George Bush, under the evil influence of the neocons, had committed a great mistake by invading Iraq on contrived lies, which is outside the pale of civilised norms and values. He ended up tarnishing the image of the US. On the contrary, Obama appeared on the scene as a breeze of fresh air and his rhetoric entailed a commitment to rescue that sinking image, salvage the battered economy and drainage of taxpayers money to the tune of trillion of dollars, which had put America under heavy debts and in a state of grave recession. Bush threw the country into a quagmire - economic as well as geopolitical. Obama sincerely wished to set a precedent that a 'black President could set things right with sagacity and even-handed dispensation of justice, congruent to respectable image of a superpower. The poetry of his eloquent exuberance, however, could not reconcile with the prosaic imperatives of the world, where wishes fall flat against a dreadful reality - ordless order and inhuman demands. The world is not what it aught to be and Obamas hopes thus got dashed against the rocks of impracticality and pressures unlimited. Obama had rightly identified that the resolution of Middle East conflict could boost up his image as the 'architect of peace in the region and that the two-state formula, if implemented in the right spirit, could be the harbinger of a feeling of co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians, and also could create conditions for an appreciable reduction of terrorism, both on the part of state and non-state actors. Obama rightly diagnosed that what had spawned terrorism in the world was the unbridled atrocities being committed by Israel on the Palestinians and illegal occupation of their lands in total defiance of the UN resolutions. Indeed, the USAs blind spot against Israels misdeeds has led to the emergence of militant organisations, which have no home of their own and no capital as their permanent base; however, are free to move anywhere in the world and seek safe havens to launch retaliatory aggression against any country that supports Americas unprincipled policies in global affairs. When you have different principles for different nations of the world, you cannot camouflage your 'fascism under glittering generalities - 'democracy, 'freedom, 'human rights and so forth. In an interview, Johan Galtung, an outstanding predictor of nations gravitation towards self-destruction, makes a very apt comment: If you try to dominate the world economically, militarily, politically, culturally at the same time.It cannot last for a long time (Reproduced in The Nation, June 11, 2010). The author, however, does not relinquish his optimism and hopes for a blossoming period for the US. Only it has to transcend the narrow vision of Bush, who waged three wars simultaneously - war on terror, war on Iraq and war on Afghanistan - ironically not facing the reality that America did not win the war in Korea in 1953 nor in Vietnam in 1975. The US is hopelessly entangled in war number five of major significance. Tyranny certainly cannot coexist with the lofty ideals that Obama so eloquently wishes to promote in the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan. This is sheer double-talk and consequently an erosion of its credibility. Richard N. Haass, in his article entitled The New Middle East makes a valid observation: The rise of news media and above all of satellite television, has turned the Arab world into a 'regional village and politicised it. Much of content shown - scenes of violence and destruction in Iraqand Muslim prisoners; suffering in Gaza, the West Bank and now Lebanon - has further alienated many people in the Middle East from the US. As a result, governments in the Middle East now have a more difficult time working openly with US, and United States influence in the region has waned (Foreign Affairs, Nov-Dec 2006). Israeli committed blatant barbarism, in the international waters of the eastern Mediterranean, by killing at least nine peace activists on the freedom flotilla, bearing the Turkish flag Mavi Marmora, on a humanitarian mission of carrying supplies for the besieged in the Gaza strip. The utter insensitivity of this suffering due to the blockade is expressive of a pathological mindset, which Paul J. Balles points out in his article Shame behind US silence over Israeli Crimes: The response of the White House to the flotilla tragedy was typically that of silence. He contends: The question poseddeserve a response but not the twists provided by Israeli apologists or Zionists controlled Washington. The author quite candidly asserts: The US has not and never will condemn Israel for being what ex-Israeli Gilad Atzmon described as 'an inhuman murderous collective fuelled by a psychosis and driven by paranoia. The Israelis have a shockingly callous record of killing 6,348 Palestinians (between 2000 and 2009) and Lebanese 1,401 in two unprovoked raids. Therefore, surely the killing of just nine peace activists will hardly matter. The Who cares approach of the Israelis and Zionists lobby in the US, has also debased the UN, which was supposed to remove the scourge of war. Gordon Duff, a conscientious writer and Vietnam veteran, in his article Israel keeping world in turmoil mentions: Israel offered nukes to South Africa, a rogue nation under sancti-ons.This made Israel a criminal state and Mr. Peres [Israels President] a war criminal. He expressed quite candidly about Israels puppet network Fox News and its political hacks McCain, Lieberman, Palin, Pelosi and quite a number of others. Israel, Duff says, has made a laughing stock of America, blind while living off our welfare. Israel is the consummate Cadillac state. Therefore, if Israel shouts Iran, a nuclear wolf, it looks ridiculous when its blatant lies dominate its policies. Obamas ambitious goals are under jeopardy. As Richard Burt says: It is true that Obamas agenda for change is audacious, needless to say the White Houses prospects for achieving its goals are uncertain. (All the Presidents Dreams, the National Interest, No. 16, Mar/April 2010). Senator Fulbright describes America as a crippled giant. 'Breakthroughs can be achieved only if Obama makes the US quit Afghanistan and Iraq; resolve the Middle East crisis by taming Israel and free South Asia of the dread of nuclear holocaust, by prevailing upon its strategic partner - India - to detract from militarism and ruthless killing of Muslims in IHK and resolve the contentious issue of Kashmir with prudence and negotiations. With these goals achieved, history will immortalise him true to the dictum of Clausewitz, a great warrior against terrorism, without using military might. The writer is Secretary General, FRIENDS. Email: