NEWS///POLITIKS///OBAMA GRANTS FIRS INTERVIEW AS PRESIDENT TO ARAB NEWS NETWORK
In a move seemingly engineered to break the brains of conservatives, BARACK OBAMA made good on his "Change" platform this week by granting his first official interview as president to the Saudi owned Arab news network Al Arabiya. The move was an overt show of good faith to Muslims worldwide, one that serves as a starting point for the long process of repairing America's badly damaged public image at the hands of his predecessor. Explaining this unprecedented outreach Obama explained, "Now, my job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries." Criticizing the Bush administration's "War on Terror" as ineffective, Obama said "The language we use matters. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith’s name. I cannot respect terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians and we will hunt them down. But to the broader Muslim world what we are going to be offering is a hand of friendship ... What I want to communicate is the fact that in all my travels throughout the Muslim world, what I've come to understand is that regardless of your faith—and America is a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers—regardless of your faith, people all have certain common hopes and common dreams. And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task.” Shocking stuff indeed given the lingering shadow of last eight years. On the topic of Arab Israeli relations, Obama declared "I think the most important thing is for the United States to get engaged right away ... 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. So let's listen." Looks like those campaign posters weren't just all rhetoric after all. Read the full transcript HERE.
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