From Iran to DR Congo, our Observers share reactions to Obama’s win
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As soon as Barack Obama’s re-election was announced, Internet users from around the world went online to react to the news. Our Observers sent us some of the most interesting comments they spotted, giving us an idea of how Obama’s win is viewed outside of the United States. Some are enthusiastic, others blasé, and yet others downright funny.
A Russian Web user's depiction of Obama as a KGB agent.
As soon as Barack Obama’s re-election was announced, Internet users from around the world went online to react to the news. Our Observers sent us some of the most interesting comments they spotted, giving us an idea of how Obama’s win is viewed outside of the United States. Some are enthusiastic, others blasé, and others are downright funny.
This post was written with the help of our Observers Charly Kasereka, Omid Habibinia, Ostap Karmodi, Htoo Tay Zar, Mohammad Alsaeedi, “Rashoo” (not her real name), and “Sui” (not his real name).
The following comments were posted on Chinese social networking site Weibo:
"Having watched Obama's passionate victory speech, we compare it with the speeches of Chinese government officials. Different political cultures shapes different national cultures. When will China have such passion that the entire population participates in politics like in the US? When will Chinese officials see their political condition as social responsibility rather than a leisure job with good pay? When will the state make it their priority to help people on the bottom rungs of society?”
“The American says, ‘when I vote in the morning, I will know who the next president is in the evening.’ The Chinese says disdainfully, ‘I knew who the next Chinese president would be 5 years ago without voting. The North Korean smiles. ‘Hum! I knew who would be the next chairman when I was young!’ The Japanese says glumly, ‘Sigh! I often vote, but I don’t even know who is the incumbent prime minister.’ [Editor’s Note: Japan has had five prime ministers over the past five years].”
“In Obama's victory speech, he made a promise which would never come true: ‘You can make it here in America if you're willing to try.’ Is it possible? If a beggar says, ‘I want to campaign to become US president!’ What about the campaign funding? They’ll have none! It makes no sense. The US president belongs to the wealthy, not the poor. Under the private ownership system, politicians are representatives of the exploiting class.”
This status update was posted on a Syrian opposition Facebook page:
It reads, “The difference between us and America is 0. They change their regime every four years; we change it every 40 years.”
[Editor’s Note: Yemen is fraught with tribal tensions, and is struggling with a separatist movement in the south.]
The tweet reads: “The KGB congratulates Obama with re-election, and wishes him good health and success in his job.”
On the fake KGB agent card, his name reads “Obama, Barak Khuseinovich.” His title: “Infiltrator.” His recruiter: “Putin.” This jokingly refers to the belief of some Russians that Obama is too cosy with president Vladimir Putin.
“I’m offering to exchange places of residency with any American who is unhappy with the Obama presidency.”
“How boring are American elections! It was clear from the very start that Obama would win. How far from our intrigue – will Putin get 79% or 97 percent%?”
[Editor’s Note: Russian president Vladimir Putin secured more than 64 percent of the vote in the last election, but in 2004 won with over 70 percent. These elections were marred by accusations of vote-rigging.]
Online memes circulating in Israel feature Obama brushing off prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
“Phone call from Bibi [a nickname for Netanyahu], line three. Should I transfer it over to you?”
“Put him on hold with some nice music and ask him to wait a bit. Go for Stevie Wonder, he loves him.” (Photomontage by Amir Schiby)
These comments were published on Facebook:
“We are so f---ed up folks; so many Iranians are overjoyed for Obama, but many Americans don’t give a f--- about the elections!” [Official turnout figures have yet to be released; in 2008, only 61 percent of eligible voters participated].
“One of the differences between ‘elections’ in Iran and in the US is, in the US, maybe 40-50% voters participate, but in Iran it’s 170-180%!”
[On Wednesday, just after Obama's re-election, a Burmese official announced that the US president would be visiting the country later this month.]
[For more on allegations of human rights violations in Bahrain, read these reports by Human Rights Watch.]
In DR Congo, our Observer Charly Kasereka went offline to ask students at the University of Goma how they felt about Obama’s victory. He told us, “Here in Goma, many people stayed up overnight watching international news channels and discussing the result as it emerged.”
He talked to Hortense:
I’m happy to see a black president leading a world superpower, even if he didn’t do anything to help the DRC. Good luck to him, but this time I think he should think about the conflicts we live with everyday in Central Africa.
He also talked to Josee:
Barack Obama’s first mandate didn’t change a thing about the war in the DRC, so why should a second mandate mean the war will come to an end?