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The US Elections...and What About Us? - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The American voter said his word, according to his interests, and brought down the Republicans with the knockout blow. The loss deserves this description. The Democrats have imposed their control on Congress after an absence of almost 12 years. Whatever the reasons, the Americans were able to bring about change and proved that a party’s political control of a country cannot be taken for granted.

But what about us, as we watch the American elections at the same time that we see around us nothing but the Israel massacres? I will talk very frankly here. The Palestinians are the victims of their politicians as much as they are the victims of Israeli arrogance and criminality. In his interview with our newspaper, President Mahmud Abbas said advising Hamas “Give me some flexibility and ambiguity and sleep over them. Then we can act.”

Hamas is in turn maneuvering and wants to disown all the obligations despite the suffering of its people. Otherwise what is the meaning of Ismail Haniyeh’s remarks about the Arab initiative to our newspaper that this “issue is not propounded anymore. Hamas stresses the respect for the international and Arab legitimacy and Arab summits resolutions” at a time when it does not want to shoulder its responsibilities?

It seems that this is the theory of flexibility, fogginess, and sleep! Palestinian politicians are indeed condemned because we ignore the fact that Palestinian infighting has occurred repeatedly despite the Israeli crimes!

As to the Israelis, one is incapable of describing their crimes and intransigence. But where is the US role in all this? Washington has responsibilities that the intransigence of Hamas and those behind it does not cancel and are not cancelled by the failure to honor promises, as the Americans say. America’s problem is that it boils progress and development in the Arab world down to elections. And here we are with the elected Hamas, the elected Muslim Brotherhood, and the elected Iraqi Government and at the same time the peoples are asked to shoulder their responsibilities alone. Some might say: And what is required? Here we say that what is required is having Washington come forward and present effective solutions because it is the only one capable of doing this. Washington is capable of disengaging the illegal link to the Palestinian issue by treating many of the pending problems. Take the simplest and most complicated examples. The key for dealing with Lebanon’s pending dossier with Syria is the Shib’a Farms. Disengaging the Syrian-Iranian connection to the Palestine dossier and from each other requires a solution of the Golan and before that the achievement of two states, a Palestinian and an Israeli one, on the ground so as to end the outbidding in the Palestine cause.

It is capable of disengaging Iraq from Iran by having practical and realistic solutions in Iraq which start by returning the dissolved army and police and focusing on consolidating security and building the institutions more than on the elections ideas.

The issue might seem to be a defective simplification but the surprising thing is that Washington alone is capable of presenting the solutions if its long-term interests take precedence, not the temporal ones. The problem is that the Americans believe that success in our Arab world lies in organizing election. The truth is that this is just simplification. The voice is more important than the vote. There has to be radical solutions so as to share the Americans’ joy and watch elections in our Arab world instead of watching wars and the artillery bombardment of women and children!

Let us hope that Rumsfeld’s resignation is the start of the correction.

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.

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