President or Philosopher

‘There is no greater security challenge in the world today than turning the tide on nuclear-proliferation, and pursuing the goal of nuclear-free world,’ is not a line from some university scholar’s book about nuclear proliferation.

‘A war with no end, a dependence on oil that threatens our future, schools where too many children aren’t learning, and families struggling paycheck to paycheck despite working as hard as they can. We know the challenges. We’ve heard them. We’ve talked about them for years,’ is not a paragraph by Arundhati Roy, though it is easy to detect because she would have written these lines with much more passion, vigour and sincerity.

A piece about Barack Hussein Obama is highly overdue in this blog. From his campaign days he has been hailed as one of the greatest orators of our time. There was even a documentary in BBC about rhetoric of the past and present and how Obama’s oratorical skills have helped him win the election. Win the election may be yes but BBC perhaps did not analyse how those skills are going to help him run the country and, like any other US president, run the world.

It is time to question even his public speaking skills. Obama’s statements seem to be filled with philosopher’s anguish or jargonised presentation of politically correct banalities. Often it becomes very difficult to decipher what exactly the point of his winding verbosity. The times when we do decipher, we see the attempt to blame the previous administration on every problem that he currently faces.

Oratory should be highly appreciated when it is backed with performance. As for the performance, there were real tests such as G20, North Korea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and currently the Middle East. In G20, it was actually Brown who stole the show and the media, who eagerly expected a chartbuster from Obama decided to spend more time with the First Lady instead and focused on the charm emanated by the couple. North Korea, which agreed to dismantle their nuke infrastructures during Bush regime, boldly conducted another test further weakening America’s hold over the so called rogue states. As Taliban advanced into the mainland Pakistan, US were content with showering continual financial assistances to Pakistan without obtaining any visible commitments on deliverables.

In the Middle East, as the President is all set to ‘charm’ the Muslim world with his oratory, trouble is already brewing. Just as Obama is condemning the settlements, Mark Regav, a government spokesperson for Israel, has already rebuffed the Clinton’s demand for reduction and complete end to settlements. Regav has clearly spelled that ‘Israel will continue to allow some construction in West Bank.’

Obama’s statement on Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict came too late and contained too little. It only helped slightly discomfort Sri Lanka’s strategists, as the rebels declared that they are laying down their arms ‘as per’ the American president’s request and Sri Lanka, firm on its campaign, had to offer some weak justifications in order to continue its onslaught.

It’s about time the president, who created history by becoming the first black president, began creating other histories that justify all his onslaughts against Bush. It’s also the time that the media, which denounced, criticised, mocked, attacked, reviled, and caricatured Bush, stopped eulogising his oratory skills and started questioning his management skills.