BY TANVEER JAFRI : Barack Husain Obama, during his election campaign had promised the Americans that if elected, his foremost policy would be to improve the damaged image of the United States of America & set it right. The time when Obama took charge of the Oval, is known as the most troublesome period for the US. At present the US being busy in military involvements is also passing through a phase of historical economic recession. Obviously when the US itself is facing economic recession & huge unemployment, then how it can think it proper to try to overpower the other countries? Certainly the policies of former President George W Bush have pushed the US in such a state that it has formed its image as spoiled, eccentric & dictator “police inspector”. There is no objection in saying that, the US has never been seen with such hatred as seen during the reign of Bush.
Anyhow the American people have stamped the promise made by Obama to ‘change’ the image, by electing him as their president. The message of the American public is clear that under the leadership of Obama, they want to see not only a basic change but the spot of self styled police inspector cleared also. Just after taking over the charge as the president, Obama has eagerly started to work in the desired direction. Whereas he has announced a package of $787 billion to take the US out of the spiral of depression, at the same time to stop extravagance of the US & to improve the image, he has ordered to shut the Guantanamo Bay prison situated in Cuba. In continuance of the same policy, Obama has made an announcement regarding Iraq. President Obama has declared that most of the American troops would come back from Iraq by August 2010. And after this return, there will be an end of the American military mission in Iraq. To be remembered that the US attacked Iraq on March 20, 2003, since then tens of thousands of Iraqis have lost their lives & more than four thousand American troops have also died there. At present about 142000 American soldiers are deployed in Iraq. Out of which about 40000 are planned to stay there by 2011. They would give training to the Iraq army & make them able & self dependent to face anarchy & terrorism. There is a proposal of return of the remaining soldiers from Iraq by August 2010. One thing is to be remembered here that Obama had made a promise to call back all the American troops from Iraq within sixteen months of assuming the office of the President.
Iraq policy of the US is being seen as the darkest chapter of the American history in the world. It is being seen as a step full of destruction & worthless. Although the US used to remember the America-Vietnam war in American foreign policy as the most damaging policy of the US but now the colossal loss of lives & property in Iraq along with insult met because of the American policy in Iraq has established it as the most sorrowful event.
President Obama has declared a timeline for return of American soldiers from Iraq, but it doesn’t mean that the US desires to leave Iraq in a fix regarding anarchy & unlawful order. He agrees that there is progress in the Iraq affairs but he also understands that Iraq is not completely safe. Obama also feels that there may be more hazardous situations in future in Iraq. Looking at the possibilities, the National Security Group of Obama has prepared new plans & policies regarding the American steps to be taken in future. Under these policies, it is stressed that there should be early & political solution of Iraq problem so that the decision may be in the hands of the people of Iraq so that a good future can be planned by them.
The days are not forgotten when during the rule of George Bush; there were plans to divide Iraq in three parts on caste basis. The neighbour country Iran was falsely made responsible for the violent incidents took place in Iraq so that blame may be concocted to attack Iran. But one month of Obama’s rule proved that his thinking is not like an arrogant, dictator & selfish ruler but he thinks just like an ordinary person that the world needs today. Obama has spoken clearly that ‘end of Iraq war has begun. And now we are going to handover Iraq to the Iraqi people. Obama said that he wanted to tell clearly to the people of Iraq that the US had no desire to take control over the land & resources of Iraq’.
It may be good news for the people of Iraq that according to their desire, the American soldiers are going to leave the land of Iraq. After that it will depend on the people of Iraq, how they would establish peace in their own land, how they would work united, above caste & class conflicts for the reconstruction of whole Iraq. But it doesn’t seem that because since the rule of Saddam Hussein, the caste problem that has taken deep roots can’t be uprooted so easily. Peace establishment is not so easy. But if God forbid, there arises a civil war like situation in Iraq, after the American army leaves Iraq, then undoubtedly Iraqi public & leadership thereof will be responsible for the situation. Today as the struggling groups in Iraq may be fighting fiercely with each other but all the groups are united over the fact that the American army should go back.
But Obama’s declaration for the return of the American army should not be assumed as the US has bowed before the cruel. Its proof is when Obama has fixed timeline i.e. August 2010 for the return of the American army from Iraq & handing over Iraq to the people of Iraq, at the same time to face the cruel Taliban in Afghanistan, the US has sent 17000 additional troops to Afghanistan. Since Obama is very well aware of the fact that if Afghanistan is handed over to the people of Afghanistan just for as in case of Iraq, the cruel, superstitious & fundamentalist Taliban would take control over Afghanistan & there would be cruelty all around as is being witnessed in Swat valley today. But the declaration by Obama to bring back the troops from Iraq has once again made the world feel that with the change in the leadership to Barack Obama, there has started also an attempt to improve the American image.