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President Barack Obama: As pragmatic as idealistic.

Thursday January 20, 2009 entered the annals of history as the day the first ever African American, Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44 President of the United States of America, something which appeared almost impossible just four decades ago.

Obama in his inauguration speech did not only talk to please his “fans” and supporters but sounded as pragmatic as well idealistic as he briefly addressed both domestic and foreign policies issues. Conscious of the fact that he is taking over a shattered economy and a country whose image has been badly tainted, he said bluntly "Our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed,"


As to apportioned blame he emphasised "Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age,"

He however, reiterated that everybody is needed on board for the new beginning "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin the work of remaking America." It was not only a blame game as the celebrated orator cum president urged Americans to choose "hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord"

His appeal for the building of America cut across racial, religious and ethnic lines is a strong appeal to leaders of other countries who have chosen to rule with radical religious believes, and who work solely with “comrades” and the aristocratic class for the impoverishment of the population.

The composition of his cabinet of conservatives, liberals, Republicans and Democrats etc all shows his openness to work with all school of thoughts. This is his strength as well as may be a source of weakness if this openness is not well managed. In the course of listening to everybody he may end up listening to nobody.

Appeal to the outside world

PRESIDENT Obama admitted that America is a relatively richer country and would be ready to help others. However, “help” or extending a hand as such is something pretty rare of pure capitalist countries. It is hope that such help should not be accompanied with strings which will instead leave the receivers more impoverished in the long run.

Talking to foreign leaders he warned “those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." It is true that some leaders have taken the blame- game as an excuse or cover note but, this does not cancel the fact that a great portion of problems of the developing countries and Africa in particular, are being promoted from outside, through funny and shady business deals, supporting neo-colonial leaders, suppressing nationalistic instincts directly or indirectly.

A senior US diplomat said “Tsvangirai is too weak and incompetent for us to allow him to be in an inclusive government with Mugabe. He will be completely outmanoeuvred. Tsvangirai is not as strong as Odinga. If he was, we would have allowed him to get into the GNU with Mugabe”. This sounds very funny and may not represent the ideals of a supposedly frantic person like Obama. People with such views should be kept out of his extended team.

That notwithstanding, for a continent whose leaders are a majority relayed-colonial-era-puppets, Obama warned, “those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist," All the leaders Cameroon, Gabon, Chad, Central Africa republic, Equitorial Guinea, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Togo, Eygpt, Saudi Arabia etc are examples.Democracy should however, never be imposed on people. It should rather be proposed.

As a good politician he expressed the need to end “petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics." However, that is really sweet to hear for; politicians are remarkable for not keeping to their promises.

We are waiting to see the great change for Obama who has not only proven to be very pragmatic but who also sounds idealistic. However, freedom fighter Marti Luther King just as Idi Amin of Uganda had predicted that a black would rule America soon. Many thought they were unrealistic or idealistic too. 

Avoid this President Obama

Unlike targeting individuals, the all powerful US has successfully imposed sanctions on regimes which it considers undemocratic or tyrannical. Unfortunately, like the case in North Korea, Zimbabwe, Iran, and Cuba etc this has caused more harm than good to "innocent"citizens. 

As Professor Arthur Mutambara President of a faction of the MDC in Zimbabwe says “People’s lives are too important to be used as ineffective political tools and weapons”, . Putting up legislation or effectively applying laws that prevent the embezzlement of funds and starching them in US banks or doing business with it with US firms such as the buying of business shares and real-states in US with doubtful sources of finances from Africa and elsewhere, would help Africa and the world better.

Work has started already

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