Obama's debt to the Middle East: promises kept, broken and in progress
In the final 48 hours before the presidential campaign transfers to the people-meter - or the vote - we ask the incumbent President Barack Obama to be held to account on behalf of the Middle East. Did he honor his promises and pledges to a region troubled and disappointed by his predecessor's work? What’s left on his Middle East tab worth of debt, should the man enter a second term, or else should he depart, owing? Continue reading below »
Did he keep the region secured from hostile threats - militant and nuclear?
Did he curry favor with the Arabs or Muslims by cutting back on dodgy detentions in favor of 'clean' air assasinations?
How is his war on terror going and is he any closer to 'winning' it? Has Obama diverged from the policy of his predecessor, President George W Bush, when it comes to tactics in the war on terror or other facets of his foreign policy in the Middle East?
He infamously promised to shut down Guantanomo facility, and did indeed get as far as signing for the 'closure' (or transfer North to the US) but, blocked at Congress, he has continued to let prisoners stew in their indefinite detentions, clocking 4 dead detainees at the camp under his watch. This and other broken promises has led some to argue that his promises aren't worth the paper they're written on.
When it comes to cooling down tensions between Iran, in one camp, the Sunni Arabs, the West and Israel in the other, Obama has only fanned flames and provoked Iran with devestating sanctions. He has not disarmed the Persian power.
Has he left the average American feeling safer abroad than during W's era? Has he guarded US national safety and garnered respect for citizens overseas?
He was left in the dark about security when his own employees were attacked at the embassy in Libya.
Did he keep his commitment to improving relations with the Arab and Muslim world, to bringing Palestine-Israel any closer to that elusive peace or to facilitating democratization of the Arab Spring countries?
The US standing shoulder to shoulder with democratic revolutions came as no surprise. But what will be problematic is maintaining that positive endorsemet. Whether in response to Tunisia's extremist chaos or Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Obama has had to re-check his stance as pro-transitioning democracies given Islamist new orders, often hospitable to extremist elements.
What do you say? Has Obama done anything right by the Middle East?
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