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By: Ali Alarabi — Senator Barack Obama’s victory is no less important than storming the Bastille more than 200 years ago in 1789 which was perhaps the one iconic event that ushered the dawn of the French revolution that ended up changing the French people along with France and Europe and subsequently the entire world.
By all accounts, Obama’s victory is poised to start a revolution, not only because of its historic precedent as the first president of African decent which could be the single most important historical event in American history, when it comes to the issue of race, after Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation that freed the slaves in 1862. But it is important because Obama sees himself as his records shows that he is a man who through out his professional life had stood for changing the system to make it take into account the wretched of the Earth whom the “Ancien Régime” according to this view of the world, had deliberately ignored if not destroyed.
Obama is philosophically inclined to understand the third world that exists inside American borders and outside it, more and better. His days as a Chicago state senator had prepared him to work with disadvantaged people and poor communities. He understands that people need more than rhetoric to survive. Americans and a lot of people around the world are going through a vicious economic and political cycle that is wrecking havoc in their lives and shattering their dreams of stability and prosperity. People need American power to be a soft power, not a brute one, a force for good and stability, not a force to wage war and instability.
But the difficult question is that will an Obama administration withstand the storm some members of the “Ancien Regime” will try to wage against him and his new republic, or will his wagon be able to move forward and change things in this country as he promised the American people to do through out his campaign? This however remains to be seen, but it also depends on how he manages a democratic-majority Congress. but one thing for sure however and that if Obama succeeds in bringing the American people of all persuasions to come to terms with his agendas and to better understand his vision, he in this case will start the winds of change to blow not just in the American prairies but also around the world.
The Middle East is one area that will be directly and forcefully affected by Obama’s revolution. He had said in many different ways when it comes to Palestine /Israel issue that America should be a fair and an honest broker for peace in order to bring a Palestinian state to become a viable reality along side Israel. A problem could encounter Obama, however, if he pelages American might and treasure to side with Israel without responsibility or restrain, like his predecessors, or without conditions to end its occupation of Arab Jerusalem and all of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.
Barack Obama had also said that he will talk directly and face t face to America’s “current enemies” notably Syria and Iran, without preconditions and without setting up some kind of reward and punishment system that will insult them more than respect them.
Arab countries particularly Syria, in addition to Iran will be very relieved to see George Bush’s term ends without the wrath of US military being unleashed on their heads and seeing their country chopped up as in the case of Iraq. To put it simply, they are just happy to have survived George’s Bush tenure in the white House. Intact.
Iraq on the other hand is a different case. The Iraqi government and the Kurds are fearful of Obama’s intentions of withdrawing the troops from Iraq and leave them to deal with their complicated issues such as whether to keep the country intact or ending up dividing it up between the parties that came with the American forces to Baghdad or start dealing with each other without having the benefit of a handy American power to be used whenever there is trouble. Only Iran however will remain the true beneficiary of an American power vacuum in Iraq and will basically have free hand in Iraq treating Iraq or even re-making it as one of its own territories if Obama did what he said he will do.
A lot of high hopes and dreams are pinned on Obama’s historic presidency will it be like storming the Bastille more than 200 hundred years ago or end up in disappointment, only time will tell.
Ali Alarabi is an Arab-American writer and journalist and member of Arab writers group syndicate. He can be reached at: email@example.com
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at TheArabDailyNews.com, TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com ArabNews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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