Best Candidate…Obama’s Departure
Salman Al-dossary/Asharq Al Awsat/November 08/16
Who is best for the region, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton or Republican candidate Donald Trump?
Who will win? Is it the lady who participated, planned and implemented Barack Obama’s administration policies, or is it the first presidential candidate who out speaks about his rivalry with many Americans, antagonizes Muslims, immigrants, people with special needs and Mexicans and is proud of his sexual harassments?
This question, which has been asked repeatedly during the past weeks, will be answered the moment results of the U.S. presidential elections are announced at Wednesday’s dawn, GMT timing.
Maybe the two candidates are lucky for competing against each other; if Trump was competing against another Democratic candidate, he would have had better chances to win and vice versa.
When it comes to issues concerning the Middle East, debates between Clinton and Trump, which have reached an unprecedented immoral level, haven’t discussed any solution or clarified the two parties’ opinions and plans in this regard.
For example, on the nuclear deal with Iran, Trump did not propose any clear substitute for what he has repeatedly attacked whereas Clinton defended this deal then admitted that Iran’s regime poses a threat and hinted the use of military power in case of breach of the deal, but she still did not submit any detailed proposal to counter it.
Moreover, the two candidates neglected bringing up Syria and its catastrophic humanitarian crisis in modern history. This means that they both will carry on with Obama’s policy that could be described as the “indifference strategy.”
Also, debates on Iraq, the U.S. invasion in 2003 then withdrawal in 2011 were futile.
Unfortunately, most of the debates between Trump and Clinton addressed previous stances instead of discussing detailed new policies.
They also did not mention any of what the elected president will explain for his/her people in the inaugural speech, except for what was leaked to public by the two candidates’ teams, and those are not conclusive policies that can be built upon in their strategies in the future.
In my opinion, everyone in the Middle East describe Obama’s policy as hesitant and misleading, starting from his well-known speech in Cairo’s University in 2009, to the heinous lie on Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons and the nuclear deal with Iran, which turned out to be a reward for a regime that supports terrorism, according to the U.S..
Keeping in mind that Clinton has been one of Obama’s tools and is a partner inside Obama’s administration, whether in her advisory role or her post as his Secretary of State, and the fact that Washington’s management for the region’s files during the so-called “Arab Spring” has led to the burst of many internal wars in some regional countries, it is normal not be optimistic when it comes to thinking that Clinton will undertake a policy different from the one that she has adopted during the past years.
Meanwhile, the only positive thing about what Clinton could hold for the Middle East is that she will not come up with anything worse than what is happening nowadays.
On the other hand, no politician can bet that an unsteady character as Trump could be less vile than President Obama.
In contrast, we might wake up to the election of a harassing U.S. president and a new terrible world led by the United States.
Certainly, Trump fits to be an evil president; therefore, knowing that Arab states still do not know Trump’s approach towards them, and they are not sure whether his policies will be positive or worse than the current administration, they cannot specify what is possible and what is not possible during his rule.
If President Barack Obama’s administration has adopted the policy of communicating with the opponents more than boosting relations with partners during the past eight years, then the next White House resident will be very aware of the fact that abandoning the region is not an option.
Or as Hillary Clinton was quoted saying: “The U.S. would commit a grave mistake if it abandons its responsibilities or gives up the reins of leadership.”
Regardless of who will reside in the White House, the region is in desperate need for the departure of the current one once and for all, especially that his policies have affected the region negatively like no others.