, “I can be magnanimous in victory.” I was very young when I heard her speech but this line always stayed with me. And tonight, my candidate, the man I will vote into office on Nov 4th, was just that. Magnanimous. And his opponent? Oh where does one begin? She has not as of 11:22 pm actually conceded the nomination. (She ended up doing so on Saturday, after announcing to the media she will be doing so. Can anyone say hysterical narcissism?) Her speech primary night was articulate, combative, and defensive. She started off by admitting graciously how extraordinary Obama is and how inspiring he has been for this nation.

She knows she has lost, is not willing to admit it and has the audacity to hint that she would be open to the Vice Presidential slot on Obama's ticket. In her speech, Clinton emphasised that she won the popular vote overall. When her battle weary party needed her to reach out to her rival and unify them, she snatched her hand away and stated that she will not be making any decisions tonight. Unless of course she is asked to be Veep. My head spins to think how quickly she would be able to make a decision on that.

Obama's speech was generous and expansive, unifying and quick to move past the heady victory and get down to some presidential business: bringing the Dems together and sharply distinguishing the differences between him and Senator John McCain. He was quick to point out that a McCain presidency meant four more years of Bush/Cheney policies.

But I don't want to dwell anymore on Hillary's 'pettycoats'. I want to marvel (for just a moment) at the miracle that has occurred here in this country today and from unlikely quarters. What does this say about America and her citizens? They came out full force to vote. I am suddenly reminded why I do love this place. I had almost totally forgotten. But I am still skeptical and I will tell you why. I trust Barack as much as I can trust a career politician. But I do not trust the media in this country and I am concerned about how completely it can and has manipulated this primary race and how commentators on Fox news can “joke” about Barack getting assassinated and not be censured.

I know the American moral compass has been on the fritz since we invaded Iraq, but that to me signaled an all time low. I also know how well the American media tolerates savagery and in some cases is complicit in covering it up as they did with the story of the Marines who raped a little girl and then murdered her family in Haditha, Iraq. And of course their reportage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seemingly always aids and abets Israel. Which is why I am concerned at how they will attempt to skewer Barack Obama. The media is state run and this state is run by Dick Cheney, ahem, with his puppet George W on his knee. I doubt he and his ilk will tolerate a black man in office, let alone someone as dangerous to their agenda as Barack Obama. It is obvious what can hurt Obama in this race, his lack of foreign policy experience. Believe me when I tell you that the GOP will capitalise on that, playing into the fears of the simple minded members of the populace who actually believe the colour coded alerts that the White House puts out any time the President's popularity rating drops and start buying up duct tape in bulk.

Cheney and his chamchas tipped two elections and know they will try to tip this one. Do not be at all surprised if Iran suddenly launches an unprovoked attack on a US naval vessel that “wanders” into the Strait of Hormuz accidentally or make yet again unprovoked overtures at Israel, who will once again be forced to “defend” itself, ala Lebanon summer 2006.

We will be on orange high alert and republican flunkies will come out en masse to pose the critical question: America is still under threat from her towel headed enemies. Who then do you want protecting you? John McCain a decorated war hero, never mind that he has enough botox injected into his face to fell an elephant, or Barack, Hussain Obama, who has stated time and again that, gasp! He will open the channel of communication with the rest of the world. Who voted against a righteous war, and who has not proven he loves to blow things up, a necessary trait in any Commander in Chief. Lord knows Hillary is not averse to pressing that button. And if the economy here, which is already taking a beating, takes another downturn, that could spell disaster for the Obama campaign. There is nothing that fuels the GOP more than fear and angry rednecks, who think all their jobs are being outsourced to some Indian guy in Uttar Pradesh, wherever the hell that is.

I know I sound bitter and cynical. I have been meditating, honest I have. I really need it lately, it seems. But, though I am euphoric at Obama's nomination and suffused with love for this nation for giving it to him, I know that ultimately someone else pulls the strings. We are not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot. But I know my man, Barack is fully aware of this too. I hope when attempts are made to wrestle the votes away from him illegally, he will display more chutzpah than John Kerry and fight it with all his might. Because we need our President to do that. Even you, in Bangladesh, need him to do that, because what happens here, in the good 'ol US of A is actually, ultimately, everyone's headache.


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