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Opinion: Waiting for Trump

Walid Bunni asks whether the US president-elect will continue the Obama administration's stance in denying the goals and freedoms of the region's people for the past eight years
Opinion: Waiting for Trump

On January 20, that is, in a little more than a week, the Obama's administration's term officially ends and the 44th president of the US will leave the White House for good. The years of Obama's rule and his administration have witnessed some of the most dangerous recent events in the Arab World and the Middle East — events which offered the possibility of change to the Middle East and lead its societies and states toward modernity, as occurred in Eastern Europe at the end of the 80s and Latin America in the mid-70s, if Obama had not turned his back on the region's peoples, leaving them prey for despots, extremists and takfiris.

The Arab Spring revolutions began as unorganized popular uprisings to express the yearning of the region's peoples to rid themselves of tyrants and their corruption, greed, bloodthirstiness and prisons. These uprisings had no organization and no clear leaders who were able to guide them systematically toward their goals. This is exactly what happened in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union, with the minor difference that Eastern Europe and its people enjoyed the visible and invisible sponsorship of Western powers, and what was at the time called the free world, led by the United States of America, which sought the end of the Soviet era and so gave all sponsorship and support (financial, media, organizational) to these people and their uprisings, to the extent that they were able to achieve change with the fewest losses possible. They then began to build their countries, after some stumbles here and there, until most of them became democratic, political and economically advanced, and members of NATO and the European Union.

But Obama's administration and the Europe of the 21st Century stood idly by, watching the uprisings of the people of our region, and actually entrusted oversight of them to regimes for whom democracy is an existential threat. It did not intervene except to protect its direct interests, thereby leaving these people between the hammer of the corrupt and criminal authoritarian regimes and the anvil of bloodthirsty takfiri groups and the dark minds behind them. Indeed, Obama preferred — for reasons which still ignite controversy among many — to make a deal with the region's most oppressive, extremist, and terrorist regimes, which have supported sectarian warfare, such as the regime of the mullahs in Tehran. With this deal, he bolstered one of the most important reasons for the presence of takfiri ideologies in the region and gave support to the regime in terms of finances that it needed to raise the sectarian war that has nearly destroyed our nation and the hope of our people in freedom and a dignified life.

We will leave the reasons for the disastrous position of Obama and his administration to history, historians, and social and political scientists to determine whether the Obama administration's behavior toward the Middle East and its countries was due to a malicious plan or simply a mistaken point of view.

On January 20, the Obama era ends with all its errors and transgressions. A new age will begin in the United States under the president who shocked the world with his victory in the American presidential elections, just as he has shocked everyone with his positions which reflect insufficient political experience but exhibit a kind of political dexterity the likes of which the world is not accustomed to. And so we wait and we will see if Trump will continue the same policy as Obama toward our region and its issues after Obama led it to a disastrous degree of danger, or whether his unrestrained thinking, after surrounding himself with top critics of Obama's Middle East policy and those who are aware of Iran's danger to the region and the world, will push him to address greater wisdom to the region's issues and to discover the golden axiom known by all Middle East experts — that eliminating terrorism and takfiri groups is not possible without stopping the sectarian strife which is funded by Iran, and without eliminating tyranny and injustice, the two factors which play the greatest role in creating fertile soil for these groups.

The battle to eliminate the scourge of terrorism in our region cannot be fought the same way an agricultural pest is fought — that is, through strengthening its natural enemies (that is, supporting Shiite terrorists who oppose Sunni terrorists and making them fight far from our land so that one exhausts the other). This is the basis upon which many believe Obama entered his battle against terrorism, thinking that it was the least costly battle for the United States, its economy and its army. This is the reason which many believe pushed him to make the nuclear deal with Iran, whereby he traded a delay in the Iranian nuclear program (and not its end) for lifting economic sanctions on Iran and enabling it to obtain enough money to continue funding and nurturing its terrorist militias based on an extremist Shiite Islamist ideology in order to continue its war against takfiri and terrorist organizations based on an extremist Sunni Islamist ideology in the region. However, with the passage of time, the world will see that Obama, with this theory which has proven false, has embroiled his country and that world in a very long war which will destroy the region's people's hopes of stability, freedom and well-being. The world will pay in tens of thousands of victims and billions of dollars, and politicians will go back to listen another time to social scientists that terrorism cannot be fought except by increasing freedom and supporting the establishment of wise governments able to secure better education and work for the region's people.

Will the Trump administration fix what Obama corrupted, or will it continue with this disastrous policy to lead us into global chaos?

Just a few weeks, and we will find out.

Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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