Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home2/ikhwan/public_html/admin-cp-control/inc/db.php on line 14

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home2/ikhwan/public_html/admin-cp-control/inc/db.php:14) in /home2/ikhwan/public_html/article.php on line 6

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home2/ikhwan/public_html/admin-cp-control/inc/db.php:14) in /home2/ikhwan/public_html/article.php on line 6

Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home2/ikhwan/public_html/admin-cp-control/inc/db.php on line 14
Obama, Middle East and the Freedom Agenda - Ikhwanweb

Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website

Wed926 2018

Last update20:52 PM GMT

Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
:: Opinions > Other Opinions
Obama, Middle East and the Freedom Agenda
Obama, Middle East and the Freedom Agenda
Jackson Diehl in the Washington Post predicted the Obama administration will abandon Bush’s freedom agenda and democracy promotion in the Middle East, especially after we’ve seen its end results in the Palestinian elections. I think Mr. Diehle is right in his assesment of the incoming Obama administration.
Thursday, November 20,2008 14:46
by Ali Mansour, MD, freedom-tale.blogspot.com

Jackson Diehl in the Washington Post predicted the Obama administration will abandon Bush’s freedom agenda and democracy promotion in the Middle East, especially after we’ve seen its end results in the Palestinian elections. I think Mr. Diehle is right in his assesment of the incoming Obama administration.

I have listened to almost all of Obama’s major speeches and I never heard any mentioning of democracy promotion in the ME, or any plans to do so. Even on the his campaign website, Obama’s vision for the ME is focused on the peace process between Israel and Palestinians,war in Iraq, and Iran’s nuclear program. So, democracy promotion is not on Obama’s short term plans to protect U.S. interests in the ME.

 

If the Egyptian regime gives in to the U.S. demands by holding free and fair elections, most likely we will see the Muslim Brotherhood forming the new government. The question then: will the U.S. be willing to deal with an Islamic government that does not recognize Israel and opposes U.S. policies? Or will the U.S. isolate the new government and impose an economic and political blockade on 80 million Egyptians to punish them for their democratic choice?

 

I believe that this paradox in our foreign policy undermines our credibility to play any effective role in the future of democratization in the Middle East.

 

Mr. Diehle concluded that "Mubarak and other "pro-Western" autocrats seem to have drawn from Obama’s election: that the threat of U.S. pressure for political liberalization has passed". Mr. Diehl has every reason to believe that the Democrats’’ policies will be more along the line of "stability and security outweighs democracy", except that the sum will be zero, as we’ve learned on 9/11.

 

However, those who still believe that Ayman Nour is a viable opposition figure who can challenge President Mubarak, don’t really understand the psyche of the Egyptian people or the political dynamics in Egypt. Mr. Nour enjoys no public support and cannot be looked at as rallying factor in Egyptian politics. On the one hand, the public sympathizes with Mr. Nour for the injustice and suffering he has endured, and widely respects him for speaking up against government corruption and oppression. On the other hand, he is branded as "America’s man", and in Egypt, like most other parts of the ME nowadays, that’s enough to undermine his scanty popularity and cost him the support he once enjoyed among the elite. Mr. Nour’s letter to then democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama seeking his support, was criticized by the opposition and the public who considered it humiliating for Mr. Nour and rejected the U.S. meddling in Egypt’s internal affairs.

 

The U.S. should keep a hands-off approach to Egyptian politics and don’t impose a model of change or implicitly support one opposition trend against the other, because it will automatically be rejected by the public which is highly skeptical of the U.S. agenda, resentful for its support of Israel, and the war in Iraq. Instead, the U.S. should make public diplomacy a priority and work on improving its image and combating anti-Americanism plaguing the ME, and threatening U.S. interests abroad and its security at home. The U.S should also be ready to respect people’s democratic choices and deal with freely elected governments even if they’re opposed to our policies, but they will be willing to cooperate and negotiate as long as there is recognition of mutual interests and we can find the common ground that bring all parties together. Even governments like Hamas and Iran can be contained through the negotiations and cooperation.

 

Unlike the West, the public opinion in the ME is highly emotional in general, and we’ve seen the reactions after the appointment of Rahm Emmanuel. However, the U.S. can use this to its advantage by engaging in aggressive public diplomacy. Words can do magic without even taking any actions, and that’s how the ME operates.

 


Posted in Other Opinions , Obama  
Add Comment Send to Friend Print
Related Articles
Obama’s win promotes democracy in Arab world
On Obama’s Inherited Freedom Agenda
Obama could change dynamics in the Arab world
Obama’s Essential Reading
MB Did Not Flatter Obama, It Praised A Value, Says MB Secretary General
Muslim Brotherhood Chairman Comments on Obama’s Victory
Qaradawi: I Supported Obama For Change
Obama One More Time
What Moderate Islamists Expect from Obama?
A Historic Opportunity for President-Elect Obama
More on Obama and the Middle East
More on Obama and the Middle East
Obama’s Message Resonates in Egypt - To a Point
Does Obama’s Success Represent A Civilization Value?
Hamas Says it is Ready to Talk to Obama
Obama: don’t surrender to the Jewish lobby
Obama, Emanuel and Israel
Obama and my Grandmother
Europe’s Muslims Urge Obama "Overcome the Mistakes of the Past"
Obama’s freedom agenda?
Welcome to Mideast Peace, President Obama
Obama Appeal in Muslim World May Tone Down Militants (Update2)
Hamas: We’ll judge Obama by his actions not by his electoral agenda
US expatriates, Egyptian locals hail Obama the "American Dream"
Anti-Obama Smears About Religion or Race?
CNN exclusive: Obama on foreign policy
U.S. Jews outraged over phone campaign alleging ’Obama gave money to PLO’
Obama and McCain on 9/11: “unity” in support of war and repression
World wants Obama to be next US president: poll
Biden: Israel will be more protected with Obama
Curb Your Enthusiasm for Obama
Obama camp denies report Biden said Israel will have to reconcile to nuclear Iran
Obama: World must not let Iran corner Israel
Obama choses Biden to make Israel’s supporters happy
The Last Pharaoh will be the biggest challenge to Obama
Open letter to President Obama
150 Clergy Appeal to Obama: Don’t Lose Your Ethical Vision, Don’t Move to the Political Center
After the letter to Obama
Jailed Nur urges Obama to back Arab democracy
Editorial: Muslim Brotherhood Hits the Obama Campaign Trail