President Barack Obama recently gave his first post-Inaugural interview to a satellite Arabic news network, Al-Arabiya — the Saudi-owned, Dubai-based news channel.
He used the forum to throw up the virtual Vulcan sign for “Live Long Prosper,” telling everybody in the Middle East that the new prez comes in peace.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday chose an Arabic satellite TV network for his first formal television interview as president, delivering a message to the Muslim worldthat “Americans are not your enemy.”
The interview underscored Obama’s commitment to repair relations with the Muslim world that have suffered under the previous administration.
The president expressed an intention to engage the Middle East immediately and his new envoy to the region, former Sen. George J. Mitchell, was expected to arrived in Egypt on Tuesday for a visit that will also take him to Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
“My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy,” Obama told the Saudi-owned, Dubai-based Al-Arabiya news channel.
Obama said the U.S. had made mistakes in the past but “that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that.” (Source: Associated Press)
Yay! The people of the Middle East are humans again! Not just “us versus them” comic book villans from bad, 1990s era Hollywood blockbusters. They’re all like Sayid from “Lost,” interesting, deep, romantic, ass-kickers. Sexy and beguiling. Not random terrorist number whatever from “True Lies” — murderous, crazy, screaming “Death to America.”
They’re, like, complex now! With feelings! Just like us! Not mindless masses with all phasers set on kill.
This doesn’t mean everything is coming up strawberries yet. Obama is an American. The US is still Israel’s No. 1 international BFF for life, but it’s a good gesture to say, “Hey, just because we love us some Israelis doesn’t mean we want to invade all of you and start the mass conversions.”
Of course, for those who INSIST that Obama is a “secret Muslim” this will only send their xenophobic little hearts into hatefilled flutters. But who cares about those people? A few days ago radio yakker Rush Limbaugh said he wanted the prez to fail (why does Rush hate America) but then “revised” his statements after the folks who REALLY run the conservative agenda chin-checked him.
Having a screaming mimi is great when that screaming mimi is helpful. That, I want the president to fail when the whole country is falling off a cliff and people are losing jobs and Obama’s failure would be AMERICA’S FAILURE is not cool. Once again, Rush, why do you hate America? This is such a King Solomon situation. Rush would be all for that baby being cut in half. Dammit if the baby dies! If he can’t have the country, NO ONE CAN!
But Rush, like al-Qaida, is in the midst of an identity crisis. Bush was easy for both of them. For Rush, Bush = right. For terrorists, Bush = PERFECT RECRUITMENT TOOL. Obama is like wrestling with Jell-O. You tell your people America is racist and hates the Negroes, then they turn around and elect a half-Kenyan man with whose middle name is Hussien and once lived in a Muslim country. How do you mount a proper attack when the public is all curious to see what this brown fella is going to do? Obama is like a giant walking, talking advertisment of what’s good about our country. That we are, despite our failings, “working towards a more perfect union” thing.
In an interview with Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes several years back, then Russian President Boris Yeltsin became unhinged when talking about his first visit to the US in 1989 and seeing a Houston grocery store. It was an average store, but to him, a gigantic, mesmerizing grocery store. Upon seeing it he realized how we’d actually won the Cold War decades ago economically. That we’d tangentially contributed to the economic downfall of the USSR by engaging in an arms race the Russians couldn’t afford.
The election of Obama is a similar situation. If you’ve been going “poor pitiful American Negro” dance (among other things) for decades to win people to your side, President Obama makes those who’ve been listening to this story question how well the storyteller really knows America. It makes them curious if we really can back up all that shit we talk about regarding self-determination, self-governance, free religion, free speech, free press, free elections. All that, “we are so hot” talk we put up all the time. Maybe we’re not completely bullshitting. Maybe we’re flawed but still, kinda hot. Like Angelina Jolie. (We are sooo the Angelina Jolie of countries.) Like you know we’re kind of crazy, but you still wanna do us. We can be a pretty seductive enterprise.
Hence why this interview by Obama was a “smooth move.”
Speaking directly to the people. Demonostrating we don’t just talk a good game, but we are a people of action. That we can back it up. That we are getting better. That we learn. That we adapt. That we see them as humans with a shared interest in peace and prosperity. That would bode well for Arabs and Muslims here and abroad.
Welcome back to the sensible, public discourse, my Arabic, Persian and Muslim Snobs! Maybe you can go to the airport once and awhile without geting searched twice, then kicked off the plane for discussing seating arrangements. Now maybe we can get ignoramouses to stop beating up Sikh people just because they rock the turban.
They’re not even Muslims, you racists assholes!
Not that the truly bigoted can be bothered with details.