Window of Opportunity
Window of Opportunity
Wednesday, November 12,2008 15:14

Shadi Hamid, POMED’s Director of Research, argues at Democracy Arsenal that Barack Obama has a window of opportunity to change the region by committing to “real support for democracy and democrats in the Middle East.”  He notes that “for the first time in recent memory, Arabs and Muslims are cheering on an American president” in the hopes that the U.S. will clearly support human rights and political reform in the region.

On the other hand, Marc Lynch at Abu Aardvark suggests that perhaps that window of opportunity may have closed a little with the appointment of Rahm Emanuel as Obama’s chief-of-staff.  Lynch argues that while Emanuel was chosen for reasons other than his foreign policy views, “the Arab media instantly and overwhelmingly focused on his Israeli origins.” However, Lynch does not believe that this pick will have long-lasting effects, as Obama’s “selections to the key foreign policy positions, and then his actual policies will matter far more.”

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