Lebanon: America's Needs and the Elections

A small portrait of the translator

September 14, 2008 @ 0:50 UTC

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Countries:
Lebanon
Candidates:
Barack Obama, John McCain, Sarah Palin
Issues:
International Relations, Government & Politics
 

As the US Presidential Election draws near, more bloggers continue to react and interact with the updates and events surrounding the elections and candidates. Whether their posts reflect their stand on the political parties and their candidates, or their own take on American policies and the election process in general, many bloggers never run out of space to share their views and opinions.

With less than two months to go, I made a visit to some of my regular local Middle East blogs and those abroad who showed much interest in the current event in the region to see what their take on the upcoming American election are.

Talal Assaf, a writer/journalist in a local Lebanese newspaper, usually posts personal opinions and shares interesting political links on his blog space. One of his latest links is an article by Prof. Fouad Ajami (whose other pieces are featured on the Wall Street Journal):

..Mr. Obama truly believes that he can offer the world beyond America's shores his biography, his sympathies with strangers. In the great debate over anti-Americanism and its sources, the two candidates couldn't be more different. Mr. Obama proceeds from the notion of American guilt: We called up the furies, he believes. Our war on terror and our war in Iraq triggered more animus. He proposes to repair for that, and offers himself (again, the biography) as a bridge to the world.

Mr. McCain, well, he's not particularly articulate on this question. But he shares the widespread attitude of broad swaths of the country that are not consumed with worries about America's standing in foreign lands. Mr. McCain is not eager to be loved by foreigners. In November, the country will have a choice between a Republican candidate forged in the verities of the 1950s, and a Democratic rival who walks out of the 1990s…

Another blogger who posted great perspectives writing about Lebanon during her stay in the country (and was quoted in the Global Voices Online) is Diamond in Sunlight. Her travel back to the US did not stop her from keeping up with the Lebanese news and updates, and she has recently left the people of Lebanon an article that related them to the American election:

In fact, neither candidate has mentioned what his administration might mean for a number of countries, like Belize, Yemen, Malaysia, Finland, Wales, and Botswana - not to mention countries like Japan, France, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. When they have mentioned other countries - Russia, for example - they have mentioned them in terms of American needs.
In fact, the only country that both candidates have mentioned in terms of supporting its government, its society, and its political positions is … Israel.
I would be the first to agree that Lebanese and Israelis have much in common, including an over-developed sense of their own specialness. And I would also be the first to agree that both candidates’ kowtowing to Israel is a sad sign of how we have let the tail wag the dog when it comes to our “best ally” in the Middle East.

Leila Abu-Saba, a Lebanese-American who spent a couple of years in South Lebanon, also wrote abut the elections. Her first post was about the Barack Obama’s reaction to statements made by Sarah Palin:

…Obama says habeas corpus, the right to know the charges against you and have your day in court, is the foundation of Anglo-American law. But that kind of talk is elitist lawyer stuff, says the GOP.
…I believe our republic and Constitution are in jeopardy. This election marks a turning point in our recent history. Please educate yourselves on the bigger issues, the founding principles of the United States.

Her second post revolves around Barack Obama’s plan and future visions if he is to be elected president:

Barack Obama usually focuses on the positive result he wants to achieve, and doesn't spend a great deal of time wrestling with negativity and distractions. I don't agree with him about everything, and I don't think he's perfect, but I admire his ability to focus on positive outcomes instead of criticizing negative current realities…
…I started to muse about the nature of public and private investment money, but that topic is above my pay grade. I believe that spending our tax money in this way will help our economy as well as our quality of life, and is a no-brainer. I also urge you to go read the plan and think about the kind of America YOU want to see.

Hanibaal at Lebanon Iznogood shares with his readers his take on the American foreign policies and what the future might hold for the Middle East and Lebanon in particular:

Barack Obama will talk and kiss *** to any jerk out there, while McCain has said (at least on Lebanon) that he will continue the Bush administration's moronic alliance with traditionalists and warlords in the Lebanese political establishment - including supporters of Al-Qaeda like Hariri and Siniora, and criminals of war like Samir Geagea - just to “stand up” to Hezbollah, even though most of these people are in fact latent strategic allies with Hezbollah, playing good guy-bad guy with the ignorant Americans of State Dept. Meanwhile, the US refuses to arm the Lebanese army because “it might fall into the hands of Hezbollah”. It is as though the US “wants” Lebanon to fall into Hezbollah's hands, like it appeared to “want” the Taliban to take over Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Wow! What a strategy! The US has not learned anything from its former experiments: It supported Saddam to counter Khomeini, then had a problem on its hands. It supported Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan to stand up to Russia, then had the Taliban to deal with. This is truly the policy of the illiterate whore preaching virtue.

Residing in Canada and blogging at Earth to Omar, Omar  in a post entitled On Election Fun, he writes:

Is it just me or is everyone sick of hearing about the American presidential election? The networks milk any opportunity they get for a decent news story, with all kinds of useless polls and speculations starting two years before Election Day. For all we know Wolf Blitzer has had a permanent hard-on ever since Obama decided to run for president.
And then there are the stupid attacks that candidates launch against each other. I think the most hilarious one is McCain’s attempt at painting Obama as a celebrity. Oooooh, that’s a great one McCain, keep up the good work! I’m still waiting for the “my dad can beat up his dad” campaign from the Republicans. Both candidates will have a very similar foreign policy, especially when it comes to blind support of Israel, and continuing the WAR ON TERRORISM *Tan Tan TAAAAAN*. I like Obama more for his support of stem cell research and for giving two shits about the environment. So based on that, I say Obama for president. Plus, the guy is very clever, articulate, and charismatic… only problem is that he’s a celebrity.

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  • 1 comment

    1. Talal Assaf Says:

      Dear Nash

      Thank u for the citation.

      I hope that we will be in touch.

      Regards.

      Talal

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