Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama From An Indian Point of View











(President Obama's Hanuman lucky charm)


Yesterday I spoke with a woman we will call Harshada, who manages the gas station near my condo. Harshada is from India and she sells me my cigarettes. If there are no lines of customers Harshada and I gossip about life and the news – her behind the bulletproof booth and me in my parka. In spite of these barriers and thermal padding we have some good conversations.

Last night I dropped in on the gas station for some smokes, as a ruse to discuss the Obama thing with Harshada. “You never come this late for things, my friend,” she said, “You are bored, yes?” Yes. So I told her I have been reading international news sites and wanted to know how she felt about the Obama presidency and Hillary’s new appointment as Secretary of State. We discuss these kinds of things.

Harshada immediately focused on Pakistan, because she is eager to find out how Obama will tackle their messes. Also, it is very important to her is that the US has renounced torture. She was impressed with Obama’s reliance on the Army Field Manual guidelines for intelligence gathering. As she was speaking, I tried to think of one US citizen I know who has ever thought about the Army manual. Not even one, is what I came up with. Me either. I felt so stupid.

I double-checked some Indian news sources later, to be sure about a few things, and found a story mentioning Gitmo and the Army manual. Two complete paragraphs about the importance of the Army manual versus waterboarding and torture, which is more than I’ve read in popular US media sources. Perhaps I missed the coverage? It could happen. Regardless, Harshada had more information than I do about the manual. Which might mean that US news sites are lazy about details, or that our pro-troops posturing and righteous indignation is a wee bit under-informed. There seems to be room for a smarter discussion about these bad things Dubya has done.

My friend is enthusiastic about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Me too. The Department of State has been serving as Dubya’s beleaguered waterboy under the direction of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Dubya and Condi sent unarmed diplomats and aid workers into Iraq and Afghanistan, despite security conditions (war) that made their jobs an impossible hell.


On Thursday cheering new co-workers – masses of them pressing in, to try and shake hands - met Hillary at the door. “Hillary is going to get some things accomplished. A new era,” my friend said. No doubt.

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24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Mojo!

You know, Mojo, Germans are pesimistic and so is the tone of the media right now. Not that I think, there's no reason. But reading international media and especially Mojopost is refreshing. I was thinking, are we, the Mojopost readers mad or what's wrong with us? Despite the difficult situation at the start of 2009 we face it with optimismus?!

LV

Anonymous said...

Here's another good news for this year. Probably you already know.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2009/01/gustavo-dudamel.html

LV

Mojopo said...

First of all, I LOVE DUDAMEL! My God! He is sold out in Chicago, and I'm going to miss it, unless I press my head against the backstage door very hard.

Second, LV, there is no lack of optimism about Obama among the people I know and have met. We are all waiting for the economic crisis to get much worse, but we are relieved to have a president who is much smarter, more ethical and in tune with the world. This guy knows what he is doing, and he has a greater understanding of world affairs.

There is nothing wrong with Mojopost readers. We are looking for a way out of the tunnel, instead of thinking about how very dark it is.

Minnie-sota said...

I've been busy at a conference so am just getting news in bits and snatches. I heard Hillary hit the ground running at the State Department yesterday. My Dad said he thought Hillary would be a good Secretary of State. That's a good endorsement. Smile.

PapaPig said...

That is good MJ, looking for a way out of the tunnel instead being convinced it's going to collapse is what I keep hearing.

Rush Limbaugh has already publicly stated he hopes Obama fails. Sean Hannity had him on and Hannity didn't disagree so I took that as he hopes Obama fails. (I like to keep tabs on the other side so I watched a couple of the new Hannity show and wow is he negative, bitter and full of shit. He used to be funny to listen to him squirm that Obama was winning then won, but he has changed the tone of the show with Colmes gone to pure hate. Just like a KKK meeting.)

I know a lot of people on non-political blogs making comments how it's the end, we are less safe, end of capitalism, etc etc.

Sure I expected a backlash from the right, the disconnected, the paranoid. But I never expected the level of bitterness and hate, they still wrap in the American flag and God. Yes, I have actually heard people quoting Bible verses back at me in other blogs.

Why I come here. There is a level of unquestioned hope. What else does the country have to hang on with but hope.

Mojopo said...

Papa, funny thing about those bitter people. The president has an 80% approval rating according to a CNN poll. The remaining 20% are on-line, in forums and at news sites. When they are not arguing on the net, they are refueling their piss and vinegar levels by listening to Rush.

J9 said...

Thank-you for this post MOJO, I always enjoy hearing from people around the globe, and I've found that as dismal as our news coverage is of our own stories, we are horribly remiss in our coverage of news abroad.

PapaPig said...

Guess I need to calm down. Before and right after the election it was funny to listen to Rush and Hannity, as they squirmed for explanations their plan like Rove to have a one party America with Conservatives in charge for the next century crumbled before their eyes.

They must talk off the air as they both went bitter vinegar piss negative.

I would not feel over the top calling them now no different than the KKK and hate speech.

That 20% from what I can tell if having a really bad time with this.

I was thinking about showing the crowd here how bad some comments I am reading are how it's degraded into total hate, not reason, no they have a better idea, just hate. But it was too negative.

Sorry I reposted the same thing but honest I am in total shock where this has gone on the other side.

at said...

The end of capitalism? Great! Now maybe we'll go back to free enterprise, because despite all the misconceptions and outright propaganda, capitalism and free enterprise ARE.NOT.THE.SAME.THING. Capitalism is about controlling capital. Free enterprise is about competing freely and the pursuit of happiness. Just sayin.

WOW is THIS a great Mojopost or what?! Think I'll give it a 10!

Anonymous said...

I was happy that Obama renounced waterboarding and torture in the name of USA. I'm certain you can't take the moral highground if you do shitty things like waterboarding and the extreme measures Dubya took to gather information from detainees. Just my opinion....

\\Speedy//

at said...

Oh Noooooo! Mojo, you've got to look into THIS:

http://www.vanguardngr.com/content/view/27049/42/

PapaPig said...

LOL, they finnally caught Fred! I grew up with that goat on the farm. Any time anything was missing, it was Fred.

LOL, now he is into Grand Thief Auto.

Oh Fred, hope they are easy on you.

Piggie :@)

anonytu said...

Papa, I've read that African goats are frequently shape-shifters. This is upsetting to me because I fully expect that one of the rightwing talkers is going to say that my president, Barack Hussein Obama, because of his African lineage is probably a shape-shifter too! Thank God we will have you, Papa, to dispel the myth when it comes out. Because of you, people will know that shape-shifting goats never run for public office. They just steal cars.

at said...

Where's a new Mojopost? Has anybody seen it? I need new Mojo. I need new Mojo. I need new Mojo. Where is new Mojo? Mojo, Mojo, Mojo. Where, where, where?

a.t. said...

While I am waiting, IMpatiently, I'll just make a comment or two about this week's Mojopoll. Have you ever in your life seen a more positive collection of choicabilibles? Me neither! And I'm proud to see that of all these grand choices, "I hate war too", "Diplomacy never killed anyone", and "I heart Malia and Sasha" are in the lead. That says something special about the Mojopublic. It says they have their values in tune with that of the Cosmological Grand Poobah who visited earth in the personage of the Baby Jesus to deliver one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) bits of Socialist doctrine ever produced: The Beatitudes. Whereby, we have learned the Poobah's highest aspirations for us -- that we have humility ("Diplomacy never killed anybody"), that we be pure of heart ("I hate war too"), that we have empathy ("I heart Malia and Sasha"). We get extra points for having a sense of humor. The Poobah luffs a great joke.

Anonymous said...

New Mojopost, yes? No? When? When, when, when?

Oh, the martini juices must be flowing like a Gatorade colored Chicago river tonight. Inauguration and all. It's okay, I'll wait.
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Okay, I waited. Now GIVE!

Anonymous said...

Frustration and disappointment and scrotch runnin on empty goes me to bed. I'm an old man. I need to sleep it off. Young turks like Mojo could care less!

Mojopo said...

Oh hi! I am running behind. I was moonlighting and got lagged in details.

The goat. Must discuss the goat. May I borrow your link? Be back in one hour!

Anonymous said...

It's been an hour and a half! I need scrotch or sleep or both. Waiting. Hate waiting. Are you trying to kill an old man? Well, go ahead, then, kill me. If you don't, something else will, so have at it!

Anonymous said...

Okay, it's only been an hour and seven minutes.

Anonymous said...

No, EIGHT minutes! An hour and EIGHT minutes! That's longer than an hour!!!

Anonymous said...

NINE!!!

Anonymous said...

You are TEN minutes overdue!

Anonymous said...

Give, give, give!