Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Could Be Wrong about Obama

Update: And so it begins. That is, the demands of the Arab world on Obama. Both the Arab world and Israel have a set of expectations relative to the newly minted American President. Since you can't make all of the people happy all of the time, it'll be interesting to see how President Obama responds. Original Blog starts here: I'm not above eating my own words when I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong. This article published by Arutz Sheva seems to indicate that I'm wrong. Let me explain. One of my concerns about President Obama has to do with his statements that he wanted to forge a new relationship with the Muslim world. That's fine and well in the spirit of international cooperation, but some of those nations and groups have long called for the total destruction of Israel and the US; actions I certainly am against. Yet the aforementioned Arutz Sheva article states that the Arab world is, at best, suspicious of President Obama's motives with some referring to him as a "Black Bush". No rational person would consider Obama's stated policies anywhere near those of George Bush's, so the assumption is a tad psychotic. On the other hand, it seems that Arab suspicion is crystalized by a statement made by civil servant Khalil al-Attar, "Despite everything that has been said about his Arab origins, something I personally don't believe, he will act according to the interests of the people who elected him." The President of the United States acting on behalf of the interests of the people who elected him? Well...yeah. What do you expect? By the way, what "Arab origins"? Obama's birth father was from Kenya and his step-father was a Muslim from Indonesia. Of course, Arab suspicion aside, no one will know for sure which way Obama will jump on the issues in the Middle East just yet. Campaign rhetoric is one thing, but we've already seen that once elected, Obama has demonstrated a tendency to make his own decisions in his own way. While there was celebrating in Gaza by Hamas and their supporters when Obama was inaugurated, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ignored the proceedings, based on the "hostility" he perceives Obama has against his country. While millions in Israel cheered as Barack Obama became America's 44th President, we can only wait and see who in the Middle East has more reason to be concerned about this nation's actions, the Arab world or Israel. I hope I'm wrong. I'll gladly eat my words. But before I put the napkin around my neck and raise my knife and fork, I'll need to see what is on the plate in front of me.

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