Thursday, January 29, 2009

the electoral college and middle east progress

It is very refreshing to see that President Obama has taken on the Middle East "issue" (which consists of several issues, actually) with such vigor and conviction.

I was reading an article by Roger Cohen, a New York Times opinion writer, and he had written a very good article about the ramifications of Obama's interview with the Al Arabiya news network based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and what it means in terms of U.S. interests. Essentially, the President has stated that the ways of the old Bush regime are over and that America is going to reclaim its position as a respected nation that can be followed as an example.

Doesn't that sound nice. Nice words. Nice rhetoric. Just. Very. Nice.

We've heard a lot of idealism from Obama and his team. A lot of talk. A lot of words. A lot of rhetoric.

In fact, it seems we've been hearing it constantly. From the early primary campaigns to the general election in November. That was the platform. The idea of change. The President was very meticulous in his approach and tactics, and that is what won him the presidency in the end.

Many people say that he really didn't win by a landslide, as the talking heads in the media generally espouse. He received 52% to McCain's 46%. Not so large. However, he trounced in the Electoral College with 365 votes (only need 270). So even though the country remained, and remains, deeply divided, his planning and his clear vision on what it was going to take to win landed him the election quite handily.

So what does this have to do with the Middle East and terrorism and Islamofascism and all that jazz? Plenty, I'd say.

Cohen sums it up very well, at the beginning of his article, when he says that the war on terror is over, and that what we are really up against are terrorist organizations. It’s not about who's the good guy in the white hat (probably living in Crawford, Texas at this point), and the bad guy in the black turban anymore. That's way too simple of a notion. It always was. It will take talking and listening and negotiating and making mistakes and solving problems. It will take time. It will take perseverance. It will take meticulous planning, much like figuring out how to get the 270 votes in the midst of great ideological division. His strategy in terms of seeing the prize and then getting it has paid off greatly. It is this type of focus that will spark real progress and change in the Arab world.

So it goes...

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