Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Taking It To The Streets

In his first televised interview as President, Barack Obama sits down with Al-Arabiya [full text here] and lays serious smackdown at the feet of Al Qaeda.

Osama bin Laden and the death-cult dead enders are spinning in their caves.  How exactly do you paint Barack Hussein Obama as the Evil West?

Hisham Melhem:

“They [al-qaeda] seem very nervous, exactly. Now, tell me why they should be more nervous?”

The President of the United States:

“Their ideas are bankrupt.  There’s no actions they have taken that, say, a child in the Muslim world is getting a better education because of them, or has better healthcare because of them.  … That path is leading no place, except more death and destruction.”

“I have Muslim members of my family.  I have lived in Muslim countries”

That’s not something every American president can say.  That there’s some street cred not found on your average American politician.  This is a President that – perhaps – more than one young Muslim boy can see and think: “You know, I wouldn’t mind being like that guy” (not a fate George Bush or John McCain would ever suffer).

Be nervous, Al-Qaeda.  Your recruitment poster in Washington is gone, and a new sheriff is taking it to the streets.


  1. We cannot tell either the Israelis or the Palestinians what is best for them,” he said. “They are going to have to make some decisions. But I do believe that the moment is ripe for both sides to realise that the path they are on is one that is not going to result in prosperity and security for their people.”

    Obama added: “There are Israelis who recognise that it is important to achieve peace. They will be willing to make sacrifices if the time is appropriate and if there is serious partnership on the other side.”

    This appeal, beyond the rights and wrongs of the past, to prosperity and security in the future, seems to me the only way to go. You can’t make complete redress for 1948, or indeed the Roman Destruction of the Temple.

    One core thing that seems to perpetuate conflict, as I’ve seen first hand in Northern Ireland and Bosnia, is an obsession with historic injustices. One of the things that Mitchell so effectively appealed to in the first instance was the possibility of prosperity. It worked. Those intractable things such as the border, national status, the ethnic make up of the police, were somehow overcome in the rush to get a better life.

    It sounds venal I know. But let us not pretend that grabbing water rights on the West Bank, or Hamas paying out 21 million dollars for rebuilding works in Gaza, isn’t essentially venal too.

    Appeal to the better life that could be had by peace. It’s better than the endless cycle of ‘who started it’.  

  2. My reply looks like a total tangent, but it’s from the same speech, and I do believe that part of the strategy of neutralising Al Qaeda is taking the sting out of Muslim anger at the US.

    For the vast majority of moderate muslims, Bush’s seeming inaction in the peace process was read the wrong way. Obama’s engagement is part of a multi pronged strategy to turn the War on Terror into a more localised battle for hearts and minds.

    I can’t imagine any other President in history quite has the right credentials for this. Obama is leveraging his unique identity – but for the greater good.  

  3. Hollede

    Just how many aspects of the bush era were recruiting posters for Al-Qaeda? I always figured that bin Ladin gave daily gratitude to bush during his occupation of the White House.

    I am convinced that President Obama is far more dangerous to bin Ladin, Al-Qaeda, and terrorists in general, than bush could have ever dreamt to be.

  4. sricki

    Obama has the potential to be a President that the vast majority of the Muslim world (as well as the rest of the world, in fact) need not view with hatred and disdain.

    He is in a unique position to reach out. Even a competent Bush administration (perish the thought and forgive me for the outrageous hypothetical) likely would not have been capable of achieving the level of outreach that an Obama administration very well might. Between bringing back diplomacy and the advantages of his unique background and perspective, we are better positioned to repair our relationship with the worldwide Muslim community than we have been in quite some time.

  5. spacemanspiff

    Osama Obama Pictures, Images and Photos

    This was one is actually kind of funny.

    Osama & Obama Pictures, Images and Photos


    Osama Obama Pictures, Images and Photos

    It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how big a threat Obama is to Al Qaeda and other islamic extremists. It’s fun looking back at the shit people made up to smear him and shoving it right back in their faces. Great diary blasky and thanks for the rundown.

Comments are closed.