[The Telegraph, U.K.]



L'Orient Le Jour, Lebanon

Arab Leaders Should Heed Obama's Words


"Obama can and must encourage within the world at large that same quest for change, justice and progress that has swept him to power like a tidal wave. Because what our region needs most, to use the words of the U.S. president, are leaders that build, not destroy."


EDITORIAL By Issa Goraieb


Translated By L. McKenzie Zeiss


January 21, 2008


Lebanon - L'Orient Le Jour - Home Page - (French)


President Barack Obama's inaugural speech has had ripple effects around the world, as evidenced by this article from Lebanon's L'Orient Le Jour.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Advice for Obama from around the world, Jan. 25, 00:02:45RealVideo

Historic. Apart from a few grouches, the entire globe yesterday had only one word in its mouth. For the world is deeply convinced - including the grouches, this time - that near or far, sooner or later and even in its most remote reaches - every nation will find itself affected by the triumphant installation of Barack Hussein Obama in the White House. Whether one accepts him, rejects him, congratulates him or not, he is really the first president of globalization that there has ever been.


For this to come into being, history didn't have to wait for the coronation in Washington - the kind of supershow that only Americans know how to put on, consisting simultaneously of an imposing solemnity and moving popular fervor, yet nonetheless dignified by a strong sense of friendly bonhomie [goodwill]. History had already been made on the evening of the U.S. presidential election, with that jubilant “yes, we can” which from then on became the motto of all societies that are forbidden to dream. And history was already in place on the day, not so long ago, when an American of the Black race dared to aspire to his party’s nomination, pushing his way in, then finishing by crushing the party's confirmed celebrities.


What will follow from now on is still, of course, history. But it's a history of unattached segments that only time will judge: a sequence of news clippings, an inevitable mélange of great achievements, as one is entitled to expect from exceptional men, but also of the disappointments, failures and setbacks that alas, are inherent to the human condition. The global economic crisis, unemployment and poverty, climate change, the American wars left as a legacy by George W. Bush, and all the other conflicts that have periodically erupted on one corner of the planet Earth or another: it's a list of charges that cannot be billed to a specific person, but which will come due under the tenure of Barack Obama.


For the new president, paying these charges will be a matter of renewing the confidence and energy of an immense country that for many years now, hasn't been comfortable with its unique status as a superpower - with all the attendant privileges and obligations which that entails; and at the same time, winning back the favor of a global community which has broken with the often bloody unilateralism and mistakes of Uncle Sam. In his inaugural address, Obama has clearly declined this duel priority, presenting himself as the unifier of an America ready to lead the world again and an America resolved to vanquish terrorism, but at the same time offering a new approach to the Muslim world.


That being the case, there's also a double duty- of trust, of hope, of optimism, but also of realism and patience - that demands that all nations rise to the significance of the moment. To be sure, we mustn't expect a rapid profusion of miracles from Obama. On the contrary, let’s bet on (do we really have a choice?) the aptitude of this son of an African immigrant, of this American who comprises a myriad of sensibilities in his person, to give a lucid and comprehensive look- an intelligent look, after all these years of stupid dogmatism- at the world around him.


With him, may we know how to foster the ambition to accomplish what his predecessors could not; that is to say, a just and definitive global solution to the Palestinian riddle: a challenge commensurate with that breaker of barriers who's already a living legend.


Failing these miracles, that which Barack Obama can and must do is encourage within the world at large that same quest for change, justice and progress that has swept him to power like a tidal wave. Because what our region needs most, to use the words of the U.S. president, are leaders that build, not destroy.


Israel deserted the crime scene in Gaza just in time for yesterday’s inauguration; and at the summit in Kuwait, Arabs were seen once again smothering each other in hugs rather than swearing at each other like cart drivers. The scene is set. “Please ... welcome President Obama.”
















































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US January 22, 1:35am]