Middle East Expert says Obama showed weakness during interivew on Al-Arabiya TV
President Obama granted his first formal television interview since being inaugurated to the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya cable network. The president reportedly granted the interview in order to reach out to Arab leaders who have been wary at best of U.S. efforts to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
Brigitte Gabriel is founder and president of ACT! for America and the author of They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It. She says the president conveyed a message that America is weak.
"The mistake that President Obama [made] is not only going on Al-Arabiya, but talking in a way that made the United States look bad by saying to them that America needs to listen instead of always dictating," says Gabriel.
The former broadcast journalist says that sends the "wrong message" to terrorists -- an element she contends truly hates America "no matter how nice we try to appear."
"This sends a message to the radical Islamists...that America is weak, [that] America does not want to fight [and] cannot fight; and [that] this is why we are going to them begging for them to like us."
Gabriel says it also was not wise for Mr. Obama to tell the Arab audience that his administration would press Israel to make hard choices, and that there are Israelis who "will be willing to make sacrifices if the time is appropriate and if there is serious partnership on the other side."
The Palestinians, says Gabriel, have never seriously wanted peace with the Jews.
After nearly three decades of severed ties, Obama said shortly after taking office this month that he is willing to extend a diplomatic hand to Tehran if the Islamic republic is ready to "unclench its fist".
In response, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched a fresh tirade against the United States, demanding an apology for its "crimes" against Iran and saying he expected "deep and fundamental" change from Obama."
WEAKNESS IS PROVOCATIVE. Obama's telegraphing of US weakness, and unilateral surrender just encourages our enemies.--Ed