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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default Don't lecture us: Arabs tell Obama

    CAIRO (AFP) – "Obama is just a prettier face. I'm sure his intentions are in the right place but I don't expect much from the man," a Cairo electrician said on Wednesday as US President Barack Obama began his much-anticipated Middle East trip.

    Newspapers, analysts and ordinary Arabs warned Obama -- whose election was hailed across the region -- against emulating the policies of Bush by lecturing Muslims on democracy, and also urged him to be tough with Israel.

    Obama began his tour in Saudi Arabia and will deliver a speech in Cairo on Thursday to the world's 1.5 billion Muslims, after eight years of fraught ties under his predecessor George W. Bush.

    "Don't be biased towards Israel, don't interfere in countries' internal affairs and don't give lessons in democracy," said an editorial in Egypt's state-owned Rose El-Youssef newspaper.

    The chief editor of Egypt's state-owned Al-Ahram, Ossama Saraya, said Obama faced demands from his team to "put pressure on the Muslim world under the pretext of democratisation and respect for human rights.

    "There's nothing more absurd than putting more pressure on the Arab-Muslim world," Saraya said.

    Washington's key Arab allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia have repeatedly come under criticism from international rights organisations for their poor human rights records.

    "He can't help the Palestinians because of the closeness of ties between Israel and America. He can't improve the situation here (Egypt) because he'll never convince the regime to change," said taxi driver Mohammed Abdullah.

    Hamas, the Islamist rulers of the Gaza Strip boycotted by the West as a terrorist group, urged Obama to put "real pressure" on Israel.

    "We will judge this visit on the basis of what he will say and concrete measures that he will take," spokesman Fawzi Barhum said.

    In Amman, the Jordan Times hoped that Obama -- whose electoral promise of change has grabbed hearts in the troubled Middle East -- should deliver on his pledge.

    "If Obama fails in his mission of peace, the parties, and the world, might just as well prepare for more suffering and turmoil."

    In Lebanon, where Sunday's parliamentary election will be monitored closely by Washington as it pits a Western-backed majority against a Hezbollah-led alliance backed by Syria and Iran, reactions were divided.

    "The Americans are testing the waters," said travel agent Moufeed Shbeir. "Obama is trying to take a different route than Bush, but we'll have to wait and see the results: are they going to bomb Iran?"

    In non-Arab Iran, the head of North American Studies at Tehran University said Obama should have gone to the largest Muslim nation in the world -- Indonesia -- to address Muslims.

    "I personally think Obama has made a mistake by choosing Saudi Arabia and Egypt. I don't think this is going to go down well in the Muslim and Arab world," Sayed Mohammad Marandi told AFP.

    "Symbolically speaking, he could have gone somewhere like Indonesia," he said.

    Saudi Arabia's Al-Riyadh newspaper warned Muslims against having high expectations. "The Islamic world should not think that Obama is coming to be an ally or a supporter," an editorial said.

    United Arab Emirates Vice President Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum warned Obama that the worsening economic situation would strengthen extremism in the Islamic world.

    "Those young men, who are increasingly bored (due to growing unemployment), will be easy prey for those promoting extremism and hostility, mainly against the United States," he wrote in Al-Khaleej.

    Beirut-based analyst Paul Salem, who heads the Carnegie Middle East Centre, said he expected Arabs to be disappointed by Obama's speech.

    "What they want him to say is more than what he's going to say," he said.

    "They want him to say that he's going to come down hard on the Israelis, that he's going to confront the settlement policy and that he's going to push the Israelis to withdraw from the West Bank.

    "Of course that is what every Arab would like to hear."

    On the streets of Cairo, which were getting a facelift ahead of Obama's speech, citizens were more concerned about traffic jams than regional diplomacy on Wednesday.

    "What's he going to do for us? Lower the price of bread? If he does, then he's welcome here," said 38-year-old cafe worker Ahmed Abdel Salam.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Eruption
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    blah blah blah, we hate america, blah blah blah, kill the infidels
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  3. #3
    Hang 'Em High Hurricane Halen's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 01:43 PM
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    Oh good, maybe Obama will finally learn that he will, NEVER, be able to make good with these people. He can kiss all the ass he wants, he can apolgize for all of, "America's mistakes... " and be Mary Maid Peace Maker, but these people will strike us again if he doesn't grow a fucking spine in his back and stand up for this country.

    I know that there are Arab states that, "Like" America, but most of them could give 2 shits about the United States and would like us to just, "Go away".

    Is it me, are do any of you feel like we are sitting ducks right now?

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  4. #4
    Hang 'Em High Wray's Avatar
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    What is it with this one-dimensional attitude towards the Arab world? It's not practical--it never has been, and it's a big reason that we're in the situation that we are.

    This thought process that entails improving our relations with the Arab world as a bad thing is a bit perplexing. How can improving relations with anyone be negative? Trying to explain how we can achieve the beginnings of some sort of stability in that region without extending our hand would be quite a challenge for any person. In fact, I find it quite implausible. For once we have a President that genuinely wants to improve foreign relations and our standing around the world as opposed to alienating us from every other culture, and people don't like it? Ever wonder why the rest of the world--even Great Britain--thinks of us as arrogant pricks?

    The idea that because Obama is trying to improve our relations in the Middle East that it will somehow weaken our national security or leave us vulnerable to more attacks is also half-witted. Since when do have to sacrifice one for the other? I also find it a bit humorous that people make the ridiculous assumption that because of his diplomatic persona and policy ideals in respect to foreign relations that he wouldn't stand strong and take the appropriate measures if we were indeed attacked by terrorists during his term.

    Regarding Israel: it's about time we start applying the pressure and hold them to the same standards that they want the Arab world held to. What many people seem to forget (conveniently, perhaps) is that Bush set down this precedent with Ariel Sharon in regards to settlement construction. There's nothing about this that includes us "selling out" Israel. They sold out the Bush admin. and the United States in general countless times over when they gave us the figurative middle finger when we made repeated pleas to Sharon to help us restore some degree of calm in the region.
    Last edited by Wray; 06.04.09 at 02:46 AM.

  5. #5
    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    11.19.17 @ 09:41 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wray View Post
    What is it with this one-dimensional attitude towards the Arab world? It's not practical--it never has been, and it's a big reason that we're in the situation that we are.

    This thought process that entails improving our relations with the Arab world as a bad thing is a bit perplexing. How can improving relations with anyone be negative? Trying to explain how we can achieve the beginnings of some sort of stability in that region without extending our hand would be quite a challenge for any person. In fact, I find it quite implausible. For once we have a President that genuinely wants to improve foreign relations and our standing around the world as opposed to alienating us from every other culture, and people don't like it? Ever wonder why the rest of the world--even Great Britain--thinks of us as arrogant pricks?

    The idea that because Obama is trying to improve our relations in the Middle East that it will somehow weaken our national security or leave us vulnerable to more attacks is also half-witted. Since when do have to sacrifice one for the other? I also find it a bit humorous that people make the ridiculous assumption that because of his diplomatic persona and policy ideals in respect to foreign relations that he wouldn't stand strong and take the appropriate measures if we were indeed attacked by terrorists during his term.

    Regarding Israel: it's about time we start applying the pressure and hold them to the same standards that they want the Arab world held to. What many people seem to forget (conveniently, perhaps) is that Bush set down this precedent with Ariel Sharon in regards to settlement construction. There's nothing about this that includes us "selling out" Israel. They sold out the Bush admin. and the United States in general countless times over when they gave us the figurative middle finger when we made repeated pleas to Sharon to help us restore some degree of calm in the region.

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  6. #6
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 04:50 PM
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    Here is why I don't want to cater to the Muslim world. Take whatever company you work for. You have your corporate philsophy. Half of the people follow that and try to work together. The other half pretty much do what they want, instigate shit and cause trouble. That is what we have here. While I know the western world is far from ideal, I think that current trends have shown that we are much more moderate in our approach to resolving differences.

    If the United States is evil, then how come our leader is going over to Muslim countries trying to rationalize our policies? YOu don't see the counterpart coming over here and doing the same?

    Concerning Israel, try living in a country where all your neighbors want you wiped off the map. We think its bad having guns in airports, try having them on buses, streets, etc.

  7. #7
    Unchained gavs5150's Avatar
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    05.09.15 @ 09:17 PM
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    Default You America bashers kill me

    [QUOTE=Wray;1146210] Ever wonder why the rest of the world--even Great Britain--thinks of us as arrogant pricks? QUOTE]

    Yet most would still give their left nut to come to America. Yeah, we suck!

    Seriously, have you ever looked at how fucked up most of the world is? Obama is trying to reason with people who have a mentality of 1,000 years ago.
    Last edited by gavs5150; 06.04.09 at 06:20 AM.

  8. #8
    Unchained gavs5150's Avatar
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    You libs freaked because Miss California is against gay marriage! Any idea what they do to gay people in some of these Middle Eastern countries? Or to women who don't act subservient?

  9. #9
    Eruption gabby gabbster's Avatar
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    Look, there's no doubt there are serious human rights issues and extremism in the Muslim world. Dangerous, dangerous people. Yet we tried 8 years of the hard lined, axis of evil, do no speak to them, attitude... and it actually made us less safe. Terrorism has increased (around the world) and more terror cells have formed as a result of the last administration's bull headed approach.
    Also, the idea that America is just sooo perfect and without any fault is very naive. Sometimes you have to accept some fault in order to move forward.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk stilleddiesangel's Avatar
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    08.25.17 @ 05:45 PM
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    What concerns me the most is we stereotype them as they would stereotype us.

    The majority of muslims live peaceful lives and have no desire to make war with anyone. Then of course you have radicals that try to fire up those peaceful people. If we can get through to those peace loving amongst the muslim nations, having them not see us as the enemy, surely that has to be a good thing.
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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabby gabbster View Post
    Look, there's no doubt there are serious human rights issues and extremism in the Muslim world. Dangerous, dangerous people. Yet we tried 8 years of the hard lined, axis of evil, do no speak to them, attitude... and it actually made us less safe. Terrorism has increased (around the world) and more terror cells have formed as a result of the last administration's bull headed approach.
    Also, the idea that America is just sooo perfect and without any fault is very naive. Sometimes you have to accept some fault in order to move forward.
    Seriously?

    Let me ask you a question. Is Al Queda more of a threat today than on 9-10? I don't have world wide facts but using America as an example, there were three major terrorist operations from 1991 to 2001. Oklahoma City Bombing, First WTC attack and 9-11. While one of those was domestic in nature, the other two were not and that was with Clinton and a "kinder" Bush in office. Since Bush went to a hardline stance, there have been 0 attacks here thankfully.

    I know Spain and Britain and two incidents during this time that were in response to the 2nd Iraq war. What happened in India had nothing to do with what is happening with US led policy. I would venture to say that for the west, fatalities have gone down over the last 8 years rather than up unless 3000 people died in Spain or the UK.

    Personally I think its better to have terrorists on the run rather than not engaging them. I am not saying what we have done in the past 8 years is right but I think it has worked to a degree.

    All I know is that it takes two parties to engage in meaningful discussions to understand each other. No different than all the bipartisian talk we heard in the election about both parties needing to work together to solve problems. While Obama has done some work with this, he needs to do more. Pelosi does not even want to think of it so we have status quo which means agendas once again get pushed in front of what is best for the country. They are doing exactly what the Republicans did and the cylce will continue just like in the Middle East.

  12. #12
    Unchained gavs5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabby gabbster View Post
    Also, the idea that America is just sooo perfect and without any fault is very naive. Sometimes you have to accept some fault in order to move forward.
    I don't think that anybody is saying that America is perfect or hasn't made mistakes along the way. My frustration comes from the fact that I don't think many people who live here truly appreciate what a special country we have here in the US. Not only do they not appreciate it, but they try to tear it down. Throughout history, a country like the US is absolutly the exception not the norm. Yet, now it's trendy to bash American culture and values.

  13. #13
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    07.19.13 @ 08:52 PM
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    Before I make my point, I'd just like some of you rocket surgeons, keeping things all split up along traditional idiot-logical lines, to know that I am a LIBERAL.

    Now.

    We DO all remember that the West Bank was Jordanian territory. Right? And we DO all remember that the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian control. Savvy? And we DO all recall that those territories only came under Israeli control because Jordan, Egypt, and oh why the fuck not Syria too, just couldn't leave well enough alone and decided to attack Israel during one fun little June week in 1967.

    Everybody got the calculus here? Leave Israel alone, no disputed territories. Attack Israel - when you can't find your own ass with both hands and a GPS, I might add - and lose your shit fair and square.

    And I just don't see how some of you can maintain the stances you do without totally disregarding this bit of history.

    And would somebody PLEEEEAZZZE tell me who in the solar system still subscribes to the notion that America is perfect and without fault? Forget Viet Nam, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and any number of boondoggles thereafter; our own fucking entertainment industry has been hammering into our skulls how inherently evil our government and corporate interests are for half a century now (and thanks a lot for that one, Joe McCarthy).

    You want to swim against the stream these days, try adopting the view that America is in fact NOT the fountainhead of everything evil in the world. Try to encompass the notion that it's not entirely America's expansionist and imperialistic policies that drive world opinion about us, but also some good, old-fashioned anti-semitism - NOT just in the Arab world, but all over Europe, too, my fine pedigree chums.

    With all that said, I don't see where the harm is in the president trying to establish some sort of dialogue - if anything, it'll probably flush the true fanatics out for all the world to see and confront, now that we no longer have Bush's grammar to distract ourselves with.
    Last edited by The SLAWTERHOUSE Bug; 06.04.09 at 02:09 PM.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by The SLAWTERHOUSE Bug View Post
    With all that said, I don't see where the harm is in the president trying to establish some sort of dialogue - if anything, it'll probably flush the true fanatics out for all the world to see and confront.
    That's what I believe Pres. Obama is trying to do, and that's EXACTLY what I hope will happen.
    Last edited by Metal Marc; 06.04.09 at 04:41 PM. Reason: More love, more power, more of You in my life.

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  15. #15
    Hang 'Em High Wray's Avatar
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    First off, this notion that we are catering to the terrorists has no substance. It's nothing more than a right-wing sound-bite. President Obama isn't reaching out to extremists, he's reaching out to the normal, everyday Arab Muslim. Radicals of any nature can't and won't be reasoned with. That's common knowledge.

    SEA, made a fantastic point, and Obama also hit upon it during his speech in Cairo--Americans and Arabs have false views of each other based on broad and far-reaching stereotypes. The first step is erasing these misconceptions and showing a genuine interest in understanding the perspective of the other. Until this step is taken by both parties, we'll get nowhere real fast.

    Another fallacious far right-wing talking point is (and it's unfortunate that I must address this) that apparently if you criticize any of the United States' actions, past or present, you must think that this country is an evil, imperialistic bully. Ignoring our mistakes and refusing to recognize our wrongs does a service to absolutely nobody. Fidelity can be a great thing, but it can be taken to extreme and negative lengths just as any other principle. This nation was founded by critical thinking men who knew their limits and never thought to ignore their shortcomings. Instead, they put a focus on them and made this country the first to declare that all are created equal and deserve the same inherent rights as the man or woman to your left and right. Let us stop desecrating their legacy of ideals by condemning constructive criticism. It's an important cog of the machine that is the U.S. and was a major factor in framing this country.

    Now, when speaking of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it's time to forget the past and work on a two-state solution that will pave the road to peace. This isn't a popular opinion, mainly because many in this country hold a blind allegiance to Israel, but at this point, it's the only one that has any promise. I think most people have a somewhat decent knowledge of the history of the conflict and don't need a lecture, but even if they don't have a tight grasp on the subject, the history is becoming quite irrelevant. This "you started it!" type of approach will get us nowhere. This isn't some junior high pissing contest, so maybe we should stop discussing it like it is. The only way to achieve stability and peace between these two is for both to recognize the right of both to not only exist, but live without fear. This includes an abrupt end of violence by Palestine and settlement construction by Israel. Arguing about who needs to take the first step would be another futile and immature squabble that will do nothing but add to the trivial roadblocks. Both of these parties need to held to the same standard.

 

 

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