Obama's Historic TV Interview On Arab TV( video)

[Cross Posted from Polcampaign at stuartoneill.com]
[Personal comment: There was a diary of this event at DK and a good portion of the response was semi-negative since he choose a network other than AljazerraEnglish. I do not, as an experienced politico,understand why anyone with a brain doesn't understand this is a positive historic event that needs recognition and support.

The most important part of the event is that fact that for the first time the Arab, Muslim and Persian worlds can hear an American President articulate his vision on one of THEIR networks. It is a significant step forward to those groups. I frankly do not understand why so many in the 'progressive left' (a term I think is being misapplied these days) have such politically tin ears. An American President on Arab TV gives that President a forum to reach everyone! It is,in fact, historic and huge diplomatic step forward.]

On 1.27.09 President Obama took the historic step of being interviewed by the Al Arabiya Television network. It is the first time any high ranking official has ever granted an interview to Arab or Muslim TV networks. Seen widely in the Arab and Muslim world it is an affirmation of Obama's campaign promise to reach out to that world.

At points in the formal interview Obama says


"Now, my job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect.

I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries." He went on to criticize phrases like "war on terror.""The language we use matters," he said. "We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith's name."

Al Arabiya Network has posted a two part interview on YouTube. PolCampaign and The Political Dogfight bring you both segments. This is a full length comprehensive interview. This interview breaks new ground and sets a new stand for American diplomacy. Is it a breakthough moment? Judge for yourself.

The 2 part You Tube video and full transcript is at PolCampaign.

Tags: Al Arabiya, Arab, Israek, Middle East, obama, Palestinians, President Obama (all tags)



any reaction

from the middle east?

by sepulvedaj3 2009-01-27 07:31AM | 0 recs
No, but Drudge has his fedora in a knot

Talk about pathetic. This is what the guy leads off with today?

by iohs2008 2009-01-27 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: No, but Drudge has his fedora in a knot

Some of the subtle language changes will drive him nuts.

by BigDog 2009-01-27 08:24AM | 0 recs
by jsfox 2009-01-27 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: A Sampling


by sepulvedaj3 2009-01-29 07:09AM | 0 recs
I am saddened too that he didn't
appear on AlJazeera. Free speech and free media deserves our support.
nonetheless, this is a historic day!
by RisingTide 2009-01-27 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: I am saddened.... a beginning

My point exactly. Dialogue and communication has to start somewhere. This is a beginning.

I hope everyone watches the videos, although the audio leaves something to be desired, and reads the full transcript.

When Obama says,"Israel has always been a strong ally..." that's a significant change from "The US has always been..."

Watch then read this is a substance filled interview. The video's cover about 12 minutes of a 20 minute interview.

by BigDog 2009-01-27 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Historic TV Interview (reaction)

Here's the Telegraph headline:

Muslim leaders praise Barack Obama's break with Bush but criticise him over Israel

by BigDog 2009-01-27 08:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Historic TV Interview On Arab TV

"It is the first time any high ranking official has ever granted an interview to Arab or Muslim TV networks"
You don't have to make up facts.

Bush also gave an interview to al-Arabiya
http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2007/1 0/05/39989.html
Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice, have all been interviewed on Al-Jazeera.

by rolnitzky 2009-01-27 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Historic TV Interview On Arab TV

Well in response to a comment that seems to imply that the error was deliberate...it wasn't. I was following the lead of other news organizations.

Glad you pointed it out.

I feel there was no need to attempt to read my mind and comment on my intent in the absence of evidence. It was simply an error. This happens all too often in political communication.

by BigDog 2009-01-27 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Historic TV Interview On Arab TV
I apologize.
It's a very good interview regardless, and it's actually Obama's first interview as president and a good one at that.
by rolnitzky 2009-01-27 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Historic TV Interview On Arab TV

Are you sure the writer was making up facts or just not aware of them?

Suggestion rather than taking accusatory tone why not just bring the correct facts to the writers attention.

by jsfox 2009-01-27 10:01AM | 0 recs

that obama kid gets better with each day.  majah interview - great signs indeed.

by canadian gal 2009-01-27 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: gosh...

"this Obama kid..."

Now that gave me the best laugh of the day. Great phrase...thanks.

by BigDog 2009-01-27 11:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's Historic TV Interview

This definitely makes me happy.  

by selfevident 2009-01-27 08:51PM | 0 recs


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