Watch Obama’s interview with Al-Arabiya

Andrew Sullivan found this statement of interest:

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 … the largest one, Indonesia. And so what I want to communicate is the fact that 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.

And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy.

Just words? Time will tell. What’s interesting to me is Obama’s conscious decision to provide his first presidential interview to a station owned in part by a Muslim monarchy.

Does this first interview say anything about Obama’s loyalties? Is he rebranding America by selling our values to the Muslim nations, or is he rebranding America by selling us out?

I sure feel like I just saw the underside of a bus.


  1. Wasn’t it Abraham Lincoln who said, “Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?” Maybe he is just trying to catch flies with sugar instead of vinegar?

  2. Maybe, dear DIL, but I still feel like I have tire prints on my backside. I guess time will tell.

  3. The Lorax says:

    I think I missed why you feel like you were thrown under the bus?

    Do you mean because the station is owned by “a Muslim monarchy”? I wasn’t aware of this. From what I know, Al-Arabiya is pretty moderate and anti-inflammatory compared to the sometimes yellow journalism of Al-Jazeera.

  4. J. Strupp says:

    Why is that? Because our policy towards the Middle East has been almost completely anti-Muslim for the better part of the 20th century and Obama is acknowledging this and attempting to buck this trend by reaching out to the Muslim world?

    Funny. I thought that statements like the, “Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives”, is a rather American idea.

  5. The Lorax says:

    Me too J. As Andrew Sullivan pointed out, it should be completely uncontroversial that Obama is offering a truce.

  6. Owned in part, Lorax. Why don’t you prove me wrong for a change instead of expecting me to prove I’m right? And why would Obama offer an American truce? American’s didn’t bomb the minarets at Mecca, you know.

    J.S. – it’s American until you strap bombs on mentally disabled young women to kill American soldiers, and then it’s not. If Muslims want a better standing in the global environment, then Muslims need to put a lid on radical extremism in the name of Islam.

  7. The Lorax says:

    I was just curious, not trying to “prove you wrong.” And besides, you made the claim. Not I. If I were the author, i’d prove it. But I am but a mere commenter.

    On a quick look all I found was this, “Al-Arabiya was launched nine months ago with an investment of $300m by the Saudi-controlled pan-Arab satellite TV pioneer MBC, Lebanon’s Hariri Group, and other investors from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf states.”

    And anyhow, did you mean Muslim or Islamic Monarchy?

  8. I was going for a little alliteration. Poetic license?

    This time you might have to click twice on Wikipedia.

  9. Randy in Richmond says:

    No, Christians, Jews, and Muslims don’t have commen hopes and dreams. By their very nature and belief systems we are different. Let’s look at the major conflicts in the world right now:
    United States

    What is the comman thread that runs through all these conlicts, as well as others?

  10. The Lorax says:

    @Cin My sources was from BBC, but ok. And I guess what I meant by Muslim vs. Islam is if you meant Islamist.

    @Randy Come on. Do you know any Muslims? Do you know Islam? That’s like saying ‘you Christians are responsible for The Aryan Nation and the KKK.’ I know you’ll split hairs and say it’s an entirely different situation but the fact remains: 99% of Christians and Muslims are good people.

    And the same applies here Ran, you’re referring to Islamism not Islam.

  11. Let’s set this to an end, Lorax. You seem to think there’s a lesson to teach.

    Since I am writing of the PEOPLE practicing the religion of Islam, I am comfortable using the word Muslim to describe the monarchy.

    Obviously you have a different understanding?

  12. Randy in Richmond says:

    My point is, and was, that we don’t have the same comman hopes and dreams like Obama says. Do you think your wife or girlfriend wants to wear a burka and be under Sharia Law. Or tell her she can’t say the blessing during ‘that’ time of the month. What prominent Muslim leader in the US has apologized for 9/11? My point is not about being good or bad–it’s about being different. And for this reason I choose to take exception to Obama’s words.

  13. The Lorax says:

    Well that was my question, were you referring to the people (Muslims), the religion (Islam) or the political movement (Islamism). If you’re referring to people then you should be comfortable.

    I’m not trying to teach a lesson. Again, you aggressively assume i’m trying to start an argument. As you know, Islam is an area to which I have taken interest.

    I’m just curious, remember?

  14. The Lorax says:

    Burkas? Well Catholic nuns wear burkas. Sure their customs are different but its an entirely different culture. You’re comparing apples to oranges. Muslim women were the first female property owners in the world. It’s not all black and white.

  15. You’re going to lose this one, Mr. I-don’t-mean-to-argue Lorax.

    Some nuns choose to wear traditional habits through the tradition of their order (you’d be hard pressed to name those orders) but they are not required by law to be covered.

    Yes, in some cultures Muslim women enjoy great esteem, but in some cultures Muslim women suffer terribly under strict Islamist regimes. It’s not all black and white, and frankly that’s why you’ll be unable to mount a successful argument. You just want to argue.

  16. The Lorax says:

    Believe what you wish but i’ve been very non-combative.

    If I really wanted to have an argument I would call you and scream. But I don’t.

    Besides, my point is that it’s not all black and white, so that settles that.

  17. One can certainly argue without being combative. Besides, I would have hung up, and you’d be screaming into a disconnected phone.

    I think it’s funny you’ve claimed to win an argument you didn’t even have.

  18. Randy in Richmond says:

    Prophet Mohammed: 570–632 A.D.

    Ancient Egypt: 3150 B.C.–31 B.C.

  19. The Lorax says:

    Want me to pull out the bible verses? And start talking about the ex-excommunicated anti-semitic Bishop who thinks education takes the womanness from women?

  20. Randy in Richmond says:

    “Muslim women were the first female property owners in the world”.
    The Lorax

    “An Egyptian woman’s status normally depended on the rank of her male relations but she had individual rights. A woman could own property in her own name and hold professions that allowed her to have economic freedom from male relatives. A wife was entitled to one third of any property that she owned jointly with her husband and on her death could will her property to anyone she wished. ”

    See dates above in #18.

  21. The Lorax says:

    Which is before that right was allotted to a lot of Western women, or am I wrong? I guess your quibble is the dichotomy between Muslim and Arab. Either way, their culture got it before ours did.

  22. Hey kid, I’m a kept woman. I admit that. I can stay on the computer all day long if I want. But you’re young. Shouldn’t you be in school or doing homework or working or something? You’ve started spending a lot of time here.

    And he gotcha on that one. Or are you saying that all Arabic Egyptians are followers of Islam? You know, before it even existed?

  23. The Lorax says:

    I have learned well how to utilize mobile technology.

    You’re not the only one with an iPhone and a laptop.

  24. Your IP might suggest otherwise.

  25. So which American Muslim leader do you feel is personally responsible for the crimes of the Eurasian terrorists, Randy? How many times do American Muslim leaders need to condemn those attacks before you get the message?

    And where do you get off making preposterous generalizations about the aspirations of a billion people? Not even the Chinese practice the sort of group think that you suggest is typical of Muslims. Folks are folks.

  26. Randy in Richmond says:

    I’m sure you mean well.

  27. “If Muslims want a better standing in the global environment, then Muslims need to put a lid on radical extremism in the name of Islam.”

    I agree completely.

    And if American and Isreali leaders want any resemblence of peace in the Middle East they should come to the realization that bombing civilian buildings in the name of self-defense, rooting out terrorists and/or spreading democracy throughout the world is doing more harm than good in the long run.

  28. Oh dear, I’m becoming illiterate too. Time to retreat to my burqa.

  29. Randy in Richmond says:

    J Strupp
    If I understand your entry, the U.S. and Israel should:
    Allow terrorists to take refuge in civilian buildings after firing their missles into Israel, don’t pursue or provoke them,
    Just let terrorists go and hide wherever they wish–don’t bother them,
    and allow people like Sadaam to thumb his nose at the UN and the world while internally terrorizing and killing his people with WMD’s while they have no say or vote (democracy).

  30. Randy in Richmond says:

    Bless you.