Obama To Muslim World: ‘Let’s Listen,’ Stop ‘Dictating’ In Middle East

Jan 27, 2009 12:32pm

As the first e-mails suggested, President Obama’s interview with the Arab television network Al-Arabia "didn’t make any real news." True — but Obama’s words are a dramatic change in tone from his predecessor, and that is getting noticed today. The U.S. message shifts from "You are either with us or against us" to "All too often the United States starts by dictating…and we don’t always know all the factors that are involved. So let’s listen."

Also noticed in that part of the world: Mr. Obama’s mention of Muslims in his inaugural address; his call to Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas on his first full day in office; his dispatch of Middle East envoy George Mitchell to the region; and of course the more substantive matter of those announced changes in policy vis-a-vis the detention and interrogation of prisoners. Here’s the interview…

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