AP, By Gregory Katz and Margie Mason
LONDON (AP) — From his old school in Indonesia to a Japanese beach town that happens to share his name, many around the world cheered President Barack Obama’s re-election Wednesday while others said stubborn conflicts and deepening economic and environmental woes will not be helped by his success.
Perhaps nowhere was the joy so simply expressed as at Jakarta’s Menteng 01 Elementary School, where a statue of the young Obama stands outside the school in tribute to its most famous alumni.
Jubiliant students happily marched with a poster of the president from one classroom to another after hearing that he had won a second term: “Obama wins … Obama wins again,” they shouted. “I want to be like him, the president,” said student Alexander Ananta.
The reaction elsewhere was much more reflective. The second Obama administration faces a troubling crisis in Syria, deepening tensions with Israel over how to cope with Iran’s nuclear program, a difficult military pullback from Afghanistan, and daunting economic challenges as Pacific power rises.
Mohammad Qassim, a carpet seller in the Afghan capital Kabul, said Obama’s first four years saw a substantial worsening of the bloodshed there.
“Obama hasn’t done anything good for Afghanistan,” he said. “He didn’t bring pressure on Pakistan. The centers of terrorists are still active across the border. He must make sure that fighting ends before the troops leave in 2014.”
Mohammad Wali, a paramilitary policeman, was more blunt: “We don’t care if he won or not,” he said.
Governments and regions pleased with the direction of recent U.S. policy were reassured by the clear election results, but those in conflict zones – or those wanting more U.S. leadership on issues like global warming – worry that more of the same may not be enough.
More at the link