President Obama arrived in Indonesia this past Thursday on the final leg of his Asia Pacific tour, ostensibly to pave the way for private trade deals in the region that could mean billions of dollars and thousands of US jobs. Whatever. While some have made mention of Obama’s recent gaffes and stress, press photos showed someone appearing more relaxed than he has in weeks, hobnobbing with the movers and shakers of the Asia Pacific region.
Indonesia is, of course, where Obama spent many of his formative years, after being brought there by his mother. Perhaps it felt good to be back.
Interestingly, it was in 1955 that slain civil rights leader Malcolm X attended the first Conference of the Non-aligned Nations in Bandung, Indonesia. There, he made many fast friends, hobnobbing with the movers and shakers of the Asia Pacific region. He had actually been scheduled to attend another Non-aligned Nations conference in Indonesia in 1965. He’d even purchased his airline tickets; unfortunately, he was gunned down shortly before the trip.
Come to think of, how did young Barack wind up in a country (Indonesia) where Malcolm had forged such strong ties? Could it be that it’s because Malcolm loved Indonesia? Obama’s easy manner this week might stem from a certain sense of closure; perhaps he was picking up on dreams from his father.
Also interesting, that the Barack Obama II historical narrative includes Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, falling in love with Indonesian student Lolo Soetoro, marrying him and moving to Indonesia – but we know by now how unreliable that story has proven to be…