THE American people created history when they elected Sen. Barack Obama as the 44th President of their country on Tuesday, November 4. From the painful days of slavery to the humiliating period of segregation and now to the triumphant arrival at the White House, it has been a long and arduous journey for the Afro-Americans to travel. Obama's election is evidence, if it was at all needed, that the pursuit of dreams with appropriate action could turn them into reality, howsoever long it might take. It is not, though, the culmination of Martin Luther King's dream of racial equality, but is certainly an affirmation that the road to the top is open to the deprived African-American community and, for that matter, any other class of immigrants in that land of opportunity, but reaching the goal would call for real hard work. Sen. Obama's election is also a tribute to the American people for their ability to recognise the man of the moment, who has the talent, courage and dedication to haul them out of the slough that the Bush Presidency has led them into, no matter what colour of skin he has. The ill-conceived wars, the chaotic economic scenario and the rock-bottom US standing in the world have been George W. Bush's legacy, that does not go with the image that the only superpower should create. Now it falls to President-elect Barack Obama to clear the mess. To quote him, "two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in history" pose "the greatest challenges of our lifetime". Thus, not only the US, but also the entire world looks up to him to redress the wrongs that the neoconservative policies of his predecessor have inflicted on them. The election results, except from Missouri and North Carolina which are yet to be known, show the Senator from Illinois carrying with him 349 electoral votes against his Republican rival John McCain's 163, while he needed only 270 to be elected. He made it, not only by crossing the racial divide, but also weathering false accusations of having past associations with terrorists and belonging to Islam, a disqualification for high office in the Western eye in the backdrop of 9/11. It was a campaign that was stunningly different from the previous ones in virtually every respect, not merely for the biggest expenditure it claimed. It was arguably the most organised in history, the enthusiastic way party workers went around to register new voters and then persuade them to use their right to cast the ballot and, for the first time, it witnessed a massive use of the Internet and cellphone to communicate with millions of voters. With his promise of change that formed a fundamental theme of campaign, the world, including the US citizens, fed up with the Bush Administration's arrogant and senseless policies, awaits their radical review. His victory speech reiterated the stance that the US must start leaving Iraq though it had to be a "careful getting out...(as it was) careless getting in" and committed an enhanced focus on Afghanistan. Pakistan would have to gear up its diplomatic skill to ensure that, in the process, its interests are well preserved. Though his first priority would be to set the US economic house in order, he would "renew bruised ties" with allies and "tackle climate change". For Iran and North Korea, he used the words, "some of the most fierce US foes" but one hopes that his stress on talks would bear fruit and lead to peaceful solution of the contentious issues.