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Obama's Message to Muslims Called 'Pathetic'

By    |   Sunday, 01 February 2009 09:57 PM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Obama’s Message to Muslims Called ‘Pathetic’
2. Senate Appointee Gillibrand Not Popular With Democrats
3. Venezuela ‘Proud’ That Israel Expelled Its Diplomats
4. PBS Commentator: Obama is ‘First True American President’
5. We Heard: Sarah Palin, Starbucks, Michelle Obama

1. Obama’s Message to Muslims Called ‘Pathetic’

In his interview with a Saudi-owned TV channel on Tuesday, President Barack Obama referred to “an illusionary past” in the Muslim world that was in fact plagued by turmoil, a leading Middle Eastern expert declared.

Amir Taheri, in a New York Post column headlined “Pathetic Message,” said Obama “looked to the past rather than the future” when he told an Al-Arabiya interviewer he wanted a return to “the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.”

But 30 years ago, Taheri noted, American diplomats were being held hostage in Iran, Soviet troops were seeking to annex Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein was preparing to invade Iran, Saudi Arabia was under siege by Muslim militants, and Syrian troops were preparing to invade Lebanon.

Iranian-born Taheri, whose books include “Holy Terror: Inside the World of Islamic Terrorism,” wrote in the Post that “other features of this ‘golden age’” were “the seizure of power by mullahs in Tehran, the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, the coming to power of communists in the Horn of Africa, the military coup in Turkey, the first Islamist terror attacks in Algeria, unprecedented waves of repression in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and the imposition of military rule in Pakistan.”

Twenty years ago saw the U.S. arming the mujahedin in Afghanistan, Iraq gassing thousands of Kurds and preparing to invade Kuwait, Iranian mullahs arming Hezbollah units in Lebanon, Turkey launching all-out attacks on Kurdish secessionists, and the Libyan terror network killing American soldiers in Europe and blowing up U.S. jets.

Meanwhile Obama offered only “trite” remarks regarding the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and did not offer any support “to democratic forces facing crucial elections in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Egypt and Algeria,” observed Taheri, who has written for more than two dozen publications around the world.

“Nor was there any nod toward reformers in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.”

Obama sought to portray himself as a “bridge” between the U.S. and the Muslim world, according to Taheri, who added:

“Casting himself in the role of a ‘bridge’ and dreaming of a return to an illusionary past, Obama appeared unsure of his own identity and confused about the role that America should play in global politics.”

Editor's Note:

2. Senate Appointee Gillibrand Not Popular With Democrats

More Republicans than Democrats say they are prepared to support Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand if she runs for re-election in 2010, a poll reveals.

Gillibrand, a former Democratic congresswoman, was appointed by New York Gov. David Paterson to fill the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton.

In a survey of New York registered voters conducted by the Siena Research Institute, 24 percent of Republicans said they would support Gillibrand in 2010, compared to 20 percent of Democrats. Nearly 30 percent of voters from both parties said they would prefer someone else to run for the seat, and the rest didn’t know or had no opinion.

Among Democrats, 63 percent would like to see someone challenge Gillibrand in a primary, while only 11 percent would prefer to see her run unopposed.

Gillibrand “has her work cut out for her — particularly with members of her own party — if she wants to be elected in 2010,” said Siena spokesman Steven Greenberg.

New York Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a strong gun control advocate, has said she would oppose Gillibrand if no one else does due to Gillibrand’s support of gun owners’ rights, according to CQ Politics.

Congressmen Edolphus Towns and Eliot Engel have both said they were “open” to supporting McCarthy, The Hill newspaper reports.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler said many Democrats feel Gillibrand — a member of the Blue Dog Coalition while in the House — is too conservative for statewide office.

“Several of the state’s 26 House Democrats made it clear that Gillibrand has something to prove to them — specifically on whether she’s going to stick to conservative positions on issues like guns, illegal immigration and economic issues — or take a more Democratic-held position,” The Hill reported.

“Lawmakers in more liberal districts said their constituents were angry with Gillibrand’s selection.”

Editor's Note:

3. Venezuela ‘Proud’ That Israel Expelled Its Diplomats

The Venezuelan government has responded to Israel’s expulsion of its diplomats, saying the South American nation is “proud” over the move and calling Israeli leaders “criminals.”

Venezuela declared on Jan. 6 that it was expelling Israeli diplomats in protest of Israel’s military offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Then on Jan. 14, Venezuela announced it was severing relations with Israel altogether, but its envoys remained in Israel, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

On Wednesday, Israel’s foreign ministry announced that it had ordered the envoys to leave Israel.

That same day, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro told the Al-Jazeera television network: “The response of the state of Israel is weak, late, and in any case for us it’s an honor.

“We’re proud that the state of Israel that exists today, led by these criminals, made this decision.”

Hundreds of demonstrators expressed support for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’ order to expel Israeli diplomats, hurling shoes at Israel’s embassy in Venezuela, Haaretz reported. Swastikas were spray-painted on the walls of a Caracas synagogue.

“Where we live, the anti-Semitism is sanctioned,” said Abraham Levy, leader of the Venezuelan Jewish community.

“It comes from the president, through the government, and into the media.”

Editor's Note:

4. PBS Commentator: Obama Is ‘First True American President’

PBS’s Emmy-winning commentator John Ridley doesn’t think the first 43 U.S. presidents were “true” Americans.

In a segment that aired on PBS station KCET in Los Angeles on Jan. 22, Ridley, an African-American, declared:

“Every president to hold office has espoused some version of Americanism … But for all their grand rhetoric, and mostly good deeds, none was able to seal the deal on the trifecta of equality, plurality and socioeconomic ascendancy.

“Obama has. Obama is the more perfect union. He is a house united. Obama is the new generation and the hot light of a dawn that goes way beyond clever phraseology of ‘Morning in America.’

“Quite simply, quite plainly, just by virtue of his being, Obama is America, and the first true American to lead our nation.”

Editor's Note:

5. We Heard . . .

THAT a pair of red Naughty Monkey Double Dare high heeled-shoes worn by Sarah Palin when she debuted as John McCain’s running mate sold on eBay for $2,025.

The seller identified herself as Palin’s niece, who said: “I got the shoes from Aunt Sarah after mentioning that I liked them. They don’t fit too well, so I decided to let someone else enjoy them.”

The listing information stated that Palin, and not the Republican National Committee, bought the shoes at a store in Juneau, Alaska.

THAT Starbucks has issued a statement refuting widely circulated reports that the coffee company has given financial support to Israel.

The Telegraph in Britain reported in mid-January: “For the last couple of weeks, conspiracy theorists have been spreading a story that Starbucks is funding the Israeli attack on Gaza. The story is based on lies and a hoax, but it found ready audience in protestors who trashed a Starbucks outlet in [London], opposite the Israeli embassy.”

The statement from Starbucks says that calls for boycotts of its stores and products are “disheartening,” and asserts: “Allegations that Starbucks provides financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli army in any way are unequivocally false.”

Starbucks operates more than 230 stores in Muslim Arab nations, including Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Egypt, and United Arab Emirates.

THAT Michelle Obama will become the third first lady to have her wax likeness displayed at Madame Tussauds in Washington, D.C.

The museum will unveil Obama’s likeness in March, according to Paul Bedard’s “Washington Whispers” column in U.S. News & World Report.

The two previous first ladies were also Democrats — Jacqueline Onassis and Hillary Clinton.

Michelle will be posed next to the wax likeness of her husband Barack Obama in a replica of the Oval Office.

Editor's Notes:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Obama s Message to Muslims Called Pathetic 2. Senate Appointee Gillibrand Not Popular With Democrats 3. Venezuela Proud That Israel Expelled Its Diplomats 4. PBS Commentator: Obama is First True American President 5. We...
Sunday, 01 February 2009 09:57 PM
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