Epiphanyblog

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87% of audience votes “no” for McCain

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In an article written for the Washington Post’s PostGlobal section, Mona Eltaway writes that when the Doha Debates audience was asked who they preferred for the U.S. Presidency, “The result was a resounding ‘no’ for Sen. John McCain.”

According to Ms. Eltaway’s article, 87 percent of the audience voted against the motion “This House believes the Middle East would be better off with John McCain in the White House.”

The verdict came during the latest episode of “The Doha Debates”- a monthly forum on Arab and Muslim issues aired on BBC World to a potential audience of nearly 300 million viewers across 200 countries.

With the economy taking deeper nosedives, it has seemed as if Obama and McCain were – in successive debates – doing their best to ignore the rest of the world and fixate on domestic issues. While that might be understandable for worried Americans and the rest of us who live here, other parts of the world are eager to know how the next occupant of the White House will affect their lives too.

And affect he will, especially the Middle East where the Bush administration has pursued one disastrous policy after the other and where there is palpable dread that the U.S. would want to pursue yet another one by attacking Iran.

It wasn’t an evening of knee-jerk anti-Americanism. Rather it was a chance for people from the region to express what worries them the most about the U.S. When they got the cue for questions, it was as if the Middle East had stretched far beyond the peaceful Doha night to include trouble spots that are rarely on the mind of the U.S. voter come election time.

Asked to identify just their country of origin, we heard from men and women from Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Somalia, Qatar, Sudan, Yemen and the U.S.

Obama is going to have a lot to do to repair the image of the U.S. abroad, especially in the Middle East. To many citizens of the Middle East, the Bush policies towards the Middle East have been…well, let’s just say that they don’t rank above zero on a scale of one to ten. Obama is going to need one hellava Secretary of State and State Department. World class people, to say the least.

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Written by Valerie Curl

November 6, 2008 at 4:13 PM

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