Monday, January 26, 2009

President Obama Gives First Official Interview Not In America, But Speaks to Muslim World, Says He Is "Willing to Talk to Iran"

From WaPo:

  • President Obama expressed optimism yesterday about the prospect of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but he said a peace accord will take time and require new thinking about the problems of the Middle East as a whole.

  • Obama's comments came during his first formal television interview as president, with a correspondent from al-Arabiya, the Dubai-based satellite network that is one of the largest English-language TV outlets aimed at Arab audiences.

  • The president sat for the interview, at the White House, moments after officially dispatching George J. Mitchell, his special envoy for Middle East peace, to the region last evening.

  • "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," Obama told al-Arabiya. "So let's listen. He's going to be speaking to all the major parties involved. And he will then report back to me. From there we will formulate a specific response."
  • Obama went out of his way to say that if America is "ready to initiate a new partnership [with the Muslim world] based on mutual respect and mutual interest, then I think that we can make significant progress."
  • "Now, my 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. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries," Obama said in the interview.
  • He said that the United States must be "willing to talk to Iran" and that he would lay out a "framework" for those discussions over the next several months.

Al Arabiya reported after the election that the Arab world views Obama's Change as more of the same.

Al Arabiya reported this week that Libya's Gaddafi wants President Obama to be open to engage Osama Bin Laden in open dialogue.

  • Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi advised U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday to give Osama bin Laden a chance to reform, telling the new president that America's most wanted man was looking for "dialogue".
  • "Terrorism is a dwarf not a giant. Osama bin laden is a person who can be given a chance to reform," Gaddafi said
  • "Maybe we can have a dialogue with him and find out the reason that led him in this direction," he added.

It's funny that Gaddafi is being sympathetic to Obama now that George Bush is gone. After George Bush threatened to blow the crap out of Libya, Gaddafi became more cooperative and nicer.

But "meeting without preconditions" will work better than strong, swift military action on the radical Islamic killers.

Hopenchange you can engage in open dialogue with terrorists.

It's okay if you feel the need to scream at the top of your lungs; we're screwed.

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