"The Muslims of America need to get organized and make sure they get out to vote for Democrats for both the House and the Senate. Every Muslim in the Middle East who has a relative in the U.S. should get the message across to their relatives."
Skip Conover, host on Muslim-American Bridges TV, Arab News, October 19
As the November 7 midterm elections approach, Iranian and Arab officials and journalists are hoping the Democrats will win control of the House and Senate.
It should be noted that before the 2004 elections, they also overwhelmingly predicted and rooted for a Democratic victory:
"I would like to appeal to you, Muslim citizens and voters of America cast your vote against Bush in the name of Islam," a former prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, said.
"We advise the American people do not vote for Bush and his ilk," Ayatollah Javadi-Amoli of Iran said.
"Arab-Americans should rethink their alliance with Bush," an Arab-Israeli member of the Knesset, Azmi Bishara, said.
"The most important thing in the coming elections is if Kerry wins and neoconservatives leave," the Lebanese minister of information, Michael Samaha, said.
"Bush, Allah willing, will go to hell in this coming November," the editor of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Gil, Nagi Al-Shihabi, said.
Fast-forward two years, to the current election cycle. Similar calls are being heard, and some articles have even suggested that President Bush may "wag the dog" with an attack on Iran to help the Republicans.
"The Republican Party is in so much trouble it may risk a major confrontation in the Middle East before half-term congressional elections in November. Republicans are far behind in the polls," an editorial in the October 1925 Egyptian state-run English-language weekly Al-Ahram said.
"If the Democratic Party seizes Congress or the Senate. This might even open the door for impeachment," the columnist Sandy Shanks wrote on Al-Jazeera's Web site on October 22. He asked rhetorically, "How badly does Bush want to win next month?"
"Will Bush attack Iran by air and sea before next month's elections to prove to his domestic audience that his party is best at preserving and protecting our way of life, thereby ensuring' a Republican victory in Congress?" Mr. Shanks added.
The August 30 edition of the London-based Arabic-language daily Asharq Al-Awsat featured "The U.S. Republican Party and Defeat," an article by an Al-Arabiya TV host and columnist, Hussein Shobokshi. "The Republican Party is beginning to see the danger signs and recognize that the current administration will cause it to lose and suffer a defeat in the next elections," he wrote.
On Sunday, a group of Arab diplomats that included the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki of Iran met in Damascus. Among the topics of discussion was the American elections. Mr. Mottaki called Mr. Bush a "loser" and said that after next week's elections, the president will be politically paralyzed and unable to initiate any political moves.
As he discussed the upcoming elections before a crowd chanting "death to America, death to Israel," Hojatoleslam Ahmad Khatami, who led last week's Friday prayers in Tehran, said: "The savage and devilish acts and performances of Bush, as a Republican, have placed his party in a very critical condition."
An editorial in the October 27 Saudi English-language daily Arab News said, "As the hours tick by to the November 7 midterm election, the Bush administration is wiggling frantically on the butcher's hook." The editorial criticized American actions in Iraq and Mr. Bush for "trying to bolster electoral support for his Republican Party at the ballot box." It added, "Bush went gunning for the Iraqi bad guys who had fooled his pa. He did so in the name of his vengeful war on international terror. He was eagerly supported by an angry America."
The Kuwaiti daily Al-Seyassah's October 29 "Digest of Public Opinion" discussed the midterm elections, saying that if "extremists such as Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and the Republicans at large rule longer, America will likely be transformed into a dictatorship and as such we expect that the situation currently existing in Guantanamo is likely to face the Americans themselves. Consequently, most political observers are currently expecting the Republicans to incur an overwhelming defeat during the upcoming congressional elections."
One must ask why so many press outlets and Arab and Iranian leaders that are known to be vehemently anti-American are openly supporting one political party over the other.
Mr. Stalinsky is the executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute.