Watching the swearing in of Barack Obama one felt proud of the American people, but not of their system, for they had allowed themselves to be taken so far away from the truth, that Guantanamo, torture, suspension of human rights, all the embodiments of the good in the American system of government were trampled upon in the last four years of the Bush term. His ratings were the lowest of any president, but the ratings did not prevent the damage from being done. A war declared over the WMDs that did not exist. 1.5 million Iraqis dead, while hundreds of thousands were injured, maimed, orphaned. For no fault of the Iraqi people, as the WMDs were a fiction created for the Bush/Cheney doctrine of war. Yet the suffering visited upon the Iraqi population by the invading US forces, their systematic dismantling of the water, sewerage, electricity, medical services, leaves us-citizens of the world shocked at the wanton savagery of the attacks. Poor Afghanistan fared even worse than the Iraqis, but then they had much less to start with. Yes, Bush and his Cabinet have much to answer for. To have broken most of the laws enshrined in the American constitution, and the basic laws of civilisation, creating new concepts of of-shore courts to avoid the prosecution under the American laws, these were the acts of mad men. But knowing the American people, these people will be tried under the very laws that they circumvented. Under the Bush Administration the economy of the whole world was swept away in a craze of easy credit, offered to anyone who could sign their name. The caretakers, the Greenspans of the system were also caught in the euphoria of the splurge, not believing that they were witness to a bubble that they had been trained to spot and control before it caused any damage. This blunder by the financial controllers of the system the stage for the largest and most widespread scams yet seen, with executives helping themselves to huge dollops of largesse, even while the company was in freefall. This was a systematic plunder of the banking system, encouraged by the banks themselves. The breadth of the crunch has hit everyone, in every country, and the despondency of the American homeowners who face eviction shows the tragedy of millions caught in the spiral of debt. These are only two of the problems that face the president who has been sworn in with the most overwhelming goodwill ever witnessed in American History. President Obama is also faced with other challenges, for the world is looking toward him to provide the leadership that America is known for. Pakistan has become embroiled in a battle that has brought the fundamentalists into the heart of our society, undoing the social development by which our children and women were being educated. These militants have taken over the entire State of Swat, and the local Swatis have run away from their homeland, from the persecution that the militants are inflicting upon them. The whole administration was so preoccupied with the 'do more' and the resistance to this strategy, that the confusion between the do and the do not interlaced with the 'India is the enemy', allowed the militancy to grow. Till today it has taken over the whole state, and schools have been padlocked, and many burned down. The fault lay in the duplicity of Musharraf's coterie who had managed to spin the doctrine of 'strategic' depth so that today we find ourselves drowning in a sea of militancy, with the beardos shouting 'do more' from the sidelines. The Indians who were so paranoid about their hatred toward Pakistan, realised in Mumbai that the common enemy is already within striking distance, and will strike again and again. The only option before both nations is to realise the commonality of the enemy and act together to defeat this enemy. The other common enemy is poverty. Which also has to be tackled - this too on a war footing. This breeding ground - poverty will always throw up new crisis. The location of the threat is all the more dangerous because both sides have nuclear capabilities, with a common enemy that has no scruples. And is able to target Muslims, Hindus, Christians. Jews, and Parsis demonstrated in the Mumbai massacre. The Baader Meinhof Gang, and the Red Brigade were babes in the wood compared to these killers whose trademark is decapitation. Pakistan and India have to be even more careful that a nuclear holocaust is not mistakenly triggered off. It is now even more imperative that the two sides join together at the soonest. This can be President Obama's first priority. The writer is a political analyst