Here’s to you, Mr. President
When you wake up tomorrow the world will have become a brighter, happier, safer place. There will be no more deaths in Iraq, no more fuel and food embargoes on the Palestinian people, Gitmo will have closed down and the world will take a huge breath of relief that they can sleep without the fear of being bombed in the name of democracy and freedom for all.
For the not-so-bright people who’re reading this (you know who you are), I’m being sarcastic.
Where did the United States start going wrong?
I grew up in the States and though I’ve been living here long enough to consider myself purely Pakistani, it still hurts when I read Amreeka Murdabad written on the walls of the city. There’s a loyalty one naturally has to the place one is born in- regardless of how long one’s lived somewhere else. Home is anywhere you’ve felt you’ve belonged, and no matter how ugly it is, you still love it. It’s the reason your grandmother will still lovingly talk about Hindustan though she left it of her own choice, and your Mali will always call Mingora ‘watan’ or ‘mulk’ even though there’s nothing for him back there. There’s a strange connection between a person and his/her birthplace, which you can’t break no matter how hard you try.
And so… when Barack Obama was elected I felt not jubilation, but relief. He’ll make no difference whatsoever to the state of the world; he won’t cage up Israel, or become pro-Muslim, he won’t sign the Kyoto Protocol or treat Pakistan with respect, but he’ll do a better job of pretending he actually cares about the non-American part of humanity. Plus his speeches will make more sense. And for some reason that’s all we really want…knowing that America at least says it’s on our side. For four years the Muslim word will just celebrate Obama’s middle name and be awed when he talks to them.
And I shall have peace; not having to defend the place I was accidentally born in out of an inconvenient sense of loyalty, and not having to announce quickly before the verbal AK 47’s are pointed at me “Oye! I’m not American!” and then feel guilty for hours. After all there’s only so long logic and impartiality can fight angry hatred. How long can I keep saying “Pakistanis are their own worst enemy, America didn’t elect Zardari” and “Muslims are getting what they deserve.” Nobody wants to blame themselves, and why should they when they have America?
So here’s to you Mr. President. Jesus probably doesn’t love you as much as he loved George Bush Jr. but that’s pretty ok because the rest of the world does. And who needs Jesus when you have Hilary Clinton in your corner anyway?