Thursday, November 09, 2006

"A Reckless Government of Idiots" - Der Spiegel

David Seaton's News Links
The place where they have more riding on all this election drama is the Arab Middle East. But maybe Elli Shalhoub of the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar will be proven right and most of the future battles fought in Washington will be about domestic matters. DS

Abstract: The Middle East is largely pleased with the outcome of the US midterms on Tuesday. It's about time that this "stupid government of Republicans" got what they deserved.(...) with US President George W. Bush now weakened, some are even concerned that American uncertainty about how to carry on in the region may create something of a power vacuum. "US policy will be in a state of paralysis," predicted Abdul Menem Saeed, head of Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo in a conversation with SPIEGEL ONLINE. "It is true that the Democrats have won the House of Representatives but still they don't set US foreign policy." The US, he thinks, may become reluctant to act in the region.(...) "The US government of Republicans and neo-conservatives, which is a reckless government of idiots, will be reined in with the Democrats taking over the House," Oraib Rintawi, President of the Al Quds Centre for Political Studies in Amman, told SPIEGEL ONLINE before it was clear that the Senate had also tipped toward the Democrats. ''The ability of the US to fuel crisis and start wars in the region will drop drastically." The Democratic take-over of Congress "is in the interest of all parties in the region."(...) But given that it is largely the president who determines US foreign policy, could Bush not try to prove that his Middle East policy was ultimately correct? Might he not try all the harder for democracy in the region so that his party can hang onto the White House in two years time? That, at least, is what Akram Bunni, a columnist for a number of Syrian dailies fears. "The core of US policy has to do with security," he said -- "especially in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks." He says that the Republican White House may impose even harsher policies on the region in their determination to democratize the Middle East.(...) ''The Democrats will not be capable of withdrawing the US troops from Iraq," said Elli Shalhoub, head of the Arabic and international news division at the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar. "Most of the action will be domestic because the Democrats will deal with their victory in a vindictive spirit and lots of internal issues will be tabled just to take revenge on Bush and his party," he said. READ ALL

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