Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Posts Tagged ‘US-Arab relations’

Obamawatch: Interview with Arab TV

Posted by sanityinjection on January 27, 2009

President Obama gave the first formal TV interview of his Presidency to the Arab satellite TV network al-Arabiya. In the interview, Obama told Muslims that “Americans are not your enemy” and called for a new relationship “based on mutual respect and mutual interest.”

Oh, good. Now that we got that cleared up, let’s cure cancer.

I don’t have a problem with Obama doing this interview. It makes for good PR. I just hope he’s not naive enough to believe his own rhetoric – that the Arab world is going to come around just because we talk nice.

The truth is that a significant segment of the Arab world not only hates America – they enjoy hating America. It’s a nice escape from the frustrations of their daily lives. It feels good to blame the Americans for everything. And the Arab governments which claim to be our friends quietly encourage their people to continue blaming us and hating us because it distracts them from blaming and hating their governments.

The US and Arab countries do not have “mutual respect and mutual interest.” They think we’re corrupt, immoral, and arrogant. We think they’re backward, cruel and intolerant. (Here’s a secret: They’re right about us and we’re right about them.) That’s not a good basis for a productive relationship.

In fact, the only reason we ever developed a relationship with the Arab world is that we wanted their oil and they wanted protection. That is the true basis for our interactions. In the 21st century, however, there are other countries who can and will develop and buy Arab oil, just as we are confronting the need for alternative fuel sources. So the motivation on each side to continue the relationship is waning.

Now granted, Obama can’t come out and say any of this stuff in an interview. I’m just hoping that, behind closed doors, he knows it.


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