Skip to comments.Why Americans of Mideast Descent Have Shifted to Romney
Posted on 11/03/2012 9:36:27 PM PDT by tselatysr
By Dr Walid Phares
When Senator Barack Obama ran for office in 2008, most Americans of Arabic and Middle Eastern origin supported him. Mobilized as were many Americans for "change" on the one hand, these communities were also submitted to an impressive campaign by Islamist-leaning organizations and supporters of Arab regimes, on the other hand, all opposed to the incumbent's foreign policy then. They used President Bush's endorsement of Arizona Senate Republican John McCain to frame Obama's opponent as anti-Arab and border Islamophobe. To them, Obama was squaring off with a candidate who supported the so-called "Bush wars" in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, many young people of Iranian and Arab descent viewed Barack Obama as a breaker of US political taboos. "If an African-American can become a President" they thought, "so can we." The sky was the limit. McCain, however, received the support of most Lebanese-Americans who had watched their mother country fall into the hands of Hezbollah that same year. Lebanon notwithstanding, most in the global Arab and Middle Eastern community supported Obama. Four years later, the political landscape has changed dramatically among Arab and Mideast groups.
While most of the best-funded lobby and political organizations backing the Muslim Brotherhood or the Iranian regime in the Greater Middle East and North Africa remain in the Obama camp, a surge in the other direction has provoked a massive change in Mideast American politics. Although public figures for the pro-Obama agenda in these communities have a higher profile in the mainstream media, a ground swell has been moving away from the President since his first year in office. Here's how:
In June 2009, millions of Iranian youth demonstrated in the streets of Tehran against the Ayatollahs, calling for freedom. President Obama, who was looking to end tensions between the US and Iran by cutting a deal with the Iranian regime, abandoned the demonstrators to be crushed by the Iran's Revolutionary Guard. The President's shocking attitude sent a message to Iranian Americans, many of whom have since moved away from the President.
That year, Obama officials stated that the Administration was seeking to engage "moderates within Hezbollah," a US-designated terrorist organization that was under indictment in the assassination of Prime Minister Hariri. Lebanese American rejection of Obama's policy on Lebanon increased their rejection of the President's bid for reelection.
When the Arab Spring erupted in the streets of Cairo in January 2011, the Obama Administration resisted engaging the youth, Facebook activists, bloggers, women and minorities in Tahrir Square. It was only after the Muslim Brotherhood entered the fray of the protests that Washington pressured President Mubarak to resign. Afterward, the Obama Administration helped the Brotherhood sway the military, and then gradually abandoned the liberals and Copts to the domination of the Islamists. This policy didn't go unnoticed at home. Egyptian-American liberals and the large Coptic community shifted their support away from Obama.
Syria's descent into bloodshed also had an effect on voters in America. Syrian Americans waited patiently for the Obama Administration to move swiftly in March 2011 in response to Assad's murderous crushing of the initial peaceful demonstrations. One year later the Assad regime had leveled most Syrian cities and killed thirty-thousand civilians. Furthermore, the logistical bridge from Iraq into Syria facilitated Hezbollah's support to the dictator's efforts to break up the uprising. Worse yet, the jihadists have penetrated the insurgency. Most Syrian Americans are frustrated with the Obama administration's reluctance to save the people of their mother land.
In 2011 South Sudan voted for self-determination and obtained independence in July. But Khartoum's regime relentlessly pounded the new African republic with air bombardment and invaded one of its oil rich provinces. Furthermore, Bashir troops continued their suppression of Northern Sudan's Black minorities, the Nubians, Bejas and Darfurians. Sudanese Americans hoped to see the first African American President come to their rescue and take Bashir to The Hague. Instead Washington has been reinstating Sudan's dictator who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court. The community has since been very angry about Obama's Sudan policy.
Chaldeans and Assyrian Americans who originate from Mesopotamia didn't appreciate the abandonment of Iraqi Christians under an Iranian-dominated Baghdad, and the return of al Qaeda terrorists. Kurdish Americans resented the administration's lack of commitment to the survival of Kurdistan in northern Iraq. Many Arab American women were disappointed with the way the Obama administration's Islamist partners' treatment of women in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. The list is long, but a new majority of Middle East Americans, including many Arab Americans feel the Obama Administration has offered up the region to the Muslim Brotherhood and, in eventually, to the Iranian regime. Even Palestinian Americans aren't satisfied with the Obama administration's inattention to events in the region.
Governor Mitt Romney has declared he will partner with the Iranian people against the Mullahs' regime. Iranian Americans are on board with his approach. He wants to disarm Hezbollah, as do most Lebanese Americans. Romney was clear about his support for the Syrian opposition, as Syrian Americans demanded; he opposes the jihadists as moderate Egyptians, Tunisian and Sudanese wish to see happening. He unapologetically backs minorities from Iraq to North Africa. Romney not only wants to see women -the single largest majority in the Arab world- getting jobs, but also freedom. The alternative agenda to Obama's is clear, more freedom to the peoples of the region.
Hence, putting the Islamist and Pan-Arabist lobbies aside, it seems that a majority of Americans of Mideast and Arab descent, Christians and Muslim alike, find themselves in Mitt Romney's camp. We anticipate that millions of them will vote for him on November 6, particularly in swing states such as Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.
Dr Walid Phares is a senior advisor on Foreign Policy and National Security for Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and the author of The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East.
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It is true that every Sunni fighter killed while fighting Assad used to be a civilian.
"When you look at party identification and affiliation it seems like President Obama will still get the majority, if not the plurality, of Iranian-Americans in this election," he said. "Fewer Iranian-Americans today approve of Obama's handling of the Iran issue in his foreign policy than they did in 2009, but the majority, about 55 percent, say they intend to vote for him."
Less support for Obama does not translate into more backing for Mitt Romney. A 2012 poll by Zogby Research Services showed only 13 percent of Iranian-Americans are Republicans.
Assad’s savage animal thugs even bash in the skulls of innocent little babies.
I’m one of those Iranian descended Americans and not only is the whole family fervently anti-obama but almost All Iranians I know are also either Republicans and/or anti-obama single issue voters.
Islamists support Obama.
Walid Phares is a neocon tool.
Not to mention fluffy bunny rabbits. Let's just say that we know what Sunnis are capable of, courtesy of 9/11, the Iraqi insurgency, the Taliban and the Palestinian intifada. Sunni holy warriors smashed this little girl and her parents to a pulp on 9/11, and their Sunni brethren around the world danced and celebrated:
Note also that it wasn’t Alawites who fought Charles Martel at Tours, conquered Byzantium and Spain, lay siege to Vienna or committed genocide against the Armenians.
You mean we know what muslims are capable of. Muslims like Assad, Hezbollah, and the Ayatollahs.
Shiites like Assad killed our marines in Beirut.
Marines are soldiers. Getting killed is an occupational hazard, especially when you're posted in a locale where the inhabitants don't want you there. Should we have destroyed Iran's air force in retaliation? Reagan had that option but chose not to exercise it. Sunnis came to our land and instead of attacking a military base, killed this baby girl and her parents along with 3000 other people, 90% of them civilians.
Muslim terrorists are all the same. It really doesn’t matter whether they pray to allah or ali.
Not really. So far, there have been dozens of terrorist attacks by Sunnis on US soil and none by Shiites. And Alawites aren't Muslims, as any Shiite or Sunni you ask will tell you. The only Muslims who say (as opposed to believe) that Alawites are Muslims are state-sponsored clerics who are toeing the party line.
The Alawites say they are muslims.
Confessions of an Assad 'Shabiha' loyalist: how I raped and killed for £300 a month - "She was a student of Aleppo University. It was daytime and I was driving around the city with my boss. She was passing on the street. I said to my boss, 'What do you think about this girl? Is she not beautiful?'
"We grabbed her and put her into the car. We drove to an abandoned home and we both raped her. After we finished we killed her. She knew our faces and our neighbours, so she could not live."
Muslims say they are apostates. The penalty for apostasy is summary execution. If I were Alawite, and lived in a majority Muslim country, I'd say I was a Muslim too. From Wikipedia:
On 31 January 1973, Assad implemented the new Constitution which led to a national crisis. Unlike previous constitutions, this one did not require that the president of Syria must be a Muslim, leading to fierce demonstrations in Hama, Homs and Aleppo organized by the Muslim Brotherhood and the ulama.
They labeled Assad as the "enemy of Allah" and called for a jihad against his rule. Robert D. Kaplan has compared Assad's coming to power to "an untouchable becoming maharajah in India or a Jew becoming tsar in Russiaan unprecedented development shocking to the Sunni majority population which had monopolized power for so many centuries."
Assad responded by arresting about 40 Sunni officers who were accused of plotting.
Nevertheless, Assad returned the requirement to the Constitution to please the Sunnis, but he stated that he "rejects every uncultured interpretation of Islam that lays bare an odious narrow-mindedness and loathsome bigotry". In 1974, to satisfy this constitutional requirement, Musa Sadr, a leader of the Twelvers of Lebanon and founder of the Amal Movement who had unsuccessfully tried to unite Lebanese Alawis and Shias under the Supreme Islamic Shiite Council, issued a fatwa stating that Alawis were a community of Twelver Shia Muslims.
Eyewitness accounts speak of dead children, some with hideously deformed faces, where the machetes split their skulls.
"Whole families were slaughtered," Abu Ahmed, a resident of Houla who witnessed the immediate aftermath of the attack, told a GlobalPost reporter in the area. "Women and children were shot from close range or slaughtered with knives. The shabiha did all of that."
You do realize that Stalin’s men committed mass rapes and killings all the way to Berlin, don’t you? Does that mean you would prefer it if Hitler had won?
Sounds like the Shiites say that Alawites are Shiite muslims.
Sounds like Assad paid off a key Shiite cleric to say that Alawites, who don't attend mosque, and say Ali (not AllaH) is their god, are Shiite Muslims. Unfortunately for Alawites, this pro forma statement doesn't seem to have percolated down to the popular level, where Alawites are considered apostates, to be killed on sight.
Anybody who rapes women and murders children deserves to die.
You sound like an Iranian propagandist from presstv.ir.
Then the Sunnis in Syria deserve to die.
Innocent women and children don’t deserve to be raped and murdered by Assad’s savage animal thugs.
You sound like a misguided neo-conservative who thinks inside every foreigner is an American trying to get out. 2/3 of Egypt voted for the Islamist parties. Tunisia has an Islamist leader. Ultimately, an Alawite-run Syria is no threat to us because of the continuing infighting endemic to minority rule, but a Sunni Islamist Syria will pose serious challenges.
As to Iran, I think we should impose a no-fly zone in Iran, destroy its air force and air defenses and flatten its nuclear facilities. That was how we ended Saddam's nuclear program, and that success shows the way forward. I don't understand all of the BS continually spouted by the talking heads about how Iran's nuclear program is indestructible.
But innocent non-Sunni women and children deserve to be slaughtered by the Sunni rebels? What about the innocent American men, women and children who will be targeted right here at home once the Sunni rebels establish a Taliban-style Islamist regime in Syria? We've lived with an Alawite regime in Syria for decades without a single Alawite terrorist attack here, whereas Sunnis have launched dozens (successful and thwarted) of terrorist attacks against us with the 1993 and 2001 WTC and Fort Hood attacks being the most well-known.
I don’t really care about what kind of muslim Assad is, it is the fact that he is a genocidal socialist dictator guilty of killing US soldiers in Iraq that really bothers me.
Assad has harbored many Sunni terrorist organizations including al-qaeda. He is only getting what he deserves.
A bit of sub racial resentment at play here
Anyone who can....usually....votes anti traditional white
Its a siren call these days
Alawites did not kill US soldiers. Sunnis did. A lot of the Sunni rebels fighting Assad now were involved in killing GI's. Heck - Iraqi Sunnis who attacked GI's are now in Syria trying to topple Assad. We told Assad to have his army fight Sunnis in order to prevent them from crossing over to Iraq to fight GI's. Given the difficulty he's having in suppressing the Sunni rebellion, it's pretty clear why he balked. (He probably figured we were cynically using that ploy to lure him into a domestic quagmire so as to topple him). Note that I'm no Assad sympathizer. Before 9/11 and the response to that event from Sunnis worldwide showed the unappeasable cruelty and ferocity of Sunni public opinion, I would have cheered this Sunni rebellion. Sunni Islam has finally shown its hand, and we are better off for knowing it, despite all the casualties we've sustained.
Assad let Sunnis terrorists hide in Syria and cross into Iraq to kill US soldiers. Now they are properly thanking him for supporting their anti-American jihad.
Assad has never harbored al Qaeda terrorists. Besides, how much support can an apostate ruler really afford to offer al Qaeda, whose ideology is to kill infidels in the most gruesome ways? 40 years of Alawite rule and what you allege to be support for al Qaeda has yielded 0 terrorist attacks on American soil whereas less than 10 years of Sunni Islamist rule in Afghanistan yielded 1 attack on 9/11 that killed 3000 American, and dozens of attacks and plots since then.
The Syrian regime felt threatened and felt that it, too, might fall," Fares recalled. "So they had an agreement with al Qaeda to keep the road open to Iraq. The militants started coming from all over the world through Syria, under the eyes of the Syrian secret police, which are directly responsible for the killing of thousands of Iraqis in Iraq as well as Americans and coalition forces. "The secret police were encouraging enthusiastic young people in Syria to go for jihad in Iraq and join al Qaeda," Fares continued. "Bashar al-Assad and his security forces are directly responsible for the killing of thousands and thousands of Iraqis and coalition forces, because he gave al Qaeda everything it needed. He trained and provided shelter and he built safe havens for them to hide in." One of these "safe havens," Fares said, was the Syrian border village of al Sukariya, near the border city of Abu Kamal. In response to the accusations, a senior U.S. administration official said that Fares' claims about the Syrian government 's cooperation with al Qaeda during the war in Iraq are "broadly consistent with our understanding." "Since 2003, al-Assad allowed al Qaeda and associates to facilitate weapons, money and fighters to al Qaeda's Iraq-based affiliate, setting the conditions for those same elements to shift from Syria-based facilitation to active attacks -- this time focused against the al-Assad regime," the official said." - LINK
Actually, I'd say he made the right move* in not interfering with the Sunni jihadists crossing into Iraq - Uncle Sam's $1T investment in Iraq simultaneously drained the coffers of Sunni financiers of jihad and killed off the most motivated jihadis to the point that they were too few to topple Gaddafi without NATO support and will be crushed by Assad unless NATO intervenes. GWB said "Bring 'em on". I view Assad's war against the Sunni rebels as the continuation of the battle to decisively break the spirit of the Sunni holy warrior. As with the defeated Axis powers, Sunni holy warriors must not only be defeated, they must acknowledge that they have been defeated.
* The only move he could make, given the political constraints of being an infidel ruling a Sunni-majority country.
Sunni defectors will say anything to ingratiate themselves with the West. Sunnis say that Jews use blood of Muslim children (whom they ritually slaughter) to bake Matzohs.
Funny thing though I see things from my point of view, not his. Go figure.
Assad said the Jews “tried to kill the principles of all religions with the same mentality in which they betrayed Jesus Christ and the same way they tried to betray and kill the Prophet Muhammad.”
He also gave Americans a chance to decisively defeat a generation's worth of Sunni holy warriors in Arabia. In retrospect, that is the one saving grace of the Iraqi campaign. We defeated them in a stand-up fight with everything they could throw at us, and no one can deny that. GI's slaughtered them until they were sick of dying and ran away in fear. Of course, Obama and the neo-con idiots have frittered that victory away by helping Islamist governments and al Qaida veterans take over in North Africa, but that's a subject for another day.
We are in agreement that we can't trust anything out of Assad's mouth. I am pointing out that we can't trust the Sunni rebels either. The Islamist trend in the Muslim world has been going on for decades. Friends and acquaintances who have traveled to Muslim countries have remarked upon it, but most - including me - thought of al Qaida-style bloodthirstiness as an aberration. The Sunni street's reaction to 9/11 disabused me of that notion.
So if we help the Sunni jihadis get to Syria to fight Assad, really we are just returning that favor, and giving Assad the chance to fight and kill lots of Sunnis.
The Iranian youth deserve(d) much more support than we offered.
I know w/ certainty that if McCain/Palin were running the country they would have gotten it. But you know the demonstrators, the Green Movement Iranians, were not just youths, they were mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, children, from all walks of life and social classes, everyone hand in hand marching nonviolently, demanding only that their votes be counted. Isn’t that what obama blabbers about all the time? No, obama did murderously worst than just not help the Iranians. He undermined their peaceful demands and delegitimized their cause, their Green Movement. He did it w/ purpose and motive. He wanted to curry favor w/ the mullah rulers. He was focused like a laser beam on those terrorist rulers, NOT the real Iranians — just like what he’s doing in Afghanistan w/ the Taliban and why we’ll lose there as well — miserably stupidly believing he, the messiah, could/would “grand Bargain” w/ those snakes. obama was not only a stupid miserable fool, he was/is a degenerate miserable crook and backstabber.