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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

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Sep 20th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Analysis arrow Hezbollah's Wishes for US Election Result
Hezbollah's Wishes for US Election Result PDF Print E-mail
Written by Walid Phares   
Sunday, 02 November 2008

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While the debate in the United States rages over future counter terrorism policies of the two Presidential candidates, Hezbollah's partisans in Lebanon are very open about their support to Senator Barack Obama. Rightly so or not, their perception is telling as to the general attitude of Jihadist forces in the region regarding the future of US Foreign Policy.
 
As detailed in an AFP report from Lebanon, the perception by Hezbollah's militants, described as "fans of Ayatollah Khomeini," is clear: An Obama Administration will be "better" for them than a McCain's. If you follow the logic of this perception, it would lead you to the prediction by the region's regimes and militant forces that a radical change in Washington's war on terror, if not its ending will produce a rehabilitation of the regimes now called rogues such as Iran, Syria and Sudan. Hence, after an al Qaeda military commander wished "humiliation" to the Party of the incumbent President, meaning defeat to McCain, many statements from Tehran, Damascus, Gaza and now this AFP report shows a clear preference by the radical movements to see an Obama Presidency taking the control of US policy in 2009.
 
These trends, which will become very clear "if" and once the results would give victory to the Senator from Illinois, shed light on an ongoing discussion of preferences within the Jewish and Middle Eastern communities as to who should occupy the Oval Office next January. American Jews traditionally split along Party lines. But in this election digesting an Obama choice for Jewish Democrats and liberals had to be helped by a speech delivered by the young Senator at AIPAC and a visit to Israel, where he committed to "support the Jewish state." Obviously the details were not discussed. But the mood among radical regimes and organizations overwhelmingly in support to Obama seems to question the real future attitudes towards the "real " issues on the ground. For over two weeks I had this discussion on Arab media including on al Hurra TV, al Jazeera, Abu Dhabi TV, the Saudi TV, Nile TV, as well as on LBC and many radio programs. "Is Obama's speech to American Jewish audiences a real commitment or is it a classical
American speech delivered to one of the most influential voting blocs in sensitive states?" That question was unanimous but interestingly enough, a rising number of commentators said "in the end, this speech is unavoidable. It is actions regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iran and Sudan that counts as a prelude to a change in US behavior regarding Israel."
 
Interestingly, al Jazeera was broadcasting throughout the week a long documentary titled "the Israel Lobby" which basically concluded that "eventually, this lobby has influence but it can be reversed."
 
On the other hand, we've noted the electoral split among Arab and Middle Eastern voters in the United States. Among these six million citizens originating from the region, agenda reading was faster. While most of the Arab Muslim organizations critical of US policy mobilized overwhelmingly for Obama, Middle East ethnic groups such as Lebanese, Copts, Assyro-Chaldeans and Sudanese and Darfur-Americans, as well as Arab and Muslim reformers chose McCain by political instincts. 
 
But the the matter remains an issue of perception. As described by the AFP report, Hezbollah's supporters, reflecting the hopes of their leaders and of the Iranian regime obviously would prefer a US President who would opt for a "sit down and cut deal" policies over "confrontation and containment." To the opponents of American policy of Democratization, a new direction -in their direction- is the best they can hope for. Are they right in their expectations? First US voters will have to cast their ballots. Then history will take its course.
 
Dr Walid Phares is a political analyst and the author of The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad. 

Thumbs up for Obama in Lebanon's Hezbollah bastions
Agence France-Presse 
Sunday, November 02, 2008 (Bint Jbeil-Lebanon)   
  
Like other Lebanese-Americans in the Hezbollah bastion of Bint Jbeil, Hussein al-Sayyed speaks fondly of the American way of life and says he plans to cast his vote for Barack Obama.
 
In July and August 2006 the southern Lebanon town of Bint Jbeil near the border was the scene of ferocious battles between Hezbollah militants and Israeli troops, and it still bears the scars of that deadly 34-day war.
 
The United States and its regional ally Israel consider Hezbollah to be a terrorist organisation responsible for many attacks on Westerners and Israelis.
 
"I'll vote for Obama, that's for sure," Sayyed, a Shiite 48-year-old restaurant owner and fan of the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, told a news agency ahead of Tuesday's US presidential election.
 
Outgoing US President George W Bush is much resented in Bint Jbeil, where many residents believe that his Republican administration provided Israel with the laser-guided bombs that destroyed much of their town in the 2006 war.
 
Although many agree with Khomeini's description of the United States as the "Great Satan," they also admire America and are grateful for the good life it has given them.
 
"I am not against America, but I am against the policies of Bush," said Sayyed, who like many of his compatriots emigrated to the United States to escape rampant poverty and outbreaks of violence of the Middle East.
 
Sayyed worked and lived in New York for three decades. In 2000, when Israel withdrew its forces from south Lebanon after a 22-year occupation, he opened his restaurant and named it "Al Tahrir" -- Liberation in Arabic.
 
"I am nothing without the United States. I could not have built this," said Sayyed, a portrait of Khomeini hanging on his restaurant wall.


 
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