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Obama better for Turkey, too.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- In the election to be held tomorrow, it seems more likely that Barack Obama will win a second term in the presidency of the United States. Recent polls indicate him to be, if only slightly, in the lead. Studies have shown that the candidate regarded by the electorate as more likely to win more often than not wins, and polls indicate that in this respect Obama is ahead of Mitt Romney by a large margin. It seldom happens that the incumbent loses the election. And even the Republican mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, has endorsed Obama for a second term, after Hurricane Sandy convinced him that the president's policies on climate change need to be supported.

The serious economic crisis, due basically to mismanagement of the George W. Bush administration and the greed of financial capitalists, has been showing signs of recovery as of late. The choice seems to be essentially between a challenger who stands for the interests of the wealthy and an incumbent who stands for the welfare of the common American. This is probably the main reason why Obama is set to win a second term.

The re-election of Obama is, surely, to the benefit of the people of the United States, but is it also to the benefit of the peoples of the world? Obama has, very unfortunately, failed to live up to his promise to restart the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. The main obstacle to this has surely been Benjamin Netanyahu, committed to destroying the process, coming once more to power in Israel. Obama has resisted pressure from Netanyahu and the Israel lobby to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, sure to lead to a great disaster in both political and human terms. We are yet to see, on the other hand, the consequences of the policy of tough sanctions Obama has preferred to pursue against Tehran.

Obama has been too passive in the Syrian crisis. Military intervention is surely not the proper response. But the US could have been more active in giving diplomatic support to the opposition against the dictatorship, and in providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Syria and those hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have had to seek refuge in neighboring countries. His policy of deploying drones to exterminate al-Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia evidently has no legal basis. There are also those who regard these operations as war crimes, due to civilians being unintentionally killed as a consequence.

Obama, even if with some delay, has not failed to support the Arab revolutions that toppled oppressive autocratic regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. It is to his credit that he has pulled out of Iraq as previously agreed, and announced his intention to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014. There is no doubt that Obama's policies, which on the whole prioritize multilateralism and diplomacy, are preferable to the opposite policies pursued by the Bush administration before him, and are clearly preferable to those promised by his challenger, Romney, surrounded by neocons as Bush was.

Is the re-election of Obama better for Turkey, too? Turkish-American relations had hit rock bottom during the Bush administration, but have witnessed a "golden age" during the Obama presidency. There are various differences between Ankara and Washington currently, but their policies on the whole accord. Tension in Turkish-Israeli relations certainly bothers the Obama administration, but he has wisely been careful to separate the US's relations with the two. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an is not happy with Obama's passivity in the Syrian crisis, but perhaps that will change after re-election. Other differences can be regarded as minor issues.

How would I vote if I were entitled to? I would without hesitation vote for Obama, because he is the preferred alternative not of the neocons, the Israel lobby or the Christian Zionist lobby but mostly of American women, youth, blacks, Hispanics, the working masses and reasonable Americans. I would vote for him because he is an intelligent and honest person I have respect for. If for no other reason, I prefer him for his family roots in black Africa, for his middle name Hussein, and for having had part of his schooling in Indonesia.

E[currency]AHyN ALPAY (Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Nov 5, 2012
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