Guest Post: What An Obama Victory Means For The Middle East

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Claude Salhani of,

Memo to the Arab World: Good news and bad news with the re-election of Barack Obama to the White House.

The good news is that a victory by the Republican candidate Mitt Romney would have given Israel and its current leadership a free hand at continuing a policy of arrogance that will lead the region towards greater mayhem. Romney’s lack of experience in foreign affairs compiled with his extreme pro-Israeli stance could have encouraged Israel’s hawkish government towards military adventurism rather than to seek solutions through diplomacy and dialogue, the latter being the only way anything will ever get resolved. Perhaps Obama, who sees things somewhat differently, might help keep Mr. Netanyahu’s government in check until there is a change in Israel’s political landscape.

On the other hand, while there may be reason to rejoice with Obama in the Oval Office, seeing that Israel might have to think twice before turning to its military instead of its foreign service to address matters of national importance,  don’t expect anything drastically different to happen in the Middle East in so far as US involvement goes.

The enthusiasm with which Obama came to Washington four years ago and the eagerness with which he wanted to tackle the Middle East problem has followed in the footsteps of others before him who have also started out with similar vigour only to be stonewalled from one side or the other. Just ask Gunnar Jarring, John Rogers, Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter and to Bill Clinton, to name but a few.

The next four years, in so far as active and positive involvement by the United States in the Middle East, are likely to be as lean as the past four years have been; in other words, minimal involvement and dismal at that.

Don’t expect anything terribly different from the second Obama administration when it comes to the Middle East. Barack Obama started out his first term four years ago by grabbing the Middle East bull by the horns, believing he could, come Inauguration Day on January 20th, use the leverage of America’s clout with Israel and with some Arab countries that were heavily indebted to the United States, like Egypt, to finally bring about a negotiated peaceful settlement to the sixty-plus years of strife that the region has had to live with.

However, once faced with the reality of the complexity of the task ahead and the potential negative repercussions that meddling in Middle Eastern affairs could have on voters at home, solving the country’s domestic issues – unemployment, the deficit, etc. – seemed an easier and more rewarding task.

The degree by which Washington was removed from what was happening on the ground is reflected in the manner in which the administration was caught by surprise by the events of the Arab Spring. Indeed, Washington lost precious time when the popular uprising first began to shake and reshape the destiny of the Arab world as crowds took to the streets of Tunis, Cairo and Benghazi, forcing long-standing dictators to step down and in the case of Tunisia and Egypt, forced the US to lose close allies.

And if Obama’s acceptance speech delivered in Chicago Tuesday night is anything to judge by, where his only mention of anything related to foreign affairs was a reference to “freeing ourselves from foreign oil,” it seems obvious that the Obama administration will want to focus on solving domestic issues such as the economy, unemployment and fixing the deficit, tackling health insurance, issues that have dominated the presidential campaign and debates these past few months.

And at the end of the day these are issues that matters most to the average American who would rather not have to worry about the Middle East and terrorism – that is until they come knocking at our doors as they did on September 11, 2001.

That memory alone should act as a reminder that we cannot live secluded from the rest of the world’s problems. If we don’t help others address their issues those issues will very likely become our issues too one day; as was the case before.

President Obama’s reluctance to become involved is understandable. However with the elections behind him now and without the burden of future campaigns Obama should renew his efforts to bring about peace in the Middle East.  Helping the Palestinians to establish their state will help set America’s place in the Middle East as an honest broker for peace.

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Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:47 | 2959137 BlackholeDivestment
BlackholeDivestment's picture

What dipshit wrote this crap? I'm assuming it was posted for laughs. It worked. LMAO

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:51 | 2959156 SGS
SGS's picture

Who's this Obama guy?  I thought Netanyahu was president of the USA...

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:57 | 2959180 Zer0head
Wed, 11/07/2012 - 23:07 | 2959216 Michaelwiseguy
Michaelwiseguy's picture

Jesse Ventura Conspiracy Theory Tru TV on now. Just information.

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 23:13 | 2959241 Dalago
Dalago's picture

What matters most is the TRUTH!  Bring our troops home and start being a leader of Liberty by example not through the barrel of a gun!  Israel can take care of themselves.  They're the bully of the ME and every day continues I know more and more American's that are sympathizing with the Palestinians and their biggest refugee camp in human history.  Extremist attack as a response of war-profiteering.  If they attacked/hate America because they're free and prosperous then they must like America now.

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 23:41 | 2959325 Half_A_Billion_...
Half_A_Billion_Hollow_Points's picture

the claude bitch is happy with his obamaphone

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 23:57 | 2959360 strannick
strannick's picture

it seems obvious that the Obama administration will want to focus on solving domestic issues.

by solve, you mean print?

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 00:51 | 2959462 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

by solve he means trying to solve (and failing).

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 03:37 | 2959631 zhandax
zhandax's picture

The biggest thing he wants to solve is 'How do I work in more golf between all these damned vacations?'

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 04:19 | 2959650 Michaelwiseguy
Michaelwiseguy's picture
The Ron Paul crew over at Daily Paul sounds like they're smoking pot and writing a Workaholics script;

I wept tonight...

And this is too funny too;

McCain / Palin Beat Romney/Ryan in Total Votes

Interesting factoid:

McCain / Palin 58,343,671 votes

Romney/ Ryan 57,649,055

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 05:42 | 2959709 cranky-old-geezer
cranky-old-geezer's picture



Guess that's what happens when Repubs become progressives.

Repubs dont exist anymore.   Dems don't either.

It's a two-candidate fascist party now.  90% of O's and R's campaign platforms were the same.  Keep printing, keep bailing out banks, keep passing losses to taxpayers, keep the Wall Street looting spree going, keep spending, keep deficits going, keep borrowing, keep debasing the dollar, keep ZIRP going, keep hurting savers, keep destroying the economy, keep supporting Israhell, keep the wars going, keep threatening Iran, on and on.

I can't think of any significant difference between the two.  Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum?   Dumb or Dumber?  Traitor A or Traitor B? 

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 17:28 | 2962169 phyuckyiu
phyuckyiu's picture

What kind of dumb ass still believes we need to bomb people halfway across the world to prevent them from bombing us here? How many new terrorists do we need to create while protecting our poppy fields in Afghanistan? Yeah lets spend a trillion a year protecting people who hate us, give money to people who hate us, and send our kids to die for people who hate us. Stop bombing everyone and start taxing the fucking hippies in Colorado and Washington and Oregon and California like smart people.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 10:25 | 2960198 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

You're confusing him with Bush again.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 00:02 | 2959371 forexskin
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And at the end of the day these are issues that matters most to the average American who would rather not have to worry about the Middle East and terrorism – that is until they come knocking at our doors as they did on September 11, 2001.

That memory alone should act as a reminder that we cannot live secluded from the rest of the world’s problems. If we don’t help others address their issues those issues will very likely become our issues too one day; as was the case before.

apparently a warning from another neocon koolaid-drinking zionist firster - i'm sure he's just waiting for the opportunity to say 'i told you so' at the first sign of trouble for the precious

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 02:02 | 2959560 imaginalis
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This is like worrying about tripping over a pebble in the distance while a pinless grenade is down your crotch

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 03:44 | 2959637 zhandax
zhandax's picture

This also presupposes that the terrorists who 'came knocking at our doorsteps' on 9/11 could identify the middle east on a map without a staffer...

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 10:52 | 2960323 omniversling
omniversling's picture

The missing links.... 9/11 Conspiracy Solved: Names, Connections, & Details Exposed!

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 23:08 | 2959217 BlackholeDivestment
BlackholeDivestment's picture

...thanks for the link, lol, I didn't need that. LMAO. 

...I'm sure this guy sells a lot of papers goat herders. That explains the bad cheese coming from the Middle East. LMAO.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 10:07 | 2960107 larz
larz's picture

Who is Obama that the MSM and liberal know it alls ignore? ...let me give you a couple hints:  His buddie Jessie Jackson Jr. got CAUGHT no conspiracy theory at all, caught using campaign cash to buy a white lover gifts and got re - elected while IN THE MENTAL HOSPITAL for "depression". Another crony got nabbed taking a 6k zoning bribe AND GETS RE-ELECTED his lovely wife magically doubled her salary some how after deals were made behind closed doors and the lovely first couple got a smashing deal on a mansion from a convicted fall guy Tony Rezko should I go on..... You Libs dont want to hear any of this because you are sooo sure you know better than me whats best for me and everone else that the ends justify the means  So if you beleive that Obama and Michelle are pure and innocent - Mansion and raise in pay and all I have a unicorn field for sale but it will cost lots of fiat currency - serious inquiries only....

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 11:12 | 2960392 DosZap
DosZap's picture

BiBi said FU to Obama and is planning to do whatever they want, with or without the USA's help.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 14:28 | 2961302 RichardP
RichardP's picture

BiBi said FU to Obama and is planning to do whatever they want

Bibi can only do whatever they can, not whatever they want. 

Truth is, what they can do by themselves is far less than what they want to do.

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 23:32 | 2959303 percolator
percolator's picture

Blackhole, I got an even bigger laugh from your comment - good one!

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 23:55 | 2959357 Yardfarmer
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Claude Salhani is editor of the Middle East Times and a contributing editor to United Press International.

He specializes in political analysis of the Mideast and terrorism.

Mr. Salhani has been based in Beirut, Cairo, Paris, Brussels, London, New York & Washington.

He was a Pulitzer Prize nominee for coverage of the Marine Beirut barracks bombing. He is the author of Black September to Desert Storm, and speaks fluent English, French, Italian and Arabic.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 00:54 | 2959468 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

and can't (or won't) see the forest for the trees.

israel is an unreliable narrator of a deeply disingenuous tale.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 07:24 | 2959765 machineh
machineh's picture

Every culture (including Arabic speakers) has its narcs and collaborators who sell out to THE MAN.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 01:54 | 2959544's picture

"So does that mean the guy's CIA or what?" he said half jokingly.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 03:03 | 2959606 Flying Tiger Comics
Flying Tiger Comics's picture

DIA - they run a fuckload of drugs.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 02:04 | 2959563 imaginalis
imaginalis's picture

Does this mean he can tell his arse from his elbow?

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 02:29 | 2959583 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

it means he gets paid to tell your ass what's an elbow.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 06:48 | 2959745 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture


Thu, 11/08/2012 - 11:33 | 2960485 Overfed
Overfed's picture

And then he comes here and pisses on my leg and tries to convince me that it's raining.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 00:01 | 2959369 Mr Pink
Mr Pink's picture

Who came knocking at our door on 9/11? Please enlighten me.....

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 00:04 | 2959374 forexskin
forexskin's picture

no mystery if you want to maintain your card carrying establishment UPI credentials

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 00:55 | 2959470 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

cia blowback

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 01:57 | 2959552's picture



Sister Suzie, Brother John,
Martin Luther, Phil and Don,
Brother Michael, Auntie Gin...

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 07:44 | 2959769 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture




Zionist, neo-con, PNAC war monkeys using patsy Arabs with's their M.O.


 a person upon whom the blame for something falls; scapegoat; fall guy.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 01:13 | 2959498 glenlloyd
glenlloyd's picture

Yes, more propaganda about how they attacked us because we're free and prosperous...nothing about how it was a consequence of our presence in their country to begin with.

IMO the US would be a lot more secure here at home if we didn't try and get involved in the affairs of other countries. Most of the time it's about liberating their oil rather than their people.

This had to have come from a neocon.

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 04:51 | 2959678 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Indeed, undeclared wars in 6 coutries is "minimal involvement".

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 02:38 | 2963567 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

Yeah, I agreed with the first comment posted, appropriately enough, from BlackholeDivestment.

This ridiculous article asserts: that is until they come knocking at our doors as they did on September 11, 2001.

Therefore, this author totally fails the litmus test regarding 9/11 Truth!  I believe that 9/11 was an inside job. It was a false flag attack, done by Zionists, to blame on Muslims. It was deliberately designed to be symbolic, in many ways, to serve the interests of many different people. Primarily, 9/11 fits in the overall agenda of building a global government based on the hegemony of the international banksters, by driving genocidal foreign wars, and imposing democidal martial law at home.

The Middle East policy is merely another facet of the international banksters consolidating their global control, by backing up their frauds, with force. We are terminally scewed by that runaway fascist plutocracy juggernaut. (Of course, that does NOT mean I agree with the organized criminal gangs that are within Middle Eastern countries, controlling them!)

Since I have developed a well-honed macabre sense of humour, I agreed with BlackholeDivestments that this article was so extremely bad that it was amusing!

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 23:19 | 2959142 delacroix
delacroix's picture

arab world = 911 terrorists. fuck you claude, you nwo shill.  oilprice is a cnbc partner site, and the first syndicated partner they list is zerohedge.  time for a little disinfectant.

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:46 | 2959144 max2205
max2205's picture


Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:48 | 2959146 Sparkey
Sparkey's picture

This is a good one! There will be lots of replies from posters trying to set the historical record straight, (As they see it).

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 23:32 | 2959302 tickhound
tickhound's picture

For the record:


Fool me once... shame on.. you..?.??....

Point is you fool me once and you're with the turrists.

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 22:49 | 2959149 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

"If we don’t help others address their issues those issues will very likely become our issues too one day; as was the case before."


There you have it.  Foreign Policy 101. 

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 23:22 | 2959275 SgtShaftoe
SgtShaftoe's picture

May I take a moment to direct you to the nearest us military recruiting station so you don't sound like a hypocrite fool. Go ask for combat arms.

I did my time, I can tell you charmers Johnson's book blowback is 100% correct. But if you insist, pick up a fucking rifle and get your own person blown up rather than sending economically exploited and brainwashed kids off to get killed.

Wed, 11/07/2012 - 23:59 | 2959363 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

thank you.

We need more folks like you who lived reality and are reality to clear the air

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 07:59 | 2959787 GetZeeGold
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Fri, 11/09/2012 - 01:39 | 2963484 Tompooz
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We need more folks like you who lived reality and are reality to clear the air



Like these! Highly recommended autobiography of an Aussie Major General

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 01:06 | 2959486 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

I forgot to press the sarcasm button

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 01:59 | 2959555's picture

Whoops! Incoming!

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!