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November 15, 2012, Thursday

A new era with Obama

It is said, “Turkey belongs to the Turks.” Likewise, America belongs to Americans; in other words, there is no America that belongs to only one nation.

There is a great American nation inclusive of African, Asian, European and Latin peoples. The America of all nations -- where people with diverse languages, cultures and traditions from all around the world feel at home -- had a bitter election race between the Democrats and the Republicans; after the elections, Barack Obama was re-elected president. Obama’s election victory is not just a political victory that could be won by the Democrats against the Republicans when the political conditions are ripe and suitable.

I believe that the American voters gave Obama another chance for world peace. Otherwise, Obama would not win such a landslide victory considering the ongoing domestic problems, including health reform and rising unemployment. The US has gone through a tough process during the Obama period. Military spending in conflicts in different parts of the world has negatively affected the national economy, exacerbating the unemployment issue. However, this did not lead to a decline in confidence and trust in Obama. The Americans wanted to put an end to the policies of exporting war to the external world inherited from the Republicans.

During the Obama era, the American army withdrew from Iraq and showed determination not to occupy Syria. Obama also started the process of withdrawal from Afghanistan. Even though no serious progress has been made on the Palestinian issue, it is possible to argue that the ability of the Israeli lobby in the US to influence the federal government has significantly declined. This lobby exerted great effort to initiate a military operation against Iran; but it failed. It is not hard to estimate that the Obama administration will not rely on military measures in an effort to ensure change in Iran in this new era as well.

The American people believed that Obama was a reliable leader and politician who would contribute to global peace, and for this reason, they picked him as president.

In fact, we could say that America, which has become the America of all nations, has once more voted for global peace despite its social and historical traumas. Common memories and pains emerge in the memory of nations that have experienced social traumas. These memories and pains do not go away; instead, they are conveyed to the future, demand recognition and expect the arrival of a healing process. The moment when the American nation first cried in the rain for Obama was the moment when he won his first election four years ago. America experienced the first phase of this moment 140 years ago when slavery was abolished. This first phase was eloquently narrated in a novel by Howard Fast, “Freedom Road,” which was also translated into Turkish:

“At Appomattox Court House, General Lee laid down his arms, and then it was all finished. And in the warm southland, there were four million black men who were free. A hard-won freedom, a precious thing. A free man counts tomorrow and yesterday, and both of them are his; hunger and there’s no master to feed you, but walk with long steps no master says go slowly.”

The election of Gideon Jackson, a black man who was illiterate, as representative of his people in the 500-member founding assembly was the start of a new history in the United States. Now a black leader, Barack Obama, is walking down this road of freedom paved by Jackson. At this time when the world is full of blood and pain, Obama, after being re-elected, will need to run fast without listening to those who tells him to slow down.

The world is expecting solutions for the Syrian, Palestinian and Kurdish problems and political normalization in Afghanistan from him.

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