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Obama Gives First Interview To Arab TV

From Dubai’s Al Arabiya:

Obama tells Al Arabiya peace talks should resume

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

DUBAI (AlArabiya.net) — In his first interview since taking office, President Barack Obama told Arab satellite station Al Arabiya that Americans are not the enemy of the Muslim world and said Israel and the Palestinians should resume peace negotiations.

“My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy,” Obama told Al Arabiya’s Hisham Melhem in an interview broadcast Tuesday morning.

During the presidential election campaign last year, Obama vowed to improve U.S. ties with the Muslim world and after he won promised to give a speech in a Muslim capital in his first 100 days in office. The President repeated this pledge in the interview but did not give a time or specify the venue.

Obama pointed out that he had lived in the world’s largest Muslim nation, Indonesia for several years while growing up, and said his travels through Muslim countries had convinced him that regardless of faith, people had certain common hopes and dreams.

In the interview, Obama called for resumed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and said his administration wanted to begin by listening and talking to all parties involved in the conflict without prejudging their concerns.

He also praised Saudi King Abdulla for putting forward an Arab peace plan and said his administration would adopt a more extensive and regional approach in its relationship with the Muslim world.

“[W]e are ready to initiated a new partnership based on mutual respect and mutual interest,” said Obama, noting that only then can progress be achieved.

Obama, who took office a week ago, said he had already begun to fulfill the promises he made during his campaign by naming former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell as his Middle East peace envoy and sending him to the region within days of becoming president. Mitchell arrived in the region Monday evening on the start of a nine day tour.

Although Obama expressed support for a contiguous Palestinian state, he hedged on specifying when or with what borders.

“I think it is possible for us to see a Palestinian state – I’m not going to put a time frame on it – that is contiguous,” the president told Al Arabiya.

Obama reiterated America’s support to Israel and the “paramount” importance of the Jewish state’s security, making no mention of the suffering of Palestinians, the Gaza war, or the continuing Israeli blockade of the beleaguered territory.

Prior to his Jan. 20 inauguration Obama had remained silent about his views on the 22-day Israeli offensive in Gaza that left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead.

He also reiterated his promise to withdraw troops from Iraq, close the infamous Guantanamo prison and respect the rule of law.

Breaking with his predecessor George W. Bush, who had a penchant for adopting terms like Islamofacism and crusade that heightened tensions with the Muslim world, Obama underscored the importance of language and repeated the importance of listening as a part of communication.

“[M]y job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world that the language we use has to be a language of respect,” he said.

“[T]he language we use matters,” he continued. “We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith’s name.”

Yet his continuing silence on the enormous amount of civilian casualties during the Israeli offensive and accusations by the U.N. and humanitarian organizations that Israel committed war crimes also spoke volumes to an audience that has waited for America to take a more balanced approach to the conflict.

Mr. Obama simply cannot wait to surrender and squander all that has been accomplished through the blood and treasure of our country.

The first words out of his mouth were critical of our past approach:

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think the most important thing is for the United States to get engaged right away. And George Mitchell is somebody of enormous stature. He is one of the few people who have international experience brokering peace deals.

And so what I told him is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating — in the past on some of these issues –and we don’t always know all the factors that are involved. So let’s listen.

You see, we have never been able to understand the complexities of the Arabs objections to the presence of Israel before. It was just too sophisticated for anyone without a background in community organizing.

If you are a glutton for punishment, you can see the rest of Al Arabyia’s historic interview here or read the full transcript here.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, January 27th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

29 Responses to “Obama Gives First Interview To Arab TV”

  1. Colonel1961 says:

    Appealing to his base?

  2. proreason says:

    Wouldn’t you just love to see the talking points that have already been prepared for when we get hit with the next Terrorist attack?

    Gee, I wonder if they will blame it on Bush?

    And what does the position paper look like that has already been prepared in response to a nuclear device going off in Israel?

    • JohnMG says:

      …..”Obama pointed out that he had lived in the world’s largest Muslim nation, Indonesia for several years while growing up, and said his travels through Muslim countries had convinced him that regardless of faith, people had certain common hopes and dreams……”

      What was he–maybe 6 years old when he lived there? And I’m sure he was so politically astute at such a tender age that he can claim so much worldly experience.

      And for him to say, “[M]y job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world that the language we use has to be a language of respect,” is absurd! I don’t give a flying fig about the well-being of the Muslim world if it means the total obliteration of my own way of life.

      The best thing that could happen to Obama would be for one of his muslim “friends” to kick his friggin’ teeth in during their first little tea party. Does anyone need any further proof of where his allegiances lie? I don’t!

    • proreason says:

      “What was he–maybe 6 years old ”

      John, the Moron thinks his experiences at 6 are like the childhood years of Jesus. What other modern figure can you think of who actually brings pre-school events into discussions of complex international relations?

      He truly is the most arrogant individual to walk the planet since the dictators of the 1930’s arose.

    • greasywrench says:

      Six years old? I thought he was going to put aside childish things. The B.O. sellout of the U.S. has offcially begun.

  3. heather08 says:

    Trying not to be a glutton, I skimmed the transcript. He says he wants to restore the good relationship we had with the Muslim world 20 or 30 years ago. Say what? Doesn’t he remember the Iranian protests of the Great Satan during the hostage crisis? Or the bombing of the Marine barracks in the early 80s? Yeah, they really loved us back then.

    • Odie44 says:

      Spot on Heather, I thought the exact thing when I heard the interview also.

      It just proves (for the 748th time) how inept and over his head Bambi is, not to mention devoid of 10th grade history.

    • proreason says:

      The Moron has frequently demonstrated that his knowledge of history is filtered through a Leninist lens.

      For him, Marxists and other megalomaniacs throughout history, the past is soft clay useful to impose their will on the serfs. For the Moron, of course, it is more about his innate stupidity than ideology. He simply regurgitates what his puppet-masters tell him, so I wouldn’t attribute any special vision to him.

      The Moron’s handlers, like all dictators and megalomaniacs, have their captive propagandists. Hitler had Goebels. Russia had (and still has) Pravda. We are more sophisticated now. We have the NY Times which prostitutes itself for its grade-school ideology rather than at the point of a gun.

  4. And so what I told him is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating — in the past on some of these issues –and we don’t always know all the factors that are involved. So let’s listen.

    That’s rich, considering that Obama cut off Pope Benedict when Benedict attempted to talk about issues of life. “We’ll have to agree to disagree,” is what Obama told him.

    So let’s listen to terrorists, but not to the Vatican. Especially when unfettered abortion rights are high on Obama’s agenda.

  5. Helena says:

    “…because all too often the United States starts by dictating…”

    Where does he get off saying this? How the hell would he even know this? He hasn’t sat in on high level discussion for the past 30 years. Or on any level discussions for that matter. His assumptions about US foreign policy are ALWAYS that we’re in the wrong.

    • jobeth says:

      I said that exact same thing to my husband!

      He was down in the hood with acorn when many of these talks took place, and doing weed before that…not to mention sitting on his white grandma’s knee during the rest!

      Somehow I don’t think the powers that were, raced down to the Chi town hood to fill him in on the talks!

    • TwilightZoned says:

      I find it ironic Mr. I Won is using exactly what he says our country is guilty of to push his agenda through.

  6. Mactastic says:

    How telling is it that his very first interview as POTUS is with an Arab station?

  7. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Oblabby and I are the same age. Yet, while he was listening to radical hate-mongers who wanted to destroy our system, I was humping bombs on F-4’s fighting the Cold War. While he was “organizing”, I was putting myself through college. to say his perspective and mine are different is to compare chalk to cheese. This utterly self-important popularity-whore is now the commander-in-chief of our military. I have a very hard time accepting someone as such when he spend all his life basically giving the finger to the very entity that “lives under the blanket of freedom” that I helped to provide for him. (with apologies to Col. Nathan Jessup)

    His whole concept is that we all sit down by the fire, smokum peace-pipe, sing “Kumbaya”, make s’mores and then everyone will be oh-so-happy. The radical muslims will SUDDENLY realize that, “hey, dude, they’re just like us and let’s break out those Deep Purple albums and rock on.”

    His perception of reality is as skewed as his self-image. It’s as if he took a bath in perfume and figured no one would notice the underlying stink. He does not realize that radical muslims hate him just as much as they hate ALL Americans. He is BLIND and that makes him DANGEROUS.

    “We are not your enemy”???????

    We never were…..THEY made US….THEIR enemy!!!!!!!

    THEY flew planes into buildings in the US…..THEY killed, THEY destroyed, THEY proclaimed eternal damnation to AMERICA.

    He cannot, will not, Islam-I-Am, try to make peace with Uncle Sam.

    (with apologies to Dr Seuss)

    • jobeth says:

      I’ve enjoyed a couple of your comments and say “right on” to most everything you have said. Great comments.

      However, I do make one exception to “He is BLIND and that makes him DANGEROUS.”

      I don’t agree he is blind…He knows exactly what he is doing and why…The blind ones are the ones who follow him.

      He is the front man for a very sinister bunch of extreme lefties and all you see has been planned for years and years…no, he’s no blind man.

  8. proreason says:

    “smokum peace-pipe”

    He could care less about peace with anybody. If any peace happens it will be spelled s u r r e n d e r.

    To the Marxists, war is a useful tool to keep the serfs in line. You won’t see any peace on The Moron’s watch.

  9. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Well, to be honest, I waffle. Sometimes I think he might be the crafty little shit who steals with no one really noticing, and other times I think he’s a naive self-proclaimed world-saver. In either case, your point is valid because the manipulation of the PERCEPTION is the same.

    Is he so smart as to have toadies do his dirty work, leaving himself to appear gloriously backlit with that divine glow? Or, is that done by his “handlers”? Obviously, W had moments when his mouth got ahead of him, but when Oblabby does is…and he has oh-so-gloriously done it several times already, before the last echo of the coronation had died down, in fact, that there is no attempt at damage control. The words just hang there with icicles creeping down off of them. “I won” and “I’m not going to answer that right now” and “See, YOU people….don’t understand” when talking to reporters.

    Some days I think he’s a mastermind in the ways of Terpsichore while at other times he appears a bumbling fool with gum on his shoe. So is he Clouseau or Poirot? Or, something in between?

    Again, his stance is pretty obvious on things. That being “give it all away and I’ll be proclaimed the “great saver of the world”. I know people like him, I believe and listening to him talk tells me instinctively that he’s pretty much a tape recorder. He bubbles out what others told him or what seem to be “brilliant” (by some accounts) statements that the press just devours. And that’s good for us because, at least for now, they are so caught up in the blinding light of His halo that they often print things he “shouldn’t oughtta said”. That will most likley change and the American citizen, already 52% happy in their ignorance, will figure, “no news is good news” and gas prices will climb, interest rates will climb, loans will become unattainable for anyone, lending will all but cease and our economy will grind to a halt.

    And Congress will then go on vacation, vote themselves another pay-raise, put Nancy Pelosi up for the Nobel Peace Prize and well…you know the drill.

    My point is that I really am not ready to give him much credit for cleverness. I think he’s an arrogant buffoon. And like all arrogant buffoons, he will undo himself. Eventually, he’ll have to piss off the wrong person somewhere. And that person will take him to task. Well, at least, it’s a nice dream for now.

    If he is, in fact, that clever then yes, he is orchestrating a very subtle coup; One which I, too have noticed and that 52% or more of America is oblivious to. So I am watching very closely and I simply am unwilling to give him that cleverness just yet. When I see the Brunhemden coming to tell me that my guns must be relinquished, then I will leave. And that’s what keeps me from thinking of him as “clever”. Because if that day comes, then the nation I believed in is gone forever, and the great social experiment is over. It has been dying a slow death since the 60’s, that I can see and maybe for awhile longer, perhaps with FDR as its kickoff return man.

    Either way, like many, my list of grievances is long, from gay rights, to renaming things as “hate crimes” to the ever increasing taxes to fund things I really disagree with, to killing our investment in military technology and the ongoing greedy boondoggle that has become, and on and on. Car Wars, NAFTA, illegal immigrants, global (f****ing) warming, being told that “being American is bad”, everyone’s a “victim” and so on.

    When the election happened and a little before, I felt like the guy whose house was built below a newly-built hog farm…and the farmer never did anything but let the pig poop add up…and then….all at once, it burst the wall and landed on me.

    I feel almost helpless…and sometimes, I think “Maybe if they get everything they want…and the nation utterly collapses, they will then be forced to admit they bollixed it”. But, even that doesn’t sound right inside my own head. For when, WHEN, did a democrat ever admit they did the wrong thing?

    Oh, wait, there was that time when Bill-Jeff, when backed against the wall, with spit in his eye admitted he got a hummer from Monica.
    (sort of)

    But for me, the vote is still out as to whether Oblabby is clever or just autistic.

    • dulcimergrl says:

      You, Mr. Shackleford, are the clever one. I wish I was as articulate as you, but I’ll give it a try; others have said the same thing in different ways: I don’t believe The One is clever, nor do I believe he is autistic. I believe he is evil, and is being briefed by handlers even more evil than he is. I become more convinced every day that our days are numbered. I hesitated to put that in writing because it sounds so paranoid. I hope I turn out to be wrong.

  10. VMAN says:

    I haven’t seen a lib on S&L in a while. Where are they? I feel like a fight. I guess they’re starting to figure out that their savior has some holes. Come on where are you, you little panty waists? Oh wait those are the republicans up on the hill. Anyway this big O hole makes me want to puke!!! I guess that’s why his skin is brown so we won’t notice the brown all over his nose. I can see the O hole now “bend over let me have a little kissy kissy.”

    • gipper says:

      “I haven’t seen a lib on S&L in a while.”

      That’s because the libs are all content. Their man-boy got elected. No need to watch the news or visit leftist websites–Obama has everything under control for them. I’m sure the visits to the Daily Kos and other such sites are down. America has nowhere to go but up for the libs.

    • Odie44 says:

      Funny, 95% of HopeyDopey work mates are awful silent on anything political. I think its a) they realized they are in power and don’t need to cry like a child, i.e. finally got their sippy cups and or b) they are miserably disappointed in Bambi’s first week, cannot justify a single thing the dope has done and are looking at their checkbooks going “oh shit, things arent really getting better.

      Quite frankly, most liberal dolts dont have a clue about real governing, implications on both domestic and global fronts – its been an 8 year free ride of hate and stupidity that fueled thier fire; now… crickets from the left.

      Oddly enough 2 businesses here are sinking miserably and have concocted some desperate ideas on getting new business, which is my bread and butter. One asked me for help, I said “sorry – I generally only work with and for companies who thrive in spirit, are sound in their practices, have a real process and aren’t liberals.”

      Free market is rearing its ugly head, which ironically is a jump start to my business.

      It is a fine first hand example of Dope and Change. When the smoke clears, I hope 1% of these people realize how good of a job Bush did, how easy it was to breath and get business during a 7 year boom and how useless to thier lives this fantasy called liberalism is.

      Even the obligatory “Bambi inhereted Bush’s failures” doesnt come up, probably because it doesnt pay the rent…

  11. Confucius says:

    “My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy,”

    This is hilarious. He bombed Pakistan and killed some Afghans just this past week!

    If the Muslim world believes this, they’re as dumb as the Americans who voted for Obama.

  12. Liberals Demise says:

    What a F#$king idiot!!
    We are not your enemy?
    I Am!!!
    You all bombed us first, so eat lead and DIE!!

  13. 1sttofight says:

    You all bombed us first, so eat lead and DIE!!

    You all lowlife scumbag cowards bombed us first, so eat sizzling hot lead and die a painful slow death.

    There , I fixed it for you.

  14. joeblough says:

    Rusty Shackleford:

    Well, to be honest, I waffle. Sometimes I think he might be the crafty little shit who steals with no one really noticing, and other times I think he’s a naive self-proclaimed world-saver.

    One finds, on investigation that there is in fact very little difference (when there is any at all) between “the crafty little shit who steals with no one really noticing” and the “naive self-proclaimed world-saver“.

    Betting odds are that he is both.


    That said, I think this idiotic announcement from the B.O. is just a hint of the shape of things to come.

    We’re going to be hearing crap come out of this moron’s mouth that a brass-faced lying saudi would be embarrassed to say in public.

    We ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

    • proreason says:

      He’s a megalomaniac and a nitwit.

      But being stupid hasn’t stopped megalomaniacs in the past.

      This Moron is just as dangerous as they were, for the simple reason that he thinks his shit don’t stink.

  15. jerusamus says:

    I’ve heard the saying libs are funny when they are not in power,well they are now.This joke isn’t funny anymore.This obama and his ilk are dangerous.These lame spine missing republicans better get up to speed after two losses and figure out the other side is not playing by the GOPs nice guy rules.They don’t quit,they don’t stop,they don’t care what they have to destroy to get full power,including crashing the entire global market.They can pass anything they want without the GOP,I say the republicans should let the democrats own every piece of their stimulus bill and anything else they propose.Not one GOP vote should be cast in favor.They just want republicans on board to blame in 2010.

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