Shoot Me: Is Obama our own man?
On 6 November, Obama won his second term, and his victory has been discussed by Shoot Me experts - author Rifat Gumerov, filmmaker Oleg Karpov and Samarkand-based linguist Aleks Ulko.
"Speaking about the US presidential election, we naturally talk about it based on our reality because our president has been ruling over us for 23 years now," Gumerov said. "And we do not even need to elect him anymore and we could even not bother with going to the polls because we know that our eternal president is Islam Karimov."
"[We also know] that we do not have and would not have another one," Karpov agreed.
"What's president in today's reality? He is the highest representative of the elite," Gumerov said. "But there are two types of elite - formal and informal. This means if president is from formal elite, Leo Tolstoy, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, academician Sakharov, Mahatma Ghandi and others are informal elite."
"Schopenhauer talked about three types of aristocracy: of spirit, by birth and power-economic aristocracy," Ulko added. "He talked optimistically that these three types always understood and did not contradict one another."
"But that was a long time ago," Gumerov replied, "if we recall the change of social formations from feudalism to capitalism, representatives of informal elites took power by force, thus becoming formal elite. For example, take a war between an English king and parliament led by Cromwell which resulted in the execution of the English king by beheading."
"Do you hint that the entire formal elite should be executed now?" Karpov asked.
"No, my point is that we very well know many heads of state who usurped power and did not want to share it, for example, Spain had General Franco," Gumerov said.
"But has Obama usurped power now?" Karpov asked. "Is his conscience allowing him to stay in power for long?"
"I am not talking about that. I do not like the death of Saddam Hussein, even though he was tried and tried by his own people - Iraqis," Gumerov said.
"I do not understand whether you are hinting that if Obama is carried away [by power] he would also end badly," Karpov said.
"No I am not hinting but saying it directly because if the USA is spreading democracy in the world and then sentence a head of state to death, which was naturally done by the Americans with the hands of Iraqis," Gumerov believes. "I don't think it was just so I don't see it as a sign of democracy."
"I am curious whether you Rifat, as an Uzbek, are happy with Barack Obama's re-election," Ulko asked.
"Yes," Gumerov said sarcastically, "the matter is that Obama is our own man and even his name Barack is very familiar to us. I just want to tell him: 'Man, you are Barack Obama, you are living in Oksoroy [Uzbek presidential residence], i.e. White House [Oksoroy means White Palace in Uzbek]. We also have Oksoroy; we also have our own Barack, which means we have so much in common."
"By the way, is Obama from the party of donkeys or of elephants?" Gumerov asked Ulko.
"He is a donkey," Ulko said.
"You see, he is our man!" Gumerov exclaimed. "Our man in the White House. We are for the donkey because a donkey in Uzbek means ishak because it does not work; it is stubborn and stupid..."
The details of the discussion about the US presidential election and parallels between the USA and Uzbekistan are in the latest issue of the joint programme by the Shoot Me open society and Uznews.net.