Unlike in the past U.S. election, where President Barack Obama promised his nation change, the international community may be increasingly doubting that perceptual change on the foreign affairs front will come from any party.
But while many Arab Americans and Middle Eastern onlookers support the Obama administration, members of the main armed Syrian opposition are cheering the other team.
Members of the FSA say they are expecting support from Romney but are not counting on “failed American promises,” such as previous U.S. inaction.
Yasir al-Ahmed, a spokesman for the FSA in Aleppo, expressed his disappointment in the approach the U.S. government took since the Syrian revolution started 20 months ago. He said Obama has not shown much action past his words. “We are learning towards Romney as he clearly stated to provide us with armors. Where on the other hand, we did not receive any support from Obama.”
Ahmed said he considers America to be “the strongest country in the world” and is capable of “removing and solving any worldwide issues,” however, it decided to take a freeze stand in the Syrian conflict.
“The FSA no longer aligns its goals and anticipations with the American government or any country, as they decided to sit put and watch the overflowing bloodbath, when they could’ve contributed to put an end to this massacre,” Ahmed added.
Throughout their campaigns, both Romney and Obama made clear stands regarding the aid each administration will provide to the FSA. The Obama administration publicly argued against arming the opposition whereas Romney stated clearly “the United States should work with partners to organize and arm Syrian opposition groups” to make the process more aggressive.
Opposition group contradict FSA
But a Syrian activist group has voiced support for neither candidate. A member of the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) told Al Arabiya English the group is not expecting any transformation in the way the U.S. government will handle the Syrian conflict.
Members of the LCC, which organizes protests and reports on the crisis which has left at least 36,000 dead since March 2011, say the U.S. presidential candidates are playing the Syria card; voicing supposed solutions to the crisis, but to no real result.
“It does not matter if Romney wins, or if Obama stays,” spokesman for the LCC group Omar Idilbi said, speaking from Germany. But Idilbi offered a new take on future American action on Syria.
“We are confident that the policy of ‘no action’ will change after the elections and we hope that the change will be towards serious and active engagement by the U.S. administration in providing the needed support,” added Idilbi.
“Regardless of the election’s outcome, we believe America has a set an agenda on Syria, that will take effect following the elections,” said Kareem Lailah, an activist at the LCC. Lailah said although Romney stated his support to arm the opposition, however, many activists believe this is a case of “propaganda talk” that could possibly win the Republican party more votes.
Lailah said she doesn’t believe the FSA is dependent on the American government for armored support. “The U.S. government won’t help in taking down the Syrian regime, as we have witnessed fighters on the frontier have already struck down many jets and are capable to fight alone.”