An LA Times Editorial: Obama reaches out to Arab world

Posted by Kendall Harmon

President Obama is not going to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, crush the Taliban, end Iran's nuclear intransigence, get Syria to stop interfering in Lebanon or end the fighting in Iraq overnight -- or next week, or possibly ever. Yet his interview Tuesday with the Al Arabiya satellite channel laid a foundation for better U.S. relations with the Arab world than we've had in many years.

Obama's savvy diplomacy started before he even opened his mouth, with his selection of Al Arabiya to air the first official television interview he has granted since taking office. Not only did this signal a new level of involvement in Middle Eastern affairs, but it gave a boost to a Saudi-owned news channel founded in 2003 to present a more balanced view of regional conflicts than was being produced by the more Islamist-leaning Al Jazeera network. The latter has since become more objective in its coverage, possibly because it was losing viewers to Al Arabiya. Now it has even more incentive to play fair: the chance of landing the next Obama exclusive.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchMedia* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack Obama* International News & CommentaryMiddle East* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

Posted January 28, 2009 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Richard Hoover wrote:

The President cited his intentions to close Guantanamo prison and draw down in Iraq as examples of his reaching out to the Muslim World.  Seems that “reaching out” is the new Washington priority. What’s next, withdrawing support from Israel?

January 28, 4:46 pm | [comment link]
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