Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The best hope America's got. President Barak Obama

So, finally. President Barack Obama. After 2000 and 2004 I was always holding my breath. Would the polls be accurate? Would American's really vote for an African American, once in the booth and faced with a stark choice?


Now the tedious time of overlap as we wait for Bush to exit.

Not the landslide I would have liked. Its frankly shocking for me to see how many votes McCain/Palin got.

But President Obama. Fantastic.

And now comes the hard part, but I sense a great 8 years ahead for America. Hard, but great.

Unfortunately, a lot of talk now about his chances of surviving the right wing para-military nutcases. I think he will.

I don't the time nor the talent to do this monemt justice, but here's one I like

Deborah's US Liberal Politics Blog - Great post on Obama

As Obama said -
"America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love."

I would urge people - especially in Oman and the GCC - to read/listen to his speeches, and imagine what more leaders like this in the Middle East could achieve. The whole region is suffering from its poor leadership - even here, the 'second' layer could do with a lot more accountability and information exchange/feedback. Fortunately, there are signs that the Majlis Al Shura is starting to flex its powers. That must be encouraged, with funding for a functional independent working arm of civil servants to act as a balance to the executive branch, an 'honourable opposition' almost. Equally, the judiciary in Oman must be protected and cherished as a truly independent counterbalance to any and all acts that are incompatible with the general rule of law, fairly applied.

And so, what for Oman?

A big opportunity for Oman. Very big.
Certainly, the issues wrt the free trade agreement will become less debatable. Labour laws and unions will be important. Diplomatically, Oman will be even more recognised as the stabilising force in the region it is. And there is a real opportunity for Oman to gain an increased influence in the White House, as the New Administration will be less willing to put up with the excesses of the rest of the GCC wrt women's rights and democratic representation, and Oman can get brownie points by helping to lead the way. A very small effort in the human rights, human trafficking dept would potentially pay HUGE dividends too.

The markets in general will be glad of a result, and positive, as Obama's economic team are about as good as you could wish for. Dollar will ease. Markets will bump and, short term, run flat. The underlying recession is not going anywhere. Sell the bounce.


  1. It was very emotional watching Barack Obama and his family up on the stage after his speech today, the first African-American family to move in to the White House. I just hope that he delivers what he promised, his speech was so inspiring. I ended up shedding a tear!!

    On a different note, I wondered if you knew about the case of the mysterious disappearing drain covers?? It seems that someone has a penchant for these storm drain covers and is gradually removing every last one. In some streets in Shatti there are none left, just great yawning holes at the side of the road, waiting to catch some unsuspecting jogger or cyclist. I have heard, and I am not sure if this is accurate or not (maybe you would have some insight??) that because the price of scrap metal has shot up recently, they are being stolen to sell...
    It seems strange that over night these covers have all disappeared and no one has seen anything!!
    Thanks, maybe you know something or have heard stuff???

  2. Obama was the one who went traditional US Policy and said that he supported Israel in its determination for having Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. By saying that he has arguably done more damage singlehandedly than any previous presidential candidate. If he's true to his word, then he not qualified to head peace negotiations and may be the cause of further instability.

    Having Obama as president is a victory for americans and not for the world. The colour of their leaders has never been an issue for Muslims.

  3. typo...I meant "went against traditional..."

  4. why do guys calling him an african-american when his mother is white and his maternal grandparents who he spent his early years with. In the UK they call him 'mixed race'. This obsession with colour the Americans have is very telling

  5. Let's calm down a little bit eh? People here are reacting as if it's the second coming. Also, this Change he speaks of, I'm not quite sure how he'll go about it. The people in congress hate change. His voting record in the past has always been along the lines of his party. Change would mean voting otherwise, which would ruffle feathers.

    I'm glad about the outcome, but a little cautious optimism goes a long way is all I'm saying. No need to toss rationality out the window.

    -Omani in US

  6. Today I am once again immensely proud to be an American.

    Barack is my president.

    I see the skeptics with their "chill" and "what change" and "he's pro-israel" comments. You are the same guys who said that Americans would never elect a colored president; that America would prefer the "strength" and hawkishness over competence and maturity.

    I am certain that in the years to come the majority of you would change your minds.

    With UD I agree that the underlying recession would continue as planned.

    Myself being the loudest critic of the American economy, I think there is a tremendous opportunity to regain a global competitive edge through significant subsidies of research into alternative energy sources. This would bring serious manufacturing and high-tech jobs back to the US and grow the economy as a result.

    Otherwise it's back to the gold, the silver and the copper-jacketed lead :)

    GoBama <3 FTW !!!

  7. I just wanted Obama to win for the sake of the history. For the sake of the American history. But I don't have any high hopes on him. I'm not even sure if he can bring the change he promised, and I don't care either.

    Anyhow, good luck to him and Joe Biden.

  8. Obama is not my president.

    OK, now that that's out of the way.

    I'm old (well...50 years and counting), American (yeah, I'm an Expat and American...the few, the proud, the uncounted...)a card-carrying Republican (Yeah...I voted for Bush, but I'm not responsible for his less than clever initiatives), and I'm disenfranchised.

    I work in the oil fields, in fact, I've worked there for more than 30 years. I've worked in more than 35 countries, and I've lived in more than 15, many as an Expat with a family.

    This man is not my president.

    I may disagree with his politics, his vision for America and his promises of what my country will become; but, he was elected President as an expression of what Democracy is, and more importantly, should be.

    "Magnanimous in victory, noble in loss." I think that McCain displayed both virtues in his concession speech.

    OK, now it's your turn. You called down the thunder, let's see what you do when the rain starts to fall.

    Now the orgasm of victory is complete, let's see how you handle the aftermath.

    I'll be watching.

  9. WOW! Doc_rocknocker, too bad you can't be more like your idol. McCain lost- get over it. I am an American and the US president is my president- no matter who he is.

  10. Although his main concern is to resolve internal issues. For Arabs at least we've got somebody who is really willing to talk to others.

    ** Omani in Oman **

  11. I had the greatest respect for John McCain before this race. He was one of the very few sensible and reasonable men on Capitol Hill. I would have voted for the old Mac over Hitlery.

    Unfortunately John McCain abandoned his principles and conscience to win over the far-right of the party and the nation. Watching him deteriorate from a levelheaded person to the hateful monster was painful. The pick of Sarah Palin for the veep was the breaking point for many a republican too.

    I sincerely hope that John McCain sheds the ill-fitting character he sported in the final months of the campaign and continues on his abandoned path of bridging the partisanship for the good of the country.

  12. boxster. in your first comment, which 'guys' are you referring to because that is a very juvenile generalistion.

    re: your second comment. where was McCain's conscience when he went on over 20 indiscriminate aerial bombing campaigns killing mostly innocent men, women and children? (before being captured and being declared a war hero). In the eyes of many in the world, a man like him is classified as a war criminal but you've obviously got your head too far up your coolu to realise that

  13. beebop, believe it or not, soldiers everywhere follow orders. That is their job. It could be that he didn't think much while executing those orders (again, not a surprise for someone in the army; their job is not to deliberate, only execute).

    For what it's worth (i.e. not much), I agree with Boxster's second comment on McCain. It really is too bad he gave in to weak desperation. I guess he was burned enough in the past, when his rivals beat him by beating the dumb populist dumb.

    It could have been a great election dealing with real issues, but alas.

    -Omani in US

  14. Sorry, that should say "the dumb populist drum", not "the dumb populist dumb".

    -Omani in US

  15. Omani in US "It could be that he didn't think much while executing those orders"...thats exactly what the Nazis said...


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