Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hey, America, You Ain't So Bad After All...

After 9/11 in 2001, I felt distressed for many obvious reasons -- the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, war on Iraq, the US-prescribed war on terror, Guantanamo Bay, among others.

I had my own little boycott of the US. I was, of course, not alone. Not at all.

Time is supposed to heal. In this case, it took a little longer.

A planned visit to my alma mater (Boston University) had to be cancelled. Personal invitations from American friends to attend their weddings or for holidays had to be declined.

Reassurances from the acting US ambassador (can't recall his name -- it was in 2003, I think) that I would not be singled out at random for detailed checks and questioning at American airports could not appeal to my senses.
I refused to visit the US -- neither for work nor for play.

And, boy, was I glad and relieved when my son, Adel decided not to do any US degree programmes, after his SPM.

To cut a long story short -- I am now giving America a chance. (As though I matter at all.)
And I will no longer look at America with contempt and disdain.

There was a time I looked at the US as a reference point for many things. About freedom, mostly.

Post 9/11 changed all that.

Barack Obama as the 44th US President, will still have to prove himself. We know that.

But the fact that Americans want him as President warms my heart.

I can say to an American : "hey, America ain't so bad, after all..."

And maybe, just maybe......

Anyway, I wrote this after reading an AP article "Suddenly, It' Maybe Cool to Be An American Again":

VIENNA, Austria – She was a stranger, and she kissed me. Just for being an American.

It happened on the bus on my way to work Wednesday morning, a few hours after compatriots clamoring for change swept Barack Obama to his historic victory. I was on the phone, and the 20-something Austrian woman seated in front of me overheard me speaking English.

Without a word, she turned, pecked me on the cheek and stepped off at the next stop.

Click here to continue....

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

who cares about what you think of america!look at your own country first

nstman said...

We have a new America but we still have an old Malaysia. In old Malaysia, race still plays a pivotal role. Just look at PKNS. Are we progressing or regressing? Only we can answer.

Anonymous said...

I think the world in general got too overly excited over his winning. Like DSAI, he is a damn good orator. Any politician who can bull**** his messages through is a damn good politician.

Any American President (even Obama), where their foreign policies are concerned should be taken with cautious observations. During his campaign trails, he already put me off on his stand on Iran. Same old, same old YewAssA arrogant attitudes on issues involving other countries.

I rather do a reality check, wait and see on whether he can deliver what he promised during his campaigns.

Read John Scalzi's blog ~ at least he is more believable in his post-analysis once Obama steps into the White House.

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2008/11/05/reality-check/

rm

Ghifari X said...

Had a million been slaughtered here then you'd reconsider. America remains unrepentant without atonement; ain't it too soon to just give this butcher of millions of whom this Great nation is built a chance? Perhaps you don't know who are James Rubin founder of CITIBANK and one time special envoy to Kosovo, the man who tacitly gave Serbia the OK to slaughter Albanian Muslims by the hundreds - I have the photos I witnessed the crime and Rahm Emanuel Israel's staunchest supporter, Obama 1st appointment his chief of staff, the man who says who sees/meet Obama the man who decides who Obama hears. It seems we prefer an intelligent handsome articulate tyrant than an obnoxious madman as president of the empire....GOD save us all.

Johnny Utah said...

Maybe you should boycott Malaysia if you feel that way with America

Anonymous said...

When are we going to say"Hey Malaysia,You Ain't So Bad After All...". When will Malaysian be not judged by what colour, but by strength of their character.

Ghifari X said...

Barack Obama's choice of Rahm Emanuel to be his chief of staff.
Father and son Terrorist now serving Barak Obama.
Malayu mudah lupa.
Emanuel's occupied Jerusalem-born father was once a member of Irgun, an underground, ultra-nationalist Jewish movement that fought British troops before the 1948 existence of Israel.

Emanuel himself volunteered to serve in the Israeli army and did a two-month stint at a base in northern occupied territories during the 1991 Gulf War, public radio reported.

Anonymous said...

Dont be too sure. He will take in a jewish (read zionist) chief of staff.

I have to see to believe.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Ena, maybe I can finally visit Jila and her family in Maryland.

She’s been asking me to visit her & I've been declining her invitation by telling her “I can’t lah. I’m afraid to go to the US under Bush” - because of his war against terror, in other words against Muslims.

My worst fear is being detained at the airport when the authorities see my passport. I might be mistaken for a member of the Al Qaeda for having a common Muslim surname – Abdul Samad – and my head covered.

Not to worry, she assured me. Bring Adam along because Houman can take him around.

Biar betul, budak ni. Nanti pi sana kena tahan & have Adam taken away from me, macam mana? That will a real nightmare! I know, I know, I’m paranoid after 9/11.

You know how persistent, she can be. Like when she was the Iranian News Agency London Bureau chief. Kept bugging me to visit her. Abang Ani gave up & finally told me “pergi aja lah”.

I suppose its okay to visit her now. You think it’s pretty safe, huh?

Masalahnya: now I gotta find the “fullush” first.

Hey, you think MS boleh naikkan my allowance tak? Lol!

Anonymous said...

Barrack Obama President elect, father black, mother white and a Christian.
Simple but General Colin Powel former State Sec and Rev Jesie Jackson, the former said he knows his background and say no and the latter tried but mis the cut. Both of them will never make it with simple battle cry of Barrack campaign team 'Change, yes we can' WHY? The answer is, I think you know.
Will Barrack make to the top if his religion other than Christian?
Anyway, no big deal as Malaysia been there, done that in a man named Mahathir as his dad is ......, mother a Melayu and he is a Muslim. So Malaysia has created history earlier than the USA, phenominal!! but USA takes more than 150 years to happen.dh9753

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

I have always liked America, especially some of its people, their entertainment industry, exported goods and many of its beautiful places. but cant say the same on their government policy as well as those islamophobic rednecks.

tan, tanjong bungah said...

Hi everyone,

Isn't it marvellous that a "half-black and half-white" (excuse my crude description) and a first generation American can become the 44th President of USA!! The maturity of the American people should be applauded, being able to pick meritocracy over race, being color-blind in exercising their vote.

Ordinary Americans have taken cognizance and responsiblity for hopefully effecting a much-awaited change in reviewing their past and current foreign policies, which have often rubbed the world communities the wrong way. But, the hope for real change envisaged by Barrack Obama can turn into despair if he is not resolute enough in effecting the change that he promised the American people.

Let's hope that Barrack Obama realised the hope for change by the American people and the rest of the world.

kim'spouts&shouts said...

check out! his step sister maya sutoro (indonesian father) is married to a sabahan chinese! wow, this obama guy is truly a global person, with half a family tree (paternal) total muslim in kogelo kenya, he himself half white, ain't he the most suitable person .. and strikingly his name is obama isn't that close to osama he he but ofcourse the most striking of all is truly his full name barrack hussein obama. salut to americans who really ain't so bad after all for choosing him .. but such charisma and eloquence! who can resist, right!

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon 8.20pm,

You are missing Nuraina's point. Don't be emotional, that's why you are missing the trees for the woods. She wasn't talking about Obama.

Nuraina was talking about the American citizens who transcended racial and colour boundaries to vote for a black as the President.

She meant whites actually voting for a black to take charge of their lives.

That, my friend, was a great act by Americans who I too disliked for their arrogance.

Even if it is for one term, they gave him a chance.

Would you do it in this country? Think...


Cheers

hani_my_hani said...

Just wondering if Obama would have won the US presidential election if he had been an African-American Muslim.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon @ 1.55 pm,

Why does everyone keep on saying Obama is black. He is half-breed. Just because he is darker skinned, he is recognized as a black President. If only he is lighter skinned, he would have been seen as a white President.

I think what happened in USA had happened here on March 8. There is that group of voters who voted Obama just to spite Republicans for having 8 insufferable years of Bush's administration. Not because they supported Obama and his dreams. Why do you think McCain made sure he distanced himself so much from Bush during his campaign trails. If you ask me, McCain has more experience than Obama.

Just like how I voted for PKR, not because I supported Anwar, but a vote to spite BN and I too was willing to give him 5 years chance. So I understand the first basking of excitement when PKR won so many seats. Now, what happened? Reality checks.

Just as how the Americans and the whole world are waiting in high expectations what Obama can achieve.

So after all this excitement dies down, Obama will be no different from Bush or any other American president as far as Americans' foreign policies are concerned. You will see.

rm

theaeroguy said...

Obama won the election by electoral college but if you see the popularity votes nearly half the population voted against him. That means half of Americans still have problems with having a non-white person to lead them. Racism is still rampant in US. Obama won mostly by women's, youth's and black/latino votes. So nothing really have changed in US.

Yunus Ali said...

Saya salah seorang daripada warga dunia yang tidak akan pergi ke Amerika, walaupun ditaja dan biayai oleh sesiapa pun, selagi dasar diskriminasi tidak dimansuhkan di pintu masuk ke negara itu.

Pemegang paspot Malaysia, apatah lagi mempunyai nama orang Islam, diprofil untuk pemeriksaan keselamatan yang ketat.

Pengalaman seorang ahli keluarga saya, passpot Malaysia dan nama orang Islam, yang transit di LA untuk pergi ke Mexico, ditahan selama 8 jam untuk disoal-siasat dan pemeriksaan seluruh tubuh. Macam introgasi tahanan ISA!

Kawannya, seorang Cina paspot Singapura, tidak diusik langsung.

Janganlah ke Amerika selagi dasar diskriminasi ini tidak dimansuhkan.

Melainkan anda mahu dihina!

BaitiBadarudin said...

naah, hani_my_hani, as it is, he has categorically aligned himself to Israel. Too good to be true, huh?

ARC said...

o.o anonymous is being impudent. The woman kissed you maybe because she is being contented to the fact that you may had talk something nice about Obama.

Well, kissing is a token of gratitude for them after all. =)

selampit said...

Kak Aina, like you, I too was educated in the 'Land of the Free'. I have to admit for a country stained by repulsive racism and bigotry (the last lynching of the black people was in 1991), America has indeed made a big leap towards humanity when Obama was elected the 44th president.

But one must also keep in mind that Obama is a Protestant, and his mother was a WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant). Conspiracy theory buffs would point out the fact the REAL MAKER of US presidents is not the people, but nasty secret societies such as 'the Military-Industrial complex'.

Whitey please! The White House ain't so white anymore.