Thursday, December 04, 2008

Obama's Show Vs. Substance

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Obama is always about show: fake seals, speeches in Berlin, the whole convention thing at Invesco with fake Greek temple facade and now a new one:

WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama’s aides say he is considering making a major foreign policy speech from an Islamic capital during his first 100 days in office.

So where should he do it? The list of Islamic world capitals is long, and includes the obvious —Riyadh, Kuwait City, Islamabad — and the not-so-obvious — Male (the Maldives), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Tashkent (Uzbekistan). Some wise-guys have even suggested Dearborn, Mich., as a possibility.
I guess the first question one should ask is why, why is he even contemplating this? Forget the security implications but consider what his aim will be. Will he hold to show terrorist elements that he is a friend of Muslims? Is he showing that he won't be the ally of Israel that every President has been since 1948 save Jimmy Carter? What.

It's a show and one that may have dire consequences. By appearing in front of a large Islamic crowd, he'll be intimating that he supports Muslims and by extension Arab views. The one view they all share is that Israel is the enemy and they will take his speech--regardless of what he says--as proof that he's a supporter of them and their position, you can guarantee that. But he'll then go to Tel Aviv and speak and Muslims will feel let down and will be even more apt to dislike the US. US Presidents speak and the world listens, especially in the Arab world where they are taken seriously more than anywhere else.

It's a can't-win situation that will only inflame the region, especially if Israel strikes Iran in the next month or so going after every site that may hold nukes. Imagine if Obama is slated to speak in Cairo on March 15th and Israel hits in January before the inauguration (as predicted by one who has some insight), anything short of the complete condemnation of Israel will never fly, especially since Hamas is just over the border and is an Iranian proxy.

This is a bad idea and one conceived to assuage Obama's ego. This is no longer the campaign with people screaming his name and other inane slogans that reminded one of the post-sanity Pink addressing the crowd. No, this is the real world where Presidents of the US have to be rational and have to think past the stilted mindset of what he is now considering.

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