Young Barrack Obama of a white American mother and a black Kenyan father was from his child hood sneered and victimized in different ways because his skin was black.
He is clever with words and he wrote two books : Dreams from my Father , and The Audacity of Hope. The books give lot of insight into Barack Obama’s political philosophy. The extracts given below were taken from his books.
He says that « At least on the basketball court I could find a community of sorts, with an inner life all its own . It was there that I would make my closest white friends , on turf where blackness couldn’t be a disadvantage. And it was there that I would meet Ray and the other blacks close to my age who had begun to trickle into the Islands, teenagers whose confusion and anger would help shape my own. « that’s just how white folks will do you » one of them might say when we are alone. » .
Barrack Obama’s tennis pro told him during a tournament that he should not touch the schedule of matches pinned up to the bulletin board because his colour might rub off ;…………..He once told his friend Ray, angered by a « stout defensive tackle named Kurt » …It’s there world, all right ? They own it , and we in it……
Barrack Obama tells his friend Regina why he reads Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, « ….because the book teaches me things, …..about white people, I mean. See, the book’s not really about Africa. Or black people. It’s about the man who wrote it. It’s The European. The American. A particular way of looking at the world. If you can keep your distance , it’s all there, in what’s said and what’s left unsaid. So I read the book to help me understand just what it is that makes white people so afraid. Their demons. The way ideas get twisted around . It helps me understand how people learn to hate. »
Disinterested in a film he was seeing with his mother and sister he reminiscences of a conversation he had with an Englishman a friend of his mother who was working for an International Aid Organisation in Africa and Asia. The Englishman spoke of the strangeness of the Dik of Sudan with whom he worked , and how different they were and that they remained aliens to him despite working with them for one year. « They laughed at the things that drove me to despair. What I thought was funny seemed to leave them stone cold » .
Obama remembered that he had spared him the information that the Dik were Nilotes, distant cousins of his.. Obama says in relation to this conversation : « …….The emotions between races could never be pure ; even love was tarnished by the desire to find in the other some element that was missing in ourselves. Whether we sought out our demons or salvation, the other race would always remain just that : menacing, alien and apart. »
This type of intellectual depth in dealing with Nations of People is missing in the people like Robert Blake, Hillary Clinton and rest of the interfering Westerners of the Human rights watch, Amnesty International.
Barack Obama who had lived with the wounds of a black man of an ethnic minority among a white majority knows how difficult it is to make the white majority understand the minority without the desire to find in the other some element that was missing in them.
Barack Obama should therefore know better how the ethnic minorities should behave towards the majority to finally win over their confidence and affection despite their desire to find in the other “some element” that may be missing in them.
Applying these experiences of Barack Obama if he were to evaluate Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem created by the vested interest of the Tamil politicians, and the expatriate community-which is completely ignorant of the Sinhala people of whom they only have “ a hearsay” knowledge , President Barack Obama would not agree with devolution of political power to the minority ethnic Community of Tamils.
He would instead advice the Tamil minority to work closely with the majority as he did with the white Americans, despite the victimization he had to suffer under them as a black African of a minority ethnic community. Obama was able to win over a majority of the whites on to his side through his non aggressive political cooperation with the aggressive American white population . ( Would not that be an excellent example to follow by the Sri Lankan Tamil Parliamentarians of the TNA and Kumar David to make note of it ?)
Though Barack Obama had seen the non-violent Black American movement with large manifestations demanding racial equality, he thought even that could be taken as a ”violent” manifestation of the Blacks against white leadership.
Therefore Barack Obama was intelligent to set a side all such devises which have any semblance of aggressivity as a deterrent to the unity of the communities putting one against the other. He did not call for devolution of power or egality of chance for Black minority in a majority white society, but he worked hand in hand with the white majority accepting them as compatriots not as whites. He did not form a political party for the Black Americans , but joined the political parties of the American White Majority. And finally ended up being the President of all Americans without distinct of race or colour.
That was a lesson Barrack Obama learnt living painfully with the white Americans and working with them. Robert Blake, Hillary Clinton, Howard Berman….. cannot have the same political philosophy of Barack Obama because they have not gone through the same racial victimization which Barack Obama had gone through living with them.
There is no difference between communities within a country , and developing countries among nations holding power and wealth with which they can control the developing countries. Barack Obama has understood that but to put into practice his political philosophy to help the developing nations unfortunately he has no people like him to run the American Administrative apparatus.
Therefore though Barack Obama is the 44th President coming from the black ethnic Community he is a prisoner amoung the whites who run his Administration, not the way he wants but the way the American Administration always worked whether it was under Carter, Regan , Clinton or Bush.
When he was campaigning for his Presidential election he had wonderful visions of hope to make America already unpopular in the world more acceptable, and to give the American people tired of the on going American Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with their children unnecessarily massacred or some of them returning psychologically mutilated, some sort of a relief, a change, by withdrawing from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He wanted to clear America from the negative publicity it had received as a perverted war mongering Nation of torturers, by closing down the war camps at Guantanamo. He wanted to have good relations with Cuba. He wanted to bring back the American soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. That was the part of the change and hope he had promised to the American people.
The world believed in him and wished for a changed America more generous and peaceful, seeking dialogue to settle political differences rather than guns. His visit to Europe was a tremendous success. Large numbers of youth converged to receive him, he was the new hope for a broken world tired of aggressive American politics.
But unfortunately when he became the President he could not find the correct people who could think like him , people who understood his political philosophy and help him make America different from what it had been for years. He had to make do with the same administrators trained by the Clinton Administration, and the Administration of the war mongering George Bush.
An example is Robert Blake, who is still carrying out the policies of Bush. Robert Blake was however, recruited by Hillary Clinton who could not think of some one better than a Junior Ambassador with little experience, and like her cannot grasp the political philosophy of an in experienced black President.
President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State is the wife of President Clinton and she may have an inkling of President Barack Obama’s political vision, but she has not understand his political philosophy, with which he had been brought up.
Barack Obama writes “…that what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart.” That he should have understood not in the narrow sense of being American , but in the larger sense of the world of nations, in his relation with other nations of the world, be it that of Cuba, France, UK, Germany, Libya, North Korea, China, Iran, India or Sri Lanka. There is always a way for reconciliation with other countries without threat, belligerence or aggressivity as much as it is within the country with communities, and political opponents.
He also says, “……We value patriotism and the obligation of citizenship, a sense of duty and sacrifice on behalf of our nation. We value a faith in something bigger than ourselves, whether that something expresses itself in formal religion or ethical precepts. And we value the constellation of behaviour that expresses our mutual regard for one another: honesty, fairness, humility, kindness, courtesy, and compassion.”
Should all that be in respect of the Americans or should not that be extended to the whole world of nations who had been looking forward to a change in the hitherto aggressive policies of American Administration ?
The President Barack Obama is today a man different from what he professed to be in his two books from which I have quoted.
In relation to Sri Lanka the America is the self same aggressive , dominant political bully. It is not Barrack Obama but it is Hillary Clinton, Robert Blake and the House Representative Howard Berman who sponsored in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, measure to ban all US Government Funding to Sri Lanka, ………. in a voice vote, with the specification “..only to allow aid once the administration certifies progress by Sri Lanka on Key Concerns-i.e., "accountability for those involved in violations of human rights and war crimes at the end of Sri Lanka's civil war.”, who have twisted Barack Obama’s political philosophy to replace it with their age old American arm twisting method for a developing nation like Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has become their political nightmare as it toes a neutral political path making friends with all Nations and profiting enormously from the political path it has taken. It this that annoys the West.
It was against all political ethics and good diplomacy for the American Secretary of State to have paid a special visit to a Chief Ministers of a Provincial State of India to discuss internal matters of Sri Lanka a neighbouring Sovereign State . Such discussions on Sri Lanka should have been discussed with the President or the Prime Minister of the Central Government of India and none other.
This was arranged by a “pompous” diplomatically in experienced Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake the friend of the Sri Lankan terrorists, who is from the Bush Administration and had arranged the meeting of Jayalalitha and Hillary Clinton in abject regard to the President Barack Obama and his political vision.
Hillary Clinton if she is a politician with foresight would have refused to meet the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, and instead asked to arrange a meeting with the President of Sri Lanka for her to evaluate for herself the situation with regard to the so called ethnic problem in Sri Lanka.
This is the present conflict in American Administration and the policies of the President Barack Obama with regard to what the nations of the World expected of Barack Obama and what the Administrators of the Barack Obama Administration do to push in to the back ground “policies of hope “ of Barack Obama replacing them with their own ad hoc methods and policies.
Barack Obama is today a prisoner of the white Americans who were appointed by him to carry out his policies.
Barack Obama writes, “….. that eventually a consulting house to multinational corporations agreed to hire me as a research assistant. As far as I could tell I was the only black man in the company, a source of shame for me but a source of considerable pride for the company’s secretarial pool. They treated me like a son , those black ladies; they told me how they expected me to run the company one day. Sometimes , over lunch, I would tell them all my wonderful organizing plans and they would smile and say, “ That’s good Barack…..”
Those who expected the President Barack Obama to change America and American approach to the developing nations are like the black ladies in the company’s secretarial pool. “…but the look in their eyes told me they were secretly disappointed .” wrote Barack Obama.
But it was, “ Only Ike the gruff black security guard in the lobby, was willing to come right out and tell me I’d be making a mistake. Organizing ? That’s some kinda politics ain’t it ? Why do you wanna do something like that ?”
“…. See there . Don’t waste your youth , Mr. Barack. Wake up one morning, an old man like me , and all you gonna be is tired, with nothing to show for it. “
That seems to be actually what has happened to Barack Obama who took to politics to change America and help the poor rise above their poverty.
Barack Obama who was elected to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring home the American Soldiers started another war along with his new European friends Sarkozy, and Cameron in Libya, though this time he did not send soldiers, he nevertheless became a war monger like Bush.
Perhaps no one has told the President Barack Obama the true story of Sri Lanka. Every one in the American State Department including the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, influenced no doubt by the remnant of the Bush Administration Robert Blake who is a known sympathizer of the Sri Lanka terrorists having wined and dined with them, are now with their daggers drawn against Sri Lanka not wanting to know about the suffering the people of Sri Lanka went through for 30 years under this ruthless group of terrorists, sacrificing thousands of its innocent young and old citizens, its intellectuals and politicians and security officers, Presidents and Ministers to the human suicide bombs of these terrorists, their pistol gangs , snipers and grenade lobbers.
It was this group of ruthless terror merchants that Robert Blake wanted to save and started a campaign along with David Milliband of UK, Bernard Kouchner of France and Hillary Clinton his boss.
While the President Barack Obama went around telling that there is no negotiations with terrorists and the terrorists will be hunted where ever they are found, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Assistant Robert Blake went round demanding the Government of Sri Lanka to negotiate with the terrorists as the Sri Lanka terrorists cannot be militarily eliminated and therefore to find a political solution and not a military solution.
But the President of Sri Lanka did what every body said was impossible, which is to eliminate terrorism. Since then the American State Department, UK, France, Human Rights Watch, UN, Amnesty International etc., seek to take the Sri Lanka Armed Forces and its President before a tribunal accused as war criminal. Why ? For elimination of terrorism.
Barack Obama the President of America, got the special US Armed Forces to enter Pakistan without informing the Government of Pakistan and killed the unarmed Al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bi Laden and number of others- the details of which have still not been divulged and dropped the body of Osama bin Laden in the sea. There were questions of violation of human rights and death of civilians and immorality of killing a father in the presence of his daughter.
Paradoxically when Sri Lanka Armed Force eliminated the terrorists in its own country sacrificing its soldiers and rescuing 300,000 Tamil Civilians kept by the terrorists as a human shield, the American State Department and the Western Governments two years after are raising a hue and cry about killing civilians in the last phase of its war against terrorism.
While America killed in cold blood Osama bin Laden , Barack Obama had closed the chapter of seeking the leader of Al Qaeda and goes untroubled by any one of the vociferous humanitarian activists for the way the American seals killed Osama bin Laden, doing its own business unobstructed without a cry about war crimes.
Persons or institutions who do not seek to inculpate Sri Lanka on bogus issues such as its armed forces violating human rights in the last phase of the military operations to eliminate terrorists, find Sri Lanka has despite a thirty year terrorism awakened as a fast developing economy in Asia, making a real effort to reconcile the communities.
IMF team visiting Sri Lanka has in its report mentioned that Sri Lanka’s macroeconomic conditions remain satisfactory. The economy is expanding rapidly, with growth likely to come in around 7.5 percent this year. As expected, headline inflation has moderated, reflecting declines in food and commodity prices, and there are as yet no clear signs of economic overheating, states on International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff mission statement. So why should the American State Department initiate unfavourable actions against Sri Lanka damaging the vast development projects it has initiated having just come out of a thirty years of terrorism.
Its time that the President Barack Obama personally investigate independently about Sri Lanka, by first getting down from his high horse to contact directly the President of Sri Lanka who has with remarkable determination made Sri Lanka a developing economy, if he is still the Barack Obama who in his early twenties found his vocation working among poor communities on the south side of Chicago.
Or has he changed, now the 44th President of USA, joining hands with European political leaders embracing them as his friends leaving the poor developing countries to be bullied, abused, isolated and stepped over by the American Administration lead by their noses by terrorist front organizations of the expatriate Tamils in America and Europe ?
Returning to America after having visited Kenya the country of his ancestors along with his wife Michelle Obama, he writes “ On the flight back to Chicago, Michelle admitted she was looking forward to getting home. “ I never realized just how American I was,” she said . She hadn’t realized just how free she was- or how much she cherished that freedom.”
He adds , “ ….. As a general rule we believe in the right to be left alone, and suspicious of those –whether Big Brother or nosy neighbors- who want to meddle in our business. But we understand our liberty in a more positive sense as well, in the idea of opportunity and the subsidiary values that help realize opportunity……”
We in Sri Lanka too believe as much Mr.President, Therefore, it is time that you call your Secretary of State and others to Order