Friday, November 7, 2008

"God Damn America"

It would appear that the election of Barack Hussein Obama has galvanised the intelligentsia of Bangladesh. According to Dr. Muzaffer Ahmed, ""From the verdict of the American people, we shall learn that the dissenting voice is more important than the supporting ones."

"It may be a lesson for our political parties that people may not accept [them] if they take any anti-people policy or go back to the old confrontational political culture," said Dilara Chowdhury. "Through active participation, people can liberate themselves from unhealthy politics which results from manipulation of the powerful and the corrupt who disempower them and undermine the democratic institutions with the help of money, the media and other instrument of control," gushed Dr Kamal Hossain.

One can draw inspiration from any event, no matter how trivial and distant, but surely there should be some relevance to the situation in our own country. For instance, I have never heard the intellectuals go ga-ga over the achievements of China, which has raised hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. Now, why might this be? Why are our binoculars trained on America, and not further east?

Barack Obama, like many American politicians, was generously larded with benefits by the mortgage agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These people allowed "regulatory capture" to take place under their very noses, because they needed the dosh. They actively encouraged the agencies to make as many loans – of whatsoever dubious quality – to as many people as possible to grab their votes. Result: the subprime meltdown, and today a world recession, pushing millions of people throughout the world back into poverty.

Barack Obama pandered to Iowan farmers saying that he would continue to subsidise biofuels – he had the interest of American farmers at heart, not the interest of the Bangladeshi poor. Biofuel subsidies caused poverty worldwide, as farmers switched out of food crops into maize. So, we received a double whammy from the US of A.

As for the complexion of the new president, I think his former pastor (whom he disowned outright after being mentored by him for years) said most eloquently what the relationship between God and America, and our prayers for the latter, should be.

"God Damn America."


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