The cautious optimism of Arab nations

A win for Barak Obama is not an attractive prospect for many Arabs who have become uncertain of US foreign policies attitude towards them.

It is not surprising to witness the state of being uninterested in following the American Presidential election for many an Arab citizen.

This is mainly because of the hopelessness of American policies in the Middle East particularly towards the Palestinian issue.

The obvious bias toward Israel against the right of Palestinian to regain their homeland as well as war in Iraq and Afghanistan and hostilities in many parts of the Arab world has decreased the confidence in American governments.

The feeling has intensified from Arab perspectives that America is not capable of altering its policies despite Arab sacrifices.

Arabs have realised that it does not matter if the president is Republican or Democrat. There are supreme policies which should be followed by each president including reinforcing Israeli power and dominating Arab countries.

This feeling was enhanced after invading Iraq under the guise of protecting the Iraqi people from a dictatorial regime. Also, the antagonism against Islam after the 9/11 attacks intensified. The attacks were used widely by the Bush administration to invade Afghanistan and Iraq as well as enacting strict rules against Muslims inside and outside America under the pretext of war on terrorism.

Moreover, the proliferation of angry emotions towards American policies among Arabs have increased significantly especially after continuing domination on the local regimes.

The popular response is clearly seen in the so-called Arab Spring in countries which were considered close allies for the USA such as Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain.

During his first presidential term, Barack Obama has attempted to improve the image of America in the Arab world by withdrawing American troops from Iraq and increasing the opportunities for civilised dialogue with Islam. These actions have made some progress though soon faded after the publication of an Anti Islamic movie, mocking the Prophet Muhammad, which exploded a wave of violence in the Arab. These actions have yielded some unexpected results including the killing of an American ambassador in Libya and the attacking of the American embassy in Cairo.

All these factors mentioned above have contributed significantly to the loss of interest in who was to become President, but that does not mean all do not pay attention especially in Palestine where people look for a cooperative American administration which supports the peace process.

However, many Arabs put their expectations on Obama owing to what has been said that he has Islamic roots which might makes him sympathetic toward Islamic national issues particularly the Palestinian ones.

Unfortunately, many of them have been deceived by his promises to stop settlements and create an independent state as well as reinforcing the peace process. Soon the writing was clearly on the wall when Obama broke his promises and used the VITO in the Security Council against the international attempt to condemn the settlement building by Israelis, he also aborted the Palestinian desire to obtain a full membership in the United Nations. Obama affirmed his responsibility to safeguard Israel security against any threat whatever it comes from.

The contradiction between American policies with Israel and its relationship with the Arab world is still a source of indignation and resentment indeed.

Suffice to say, Arabs have put expectations in every American election in vain. This tendency is mainly due to their genuine desires for the life of peace and reinforcing the ties of cooperation. Thus, it is not an exaggeration to say that Arabs at least from popular perspective do not pay much interest in knowing who won the election, Barak Obama or Mitt Romney.

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