Leading Arab commentators Tuesday predicted a bad result for Arabs no matter who wins the US election.
Abdel-Bari Atwan, the hardline Arab nationalist editor of the London-based Rai al-Youm website, termed Hillary Clinton “a serpent who changes its skin according to the instructions of the Jewish lobby.”
“She stores poison in her glands to be used against the entire Middle East,” he added.
But he was also less than enthusiastic about Donald Trump. “I do not expect any goodness from a man like Trump who is full of racism, arrogance and lies,” he wrote.
In the view of Atwan, the US is the root of evil in the region, causing wars and massive fatalities among Arabs and supporting the Israeli occupation.
But another prominent commentator, Salman al-Dossary, took issue yesterday with the US for the opposite reason.
He wrote that it was too “hesitant” and inactive under the Obama administration, citing its failure to intervene in Syria even after the Assad regime used chemical weapons in 2013.
Dossary, whose paper, Asharq Al-Awsat, is Saudi owned, also criticized the Obama administration for reaching the nuclear agreement with Iran, “a regime that Washington itself considers a supporter of terrorism.”
The Obama administration policy was based on “communicating with foes more than sharing with allies,” he complained.
“Clinton was one of the tools for the president, she was a full partner in the Obama administration in a consultative role and as secretary of state,” he added. “The way Washington dealt with the files during the Arab spring led to civil wars in some of these countries,” when Clinton was secretary of state. “So it is normal that there is no optimism that Clinton will bring different policies than the previous ones.”
“The only positive thing she brings is that she will not cause new surprises, worse than what we have now,” Dossary wrote.
Dossary seemed conflicted and confused about Trump.
“No one can bet on the personality of Trump who is changeable and nervous,” he wrote, but added: “Trump will be less worse than Obama.” But then he reverted to concern about the Republican nominee.
“We can see an American president who is unprecedentedly aggressive,” he wrote. “We can wake up to a new bad world led by the US. Trump carries all the indications of being a bad president. We should consider that the Arab capitals until now didn’t understand the approach of Trump to the Arab world, and whether his policies will be positive or worse than the current administration.’’ Still, he wrote, he would be glad to see Obama go. “Regardless of who will be the new resident of the White House, the region is in great need of the departure of the current president. The region has been hurt badly by his policies that are unlike anything presidents before him did.”
Atwan, the Rai al-Youm editor, wrote that he considers Democrats and Republicans alike responsible “for the wars and chaos ruling the region for the past fifty years.” He added: “Therefore, I don’t have any hope for the current election.
I’m waiting impatiently for the end of this circus that the whole world is busy with.”
“We as Arabs stand before two candidates who agree on hating us and blackmailing us and closing all doors in front of our people and threatening us with more military intervention in our affairs,” he wrote.
“They want to milk the last dollars from our coffers. It is painful and regrettable that some of us accept to be blackmailed and to serve these enemies.
“Trump wants to restore the greatness of America but on our account. He believes we don’t deserve democracy, respect, human rights, immigration and even to visit the US. Clinton is proud of her friendship with the state of Israeli occupation and her military intervention in Libya turned it into a failed state.”
Whoever wins, Arabs will be the victims, Atwan wrote. “We are the weakest and most stupid link in this world. We are the slaves of the American master who destroys our country and kills our children.”
“We don’t care who wins or what will happen after,” he wrote. Perhaps, if Trump loses and his supporters rebel against the results “then Americans will understand the danger of the chaos and instability the US has planted in the region,” he concluded.
In Egypt, one commentator who backs the regime of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came out clearly for Trump. Writing for the Yawm al-Sabi website, Tamer Abdel-Moneim faulted the Democrats for bringing the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt until al-Sisi ousted them from power. “I and the group to whom I belong wants Trump to win, hoping he’s the life belt to save us from the conspiracies of the US, of the Democratic party, which hurt us and caused us countless tragedies.”
Abdel-Moneim wrote that the most favorable aspect of Trump is that he “does not recognize human rights,” so that the Muslim Brotherhood will enjoy no protection if he is president.