Obama has said that the person with whom he would most like to dine is Gandhi. Mahondas Gandhi woke up at dinnerin old Delhi with Barack Obama. Mandelahad arranged it, since Obamawas unsettled by the recent raid in Yemenin which his US commandos killedten Yemenis, a child and, of course,the hostages. ‘One hostage – the South African –’ said Obama, ‘was being released next daythrough a patient NGO but, anyway, I thoughtit would be like Bin Laden and I’d gainsome respect after losing Congress. I think I’ve lostmy way, Mr Gandhi, and I’d lost my hope of meeting you.’ He hated, instantly, his own success at charm. Gandhi shared an orange, to explain: ‘The problem with a just war is that you have to win. My philosophy allows the possibility of loss, indeed it welcomes losses, sometimes as a reason to go on.’ There are no eyes kinder than the Indian.‘But I have to go on’, said Obama. His hands tightened together, became linked fists on the tablecloth. ‘I span the tablecloth’, soothed Gandhi proudly, fingers playing at his mouth as soft as moths. They drank the milk of his little goat, who nestled at his feet. ‘I bring her everywhere,’ said Mahondas – ‘she is my companion, and, too, I do not trust in other milk. You are a little frightened, too, I think, of strangers?’ Obama thought: well, yes,but you were shot by one. He just said,‘Everyone is strange to an American. Iwish sometimes I had been Kenyan: they seem so much more resigned to the human race. Instead, I find I’m wedging China.’ Charm, charm, that’s all I’ve ever done and maybe some mild medical reform. ‘I wanted to be Roosevelt, but I’m the man who finally shot Bin Laden. No one says Roosevelt was the man who finally shot Hitler.’ ‘But he did,’ said Gandhi, ‘allow Pearl Harbour. That is a little like what I did. Violence that they tryagainst you turns into a weapon you can use against them, always.’ ‘But doesn’t that create it, make a space for it to happen?’ The milk was as sweet as human milk, and the fruit they ate more fine than any final meat. ‘You may be a bright man, but you do not spin’, said Gandhi.