Sunday, November 09, 2008

The International Press Looks At The Obama Victory

The following is a sampling of editorials and articles from newspapers worldwide on the victory of President-elect Barack Obama. I have deliberately sought to highlight some of the lesser-read papers.

Highlights from each selection are posted below. Just click on each paper's link for the full piece.

From Kenya's The Standard:
Obama’s victory will bolster the faith of many in democracies the world over who seek to create societies in which everyone has the freedom and opportunity to decide their future. At a time when many, including this paper, will be glad to see the back of an America infatuated with its military might and ready to trample values it espouses, voters in the US have reminded us of the "enduring power of their nation’s ideals — democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope".

This, as Obama said yesterday, is the true strength of the nation, not the might of its arms or the scale of its wealth.
At Aswat al Iraq, an interesting article focused on the reaction of various Iraqi papers. Among those observations:
Iraqi political analysts asserted that the U.S. policy does not change with a new president, taking into account that the United States is a country of institutions that draw up and enforce this policy, noting that Obama’s statements about withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq was for “media consumption.”

“The proposed security pact is part of a long-term American strategy that has nothing to do with a president who stays for one or two terms. It’s all about the U.S. national security,” aval Zakhoy, the editor-in-chief of al-Ahali newspaper, told Aswat al-Iraq.

“Even the coming president cannot reject the agreement or pursue policies that differ from those of President Bush as far as the agreement was concerned,” he said.
The report concludes with this nugget from analyst,Saeed Abdelhadi,
“Perhaps the fall of Saddam Hussein needed Republicans while the withdrawal of U.S. forces needs Democrats.”
An editorial at the Japan Times showed a sophisticated assessment of American politics, noting,
Mr. Obama raised $640 million, the most money ever raised by a presidential candidate. Most significantly, it came from individuals, small donors who were reaching into their pockets for the first time, a sign of how he galvanized ordinary Americans. Just as important was the decision to conduct his campaign in all 50 states — to reach out to all Americans and try to construct an enduring Democratic majority in the U.S. Only four years ago, Republicans were talking about constructing a new and permanent Republican majority. That project is dead and the electoral map is in flux. Time will tell how the GOP responds to this defeat — whether it regroups and moves to the center of American politics or embraces the base and moves further toward the fringe of U.S. opinion.
They conclude with the following:
He inherits a nation that is diving into recession, whose financial system is broken, and a government and a society that are living well beyond its means. He must rein in spending while reducing taxes, find ways to provide health care for all Americans, get the economy back on track, and provide assistance to the millions of people suffering through the downturn. Most important, he must bridge the partisan divide that has poisoned American politics. His victory is a reminder that such dreams are not beyond reach. We wish him good luck.
At the New Zealand Herald, a major demarcation in American politics was noted:
This is a once-in-a-lifetime event. At odd intervals - 1800, 1860, 1932, 1980 - the United States reaches a "pivot point", an election that draws the line between the past and the future. And 2008 appears to be just such a line in the shifting sands of convulsive times.

Reagan-style conservative supremacy? Over. The era of baby-boomer leadership? Waning.

And maybe something new has arrived: a post-partisan approach to governing, founded on the Obama Coalition, fuelled by young and minority voters, powered by the 21st century technologies that helped to turn a first-term senator into a historic lodestone.
Finally, a short, but interesting piece of corporate panic was found at the website of Ireland Online, which had this to say:
There is growing concern about the impact Barack Obama's tax reforms would have on jobs in American multi-nationals with bases in Ireland.

Such companies support up to 100,000 jobs here.

The Government has already had talks with the Obama camp on the issue and more intense lobbying is planned.

American politicians with ties to Ireland will also be approached for support.
One presumes that McCain would not be the first pol to be called upon,.

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