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Oh oh Bama, won't you cry for me

Reader comment on item: Obama, the Middle East and Islam - An Initial Assessment

Submitted by Jonathan (Canada), Feb 11, 2009 at 14:41

I think that we can sum up Obama's life so far as that of an ambitious and intelligent man trying to fit in amongst influential circles. He is not a political demagogue, nor a mastermind even though he has spent much time around such people. When he was younger and hanging around smaller, more radical crowds of less important people, it seems to me that he always adapted just enough to be accepted as everybody's friend, yet nobody's disciple, always the moderate, always the bridge to the larger world outside. When he ran for Senator of a Democratic state he fit in well with the ideology of the moderate left, then when he ran for President of the 50 states he adapted again to more centrist position even promising a hard line on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan to prove his membership in the pro-Western establishment.

I think that his Muslim-ness, as minor and insignificant as it is, will have no real influence on him as the leader of a great Western nation. He knows which side of the ideological divide he is on and who put him where he is today. He is a man who has adapted to mainstream politics well, a consummate lawyer, a man who wants to be popular. a man who seeks, in fact needs, the admiration of the ordinary American citizen.

With regard to his much anticipated Middle East policies, what he will likely do is pursue the roadmap on the table and pressure Israel towards a compromise that is acceptable to mainstream Israelis. He will constantly seek the approval of moderate Jewish peacenik Zionists and try and reconcile it with the center of Israeli politics. He will take on the right wing in Israel only with the approval and support of the Israel centre-left. He will ask Israel to give up only what Israel doesn't fight hard for, in short, he will likely fail as all Presidents before have. But he, like every President has to give it a go.

This Arab/Israel conflict will continue to evolve for a long time to come.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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