Continuing Planetary Reaction to U.S. Presidential Election (Germany, Russia, Kenya and Pakistan)
With Election Day just over a week away, the U.S. presidential race is understandably one of the leading topics of discussion around the planet. Here is some of what Worldmeets.US has dug up in the past 48 hours.
For Germany’s Die Tageszeitung, in a column headlined Planet ‘Paralyzed’ Before Power Shifts in Washington and Beijing, columnist Dominic Johnson writes that until people around the world know who will be leading America and China, many if not most of the most pressing global issues will remain in a frustrating state of ‘suspended animation.’:
“In Beijing, the nation’s most powerful leaders will meet just as the next U.S. president is being chosen. For the first time in history, in the two most powerful nations, fundamental political decisions are being made simultaneously. At the moment, anything is possible. As long as the die remains uncast in Washington and Beijing, the rest of the world seems doomed to watch and wait. … It is appalling to see the world in suspended animation, just because the two most powerful nations are busy with themselves.”
For Russia’s Izvestia, in an article headlined Romney’s America: Russia-U.S. Ties Won’t Sour, they’ll Come to a ‘Standstill’, Fyodor Lukyanov, one of Russia’s most prolific columnists, warns that given Mitt Romney’s public statements about Russia, under a Romney Administration, U.S.-Russia ties would come to a screeching halt until he came to his senses – which, Lukyanov says, would be a length of time of unknown dimension:
“If the Republican wins, then, based on his rhetoric, U.S.-Russia relations won’t only sour, they will come to a standstill. They will be nonexistent for a long time to come. Every claim Romney has made about Russia has been clearly laid out: it is a country standing in the way of America in settling the Iran issue; it is a country toward which America must show resolve and toughness. This is repeated time after time, because Romney in fact has no position on Russia, and has no idea what to do with it.”
For Kenya’s The Daily Nation, in an article headlined Obama’s Kenyan Village says Prayers for ‘Son’s’ Reelection, journalist Justus Wanga reports from Kogelo, home of President Obama’s father, that people remain just as convinced as ever that the president deserves a second term, even he he continues to fail to send funds, that people are still naming their children after him – regardless of sex, and that people in mosques and churches are praying for him almost as much as they were four years ago:
Mrs. Patricia Wangui Okoth, chairperson of Pendeza Africa, a women’s business empowerment group, says that whenever they meet, the gathering is normally dominated by discussions of why Mr. Obama must win another term.
“Whenever we dispense with the business of the day, the topic consistently comes up and consumes almost an extra hour. Everyone wants to give their bit of the story,” she says. “I remember this lady who said that the son of Kogelo is a ladies’ man, and as such, he will win many votes among women.”
“In churches and mosques, special prayers are being uttered to ask God for their son’s victory. … ‘We know he was elected by God, and we must take our united prayers and petition Him so that he hands Obama another term,’ says Mrs. Florence Otieno. Even his half-brother, Malik Abong’o Obama, thinks that what Barack requires now more than ever, is prayer. … ‘The best we can do for him now is pray. We cannot vote there, because we are Kenyans and this is an American process. But if we could, we would vote for him to propel his stab at a second term.'”
And from Pakistan, we posted two more editorials, one from The Frontier Post, and the other from The Nation.
The Frontier Post editorial, headlined Romney or Obama: Pakistan Leaders will Pay Price for Continued U.S. Drone Attacks, expresses the view that if Pakistanis were angry at at the never-ending CIA drone strikes on their tribal areas before, the third U.S. presidential debate has only served to inflame that anger. However, Pakistani anger is not aimed exclusively at the two candidates for the U.S. presidency, but also at their own leaders, who in the opinion of the general population, are colluding with America to allow the strikes to go on:
“Only a few high-value militants have been killed, while innocent civilians are mowed down. On the basis of objective surveys human rights groups have carried out, this tragic loss is intolerable and colossal. … if leaders across Pakistan’s political spectrum are not colluding in this adventurism, how is it that the drones are able to conduct their attacks without ever being intercepted or challenged?”
The Nation has a different focus. In its editorial, headlined For Pakistan, Both Obama and Romney Promise Further Suspicion and Extremism, the newspaper takes umbrage at President Obama’s assertion that had he informed Pakistani authorities about the raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout, the terrorist mastermind would never have been killed. But neither does it express any enthusiasm for Mitt Romney:
“President Obama’s explanation of why he failed to seek permission from Pakistan for the raid on Abbottabad – that if he had done so, Osama bin Laden would have escaped – was nothing but a scare tactic to deflect Romney’s apt suggestion that Pakistan should have been consulted. It was unworthy of President Obama to reinforce the impression that Pakistan cannot be trusted. … And with Romney backing extreme positions even before being elected, it is even more unlikely he will bring any justice.”
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