Grab the extended hand of Obama | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 28, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 28, 2009

Grab the extended hand of Obama

AMERICA needed Abraham Lincoln to get rid of slavery; they have President Obama to overhaul the breakdown of the colossus. One had accomplished the feat to sit on the imposing chair in Washington worshipped by the people; the other has just entered the Whitehouse to write a new chapter of American history. Change is inevitable.
The economy will be Obama's first priority. Unless houses and jobs are secured, the free spending Americans will be buying less. If they are not buying, the world cannot sell. That is the hardest reality of the global economy today. This is why the world economy is sinking along with the Americans. President Bush sank $750 billion to jack up the tumbling financial institutions; President Obama is pumping in nearly a trillion dollar in the next two years to get the economy back on its feet. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the American economy except that the necessary check and balance did not work. Millions of houses were sold to those who had no capacity or intention of paying the bills. It was amazing to see adds like 'bad debt and bad credit record no problem with us.' The ballooning of charisma became substance; manipulation of figures became corporate culture. The giant economy was at the mercy of the wild horses. The subprime disaster was the overreach of greed that pushed America to hover between gaping recessions and looming depression.
Intoxicated by the success against communism without fighting a war, America seemed to ignore the triumph of reason over regimentation in the last decade of the 20th century. Instead of globalizing democracy and human rights, the muscles of the monolith took charge to drill the world towards command loyalty. That, however, was exactly the undoing. Even after 9/11, Bin laden and his terror establishment did not earn a grade more than of a global nuisance. Hunting for him and his terror establishment was necessary but did it really warrant occupying Afghanistan, and then Iraq on different pretexts? Rationale had to stalk American politics to enshrine that universal values are blind towards both revenge and religion. After paying a colossal cost over the last seven years, with President Obama the people have rejected the politics of revenge and occupation. Guantanamo Bay prison is under demolition along with many other hidden prison cells and torture chambers. President Obama is the dawn of a rehabilitated faith in values for bold and decisive leadership. If he can put the corporate bosses and the war machine on hold with smart diplomacy, the world will be a better place. The message is simple and clear - there is no clash of the civilizations in the global village, and America is not the enemy of the Muslims.
Muslims lost their last pretence of freedom in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. No democracy, no human rights, no woman rights - if they occasionally overwhelmed the brute force, they would get crumbs to pacify the outburst of deprivation. A century later, at the dawn of the 21st century, democracy and human rights remain a dream in the Muslim belt. They have been struggling against the occupation of their own rulers ever since. All these have been going on mostly under the camouflage of religion. The clash of the century is not between Muslims and non-Muslims but against Muslims and their rulers to establish their fundamental rights.
When President Obama says Muslims are on the wrong side of history, he speaks the heart of the overwhelming majority waiting for the Renaissance. He is a church going Christian; nevertheless, the greatest asset of the Muslims at this hour is that he is advocating values that the Muslims need most. They have one more chance in him to grasp the extended hand to walk out of the mess. Africa, Asia, anywhere they have to work hard for long hours and many years to establish the fundamental rights of the people. The Muslims must have a vision at the dawn of a new hope to avoid societies further relapsing into a planet of darkness. The first article of faith is that Bin Laden cannot save the Muslims, but President Obama can help. The conscious section of the society, especially the Muslim intelligentsias give the wakeup call.
Abraham Lincoln realized one and a half-century ago that it was possible to deny the people for a while, but human spirit could not be defeated permanently. Obama has declared that America belongs to everybody - Christians, Muslims, Hindus, nonbelievers. No matter caste, color or religion - all are human and equal, as much undeniable as indomitable. The faith in him of the Americans is almost unconditional and in the larger world unmatched in contemporary history. The Americans have little capacity left for another failed president; either people will adore him like Abraham Lincoln, notwithstanding controversies of his time that wiped out a generation of American youth, or he will go down condemned. The world is showing much less patience for the restoration of American leadership. Even emerging China, after losing twenty million jobs at home, realizes today that there is no alternative to American leadership.
Bangladesh should be ready to work hard in the new dawn. We should invite American entrepreneurs to open the production line for labour incentive industries in Bangladesh. Our people can produce goods and services cheaper than the cost of import for America. Cheap Bangladeshi labour force can free American labour for new technologies and innovation. We should have some exclusive American industrial zone near port facilities and drastically cut down import- export documentation and time. If raw materials are coming in and finished goods are loaded on the ships, the paper chasing should come down to overseeing only. Begging should not be the intention; that never builds the health of a nation - we work for mutual benefits. Poverty is crime; the tolerance of poverty is the biggest crime in Bangladesh. War has no law and our war against poverty should not tolerate any hindrance in its way.
America had shown the resilience that they cared for the political inheritance but the desired delivery was necessary to sustain dynastic preference. Democracy always demands efficiency and sense of purpose. America hardly produced better connection for a president than George Bush had. Nevertheless, he is as much responsible for the decline of the Bush dynasty as he is for the troubles of the USA.
Bangladesh has no problem with the blood connections if the great political families can produce dynamic leadership. No one can break the protocol that people come first, foremost and every time. If somebody breaks the basic law, the people may look for an Obama and entail him in the mission of a messiah. Even dynastic leaders must succumb to the universal prerogative of the people.

The author is freelancer.

Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Grameenphone and Robi:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2222

Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2225

Leave your comments

Top News

Top News