World views: US election

Al Jazeera readers across the world speak out on the US presidential primaries.

    Whoever wins the US election will inherit the issue of Iraq's ongoing violence [GALLO/GETTY] 

    As candidates in the US primaries prepare to battle it out for their parties' presidential nominations, Al Jazeera spoke to readers across the world for their thoughts on the hotly contested race.

    We asked whether they feel the parties' choice of candidate will have an effect on their lives if elected, and what impact, if any, the new US president could have on their lives and their country.

    Yousef Hel, Gaza City, Gaza

    We as Palestinians are not concerned about the elections, we know the US administration's policy on the Middle East has totally neglected the Palestinian cause for many years. 

    In focus

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    US presidential election

    It is pro-Israel and financially supports them, neglecting the Palestinian cause and our suffering.

    We hope that the American situation will improve, that any new candidate will be willing to push the peace process forward and put pressure on Israel to end the occupation.

    We would like to live in peace and stability, it is sad that we will live in 2008 in a few days and the US administration is using double standards.

    It will make no difference which candidate from which party is elected. The candidates say things  for the election and care only about internal issues, not external issues.

    We have witnessed Clinton and Bush the father and even the current president promising Palestinians a state, but never they never fulfilled their promises.

    We expect that the new president will focus on the war on terror instead. 

    The Palestinian people are struggling to seek independence, so will the new president also brand us as terrorists?

    Essam Fahim, Lahore, Pakistan

    Who becomes the next US candidate will have a huge impact on Pakistan, because Pakistan is a key player in the so-called war on terror.  

    Will the next US president follow Bush's line on
    Pakistan? [GALLO/Getty]
    The most obvious ways in which this will happen can be understood by looking at a particular candidate's views about Pakistan.

    At least one candidate considers Pakistan to be the most dangerous country in the world right now.

    Others are considering the possibility of military action in Pakistan if elected. Even the Bush administration has not ruled out such a possibility.

    So how the next president of the US views Pakistan - regarding its role in the war on terror, its internal law and order situation and its nuclear presence in the region - will most definitely affect the Pakistani state and its people.

    Pakistan depends considerably on the US for military and economic support and, much as Musharraf would like to take the sole credit for improvement in Pakistan's economy over the past seven or eight years, the fact remains it has been bolstered by US economic aid and political support.

    This has been in return for Pakistan's involvement in the war on terror.

    But with growing anti-US sentiment in Pakistan, US policy regarding Pakistan after the elections will either act a catalyst for this sentiment or will dampen it and as such affect the kind of pressure that the Pakistani civil society will put on its own new government.

    Maithem Abdullah, Baghdad, Iraq

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    I remember after the 1991 Gulf war, I had a debate with one or more Baathist comrades.

    Some preferred that Republicans should win the presidential race of that time.

    Their justification was that "the bad enemy that you know is better than the good one you do not know".

    Others wished that the Democrats would win, saying that foreign policy would be changed for the better.

    However, I believe that the foreign policy of a superpower is fixed in strategy - decision makers are not the presidents we see. The details might differ but the main goals are unchanged.

    Therefore, I believe that the elections results will change nothing regarding the Iraq issue.

    If you remember in the beginning of the war of 2003, both parties were united and many Democrats as well as Republicans visited Iraq to support American troops there.

    The Americans know what are they doing and they are moving towards their strategic goals regardless of the points of views publicised here and there.

    As an Iraqi, I feel that the future of my country is not much better than the former Yugoslavia, if not worse.

    Niloufar, Tehran, Iran

    The great majority of Iranians believe that the outcome of the US elections will make little difference to their lives.

    The ideal candidate for Iran's interests would be the Republican Party's Ron Paul, because he is totally opposed to US interventionism

    They think there will be more of the same traditional militarism and interventionism from either a Republican or a Democratic US president. As such, they basically do not care and see all the media noise as a distraction.

    But I think this coming election is potentially significant for the rest of the world, including for Iran.

    Aggressive US foreign policy breeds extremism and undermines democratic forces in countries like Iran. 

    The ideal candidate for Iran's interests (and for greater peace globally) would therefore be the Republican party's Ron Paul, because he is totally opposed to US interventionism and would close all of the US's 150 military bases across the world.

    His election would affect the whole political system in America, reverse extremist pressure on the Middle East region by the US and Israel and allow some breathing space for the great majority of Iranians to express their democratic views more freely at home.

    Unfortunately, the radical Paul is unlikely to win. Republican party forerunners are all violence-prone and in the pockets of corporatist forces and aggressive Zionist interests in America, as is the Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton.

    Barack Obama is likely to reduce some of the pressure on Iran by withdrawing from Iraq and perhaps also from Afghanistan, but he is likely to be pro-Israel and thus of little help to establishing longer-term peace in the region as a whole.

    So the best Democratic candidate would have to be the consistently anti-war Dennis Kucinich. His chances, however, are also slim.

    The rest are more or less determined to continue aggressive policies against Iran.

    Krenar Loshi, Pristina, Kosovo

    I think Hillary Clinton is the right candidate for Kosovo.

    In 1999, Hillary Clinton called for the US to aggressively engage itself in Kosovo.

    Bosnia and Kosovo are examples of foreign engagements that she favoured on moral and strategic grounds.

    Kosovo would have never achieved peace had it not been for US involvement and the support of [Bill] Clinton's administration.

    What do I hope from the next US president is that they restore the US's reputation in the world and become willing to work together with other nations to reach peace and freedom in the world.

    I also hope the next president recognises Kosovo's call for independence and continues to support its integration in Euro-Atlantic structures as the key step towards sustainable peace in Balkans.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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