An Apathetic Iraq: The US Election

heads up: this is a pretty old post, it may be outdated.

Says Alia Nasayif Jasim of the secular Iraqi National Accord bloc: "As Iraqis, from what we've seen of the bitterness in the American relationship with the Middle East, we don't think it matters who holds the presidency."

Moqtada al-Sadr, who demands an immediate end to the "American occupation," expressed more apathy than a particular preference for Clinton or Obama — both of whom have called for a timetable for exiting the country. "Before each election campaign, we hear a lot of promises and slogans, but the reality after the election is something else," says Sadrist Member of Parliament Fawze Akram, who said he doubted any candidate would actually follow through on a speedy troop withdrawal.

Tahsin al-Shiekhly, spokesman for the Baghdad Security Plan, which oversees police and military checkpoints in the capital, said … "The U.S. has a commitment to the people of Iraq. They liberated them and they have come to rebuild the country. Whoever the next President is — even Hillary Clinton — I don't think they will withdraw troops from Iraq," he said. But so long as that concern is met, Sheikhly said he would choose Obama. "I support Barack Obama because I think he is reliable. He is trying to fix the base of American society and trying to cleanse American foreign policy." A Baghdad View of the US Election - TIME

What an overbearing sense of … apathy. It seems that Iraqis have accepted the fact that the US troops are necessary to prevent total chaos – they also don't see a way for the US to withdraw, it's just not in anyone's interests right now.

The fact Iraqis seem to think that it doesn't really matter who wins the next election is probably a sad, realistic truth. Us Americans all seem to think that who controls the presidency next will have a huge impact. – Indeed it will, but not on troop levels in Iraq. It probably won't really effect the short-term in Iraq at all.

What the Iraqis do fail to realize is that the next president of the US will have a drastic effect on the long-term US policy towards Iraq. In my opinion, they better hope it's a democrat and not a neo-con that gets the oval office next.