- Special Pages
By Isabel Ovalle
DOHA: Both the Democratic and the Republican Parties would support Qatar if it called for military action against Syria. This is one of the conclusions of the mock debate organised by The American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar and SNR Denton, a law firm based in the Middle East, that took place in the Four Seasons Hotel Doha yesterday.
With the title The US Elections: What Do They Mean to the Middle East? A Democratic and Republican Debate, Michael McNamara and Frederick D McClure, from SNR Denton, spoke for the Democratic and Republican Party, respectively.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Thani was the moderator, introducing relevant topics to the Middle East, such as the situation in Iran and Syria.
On Syria, the Sheikh asked under what circumstances they would consider taking action in this conflict. While the Democratic McNamara opted for dialogue, being thoughtful and working with America’s allies until the Syrian regime goes into bankruptcy, the opposite party recommended using force. Nevertheless, both the left and right had no doubts about military intervention if Qatar was to call for it, “always with the support of the allies in the region”.
About Iran’s nuclear race, Democratic McNamara stated that “Iran is no friend of the US, a nuclear Iran is dangerous to all of us, and Iran nuclear weapons will not happen in Obama’s administration”, an objective Democrats hope to reach with ongoing sanctions.
On the other hand, the Republican contender, McClure, insisted on maintaining sanctions but he disagreed with President Obama’s decision to take the military option off the table.
Sheikh Abdullah asked the representatives what they would do if Israel attack Iran.
In this case, both parties would take side with their “friend and ally”, taking action decisively, after consultation with their allies in the region.
The Democratic party defended a green energy policy from clear sources and Republicans opted for “dramatically” increasing the domestic energy production, with fewer imports. Sheikh Abdullah also put forward other topics like the US foreign policy in the Middle East, an issue that “is always addressed in the second term”.
About this issue, McNamara insisted on working with allies and “not dictate terms of democracy, because US imposed democracy always fails” and he said “no to cowboy diplomacy”.
After hearing both parties, Sheikh Abdullah jokingly stated that “if I was an American I would vote for the Republican candidate”.
Both participants agreed that the elections will result in a divided government in Congress and Senate, with only one incognita left to be resolved, if the White House would be for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama.