“Barrack Obama Feasting on Freedom”

"Barack Obama Feasting on Freedom". Written by Philip Fernando, the fascinating campaign of Obama" has been caught in its most interesting details by the Sri Lankan journalst Philip Fernando. Obama will change America's focus on terror seriously towards a more pragmatic approach. Obama is expected to bring in a studied approach to fight on Terror which, inspite of promises by the US, has been diassapointing under George Bush. Millenium project funds were cut by Bush and even weapons promised to fight terror were not sent. Sri Lankan community in the US had made a concerted effort to apprise Obama officials to recignize Sri Lanka's herioc fight against the LTTE terror. Those efforts will have to be continued more vigorously states Philip Fernando.

by Philip Fernando for Sri Lanka Guardian

(November 01, Los Angeles , Sri Lanka Guardian ) Barack Hussein Obama burst into the political landscape as the one of the most dynamic personalities of this decade-unbelievable but true! He is really your standard corn-fed kid from Kansas who has a funny name but with unstoppable traction towards greatness.

He engulfed a chasm in time almost unimaginable. Between the beginnings of a long primary season in July 2007 to the national election of November 2008, the Obama phenomenon took hold in a mind-boggling fashion. What motivated Obama to seek the presidency was the notion that America must cohere as a nation on the strength of her ideas and not be defined solely by its diverse ethnicity, cultural bonds and commitment to democracy.

How that thought itself got validated is shown in the pages that follow. The long drawn-out gauntlet that marked Obama’s rise is presented here in detail. The concept of change itself went up a notch or two as people’s awareness levels reached dizzy heights. Obama’s change would open the flood gates to a new way of thinking. The odds faced were steep and the road treacherous. The mechanics of survival to thwart a starkly backward looking stance were crafted as he marched forward.

In short, what went into the makings of Barrack Obama was made for the story books. Fascination summed up that quest. The highlights were exciting to behold. So were the tentacles bogging us down making us immobile in a stagnant pause now and then? “Yes we can” meant the nearness and the achievability of goals in contrast to how despairingly remote and well-nigh impossible they seemed at first glance.

[Veteran Sri Lankan journalist, currently domiciled in California is a trend analysts relating to political behaviour. He is a graduate from the University of Sri Lanka Peradeniya who specialised in Economics and Poltical Science. He was the former Deputy Editor of the Sunday Observer, Colombo. He is a regular contributor to several Web sites. He can be reached at fernandophilip@hotmail.com ]

In Chapter one Philip Fernando wrote

[The cover is the creative work of Sunil de Aklwis of Los Angeles.The book covers all the hectice moments of the gruelluing primary fight Obama had with Hillary Clinton and the battle of the Titana when Obama and McCain fought it to the finish. ]

Obama Mystique

The scintillating tale of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign that originated in Abraham Lincoln country in Springfield, Illinois, and progressed through the arduous grass-root traction sustained by the foot soldiery of millions of Obama followers became the story of our time. His new approach to fund raising, the piercing oratorical skills, the primary season with its full-blown adversarial nuances and jab by jab battle with Hillary Clinton, the acceptance of the path to victory on June 3rd 2008 and finally the convention and sixty fives days of harsh campaigning between September 1st and election day were unprecedented. It made a riveting a narrative, spell-binding in its depth.

He declared-“four more years of Bush were bad for America.” That message stuck a resounding chord.

Obama’s speeches at times were populist-sounding denunciations of the Bush policies. Beneath the hum drum, he was enunciating a more “progressive” rationale to mobilize popular support behind basic American needs fiercely felt in the country. In the wake of debacles in Iraq, Afghanistan and closer home, Obama had to make a clean break.

He sensed that Americans had come to detest any mention of Guantánamo, torture, secret CIA prisons, illegal wiretapping, or all the other violations of democratic rights carried out in the name of conducting a “war on terror.” A watered down version of expanded wiretapping and surveillance powers for agencies like the National Security Agency and the FBI got approved by Congress in mid 2008. But the promise of sharing the cost of the war never materialized as was done during the desert storm under George H. Bush. This time, Iraq reportedly had a $79 billion surplus while the US wallowed in deficits.

There were grim economic circumstances to show for that at home: declining real wages, foreclosures and falling home values, and skyrocketing gas prices, credit card debt and college tuition costs. He pinned down his opponent McCain for being ignorant of the difficulties confronting working people. McCain did not get it, Obama said. His descriptions were glaringly apt when he indicted the conditions facing working people in the industrial centers of the Midwest. He spoke of a factory worker “who has to pack up the equipment he’s worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China.” He urged that “businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs,” and he pledged to “stop giving tax breaks to corporations that shipped jobs overseas.”

That economic nationalism was backed up with a policy promise: a ten-year program to “finally end America’s dependence on oil from the Middle East.” He also pledged to guarantee an affordable college education to every young American “if you commit to serving your community or your country.”

Obama was at his best when he lashed out at Bush administration’s mismanagement of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and declared himself more than willing to match up his credentials to serve as “commander-in-chief.” He argued that “When John McCain said we could just ‘muddle through’ in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11.”

Obama disagreed with Bush’s bellicose posturing over Iran, which had merely served as a substitute, a mere vague global strategy against terror. “You don’t protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington,” he said. “You can’t truly stand up for Georgia when you’ve strained our oldest alliances.”

Obama warned “We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.” In other words, he painted Iraq war as a waste of valuable resources. He invoked Roosevelt and Kennedy as Democratic predecessors, for their association with liberal social reforms, and in their capacity as leaders during World War II and the Cold War. “As commander in chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation,” he said, adding, “I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts.”

Obama ended his acceptance speech at the Convention with a brief citation from the speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the March on Washington 45 years before to the day. He did not speak of King by name, referring to him only as “the preacher.” It was obvious that Obama felt progress on the civil rights front was substantial but more needed to be done.

Obama succeeded in building a fierce urgency for reviving the New Deal or Great Society liberalism that had been hallmarks of Democratic Party success. To many, this was undoubtedly an invocation of Kennedy and Roosevelt policies with their characteristic military muscle-flexing and economic appeals to working people. Others cited great similarity with Harry Truman’s rhetoric of toughness and his hard-times populism.”

Obama sought the presidency under conditions where the eight-year economic decline of America may pave the way for a return to the liberal reform policies of a Truman or a Roosevelt.
- Sri Lanka Guardian