Tuesday, January 27, 2009

President Obama Gives First Interview To Arabic News Channel.

It's astonishing, and it speaks volumes, that Obama has decided to give his first ever TV interview since becoming president to an Arab TV station. In it he announces that he will redefine the "war on terror" as a war against al Qaeda. He does so because he recognises that "language is important" and that the language of Bush was considered offensive by many Muslims.

Even David Gergen talks of Obama as, "a president of astonishing ambition" as Obama announces his intention to speak to the Muslim world from an Arab capital within the first 100 days of his administration.

It is inarguable that this man is serious, in a way which the Bush administration was not, about achieving peace in the Israel/Palestine dispute.

And it is simply brilliant that he demands that both should look forward to the lifestyles and security that might be enjoyed by their children, rather than continue to focus on what has occurred in the past.

He makes it very clear that the US's friendship will Israel will remain as strong as ever but, by giving his first interview to Arab TV and by phoning Abbas before he telephoned Olmert, he is also signalling that the days of the Bush administration's acquiescence in Israel's every action is truly over.

Reza Aslan says that Obama's promise to listen and respect other opinions - and to watch the ways in which US policy affects "the poor and downtrodden" - "are words which will resonate in the region".

This was an amazing speech. I am actually giddy I have to say.
(I'll put up the rest of this video as it is posted on You Tube.)


As promised, here is more of the interview.

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