US presidential elections
We saw many debates between Obama and Romney and analysts thought that Romney came out better. On election day, electoral votes showed an initial slight advantage to Romney. However, after 150 to 160 of the electoral votes had been counted, Obama surged ahead and won 332 electoral votes, about 45 more than the number he needed to win. The aftermath still continues and will do so until President Obama appoints his new team. There are rumours that Hillary Clinton will quit in order to build up her own image for the 2016 elections.
The US elections provided a good opportunity to many of our journalists and anchorpersons to enjoy visits to America and keep us informed. President Obama’s victory has again raised many expectations and similar guesswork is going on as happened when he was elected in 2008. Some of our analysts are once again wishing for the moon. I still remember the hype after President Obama flew to Cairo and Ankara and made speeches hinting at a balanced US policy towards Muslims.
He later reneged on his promises to appoint an envoy for Pakistan and India to help solve the Kashmir dispute, to withdraw all troops from Iraq, to close down the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison, to wind up the Afghan War and to help establish an independent Palestinian state. Everything turned out to be no more than hollow promises. The Israelis have now occupied a huge part of the West Bank, usurped East Jerusalem and killed Palestinians with impunity. With the United States’ active support, the Israelis are proving with their brutalities that they are no better than the Nazis under Hitler. Unfortunately, the policies of the rich Arab rulers have been equally disappointing. The US veto power is always used should there be any UN resolution to even admonish Israel, let alone demanding that it stop its brutalities. Meanwhile, drone attacks are remorselessly killing innocent men, women and children in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
In my column of June 24, 2009, in this newspaper I had more or less forecast this. As far as foreign policy is concerned, Obama and Romney were two faces of the same coin and they hardly differed in their debates. There were only some differences in their respective approaches to domestic policies. Voters obviously considered Obama to be a safer bet. As a “toothless” black president he could easily be manipulated by the rightist fundamentalist establishment. The Jews see in him a loyal supporter. If the Republicans want to win the next elections in 2016, they will have to find a more dynamic candidate who is willing to offer really drastic changes in the prevailing system.
Muslims in general, in particular