Welcome to Jordan, Senator Obama

I just read this in the New York Times:

Obama Will Make Visits to Middle East and Europe – NYTimes.com:
Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, will visit Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and Britain. On a separate trip, he also is planning to tour Iraq and Afghanistan, although aides declined to disclose details or the dates of his travel for security reasons.

I wonder who officially receives the candidates in a US election when they visit foreign countries. I think that HM The King met John McCain when he visited Jordan last time.

The name of the “other” candidate, McCain, has been making the rounds in Jordan.

The Jordanian press (and with it, the whole political scene) was abuzz with commentary and condemnations for the past 10 days over a ‘Jordan as an alternative Palestinian homeland’ pronouncement attributed to a McCain aide by Ammoun News (who apparently copied the information from a blog). The statement was denied by the aide.

I saw a front page article in Al-Ghad on Saturday, where a McCain is statement is quoted as saying that he believed that the Palestinian’s people homeland is in Palestine [Arabic link]

As for Obama, I hope that his visit to the region emphasizes to him how immensely this region, and the world, would benefit from even just a little bit of American evenhandedness when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The past 8 years have been quite disastrous for the region when it comes to democratic and social reform. American foreign policy is one of the biggest factors to blame for that.

Polls consistently show that Arabs and Muslims admire America’s democracy and innovation (not to mention food :-) , but resent its policies. If America could rise up to its own values of justice and the right to self-determination when it comes to Palestine, the Arab world, the Islamic world and the entire planet would be in a much better shape. Many would say this is stupid wishful thinking. I am not naive. I understand that America is not just about its president and that there is a whole political establishment behind its actions.

But I retain a glimmer of hope that Obama might have a different understanding of justice that what we’ve seen during the past 8 years.

6 Responses to “Welcome to Jordan, Senator Obama”

  1. Hareega Says:

    Bush had a very good understanding of justice, he just didn’t want to apply it.

  2. Humeid Says:

    Good point..

  3. Hamzeh N. Says:

    I think Obama’s visit to the Middle East will give him at least one piece of information to use against McCain in campaigning.

    While McCain will say that the surge in US troops in Iraq has led to the relative calm the country has been witnessing as of late, Obama will be able to tell it like it is, and explain to the American people that it wasn’t the surge in troops that calmed the tensions in Iraq, but the hit TV soap opera “Noor.”

    Now, if only we can get the Lebanese (especially in Tripoli) to watch that show.

  4. Saleh Hussein Says:

    Maybe it will be a tradition to have Jordan as a “must stop” for the US presidential candidates!

    But what can Sen. Obama gain from his visit to Jordan for his campaign? He is trying to disconnect Arabia and Islam from his image, maybe for branding purposes or for an authentic believe, so what shall he do here? He already made his point when he stressed that Jerusalem must be the permanent capital of Israel, well he “rephrase” this?

  5. Craig Says:

    If America could rise up to its own values of justice and the right to self-determination when it comes to Palestine, the Arab world, the Islamic world and the entire planet would be in a much better shape.

    lack of self-determination in the Arab world is the fault of Arabs, not the fault of everyone else. Arabs seem to like being led by autocratic thugs, in case you never noticed? lol. Blaming the US for your adherence to tribal traditions seems a bit bizarre. Every culture went through a transition period between tribalism and democracy. For the Western Europeans, it was the Middle-Ages. Who do Euros blame for their preference for despotic kings, 400 years ago? If you personally favor democracy, I’m with you on that… but don’t go blaming me and mine for what’s happening in your culture. That’s a bunch of crap.

  6. Ghassan Yonis Says:

    Not so sure about the “man of change”:


    As you said, it’s not about who the president is, there’s a whole industrial/economical, media/entertainment, religious/political very strong, deeply rooted Zionist lobby in the states.. change requiered more then catchy slogan..

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