Did Ahmadinejad and al-Assad celebrate Obama's victory?
10/11/2012 By Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed
[Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed is the general manager of Al -Arabiya television.
Mr. Al Rashed is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al- Awsat, and
the leading Arabic weekly magazine, Al Majalla. He is also a senior
Columnist in the daily newspapers of Al Madina and Al Bilad. He is a US
post-graduate degree in mass communications. He has been a guest on many TV
current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai. ]
It is being claimed that the people of Tehran, Damascus and Beirut’s
southern suburbs – where Hezbollah is centered - celebrated Obama's
re-election for a second presidential term, or at least celebrated the
defeat of his Republican rival. So, is Obama’s victory a setback for those
of us who stood up for the Syrian people and who rejected the policies of
the Iranian ghoul?
Personally, I don’t think that this is the case whatsoever. I think that the
soft-spoken Obama will be the one to destroy the al-Assad regime and end the
threat posed by the Iranian regime during his second term. Anyone who knows
the US administration's work mechanism will be well aware of the extent of
the president’s influence in his second term. In these four years, the
president will be stronger and more able to take decisive action. We must
not neglect the fact that whilst President Obama was building positive
relations with the Arabs and Muslims four years ago, he was also
simultaneously pursuing Osama Bin Laden until he was ultimately successful
in killing him. Whilst, at the same time that he was withdrawing his troops
from Iraq, Obama imposed the heaviest sanctions on the regime of the Supreme
Guide in Tehran, causing a near-collapse of the Iranian economy.
Therefore, those who think that they can use Obama should think again. This
soft-spoken man has achieved more victories in the Middle East than his
predecessor George W. Bush. He restored US relations with the Arabs and
Muslims after this had reached an all-time low over the past half century.
He succeeded in strengthening these relations to the point that when he
ordered the killing of Bin Laden, no protests were seen in the Arab Street,
for the Arabs were convinced of Obama's good intentions in the same manner
that they were quite certain of the evil nature of Al Qaeda. In addition to
this, Obama managed, over the previous four years, to economically and
politically suffocate Iran more than any time since the beginning of
Tehran's struggle with the Americans in the 1980s.
Although Obama is accused of letting down the Syrian people's revolution –
deemed the fieriest and most important revolution of the entire Arab
Spring – we have to wait and see what he will do in the post-election
period. We do not know to what extent he is prepared to intervene in the
Syrian crisis, yet I expect that Obama will adopt a more aggressive policy
and will include his name as a partner in overthrowing the last of the evil
Arab dictatorships. However, we must also be aware that this particular
issue may become exceedingly complex. Obama may therefore prefer to lead
from behind in the toppling of the al-Assad regime and therefore let Arab
states take the initiative.
It is not a matter of guesswork when we say that the al-Assad regime will
fall, even without American intervention, yet it is not easy to anticipate
what happens next, and this is when the American role becomes crucial.
At the same time, we must not generalize and exaggerate or build up too many
expectations with regards to Obama's actions in Arab affairs because he does
not possess the necessary capabilities in this regard, or perhaps does not
want to interfere in the Arab revolutions or regional disputes. The constant
factor in American policy, as well as the positions of each new president,
is not to be negligent towards the vital oil-producing areas of the world.
This is something that will reflect on America’s relationship with Iraq, the
Gulf States and Iran.