Obama on Al-Arabiya
In recent years, when the president of the United States appears on Arab satellite TV, it’s because something bad has happened and an apology is warranted. These days, President Barack Obama appears on al-Arabiya TV specifically to send a gesture of respect and reconciliation to the Arab world, probably because he’s a secret Muslim. This is what Obama apparently had in mind when he said in his inaugural that it was time to abandon “childish” things.
An unafraid president says things like this:
THE PRESIDENT: Well, here’s what I think is important. Look at the proposal that was put forth by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia –
THE PRESIDENT: I might not agree with every aspect of the proposal, but it took great courage –
THE PRESIDENT: — to put forward something that is as significant as that. I think that there are ideas across the region of how we might pursue peace.
As Matt Duss explains, this is perfectly true, and yet the same hidebound conservative elements that have obstructed a thoroughgoing U.S. involvement in the peace process for eight years try to portray the Abdullah peace plan as beyond the pale. Now we have a president that isn’t interested in frivolous demagoguery.