Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

24 hours left - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

In 24 hours America and the rest of the world will know the results of 57th US presidential elections. The result will have a massive impact, whether it is a renewal of Obama’s term, or the Republican Mitt Romney comes to power. Our region in particular has been in a state of coma for more than a month because of the US elections, and in more than one case these elections have overshadowed all other sensitive issues.

In 24 hours’ time, after we know the identity of the US President, [America’s] vision will become clearer with regards to the issues of Syria and Iran’s nuclear ambitions, as well as how to deal with the situations in some countries in our region, particularly the Arab Spring states. It is natural that the Americans are eager to see which line the winning administration will take economically, for this is what matters most to the Americans, but what matters most to the Arabs, or our region, is completely different. The current US President has coldly put the Syrian file on the shelf – despite all the strategic opportunities that his administration has been presented with – just so that it would not affect his election campaign so he could extend his presidency for another four years. Obama did not care that the fall of al-Assad would be the most important political blow yet to the Mullah’s regime in Tehran. Of course, this would not be for sectarian aims, as some are trying to portray what is going on in Syria, but in order to cut off Iran’s hands from our region, and deal a blow to its expansion, as well as to eliminate the biggest terrorist regime in the region, which has disrupted peace and stability, and violated the sovereignty of its neighbors from Iraq to Lebanon and even Jordan. Indeed, the al-Assad regime has been the largest manufacturer of terrorism in the Middle East, specifically over the last ten years.

Obama missed this golden opportunity in a political, moral and humanitarian sense, only so he could be re-elected once more. He might fail in the election or he might succeed, but all indications are that it will be very close. If Obama wins things will be different, especially with regards to the Syrian issue. This has been echoed by some officials within the Obama administration, and suggested by the US Secretary of State in her latest statements on Syria. If Obama wins it is expected that he will be a more liberated president, particularly as it will be his second term, and it is assumed that there will be a more influential move towards Syria, which even the Russians and the Iranians expect. However, this will require intense Saudi and Gulf diplomatic work, from the moment the results of the elections are announced.

Now let us consider the case if Mitt Romney wins the presidency. It is clear that he has a greater desire to stop the al-Assad killing machine, just as he has a stricter stance on the Iranian regime, and it is clear that he is a politician that can be dealt with, although he is not an intellectual like Obama, who is often embroiled in his ideals. Romney sees that the fall of al-Assad is a historic moment, and a strategic asset for the region, US security and the peace process as a whole. Perhaps less effort would be required to convince him on this issue because he already has the right vision about what is happening in Syria, as can be seen by his many statements on the crisis.

Whoever wins the presidency, the region is on the verge of an important stage. In 24 hours’ time there will be movement and action, which is much better than waiting and guessing. It’s not just about our region, indeed it is not an exaggeration to say that the whole world is waiting to see who wins the US elections, because the impact will be massive.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

More Posts