Barack Obama: Eyeless in Gaza?

In his reasonably beautiful post-oath speech whereby he equated fascism and communism in one breath, Obama did not utter the G word even once: Gaza. He, who is telling the Americans and the world to fix its gaze steadfastly on the horizon to create a New Age, why is he so uncannily speechless on the Gaza Genocide?

Amit Sengupta

It's just that the Israeli bye-bye to George Bush was so typically bloodthirsty in Palestine that one can firmly believe that this was not destiny but truly a Huntington-inspired Freudian slip. The genocide in Gaza by the Israelis, was it not tacitly backed by the American neo-con establishment and the European Union? Israel being American and western ally number one, with the super-rich, hardline and powerful Jewish lobby calling the shots, especially in the US, this was the great humanitarian legacy which Bush would have coincidentally or intentionally chosen to leave: hundreds of thousands dead in a civil war ravaged Iraq, hundreds dead, brutalised and maimed in Palestine, 50,000 plus homeless in Gaza, UN-run schools bombed with children inside, UN offices bombed; and, of course, millions now sacked, jobless or being definitely pauperised across the world due to the economic meltdown which began in the heart of capitalist America. What a great legacy Bush has left for the world! What amazing statesmanship! What magnificent vision!

No wonder Bush is so certain that people in China and India love him so much. What about Iraq? Do they all love him as much, like the Iraqi journalist who threw the famous shoes and is now being tortured inside some Iraqi prison? He claims what the prime minister of India told him - that the people of India really love him. Surely, the people of Iraq and Palestine too must love him and the Isreali regime, even if their children in the courtyards are bombed routinely, or starved to death, or deprived of medicine and basic civil society facilities, even if there is no place to hide, as this post-modern carnage goes on non-stop with "surgical strikes" which devastate entire landscapes, neighbourhoods, homes and buildings. Even while the world allows it like a public spectacle, despite the brazen and relentless violation of all humanitarian, international and UN rules, norms and conventions. The UN, the EU, India, West Asia: why do they seem to be totally backing the genocide?

It is therefore reasonably uncanny that Barack Hussein Obama is compelled to inherit this unhappy legacy of bad faith as accomplice, an anti-protagonist, a rebel and mediator. The great vision which he has promised, the incredible hope he has generated, the epistemological and political rupture he has created, the dreams he has made Americans and the world dream -- the 'I have a dream' he is chasing from the civil rights movement -- stands intact, like an authentic spirit of a completely different language and intent: Yes We Can!

The tears of the Afro-American people after his victory and after his speech; the great ecstasy of a new beginning away from the racist past and white supremacy; the epic narrative of the humiliating and tragic past of indignity, segregation, discrimination and racism; the rejection of brutality, war, military occupation and violence; and the promise of peace, equality and prosperity of all --- these are landmark moments in terms of both promises and dreams. However, there are miles to go before Obama or all of us can sleep one honest night's sleep of peace in contemporary history. Including the invisible poor and marginalised in America and the world. Including the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

The only problem is that the blood of the Gaza carnage has split on this landscape of manufactured hope, even if Obama's dream sequence is still not 'coloured' with the blood of Palestine. His strategic silence during this mini-holocaust is not astounding, as is the silence of the entire American establishment. (See How Obama Lost Control of  Iraq policy, Hardnews, coming issue, February 1, 2009.) Indeed, will it be a subtle continuation of the Great American Legacy which was only fine-tuned and perverted in a bloodthirsty, imperialist foreign policy enacted by Bush and his neo-cons for the world to see?

In his reasonably beautiful post-oath speech whereby he equated fascism and communism in one breath, Obama did not utter the G word even once: Gaza. He, who is telling the Americans and the world to fix its gaze steadfastly on the horizon to create a New Age, why is he so uncannily Eyeless in Gaza?

That the entire American project failed miserably in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan is a fact -- but the costs are heavy and long-term. An ocean of human pain, injustice and suffering. This has spread like a vicious and tragic cyclone which moves with such rapid ferocity across geographies that one of us in some twilight zone of the world can die at the hands of this or that fanatic suicide bomber on one uncanny evening of longing. This is because the origin of this mindless revenge lies elsewhere.

Life, like death, is enmeshed in a web of empirical realisms, often out of our control - trapped in layers of injustice, inhumanity, barbarism. And we are so sure that death always lies elsewhere. It's always happening to someone else, somewhere else. Only that, it can be waiting, in the next corner. For us.

In that sense, the Indian silence on Gaza, and the Indian media's alienation from the carnage, is reflective of this cold-blooded conspiracy whereby the rich and the powerful in the political and economic establishment are so buoyant about India's Israeli-American strategic partnership (like mental slaves) that Gaza does not even remind them of the carnage of Mumbai.

The disunited colours of carnage, of human blood! Is it yellow or blue, in Palestine?

Indeed, if the Gaza genocide is not terrorism, than what is? Is terrorism only one-dimensional - Islamic Fundamentalist Jehadi?

That is why the ceasefire is a tribute to Obama's arrival at the Oval Office. The message has been disseminated. The deed has been done. The dead have been buried, including hundreds of children, though graveyards are few and occupied in Gaza. The people have been ghettoised in the neo-con Israeli concentration camps. The Nazi-like micro-holocaust has been effectively executed.

But why has Obama witnessed this bloody spectacle in abject silence, as if 'I have a Dream' has already collapsed?

'Yes We Can': So whatever happened in Gaza?