Friday, December 11, 2009

Mr. Barack and President Obama

(Reflections on President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. The text of the speech can be read here)

There have been many a stirring speech at Oslo in the past, but this text lays testimony to the two personalities who converged to join the pantheon of peace prize winners. These two personalities were Barack and Mr. Obama.

History, would perhaps have the onerous task of judging these two. President Obama, sworn to uphold the principles of a nation warped by the excesses of his predecessors, and Barack - the man whose alleged unfailing personal moral compass would perhaps beckon the advent of a liberated future.

Its too early to comment on the impact Mr. Barack Obama would exert on a world his political ancestors mined for what they believed to be a self-righteous cause, but his speech resonated with the clarity one would hope from the head of a nation state that has many wrongs to right.

The intent stated in the speech would not be a bad start!

The President exuded a refreshing sense of humility by acknowledging that the award was ill-deserved and served more as an incentive towards performing the tasks expected off him than a reward for having executed them.

What was additionally heartening was Barack's candid confession on the rejection of the instrument of War. A war - holy, just, hot/cold is reprehensible, however glorious be the acts of its participants and his three step ideology aimed at minimizing the brutal onslaught every war brings alongside it, is laudatory.

What was disappointing was President Obama's defense of America as the underwriter of the world's security or upholding the non-existent efficacy of that defunct organization - The United Nations.

The U.N, for the uninitiated, was formed to prevent wars after the last great onslaught by the Axis. From its inception in 1945, the U.N has had little to cheer. Hardly surprising! It has comprised of nation states which have systematically abused its very tenets and silenced the protests against oppressions reigned in by the despots on its civilians.

The President gloated over the fact that there hasn't been a Third World War! I couldn't have agreed more Mr. Obama. As I'm sure that you would find it hard to dispute that for all its efficacy, the U.N did nothing to stop your nation from marching into a foreign country and massacring hundreds and thousand of civilians, and ruining its economy for good measures. It did nothing to stop the Khmer Rouge from obliterating its citizens in alignment with Pol Pot's (a CIA creation) back-to-the-primitive-era policies and to say nothing of the genocide in Rwanda. These are footnotes in the conscience of the U.N, but gauntlets of shame thrown at the psyche of the world by the depravity of a handful of individuals. Shame, because, the world turned its face away and pretended to not notice.

Barack's initiative of outlawing torture and the closure of Guantanamo Bay torture chamber (only the misguided would call it a detention camp) are apt responses to President Obama's blatantly falsified declaration of America's non-involvement in attacking democracies. Since the last Great War, America has been documented to have attacked no less than 40 countries under covert ops or outright invasions. One wonders that would this have not been the perfect platform for the President to have acknowledged that it was time America relinquished its divisional measures and harked back to the qualities of liberty, friendship and enlightenment as proclaimed by that statue perched near the Hudson River.

For all its Presidential constraints, this speech however, belonged to Barack the man. With remarkable humility and simplicity, he tugged at that conscience that refuses to be decapitated within us, he acknowledged the weight of sending young Americans, not unlike you and me, to the face of near certain death against his will and reminded one and all of his commitment towards building a future worthy of our capabilities as against our immoralities.

A world will wait with anxious trepidation in the hope that it was Barack and not Mr. Obama who was conferred upon with the Nobel on that hallowed turf!