A New Age

A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the sound of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. ((Jawaharial Nehru))

Yesterday, in accordance to the Constitution of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama’s place in history was sealed, as he became, officially, “Mr. President”. Three minutes later, he was sworn into office, a detail that amuses me in the way it tells of the simple realities of time: it marches on, uncaring and inexorable. Short of a catastrophe, once he was elected, he was to be President.

I digress.

Mythical rendering of Barack Obama. Source Unknown

Mythical rendering of Barack Obama. Source Unknown

There is a persistent feeling of near reverence around President Obama. Indeed, it seems the stars (or God himself) had a hand in creating exactly the right circumstances for this man to be elected, at this moment in time. As we still revel in the moment, those of us who are here, in the United States, probably can’t help but ascribe it all to a certain destiny. It seems he was meant to be President, right now.

It seems others around the world have felt the same.

In an exciting bit of news, the American election of the first Black African-American to the Presidency has inspired a group of Black Iraqis to present themselves as political candidates in Iraq’s upcoming primaries.

Descendants of slaves brought to Iraq from Africa a thousand years ago, they now represent approximately 2 million other Iraqi blacks (or about 1% of the Iraqi population). They call themselves the “Movement of Free Iraqis”, and they are seeking to have the first ever Black politician seated in Iraq’s Parliament. ((See also: France24.com Descendants of Iraq’s Black Rebels Celebrate Obama Inauguration;

MSNBC here and here for pictures;[Those links no longer work, but I found this follow-up story]

It seems Obama, just by being himself, has done more to bring Iraq closer to a democracy than any show of force ever could. Not to disparage the work that the military has attempted to do, mind you; I certainly hope history will not forget the work they have accomplished and will continue to accomplish as their mission changes.

The myth of President Obama is being played out, for better or worse.

“We can learn from history how past generations thought and acted, how they responded to the demands of their time and how they solved their problems. We can learn by analogy, not by example, for our circumstances will always be different than theirs were. The main thing history can teach us is that human actions have consequences and that certain choices, once made, cannot be undone. They foreclose the possibility of making other choices and thus they determine future events.” ((Gerda Lerner))

Here’s to never wishing to undo this past.

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