Conservatives in the United States, a large horde of rednecks amongst them, accuse Obama of being a Muslim in a sloppy attempt to deflect voters away from him. But Muslim or no Muslim, whether black or white, whether a harbinger of change or just another hostage of the issue networks and iron triangles, Obama is and shall remain that archetypical American for whom the world ceases to exist beyond the eastern and western seaboards. The same is unfortunately true of his rival, McCain, who refused to remain a prisoner of war rather than be airlifted from the extreme rigors of captivity in Nam. Do forgive my lapse into Americanese, which presumes it can call anything it likes in whatever drawl that might be handy. McCain for me is a better human being than most people I have come across during the last fifty-two years or so that I have trampled this planet but to expect any White House incumbent to be a good human being and a good American President at the same time is rather asking for too much. So, despite his virtues, humility and promise, McCain, or Obama for that matter, are no friends of the earth. The only good thing about the impending American elections is that the world shall at last be rid of George W. Bush, who holds the dubious privilege of being immortalised even before his lifetime by Nostradamus's 1555 prophecy, "Come the millennium, month 12, in the home of greatest power, the village idiot will come forth to be acclaimed the leader". I am not the only one not too overly fond of the Wizard of Texas. The little clip (in photo) amply demonstrates what the rest of the world, not a vast majority of the Americans alone, think of Dubya. Hilary Rodham Carter would have been a cool candidate for Washington DC, or maybe even the vanquished former Mayor of New York might have been equally good. They shall not be at the forefront of American politics for the time being and shall surely bounce back in 2012. But one shudders at the thought of what would have happened at the GOP convention this month if one of the Republicans' also-rans had made it to the nomination hurdle and lit a spark or two with their Mormon and evangelical mindsets to add to the insanity of what the electoral process is all about. Okay, so Aaron Burr, Samuel Tilden and Richard Nixon were defrauded by the system and robbed of presidencies despite larger counts, but Burr ended up murdering Alexander Hamilton, and Nixon, second time around, ultimately committed Watergate. You would then tend to think that this arcane, mystifying electoral system is designed in such a cleverly devious manner that it somehow clicks to knock most of the jokers in the pack straight out of the numbers game. The conventions can really crack anyone up. The recent conventions were nothing short of a pantomime and they get worse every four years like a Fox News breaking story and investigation from a truly American perspective. Where do they get all these people to fill the halls and listen to insane speeches from friends and supporters of presidential and vice-presidential candidates and nominees who shall eventually hold carte blanche to call the shots in a desolately lonely one polar world? If I am not wrong, these are the very same people that fill similar halls to relish absolutely dreadful WWE wrestling matches across the fifty states, or who pass by unconcerned when there is a man lying unconscious on the pavement and who virtually line up in sympathy when a parakeet or a squirrel is found dying along a sidewalk on Park Avenue. These are the people who say, "Don't do that, I'm an American", when they are jostled and shoved around the world. Next up are the debates and gone will be silly statements about so-called family values and who actually put the bread on the table or where it came from. McCain and Obama shall go for the jugular, which belongs to the rest of the un-American world. The rest of the world is evil for the Americans and even though 9/11 is seven years down the line, the planet is still not safe for the Americans. It is especially perilous for think tanks and academics like Graham Allison, former Assistant Secretary of State, nuclear disarmament expert and currently a nuclear terrorism expert at Harvard, who are arrogantly convinced that the Americans have at the turn of the century emerged as the strongest and richest nation in history, more potent than even the Roman and British empires at their zenith and have the right to do as they please. These voices are so loud and so much in unison that the Michael Moores of this world are white dwarfs in a luminous night sky. Issues are aplenty: Osama, allied presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, off-shore drilling, stem cell research, recession, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, even polar bears and library cuts in Alaska.  The candidates shall come prepared and offer more material for school reports and term papers than years of White House briefings put together. These guys do their homework and rarely grapple for words, no matter what their policies and actions shall be at the end of the day. You will not catch them referring to the warm waters of the Arabian Sea as the hot waters of the Arabia Sea (ala Ishaq Dar) or speak bad English or take undue offence. Issues shall be discussed and they shall be discussed threadbare. There will not be a Bentsen to jackhammer a Quayle with a "You are no Jack Kennedy" punch, but it can get pretty nasty if not tense at times. Obama's eloquence and McCain's measured statements will ensure a captivated audience across the world.   Governor Sarah Palin is sequestered for the time being but of course there is a limit to how long she will be shielded from the press. With a Down Syndrome baby that she did not abort and a teenage daughter expecting a child out of wedlock, the Alaskan pitbull hockey mom's good looks and current tutoring should hold her in good stead against Biden, the seasoned warhorse and a woman just a heartbeat away from the White House would indeed be a breath of fresh air. The author is a freelance columnist E-mail: hhkidglove@yahoo.co.uk