Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Communicating that the Americans are not your enemy

If you spend a good proportion of a movie naked, as I understand Kate Winslet does in “The Reader” (some critics were worried that the Holocaust theme would distract people from Winslet’s nakedness), doesn’t winning something called a SAG award sound less than complimentary?

Obama gave an interview to Al-Arabiya, reaching out to the Muslim world. “My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy.”

PARAMOUNT: For example, he reached out to the Muslim world by saying that “Israel’s security is paramount,” i.e., more important than any consideration involving the Palestinians, and that nothing Israel can do will affect American support for it: “Israel is a strong ally of the United States. They will not stop being a strong ally of the United States.”

Asked whether Israeli settlement-building wasn’t dooming the prospect of a two-state solution, he gave a long answer that failed to address the settlement issue in any way, although he did say that “I think it is possible for us to see a Palestinian state -- I’m not going to put a time frame on it -- that is contiguous, that allows freedom of movement for its people, that allows for trade with other countries, that allows the creation of businesses and commerce so that people have a better life.” Phew, at least he didn’t put a time frame on it.

I WONDER WHO HE HAS IN MIND? “Sending George Mitchell to the Middle East is fulfilling my campaign promise that we’re not going to wait until the end of my administration to deal with Palestinian and Israeli peace”.

THEY SPEAK HIGHLY OF YOU TOO: “Now, the Iranian people are a great people, and Persian civilization is a great civilization.”

(Update: The Whitehouse website blog post which mentions this interview does not have either the complete transcript or a link to one. So far, I’m really, really not impressed with the Obamaite whitehouse.gov.)

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