After climbing onto an elliptical at the gym this morning and tuning the TV to CNN, I did a double-take: why was there a video of President Obama with headlines in Arabic where the CNN Morning News team should be? Once I put in my headphones, I realized it was a transmission of President Obama’s Monday night conversation with Al-Arabiya – his first sit-down interview with a news agency since taking office.
I have to say, I’m pretty pleased: my president used his first official interview to offer the potential for peace and friendship between the United States and the “Muslim world,” and to highlight some of the similarities that exist between the U.S. and Arab nations – particularly the universal hope of parents that their children’s lives will be better than their own.
Watch the interview for yourself below, or read the International Herald Tribune’s summary.
My favorite quote? “[T]he 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.” Indeed, Mr. President, one sect’s actions are not necessarily supported by the religion as a whole. We need to strike a careful balance between dealing with one and dealing with the other, and it looks like you’re on your way to doing just that!
The contrast with his predecessor couldn’t be more striking. I think anyone who wasn’t half asleep during Bush’s tenure noticed how “us vs. them” his language often was – insidiously so when it wasn’t blatant.
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great post! tks