Thursday, November 13, 2008

What I was hoping for!

Kazakh former Prime Minister, Akezhan Kazhegeldin, writing in for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty explains why he is Welcoming America Back.
Belonging to a clan makes being principled impossible as clans esteem loyalty more highly than convictions, sometimes even more than common sense. And what U.S. politics has lacked in recent years on the international arena is principles. The peoples of Central Asia have felt this especially strongly because they had expected concrete actions to follow President Bush's declarations of support for democracy and human rights.
...we can now expect there to be less national self-interest in international politics, less of a split between "old" and "new" democracies, and less willingness to turn a blind eye to violations of democratic standards for short-term gain.
(The key word there being "less", since there will never be politics without self-interest.)

Mr. Kazhegledin has very high expectations of the US now, and he may be disappointed. But he's got better ground to stand on in making his case of less clan-based politics in Central Asia. He's an idealist, but I cannot see why a shot of idealism can be bad for his region and beyond.

And for another reaction on RFE/RL related to Central Asia, Obama Victory Sparks Hopes For Change In U.S. Policy In Central Asia.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Haven't we had enough?

Yes, just cafe press being entrepreneurial, but this is rather unsportsmanlike, I have to say.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My President Obama

This is what it means to me.

It unleashes immeasurable amounts of creativity. Whether you liked's Yes, we can! as a musical composition or not, that video (made in a few days) was an indication of creativity to come throughout the election. I don't think this will be limited to music. I think we are entering a period of people opening up their minds to possibility. No speech changes the world, but if words move and inspire, new stuff, for lack of a better word, is going to come out of us all.

It is creating new energy!

It turns the cynicism about America on it's head. When Obama sits down with a Medvedev, Chavez, Ahmadinejad (without or without conditions), Hu or Bozize, it will be a completely different conversation than if it had been any other candidate. You cannot have watched that campaign and come away saying American is under the thumb of the nameless powers that be. I believe Obama's conversations will be more about the issues than about outrageous conspiracy theories simply because of what he is and because of what his campaign has accomplished.

It begins - and it is only a start - to restore some integrity of to the ideals that are woven through American history.

It is a very welcome challenge to realize that we will confront race, which remains an elephant in the room in American and around the world. And it isn't only black and white. We still live in a world where the shade of your skin, the nationality of your passport and your ethnicity in that passport matter far too much. It's not going to be an easy conversation, but we are going to make it more explicit.

To those who say, "unproven", "inexperienced" and that we should get ready for disappointment, I say give it a chance. I have risked to be inspired and I cannot tell if it will last, but the injection of inspiration has and will change my life. Of that, I am sure.

Yes, we can.