Biden at Home and Abroad
Posted to findingDulcinea by Liz Colville
The 2008 election comes in the midst of record low opinion of the United States in the Middle East. Biden’s nomination may reassure Americans that an Obama ticket will include international experience, but Biden’s actual views may pose a challenge. Gulf News, based in the UAE and distributed to numerous Gulf region countries including Qatar, Pakistan, Oman and Saudi Arabia, reported on the Biden nomination from an Arab standpoint, sharing several opinions from political pundits, leaders and citizens around the region. Some agreed the nomination was a “positive sign. … It means Obama will pay great attention to foreign policy and the region’s issues. But on what basis? This is yet to be known.”
Others dismissed Biden’s view that Iraq should be divided by ethnicity, which he explained in a 2006 New York Times op-ed, as far-fetched or unlikely to be implemented. Some are “disappointed” by Obama’s choice because it suggests that “there will be no change” if he becomes president; Biden is associated with old Washington ways and is thought by some to be pro-Israel and anti-Arab.
But some argue that Biden’s experience may not be entirely relevant. “The position of the Vice-President in the US is, to a great extent, an honorary position,” Palestinian analyst Hani Al Masri said to Gulf News.
After the announcement, Associated Press interviewed several leadersattending a U.N. climate change convention in Accra, Ghana, intended to create a replacement to the Kyoto Protocol, about the Biden choice. Dominique Moisi, a French political analyst, said he believed the decision was owed to events happening prior to the nomination, namely the Russia-Georgia conflict. “Russia’s invasion of Georgia reinforced the American worry about international tensions,” he said.
Others at the U.N. convention agreed that Biden is the equivalent of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Russia—an experienced advisor to help guide his country’s leader. A member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats party, Eckhart von Klaeden, said Obama’s choice reflects a decision to “organize all elements of the Democratic party behind him.”
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Tags: Joe Biden , Barack Obama , Foreign Policy
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