Hope is a funny word.

It is undeniable that Barack Obama has
inspired many millions of people across the world. His acceptance
speech was, I think it is fair to say, one of the most remarkable
oratory performances the world has seen. The hope he has instilled in
people, not only Americans but people all over the planet, is
phenomenal.

And yet I remain skeptical. As Seth Freedman
points out in the Guardian, last night's victory took place as Israel's
invasion of Gaza continued. Obama aligned himself with Israeli policy
in speeches and interviews throughout his campaign. What hope is there
for Palestinians during his administration?

He said last night
that he wanted to reassert that "fundamental truth": "that out of many,
we are one." But who are "we"? Are those of us who are British
included? Are all America's allies? If any group of human beings "are
one", then surely we all are. But that wouldn't be consistent with an
interventionist pre-emptively aggressive foreign policy, would it? That
would also make holding prisoners illegally without trial or evidence for
years on end seem a little bit silly, I imagine.

Maybe I'm wrong,
but I think the "we" Barack Obama means are the American people. And if
so, doesn't that imply that, somewhere out there, in the middle east,
South America and the rest of the world, there is a "them"? The war on
terror, that sublimely ironic phrase, seems set to continue for a good
time yet.

History has been made indeed, but Barack Obama's legacy
is only beginning. I don't know whether he'll live up to the promises
he made, but I'm damn sure about the ones he didn't make. There's a lot
of hope in the air today, but all I'm thinking about is the people with
none.

Comments

"That would also make holding prisoners illegally without trial or evidence for
years on end seem a little bit silly, I imagine."

Do you mean Guantanamo Bay there? Because I think Obama plans to close it.

I see your point John, but to be honest I don't see why he should consider other countries when making promises, the best wishes and good will, will eventually run out. Just by the fact he isn't George Dubya makes things better I think. He probably does mean the American people, but Lord knows that country is so messed up it's about time they had a President who did look after them. 

How much difference will it make?