Regardless of whether Obama or Romney wins, America’s relations with the Arab World will change

After last week’s Obama-Romney love-fest for Israel, Arabs have been slowly deciding which of the two men would be best for the Middle East. It looks like Barack Obama is their man; but the problem, as always, is the sad, pathetic and outrageously obvious fact that it doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference. (source: Robert Fisk – The Independent, UK – 29/10/2012)

George Bush invaded Iraq after giving Sharon permission to go on colonising occupied West Bank. Obama got out of Iraq, increased drone strikes on the Pakistan-Afghan border and then behaved like a dog when Netanyahu told him there would be no discussion about Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders. Instead of saying, “Oh yes there will”, like a strong and independent president, Obama sat cowed in his White House seat as Israeli prime minister effectively told him UN Security Council resolution 242, the very basis of the non-existent “peace process”, was a non-starter. Since then, of course, Mitt Romney, who seems to have as much understanding of the Middle East as the Texas preacher who burned a Koran, has said Palestinians “have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace” and has still not satisfactorily explained why, back 2005 as governor of Massachusetts, appeared rather keen on wire-tapping mosques. So good luck to the Arabs. The truth, however, is that the next president is not going to have the freedom to decide his policy on the Middle East. Old love affair with Israel will continue, unless Israel attacks Iran and drags America into another Middle East war, but for the first time in American history, a successful presidential candidate is going to have to deal with a new Arab world; indeed, a new Muslim world. The critical point is that Arab Awakening (please let’s forget the “Spring” bit) represents a people calling for dignity. It includes non-Arab Muslims as well, what else was the mini-green revolution after last Iranian elections?, and it means that the millions who live in the part of the world we still like to call Middle East, it doesn’t feel very “middle” when you live there, now intend to make their own decisions, based on their wishes, not on those of their former satrap presidents and, in turn, their masters in Washington. La Clinton still seems not to have grasped this. Maybe Obama does. Romney? I bet he couldn’t draw a map of the nations in the area, except for one, of course.

Contrary to the Western belief the Arabs are all struggling for “democracy”, the battle and tragedy of Middle East today, whether in the aftermath of “soft” revolution in Tunisia or the butchery of Syria, is about that word dignity, about the right as a human being to say what you like about whomever you want and not to let a despot take personal ownership of a whole country (as long as he has permission of United States) and treat it as his private property. Yes, revolutions are messy. The Egyptian revolution didn’t go quite the way we thought it would. Libya can easily break apart. Syria is a cataclysm. But the Arab people are speaking out at last and they will now ensure that their presidents and prime ministers abide by their wishes, not by the word of Washington or Moscow. Contrary to Romney-style belief that there is a lack of civilisational values among the Arabs, viz his extraordinary remarks on Israel’s civilisation, the people of Middle East are demonstrating quite the opposite. It is a slow business: every reader of this article will be dead of old age before Arab “revolution” is complete. But the days when US presidents instruct the potentates of the Middle East what to say and do are coming to an end. It will be a long time before the Saudi regime crumbles, along with all the other gas stations in the Gulf. And I suppose it must be said the tragedy of the Palestinians probably lies at the heart of Arab Awakening. Alas, Palestinians are the only ones not to benefit from Arab revolutions. There is not enough land left for them to have a state. This is a fact beyond peradventure (as Enoch Powell used to say). Anyone doubting these words should book a flight to Israel and take a look at the West Bank. There is no place left for Palestine; this is the real tragedy that US presidents must face in the coming years.

Acerca de ignaciocovelo
Consultor Internacional

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