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Obama To Islam: America Is Not Your Enemy  
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8153 posts, RR: 26
Posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4136 times:

Despite my considerable ambivalence about Obama's economic policy team, I almost voted for the man purely on the basis of his thoughtful views on America's place in the world. He has a plainly stated a fraternal, rather than paternal view of how American power is to be employed, and is particularly keen to win the hearts and minds of moderate thinkers in the Middle East, a group who's trust the US desperately needs if we have any hope of succeeding long-term against radical Islamic terror. His first interview with an Arabic-speaking TV network today was a good start.

He made a few salient points that are a critical first step in gaining acceptance and understanding with the region, particularly given the previous administration's refusal to do so.

His view of his role as President:

- My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy."

Regarding a starting point for discussion:

- What I told him (George Mitchell) is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating — in the past on some of these issues — and we don't always know all the factors that are involved

A pretty convoluted sentence on not blaming all of Islam for terror, but we get the point:

- We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith's name.

And strong messages to extremists who are not his intended audience and of late have been floundering for attention:

- We can have legitimate disagreements but still be respectful. I cannot respect terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians and we will hunt them down.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/18016.html

For those of you in the region who heard these comments, I'm curious, what is your reaction? The diplomatic and defense communities abroad are abuzz with this abrupt change in tone from the White House, if some e-mails I received today are an indication of anything.

Unfortunately I fear the realities of the economic crisis in the US mean that the Obama administration will be severely limited in its ability to deploy soft power strategies. This will make words and exchanges like this even more important as a means of laying solid groundwork for future efforts.


If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
165 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21470 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4120 times:



Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
Unfortunately I fear the realities of the economic crisis in the US mean that the Obama administration will be severely limited in its ability to deploy soft power strategies. This will make words and exchanges like this even more important as a means of laying solid groundwork for future efforts.

Soft power is much more than just checkbook diplomacy. This interview alone should have re-created quite a bit of political capital which had been destroyed through the years before. Which will only matter, of course, if the actions will actually match the words.


User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25289 posts, RR: 85
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 4116 times:
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I was born and educated in the Middle East (British parents) and have spent a great deal of time there and have written about the area.

I haven't often heard a western leader do what President Obama did today.

He did not address himself to Middle Eastern leaders, he bypassed them - although he may have earned himself considerable political capital with the Saudi king.

He spoke directly to the Arabs in the street and the poor Arabs, and of their children.

He was firm and reasonable and above all, decent. He suggested the possibility a future for Arab children that is better, brighter than any future they have now.

I thought it was remarkable and I have spoken to several Muslim friends who feel the same way.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21470 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4108 times:

Interesting side aspect: Obame re-affirmed the absolute commitment to Israel's safety, but he did not declare blanket support for just any israeli government policy either:

Al Arabiya

Quote:
THE PRESIDEN: Now, Israel is a strong ally of the United States. They will not stop being a strong ally of the United States. And I will continue to believe that Israel's security is paramount. But I also believe that there are Israelis who recognize that it is important to achieve peace. They will be willing to make sacrifices if the time is appropriate and if there is serious partnership on the other side.

Even given who he was talking to, the choice of emphasis (boldfacing mine, words Obama's) is remarkable.


User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 35
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4071 times:

Good subject, Aaron747.

I gather that President Obama made specific reference to King Abdullah's 'peace plan' (first put forward in 2002, confirmed in 2007). This entails Israel withdrawing to the 1967 borders, giving East Jerusalem back, arriving at a 'just settlement' with regard to the Palestinian refugees, and entering into a non-aggression pact.

If Obama insists on Israel doing a deal on that basis, it will largely solve all the short-term problems of the region.

So I personally found the President's comments very encouraging.



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8153 posts, RR: 26
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4034 times:



Quoting NAV20 (Reply 4):
If Obama insists on Israel doing a deal on that basis, it will largely solve all the short-term problems of the region.

I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.

Quoting Mariner (Reply 2):
He was firm and reasonable and above all, decent. He suggested the possibility a future for Arab children that is better, brighter than any future they have now.

I thought it was remarkable and I have spoken to several Muslim friends who feel the same way.

Agreed. Several people I know have said the same, but as we all know, workable resolutions to the fundamental issues in the region with American power are not met with mere words.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 1):
Soft power is much more than just checkbook diplomacy.

Checkbook diplomacy is the post-WWII American M.O. for just about anything that doesn't involve arms sales or under the table funding of the coup d’état du jour, so it's difficult to think of anything else with tangible results. 20-year projects to boost English education in South Korea, for instance, don't really make headlines.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineBahadir From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1791 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4029 times:

I would have voted for Obama if I was able to . He is carrying a lot of load on his shoulders in terms of promises. Can he handle them, can he carry them? Will see..

US was one of the most admired , if not the most, countries in Turkey (where I spent 20 years of my life) in the Clinton times. People still talk about Clinton's visit to the earthquake victims to this day..

Fast forward to 2003/4, US became the most hated nation by the Turks; one of the best allies of Cold War and to this day a very big strategic partner. There isn't a day that goes by there isn't a conspiracy theory about US being involved in some clandestine operations. This is getting so ridiculous that if the power goes out at some Turk's home, they are going to blame 'America' for this  Smile (I am exaggerating a bit, but you get the picture)

Obama talking about innocent civilian deaths is one thing but when you look at the fact that we invaded a sovereign nation, against the will of the entire world (except British) and the civilian death toll is anywhere from 150K to a million; he has to convince the people in Middle East of his sincerity.

In addition how about the racism in this country towards people of Muslim faith? How are we going to change that? Thanks to Bush and Fox News and all the 'talk media' now I am considered a public enemy #1 and a sleeper and a terrorist , etc. I see the impact of this in my day to day life.. Now I get some idea how hard it was for African American population in this country in 50s, 60s, even though there is still racism towards them..

Is Obama going to stop supporting corrupt anti-democratic Saudi Arabia? Are we going to see elections in Kuwait? Is he going to help S.A get rid of stupid rules of sharia ? How about having the prejudice that was built during last 8 years? For crying out loud, if I had a dime for each time an American was shocked to see me drink beer as a Muslim, I would have been a millionaire..



Earthbound misfit I
User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7233 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3992 times:

Not sure how much traction this thread will get, one gets the impression that we all expect that Rome was built in a day.

Quoting Bahadir (Reply 6):
Obama talking about innocent civilian deaths is one thing but when you look at the fact that we invaded a sovereign nation, against the will of the entire world (except British) and the civilian death toll is anywhere from 150K to a million; he has to convince the people in Middle East of his sincerity.

Numbers like these not broken down will not aid in his endeavours, a question to be asked woudl be how many deaths have been against Iraqis by Iraqis and non-Iraqis, I guess we could take the position that since the US invaved all deaths are attributable to them.

Quoting Bahadir (Reply 6):
In addition how about the racism in this country towards people of Muslim faith? How are we going to change that? Thanks to Bush and Fox News and all the 'talk media' now I am considered a public enemy #1 and a sleeper and a terrorist , etc. I see the impact of this in my day to day life.. Now I get some idea how hard it was for African American population in this country in 50s, 60s, even though there is still racism towards them..

The US just became the first of the super power nations to elect a minority president, shoud that be regarded as progress and hope for the other minorities?

Quoting Bahadir (Reply 6):
Is Obama going to stop supporting corrupt anti-democratic Saudi Arabia? Are we going to see elections in Kuwait? Is he going to help S.A get rid of stupid rules of sharia ? How about having the prejudice that was built during last 8 years? For crying out loud, if I had a dime for each time an American was shocked to see me drink beer as a Muslim, I would have been a millionaire..

Lot of stuff in this last quote, you just spoke about US intolerance and invading a foreign country, what are you proposing they do with Saudia Arabia, are you stating that the items you mentioned just started after GWB was elected? If the west has a false understanding of Islams or Muslims, how exactly did they get those impressions, from the silent majority we are told exist or from the extremist? Who is responsible for ensuring that the ignorance is lifted?


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3969 times:



Quoting Par13del (Reply 7):
Quoting Bahadir (Reply 6):
Obama talking about innocent civilian deaths is one thing but when you look at the fact that we invaded a sovereign nation, against the will of the entire world (except British) and the civilian death toll is anywhere from 150K to a million; he has to convince the people in Middle East of his sincerity.

Numbers like these not broken down will not aid in his endeavours, a question to be asked would be how many deaths have been against Iraqis by Iraqis and non-Iraqis, I guess we could take the position that since the US invaded all deaths are attributable to them.

You are not hearing Colin Powell. You break it you own it. Those Iraqis (and it probably is close to a million) died under Bush's watch and with the US as an occupying power.

It does not matter if Iraqi killed Iraqis, or it was Yemeni or how many Saddam would have killed instead, it happened on the US watch and the US owns it.

It is bad enough that a million or so were killed, then to be slippery about whose fault it was just makes it worse.

You break it, you own it. China shop rules - OK?

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 5):
Checkbook diplomacy is the post-WWII American M.O. for just about anything that doesn't involve arms sales or under the table funding of the coup d'état du jour, so it's difficult to think of anything else with tangible results. 20-year projects to boost English education in South Korea, for instance, don't really make headlines.

Try looking at where a high percentage of the top public servants in dozens of countries got their education and yes it does make a difference. Obama's step father was a case in point although he joined Mobil, but Mobil had major influence at a governmental level in Jakarta. It costs, but it is hardly chequebook diplomacy. Everything costs but many things do not cost very much, as in the English ed in S Korea I dare say.


User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8153 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3961 times:



Quoting Baroque (Reply 8):
Try looking at where a high percentage of the top public servants in dozens of countries got their education and yes it does make a difference.

That's an altogether different form of hegemony according to some. What is soft power in some quarters is a monopoly on ideas and cultural imperialism in others.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 8):
Obama's step father was a case in point although he joined Mobil, but Mobil had major influence at a governmental level in Jakarta.

And speaking of the devil, there's yet another one, though in this case, one with far more sinister connotations in years past. Certain American hotel companies and real estate firms and Latin American democracies come to mind.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 8):
You are not hearing Colin Powell. You break it you own it. Those Iraqis (and it probably is close to a million) died under Bush's watch and with the US as an occupying power.

We'll never know the real number so there's no use guessing at this point.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 7):
If the west has a false understanding of Islams or Muslims, how exactly did they get those impressions, from the silent majority we are told exist or from the extremist? Who is responsible for ensuring that the ignorance is lifted?

There's many sources for impressions of Islam in the west, but is it really about who's responsible for them at this point? That just leads to more of the same fingerpointing. Sanctomonius Hollywood, fearmongering American neocons, radicals who give Islam a bad name, moderate politicians in the region who don't give a damn about PR and don't see why they should, the list goes on. There's no point - the only point is what are the negative effects of these impressions and misconceptions, and how to go about both mitigating and eliminating them.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7233 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3957 times:



Quoting Baroque (Reply 8):
You break it, you own it. China shop rules - OK?

I do believe that you miss the point, the US has never denied that it invaded Iraq, so what difference does it make now saying you break it you own it? The US is pouring billions into the country, and their main complaint is that the Iraqis and not doing enough for themselves, if the entire nation had the philosophy of the Kurds, the US would be out by now. In the last couple years they even gave up on the UN and EU so I'm not getting where they are denying anything.

The world and the US wants the US out of Iraq, who exactly is going to be there after they leave, since the US broke it and they own it, are you saying that they should become a colonial power and rule Iraq for the next 100 years? If not, how does the ownership rational help the Iraqis, they want their independence, they want to be in charge of their country, I guess once the US leaves they will start to address the fact that Iraqis have been doing all manner of violence against themselves with the aid of others. When Sunni's and Shia's are battling, as observers the only thing can see is the US broke it so they own it, does an Iraqi take justification from that line of thought?


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3950 times:



Quoting Par13del (Reply 10):
The world and the US wants the US out of Iraq, who exactly is going to be there after they leave, since the US broke it and they own it, are you saying that they should become a colonial power and rule Iraq for the next 100 years?

Well it is a rather slippery point and each of us is probably getting stabbed at times. Until the US accepts that full responsibility and does not try to use -  point  IT WAS HIM - you really will be stuck there. And for Obama trying to takes a different (and more difficult line) he needs to accept the responsibility as a way to get out with some honour.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 10):
I guess once the US leaves they will start to address the fact that Iraqis have been doing all manner of violence against themselves with the aid of others. When Sunni's and Shia's are battling, as observers the only thing can see is the US broke it so they own it,

Most likely all true.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 10):
does an Iraqi take justification from that line of thought?

At least to some extent. And while the US is there, in Iraqi terms "why not'?

The old question do you willingly get involved in a domestic quarrel? Not if you can avoid it is the only sensible answer.


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3947 times:

Here is a cartoon to wonder about:

http://www.smh.com.au/cartoons/

Hmmmm.


User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7233 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3936 times:



Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 9):
There's many sources for impressions of Islam in the west, but is it really about who's responsible for them at this point?

It's not, hence my reply to Baroque in post 10.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 11):
And for Obama trying to takes a different (and more difficult line) he needs to accept the responsibility as a way to get out with some honour

Now we want him to accept responsibility for this or try to fix it, he represents his country, so in tune with your line the US broke it and he owns it, as far as I remember, he wants out within a year or so, what does that mean?

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 9):
There's no point - the only point is what are the negative effects of these impressions and misconceptions, and how to go about both mitigating and eliminating them.

You already listed some of the negatives

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 9):
That just leads to more of the same fingerpointing. Sanctomonius Hollywood, fearmongering American neocons, radicals who give Islam a bad name, moderate politicians in the region who don't give a damn about PR and don't see why they should, the list goes on.

Those moderates whom you speak about, may have no interest in PR, but how about education, presently, their voice is not being heard, and yes, I believe that if they do not like what is out there they have to stand up and put their story out. Based on the fear already out there, a lot of folks will not travel to the region, support mosques in their countries or even allow the religion to flourish. To the educated minority, we call them ignorant, but if all they know is seeing acts of violence and terrorism, what exactly do you expect them to believe?


User currently offlineMbmbos From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2597 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3932 times:



Quoting Mariner (Reply 2):
He did not address himself to Middle Eastern leaders, he bypassed them...

I noticed that too and was most impressed. He has gone over the heads of their leaders and has directed his thoughts directly to the people of Muslim nations. A very smart move in my opinion.


User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8153 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3918 times:



Quoting Par13del (Reply 13):
To the educated minority, we call them ignorant, but if all they know is seeing acts of violence and terrorism, what exactly do you expect them to believe?

I don't call them ignorant necessarily unless they see information and images that contradict what they previously believed and still refuse to change their position on the matter. Sadly, that is still the case in some quarters. I long ago gave up the tall-order notion that most reasonable people can reasonably assume that the average joe anywhere is mostly concerned with getting up, going to work, winning the daily argument with the woman, and putting food on the table for his kids.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineBeaucaire From Syria, joined Sep 2003, 5252 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3901 times:

Good day -after a one month long suspension from a.net I'm glad to be back among you.
First of all I think the Obama address to the Arab world was a very positive thing to do.
His way of speaking directly to the people announces a new way he intends to handle foreign affairs.The Arabs should be fair and concede, that the very early moment after being sworn in for Obama to send such a message, is a very stron signal .It does indicate the priorities have changed in the White House.His Middle East envoy George Mitchell should be treated with respect by all politicians.His background is half Lebanese-that carries again a message to the people in the area,that this new administration tries to implement diplomatic staff in the area that do have a deep understanding of the complexities.
The only mistake-in my opinion-is that Mitchell does not visit Damascus during his first tour-Syria still is the key to many unsolved solutions .But I do give the man a lot of credit and his track-record as defuser (North Irland ..!!) is recognised.
The mistake Arab leaders could do now is to press too hard too far and make Obama's task even tougher.I also think we will see rather sooner than later some informal discussions between Hamas and US negotiators -be it hidden or unofficial.Last week two French senators visited Damascus and met with Hamas leaders.The German foreig minister is most defenitely not closed to have talks with Hamas mediators if it can advance the process to bring back calm into the battle-zones.
But comming back to Obama's speech- good to have the man in the Oval office ,great to see Mitchell in his role and hopefully Hillary can jump over her shadow and consider that Iran ,Hezbollah,Hamas and Syria are entities you have to communicate with ...

[Edited 2009-01-27 08:37:32]


Please respect animals - don't eat them...
User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12476 posts, RR: 37
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3882 times:

Obama's comments are hugely encouraging. This is a stern rebuke to the previous administration who dictated without listening. Also, to the Israeli leadership, whom he seems to suggest do not want peace. Shot across the bows to Netanyahu, who is apparently front runner to be new Israeli PM (and with whom Bill Clinton had a famously poor relationship).

Barely a week into his presidency, Obama has shown that the Middle East is a key priority. George Mitchell was an inspired choice; as an Irishman, I have immense admiration for the patience he had in bringing the two parties in NI together; if you can bring the Northern Unionists and Sinn Fein together, you have a pretty good chance with anyone. GM's record speaks for itself and it can be a source of much encouragement.

I think it's also fair to say that the change in the US government is a very good advertisement for democracy, which is of course ironic, given the lip service paid by the previous administration to brining democracy to the ME.

People in the M/E can see that the choice of the people - not revolution/armed insurrection or assassination - brought about the fall of a reviled government and it's replacement with a government which is far more reasonable and understanding; "if it can happen in Washington, why can't we do it too?"

I think that his address to the Muslim people from a Muslim capital (Doha? Cairo?) will be the most hotly awaited political event in the M/E this year. I would imagine - and hope - that it will be timed so as to allow the announcement of a major development, such as the Israeli acceptance of Abdullah's peace plan (or at least acceptance of an invitation for talks on it).


User currently offlineCharles79 From Puerto Rico, joined Mar 2007, 1331 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3883 times:

Aaron,

Interesting topic indeed. The US relationship with the Muslim world has the potential to test the quality of our new President as it has done to the last, oh, 5 or 6 POTUSs. Whatever line he chooses to walk will be criticized by many, hated by others, and praised by a few. Within the US you have factions that call for armed conflict, factions that call for diplomacy, and some that call for something in between. My impression is that the President has chosen the latter, not completely discounting the right to respond to armed conflict with firepower but stressing the non-violent diplomacy that we lacked at times for the last 8 years.

It must be noted, though, that the burden to make this new approach work does not rest solely on the shoulders of the US or the West. Not only do the muslim countries need to be involved in this process as well, but also muslim communities, scholars, and religious figures living within western nations. Lastly, all parties involved must arm themselves with patience for this trend of conflict will not be undone in a matter of months or years, perhaps even decades.

Now I'm certain that some of the extreme elements in the US will categorize these words by Obama as making out with the enemy, selling out, or simply giving up. I personally don't see his words as a desire to "hug terrorists" and I'm hopeful that others will see it that way as well. In these words he addressed the peace-loving muslims first and made it clear that those who choose something other than peace will bear the consequences of their actions. I truly do hope that his administration can deliver on this tall order; his initial impressions seem like a good start.


User currently onlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3846 times:



Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy."

This is news how? They know that already. Yet they keep ignoring the fact that their own radical fellow muslims that are the problem.

Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating — in the past on some of these issues — and we don't always know all the factors that are involved

This was the biggest part of fluff in this otherwise fluff interview. Many wondered why Obama chose this venue as his first interview and it has become abundantly clear that he did it because he would be given a state to do what he does best. Just give us the talking points with absolutley no solid info on what has to be done to stop people dying by the hands of terrorists. What is there to listen to? AQ, Hamas and Hezbollah want Isreal and all western influence gone from that part of the world and then the people left to practice the same Islam they do. Until that is addressed and they are put on notice that it will not stand and not happen what are we accomplishing? We will still be going in circles here. What I saw in that interview was just more fluff and propaganda. Obama certainly is still in way over his head and doesn't have a plan for how to stop these people. I love how he says AQ ia scared of him. What a joke, if anything AQ is licking their chops now since the wiretapping and harsh interrogation is gone. It astounds me how my president thinks he can control the people that want to harm us by these fluff interviews. I think he better get a plan together fast because if anything what he said last night has only strengthened AQ. Not scared them.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 4):
If Obama insists on Israel doing a deal on that basis, it will largely solve all the short-term problems of the region.

So I personally found the President's comments very encouraging.

This statement is very alarming. What about Hamas? Maybe they can stop killing people too? Your all missing the point and are hanging your hopes on a snake oil salesman. For any talks or any peace to have any chance AQ, Hamas and Hezbollah have to stop and that is not going to be accomplished by the feel good interview we saw last night.

Quoting Mbmbos (Reply 14):
A very smart move in my opinion.

Not really since it is the radical part of their governments that are the problem.

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 17):
Obama's comments are hugely encouraging. This is a stern rebuke to the previous administration who dictated without listening. Also, to the Israeli leadership, whom he seems to suggest do not want peace. Shot across the bows to Netanyahu, who is apparently front runner to be new Israeli PM (and with whom Bill Clinton had a famously poor relationship).

Encouraging for whom? From where I sit they were only encouraging to our enemies who know feel we are going to go back to our passive days and do nothing. Which is why Isreal decided to act rather than wait for this fluff. Isreal does want peace my friend but it is radical Islam who doesn't. I don't see how talking to them is going to help. Or how bashng the previous administration who took a stand against these killers will do anything but bring us back to Jimmy Carter. The reason Bush dictated is because this route Obama is going has never worked with terrorists. Terrorist understand one thing, force, killing and fear. Which is why they have to be made to understand that their actions will not be tolerated with force if necessary. Isreal does want peace. If you can't accept that fine, but don't spin what is happening to make it look like Isreal is creating this. To get to the peace table all violence has to stop and for that you better call out Hamas, not Netanayhu.


User currently offlineMham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3651 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3829 times:



Quoting Bahadir (Reply 6):
Is Obama going to stop supporting corrupt anti-democratic Saudi Arabia? Are we going to see elections in Kuwait? Is he going to help S.A get rid of stupid rules of sharia ?



Quoting Mariner (Reply 2):
I haven't often heard a western leader do what President Obama did today.

He did not address himself to Middle Eastern leaders, he bypassed them - although he may have earned himself considerable political capital with the Saudi king.

He spoke directly to the Arabs in the street and the poor Arabs, and of their children.

It is amusing that Bush did the same thing several times and I didn't see anybody gushing. It really boils down to perceptions and so many are infatuated with a slick speaker.

In the end however, as much as things change, they will remain the same. Every president for the last 3 decades has entered the middle east with renewed vigor and every one has learned the hard way that they couldn't fix what couldn't be fixed.


User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25289 posts, RR: 85
Reply 21, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3816 times:
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Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 19):
I love how he says AQ ia scared of him.

The reprort asked him the question. But since you seem to disagree with the reporter:

http://www.examiner.com/x-243-Progre...iner~y2009m1d25-al-qaeda-and-obama

Examiner: ""Al Qaeda freaking about Obama"

"It's gratifying that something so simple as electing a new American president with a more grounded view of the Middle East could throw al Qaeda into a panic and worried about whether they can continue to recruit Muslims to their murderous cause."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...le/2009/01/24/AR2009012401703.html

WaPost: "To Combat Obama, Al-Qaeda Hurls Insults"

"The torrent of hateful words is part of what terrorism experts now believe is a deliberate, even desperate, propaganda campaign against a president who appears to have gotten under al-Qaeda's skin. The departure of George W. Bush deprived al-Qaeda of a polarizing American leader who reliably drove recruits and donations to the terrorist group."


mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineSlider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6818 posts, RR: 34
Reply 22, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3801 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 1):
Which will only matter, of course, if the actions will actually match the words.

That’s it in a nutshell. Can Obama’s decision-making and action follow the rhetoric?

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 19):
This is news how? They know that already. Yet they keep ignoring the fact that their own radical fellow muslims that are the problem.

Good point. It’s continued to be glossed over entirely. This whole happy-happy smiling lovefest is a nice diplomatic overture, but if anyone thinks this “re-makes” the landscape, they’re terribly naïve.

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 19):
The reason Bush dictated is because this route Obama is going has never worked with terrorists. Terrorist understand one thing, force, killing and fear. Which is why they have to be made to understand that their actions will not be tolerated with force if necessary.

I’m not against dialogue, but yeah, the gauntlet has to be thrown down that if you F with us, we’ll burn you down. Trust but verify, as Reagan said of Gorbachev. The problem is that there is NO track record of trusting much of the Middle East.

Obama’s words are great, but will he make hard decisions about energy independence? Will he work to reduce our Saudi attachments?


User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7233 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3796 times:



Quoting Slider (Reply 22):
Trust but verify, as Reagan said of Gorbachev.

I still remember the cartoons world over proclaiming Reagan as th cowboy with his pistol drawn, sure we wanna quote a militant cowboy  Smile

At the end of the day, it is not what we expect, or think that extremist will do, but what they themselves do, lets hope we do not try to fool ourselves, because they certainely are not playing word games.


User currently offlineCairo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (5 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3771 times:



Quoting Aaron747 (Thread starter):
For those of you in the region who heard these comments, I'm curious, what is your reaction?

Reaction in Egypt I'd say is caution with small optimism. They've been talking about it on all the media. It is a big change from Bush, which is wonderful for building respect here, but most believe Obama will be hampered by other interests, like AIPAC, who found their hero in GW Bush.

Quoting Bahadir (Reply 6):
Is Obama going to stop supporting corrupt anti-democratic Saudi Arabia?

The BIG test. The Saudis are hanging on with a thin thread and paying billions for a security apparatus to keep them in power. They are in debt, the average person on the street is poor and unemployed, and they are as far from a democracy and a free civil society as you can get...yet Bush etc... considers them a great friend.

However, if they fall on their own without some kind of assisted transfer of power, they will fall to radical Wahabbis who strongly resemble the Taliban, their favorite offspring.

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 19):
Terrorist understand one thing, force, killing and fear

I think those who advocate America's use of these tools are in the same boat.

Forget the fear - what would you do if you didn't fear the terrorists? Reducing the support for the terrorists is one way to hurt them. One way you can do this by making them unpopular and increasing America's popularity.

Quoting Slider (Reply 22):
energy independence? Will he work to reduce our Saudi attachments?

The Saudis are at the center of all terrorism America has faced since Beirut in the 80s. Simultaneously, they are in some ways America's biggest puppet in the region - this schizophrenic love/hate relationship is disasterous for everyone.

Energy independence, ignored by Bush, even discouraged by Bush, solves all these problems.

Cairo


25 Dougloid : I gotta agree with Cairo. The one thing that's more dangerous than anything else is a man who's got no hope and isn't afraid of death. Nobody's come
26 Flighty : Very smart words from Obama. It is clear that Obama will be much more powerful at fighting terrorism. The more we renounce our racist and dangerous at
27 NIKV69 : Do you really think that electing Obama will prevent radical muslims from joining with AQ? Are you serious? Your going to have to explain what "groun
28 Mariner : No. I didn't say it. Why? I didn't use the word. I use italics to show the difference between what I say and what a linked article says. You dumped o
29 Post contains links Cairo : Some of just hate one party or another and attach stereotypes to them, never bothering to read what they've said or plan to do. On numerous occassion
30 Slider : To be fair, energy independence has been summarily ignored in substance by EVERY president since Eisenhower, who got us into bed with the Saudis in e
31 NIKV69 : We know that already. Again more fluff that is designed to take your eye off the ball. This makes absolutely no sense, Their idea is to destroy anyth
32 N867DA : Why give up your guns while watching your neighbor buy more?
33 Cairo : Just help me understand your point of view please. You say that China, Brazil and Japan have nothing to fear because they don't support Israel and th
34 Aaron747 : Listen up folks - this is the voice of a person who has only stayed in the hotel if they've ever been abroad. The interview wasn't directed at those
35 Cairo : EXACTLY There are many ways to put out a fire - a very effective way is to deprive it of the air and fuel it needs to burn. The last thing a dentist
36 RJpieces : Not really. You could EASILY find very similiar comments by President Bush or Clinton before him. Of course, the world is going to react differently
37 Arsenal@LHR : These are welcome words from Obama, a refreshing change from the cowboy rhetoric "We'll hunt you down", and "smoke 'em out", "your with us or against
38 WunalaYann : I could not agree more. Oh so true. Very wise words, Charles. While I agree with the principle, I would be a bit more cautious. Indeed, I believe tha
39 Post contains links NAV20 : I find this significant. Abbas, ('Abu Mazen'), widely regarded as a bit of a pro-Israel 'trusty,' is joining in the criticism of Israel's methods in G
40 Mariner : Once again, after a long life, born in and associated with the Middle East, I recall very few western leaders who have even begun to address that iss
41 NAV20 : I said 'short-term,' WunalaYann, because even the Arab Peace Plan is only aimed at correcting the allocation of territory between the two sides (to s
42 WunalaYann : I am with you all the way.
43 Mariner : The sensible solution was set out in Sykes-Picot, by Balfour and at Versailles. If I am reading you correctly, it is the basis of your solution. It's
44 Cairo : The most common reason people have an "awakening" to their national or ethnic identity is when economics start to go bad and the younger generation f
45 Mariner : I agree. That's partly what I meant about not being able to turn back time. mariner
46 Cairo : Right. Even if in hindsight one thinks the way Israel was born in 1947 was wrong, or at least handled badly, can you really ask them to get up and le
47 Post contains links NAV20 : Obama just said something that I find very interesting - and maybe ominous, from the point of view of Netanyahu when he gains power in February:- "In
48 NAV20 : Absolutely, Mariner. As far as Balfour was concerned, his Declaration specifically said that nothing should be done "which may prejudice the civil an
49 Baroque : Yes Peanut Jim is totally forgettable? Assuming that rather Delphic comment applies to boths sides, how true. Wear it as a badge of honour Aaron, you
50 Mham001 : Thats just not true, the terrorists do. Do you believe the Taleban for instance do not hate us for what we are? They hate and kill their own people f
51 FatmirJusufi : For these years has been Islam against US?
52 TheCol : The answer is obvious, but we, as the international community, prefer to put our own self-interests ahead of helping our brothers and sisters that re
53 Par13del : A lot of Americans on the street will claim that they aid and support Israel for their survival, are the Palestinians being oppressed yes, but it a g
54 Baroque : I am wondering where that is going????????? The only place I can see is "bomb them a bit more, it is good for them". I am sure that is not where you
55 Cpd : What about both of them! Fundamentalists on both sides are as bad as each other. Why do we make excuses for the fundamentalists on one side, but crit
56 Par13del : How exactly do you think the current "repressive" govts. in the Middle East will be replaced with more democratic institutions who have more respect
57 NAV20 : There's only one way to do that, Par13del. By setting the ordinary people an example - showing them that democratic, inclusive, religiously-tolerant p
58 Baroque : Very difficult. That we know, re-emphasised if ever it needed to be by the Iraq adventure, although in some ways Afghanistan is an even more worrying
59 Par13del : That was the whole point of my post, it will be difficult and so far, based on the way the west has conducted themselves - yes the west because the U
60 Baroque : A. That is the case. B. That is the stated reason that Hamas and Hez are hostile. C. Extending to Egypt ,SA gets complex because it then turn on perc
61 Par13del : Turkey and Israel have relations, if the bombing of Gaza has created problems between them it is rightly where it belongs, between them. What we have
62 Post contains links Baroque : http://www.gmanews.tv/story/142550/T...Lebanon-Turkey-protest-Gaza-attack Only about a couple of million similar hits. USAK is probably authoritative
63 Bahadir : and don't forget it was the beloved president of hard core rightests and his CIA director who lit the fire. How could you ignore the fact that radica
64 Post contains links Cairo : I don't know if you are capable of this, but I'd suggest doing some self-searching and perhaps you'll come to understand that it's a lot easier and m
65 ME AVN FAN : - He referred to the Middle East in general, not some radical fringe organisations. The "Taliban" movements in Afghanistan are some rather radical mo
66 Post contains links Starbuk7 : We need more people like this woman to stand up for what is wrong in the Middle East Here is a powerful and amazing statement on Al Jazeera television
67 Klaus : Indeed. The Reagan policies have come full circle on many levels by now, haven't they?
68 Cairo : They aren't quite the brain child of Reagan and Bush; the Wahabbis have been around for centuries and started to cause problems in the 20th Century;
69 Post contains links Dougloid : Unfortunately, saying that there's nothing to fear from Islamic terrorists in China, Brazil and Japan is not accurate, m'dear Cairo. First there's th
70 ME AVN FAN : - with 10 mio., the number of Arab-Brazilians is considerable. Here from Wikipedia : - An Arab Brazilian is a Brazilian-born person of Arab descent.
71 Post contains links AGM100 : Nothing really new spoken by President Obama , although I beleive he did the right thing. It has been done over an over by President Bush. See it all
72 Post contains links Dougloid : True, but that's not what we're talking about, izzit? http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatist...0/populacao/religiao_Censo2000.pdf
73 ME AVN FAN : - No, it has NEVER been done by either of the two President Bush. At least not in a credible way. And not in a way which was accepted as truly fair.
74 Par13del : The same US made equipment is being used by Turkey on Iraqi Kurds, funny how arms and ammunition have become a universal "language" And therein lies
75 AGM100 : President Bush said it many many times .... read my links. I guess it just means "more" coming from President Obama ... and maybe that is a good thin
76 Mariner : Well - perhaps. Perhaps what he said was obvious almost to the point of banality. Except that I have seldom heard it said before. (And not to get too
77 ME AVN FAN : It in fact IS what we are talking about, as elQaeda for instance, whenever fundamentalist by ideology, is a thoroughly Arab organisation, with non-Ar
78 AGM100 : The only "credibility" needed is that it comes from President Obama . Only days after Sept 11, President Bush spoke at a Mosque in NY .. and clearly
79 Par13del : Missed me, I'm not saying that they are fixed, what I am saying is that we need to listen more to what people say rather than attempting to interpret
80 Dougloid : Didja read the census data? The number of muslims in Brazil is laughably small. That's precisely the point I was making to Mr. Cairo, that he was mis
81 Klaus : Not that by itself but the context of Obama seriously addressing the underlying issues, such as making a point of jumping into the mideast conflict r
82 Aaron747 : A mosque in NY is worlds apart from putting the first TV interview with foreign press on a major network from the ME.
83 Flighty : Bush may have made 1 appearance at an NYC mosque, but more commonly he considered Muslims "evil doers." Iraq, a Muslim nation, drew suspicion for 9/1
84 WunalaYann : I think you often raise good points but in my opinion, your latest post is not one of them. Accusing the previous administration of considering Musli
85 Dougloid : That's a pretty fine point Yann. It's common enough to consider one's enemies stupid, and maybe some of the things they do are ill advised, but it ca
86 NAV20 : Not sure that Flighty was questioning his brainpower, WunalaYann - more his predilection for attacking Muslim countries on the basis of the slightest
87 WunalaYann : In which case the three of us are in agreement, and I retract my previous comments. And I apologise if I have offended anyone.
88 Baroque : It does tend to be a bitch when you are the largest sellers of arms, and client states are then seen on nightly TV bombing the bejesus out of women a
89 Aaron747 : A fair and excellent point. The fact that there were so many experienced people on his team, including the Vice President whose compass on the issue
90 AGM100 : I just hope he does have too "act conciliatory" after some major event like 911. You say he his trying to change tones , I believe it is more like tr
91 ME AVN FAN : - First of all it is the French saying that "c'est le ton qui fait le musique" and President Obama chose the right tone. Second, whenever GWB said so
92 AGM100 : Might ? So what . It becomes a matter of interpretation at that point... or worse ... personal dislike of the man used as a filter for his comments.
93 ME AVN FAN : - you got it quite exactly. YES, everything is subject to interpretation. The point that the USA twice elected a man almost universally DISliked arou
94 AGM100 : Thanks ... so it is because he was a Christian then ? ( No denying that is a major factor) Or was it because a went in a got rid of a true enemy of t
95 Klaus : In which of the many, many interviews and press conferences with Q&A did he use a teleprompter to give eloquent and in-depth answers to direct questi
96 Cairo : Does everything have to be so black and white? I know it's easier to understand if one side or the other takes absolute blame, but do you think there
97 AGM100 : Cause hostility with a entire religion ? Yes , I have a problem with that. These are national political issues with individual countries . Why does i
98 Flighty : Here's an assortment of random quotes I will cut and paste from various players. "a McCain aide said the senator would continue to use the term Islam
99 AGM100 : President Obama has used the term Islamic terrorists as well. Are any of your quotes above from President Bush ? don't think so. Flighty , President
100 WunalaYann : This is pretty much what I implied, only not quite as eloquently. Ditto.
101 Cairo : Americans may largely see themselves as Americans first, and a member of their religion, or member of the world, second.... quite the opposite is tru
102 Klaus : Believing that token elections are identical with having an actual democracy is one of the biggest mistakes. In reality many thousands of iraqis have
103 Baroque : I think his worst moment came immediately after his best. He dodged those shoes with skill and aplomb and smiled making light of it. Everything was s
104 AGM100 : Of course , but if I am a catholic American ... and Iraqi Muslims go kill some Iraqi catholics.. of course it is concerning. Especially if they claim
105 ME AVN FAN : - No, as those in the world who disliked him so much by majority were/are Christians, and that includes relatively right-wing Europeans who in politi
106 Mariner : No, he is not an idiot. Similarly, the UK's Tony Blair is not an idiot. I did not agree with the US decision to invade Iraq, but I understood why it
107 AGM100 : MAF , I agree and I am not throwing President Obama under the bus as some kind of crazy socialist. He has so far been staying in the middle or at lea
108 Mariner : I hope that's right. Much as I disapproved of the Iraq invasion, it happened - it is what it is. The greater difficulty, as I see it, is the actual (
109 Flighty : Sorry? Why did it have to happen? Dick Cheney, that fascinating man, had this to say during a 2004 debate (this is his justification for the Iraq War
110 Mariner : Just bad phrasing on my part. Should have been "I understand why it happened." mariner
111 Flighty : That's cool, yeah in some sense it "had to happen" because some very powerful people wanted it to happen.
112 Klaus : Counter to any evidence I know of. What's yours? Blair still believed himself to be much smarter than he actually turned out to be in the end. He's n
113 Mariner : Evidence? I don't know of any evidence that proves someone is not an idiot, short of a psychiatric report. Similarly, you have none (that I would acc
114 Post contains images Klaus : I've listed a few indications of intelligence above. Being able to recognize the difference between one's own preconceptions and reality is another i
115 Mariner : That may be true. But I still don't associate the word "idiot" with Mr. Bush. Whatever anyone thinks of his policies, he stayed true to them, right t
116 Klaus : We don't really have to agree on that! Immobility is not a sign of intelligence. It can also (and from all appearances has in Bush's case) simply ind
117 Mariner : Good, because we don't agree. But you asked me to present evidence: mariner
118 NAV20 : Mariner, and Klaus, if I had to describe Bush in one word, that word would be 'puppet.' My impression was that he didn't have any particular burning
119 Cairo : I will half-way agree with you on this. The excessive political correctness in Europe which is allowing the gradual reduction of a free and tolerant
120 AGM100 : Its a decent strategy , we knew they would come fight against a "new" government in Iraq. They did .. and the people of Iraq defeated them and reject
121 Mariner : Well, maybe. But I still think it is dangerous to underestimate him - or any political leader. I think that people seriously underestimate one qualit
122 Klaus : That is an extremely oversimplifying statement which doesn't get any better by sheer repetition. We've got both harsh reactions to proven transgressi
123 NAV20 : Fair to say, also, thank God they're not like the Jewish one either. Except that, of course, both world wars arose from quarrels between Christian na
124 Klaus : Ah, missed that one: Christianity was almost exactly like that not too long ago. Interestingly, fanatical Islam owes its roots not least to the reacti
125 Cairo : I'm not sure where the repeitition is, I've never said it before...sensitive subject, eh? That was a nice essay, I'm not sure anyone brought up post-
126 Post contains links NAV20 : Cairo, from what I can gather, all the signs are that Iraq is rapidly reverting to tribalism and the age-old enmity between Shia and Sunni? And that
127 Cairo : They are having an election which all parties seem to be participating, including the Sunnis, which is a new presence. I don't see any particular rea
128 Post contains links NAV20 : Basically geography and economics, Cairo - leading on into political confrontation. The mainly-Sunni area to the northwest has no oil - but it does c
129 Post contains links Baroque : Sadly because they swallowed the copious doses of codswallop that you so ably listed. It is just awful reading them over again. When the witchunt was
130 Post contains links Mariner : Then people use the term idiot or idiotic much too loosely. She caused a revolution - privatization - which many countries followed. Anyone can disag
131 Baroque : Well, let us see if those dissecting the entrails of the current mess blame La Thatch or the Galloping Major? I know where my money is. Could you spe
132 Post contains links NAV20 : With respect, Mariner, Sykes-Picot was just a 1916 horse-deal between the British and French - a 'desktop deal' at that, since they could hardly have
133 Mariner : Sykes-Picot foreshadowed the Balfour Declaration - as on the map. "Palestine" was to become a free-zone condominium, before eventually gaining indepe
134 Baroque : We can agree on that, but for my money that was probably a good thing!! Less of what contained quite a few bad ideas.
135 AGM100 : WWII was not fought between religions , that I know of . I Could be wrong but I believe it was fought more for economic power and territorial dominan
136 ME AVN FAN : - > no, his "spending bill" is far below what FDR did in your country and what LBJ actually would have liked to do. It just is to push the USA a bit
137 ME AVN FAN : - I suggest you abstain from "blaming" anybody. There in German peotry is the phrase (not very correctly narrated !) "halb zog es ihn hin, halb fiel
138 Post contains links Cairo : Yeah, not good, but par for the course. LBJ had dead people voting for him and up until the 1960s blacks weren't allowed to vote in the US in a lot o
139 Post contains links Dreadnought : Well, we now have Iran's response to Obama's new approach: US President Barack Obama's offer to talk to Iran shows that America's policy of "dominatio
140 Mariner : I think it is the reaction that many expected. Ahmahdinejad is playing to his home team. You don't seriously believe that he believes he'll get that?
141 Dreadnought : Probably not. But I bet Obama is scratching his head thinking, "I thought they would like me". Translation of Iran's reaction: Obama is weak. And oth
142 Mariner : I very much doubt that. I mean, if you don't like the guy, fine - but why assume he's naive? He puts Ahmahdinejad in a complex position - how do you
143 NAV20 : Dreadnought, just for fun, please put yourself into the position of the Iranian man (or woman) in the street. 1. You are literally surrounded by count
144 Dreadnought : Well, DUH!!! Just a few hundred speeches he gave over the past couple of years, that's all... In that culture, what Obama did can be construed as a s
145 Mariner : Then we've heard different speeches. Just as an example, what - exactly - has the policy of not engaging with Cuba achieved? Much of the reaction in
146 Baroque : The main Bush legacy should be suspicion of the spin coming out of the US about Iraq. When they start to admit the number of fatalities and stop assu
147 Kiwiandrew : I think it is a brave move , but it would also be good to see him send another message - a "message to America : Islam ( and muslims in general ) is/a
148 ME AVN FAN : - Of course Germany is also suffering. To my astonishment, quite many Germans apparently now think the the "Social Market Economy" is a too far right
149 Klaus : The idea that "in Germany after 1945 it has worked so well, Iraq should be a cakewalk!" was prominently and frequently repeated by the neocon invasio
150 Dreadnought : I think you misinterpreted. It took a full decade to get Germany back on its feet after the War. 10 years in a country filled with educated, hard-wor
151 Post contains links NAV20 : Sorry we disagree to such an extent, Klaus. Oddly enough, we seem to agree absolutely about Germany, which I happen to know quite well:- We probably
152 Post contains links Cairo : I did not mean to insult you, so I apologize for the limited scope of insulting you personally, but not for the remark, which remains accurate. I am
153 Klaus : No, you just keep on making exactly that mistake. It is not "just" a matter of time scale, Iraq in 200x and Germany in 194x are fundamentally differe
154 ME AVN FAN : They now have lost a "favourite enemy" and at the same time got a counterpart in the White House who appeals to a majority of their population. They
155 Klaus : No problem... but I think we'll keep disagreeing... Indeed. One should not underestimate, however, that even though it gained modern statehood relati
156 ME AVN FAN : - Just to clarify a few points in regard to Iraq : > Iraq HAD a democratically elected parliament from 1925 to 1958 > Iraq even before 1920, in the f
157 Klaus : Okay, but that's a bit much of a gap. You'd not find many employable survivors from that era today. In 1945 it had been just 12 years since democracy
158 ME AVN FAN : - He in his regime had many Shi'ites and his oppression was not against the Shi'ites in general but against particular Shi'ite groups like the "Marsh
159 Cairo : 100% right. Repressive regimes thrive on foregin enemies to keep domestic attention focused outward. Saber- ratting, "bomb-bomb-bomb...bomb-bomb-Iran
160 Post contains images Klaus : How do you insist on insulting everyone without insulting every individual in that group at the same time? Sorry, that is a transparent cop-out which
161 Klaus : To my knowledge only a very small number of shi'ites ever made it to higher positions, especially considering that they're the majority population. F
162 Post contains links Cairo : I have no resentment from any different points of view. For those posters who obsessively try to argue what a disaster America is, in both foreign po
163 Klaus : You and your personal beliefs are not identical with America! I and many of your own compatriots disagree with your ideas, not with America as such!
164 Post contains links Baroque : Alas, how accurate a description is that? And most of the Islamic world while a spectator will be among the casualties. Few (maybe nobody) has mentio
165 ME AVN FAN : - This for once is/was not the fault of Mr al-Takriti. When the Brits implanted King Faisal bin Hussein in Iraq in 1920, they planted an emir out of
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