Some Middle Eastern Reaction to the Obama Win Posted by: McQ
on Wednesday, November 05, 2008
While I understand that Kenya has declared tomorrow a national holiday, some in the Middle East are less than impressed.
Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Yawm Al-Sabi':
"Whoever thinks that the Democrats are less hostile to [the Arabs] than the Republicans should know that the number of Iraqis killed during the siege [of Iraq] by the Democrat Bill Clinton is twice as high as the number of [Iraqis] killed by the Republican [George] Bush.
"The Democrats kill you slowly without you noticing it - and therein lies the danger. They are like a snake whose touch is not felt until its poison enters your body."
Er, okay. Moving along, Iranian daily Jomhouri-ye Eslami stated:
"The most that that black man can do in the White House is to replace some of the staff and change some ceremonial procedures. He will never manage to change the structure of the American regime, which was established by capitalists, Zionists, and racists."
That's encouraging, no? Unlike the Iranian paper the Syrian daily Al-Watan at least was somewhat encouraging:
"We wanted to declare Obama president... as a show of solidarity with millions of Americans, Arabs, and colleagues in the world media who [all] yearn for 'change' in U.S. foreign policy. They are all betting on Obama - who has been waving the slogan [of change]… in hope that he will be different not only in the color of his skin, but also in his view regarding Washington's policy towards the world…
"Some claim that if Obama wins he will be no better than Bush, if not worse... They may be right, since it is well known that no American president has ever stood on the side of the Arabs - rather, they have all stood on the side of Israel…
"Yesterday was undoubtedly a long, exhausting, and historic day by any standard. The American people [voted] with a vigor not seen in any [previous] U.S. presidential election, in a bid to make history and change the ugly face of the U.S.
"Out of respect for them and for everyone who voted for change, and out for respect for the souls of the Syrian, Iraqi, and Arab martyrs, we hereby declare Obama the 44th president of the U.S., even if it might be considered irresponsible journalism. We are sure that our readers will forgive us if we turn out to be wrong - [a possibility] for which we do not hope."
The Saudi's - not so much. An editorial in the Saudi daily Al-Watan:
"There is no significant difference between Obama and McCain. They disagree only on the means to achieve America's chief goal, which is to rule for another hundred years."
However, the process through which we commit ourselves too did get an admiring few words from a Saudi columnist in the London daily Al-Hayat:
"The U.S. elections afford a kind of change that does not occur in the Arab 'democracies'... The faces [in the White House] change in a way that we find impressive.
"Over the next few days, the world will see a new staff [there], while the current names will forever disappear from the [stage of] American politics. The [current] stars of American politics will go home, and the day after they leave the White House, the American public will see them standing in line at the airport, at the supermarket, or at the dentist's office...
"While America watches this turnover of personnel [in the White House]... the Arabs are following [attempts in] Algeria to amend the constitution and remove the restriction on the number of consecutive terms allowed the president - so that 'Abd Al-'Aziz Bouteflika can continue with a third term in office, and perhaps [remain in office] until the end of his life.