Robert M. Danin

Middle East Matters

Danin analyzes critical developments and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

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Showing posts for "Campaign 2012"

Middle Eastern Reactions to President Obama’s Reelection

by Robert M. Danin
U.S. ambassador to Iraq Robert Stephen Beecroft speaks during a news conference in Baghdad after the announcement of Obama's victory on November 7, 2012 (Mohammed/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. ambassador to Iraq Robert Stephen Beecroft speaks during a news conference in Baghdad after the announcement of Obama's victory on November 7, 2012 (Mohammed/Courtesy Reuters).

“It made my day… I and my friends expected war if Romney won.” – Sima, a businesswoman in Tehran

“President Obama will press for human rights and democracy to leave his marks in history…Also, the re-election reinforces the drive for peace rather than wars in the region especially with regards to Iran.” – Jasim Husain, a former MP and economist in Bahrain Read more »

Middle East Matters: Voices From the Region

by Robert M. Danin
Yousif Muhafdah from the Bahrain Center for Human Rights at an anti-government rally in Bilad al-Qadeem on 19 October, 2012 (Mohammed/Courtesy Reuters). Yousif Muhafdah from the Bahrain Center for Human Rights at an anti-government rally in Bilad al-Qadeem on 19 October, 2012 (Mohammed/Courtesy Reuters).

“In the United States, you have a new elected president every four years. But here we are living with a king and the same prime minster for forty-two years.” – Yousif al-Muhafdah, a Bahraini human rights activist on Friday

“The behavior of the Syrian popular forces  is very similar to that of the Iranian Basij, therefore it is assumed that Iranian forces are present…If we are talking about the transfer and sharing of experience [between Iran and Syria] then it is only natural that such a thing should exist, but we are focusing on the fact that there are no Iranian forces present in Syria.” – Muhammad Reza Naghdi, commander of Iran’s Basij volunteer paramilitary force, said Wednesday according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency Read more »

Tonight’s Debate and the Middle East

by Robert M. Danin
Republican presidential nominee Romney shakes hands with President Obama at the start of the first U.S. presidential debate on October 3, 2012 (Reed/Courtesy Reuters). Republican presidential nominee Romney shakes hands with President Obama at the start of the first U.S. presidential debate on October 3, 2012 (Reed/Courtesy Reuters).

Half of the six topics the candidates will discuss in tonight’s third and final presidential debate are devoted to the Middle East, illustrating the centrality of that region to U.S. foreign policy. While winning the debate has become the objective of this exercise, the real purpose of the debate is to inform U.S. voters about where the candidates stand on key issues, and where they would lead the country as president from 2013 onwards. Read more »

The President and the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process in 2013

by Robert M. Danin
Barack Obama takes the oath given by U.S. supreme chief justice John Roberts, Jr. during the inauguration ceremony in Washington on January 20, 2009. (Jim Bourg/Courtesy Reuters). Barack Obama takes the oath given by U.S. supreme chief justice John Roberts, Jr. during the inauguration ceremony in Washington on January 20, 2009. (Jim Bourg/Courtesy Reuters).

Over the course of the Obama administration, Washington’s objectives for Israeli-Palestinian peace have shifted dramatically. President Obama took office seeking to resolve the conflict within two years. Deeming it a “national security objective” and one of his highest priorities, he immediately appointed Senator George Mitchell his special Middle East envoy. Three years later, Mitchell is no longer in the position, and the president is no longer seeking to resolve the conflict. Read more »