He asked me who do I support, Obama? Clinton? McCain? I looked at him puzzlingly. I donâ€™t give a damn I said.
…was Iraqi blogger Neurotic Iraqi Wife's response to a question from an American colleague in the protected Green Zone. After quizzing him about Iraq and the affiliation of its Prime Minister, Neurotic Iraqi Wife notes:
If YOU donâ€™t know about MY countryâ€™s politics, why SHOULD I, be interested in yours? I only said that to get on his nerves and make him regret talking to me in the first place. Well, no, no, you should care, he said. I shook my head, look, be it Obama, McCain, or Clinton, they are ALL the same for me. Be it a black man, a white woman, or a yellow transvestite, I donâ€™t care. I honestly donâ€™t cuz at the end of the day, none of them can fix whats broken. And Iraq IS broken. If they pull the troops, we are doomed, if they keep the troops we are doomed. Solution is not in their hands anymore. It used to be one day, but they missed that train. They either missed the train, or they skipped the train, Im still debating that with myself.
The solution is with none other than the Iraqis themselves. Surge or no surge, it stopped making a difference. Kinda like making chocolate mouse. Key ingredient is using COLD CREAM. If you use room temperature cream instead, no matter how much you beat it, it will never end up as fluffy as the cold cream, hence you end up with something other than mousse, more like a pudding. So no, Im not gonna lose any sleep over the elections.
And that isn't her opinion alone. She explains:
Ask any â€œordinaryâ€ Iraqi working with me about the US elections, they will simply tell you they donâ€™t really care. All they want is for their Iraq to become whole again. Bush Senior, messed us up. Bill Clinton, messed us up. Bush Junior Fâ€™ed us up. I wander whose turn is it next. Eenee Meenee Mynee Moâ€¦
Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi who immigrated to the US in 2005, says the 2008 presidential elections will not bring anything new to US foreign or domestic policy.
He further adds, and with more optimism:
We will see a continuation of the old strategies, with some minor differences in marketing them.
Someone like me who was in Baghdad while the first Bush, then Clinton, then the second Bush dropped bombs on our neighborhoods realises that there is not a “dime's worth of difference” between the two ruling parties and their one foreign policy.
But in the middle of my frustration, the last few weeks gave me hope that a better future is still possible – should a third party emerge.
The growing support for principled leaders such as Ron Paul and Ralph Nader is a great sign that non-interventionists from the “right” and “left” do exist, and a sign that changing the US regime through a strong third party is possible.
I see light at the end of the tunnel and I see an achievable goal of getting five per cent of the general vote that would qualify the third party for federally distributed public funds in the next general elections.
That way, a third party can have a foothold that might be the space for a political revolution to take place, one day in the future.
Meanwhile in Qatar, Iraq was off the radar at the Brookings Institution's annual US-Islamic World Forum, notes Abu Aardvark, who attended the event. He explains:
The US elections absolutely dominated the conversations, with Obama the runaway favorite. Most of the Arab participants I talked to seemed fascinated by Obama, and frightened by McCain (though one or two seemed worried about how Democrats would deal with Iran – a point to which I'll be returning soon). Clinton rarely came up at all, one way or the other. Contrary to the odd but predictable notion now making the rounds, of the forty-plus Arab participants, journalists and local Qataris who I asked, not a single one mentioned “Obama's really a Muslim” as the reason for their support. A lot of people expressed their doubts that Obama would really be “allowed” to win. The highlight for me came when I had the honor of introducing Obama adviser Susan Rice to the Egyptian human rights activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim, who had written a series of cautiously enthusiastic articles about Obama in a Qatari newspaper.