Obama and the Middle East standards for 2011

Obama and the Middle East standards for 2011
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issamBy: Issam Khoury[1]

President Bill Clinton, throughout his both presidential periods, has sought to implement his promises in realizing the dream of peacemaking that was suspended between the Palestinians and the Israelis with eagerness and determination. However, he has failed miserably, as the case was with all the previous American presidents, despite all their given promises to achieve this aimed goal.

Why do Americans always fail in implementing any issue relating to the Middle East? This question is one that article which demonstrates the greatness of the significant impact of the Middle East on the Global policy-making issue.

The play of the U.S elections and the idea of the political decision-making:

Any American presidential election takes about a year of preparation, followed by almost yea of campaign as well, which indicates that president lasts only for two years, which is not along enough period to draw a real policy  for the country, in case the presidential term was not extended in a second election for a second term.

Here, we will examine the case of president Obama in terms of what he promised and what is the reality on the real ground.

President Obama has put forward several main axes in his campaign to be implement. The most notable of which were:

1.    Seeking to lift the country out of the recession that was sweeping the markets through raising the value of taxes for the high income earners in the country, and reducing the amount of the direct aids to both the banks and the large companies. However, these objectives have received a lot of disapproval and protestation within the Republicans who have had great access to the majority in the Senate and to the presidency of the majority of the American States.

2.    Obama has also declared that a major repair of the Public infrastructure will be done in the country, which will create numerous employment opportunities that will in turn absorb and limit unemployment. However, a major look at the U.S streets and roads will clearly show the unachieved goal of support which reveals the failure of this project making it nothing but unimplemented words on papers.

3.    He has declared that he is going to focus on the war against Afghanistan and make it his main objective, where he only reduced the U.S military presence in Iraq and transferred a number of troops to Afghanistan, only to be stuck by a new surprise in facing the growth of al-Qaeda in Yemen and the transformation of this organization to become the most important and the number one threat against America.

4.    He announced that he will close the prison of Guantanamo, yet he has failed to do so till the present, which demonstrates his marginalized of the so called “terrorism” are alien terms to his field management.

5.     He talked about establishing peace between the Palestinians and Israelis, but we witness his conversion from this great project towards a much smaller project, which is to stop building settlements, and being such a small project, he even failed in imposing it on the Israelis.

6.    He has approved the draft of health insurance, but this project is threatened of being overthrown at any moment by the parliamentary leadership of the Republicans.

7.    He spoke about the reduction of armament and indeed he sought for a treaty “SART” between Russia and America; however, the approval of the Republicans to this treaty came after significant concessions that Obama promised the Republicans of.

What is evident from the above mentioned examples demonstrate that Today the Republicans are in control of the political decision making and not Obama. Moreover, all the study centers favoring the policy of the Democrats, are not effective in implementing the promises of the leader of the White House. It is also noted that the possibility of extending for Obama’s presidency is relatively weak, due to the latest superiority of the Republicans and the inability of president Obama to implement his so many promises that are beheld and obstacle by the obligations of the previous Republican administration, at the time of President Bush the son. Hence, we realize that the idea of directing the American political decision is an idea governed by a number of international balances, controlled by the interests of international companies beneficiary of formulating their investments across countries. Thu, the arrival of any president to the White House will be governed by several demands that he should seek to achieve in favor of these companies, or else they will become his enemies and will support other candidates from his party or even from opposing parties.

As it is evident today, and through reading the statements of many American Capitals who support the Democratic party, we find out that the priority of the Democratic policy is indeed a useless one. The election of an African origin president who has historic Islamic roots did not work at all in terms of the American war on the so-called terrorism, since terrorism, today, has become diverse and with varied causes. As it is evident currently, Development is the only enemy of terrorism and as long as the rich countries are threatened in their economics, they will not be able to support projects aiming at sustainable development in poor countries that export terrorism to their countries. So, the process of reducing and constraining terrorism is of no use, especial in the given global economics stagnancy along with the growing ethnic and sectarian wars in various parts of the earth.

Obama and the Middle East:

1.    Counter- Terrorism: despite Obama’s famous speech at the university of Cairo, in which he courtshiped Islam and its teachings, and in which he talked in length about the need for cultural intermingling, yet he failed to change the stereotype image of Islam and the Muslims in the Western World, where the mechanisms used by al-Qaeda varied in targeting many countries around the world and raised clear religious discrimination projects even in the Arab countries.¹[2]

Nowadays the majority of the Muslim citizens in the Arab world see Obama as an American Hollywood figure trying to bring Americans and Muslims closer to each other. However, the problem in this figure is that it could not figure out a successful way out in order to establish a true market for the U.S investments in the region.

2.    The axis of evil:in terms of opening up to the so-called axis of evil in the region “Iran and Syria”,Obamaalso failed, and till the moment in forming out a real deterrent to dissuade and detain Iranians from developing their nuclear program. Moreover, the statements of Hillary Clinton have even changed from opposing ones towards approval to the program in terms of its peaceful usage only. Obama also appointed a U.S ambassador in Syria, at the end of 2010, after a five-year of diplomatic break, the matter that demonstrates his enmity against the policy of the Republicans, who wanted to exclude Syria from the whole international arena.

This recent appointment, of course,  came as a completion to the state of parliamentary stability within the new Iraqi government, where the new Iraqi government led by al-Maliki bares a Shiite religious identity with Iranian tendency.

This issue also points out Obama’s political inability of America to force more pressure in order to reduce the influence of the so-called “Axis of Evil”, which, in turn brought u a close cooperation from the part of the Democratic Administration with the Iranian project in the region. All the U.S military buildup in the Arab Gulf

region only aims at demonstrating a media pressure, where it impact was less influential than the electronic virus that attacked the Iranian network and impeded the conduct of the Iranian nuclear program for several months.

3.    Lebanon: on the Lebanese grounds, the Americans have lost their most prominent allies, the Durzi leader “Walid Jumblat” who sided along with a completely contrary pole against the U.S policy. This made the state of the Lebanese opposition a very strong one, particularly after the collaboration of the free Patriotic Movement with Hezbollah in the project called the state of citizenship and resistance.

Consequently, Israel, America’s partner in the region, has suffered of great loss in terms of its intelligence, as a result of detecting several spying networks and seizing too many bugging devices in several Lebanese regions where the crisis known as eavesdropping cell scandal was uncovered in Lebanon with its strategic impact in the foreseen future. This issue resulted in the outbreak of a real sectaria charge in Lebanon, but covered and restrained by the security and military forces on the part of the Lebanese most prominent party” Hezbollah”.

This party is noted as being able to delay the expected indictment of

the International Tribunal, as a result of its lack of effectiveness in the Lebanese arena, in the absence of an international force capable of enforcing the international agenda on Hezbollah and on its other undisciplined elements, according to the Canadian press leaks about the indicement. Therefore, we believe that the U.S exterior program concerning the Middle East is a very foggy one, moreover, the access of a stubborn Israeli diplomatic figure such as Netanyahu makes the case even cloudier.

4.    Israel: Netanyahu’s character can be easily described as the figure of “No war and no peace”. There is no doubt that his presidency will be a period of political debates and developmental preparations of both the Israeli economy and Army. The outreach of such a figure to the Israeli authority is considered as a good idea, in order to avoid new losses such as the ones experienced in the last war of July. This veteran diplomat was able to convert the wrath and anger of the
White House against his intransigence on the issue of settlement building, towards inter military aids aimed at providing anti-rocket air cover against the Iranian and Syrian rockets and Hezbollah’s missiles…Despite the worsening U.S financial crisis, the total of the American military aids to Israel during the region of the Democrats, have doubled than what the case was with their predecessors. This matter, in itself, demonstrates the absence of a systematic strategy followed by the Democrats, who are maneuvering within the same ark around Israel as America’s most important partner in the region, but without any real fruitful benefit for the Americans to get.

5.    Egypt: From the Arab “public” side, a great disapproval was noted clearly against the negative perspective of the Egyptian government towards Hamas’s government in Gaza. This was accompanied by the issue of uncovering an arm-smuggling network cooperating with Hezbollah operating within the Egyptian territory to support the Mujahedeen Movement in Gaza. This incident raised up the look and the perspective of the Egyptian regime internationally, as being a system capable of controlling its borders. This in turn, helped the ruling party in Egypt to impose an overwhelming majority in the parliament, in the absence of strong influential international enunciations or doubts. Furthermore, this incident truly demonstrated the fact that the Egyptians Authority holds tight the court of its grip in terms of the political, institutional and the security grounds in the country. However, and despite all its mightiness and forces fullness, it was unable to transplant genuine social stability between the Muslims and the Christian Copts.

The American assistance to the Egyptian government, of course, did not stop. Its support, but the demographic growth in Egypt made the government really incapable of providing food at affordable prices. This led Egypt to suffer a real crisis in what is called food security. This problem may get worse with the increasing population and the decreasing of water supplies that may be caused by the separation of the South from Sudan, and the formation of a new state there. All these issues may lead to the isolation of Egypt of playing its leading role in the region and trying in future to find solution regarding the development of its institutions and constrain and limit the outbreak of corruption in most of its departments, which in turn makes the United States lose one of its most important partners in the region.

6.    Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia still keeps its position from the American perspective as the source of financial repository through which the U.S throws away its heavy financial burdens.

Saudi Arabia has also sought in developing its nuclear arsenal through a more than expected arms deal, and through this bargain it increased the employment opportunities in operating the U.S weapon plants. The same thing is noticed by the part of the other Gulf countries, which are considered as weak in terms of soldier qualifications, such as “the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen”. Despite all, these countries increased their import of the new U.S weapons. Moreover, all the facilities presented by the Russians could not urge them to buy the Russian weapons. This really revealed the fact that the Arab Gulf is the most important arm market and is always ready buy the American Weapons.

7.    Iraq: It is noted that the new Iraqi government refrained from following up the American standards concerned with the human rights. Women could not obtain any representation in the Iraqi Ministries, which made the Iraq the worst demonstration of the Arab women’s right experience. In addition to this, there was the great political transition represented in excluding the secular Current off the authority, despite its success, and replacing it by a pro-Iranian religious groups that support Iran. This issue has come forward through months of project aiming at disabling the government and the clear support of America to Allawi’s Movement. However, despite all the efforts, Allawi has failed dramatically, the matter that clearly demonstrates the return of the Iraqi society back to its roots of tribalism and sectarianism and the absence of the democratic concept which has long been sought by the United States, that it would become the “model of democracy coming to the Middle East”.

8.   Syria: Contrary to the propaganda thought about Syria, through the Media around the world, Syria today, seems at its strongest states regionally. It is an attractive investment market for giant projects such as “Tourism, telecommunication, oil and banks”. Moreover, all the harassment targeting the regime in Damascus in the recent years, were ineffective and unable to deviate Syria’s pivotal role regionally. However, it’s role in Lebanon has grown, specially after the fading role of Saudi Arabia there and, specifically after the war of July in Lebanon. All these incidents have made the Syrian President the most important and influential among the Arab Presidents. Thus, the U.S Administration on had no other way out but through starting back its diplomatic relations with Damascus, since , at the present, Damascus is the one to ensure the delivery of calm messages to Tehran. Moreover, it is an important component to rein and to restrain its supporters not to overthrow the Hariri regime in Lebanon. Furthermore, it is a good gate for the Turkish companies towards the Arab Economic investments. The Syrian regime is also one of the regime that struggled most against the Salafi- Jihadi movements, favoring instead to activate the Soufi Movements and thus, was able to achieve some sort of social stability which was easy to secure. All those recently mentioned reasons made Syria become the Island of stability in the midst of an ethnically and religiously flaming region. Syria, of course, is suffering of serious financial crisis, such as the absence of the middle class economically, the failure of all the projects to “improve the official salaries” or to restrain the increasing inflation, as the absence of the social civil movements after the incidents of what is called as the campaign of “Damascus Spring”. However, the Syrian regime has turned a blind eye concerning all the problems it faced but it kept counting on and betting on it’s important and strategic partnerships and perhaps the most important of which was its military partnership ties with Russia, which consider the regime in Damascus as an important window that enables Russia to get involved in the Middle East. It also, finds in Syria the Strategic and Safe perspective towards imposing pressure on America which in turn is bothering the Russian project of “the missile shield, and its support to the regime in Georgia”.

9.    Jordan: Jordan did not witness any qualitative changes in its relations with the

White House and the International Community, except in terms of its suggestion

to become the alternative in competing with the Iranian Regime in the so-called

peaceful nuclear energy usage. The possibility of realizing this project in Jordan,

of course, may seem more acceptable than executing it in other Arab Muslim

countries such as, Egypt or Saudi Arabia, due to the fact that Jordan is under

close observation by the Israeli intelligence bodies. However, so far, there are no

real  justification to prove this Jordanian aspiration. Perhaps this aspiration is

not more than just a media war that illustrates the extent of the Arab-Persian

rivalry on the region.

10.   Turkey: the Turkish government is looking forward towards more openness to the Arab and Muslim world ,where the U.S supports it much in following up this lane. Turkey is an Islamic country but it is able to coexist with the concept of Liberalism and able to adapt with the open Market economy, the European side also, has a big share in supporting Turkey towards this perspective, which in fact does not want to enter Turkey within the European Union, despite its long promises concerning this matter. Apparently, throughout each step taken by the Turkish government towards strengthening its exaggerated ties with the Arab world, there are always some noted clear disturbance by the Kurds within its territories. In addition to the semi-permanent clashes with the Mujahideen of the PKK in the Kandl Mountains, which keeps the Turkish army in a continuous state of mobilization. Turkey, of course, suffers of many organizational problems, however, at the present time, it is nearly as important as the Iranian pole in its impact on the region. Its importance was specifically demonstrated through Erdogan’s last visit to Beirut which came following few days of President Abmadinejad’s visit, where Erdogan was received by large crowds representing the Future Movement and Ahmadinejad was also received by huge crowds of the supports of Hezbollah. Through this simple example we come to realize the complexity of the interests and the aspirations in the Middle East.

11.   Iran:the Iranian regime has succeed in suppressing its opponents of the reformist party and its supporters of the Iranian academics and intellectuals. Those event cause a shake down in heart of Iranian security body and establishment which was accompanied by a series of bombing incidents and operations executed an anti-clerical group Tehran called “Jund Allah” (Soldiers of God). However, the patience of the Iranian regime for so long was finally able to establish stability in the country, even though it was a sort of worrying stability. The United States, of course, succeeded in imposing a list of economic sanctions on the Iranian regime, in order to dissuade it from its nuclear program. However, the Iranians, each and every time, were stated about new nuclear locations, that surprised the international community and sparked an intelligence spying war Within the Iranian society, targeting, of course, the scientists of nuclear physics, the matter that clearly blocked and restrained its nuclear program. However, Iran did Not stand helpless at all. It was handling the case in accordance with a clear strategic perspective in its regional relations. The Iranian regime and since the time of the reformists, has been able to plant and increase the number of the supporters of the Islamic Revolution of Iran in several neighboring countries. Thus, in turn, contributed on the growth of the Iranian role in the region both religiously and socially. It also weakened the Wahhabi influence in these countries. These reasons, of course, caused a growing U.S intervention in the area of the Persian Gulf, where the military bases increased and the American occupation appeared to interfere more in the regime in Tehran. But the most powerful majority of the pro-Tehran population appeared to be in Iraq which witnessed the failure and defeat of the U.S Policy, despite its occupation on Iraq. There are of courses, significant extension of Iran within Afghanistan, that indeed worries the American regime, which has been trapped in a real pool of mud in Afghanistan, in the absence of any real wealth that might compensate its qualitative losses in this rugged plateau.

The Middle East makes the World: “He who owns the East, own the World”[3]

Despite all the evident underdevelopment and poverty, the Middle East is always seen as the most important influential area both politically and internationally. Its importance is not a result of being a rich region with oil sources only, but also as a result of being the central meeting point of the Western and the Eastern civilization. The Concept of civilization is a controversial one and has always been a dispute point in the process of analyzing the most useful culture in terms of humanity, and in many cases, the concept of humanity was distorted in its thesis towards the civilized thought.

However, during the Cold War, the Middle East was a fertile ground for the Nationalist Movements supported by both of the Poles, but by the end and demise of that war, the Middle East continued in its intransigence against the American Policy, and thus the war of Iraq emerged, which was followed by the so- called war on terror, that does not seem to terminate easily for long time to go.

The theory of “Clash of Civilizations” is and will continue to exist as long as humanity exists. All the theories opposing this one are nothing but fake theories. Moreover, all the discussions and arguments surrounding the concept of civilization today are only merely religious arguments. People vary even in terms of their religions to groups and doctrines and civilization is the social and cultural extension that is affected by economy.

Here is where we realize the real importance of the Middle East since it is the bridge connecting between the bridge connecting between the rich world with less population and the poor world with huge population which is too far from scientific achievements.

Governments, all around the world, should seriously search for ways to reduce the economic disparities in the world, and for the deliberate reduction of arm-trading, or else, the next decade and starting from the year 2011 will be a year of ongoing wars and disasters.

Only when financial tension between the North and the South decreases, the Middle East will become a normal region such as the rest of the world. While the absence of this financial balance will lead towards continuous clashes, where varied ridiculous comments will be stated such as “the war of the Crusades and the Mujahideen of the Baptist Church towards Iraq”, moreover, the East will increase the exporting hungry Salafi-Jihadist terrorism and the minorities in these countries will die as a result of extremism and intolerance.

I am not a fortune teller or an astrologer, rather I am a frank observatory and I know that horror is coming to the Middle East from East to the North if the policies of the governments did not change and if the rulers of those countries come to realize the importance of the human being in establishing human civilization and prosperity.

[1]Issam Khoury


Lattakia, Syria

Mob: +963 933 762 946


[2]¡ The idea of migrating the Christians in the East “the Church of Najat in Baghdad

and the Church of Saints in Alexandria”

¡ The bombed packages in Embassies.

¡ The suicidals in Europe.

¡ The attempt to bomb the “Azminé” (Times) square.

[3]Follow the novel of the Saudi Arabian author Abd Alrahman Munif ” Long Distance Races”.


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