Obama Issues Memoir Entitled "A Promised Land"
2020-11-19 - 2:14 am
Bahrain Mirror: Former US president Barack Obama discussed in his memoir issued on (November 17) the US policy during which was known as the "Arab Spring" in 2011. Obama acknowledged the "contradiction" as he sought to balance "competing interests", and presented a bleak portrait of how much of the Middle East's leadership, as he revealed how he still agonizes on where he applied pressure during the Arab Spring.
In his book "A Promised Land", Obama reflected on the criticism that he was hypocritical for coaxing Egypt's Hosni Mubarak to step down in the face of 2011 protests while treading lightly as Bahrain, a major base for US forces, suppressed demonstrations.
"I had no elegant way to explain the apparent inconsistency, other than to acknowledge that the world was messy; that in the conduct of foreign policy, I had to constantly balance competing interests," he wrote.
He described being cautioned not to pressure Bahrain by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, whom Obama described as "perhaps the savviest leader in the Gulf."
After meeting Mubarak in 2009 in Cairo, Obama wrote that he was "left with an impression that would become all too familiar in my dealings with aging autocrats: Shut away in palaces, their every interaction mediated by the hard-faced, obsequious functionaries that surrounded them, they were unable to distinguish between their personal interests and those of their nations."
On the same trip, Obama was left with a grim impression of Saudi Arabia and its strict gender separation and religious codes, and said the palace tried to gift him lavish jewelry.
Obama wrote that he was "struck by how oppressive and sad such a segregated place felt, as if I'd suddenly entered a world where all the colors had been muted."
Obama said he was aware of the risks when he publicly pushed Mubarak to cede power but believed that if he were a young Egyptian, "I'd probably be out there" in the demonstrations.
Obama had a notoriously rocky relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, especially over the US-brokered nuclear deal with Iran.
It is noteworthy mentioning that "A Promised Land" book covers incidents until 2011. The 768-page book will be issued in 25 languages, including German and Arabic. It will also be available as an audio book read by former President Obama. No date has been set for the second and final volumes. The book will be published in Arabic, in paper and digital forms, in the Arab world by Hachette Antoine in Beirut.
Obama-era Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also published her memoir "Hard Choices" and spoke in details about Bahrain events.