Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

A matter of priorities

It’s interesting to see in this cartoon how differently President Obama is perceived in the United States and in the Middle East.

Priorities: oil or freedom?

Priorities: …hurriya” versus “naft”. Which sways our leaders more?
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Surprisingly many Americans are convinced that Obama is a Muslim and that his sympathies lie principally with that faith and its followers; some have even accused him of treason by this rationale.

Meanwhile, it seems that many Arabs see Obama’s as merely the latest guise of the hegemonic ogre now represented by the US. As this cartoon suggests, he is a Caesar here to render unto himself that which is not his, even as he feigns to care about Libyans in revolt against Moammar Qaddafi and their desperate cries for hurriya: freedom.

And then there is another understanding of Obama: that indeed he wears the current mask of the ogre, but that this is not ultimately the U.S. hegemony, but the furtive global ruling elite, of which the hegemony is merely the strongest geopolitical weapon of the moment. That elite, however, now lives in fear, for thanks to WikiLeaks and the revival of investigative journalism, the mask has begun to slip. And when it finally falls off....

Originally published as a review of a Monthly Review cartoon on Barack Obama and the Libyan revolt.

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