Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Obama in the Muslim World

President Barack Obama is presently embarking on a tour of the Middle East, set to deliver his campaign-promised speech to the Muslim world tomorrow in Cairo, Egypt. He does so in hopes to normalize and better relations with a region that currently has a negative view of the United States.

Such a goal is admirable, and Obama should be commended for his ambitions. There will, of course, be criticism from the fringe right (see Milwaukee Craigslist Political forum), who will bring up his "bowing" incident once more and, in conjunction with this trip of goodwill, insist that Obama's interests lie within the Muslim world, not with America.

Such assertions are bogus, and shouldn't be taken seriously. Reaching a hand out to other nations or cultures is a sign of strength, not weakness. Anyone in charge of the world's sole superpower can flex the might of that nation's military; but such action only antagonizes those we wish to influence. It takes true character, true strength to have patience and understanding (when feasible) to engage in dialogue before resorting to arms (as a last possible solution).

Obama has that character, and deserves the respect of every decent American citizen.

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