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Obama Needs to Brush up on Middle East History

Posted by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 3:12 PM
  • 4 Replies

Obama Needs to Brush up on Middle East History
Michael Barone
Monday, June 08, 2009

For a man of his impressive educational credentials, Barack Obama has sometimes shown a surprising ignorance of history.

During the 2008 campaign, when challenged on his pledge to meet with foreign tyrants without preconditions, he said that presidents from Franklin Roosevelt on had met with leaders of enemy nations. Funny thing, but in my books on World War II, I haven't been able to find the chapters on the Roosevelt-Hitler and Roosevelt-Tojo summits. In his speech in the Tiergarten last summer, he told us that the Berlin Wall came down thanks to "a world that stands as one." My recollection is that the world was standing as two, and one side wanted to keep the wall up.


The good news is that in his speech to "the Muslim world" in Cairo last week, Obama showed a surer grasp of the past. The bad news is that he still has more to learn.

Obama got some important things right and pounded them home to his audience. Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. "Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant and hateful." Al-Qaida killed nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11. "These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with." America's bond with Israel is "unbreakable." Good, though perhaps undercut later in the speech. "The richness of religious diversity must be upheld -- whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt." Very good, though lacking any reference to Saudi Arabia, perhaps because the list of sects not tolerated would be too long.

"I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world," Obama said, "one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect." The unfortunate implication is that the United States did not respect Muslims before his inauguration. But then he went on to make points that George W. Bush made repeatedly in the seven years after Sept. 11.

"America is not -- and never will be -- at war with Islam." "All people yearn for certain things," including free speech, democracy, the rule of law, "the freedom to live as you choose." He also echoed Bush in his criticism of "a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations."

Like Bush and other American presidents, Obama hailed the United States as "one of the greatest sources of progress the world has ever known." And the candidate who treated our mission in Iraq with scorn seems to have felt obliged to acknowledge that "the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein" and that the government of Iraq is "democratically elected."

But he still has some history left to learn. "No system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other." But that's what the United States did in Germany and Japan, and in Iraq, as well. As one of the Democratic senators who insisted that the Iraqis meet benchmarks, Obama was a micromanager in that process himself.

"We did not go by choice; we went because of necessity" into Afghanistan. No, it was by choice; we could have stayed out and depended, as we did after the attacks of the 1990s, on homeland defenses. And as for his claim that "Islam has always been a part of America's story," that's a stretch, and one that requires airbrushing out the war against the Barbary pirates.

Most disturbingly, Obama seems to have gotten the history of the Israel-Palestine issue wrong. The plight of the Palestinians since 1948 or 1967 is not the moral equivalent of the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust, as Obama's "on the other hand" segue suggested. Nor are private statements by Arabs accepting the continued existence of Israel the moral equivalent of Israeli governments' public willingness to negotiate with Palestinians.

 Obama seems not to have learned from previous presidents' attempts to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian agreement that no solution is possible without an interlocutor willing to let Israel live in peace. His attempt to muscle Israel into stopping even natural growth of settlements beyond the 1967 line applies pressure to the party already willing to make peace. Obama needs to brush up on the Barbary pirates, but even more so on the last 40 years of Middle East history.



Copyright © 2009 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.

by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 3:12 PM
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stormcris
by Christy on Jun. 9, 2009 at 3:23 PM

"And as for his claim that "Islam has always been a part of America's story," that's a stretch, and one that requires airbrushing out the war against the Barbary pirates."

One of our first treaties was with Muslims, although I think in it they were called Musselmen in the treaty, of the Ottaman Empire. It was written before the war against the Barbary pirates. It was the treaty of Tripoli ""Treaty of peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary," "

The preliminary treaty began with a signing on 4 November, 1796 (the end of George Washington's last term as president).

The first Barbary War did not take place until 1801.

On Jefferson's inauguration as president in 1801, Yusuf Karamanli, the Pasha (or Bashaw) of Tripoli, demanded $225,000 from the new administration. (In 1800, Federal revenues totaled a little over $10 million.) Putting his long-held beliefs into practice, Jefferson refused the demand. Consequently, in May 1801, the Pasha declared war on the United States, not through any formal written documents but by cutting down the flagstaff in front of the U.S. Consulate. Algiers and Tunis soon followed their ally in Tripoli.

In response, Jefferson sent a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and informed Congress. Although Congress never voted on a formal declaration of war, they did authorize the President to instruct the commanders of armed vessels of the United States to seize all vessels and goods of the Pasha of Tripoli "and also to cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify."


Enterprise capturing Tripoli

The schooner USS Enterprise defeated the 14-gun Tripolitan corsair Tripoli after a fierce but one-sided battle on August 1, 1801.

The American navy went unchallenged on the sea, but still the question remained undecided. Jefferson pressed the issue the following year, with an increase in military force and deployment of many of the navy's best ships to the region throughout 1802. USS Argus, USS Chesapeake, USS Constellation, USS Constitution, USS Enterprise, USS Intrepid, USS Philadelphia and USS Syren all saw service during the war under the overall command of Commodore Edward Preble. Throughout 1803, Preble set up and maintained a blockade of the Barbary ports and executed a campaign of raids and attacks against the cities' fleets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Barbary_War

Gypsyuma
by Gold Member on Jun. 9, 2009 at 8:41 PM

You know the phrase ..."thru rose colored glasses." Well this author obviously views history and reality "thru Zionist skewed glasses."

This is the same nonsense and hypocrisy that makes me, as a Muslim, want to vomit.  Hows that for reaching out?


 

Della529
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 11:03 PM

Yes, stormchris.

As far as Roosevelt, maybe some need to look into his perceived reasons for bringing the US into WWII.  Roosevelt may not have been cohorting with Hitler or Tojo, but who can produce evidence that he wasn't cohorting with an un-seen and relatively "benign" enemy?

Quoting stormcris:

"And as for his claim that "Islam has always been a part of America's story," that's a stretch, and one that requires airbrushing out the war against the Barbary pirates."

One of our first treaties was with Muslims, although I think in it they were called Musselmen in the treaty, of the Ottaman Empire. It was written before the war against the Barbary pirates. It was the treaty of Tripoli ""Treaty of peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary," "

The preliminary treaty began with a signing on 4 November, 1796 (the end of George Washington's last term as president).

The first Barbary War did not take place until 1801.

On Jefferson's inauguration as president in 1801, Yusuf Karamanli, the Pasha (or Bashaw) of Tripoli, demanded $225,000 from the new administration. (In 1800, Federal revenues totaled a little over $10 million.) Putting his long-held beliefs into practice, Jefferson refused the demand. Consequently, in May 1801, the Pasha declared war on the United States, not through any formal written documents but by cutting down the flagstaff in front of the U.S. Consulate. Algiers and Tunis soon followed their ally in Tripoli.

In response, Jefferson sent a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and informed Congress. Although Congress never voted on a formal declaration of war, they did authorize the President to instruct the commanders of armed vessels of the United States to seize all vessels and goods of the Pasha of Tripoli "and also to cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify."


Enterprise capturing Tripoli

The schooner USS Enterprise defeated the 14-gun Tripolitan corsair Tripoli after a fierce but one-sided battle on August 1, 1801.

The American navy went unchallenged on the sea, but still the question remained undecided. Jefferson pressed the issue the following year, with an increase in military force and deployment of many of the navy's best ships to the region throughout 1802. USS Argus, USS Chesapeake, USS Constellation, USS Constitution, USS Enterprise, USS Intrepid, USS Philadelphia and USS Syren all saw service during the war under the overall command of Commodore Edward Preble. Throughout 1803, Preble set up and maintained a blockade of the Barbary ports and executed a campaign of raids and attacks against the cities' fleets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Barbary_War


muhajjirah
by on Jun. 9, 2009 at 11:36 PM


Quoting copperpenny1954:
The good news is that in his speech to "the Muslim world" in Cairo last week, Obama showed a surer grasp of the past. The bad news is that he still has more to learn.I

Obama got some important things right and pounded them home to his audience. Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. "Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant and hateful."Here we go with the Holocaust thing again. Seriously, most Muslims do not deny the holocaust, but all zionists deny the rights of the Palestinian people. BIG DIFFERENCE. "Woe is me!!" mentality is pathetitc when history of the victims is proof to make another people victims!!!  Zionists use this all the time. Surprisingly the God-fearing Jews are not mentioned in this article as they support Palestine. Al-Qaida killed nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11. "These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with." America's bond with Israel is "unbreakable." Good, though perhaps undercut later in the speech. "The richness of religious diversity must be upheld -- whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt." Very good, though lacking any reference to Saudi Arabia, perhaps because the list of sects not tolerated would be too long.He wasn't talking about sects of Islam, Maronites and Copts are not sects in Islam.in those faiths there are significant numbers of people, that wasn't his point!! There are sects in Islam in Saudi, Egypt & Lebanon- his point was about the non-Muslims.

"I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world," Obama said, "one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect." The unfortunate implication is that the United States did not respect Muslims before his inauguration. If you have any sense in the situation that Muslims have been facing for quite a while in the US- you'd understand what he was referring too. But you don't because like many the media has deceived your  mind as well as the zionists. But then he went on to make points that George W. Bush made repeatedly in the seven years after Sept. 11.


Most disturbingly, Obama seems to have gotten the history of the Israel-Palestine issue wrong. Palestinians being robbed of their homeland. Its that simple, that is the history. Israel has NO RIGHT to do this- even if they were the victims of the holocaust, the Palestinians did not impose the holocaust upon them for Israel to make the Palestinian peoples life a living hell. The plight of the Palestinians since 1948 or 1967 is not the moral equivalent of the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust, as Obama's "on the other hand" segue suggested. Nor are private statements by Arabs accepting the continued existence of Israel the moral equivalent of Israeli governments' public willingness to negotiate with Palestinians.

Obama seems not to have learned from previous presidents' attempts to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian agreement that no solution is possible without an interlocutor willing to let Israel live in peace. Israel has stolen homeland, and their excuse is because of the holocaust, claiming that Israel is their rightful land and that the Palestinians should leave that for them and move elsewhere into the other surrounding states. Lets stop the bull. His attempt to muscle Israel into stopping even natural growth of settlements beyond the 1967 line applies pressure to the party already willing to make peace. Israel is currently demolishing sites and stripping basic human rights from children and elderly..Israel has no right to be playing the role of the victim (AGAIN & AGAIN)
.


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