Hopes and Fears
by Eduardo Galeano *
posted November 7, 2008
www.progressive.org (externer Link)
Once in office, will Obama prove that his bellicose
threats against Iran and Pakistan were just words
spoken to lure in a certain category of voter during
the election? Let's hope so. And let's hope he isn't
for a moment tempted to repeat the exploits of George
W. Bush. After all, Obama had the dignity to oppose the
war in Iraq while the Republican and Democratic parties
cheered the announcement of this bloodbath.
During his campaign, "leadership" was the most
frequently used word in Obama's speeches.
As President, will he continue to believe that his
country was chosen to save the world, a toxic idea that
he shares with almost all of his colleagues? Will he
continue to assert that the U.S. is the leader of the
world and believe in its messianic mission to command?
Let's hope that the current crisis, which is shaking
the imperial foundations, will at least serve to
provide the incoming government with a healthy dose of
realism and humility.
Will Obama accept that racism is permissible when
practiced against countries that his country invades?
Is it not racism to meticulously tally the deaths of
the invaders of Iraq while ignoring with Olympian
arrogance the far larger number of Iraqi dead? Isn't it
racist that the world has first, second, and third
class citizens and first, second, and third class dead?
Obama's victory was universally celebrated as a victory
in the battle against racism. Let us hope that from his
first acts as President he accepts and lives up to this
Will the Obama Administration confirm yet again that
Democrat and Republican are two names for the same
Let us hope that the will for change that these
elections have consecrated is more than just a promise
and a hope. May the new Administration have the courage
to break with the tradition of the single party
disguised as two that at the hour of truth behave
almost identically while they pretend to be fighting
Will Obama make good on his promise to close the
sinister prison at Guantanamo?
Let us hope so, and that he will end the sinister
blockade of Cuba.
Will Obama continue to believe that it is a good idea
to build a wall along the Mexican border to keep
Mexicans from crossing into the US., while vast sums of
money move across without ever showing a passport?
During the campaign Obama never candidly discussed the
subject of immigration. Let us hope that from today on,
no longer having to worry about losing votes, he will
be able and willing to abandon this idea of the
wall--which would be far longer and more shameful than
the Berlin Wall--and indeed all walls that violate
people's freedom of movement.
Once President, will Obama, who supported the recent
gift of $700 billion to the banking industry, continue
the usual practice of privatizing profits while
I fear that he will, though I hope that he won't.
Will Obama sign and abide by the Kyoto agreement, or
will he continue to allow the biggest polluter on the
planet to pollute with impunity? Will he govern for
people, or for automobiles? Will he shift the
devastating course of a way of life in which the few
steal the destiny of the many?
I fear he won't, though I hope he will.
Will Obama, the first black President of the United
States, realize the dream of Martin Luther King, or the
nightmare of Condoleezza Rice?
This White House, which is now his house, was built
with the labor of black slaves. Let's hope he never
* Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan writer and journalist, is
author of Open Veins of Latin America and Memories of
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