In a survey carried out by GlobeScan/PIPA between July 3 and September 3, most Pakistanis favor Mitt Romney over Barack Obama. The survey was conducted before the three TV debates between the candidates.
There was euphoria for Barack Obama in Pakistan. He was considered a son of Africans and had achieved Rock Star status like Mohammad Ali and Malik Shabaz (Malcom X). People really thought that he would bring about and change the world.
Most Pakistanis think that Republicans favor Pakistan while Democrats do not. Only 9 drones flew over Pakistan during the Bush Administration while Obama has flown several hundred. 7000 soldiers of the Pakistani Army have been killed in GWOT. Pakistanis are furious over the loss of innocent lives and Pakistanis have faced the blow-back with the loss of 40,000 lives. For ingrate Obama not to mention or appreciate that is reprehensible.
There is ample evidence to support the thesis that the hawkish elements of the Republican party are more close to the US military which has close ties to Pakistan. Hence the popular notion in Pakistan that Republicans favor Pakistan. Also many analysts think that a new administration may take a year or so to reevaluate their policies and figure things out–giving Pakistan a chance to influence the new administration. In any case, the withdrawal of the forces next year will create new dynamics which will create new realities.
NATO has been using Pakistan roads, and have destroyed them. The US has not rebuilt the infrastructure destroyed during the war in Afghanistan.
Additionally the vitriol from the Administration and announcements about the UNSC in Delhi and other other matters have vitiated the atmosphere, where as dislike for US policies has obviously been converted into dislike for Barack Obama personally. The Obama Adminsitration thought that it was putting pressure on Pakistan–it created long lasting dislike. Obama has hurt US policy for the long term. He has lost the “hearts and minds” of Pakistanis, and this is not good for Pakistan and not good for America.
The debates would have tilted the vote in Romney’s favor. It is obvious that the Pakistanis don’t vote for US presidential candidate, but the poll does show how much credibility Obama has lost since he got elected. There was a lot of hope that Obama would bring about real change. All that has changed to disappointment and US policy will be harder to manage in that part of the world.
According to the BBC People around the world overwhelmingly favor US President Barack Obama over his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Per the poll an average of 50 percent favored Obama, against nine percent for Romney, with Pakistan the only one of the 21 countries questioned indicating they would prefer to see Romney win the election in November.
The WP explains this as “Only 11 percent of Pakistanis said they wanted to see Obama reelected — by far his lowest score out of the countries surveyed — while 15 percent supported Romney, which is roughly consistent with his numbers in other countries”….”An earlier Pew poll found only 7 percent confidence for Obama in Pakistan, with 60 percent expressing no confidence. The U.S. drone program in Pakistan’s border region is a source of particular popular animus..”
The French people gave the strongest support to Obama, with a 72-percent approval rating, according to the BBC survey of 21,797 people.
The WP says “Eastern Europe has long seen Republicans as more sympathetic to their struggles with Russia, and former Polish president Lech Walesa endorsed Romney over the summer.”
Many in the Middle East think that Barack Obama failed to deliver on promises of a new American approach in the Middle East. Folks thought that he would pick up the pieces from the Oslo/Taba Accord agreed upon by the Israelis and the Palestinians. The Noebl Peace committe gave him a peace prize, even though he had done nothing. Obama failed to deliver any peace talks. However Arabs still prefer Obama to the presidential rival Mitt Romney, who they see as too close to Israel and too keen to project US military might.
In the last elections, most Indians and Indian-Americans wanted to Bush to win. The election of Obama came as a big surprise to most Indians who did not like it. THe WP says “Since 2008, when the poll was also conducted, Pro-Obama sentiment has most significantly dropped in China, Mexico and Kenya; it rose by the widest margins in India and Panama.”
In the third and final debate between US President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, India wasn’t mentioned at all, not even once, in the 90-minute debate.
Pakistan was mentioned 25 times and Iran was mentioned 47 times. Here is the count:
Iran: 47 times; Israel: 34 times; China: 32 times; Syria: 28 times; Pakistan: 25 times; Afghanistan: 21 times;
For US policy makers, India did not exist on the world map. Many analysts wondered why Bharat was left out and not discussed or mentioned?
Sadanand Dhume, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (a Conservative Neocon think tank) “India is much less central to US foreign policy than many pundits in New Delhi would like to believe.”
“India is a large and inward-looking country and in many ways it sees itself as the centre of Asia whereas in reality as this debate shows it is not quite the case,” Dhume, a contributing writer to The Wall Street Journal.
Nuanced but discernible: Romney Slightly more supportive of Pakistan during debate and during the campaign.
There was no vitriol against Pakistan, but Obama was more negative–especially when he justified the raid on Abbotabad. There didn’t seem to be much of a policy difference among the candidates on Pakistan. The foreign policy differences between the two candidates were slight. There were distinct nuances, but neither supported continuation of war, or the announcement of new wars. Both candidates are supportive of continued engagement and continuation of aid to Pakistan.
“But it’s important for us to recognise that we can’t just walk away from Pakistan. But we do need to make sure that as we send support for them, that this is tied to them making progress on – on matters that would lead them to becoming a civil society,” Romney said.
Romney voiced his support for the President’s ongoing policy of using unmanned weapons to attack terrorist targets, saying the U.S. should be ready by “any and all means necessary to take out people who pose a threat to us and our friends around the world.”
Romney on drones: “I believe we should use any and all means necessary to take out people who pose a threat to us and our friends around the world. And it’s widely reported that drones are being used in strikes, and I support that and entirely, and feel the president was right over the usage of that technology, and believe that we should continue to use it, to continue to go after the people that represent a threat to this nation and to our friends. But let me also note that as I said earlier, we’re going to have to do more than just going after leaders and – and killing bad guys, important as that is.”
Both are concerned about Pakistan’s Nuclear program. Even though Governor Romney has supported the drone strikes, he has generally been more supportive of Pakistan during the debate and during the campaign. Romney had declared that America should have sought permission from Pakistan before making the Osama raid. Obama displayed his general distrust for Pakistan during the debate when he said that if we had sought permission from Pakistan, Osama Bin Laden would have escaped. For the record, both candidates have supported withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014 with some nuanced differences. Romney said that the withdrawal would depend on conditions on the ground (which Obama will also do–but Obama’s withdrawal date is confirmed as per VP Biden).
Obama was not very positive about Pakistan “if we had asked Pakistan permission, we would not have gotten him (bin Laden). And it was worth moving heaven and earth to get him.”
When asked if the US should “divorce” Pakistan, Romney gave a strong No to the question.
“No, it’s not time to divorce a nation on Earth that has 100 nuclear weapons and is on the way to double that at some point, a nation that has serious threats from terrorist groups within its nation,” Romney.
“But we do need to make sure that, as we send support for them, that this is tied to them making progress on matters that would lead them to becoming a civil society.”
Obama on the other hand was all over the map and didn’t quiet answer the question, though he did want to stay engaged with Pakistan.
Both the candidates are supportive of the Drone strikes, but Romney may revert to the Bush position if faced with defiance from Islamabad (which has been lacking during the PPP government)–as may Obama. The Republican contender Mitt Romney said that he would continue to engage with Pakistan and would not abandon it because it was a Nuclear power. “So we’re going to have to remain helpful in encouraging Pakistan to move towards a more stable government and rebuild a relationship with us. And that means that our aid that we provide to Pakistan is going to have to be conditioned upon certain benchmarks being met.” He also said that “It is important for the US to recognise that it cannot just walk away from Pakistan, Romney”.
The 65-year-old Romney responding to a question about the US withdrawal said that Pakistan “is important to the region, to the world and to us” because it had 100 nuclear warheads and was rushing to build a lot more. “They’ll have more than Great Britain sometime in the relatively near future,” Romney said. “They also have the Haqqani network and Taliban existent within their country. And so a Pakistan that falls apart, becomes a failed state would be of extraordinary danger to Afghanistan and us,” he added. Romney argued that despite a strained relationship with Pakistan, the United States cannot afford to “divorce” Pakistan, which is a nation of over 100 nuclear weapons. “No, it’s not time to divorce a nation on earth that has a hundred nuclear weapons and is on the way to double that at some point, a nation that has serious threats from terrorist groups within its nation, the Taliban, Haqqani network. It’s a nation that’s not like others and that does not have a civilian leadership that is calling the shots there,” he said.
Romney supported Pakistan by saying “And so we’re going to have to remain helpful in encouraging Pakistan to move towards a more stable government and rebuild the relationship with us. And that means that our aid that we provide to Pakistan is going to have to be conditioned upon certain benchmarks being met.”
Romney supported Obama by saying. “I don’t blame the administration for the fact that the relationship with Pakistan is strained. We had to go into Pakistan; we had to go in there to get Osama bin Laden. That was the right thing to do,” said the Republican presidential candidate during Af-Pak section of the debate.
Roney said “This is an important part of the world for us. Pakistan is technically an ally, and they’re not acting very much like an ally right now. But we have some work to do. And I – I don’t blame the administration for the fact that the relationship with Pakistan is strained. We had to go into Pakistan. We had to go in there to get Osama bin Laden. That was the right thing to do. And that upset them, but obviously there was a great deal of anger even before that. But we’re going to have to work with the people in Pakistan to try and help them move to a more responsible course than the one that they’re on. And it’s important for them. It’s important for the nuclear weapons. It’s important for the success of Afghanistan.”
Discussing Pakistan, Romney said, “It’s a nation that’s not like others and that does not have a civilian leadership that is calling the shots there.
“You’ve got the ISI, their intelligence organisation is probably the most powerful of the three branches there. Then you have the military and then you have the civilian government. This is a nation which if it falls apart — if it becomes a failed state, there are nuclear weapons there and you’ve got — you’ve got terrorists there who could grab their — their hands onto those nuclear weapons”
President Obama is the only US president, or possibly the only American politician that has held office that correctly pronounces the name of the country.