Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Barracking Barack

Aside from a bout of food poisoning my weekend in New York ended the month of July with some wake up calls.The most prominent is that those of us who ignore the ongoing primary race for presidency in the United States should not complain if we are saddled with Bush/ Cheney Lite. Winning is such a strong driver of US culture that anyone anointed a winner especially by the brace of nattering pundits that fill TV studios has quite a head start. Therein lies the ongoing coronation of Mrs Clinton even amongst African Americans who one expects to know better. They should at least recognize that at her best Hillary is no Bill Clinton. Mr Clinton at his best only flattered to deceive African Americans remember Professor Lani Guinier (If I got the name wrong forgive me) and her nomination to Department of Justice civil rights office or the unceremonious dropping of Dr Joycelyn Elders, Surgeon General who spoke about masturbation publicly. There is something even more calculating about Senator Clinton without the empathy of her husband that suggests to me that her possible presidency will be worse than Bush. It is not only her voting for the war in Iraq but that she never actually showed any concern for the death of Iraqi civilians as a result of a war she supported. Cold!

We are on the edge of another press driven coronation and the American public as shown by the polls are buying her tale of experience and organisation over Senator Obama's change and authenticity. There are glaring questions we should all be asking since the choice of the next American president affects all our lives profoundly as we have seen in the past nearly 8 years. Leave aside whether the US electorate can be trusted to choose on merit who should be the next president. The questions I would like to ask of the Democrats are:

1) What is the basis of believing that Senator Clinton has any Executive of Foreign policy experience other that she married to a President? Because my wife, a professional in her own right has moonlighted on a few of my workshops does not make her a leadership educator or expert in change facilitation.

2)How effective is current conventional wisdom that the US Presidents should not engage in dialogue with leaders of so called rogue states? Is it possible or even probable that a proper dialogue with Saddam Hussein could have cleared up the misunderstanding about WMDs? Thousands of lives afterwards is it not irresponsible of leaders to posture rather than resolve problems before using the lives of others for prestige games?

3) What is the real consequence of the policy of retaining the option for using Nuclear weapons against US enemies? Is it possible that this choice increases the desire of other countries to gain access to similar weapons creating an inevitable Nuclear race especially with States that feel vulnerable to such threats?

4) In always voting into power candidates who believe in American Exception or the uniqueness of the US experience amongst the community of nations is it not a guarantee that these leaders will always be dislocated from the perception and experiences of the rest of the world?

5) How meritocratic is the US as a country when it has been ruled by two families in the past two decades with promises of another 4 to 8 years more of the Clinton/Bush dynasty?

As I watch Senator Obama hit the wall of US tolerance for change I wonder whether the rest of the world is truly ready for another few years of a Super Power that is prisoner to its fears and crippled by possibility of failure that it runs from trying anything new even when it can improve effectiveness. The shame is that even though we cannot vote we are all likely to suffer for this choice.

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