The President Is In Town: Rating Obama's Two Terms As President
29 April 2016
By Tariq A. Al-Maeena
The President of the United States of America Barack Hussein Obama is in Saudi
Arabia for the next couple of days. This past week I thought it would be
fitting if some of my readers shared with us thoughts on Mr. Obama. The
question I put to them was how they would rate Obama's two terms as President.
The response from Saudis and expatriates as expected was diverse.
Sikander, a retired businessman currently residing in Cairo, said: ''I think
his two terms at the best were tame, bordering on failure and he was not very
effective. Most of what he promised during his campaign remained
Hussein, a Saudi oil industry executive and a consultant on solar energy,
feels differently. He says: ''I believe, Obama served the USA to the best
level he could. He worked hard to serve the American people, the taxpayers;
the reason he was hated by the Zionist Jews. The Iranian deal is an example.
Obama avoided wars that are against the interests of the people of America. I
do respect the man. His failures on some domestic issues indicate clearly that
America is hijacked.''
Khaled, a Saudi who runs a business in aviation support out of Riyadh, added:
''In the early beginning of Obama's first term I had a strong belief that he
was elected to be a reset button for American diplomacy in the eyes of other
countries due to the big damage caused by idiot Bush. So they bring a black
president with so-called Islamic roots to show how democracy in the US is very
effective and transparent not having any discrimination against religion or
I tried to explain to my friends that American foreign policy is not a one-man
show like in Arab countries but could not convince them. Now after almost
eight years gone, it proves that I was right. Obama, in my opinion, only won
one achievement when he was forced to resume normal relations with Cuba, but
his so-called policy and administration failed in making peace in the Middle
East, (damaged Iraq and Syria royally), accepted the nuclear program of Iran,
and did not close Guantanamo.
Literally, his own
country's health program is the worst among leading countries, and Israel is
still playing around creating more terrorism and hate against his country,
leaving the field for other players like Russia and so many other things. For
all the above, I strongly believe the US is declining toward the worst if
there is no seriousness in considering their critical position especially if
another leader is elected like Trump.''
Tracy, a long-term Kingdom resident who hails from the UK and who runs a
popular blog site (expatsinSaudiArabia), said: ''I feel Obama has been an
excellent president for all Americans; he was expected to improve just the
rights of African-Americans, but he proved to be a man of all the people. The
fact that he passed health reform that five presidents before him failed to
achieve means 32 million previously uninsured Americans now have health care.
I think this will be his main success. He's achieved so much in his time in
office against all the racism aimed at him and his family who have handled it
all with dignity.''
Ali, who manages a human rights organization, brusquely put it: ''He put Arabs
in charge of their wars instead of having Americans die for absolute dictators
and lethal ideology that threatens all democratic societies.''
Ben, a Saudi pilot, said: ''The first ever minority colored
president has discolored America's face with his blurred vision! The
disappointment with his mismanagement is universal; a man willing very much to
talk without the walk, unwilling more than hesitant to contest foe or endure
any hardship not even to hold up to friends and allies, not because of any
disability but to live up to his mirage-like fantasy in hoping to reserve a
place among the historic US leaders. The Syrian catastrophe will mirror his
Dania, a Saudi female managing a charitable organization, said of Obama's
Presidency: ''Amazing! No wars! America was peaceful again. I was comfortable
visiting America again after a decade.''
Ehsan, a Pakistani who has made it his lifelong ambition to repatriate
stranded Pakistanis from Bangladesh, felt that Obama scored well in:
''Withdrawing from Afghanistan, visiting Cuba and softening his attitude
toward Muslims when he visited mosques and stood up against Trump.'' On the
minus side, Ehsan adds: ''He failed in major reforms in the US including
medical. He has gone too far in making a deal with Iran without realizing
Iran's role in the Middle East; arming India to confront Pakistan (with the
dream of confronting China); failing to play any role in solving the issues of
Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Kashmir, the Burmese Muslims, etc. Here, also the OIC
has failed. Even today, the main aim of the US is to protect Israel and
whatever it does. There is no reaction to Israel's building of illegal
settlements on Palestinian lands.''
Lamia, a Saudi female in Jeddah who said she never really understood politics,
had this to say: ''I feel I am not qualified enough to give thoughts and
opinions about it. Yet, as a humble private person, I felt comfortable with
President Obama during his two terms, compared to the previous president Mr.
Jose, a senior Indian journalist currently operating out of Delhi remarks:
''Undoubtedly, it was a successful presidency. He took over the reins when the
world economy was shattering in 2008. He reached out to the Middle East and
pulled out the forces from there as promised. He admitted that Libya was a
failure. He destabilized Al-Qaeda and killed Bin Laden. Another success at the
fag end of his rule is reestablishing ties with Cuba after 54 years of
hostility. This Nobel laureate would have contested another term if the US
statutes had provision for the same. The first African-American and a man with
a Muslim background to be elected to the post considered to be one of the
world's most powerful. He is also the commander-in-chief of the most powerful
And finally from Hana living with her husband in Jeddah: ''I think Obama has
done a good job. The USA did not start any unnecessary wars and has pulled
back from Iraq and Afghanistan. He has also done his best to maintain good
relationships with Saudi Arabia. As Vladimir Putin said: 'Obama has worked
very hard and has been a very decent and honest man.'''
— The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him
on Twitter @talmaeena