5th June 2008 – Barack Obama has been declared the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee on a platform that calls for a change in US policies. Some may think he has seemingly recognised some of the reasons why America is so hated in the world and many are impressed by his optimism, just as they were once impressed by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.
However, even now, he has started to row back on some of his policy positions from only some months ago. Addressing AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee) yesterday, his positive statements about a Palestinian state must be weighed against his unequivocal endorsement of Israel, saying Jerusalem should remain its eternal capital. “I want you to know that today I’ll be speaking from my heart, and as a true friend of Israel" he said.
While he criticises Bush’s foreign policy, he has threatened to bomb Pakistan and his advisors include former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski – who the brokered the Camp David Accords, and encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot for US interests – indicating a return to the ‘Realpolitik’ of previous US administrations i.e. occupation, manipulation and hegemony over all, for the interests of the USA.
Obama’s poetic rhetoric and utopian belief in the ‘American dream’ should be weighed against the ugly and thorny realities of the American nightmare. On clinching the Democratic party ticket he said “I am absolutely certain that….this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth."
Obama may have an image of the USA as the last best hope on Earth, and that this has been tarnished by the Bush presidency, in particular the Iraq war. However, this same nation invaded Iraq in 1991 and has cynically exploited its relationships with tyrants in the Muslim world, South and Central America since the 1970’s. It has silently supported the brutality of the murderous apartheid Israeli occupation of Palestine for decades and is the only nation in human history to have actually used the atomic bomb.
Indeed the world needs change – from colonial occupation, from western backed tyrants, from exploitation of the weak for corporate interests. The Muslim world is working for a real change – for a State to stand up against such oppression, occupation, poverty, exploitation, and tyranny, to bring a new politics to the world. The Muslim world increasingly believes that the Khilafah State is that State and that it is the ‘best hope’ for them, and all other people who have suffered under decades of colonial oppression.