A digital newspaper that is connected to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terrorist organization's Yemeni wing, recently published an article detailing the U.S. presidential election. Its conclusions, though sometimes jarring, were rather mild and accurate.
The article's author, Adil al-Ahmad, presents "an almost-objective look at the race for the White House," says SITE in its precis to the piece, which begins by noting the "intellectual and factional battles" shaping the U.S. election.
Part of the analysis involves a rudimentary explanation for outsiders:
[This] presidential election for 2016 [is] the 58th election for the presidency of the United States, and in which its winner will be the 45th president of the United States, and it is supposed to be held on the 8th of November 2016.
The voters determine the electoral total for the president and vice president from 2017 to 2021. The primary elections will run from February to June 2016, where a representative for each party of the U.S. presidency will be elected in the final elections.
Then the article digs in, offering a summary of the main contestants and presenting the likelihood of a showdown between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump in November. "It seems that [Ted] Cruz will not finish the presidential race like [Bernie] Sanders, while it is expected that Trump and Clinton will finish the final elections," the report says. There's no mention of a potential clash at the Republican convention in July.
It incorrectly states that President Obama has "endorsed" Clinton, though it's likely that the president is leaning toward his former secretary of state. It also describes Sanders as a "social democrat," a term WorldViews agrees is a more accurate descriptor of the senator's politics than his own characterization — a "democratic socialist."
Gazing at the Republican field, al-Qaeda's scribe spends most of his time — not unlike the American media — on Trump, the GOP front-runner.
Trump "became famous for his anti-Muslim attitude, which threatens to increase the feelings of the Muslims against the United States once he takes over the governance," the article reports, and it goes on to detail Trump's embrace of torture and other heavy-handed tactics, such as targeting the relatives of militants.
It then offers this prediction of what a Clinton presidency and a Trump one would look like, respectively:
As for the victory of Hilary Clinton, it will be an extension of the policy of Obama and the Democrats in the region, while the victory of Trump will be a drastic change in American policy towards Muslims, since the hostility that Trump bears and the Islamophobia from which he suffers will have a huge impact in the conflict in the Middle East region and the Muslim countries in general. While the allies of America in the region tend to be apprehensive, some other observers see that Trump is the clearest in expressing the American opinion about Islam, but he lacks political experience. Others chose the way of caution and policy to hide the real face of being anti-Islamic, for the sake of interfering effectively in the issues of the Middle East and securing the interests of the United States and Israel in the region.
The analysis that Trump "is the clearest in expressing" populist, xenophobic, anti-Muslim attitudes in the United States is interesting. Many commentators have observed how Trump's anti-Muslim demagoguery plays into the hands of extremists, who themselves insist that the West is an enemy of Islam.
The article also notes the murmurings of support for Trump from unlikely corners outside the United States, including Russia. It pointed to how Trump appeared to welcome Russia's military intervention in Syria and championed secular autocrats such as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"It seems that the coming period will be decisive about the future of America and its Arab allies in the region," the article concludes — a reading that is difficult to deny.
It ends on a triumphal note. The Obama administration "is leaving amidst an increase in the power of al-Qaeda, where he was unable to fulfill his promises to eliminate it or close the Guantanamo detainment facilities, or secure the interests of America after the fall of the Arab regimes in the countries of the Arab Spring."
The intractable conflicts of the Middle East, the report says, have become "centers of military and political exhaustion for the White House."