To see undeniable proof of why we are so fvcked up today and how we got here, one doesn’t have to look further than the latest by the honorable Shamshad Ahmad, former foreign secretary. The title alone got my attention (“Obama’s Lost Momentum”) and the contents I thus found were as expected from such a heading. Certainly disappointing coming from one supposedly in the know who is one the the most sought after commentators.
By the way, what was the need to regurgitate something we can find in a thousand publications? Had he anything new to offer than the conventional wisdom? Ziltch! It only shows Shamshad lapped-up every press release issued by Obama PR campaign as if they were ‘wahis’ from above.
By Shamshad Ahmad
President Barack Hussein Obama completes his first year in office today. Last year, exactly on this day, he took oath as first-ever non-white president in America’s history. The son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas, Obama shattered two-century-old race barrier. It was Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream come true. Obama’s election as president was a miracle but he won the election not because he was black. He got elected because he was a fresher and smarter candidate with no prior political baggage.[The opening para gives it all away, don't it? Sir, you are only proving either you have no clue about the subject at hand or the deception is intentional]
There was another reason for this miracle to happen. America was fed up with the Bush legacy and wanted a clear break from those eight years of domestic failure and external belligerence. There was a feeling among the American people that for the first time since John F Kennedy, they had a different kind of leader whose presence in the White House not only gave it a new ‘facelift’ but also symbolised hope for change.[Is there any cliche left?]
In his election campaign, Obama was eloquent enough to project himself as the harbinger of change in America’s outlook and behaviour. He ran on a platform for change, and gave a message of new hope which inspired [I'd say 'suckered'] not only his own people but also those around the world[Including Shamshad Ahmad]. At home, he said he would turn over the languishing economy. Abroad, he pledged to end the war in Iraq and defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
He had been speaking of the Bush era as a bleak chapter in American history. “America, we are better than those last eight years,” he asserted while pledging to restore what he called “our lost sense of common purpose.” At the Denver Convention, while laying out his vision of hope and change, Obama drew a sombre picture of America’s defining moment while laying the blame squarely with “a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W Bush.”[that he was planning to carry on; Shamshad must also be disappointed with Zardari then]
In his inaugural address, President Obama explained how he would make the difference in America’s policies and in the lives of Americans as well as those of the people of the world. But then he also listed the multiple challenges of Bush’s terrible legacy which included wars, global image erosion, shattered economy, depleted social security, health-care crisis and decaying education system. One year later, Obama seems helpless. There is no sign of the promised change anywhere.[Wake up Shamshad! Obama is not the VICTIM here but the RAPIST!]
Obama had told his people that the challenges ahead were real and serious and they were many but he declared exuding confidence: “Know this, America, they will be met.” Now that he has completed his first year in office, the American public as well as the world at large is wondering what happened to the promises he made to them, especially on issues of global peace and security and on ending the two ‘bloody’ wars that his predecessor left for him["Hello! Anybody out there??"].
The American people and the media as indeed the whole world are convinced that fighting wars was a mistake that Obama should have redressed. According to the Washington Post, “in the name of the war on terror, we have invaded and occupied a country that had nothing to do with the attacks of 9/11, we have emboldened our enemies, we have lost and taken many lives, we have spent trillions of dollars, we have sacrificed civil liberties, and we have jettisoned our commitment to human dignity.”[See, even WaPo knows "What Happened" and has stated plainly enough. What is it that you cannot comprehend?]
No other nation has done greater damage to its own global prestige and credibility because of its misdirected policies and misplaced priorities. Ironically, [WTF? Where is the irony here?] most of these policies have given no relief to the world in terms of peace and development, nor have they brought any political or economic dividends to the US itself [Jesus! did you seriously expect what you yourself call "misdirected policies and misplaced priorities" to bring "peace and development" and "political or economic dividends to the US itself"]. It is experiencing one of the worst fiscal crises of its history by waging wars in anger after the 9/11 atrocity. The ‘war on terror’ is now considered a ‘wicked’ war that has not gone beyond retribution and retaliation.[Again, what the hell were you expecting?]
Washington’s overbearing global conduct during the Bush era not only brought a serious backlash among foreign populations but also sparked anti-Americanism all over the world reflecting global dyspathy to the US unilateralism, its self-righteousness, its international conduct including the blatant use of force in Iraq and elsewhere, and as the late Robert McNamara said, “its contempt for moral and multilateral imperatives.” Obama has done nothing to change this global perception.[So exactly was that "momentum" you were talking about?]
With growing anti-Americanism all over the world, there is equally growing concern in the US today over the challenges that this universal phenomenon poses to US global interests and policy objectives["Phenomenon"?]. Public opinion polls show a marked increase in this phenomenon over the last few years in much of the world. A recent study by a bi-partisan group of national security experts from American governmental and non-governmental sectors concluded that anti-Americanism, not terrorism, was America’s biggest problem[Are the two really so disconnected?].
The report acknowledged that “by flexing military might, ignoring multilateral institutions, and trying to transform the domestic politics of other states, we have triggered a backlash that increases extreme anti-Americanism, discourages key actors from fully cooperating with us, and weakens our global authority.”[Duh! (What a revelation!)] There is a need for ‘self-reappraisal’ in Washington to identify the real causes, motivations, attitudes and criticisms that have over the decades contributed to global anti-Americanism[So Bush alone cannot be given all the credit].
Interestingly, during his visit to France last year, President Obama did not mince words in calling out his own country for ‘arrogant’ patriotism as against Europe’s ‘insidious’ anti-Americanism. He admitted “in America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world, and at times America had shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” while in Europe, there is anti-Americanism that is at once casual, but can also be insidious.
The graph of anti-Americanism in Pakistan as elsewhere in the world has also been sky-rocketing in recent years despite all that the US claims to be doing to help Pakistan’s long-term interests as a ‘friend and an ally.’ [yeah, like drone strikes, imposing its will in internal matters, having its military contractors run free with their black-ops, rule by proxy through bitches like Zardari, Kiyani, Gilani, Tareen, IMF, WB, NGOs, etc -- but you cannot name them for you have to earn a living...]There is in fact a pervasive feeling all over the world that the US is not a ‘steadfast and reliable’ friend["feeling"? Man, grow up and grow some balls], and that its self-serving policies had contributed to most of the current problems in different parts of the world, including our own region where US nuclear and defence deals with India have created serious strategic imbalances.
Against this backdrop, the change of leadership in Washington was seen as watershed opening for change of direction in America’s thinking and behaviour[Well you were suckered and I think your continued hope in Obama shows you still want to hide your head in the sand]. Obama was expected to bring paradigm shift in US global policies and priorities to redress its strategic faux pas and correct its negative perception as an ‘arrogant superpower’ which in its behaviour is “hegemonic, unilateralist, interventionist and exploitative.” If anything, Obama’s policies in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world have only deepened this perception.
President Obama may have been sincere initially [Oh come on --WAKE UP!] when he intended to do and undo many things but in this one year of his presidency, he has not gone beyond rhetoric and has only been grappling with his faltering ‘strategies’ contrary to his own avowed mission. The mid-term elections are not too far. Obama and his Democratic Party are up for an early verdict on their performance,[Well they got it yesterday by loosing Mass. and control of Senate -- But guess what? What "change" is in store for Americans? Bush's Republicans of course. Don't you just love democracy?] and there is a long checklist to judge on his unkept promises.
Obama had promised a new America which would be true to its values at home, and which would also be at peace with the rest of the world. His new America is nowhere in sight[Duh, again (Actually we DO have the new America he promised which did not mean it would be "better"]. He is fast losing the momentum on his pledges and commitments [But he does have all the momentum for what he wanted to accomplish]. American public opinion is increasingly losing patience with his policies which in essence are no different to those of his predecessor [And they have the wonderful choice of waiting for THE REPUBLICANS once again].
He has no magic wand but he could at least restore America’s moral standing so that it quickly recovers from its global alienation and perception as an ‘arrogant power’[No magic wand is needed, Mr Shamshad].
Apparently he is caught in a struggle against the neocon remnants in American ‘establishment’ with the Pentagon and the CIA calling the decisive shots in their lead role[Right...Keep on drinking the Kool-Aid ;-)].
Obama was awarded last year’s Nobel Peace Prize rather prematurely ["prematurely"? What a shameful spin. Looking for a seat on the Nobel Committee are you?]but it was a timely ‘call for action’ and an incentive to encourage him to remain steadfast in his mission [Oh what crock and what black-ass kissing]. He must regain his lost momentum [while I keep my eyes wide shut] lest he is crossed as one-term president. Obama must go ahead and bring peace and justice to the world that his predecessor had turned upside down. But can he do it? [Are you serious? You really can't be this foolish, Mr Shamshad Ahmad. There should be no doubt he DOES NOT EVEN WANT TO DO IT. The only thing he wants to do is its opposite and he has all the momentum towards it that he needs. BTW: I must ask: How much was in the lifafa? If you didn't get one, that was foolish. Even Hussain Haqqani couldn't have done a better job but never before counting the bills. ]