Obama win: Bad news for
Jeruslaem: Arabs happy Obama won... and that Bush's man lost by BRENDA GAZZAR
Much of Arab World Rejoices Over Obama Election by Edward Yeranian
Arab commentators want to be able to admire
American Muslims quick to congratulate Obama
“President-elect Obama’s victory sends the unmistakable message that
Nihad Awad, executive director of the group, said they hoped to offer the Obama administration some support and advice.
“We look forward to having the opportunity to work with the Obama administration in protecting the civil rights of all Americans, projecting an accurate image of America in the Muslim world and playing a positive role in securing our nation,” Awad said.
Obama, who will be the first black
Son of a Kenyan father and white American mother, Obama spent part of his childhood in largely Muslim Indonesia.
More than 20 million copies of a film called “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” were included as advertising supplements in newspapers across the country, many in battleground states.
CAIR lashed out against the film, which was distributed by a private group unaffiliated with the McCain campaign and featured suicide bombers, children being trained with guns, and a Christian church said to have been defiled by Muslims.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican and African American, endorsed Obama last month saying that he was troubled by the attempts to link Obama to Islam.
“Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?” he asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“The answer’s no, that’s not
Muslims find little to cheer over Barack win
Pradeep Thakur, 6 Nov 2008
The Muslim community is apprehensive about his actions and believes that it may not be any different from what George Bush pursued in the last decade — using force to maintain
After flagging off a special train from Deoband on Wednesday carrying more than 6,000 Muslim clerics to
"I am not very enthusiastic. I don't think Obama can divert much from the way George Bush carried forward American polices," Madani said.
But if Obama remained committed to his promise that he would like to solve issues through dialogue and not by force, it would really change the world and bring about peace and harmony as the president-elect would like to see, the Jamiat leader said.
However, Madani felt the reverse could also happen. "In his zeal to prove his patriotism, Obama may not take the bold steps required of him to bring
Pakistan's president, premier and opposition leaders Wednesday congratulated US president-elect Barack Obama on his watershed win, saying they were looking forward to promoting peace and stability in the region with his cooperation.
"President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed the hope that Pakistan-US relations will be enhanced under the new American leadership that received a popular mandate in Tuesday's poll," said Husain Haqqani,
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said in a separate statement that the elections marked "a new chapter in the remarkable history of the
"For long, the ideas of democracy, liberty and freedom espoused by the
Gilani also congratulated vice president-elect Joe Biden, reminding the new administration that it is taking charge at a time when the world faces multiple challenges.
He, however, made no mention of the strained relations between
Khurshid Ahmad, a senator from Jamaat Islami, the nation's largest Islamist party, warned that if Obama did not review the aggressive policies of outgoing president George Bush, "peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan would remain a dream."
Nawaz Sharif, a former premier and current leader of the opposition party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, said he hoped that, under Obama, the
"We are confident that under your wise and sagacious leadership, Pakistan's relationship with the United States will be established as a genuine partnership between two peoples who treasure freedom, passionately believe in democracy and espouse partnership and engagement among all nations," Sharif said.
Muslim Khan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban said the change in the
"If Obama continues the previous policies in
Obama win: Bad news for
Sachin Parashar, 6 Nov 2008,
In the first week of August, Obama had follow this up by declaring that, if elected, he would not shy away from striking inside
There is no doubt that the
The carrot was, of course, non-military aid. Obama's veep nominee Joe Biden, as chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee, had proposed non military aid worth $15 billion for
"Whatever the nature of financial help, it would be very difficult for a nationalist
Possibly, for Obama democratization of
Obama's comments about militants, and not
Besides, Biden's economic bailout will not come without a price. The
The real war on terror is now taking place on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and more troops can be of help. However, as some experts argue, the
"Obama has also announced increasing non-military aid but it doesn't serve the purpose unless the local Pashtuns are engaged in a dialogue. They hold the key to any solution and the government of Hamid Karzai, himself a Pashtun, has lost all credibility," says a security analyst.
The Pashtuns are chary of the Karzai administration and Obama's decision to deploy more troops in the country can only stoke the fires there. It would, in all likelihood, give a greater sense of righteous purpose to the Taliban that has regrouped in
It could be back to the days of Bill Clinton's first term in the White House when
The Americans call it the period of transition. It is during this period that the President-elect chooses his team, decides on policy priorities and works out his goals during the first 100 days of his Administration and thereafter. The core of his team will start co-ordinating with the outgoing Bush Administration.
Mr Obama will be entitled to a regular briefing by the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Director, National Intelligence, from November 5, on important developments. The Bush Administration will not take any major decision or initiative without keeping him in the picture.
Speculation as to who could be his Cabinet members and other senior advisers had started before the election. In an article on October 26, the British newspaper, The Independent, put its bet on the following Obama team:
Secretary of State: Mr John Kerry (Senator from
Secretary of Defence: Mr Robert Gates (current Pentagon chief), Gen Wesley Clark (2004 Democratic presidential candidate), Mr Chuck Hagel (outgoing Republican Senator from
Treasury Secretary: Ms Laura Tyson (former economic adviser to President
National Security Adviser: Ms Susan Rice (Mr Obama's top foreign policy adviser), Gen Anthony Zinni (former Commander-in-Chief, Central Command), Ms Samantha Power (former Obama foreign policy adviser).
Others: Mr Colin Powell, possible foreign policy special envoy/troubleshooter; Ms Hillary Clinton, health care czarina.
There could be surprises because he will have a political debt to pay to those who supported him and they may want some of their nominees to be accommodated.
India will have no special reasons to be concerned over the possibility of any of the persons mentioned by the Independent joining the Cabinet, except possibly Mr Holbrooke whose becoming the Secretary of State could lead to a re-hyphenation of India and Pakistan vis-a-vis America's relations with both countries, bringing back the hyphen that had been removed by President George W Bush and his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Another person of concern to
It is still 10 weeks before Mr Obama takes over as President, one does not know how the economies of the
The common people in the
His pronouncements on
But as the campaign reached its culmination, he started speaking of the
Ahmed Rashid has been arguing for some months now that the Pakistan Army cannot be expected to cooperate wholeheartedly with the US Armed Forces in the war against Al Qaeda and the Taliban unless there is a forward movement in settling the Kashmir issue and
Will Mr Obama exercise pressure on
Borzou Daragahi in
Ahmadinejad2 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today posted a congratulatory message to President-elect Barack Obama on his official website.
But his lengthy note also cautioned Obama to change
It is part of
Ahmadinejad begins his note with the kind of flowery, somewhat overblown language typical in the
I congratulate you on your success in mustering the majority of votes cast in the presidential elections. You know pretty well that the opportunities God grants to people he has created are short-lived, and they could either serve perfection of mankind and interests of nations or, God forbid, disserve nations. I hope that His Excellency will favor the genuine interests of people and justice over the never-ending demands of a selfish and fallible minority, so that you can seize on this chance in the best manner and leave behind a good legacy.
But he quickly gets down to the nitty-gritty, advising the freshman senator on what he must do to be an effective president.
Ahmadinejad writes that Obama must "overhaul"
Below are extensive excerpts from an unofficial translation of the letter:
On the one hand, the spiritual-minded American nation expects its government to concentrate its efforts entirely on serving people, healing the ongoing critical economic crisis, restoring its reputation, reviving hopes for eradication of poverty and discrimination, respecting dignity, security and human rights as well as bolstering family foundations –- all of them teachings of God's messengers.
On the other hand, the nations of the world bank on the hope that policies based on belligerency, occupation, bullying, demagoguery, humiliation of nations and imposition of discriminatory and unjust relations on them and on global interactions -– which have provoked resentment from all nations and the majority of governments ... and have harmed the reputation of Americans -– turn to behaviours based on justice and respect for human and national rights, friendship and non-interference in others' affairs...
Specifically in the sensitive Middle East region, the U.S. government is expected to rethink its 60-year unjust behavior and opt for helping nations -– notably the innocent Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan nations –- fully regain the legitimate rights denied them.
If you take steps on the divine path and follow the teachings of divine prophets, God, the Almighty, will help you to make up in part for the heavy damage inflicted [by the U.S.] in the past.
I pray for God to bestow happiness, health and welfare on all nations, and help leaders of societies learn lessons from the past, take advantage of chances of serving people, expand kindness, remove oppression and establish justice.
Arabs happy Obama won... and that Bush's man lost
By BRENDA GAZZAR, Nov 6, 2008
Arab and Muslim reaction to incoming US President Barack Obama's electoral victory around the globe has been largely optimistic, but some remain sceptical that Obama will bring significant change to the
The excitement appears to be as much a celebration of Obama's victory as of the perceived defeat of President George W. Bush - in the shape of his would-be Republican successor John McCain - whose foreign policies in the region have drawn widespread criticism from the Arab and Muslim world.
"Farewell racism, farewell tyranny, farewell wars and terrorism," wrote Muhammad el-Said of
In rare praise,
"Recently it has been seen that American army helicopters were flying a small distance from Iraq's border with Iran and, because of the closeness to the border, the danger of them violating Iran's border is possible," Iranian state radio reported, according to the Reuters news agency.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told BBC television on Thursday that he was confident that the new
Some have argued that it makes little difference to
"There is no significant difference between Obama and McCain," stated a November 5 editorial in the Saudi daily al-Watan, reported Thursday by the Middle East Media Research Institute. "They disagree only on the means to achieve
Because Obama will have to deal first and foremost with the global financial crisis that is affecting
The financial crisis "will consume most of Obama's time," said Abdel Monem Said Aly, director of the Cairo-based
Others say that since Obama will be very focused on domestic issues like the economy, foreign policy could largely be shaped by the secretary of state and foreign policy team he chooses.
"Because he is going to be focused more on domestic issues, they will have that much more influence," said Robin Shepherd, senior fellow and head of the Europe Programme at the London-based Chatham House.
Meanwhile, some in the Arab world say they are hopeful that the election of Obama will inspire change in their own countries, where long-running dictatorships and nepotism often reign.
"The winds of change are blowing in
Much of Arab World Rejoices Over Obama Election
By Edward Yeranian
Much of the Arab press, as well as ordinary people in the street, are rejoicing over the election of Democrat Barak Obama as the next president of the
People on the streets here in
Commentators on Al-Jazeera TV, which has consistently criticized the outgoing Bush administration for its policies towards the Arab world, appeared almost jubilant over Mr. Obama's election, with many hailing the results of the election as a "positive for the Arab world."
The Syrian daily Techrine writes in Wednesday's editorial that "any president will be better than George W. Bush, and any administration will be better than his administration."
Egyptian Ahmed Fathi, from the city of
Leyla, a Lebanese Christian, however, says that she and those around her are "not very enthusiastic about Mr. Obama's victory," but that she hopes "he'll turn out OK, just the same."
Mustapha Ghalayini, a Lebanese man who works in
"The Kuwaiti people don't believe that Obama will be a real help to the Arabs, but they believe he will be a new experience for the Arabs and the world, and they are happy at his winning the elections of the
Uraib Rantawi, director of the
"It was a great win for Mr. Obama in yesterday's elections, for some Arab countries and people, especially the Palestinians, the Syrians, even the Jordanians," he said. "I think they have welcomed this great victory from the democrats and Obama."
"But, for some Arab Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia and those who deal really with the Bush family and with the Republicans in particular, I think it is not a good moment for them; they prefer to deal with the Republicans and not with the democrats, since the democrats emphasize democracy and human rights and those issues are not welcomed in such countries as Egypt, and Saudi Arabia," he added.
Essam El Aryan, who is a leader of
"I've listened to the address made by Obama this morning and I was highly impressed by his charisma and his ideas," he said. "I compliment Mr. Obama and this was a very big victory for himself and also for the American people and I think it will be a great victory for the whole world if he can change
"I think after the massacres done by the previous administration of Mr. Bush Jr., I think this will be a new era for the Arabs and the Muslim world for their relations with the
Despite the general tone of optimism in the Arab press over President-elect Barak Obama's victory, the Arab daily Al-Hayat ran a caricature showing an Israeli wielding a gun at an Arab man, joking "heads, Obama, and we win; tails McCain, and you lose," suggesting that the paper thinks neither candidate will really be beneficial to the Arab world. Source: http://voanews.com/english/2008-11-05-voa42.cfm
Arab commentators want to be able to admire
By Zvi Bar'el
"The hope that Barack Obama's mere candidacy for office in the U.S. presidential race will generate a fundamental change for the better in President George Bush's policy in the White House is not a reasonable one," the Saudi publicist Hamad Al-Majid wrote recently, in the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat daily newspaper.
"But if he Obama is elected, then two positive elements will materialize. First, It will put an end to the white man's monopoly on the White House. Additionally, it will create the optimal conditions for adoption of minor adjustments into American foreign policy, so as to make it less arrogant and less impulsive than the one championed by his predecessor."
The expressions of caution against getting carried away with admiration for the "Obama wonder" contain the elements of the Arab and Muslim outlook on Bush's policy and on its conservative shapers. The "white man" who presided in the White House is the same man who dragged the region into two major wars against Arabs and Muslims; one in
And this is why the "support the world gives Obama is a show of support for America the way Obama would like it to be," as Al-Hayat columnist Jamil Matar put it. "An
Al-Majid, Matar and many other Muslim and Arab commentators who have expressed themselves about the presidential race over the past week have come to view Obama not only as the man who will head the American executive arm, an architect of a new foreign policy or political and economical plans, but a giant who will alter America's essence, as it was moulded by Bush.
Obama is seen as a person who will allow Muslims and Arabs to internalize Western ideas rather than reject them only because the person spreading them is a unscrupulous thug.
"The world is not preoccupied with the question of who will be the next
That "dark phase" went on for the eight years in which Bush sat in the White House, which left a deep rift between
The White House itself is not worse or better that it was under Bill Clinton, but it is guilty of one great sin - that of arrogance and condescension. Those words keep recurring in articles by Arab and Muslim thinkers.
That same arrogance is seen by them as the generating force behind the "New Middle East," which aspired to bring democracy and equality to Muslim nations - by force, if necessary - while in fact the
Is the ideological change for which the Arab thinkers long capable of changing
South Asian NGO played big role in Obama's victory
5 Nov 2008,
Virginia: South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), an NGO which advocates for civil rights and immigrant rights issues facing the community in the United States, has played a big role in the victory of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama by galvanising the immigrant community in America.
Approximately 2.7 million South Asians live in the
The SAALT educated the immigrants about their rights and their participation in the civic and political process in the
A survey conducted just before the polls showed that 41 percent Asian-American voters supported Barack Obama, 24% McCain, where as 34% remained un decided.
South Asian political involvement in the
Talking exclusively to this agency, SAALT's executive director and lawyer Deepa Iyer said Asian-American voters' concentrate mainly on economic policies, public health, immigration and education.
Pointing out the reasons for more participation of the South Asian communities in the November 4 US presidential elections, Iyer said: "There are many reasons for the engagement of the South Asian community in the elections this year."
"First of all in terms of our community's history it is natural that as people get more engaged, more connected and more settled in the
"Secondly, we have seen a shift of generations in terms of how the political process is being engaged. For many first generation Indian Americans who may have come here after 1965 a lot of the issues were very important like foreign policy. Now we are also seeing issues that affect us domestically here for example issues like the economy, education, healthcare, civil rights, immigration," Iyer said.
"And, thirdly, we have also heard about that there's something about this election specifically whether its the candidates that are running, whether its the climate of this country, that's really motivating people to come out to the polls and cast their votes and have their voices heard. So those are some of the factors and observations that we found in our world at South Asian scene," she added.