Journalist Ghanem assesses Obama, Trump & Clinton
Arab Journalist Pierre Ghanem Discusses the 2016 US Presidential Elections as Viewed Through Arab and Muslim Eyes.
Chuck Conconi hosted Pierre Ghanem, an Arab journalist covering Washington political affairs, on this week’s episode of Focus Washington. Ghanem offered cultural and geopolitical insights on the 2016 presidential election as seen from the Middle East.
Ghanem anchored his analysis in Arab voices to illustrate dominant viewpoints in Muslim-majority states. As political stability has intensified in various Arab nations, many have turned to the US for an international figure to address critical Arab interests. Uncertainty remains, however, over which candidate will strengthen relations between the US and the Arab world. According to Ghanem, Arab and Muslim government officials must first pacify fears over a US president who may mistreat Muslims and undermine regional policies.
Recent rhetoric has revealed increasing hostility towards non-Americans and individuals of diverse faiths. Though Arab statesmen “can deal with any president of the United States,” peoples of the Arab world have pressured leaders to respond to intolerant language. Ghanem expressed his peers’ skepticism that Trump, if elected, would allow Muslim individuals to live in prosperity. For this reason, Ghanem asserted that the GOP is a primary source of concern.
Doubts remain over American priorities in the Middle East. When asked to clarify Arab disillusionment in American politics, Ghanem noted that the Obama administration was heavily criticized for its “pivot to Iran.” To date, candidates have not maintained a positive record of engagement with the Arab world. Though Hillary Clinton “gave more promises than Trump” on American commitments in the region, she “did not leave a lot of traces behind her” as Secretary of State, which can work both for and against her. Despite the challenges of harmonizing domestic and international interests, Ghanem affirmed hopes that the American people will elect a negotiator with a sharp eye on the Middle East.
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