African Bloggers Offer Solidarity to Obama

A small portrait of the translator

November 4, 2008 @ 21:01 UTC

Written by


Countries:
Egypt, Morocco, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Africa
Candidates:
Barack Obama
Issues:
Terrorism and Security, International Relations, Globalization
 

As Americans line up to vote-in their 44th President, African bloggers write in solidarity and offer near unanimous support for an Obama Administration.

What are people saying, you ask?

We start with America's northern neighbor and the path that took Canadian travel writer Daniel Sturgis around the world before settling and marrying in Rabat, Morocco. With his global perspective, Sturgis surmises an easy victory for Obama today, doubting any significant number will vote Republican:

If people around the world were going to vote for the American president, I'd wager Obama would win with at least 90% of the vote.

In Africa and the Middle East, it would be pushing 100%, with only a few extremists voting for McCain because he would be better for the hate-America campaign.

A 27-year-old female Michigan resident, also from Rabat, Morocco, writes as Kaoutar and listens to Democrats and Republicans at Michigan State University. She suggests the Middle Eastern perspective on the election does not necessarily agree on the best man for the White House:

What they believe is that the Republican policy is what is needed in the Middle East. It’s not that they are happy with the situation there, but that, according to them, the problem with Democrats is that they are “flexible” and that solving some problems, like the Syrian presence is Lebanon and Saddam’s rule (both of which ended during Bush’s presidency) need “firm actions,” like those the Republicans, rather than the Democrats, are able to take.

…I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Obama though, the candidate I personally think is more likely to make the right decisions.

Another Moroccan blogger, Ibn Kafka, believes both candidates have similar foreign policy platforms, arguing Obama would be hawkish on Israel and Afghanistan to McCain's Iraq, and both of them would pressure Iran and shut down Guantanamo.

Does all of this mean that I wouldn’t vote, if I were entitled to? Certainly not: I’d vote for Ralph Nader, of course, provided that I lived in a state having him on the ballot. Otherwise, I’d vote Obama, extremely reluctantly - the fact that Al Gore would probably act as his adviser on global warming issues would convince me that there is a small difference - although one should remember that the Kyoto protocol on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions was ditched by the Clinton administration, with Gore serving as vice-president.

Oh and yes: of course, it’d be a nice symbol to have an Afro-American president, but the only thing he has in common with Martin Luther King or Malcolm X is the colour of his skin. And I must say that I am afraid that his honeymoon with foreign media and countries could undeservedly deflect much of the criticism that his policies would otherwise warrant.

In Rwanda, an anonymous blogger and Obama fan writing under the moniker amazedlife, is nervous about the election:

I pour over maps on the internet, willing more states to turn blue, even though what is blue already is probably enough.

It gets dark at 5:00 p.m., now, and I keep thinking maybe I should buy one of those full-spectrum lights, although I think an Obama victory tomorrow could carry me through many dark evenings.

I'm arranging a steady stream of activities to keep me from chewing my own fingers to nubs tomorrow night.

Some take the middle road, such as this Ethiopian blogger who merely offers wishes of Happy Election Day:

This post is dedicated to our friends and readers who have put so much hope in the elections today in the United States. Inside and outside the country.
So, have a happy Election Day.

Este post está dedicado a nuestros amigos y lectores que tienen tantas esperanzas puestas en las elecciones de hoy en Estados Unidos. Dentro y fuera del país.
Que tengas un feliz día electoral.

The rambling Sandmonkey in Egypt says it simpler in a post titled, The End is Here:

OK, what are you doing? GO OUT THERE AND VOTE!

Flying to the southern terminus of Africa, Paul and KerryAnne of Cape Town Daily Photo shout-out to their approximate 50 percent American readers of their South African blog and offer hope for winds of change in the election:

We are watching the unfolding of your elections with keen interest - the outcome will certainly impact us, and the rest of the world too. Our wish is that today would herald a new era, and a change that we can believe in.

So if you haven't already, do go and cast your vote, and help make a little bit of history.

Coming full circle, we return to Daniel Sturgis, the Canadian expat living in Morocco:

If a President McCain pledged that any Americans remaining in Iraq hoped to be treated as temporary guests, Iraqi people would have a hard time swallowing it. But if a President Obama spoke the magic words of withdrawal and friendship, they just might. That's the key difference. Obama has a chance to do a lot of symbolic good at a time where it's sorely needed. The times of animosity, go it alone, with us or against us, stay the course and other pigheaded Bushisms needs to come to an end.

With McCain, it might come to an end politically.

But with Obama, it will come to an end politically and symbolically. That is why Americans who love their country, who hope their children can travel the world without claiming to be Canadian, or who hope for a better tomorrow, should vote for Barrack Obama.

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  • 4 comments

    1. Jillian C. York Says:

      […] Hicham at The Moroccan Mirror. If you’re interested in the Moroccan view of the US elections, this post by Ari Herzog for VwV has some great Moroccan reactions, as does this one from Claire Ulrich, and this one from […]

    2. Global Voices Online » Americans Vote. The World Speaks. Says:

      […] on election day in the United States, African bloggers have offered solidarity to Obama, a Venezuelan blogger wrote a poem about the impossibility of a Black man winning the election, and […]

    3. Clara Says:

      I am very happy with Obama´s victory! He deserved!!!

    4. Global Voices بالعربية » تصويت الأمريكيين ØŒ العالم يتكلم Says:

      […] حول الانتخابات اليوم، يوم الانتخابات الامريكية، المدونون الافارقة، قد عبروا عن دعمهم وتضامنهم لأوباما

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