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 user 2008-11-07 at 10:05:37 am Views: 48
  • #20366
    World reacts to Obama’s win
    – Barack Obama’s election as America’s first black president unleashed
    a renewed love for the United States after years of dwindling goodwill,
    and many said Wednesday that U.S. voters had blazed a trail that
    minorities elsewhere could follow.People across Africa stayed up all
    night or woke before dawn to watch U.S. history being made, while the
    president of Kenya — where Obama’s father was born — declared a public
    holiday.In Indonesia, where Obama lived as child, hundreds of students
    at his former elementary school erupted in cheers when he was declared
    winner and poured into the courtyard where they hugged each other,
    danced in the rain and chanted “Obama! Obama!”"Your victory has
    demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to
    dream of wanting to change the world for a better place,” South
    Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, said in a letter of
    congratulations to Obama.

    Many expressed amazement and
    satisfaction that the United States could overcome centuries of racial
    strife and elect an African-American as president.”This is the fall of
    the Berlin Wall times ten,” Rama Yade, France’s black junior minister
    for human rights, told French radio. “America is rebecoming a New
    World.”On this morning, we all want to be American so we can take a
    bite of this dream unfolding before our eyes,” she said.In Britain, The
    Sun newspaper borrowed from Neil Armstrong’s 1969 moon landing in
    describing Obama’s election as “one giant leap for mankind.”Yet
    celebrations were often tempered by sobering concerns that Obama faces
    global challenges as momentous as the hopes his campaign inspired —
    wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the nuclear ambitions of Iran, the
    elusive hunt for peace in the Middle East and a global economy in
    turmoil.The huge weight of responsibilities on Obama’s shoulders was
    also a concern for some. French former Prime Minister Dominique de
    Villepin said Obama’s biggest challenge would be managing a punishing
    agenda of various crises in the United States and the world. “He will
    need to fight on every front,” he said.

    Russian President Dmitry
    Medvedev said he hoped the incoming administration will take steps to
    improve badly damaged U.S. ties with Russia. Tensions have been driven
    to a post-Cold War high by Moscow’s war with U.S. ally Georgia.”I
    stress that we have no problem with the American people, no inborn
    anti-Americanism. And we hope that our partners, the U.S.
    administration, will make a choice in favor of full-fledged relations
    with Russia,” Medvedev said.Europe, where Obama is overwhelmingly
    popular, is one region that looked eagerly to an Obama administration
    for a revival in warm relations after the Bush government’s chilly rift
    with the continent over the Iraq war.”At a time when we have to
    confront immense challenges together, your election raises great hopes
    in France, in Europe and in the rest of the world,” French President
    Nicolas Sarkozy said in a congratulations letter to Obama.

    Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski spoke of “a new America with a new
    credit of trust in the world.”Skepticism, however, was high in the
    Muslim world. The Bush administration alienated those in the Middle
    East by mistreating prisoners at its detention center for terrorism
    suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and inmates at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib
    prison — human rights violations also condemned worldwide.Some Iraqis,
    who have suffered through five years of a war ignited by the United
    States and its allies, said they would believe positive change when
    they saw it.”Obama’s victory will do nothing for the Iraqi issue nor
    for the Palestinian issue,” said Muneer Jamal, a Baghdad resident. “I
    think all the promises Obama made during the campaign will remain mere

    In Pakistan, a country vital to the U.S.-led war on
    the al-Qaida terrorist network and neighbor to Afghanistan, many hoped
    Obama would bring some respite from rising militant violence that many
    blame on Bush.Still, Mohammed Arshad, a 28-year-old schoolteacher in
    the capital, Islamabad, doubted Obama’s ability to change U.S. foreign
    policy dramatically.”It is true that Bush gave America a very bad name.
    He has become a symbol of hate. But I don’t think the change of face
    will suddenly make any big difference,” he said.

    Obama’s victory
    was greeted with cheers across Latin America, a region that has shifted
    sharply to the left during the Bush years. From Mexico to Chile,
    leaders expressed hope for warmer relations based on mutual respect — a
    quality many felt has been missing from U.S. foreign policy.

    and Bolivia, which booted out the U.S. ambassadors after accusing the
    Bush administration of meddling in their internal politics, said they
    were ready to reestablish diplomatic relations, and Brazil’s president
    was among several leaders urging Obama to be more flexible toward Cuba.

    the streets of Rio de Janeiro, people expressed a mixture of joy,
    disbelief, and hope for the future.”It’s the beginning of a different
    era,” police officer Emmanuel Miranda said. “The United States is a
    country to dream about, and for us black Brazilians, it is even easier
    to do so now.”Many around the world found Obama’s international roots —
    his father was Kenyan, and he lived four years in Indonesia as a child
    — compelling and attractive.”What an inspiration. He is the first truly
    global U.S. president the world has ever had,” said Pracha Kanjananont,
    a 29-year-old Thai sitting at a Starbuck’s in Bangkok. “He had an Asian
    childhood, African parentage and has a Middle Eastern name. He is a
    truly global president.”