One of the memorable moments for me of the 2008 election season was a barely noticed comment made by Sarah Palin during her debate with Biden. She was responding to Biden's election year anti-Iraq war conversion;
"Oh, yeah, it's so obvious I'm a Washington outsider. And someone just not used to the way you guys operate. Because here you voted for the war and now you oppose the war. You're one who says, as so many politicians do, I was for it before I was against it or vice- versa. Americans are craving that straight talk and just want to know, hey, if you voted for it, tell us why you voted for it and it was a war resolution. And you had supported John McCain's military strategies pretty adamantly until this race and you had opposed very adamantly Barack Obama's military strategy, including cutting off funding for the troops that attempt all through the primary.And I watched those debates, so I remember what those were all about"
Of course, Sarah Palin is such a lightweight, how can one possibly compare her to Obama? Talk about no straight talk. "Straight talk" and his interview on Arab television are mutually exclusive terms. The media has been sitting around since the election wondering just what the heck Obama believes. His interview on Al-Arabiya TV did not help clarify matters at all, except to show how feckless this man really is. Maybe he was being ultra clever and nuanced when Obama Addressed Muslim World On Arab Television. But his comments were disturbing if not outright despicable. On the one hand, he differentiated himself from Bush, in implied agreement with his interviewer, by inferring that George Bush was an avowed enemy of "all Muslims" as opposed to just terrorists; on the other hand, he almost was strutting about how "nervous" bin Laden and others seem about Obama---until, that is, the interviewer called his bluff. The interviewer wondered why they should be "more nervous" about Obama than Bush.
"Question: How concerned are you and -- because people sense that you have a different political discourse. And I think, judging by (inaudible) and Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden and all these, you know -- a chorus --
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I noticed this. They seem nervous.
Q They seem very nervous, exactly. Now, tell me why they should be more nervous?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that when you look at the rhetoric that they've been using against me before I even took office --
Q I know, I know.
THE PRESIDENT: -- what that tells me is that their ideas are bankrupt. There's no actions that they've taken that say a child in the Muslim world is getting a better education because of them, or has better health care because of them.
They are more nervous of him because they know, that he knows, they have not provided "health care" for children? He could not even step up to the challenge put before him by the interviewer to say he was going to "kill or capture" bin Laden. So why was Obama bragging that bin Laden and Zawahiri are "nervous"? He thought that is what the interviewer wanted to hear--then he realized he was getting trapped into saying something he thought the audience did not want to hear. Yeah, I am sure bin Laden is extra nervous. But unlike Palin, I am sure Obama is nuanced, and bin Laden realizes Obama has his number on education and health care. That could even make Lindsay Graham nervous.
Then, Obama goes off on the interviewer led tangent implying Bush hated Muslims and Obama loves them.
"Question: President Bush framed the war on terror conceptually in a way that was very broad, "war on terror," and used sometimes certain terminology that the many people -- Islamic fascism. You've always framed it in a different way, specifically against one group called al Qaeda and their collaborators. And is this one way of --
THE PRESIDENT: I think that you're making a very important point. And that is that the language we use matters. And what we need to understand is, is that there are extremist organizations -- whether Muslim or any other faith in the past -- that will use faith as a justification for violence. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith's name.
And so you will I think see our administration be very clear in distinguishing between organizations like al Qaeda -- that espouse violence, espouse terror and act on it -- and people who may disagree with my administration and certain actions, or may have a particular viewpoint in terms of how their countries should develop. 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.
But to the broader Muslim world what we are going to be offering is a hand of friendship"
This is absurd. Language certainly does matter. George Bush bent over backwards to distinguish between terrorists and Muslims in general. What is wrong with the term "Islamofascist" when applied to the terrorists anyway? How can Obama virtually brag about how "nervous" Osama bin Laden is now, since he himself took office. Is he? Isn't that a "cowboy" comment? If he is, is he more nervous than when Bush was president? And just to whom is that "hand of friendship" being extended that George Bush did not extend it to? To Syria, Iran, Hamas? It was Bush who was not stereotyping all Muslims against bipartisan opposition when he supported the Dubai Ports deal. Where did Obama stand on that one? No comment is where he stood. That sure is straight taking courageous manliness, isn't it?
Just who with and how so will Obama be different than Bush? The Middle East clearly did not like us going into Iraq. But we did and won. And now Hussein is dead and gone. Is Obama going to apologize for that? The word "Iraq" never escaped his lips. The interviewer was almost keeling over wanting to get a question in on Iraq, but Obama "had to get back to dinner with his wife". Obama freakishly pined with the interviewer for the good old days of "20 to 30 years ago" when Arab American relations were apparently in their hey day. Like the hey day of 1993 when the first WTC bombing occurred; or the hey day of 1990 when Hussein marched into Kuwait; or the sunny skies over Lockerbie in 1988 when Pan Am flight 103 blew up ; or the good old days of 1986 when 246 marines were killed in their barracks in Beirut; or the uber great old days of 1979-1981 when Iranians took our embassy hostage under the immoral Jimmy Carter. Just what the hell was Obama talking about?