Barack Obama has stirred an excitement around the globe unmatched by any American politician in living memory. Polling in Britain, Germany, France and Russia shows that Obama would win by a large majority, with the outcome repeated in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. If November 4 were a global ballot, Obama would win it convincingly. If the free world could choose its leader, it would be Barack Obama.
The crowd of 200,000 that rallied to hear him in Berlin in July did so not only because of his charisma, but also because they know he, like the majority of the world’s population, opposed the Iraq war. McCain supported it, peddling the lie that Saddam was linked to 9/11. Non-Americans sense that Obama will not ride roughshod over the international system but will treat alliances and global institutions seriously: McCain wants to bypass the United Nations in favour of a US-friendly League of Democracies.
If Americans choose McCain, they will be turning their back on the rest of the world, choosing to show us four more years of the Bush-Cheney finger.
This is a once-in-a-generation chance for a fresh start, a fresh start the world is yearning for.