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article imageOp-Ed: Mr. President you got a second chance to do things right

By Khalid Magram     Nov 7, 2012 in Politics
The neck-to-neck opinion polls prior to election night were certainly engaging, but as the results started pouring in there was no doubt that Barak Obama would be back in Oval Office for his second term as U.S President.
But the coming to fruition of the hopes embodied in the 2008 “Yes We Can,” “Hope and Change” messages, the election of America's first black president – whose middle name was Hussein – and the promise he would bring transformation in America’s relations with the Muslim world remains elusive.
There were transformations in Muslim world, but not brought about by Obama. The US as a world major player - in the Arab spring, the great symbolic gesture from the Muslim world yearning for change, was both indecisive and largely debatable.
Obama is an articulate orator. 'The proof of the pudding is in the eating' as we saw in the President’s victory speech last night. Obama now has four more years and a second chance to deliver on his promise to become an agent of change. There are three principal areas where Obama could become that 'agent for change: by leading his team in one-on-one negotiations with Iran on their nuclear programme; by stopping supporting brutal and undemocratic rulers in the region; and, finally, by taking action on the most stubborn issue in the middle-East crisis and forcing Israel back to the negotiating table in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
In his recent article, Guardian's diplomatic editor Julian Borger says Obama will have plenty of opportunity despite the fact that Republicans still hold the House.
“All presidents want an enduring legacy, and an obdurate, even vengeful, Republican majority in the House of Representatives will send Obama in search of one abroad, where he will enjoy a freer hand,” Borger writes.
The realty is Obama will have his hands full with Syria, Iran and Israel.
In the wake of Israeli threats to attack Iran’s nuclear sites, the Syrian conflict and anti-American violence across the Middle East and other parts of Muslim world, the president must listen to organizations such as The U.S. Institute of Peace.
''Understanding of and engagement with Muslim communities around the world is critical to our national interest," writes the Institute President Richard H. Solomon.
Changing Face of Middle East
About 60 percent of the region's population is under 30. Middle Eastern youth like their counterparts in the U.S, Canada and elsewhere in the West have aspirations that need to be fulfilled. The regimes in the region have no ability and most resist changes that would eventually drive them out of their palaces.
Most of the time youth demands in the region have been dismissed by the regimes as being for Islamic fundamentalism. But plainly these are homegrown protests that have often made the West uneasy as they have shaken up old alliances.
Failure in recognizing the demographic shift and resisting change cost the Republicans the White House in these elections. Obama should not make a similar mistake and should recognize the changing face of the Muslim World. Obama now has his second chance, many in the Muslim World are hoping for the same.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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