The recent world tour of freshman Sen. Barack Obama, was, by any measure, a blockbuster. The senator's trek to Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Germany, France, and England was a hit, from the word go.
What was more impressive, however, were the pictures. The crowds (especially in Germany) were nothing if not spectacular. In political terms, the senator's campaign could hardly have asked for more. If it wouldn't seem to smarmy, perhaps they ought to thank John McCain, who harped on Obama's lack of travel to Iraq for weeks.
What happens? Obama goes to Iraq, and the U.S. supported Iraqi puppet, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, essentially endorses Obama's timetable to remove the bulk of US troops.
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McCain sought airtime in ethnic eateries, or geriatric golf greens. His comments attacking Obama seemed, by contrast, petulant and small.It was, quite frankly, stunning to see world leaders fall under Obama's sway, as if the election were a mere formality.
Right wingers have, predictably, attacked his tour on numerous counts. "He thinks he's already president", some said. "He's arrogant", said others. Still others opined that he was 'inexperienced.'
If his global tour had one flaw, it was that it was too successful, for it cast an unflattering light on the incumbent Bush Administration, which is, to put it mildly, is far from popular in the world today. This, of course, also impacts McCain's campaign.
Whether he helped his domestic campaign is questionable. What is not is the palpable hunger of many countries for a change from what has been.
[col. writ. 7/27/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal
--(c) '08 maj