Today President Obama gave his first foreign policy speech , as everyone knows by now, to al aribya, a Saudi Arabian TV station.
Personally, I don't think its panic time as yet.
Whatever one may feel about the U.S. President, one must acknowledge that he is intelligent.
He seems to be able to deal with complex thoughts and structures.
Liberal commentators in America described them selves as being "Giddy".
The giddiness will wear off, I think, when they realize that Obama is not going to throw Israel under the bus.
His speech today was meant for the man in the Arab street.
President Obama said in the interview, “Al Qa'eda, and the other extremist groups are afraid.
I said in my inaugural, you will not be respected for what you destroy, but for what you build.”
He said, in answer to a question, "Their tactics have failed."
He said, “They have not done one thing to help a child get an education or get health care or climb out of poverty.”
Obama is trying to reach the moderate Arabs, and isolate the extremists.
This makes sense.
Whether it will work is yet to be seen, but it is certainly worth a try.
His pick of Senator George Mitchell to be Special Envoy to the Middle-East sits in line with what so far seems to be a brilliant pragmatic approach to almost everything this President deals with.
As a Senator Mitchell earned enormous bipartisan respect. It has been said "there is not a man, woman or child in the Capitol who does not trust George Mitchell."
For six consecutive years he was voted "the most respected member" of the Senate by a bipartisan group of senior congressional aides.
In 1996, the governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland asked Senator Mitchell to chair the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. Senator Mitchell led the negotiations for two years, work that ultimately resulted in a historic accord that ended decades of conflict.
In May 1998, the agreement was overwhelmingly endorsed by voters in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
At the request of Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Senator Mitchell served as chairman of an international fact-finding committee on violence in the Middle East. The committee’s recommendation, widely known as The Mitchell Report, was endorsed by the Bush Administration.
So, as I said, don't panic yet, everyone, President Obama may be able to accomplish what others have valiantly tried and failed.
I, for one, am cautiously optimistic.