Verbatim | Obama On The Muslim World

“My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy.” – US President Barack Obama during an interview with Al-Arabiya. Monday, January 26th. [source]

I agree that, generally, Americans are not the enemy of the Muslim world. However, I’m just not sure how to classify those Americans who have big guns, big tanks and big jets that occupy a neighboring country and have a habit of killing a lot of its people. Or, at least, the Americans who sell those big guns, big tanks and big jets to other people that occupy another neighboring country and have a habit of killing a lot of its people.

Diplomacy is oh so confusing.


  • It would be really interesting to hear on what would Mr. Obama personally comment on this, but probably some BS about war on terror, and brining democracy to the poor lads.

  • Poor Obama, I’m sure the Arab world will let him down. I even doubt he will find decent leadership in this part of the world to be properly addressed. He wants to change but I tell him “good luck” with those Arabs!

  • Obama, Arab leaders, or whatever mate, the more I hear on how people react and blame the lousy politics, the more this phrase pops up in the mind:

    “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

    But I guess many keep forgetting that essential principal.

  • Revelation, this is an overblown phrase if ever there was one, and who said this is a principal? This is propaganda at its best, why should a human being with a mind be enslaved to messed up regimes in the name of serving one’s country?

    Obama will disappoint the Arab world more than Bush did, we all knew what Bush was up to, Obama is gonna surprise a lot of people

  • I think Obama’s intentions are good and I wish him well – too bad nearly all the leadership in the middle east is either blinded by their religious beliefs, corrupt or non existent.

  • Those tanks and big guns were not ordered over there by America OR our current President. They were ordered over there by our ignorant past president.

    The approval rate among the entire U.S. for going to Iraq PEAKED at 19% and ended at %3.

    This CLEARLY says that we are AGAINST having our tanks there. And we are now finally employing a real plan to withdraw them.

    8 of my friends in 8 different troops in Iraq have ALREADY arrived home.

    You constantly tell us to stop generalizing and mixing in normal Muslims with extremists, so stop generalizing by mixing normal Americans with our past extremists; the Bush administration.

  • Kyle, I’m not trying to generalize by saying that all americans are our enemy. my statement is pretty obvious as to the Americans I’m talking about.

    Secondly, to blame this all on Bush is to say the mess this region is in only happened in the past 8 years.

  • Interesting … especially as bloggers in the U.S. are pointing out that Obama’s recent gestures to the Muslim World ring very similar to that of one GW Bush.

    Ann Althouse provides actual quotes and comparisons to that effect:

  • Actions speak louder than words. So far Obama has done nothing to suggest that US relations with the Islamic world will be any different under his tenure than it was under Bush.

    And on the whole, the things Obama has said have not been inspiring, to put it mildly. I’m talking about the regurgitated AIPAC talking points on Gaza, as well as the open threats to expand the “war on terror” into Pakistan which he’s been making since 2007.

  • What specifically should Obama do that would be good enough for his critics in the Middle East? Break ties with Israel? I’m not really sure who that would help… I would like to see Israel held more accountable for its actions, though.

    If things Obama should do includes getting out of Iraq and getting rid of Abu Ghraib, he’s working on those but there are significant barriers to doing them quickly.

    I think it’s important to not have super high expectations because he is, after all, working within a framework of domestic and international restraints. Also, give him time. If he does make any changes, they won’t be instant.

  • Diplomacy Diplomacy Diplomacy! Anybody who tries to communicate, present, think, dream, visualize, predict, execute anything else is certainly out of context amidst this global financial crisis, America definitely cannot afford enemies from the outside, when there’s a monstrous finacial crisis inside!!

  • Problem is, you see, the US is leaving Iraq for the wrong reasons. It’s not because “they” believe that occupation is egregious, but because they can not afford it!

    If the outcome of this war was more pro-PR, we wouldn’t be having this conversation to begin with.

    My take on this, whomever created the mess in I-rak must fix it! I despise occupation, but what I find more detestable is the death of more than a million civilians, much more injured, and the destruction of a country. Meanwhile, an occupation force goes in at its pleasure, and leaves when it feels like it!

  • Well I am afraid to say…

    I dont think we have seen anything yet in Iraq unfortunately after the country is left to run on its own, troubles will start again….There will be a power vacuum….Civil war will kick off and result in Iraq being split into Shia, Sunni and Kurds.


    My friend thats whats going on all across the Middle East thats what keeps a firm grip on domination whilst (the west) expressing innocence, sympathy, empathy and concern….

    Like Ibn Arabi said “actions speak louder than words” so basically its a waiting game, however waiting with/without hope is distressing in all cases.

    Peace over’n’out

  • “Secondly, to blame this all on Bush is to say the mess this region is in only happened in the past 8 years.”

    I am referring to the tanks and guns that are there i.e. Iraq. They WERE sent over by the Bush administration and they WERE against the popular vote AS WELL AS a congress recommendation. It was all him and the increased negative impression WAS contained in this past term.

    We were lied to. We were told our friends and brothers and sisters were giong over to bring down an evil power and that we are volunteering our lives to help a country regain stability. We were not told of some sort fo occupation agenda or that Bush wants a damn parking lot full of rubble in the middle east.

    None of you think of the kids that died there thinking they are doing you a favor. Kids who had to quit college to go die over there. Thinking they are freeing an Iraqi from a Tyrant and thinking they are going for 2 weeks.

    I hate it when people confuse a dumb political figure with regular everyday Americans.

    You think the average Joe even knew what Iraq is before it became personal? No one cared until everyone’s kids became reserve military against their will.

    The “mess in that region” before the Iraq operation is not the US’ fault, regardless of whether it was related to US actions. The Middle East has had tension for decades within itself. Whether it is extremist groups against moderate groups, Arab VS Israeli, Muslim VS Jew, or any of the other conflicts.

    Yes, we’re a good shop. We sell weapons. We dont necessarily endorse what anyone does with them. And by “we” i don’t even mean us normal citizens.

    We do have some humanity too you know.

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