Emad's Blog (Under Renovation)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Center of the World


I figured I would just say it before you did! On a Friday evening, when you're publishing 3 posts at the same time, surely something IS outta control! haha!

Anyway, I felt the need to jot down a few thoughts on some recent stuff that I have been following in the political arena -

  • The Democratic Party's Nomination for the American Presidency Saga
  • The nonsensical political carom game in Pakistan where citizens are getting thrashed by political players with an ultimate aim of cornering them to succumb
I'll save discussion on the latter for another day, but the series of events following Obama's nomination have been quite thought provoking. Yes, the man can talk - for that alone, I'm a big fan. It isn't always easy to cut past the rhetoric and to decipher the content of his speeches in an accurate manner. Those that were watching are likely to agree that his presumptive nomination speech was remarkably moving indeed.

The very next morning, he gave a speech to AIPAC - the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The timing was impeccable and his conduct predictable. Many people in this part of the world were angered by his approach to the Middle East crisis, especially in relation to a continued commitment to supply arms to Israel, to do 'everything' possible.. 'everything!' to purge the threat from Iran, and for calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

On closer inspection, though, certain key elements in the content of his speech become evident. While clearly he was giving in to the 'Special Interests' he so vehemently stood against throughout his campaign (yes, Mr Barack Hussein Obama, that was always gonna be a toughie!), he didn't quite say things that were essentially highlighted by the media as well as by anti-Israel/pro-Palestine people. If anything, the central message of his speech, to me, was focus on the fact that 'pro-Palestine' is not synonymous to 'anti-Israel'. We need to realize how deeply entrenched the roots of American Jews are in defining American foreign policy and anyone that expected him to have turned away from them is quite the fool.

Regardless, his central message was that of peaceful resolution through diplomacy, a separate state for Palestine and Israel, and an undivided Jerusalem.. There were certainly plenty of snippets that fired up the crowd, but filtering those away, relative to all other candidates in this race, he probably has the most mature stance on this issue.

It is this maturity and depth of thought as well as boldness to say it and sharpness to say it as well, that I respect about him. He's there to win an election, and he is doing what he needs to, while still preserving the values that he stands for. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for his campaign, the media and analysts will hail this as a pro-Zionism stance, but hey!

In the end, I reckon he will not even be as active a player of foreign policy as some might think - at least in his first time (assuming he gets elected and then stands for reelection), I see him pursuing a more isolationist policy as regards world affairs. I'm no guru, but I do hope that when he speaks of healing that nation and repairing this world, he has the resolve to stand by his belief!

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