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Barack Obama greets a Berlin audience during a visit in 2008, before he was elected US president. Photograph: Rainer Jensen/EPA
Europe's Obamaphilia says more about its own weakness than the US president
In his book Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama described himself as a Rorschach test – the famous psychological experiment where people are shown a series of ink blots and asked to identify what they see in them. There is no right answer. But each response in its own way, is thought to reveal the patient's obsessions and anxieties.
Obama and Black Americans: the Paradox of Hope
When Barack Obama was pondering a run for the presidency Michelle asked him what he thought he could accomplish. He replied,“The day I take the oath of office, the world will look at us differently. And millions of kids across this country will look at themselves differently. That alone is something.” His victory was indeed something. The world certainly looked at America differently, though this had as much to do with who he wasn’t—George W. Bush—as what he was, black, among other things.
There are no good answers in Libya. But war should never be the default
'Despite the enormous power of the American government," argued the renowned Trinidadian intellectual and activist CLR James in 1950, "its spokesman, the man on whom it depends and has depended for years to give some dignity and colour to its international politics, is an Englishman, Winston Churchill."


Patriots celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden in New York
Osama bin Laden's death: The US patriot reflex
In one episode of The Simpsons the school bell rings, prompting the students to sprint for the door before the end of a history lesson. The teacher pleads with them to let him finish. "Wait a minute! " he says. "You didn't learn how World War II ended!" There's silence as the class waits expectantly. "We won!" shouts the teacher. Delighted, the class cheers, as one: "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!"
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