The Obama Effect and the Middle East

ALMOMEN-SAMAH-130505-CAPSTONE This MA thesis was written by Ms Samah Al Momen at the American University in Washington DC for her degree in Mass Communication. Samah was one of the two Iraqis my family sponsored into the U.S.  5 years ago. She has acquired her citizenship and received her MA degree with  highest marks.

This thesis in a very scholarly way analyzed  the way Obama basically frittered away the high marks he received from the Arabs  with his  Cairo speech in 2009. He raised expectations and then, as he usually does, failed to follow through on his promises. The so called reset of Arab-US relations never happened. It is another example of Obama”s puffery and over-inflated self image pierced by reality. In the thesis Al-Momen surfaces the point that credibility, even in a society known for its love of balagah ( rhetoric),  a public official’s words must be supported by deeds. Moreover with the rapid decline of Obama’s credibility in the Arab world, American credibility went with it…another finding of the thesis. The use of Arabic and Islamic phrases won initial applause  but it was very transitory and our standing in the Arab world is no higher or even lower that under the much criticized policies of President Bush.

 

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About Tex

Retired artillery colonel, many years in a number of positions in the Arab world. Graduate of the US Military Academy and the American University of Beirut. MA in Arab studies from the American University in Beirut along with 18 years as Middle East Seminar Director at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Served in Vietnam with 1st Inf Division, Assignments in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, plus service with Trucial Oman Scouts in the Persian Gulf. Traveled to every Arab country on the map including Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
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