Pray to God, Expect from Obama

By B. R. Gowani

Financial insecurity has become an integral part of modern life. Capitalism, however, has exacerbated the insecurity. The recent continuing barrage of failures and bankruptcies of big financial houses, banks, and corporations in the US with their reverbeting global consequences, have raised the insecurity to an unprecedented level.

In trying times such as these, the demand for God and it’s accompanying offers of prayers increases like the bull market. Most people who are religious are also practical and therefore know who to pray to, but also whom to expect to fulfill their need, i.e., they know the difference between God and the US President. These people (all over the world) pray to God but they look to the US President to fulfill their needs, or at the very least, not create more needs by unleashing his fury at them in the form of wars, embargos, etc.

John F. Kennedy’s victory against the Republican Richard M. Nixon in the 1960 election, combined with his youthful ideals and his outstanding oratory performance, raised much hope in people around the world. However, it was no where near the hysteria the Barack Obama victory has created among the people of the world.

This is so for a number of reasons. At that time, the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union had the world divided between these two camps. Also, Kennedy was a white man and the memories of the atrocities by European colonialists in the newly independent countries of Asia and Africa were still fresh in the minds of many people. Finally, we cannot forget the resentment aroused in 1823 when President James Munroe’s famous Monroe Doctrine declared Latin America to be a part of the US sphere of influence.

The hysteria over the Obama victory had many reasons, too. One celebratory reason was the elation of dubya leaving; another, for the first time since Columbus, a black man has the opportunity to a seat that has always been a white man’s privilege. Also, in this country the history of lynching and slavery makes this a particularly poignant victory. Also, the widespread humiliation and loss of life in Iraq among the innocents was widely observed helplessly by the world, but now there is a flicker of hope that the atrocities and the occupation will be over, and Iraqis will be treated humanely. Although no one expects it’s plundered fortunes to be returned any time soon. The reality may or may not pen out but the world holds on to the audacity of hope and the message of change so effectively articulated during his campaign.

Ultimately though, it is the people who must find their own solutions to problems; which means they have to do things not only for themselves, but also for their countries — i.e., the ruling class. This was amply clear from Kennedy’s inaugural address: “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” On the very first day Kennedy put people on the reality track.

At his inauguration, Obama used the same beautiful baloney to prepare the people to lower their expectations — and ultimately forget — any kind of meaningful help for their woes: “What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task. This is the price and the promise of citizenship.”

The key [unspoken] word is sacrifice that the leaders ask of the people. The problem in 2009, however, is that most people have nothing left to sacrifice. But companies like Bank of America have done the deed for them, as in their mood for giving, they have sacrificed public money given to them by the government as bailout money at super bowl parties, lavish vacations, etc. (See the video following this article.)

As Michael Hudson points out the banks who are the major beneficiaries of the bailout money, are holding the economy hostage: “Give us what we want or we’ll plunge the economy into financial crisis.” Washington has given them nine trillion dollars (9,000,000,000,000) so far, with promises of another $2 trillion – and counting.” (See Dr. Hudson’s article following the Bank of America video)

As many knowledgeable people have pointed out, Obama has recruited the same people to run his government who have been responsible for creating this corrupt system in the first place. If Obama is genuinely interested in diminishing the mess the economy is in and the suffering people are experiencing, he should consider doing the following:

• Stop giving any more money to the banks and other corporations and instead ask those big shots who have made millions of dollars in wages and bonuses to return that money. Richard Fuld of the Lehman Brothers made 480 million dollars in eight years (equivalent to winning $ 60 million lottery every year for the last eight years.) The money from people like Fuld should be used to create jobs for the people who have been fired by Fuld and his kind.
• Impose a Patriot Tax on all those people having wealth of over a million dollars, at an increasing rate. Bill Gates would thus pay the highest tax. Bill Gates and others should pay this tax out of patriotism because the money would be spent for the benefit of fellow compatriots who have been pushed into the present miserable condition because of this failed capitalist system.

If this advice is not taken and people’s woes are not addressed, after four or eight years Obama will leave the US in very dire conditions. He, himself, will not be in good shape, either. Newly elected US presidents enter the White House with the support of the two crutches: Israel Lobby and the big corporations; but the observations show that they leave the White House with plenty of gray hair, having aged prematurely. Obama may have to leave in a wheelchair, given the problems he faces and will face during his term. Also, the inevitable fallout from the sense of let down after the euphoric expectations from within and without the US as they gradually realize that Obama will not create the magic they were hoping. They can already see that he is not on the Hope/Change path but has begun on the track of Mission Disappointments.

The wake up call for Pakistan has come early. Last Saturday, 30 people died in Pakistan in an attack by the CIA operated drone (unmanned plane). The California senator from Obama’s party, the chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, disclosed at a hearing: “As I understand it, these [drones] are flown out of a Pakistani base.” In other words, from the Pakistani soil, the US planes operate and kill many innocent Pakistanis. More of the same.

B. R. Gowani can be reached at

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