Jan. 20, 2017. This is the date when the second presidential term of United States President Barack Obama, that he won recently, will come to an end. For sure, there are many issues that must be brought up again to the negotiating table for mediation. There are many challenges which can only be described as ‘pending’ and which require urgent solutions and remedies.
For the Middle East region, the focus will be on the Israel- Palestinians peace process and the nuclear enrichment program of Iran, both issues that are now in a critical phase, thanks to the escalated tensions among Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. One can clearly expect failures and mistrust to reign at the negotiating table, given a clear unwillingness to resolve the intricate issues. The Middle East region has been on a boil for decades now, and it is also a fact that it is an active market for weapons with many wars and conflicts marring it. With a new Sykes-Picot II pact or a new Arab World order, there is a new polarity. It is leading to a shift in global power balance. The new emerging super powers are combating terrorism by actually re-channeling it with the help of new religious leaders or presidents who are double faced.
These super powers are removing the old dictators through a new toy that they have found, the social media, and are ushering in Arab Springs. They are now trying to instigate such uprisings in the Gulf region also. The international financial meltdown should not prevent any real peace efforts and global security measures.
With the wise and well-meaning decision makers making little headway and the genuine peace seekers in Israel and among the Palestinians reaching nowhere, we expect more wars and conflicts and loss of more innocent lives and destruction of more homes, a scenario that both sides need to flag. They must, through their efforts, put a ‘Stop’ sign on this road that takes us hurtling downhill. Moreover, over the next four years of President Obama’s administration, we do expect more from his new team.
If things do not move forward towards a solution, and we remain condemned to see and hear a lot more of the same, then there is a danger that by the time President Obama bows out of office in 2017, we will be completing the seventh decade of one of the longest and most complicated disputes of the 21st century. Alas, it looks as if it is going to go on for quite some time to come.
This article was published on the Kuwait Times on Nov. 16, 2012.