In my hotel room in Verona, Italy, I was up until 5 am nervously waiting for the election results to come through on CNN. Yes, I was confident that Barack Obama will win the election, yet, for some reasons, I was nervous to the end like so many millions of Americans. I guess after many years of unethical and unscrupulous right wing politics that managed to put George Bush in the White House the first time around, I had reasons to worry.There was something about this presidential election that made me more proud, very proud of America and all the great ideals that it stood for, an America as envisioned by the founding fathers. I was convinced only after Senator McCain came out and gave his gracious concession speech and I was very, very proud when Barack Obama came out and gave his uplifting speech to the 200,000 citizens who waited in Grant Park in Chicago.
I was switching stations between CNN and French television and all I can say is that the French broadcasters were talking with much excitement about the election and the win of Barack Obama. With no exceptions all French news anchors, correspondents and political analyst were so proud of the United States and what this elections means for America and the world. Yes, indeed the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States can only happen in a country like the United States and it does speak very well of America and all Americans. Yes, this is perhaps the proudest moments in the history of the United States perhaps more telling that putting an American on the moon. French correspondents from Peking to London, to Rome to Berlin all were telling us that Obama was the candidate of choice for Europe and the world with some numbers going as high as 85% in favor of Obama.
This election is great testimony to America we all should remember, should be proud of, not American of George Bush, of Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Daniel Pipes, Steve Emerson, Bill Kristol, Rush Limbaugh, Reverend John Hagee and Pat Robertson or Sarah Palin. These people brought nothing but shame to our nation and our values and our institutions. It is a reminder for us Americans and the world that America is unique and special country, with great potentials for its citizen’s native born and immigrants. Having lived in the Middle East, lived in Europe and working in North Africa, there is simply no country on earth that can match the United States as this election have proved. I am sure the founding fathers, like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and other great presidents like Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy all should be very proud of this great moment in our long history forward. Malcolm X and Dr. King for sure must smiling and wonder is this the America they left behind?
America was never the perfect country and is not the perfect country and will never be the perfect country but it is the most perfect country in the world. The 8 years of George Bush are a small exception and are nothing more than a shameful footnote in the great history of this great country and will be remembered with contempt and shame.
Now Barack Obama has to prove his election was on target. He has to prove he is the president of all Americans and has to deliver on his promise to listen to those who disagree with him. He has to deliver on “Change We Believe In” and has to prove that he has what it takes to get down to business and fix the big damage George Bush is leaving behind him. Yes, he has to dig our country out of the big hole Bush puts us in.
Barack Obama has to manage and within very short time two run away wars with different expected outcomes. He must give Iraq back its independence and help it bring about reconciliations between the different warring factions even if he has to get the UN involved again to help with a transition period. In Afghanistan he and NATO must bring a bout complete transformation of the country, even if an international trusteeship is needed to bring about and end to the Taliban. Al-Qaeda is another story and its defeat does not lie with America but lies within the Arab and Muslim world. The US must work with the people and not the governments to bring about a defeat of the very ideas that keeps Al-Qaeda going. It is the people who will bring the defeat of Al-Qaeda.
In the Middle East, Barack Obama team on the Middle East must have courage, vision and determinations to bring about peace and reconciliations between the Arabs and Israel and the Arab Peace Plan is that blue print that must be followed. The Arab Peace Plan is simple. Full and complete pull out from the entire Occupied Territories for full and normalization of relations between Israel and all Arab countries. Arabs and Jews all know what it takes to have peace. It is time for bring about a change in policy free and independent of the Jewish lobby. Barack Obama must not be held hostage to AIPAC and must not allow American Jewish leadership to block and veto peace efforts. Barack Obama must be his own man when it comes to the Middle East. Since the Palestinians and the Israeli leaderships and people on their own could never bring about peace, perhaps there is an absolute need to place the entire Palestinian Occupied Territories under an interim international trusteeship with complete take over of defense and all other day to day operations from both Israelis and Palestinians. Both have proved they are simply unfit to bring about an end to the longest occupation in modern times. I am sure Barack Obama will be able to find at least one non-Jewish, not Zionist to include in his team for the Middle East. There must be a break up of the monopoly of the Jewish Zionists over Middle East policy. They are are part of the problem and they could not be part of the solution.
On the home front, President Obama must take the economic and financial crises by the horn and working with Congress and within the first 100 days of his administration, must bring within a short time a moratorium on home foreclosures, and must bring credit crunch and credit rating under control. Must make sure that the $ 700 Billions committed to bail out financial institutions do not go to toward bailing out shareholders and management but give liquidity and confidence to the market place. President Obama and Congress must pass legislations to implement sound, practical regulations of the financial markets including the re-institutions of the usury laws that limit the interest rate banks, credit card companies, and automobile lenders which can charge consumers. 40% annual interest rates on credit card charges are simply unconscionable. %25 and %30 interest rate on auto loans for “high risk” i.e. poor people, is simply unconscionable and is nothing but robbery of the poor. Reckless and criminal managements must be held accountable with thousands of executives put on trial. There is a need to put in place and within the first 100 days legislations to create jobs and public service jobs for college bound students as a mean of financing education. Overhauling the entire health care system is a must with the introduction of a national public health system within the first 2 years of the Obama administration. Simplifying the tax system and taking out the tens of thousands of loop holes is a must and instating a fair and equitable tax system for middle class is a must.
Barack Obama must make sure that our government must never be held hostage to the hundreds of thousands of lobbyist and their tens of billions of corrupting money contributions. Congress must not be controlled or managed by lobbyist.
This election is a victory for Americans, for America before it is a personal victory of Barack Obama. We as Americans own this victory. Thank you President Elect Obama for making all this possible.