Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Common Hopes And Common Dreams

And non-believers, too.

From Obama Addresses Muslim World On Arab Television by Adam Hutton:

President Obama reached out to the Muslim world Monday in an exclusive interview on Arab television network Al Arabiya.

"In all my travels throughout the Muslim world, what I've come to understand is that regardless of your faith – and America is a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers – regardless of your faith, people all have certain common hopes and common dreams," Obama said in the wide ranging interview, a transcript of which can be found below.

The freshly-minted president spoke about the prospects for peace in the Middle East, the nuclear threat posed by Iran and the stake that America has in the overall well-being of the Arab world. Mr. Obama praised the people of Iran, but chided their government for stirring up trouble in the region.

"Iran has acted in ways that's not conducive to peace and prosperity in the region: their threats against Israel; their pursuit of a nuclear weapon which could potentially set off an arms race in the region that would make everybody less safe; their support of terrorist organizations in the past – none of these things have been helpful," Obama said.
The transcript of President Obama's interview with Al Arabiya News Channel by Hisham Melhem is here.

George W. Bush seemed to want to pick a fight with anyone he disagreed with, while Obama seems to want to talk and listen with those he disagrees with. Which is the more rational approach? Which is the more moral approach? Which is the more Christian approach?

From Obama’s message is crystal clear by Ramzy Baroud:
When former US President George W. Bush departed on his final trip home, that very moment represented the end of a long and unbearable nightmare, one that Bush epitomized until his last day in office. Americans may decry what we can finally dub the “Bush legacy,” for it not only brought economic ruin but also pushed the country into avoidable if not completely preventable wars, disgracing the collective history of a nation that for long imposed its sense of moral authority on the world.
Aside from Obama’s unparalleled clarity, thus far, on his utter and “unconditional” commitment to Israel, he, along with his officials, continue to borrow similar vague slogans that were used enthusiastically by the Bush administration: National security, national interests, spreading of American ideals, values, and all the rest.

Commenting on such sloganeering, Howard Zinn, one of America’s most celebrated historians, said: “We have to think about these words and phrases that are thrown at us without giving us a time to think. And we have to redefine such words as ‘national security.’ What is national security? Having military bases all over the world (or) having health care, having jobs?”

Americans will have four years to determine how Obama and his administration define these tired slogans, ones that also include democracy and “terrorism” (is the latter an exclusively Arab tendency, never an Israeli one, no matter how many the latter kill?)

Meanwhile, Palestinians in Gaza hardly have the leverage of time as tens of thousands remain homeless and destitute. They have little hope and expectations from Obama or even Mitchell, despite his “wealth of experience and credibility.”

“Obama won’t bring my husband back to life,” Leila Khalil, a Gazan woman whose husband was killed during Israel’s bloody offensive, told AFP. “He was martyred and left me with six children to feed on my own.”

Obama’s also made himself “clear” regarding the fate of Leila’s husband and thousands like him: “For years, Hamas has launched thousands of rockets at innocent Israeli citizens. No democracy can tolerate such danger to its people nor should the international community and neither should the Palestinian people themselves whose interests are only set back by acts of terror.”

Luckily, Leila no longer has a TV set to listen to Obama’s remarks. It was, along with her home, pulverized by Israeli missiles, courtesy of the United States. For Gazans, and most Palestinians, things cannot be any clearer.

1 comments - Post a comment :

solvency ii said...

I love how he is making a quick move to bridge relations in the middle east.

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