Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes he can!

Liberals all over the world are celebrating the election of Barak Obama. I will not add to all that has been said or published, but my take on this is that he is the President of the United States, and not Barak Obama. That said, I would really like to hope for change. After all, Obama showed that change was possible: he himself changed from a supporter of Palestinian rights into a man who believes that Jerusalem is the historic capital of Israel. He also changed during his campaign from: “no Iraq war for me please, I’m trying to quit” into: “all right I’ll have some, but a tiny piece please”.

People in the Middle East are expecting to see Obama act differently from previous US president because he is darker skinned. Time will show again that the color of the skin has little to do with politics, democracy and equity. Just look at the Arab World with its home grown dictatorships.

But the question that really interests me is about the relationship between Obama and the true center of world power, Kapital. There was an awful lot of money in Obama’s campaign, nearly 1.6 billion $. A great chunk must have come from carefully planned investments by CEOs and multinationals. Will Obama be able to confront the mega corporations? Does he want to? The poor and the colored population of the world, including that of the US is the one that suffers most from malnutrition and hunger and food insecurity. We know now that mega-corporations, pushing for more profit at any cost, are responsible for most of the damage. Will Obama do something about that? Does he want to? Can he?


Leila said...

thanks for your questions, Rami. I have had them in mind during this campaign. This is why my friends were all weeping last night but I was dry-eyed.

However I do believe he means his words... he states very clearly that he believes in the ideals and principles in our Constitution; he also states clearly that this is a conservative country, we don't like to change too much, and he will listen to all points of view.

I am not expecting a revolution from him. I do expect him to close Guantanamo, cease the violation of human rights, and behave sensibly in the Middle East. I would be surprised if he really carries out war plans. I hope he will get us out of Iraq as soon as possible.

Justice for the Palestinians? Oh lord. God is crying...

Ms Levantine said...

I also agree with you Rami. Obama the concept and the message to the world are amazing. The reality in DC will be very different.

We will have to see if he is his own man or just an interesting product of the Democratic party apparatus. With Biden as VP and Emmanuel as chief of staff unfortunately the latter might be the case.

But we have to give him a chance and the benefit of the doubt.

As for the M-E, I am not holding my breath. His VP proudly declares that you don't have to be jewish to be a zionist.

Al kheir la eddem.


rimaw said...

Let's give him the benefit of the doubt. It was a tough road to get him elected, and the biggest chunk of his campaign money came from people like me and every one else who donated in the $25 and $50. This is a lot of people and they will hold him as accountable as the corporations. This is a man who believes in and respects the US constitution. He believe in grassroots organizing and the power of the people. I did have tears. How could I not? I know more BO than I ever knew who and what our Lebanese president stands for! I cried because I got to experience real democracy and citizenship more than I ever could in Lebanon. I cried because every American child can dream of "if I were a president", but not so for every Lebanese child. What do you say to you children? that you can have a dream because you don't belong to the correct religion?

Change and justice for the ME is not going to happen overnight, and not within few decades. It takes baby steps.

David Smith said...

You write: "The poor and the colored population of the world, including that of the US is the one that suffers most from malnutrition and hunger and food insecurity. We know now that mega-corporations, pushing for more profit at any cost, are responsible for most of the damage."

Not to defend mega-corporations, but how do they increase their profits by causing hunger? Every serious student of food issues knows that the main cause of hunger is political. The world is awash in excess food, but corrupt governments use it as a political tool.

Rami Zurayk said...

David Smith: Do not underestimate the linkages between governments and corporations. Check anything written by Raj Patel (Stuffed and Starved) or by Naomi Klein (Disaster Capitalism) or by Vandana Shiva. Check also this blog for "speculations" as a main cause for the food crisis. In many cases especially in Africa governments are corrupted by mega corporations seeking more profits.

DJ Yee said...

On the New York Times website, the Election Guide>Campaign Finance>Obama>Details, see the breakdown of campaign contributions.
By my calculations, 40% of campaign funds were supplied by small donors ($200 or under), and 80% by small or middling donors ($2300 or under). Another 20% is probably big donors, and yes, I wonder who they are too. Also, some of the small/middling donors may have had their money "bundled" and presented in a lump sum to impress the campaign. I assume all these numbers come from the Obama campaign and/or the Federal Election Commission.

Most of the campaign funds appear to have come from fairly small donations, rather than megabucks from the megacorporations, and IMO, that's a good thing. I sent in $100 myself, and I don't expect anything for it, except hopefully a good president.

Anonymous said...

the average donation made to Obama's campaign was $85 USD... I myself donated $250 over the last year. One of the biggest reasons I had for supporting him was this knowledge, that he is one of the first candidates to enter the White House with very few corporate strings attached. So you are wrong about these "great chunks" very wrong...