Washington, D.C. — In response to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announcement on the lifting of restrictions on US investment in Burma, five human rights groups issued the following statement.
As Obama seeks to define the new image of the new America that hopes to play the role of honest broker and equal partner in world politics, one wonders if the age of global hegemony is coming to an end or being checked at least. One thing however is certain: in its present state, an America in economic crisis and suffering a credibility deficit can no longer swagger around the world with a big stick, observes Farish A Noor.
There is no guarantee that Obama will be able to undo the damage that has been done to America ’s image thanks to the violent militaristic unilateralism of previous administrations; and not even any guarantee that he can bring about a reversal in the slide of the US economy. But if he can at least re-inject some degree of moral credibility and consistency in the ethical conduct of international politics and compel the allies of the USA to live up to the standards of ethical governance he wishes to provide to his fellow Americans, that would be good enough, writes Farish A Noor.
A fresh-faced Obama speaking the language of human rights may be refreshing indeed after eight years of Bush and his neo-Fascist discourse, but the wind of change won’t be blowing until we see the tanks and warplanes of America retreating back to the shores of the USA, says Aliran member Farish A Noor.
Change does not take 400 years to happen. In countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and others, change has been on the boil for some time now and there is ample evidence that the old crumbling structures of governments and institutionalised power are falling apart, observes Aliran member Farish Noor. Will Malaysians have to wait 400 years before they see a woman as Prime Minister? Or a Malaysian-minded Prime Minister who breaks away from the outdated structures of racialised politics?
Aliran applauds the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America. It was a stunning victory that recorded a landslide majority. It was a victory that brought together ordinary Americans of different shades and faiths to elect the first Afro-American in a historic decision that clearly responded to Obama’s call: Time for change.