Obama’s Victory, the United States and the Resurrected Hope

Barack Obama has captured the whole world’s attention, and it’s clear that the vast majority of people want him to win. Maybe Americans wonder why we care so much. The answer may surprise you. Is it envy? No group of people knows more about envying America than Africans. It’s our national past time (though we dress it up in criticism and ridicule to make it look less pathetic). The truth is, we look up to America.

Unfortunately, the America of the past decade hasn’t looked so good. The Bush Administration has taken the country down a long, dark road, and a lot of us were starting to think you weren’t coming back. Then along comes Barack Obama, and suddenly there is light. This man embodies everything people love about America. And if he accomplishes even half of what he plans, the world will once again admire and respect your country.

After eight years of fearing and loathing, Obama is poised to restore the world’s faith in America. I know that under the Bush doctrine, none of you should care what the world thinks. But please, vote Obama. We Nigerians (Africans) have started to feel superior these last few years, and it really doesn’t sit right with us.

What is amazing about Senator Obama is that he speaks gently to our moral conscience. Those little phrases that we think but we don’t speak like voicing frustration about change that never comes, rebuilding America, and getting off it to read and help educate our kids. He has made us BELIEVE that we, individually, can contribute to make the world a better place. He not only has inspired American’s, he is inspiring the citizens of the world, not to just want to be ‘like us’ or ‘one of us’ but to help make this world better being exactly who we are.

For the fact that there is extreme poverty, disease, natural disaster, and weak and failing states threaten millions of lives worldwide. What can be done about these challenges, and by whom? The magnitude of the task necessarily involves different responses by a number of different entities. There are roles for governments and the private sector in rich and poor countries alike.

The United States stands as a beacon of hope, a land of opportunities where talents and hard work deserve rewards and respect. It is for this image projected to the other parts of the world that I came here with my dreams and aspirations. Having the luck of witnessing this historical campaign in person, and raising money with my fellow classmates for this once in a life time leader, I am basked in the admiration for Obama, and jealousy for American people of the leader and servant they have yet not necessarily deserve.

Well it is true that Obama story is quite inspiring, I have to agree with my uncle, Benson Ndubeze Ogwu living in the united states is far more skeptic than the people by far. If Obama was Nigerian, he would have been at the helm of the government a long time ago;a great precise of what Obama represents not only within America but to the world. Truly a man who possesses the best qualities of statesmanship, a reasoned approach based on logic and not emotion. I know there was millions voting for John McCain but I think they voted from the gut and not from the head and what the world and the USA needs now is a leader who thinks and does not react instinctively.

America is in the grip of a financial meltdown. It is fighting a protracted war in Iraq, after taking the eye off the ball in Afghanistan. It has lost its shine as the messiah of the free world, after the Abu Graib and Guantanemo fiascos. It is when all the chips are down that signals the start of a new phase, plants the seed of a new hope. America is at that junction of hopelessness and hope, ready for a new leadership, to recapture our old glory. Obama seems to be positioned to take on that mantle – with his steady temperament, logical thinking and sincerity of purpose. Is America ready for him, setting aside the decades-old fetish with racism?

Barack Obama has captured the whole world’s attention, and it’s clear that the vast majority of people want him to win. Maybe Americans wonder why we care so much? The answer may surprise you. It’s envy.

No group of people knows more about envying America than Nigerians. It’s our national past time (though we dress it up in criticism and ridicule to make it look less pathetic). The truth is, we look up to America. Barack Obama’s eloquence aside, his tangible accomplishments in running the most successful campaign in the past two years, leaving the competition virtually in the dust must not be overlooked. On the strength of that alone, there is probably not a company in the USA that wouldn’t be grateful to have him as CEO, and we are very likely to have him as CEO of this country, before long.

Unfortunately, the America of the past decade hasn’t looked so good. America is great and has wonderful opportunities. But I would say similar opportunities would have been available in most democracies and especially Western ones. The dream of owning a house, respecting ones parents and children, doing well in life are universal, but America has been most successful in branding it. The Bush Administration has taken the country down a long, dark road, and a lot of us were starting to think you weren’t coming back.

Then along comes Barack Obama, and suddenly there is light. This man embodies everything people love about America. And if he accomplishes even half of what he plans, the world will once again admire and respect your country.After eight years of fearing and loathing, Obama is poised to restore the world’s faith in America. I know that under the Bush doctrine, none of you should care what the world thinks. But please, vote Obama. We Canadians have started to feel superior these last few years, and it really doesn’t sit right with us.

In addressing these global threats, there is also a clear ongoing role for the United States. The US development and assistance programs enjoy a number of advantages over third world countries in achieving development goals, including universality, on-the-ground presence, expertise, and experience. The World Bank, in particular, has a sizeable advantage with respect to development, which is likely to grow in the coming years.

The contribution of the United States is, however, sometimes hindered by entrenched politics. There is also a need to place more emphasis on free markets, the rule of law, civil society, and democratic governance. In addition, there is a proliferation and redundancy of norm-setting and implementing entities and a lack of transparency and accountability.

This time is ripe for reform. Poor countries have been receiving development assistance for forty years or more—a total of more than a trillion dollars—but, tragically, that assistance has often failed to reduce poverty. The priority should be to make assistance effective by promoting the legal, political, and economic infrastructure that will allow aid and private investment to flourish. This will also require changes and reform at relevant UN programs and institutions. This is a big challenge in part because the United States is a complex constellation of entities and programs, which comprises a multilevel network that operates with different (and sometimes overlapping) missions, management and reporting structures, and funding programs.

With respect to development and humanitarian assistance, the United States operates on three levels. , the USAID works on programs and field projects, coordinating development and disaster relief functions in recipient countries and regions. Fixing problems on one level does not necessarily change the reality at another.

Terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons are deadly threats that have come together in the twenty-first century to create the world’s worst nightmare. Mr. Barack Obama must act to arrest these evils because; they have become the most acute security challenge facing the United States and the international community. A fundamental judgment of the Obama presidency should counter proliferation and terrorism effectively as a significantly enhancement to international security. Although such cooperation will at times be pursued most efficiently and appropriately outside the US system—through unilateral actions or ad hoc, or more formal, interstate coalitions—the United States and other western world should be made very useful, given the wide scope of their superiority and the special authorities and capabilities at their disposal.

Purge Americanism is a sentiment that has been fed and nurtured during the Bush years. Yet the world still needs American leadership. Yes, we are witnessing the emergence of China, Brazil, and India as important global economic players. Yes, we have watched the humiliating fall of Wall Street’s masters of the universe. Yes, American military prowess has drained away into what Winston Churchill called “the thoughtless deserts of Mesopotamia,” and its moral authority has been weakened by events in places from Guantanamo Bay to Abu Ghraib.

Yet, the United States remains the world’s only superpower, the only nation that matters in every part of the globe, the only country capable of mobilizing international action to tackle global problems.

Barack Obama’s first task in office must be to return America’s economic competitiveness and self-confidence. It will not be easy to rein in overspending and over-borrowing, to restore the real family values of saving, thrift, responsibility and fair reward. Achieving these goals is bound to involve a greater regard for social equality, after a period in which the very rich have been able to protect a “Roaring Twenties” lifestyle through cleverly exploiting the “culture wars” — i.e., the populist prejudices of their much poorer fellow citizens.

With America turning away from its global role of borrower of last resort, the rest of us will need to sharpen our competitive edge to sell in other markets. What is imperative is that this should not be impeded by a return to protectionism. A new American president would do well to remember the disastrous consequences of protectionism in the 1920s and 1930s. President Herbert Hoover’s failures should be a sanguinary lesson.

We all look to the next U.S. president to re-engage with the world community and international organizations, accepting that even a superpower should accept the rules that apply to others. The United Nations is far from perfect. It needs reform, as do the bodies that provide global economic governance. That will take time. But a necessary, if not sufficient, condition for change is America’s commitment to and leadership of the process. Forget the distraction of trying to create an alternative to the UN — the so-called League of Democracies. It won’t work.

For more than three decades, Israelis, Palestinians, Arab leaders, and the rest of the world have looked to America to lead the effort to build the road to a lasting peace. In recent years, they have all too often looked in vain. Our starting point must always be a clear and strong commitment to the security of Israel, our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy. That commitment is all the more important as we contend with growing threats in the region — a strengthened Iran, a chaotic Iraq, the resurgence of al Qaeda, the reinvigoration of Hamas and Hezbollah. Now more than ever, we must strive to secure a lasting settlement of the conflict with two states living side by side in peace and security. To do so, we must help the Israelis identify and strengthen those partners who are truly committed to peace, while isolating those who seek conflict and instability. Sustained American leadership for peace and security will require patient effort and the personal commitment of the president of the United States.

Since Iraq and Afghanistan are evidently pretty near intractable problems, why is it that the US and other western governments do so little to ensure the viability or recovery of tottering or near-failed states, even in our own hemisphere?

For example, the WHO campaign on malaria in many countries is successful: can models like it, very targeted, and very un-political, un-nationalistic and un-religious, make a difference in other areas that need attention in near-collapsed or collapsed societies (for economic, education and social problems).All of the current policy makers are Cold Warriors. The next crop of policy makers are of like mind. Even the candidate that most promises to move beyond the ideological divide of the past, Barack Obama, grew up in a polarized world where states were the key actors on the world stage. Are we damned to have leadership that cannot diagnosis the problem for the next twenty or thirty years, until those of us born in the late 70’s and early 80’s are in a position to effect change?

Wonderful, I can totally relate to how you feel. As a naturalized citizen, I too am in awe with that wonderful country and how welcoming it has been. It is the most generous country on the planet and although each wave of immigrant has its own teething problems, it is very easy to assimilate and get absorbed. My heart goes out to those from the Middle East, who unfortunately find themselves demoralized. Hopefully Obama’s Presidency will mend and heal the United States.

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