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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Did Obama’s speech influence Lebanese elections?


    by Sunny on 9th June, 2009 at 3:58 am    

    The Telegraph certainly seems to think so. And this is a paper’s that’s always been scornful of Obama, remember. To recap, the pro-western parties which did not include Hezbollah, won the elections in Lebanon this week. That’s the good news.

    Not sure how this will play out across the Middle East. But there’s another point to make in all this. A lot of people, including lefties in the UK, keep saying that Obama has to follow up his words with action across the ME. True. But there are several parties involved here: the US, EU, Iran, Arab countries, Israel and the rest. Peace in the ME isn’t about just Obama’s actions, and Arab countries will also have to do more along with Israel and Iran. My point is, I’m not judging merely Obama if things go wrong. The Lebanese election results are a good start though.



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    9 Comments below   |   Add your own

    1. Saba — on 9th June, 2009 at 5:57 am  

      Thinking that Obama’s speech had an effect on the Lebanon election really needs an overactive imagination. The New York Times is also trying to drive the same conclusion home - even going so far to say that “The fear was that Lebanon might have become isolated like the Gaza Strip.” If anything, I wouldn’t be surprised if they covertly financed a campaign/candidates through the Saudis to ensure a victory, but lets give the Lebanese more credit than that.

    2. Cabalamat — on 9th June, 2009 at 7:18 am  

      @2: Thinking that Obama’s speech had an effect on the Lebanon election really needs an overactive imagination.

      I don’t think so. Obama is a very well known figure, worldwide. I’m sure Lebanese people take as much notice of him as people everywhere else in the world.

    3. BenSix — on 9th June, 2009 at 10:33 am  

      “The self-conscious moderation immediately displayed after the vote count was in the spirit of President Obama’s speech in Cairo.”

      Of course, it may just be that they liked those parties.

    4. marvin — on 9th June, 2009 at 12:21 pm  

      Haha yeh totally agree with #1.

      Obamessiah! What he will accomplish with words alone! You think people really care that much what an American president says, even a half-black one with an arabic middle name?

      If Bush hadn’t of invaded Iraq then Syria wouldn’t have shit their pants and withdrawn from southern Lebanon. Or Gaddafi given up weapons of mass destruction. Or elections in Iraq. For all his evil-Bushiness he did achieve a lot; and some very commendable outcomes. Probably part of Cheney’s evil ploy though. It’s a trick I’m sure…

    5. BenSix — on 9th June, 2009 at 1:05 pm  

      “Obamessiah! What he will accomplish with words alone!”

      Best post on the speech.

      “If Bush hadn’t of invaded Iraq then Syria wouldn’t have shit their pants and withdrawn from southern Lebanon.”

      In 2005…two years after the invasion…Perhaps you need to think that one through.

      “Or Gaddafi given up weapons of mass destruction.”

      Can’t say I know too much about this. However, batty though Gaddafi is, surely if he gave up the weapons because of the threat of invasion he was rational enough not to use them; thereby subjecting himself to inevitable nuclear annihilation.

      Ben

    6. marvin — on 9th June, 2009 at 5:20 pm  

      Feb 17 2005:

      President George W. Bush on Thursday demanded Syria pull troops from Lebanon

      March 7th 2005:

      Syrian forces to begin Lebanon pullout

      I’m sure it was the strongly worded letter from the UN wot did it and nothing to do with Bush’s rhetoric and the invasion across the border from Syria…

      If only strongly worded UN Resolutions or olive branch speeches by Obamessiah worked in the Middle East, BenSix. If only.

    7. BenSix — on 9th June, 2009 at 5:53 pm  

      *Cough*

      March 6th, 2005

      “President Bashar al-Assad of Syria refused on Saturday to comply with President Bush’s demand that he withdraw all of his country’s troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon, telling the Syrian Parliament that he planned instead to order a gradual pullback to Lebanese territory near Syria’s borders.

      President Assad insisted that his ”gradual and organized withdrawal” would fulfill Syria’s obligations under a United Nations mandate drafted by the United States and France in September and under the Taif accord, a 15-year-old agreement that was negotiated with Arab nations and that Syria has never put into effect.”

      “I’m sure it was the strongly worded letter from the UN wot did it and nothing to do with Bush’s rhetoric and the invasion across the border from Syria…”

      Unfortunately, leaden sarcasm doesn’t establish causal links.

      “If only strongly worded UN Resolutions or olive branch speeches by Obamessiah worked in the Middle East, BenSix. If only.”

      Marvin, I’m on record as speculating that his campaign was a test of the world’s critical faculties - don’t shower me with your “Obamessiah” smugness.

      Are you suggesting that Bush “worked” in the Middle East? One country with hundreds of thousands of casualties, millions of refugees and debilitated infrastructure. Another, with a populace sandwiched between US bombs and Taliban repression. Another, destabilised and facing one of the largest internal displacements in decades…but, nah, let’s all have a great big laugh about the UN.

    8. Saba — on 9th June, 2009 at 7:07 pm  

      Do all threads on pickledpolitics attract such vapid fellows as Marvin?

    9. Ravi Naik — on 9th June, 2009 at 7:24 pm  

      If Bush hadn’t of invaded Iraq then Syria wouldn’t have shit their pants

      Marvin, even Republicans consider that Bush’s foreign policy - specially in regards to Iraq - was a failure. And this is not 2005, this debate is over, and everybody agrees - except Fox News and you - that Bush’s presidency was a dismal failure. And because Bush was tied down in the war in Iraq, the bluff that it would invade other countries like Iran and Syria if they didn’t comply, well, it didn’t work very well.

      On the issue of Lebanese election, I am sure it is easy to figure out if there was an Obama effect: check the polls before Obama was elected, after he was elected, and after his speech.



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