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September 23, 2009
Obama considers foreign policy shifts in Middle East

U.S. President Barack Obama has been in office for eight months now, and on Wednesday he gave a major speech to world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly.

In his speech, the president said that the United States is committed to working with other countries to solve the world’s major problems. But he challenged them to do more and derided what he called “an almost reflexive anti-Americanism” sweeping the globe.

The president gave no hint of any major changes in U.S. policy toward Afghanistan. The president also seemed to break little new ground in his remarks about the Middle East, calling on the Palestinians to pursue peace with Israel and urging the Israelis to curb settlements in Palestinian territories.

Though he gave no hint of it during his speech, The New York Times reports that the Obama administration is considering major foreign policy changes in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Obama also spoke about another key foreign policy issue — the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea. Several countries, led by the U.S., are considering additional sanctions against Iran and North Korea if they don’t curb their nuclear programs.

James Lindsay, senior vice president and director of studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, joins Daljit Dhaliwal to discuss policy reversals.

Eight months into the Obama administration, is U.S. foreign policy headed in the right direction or wrong direction?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please remember to be respectful and on-point in your comments. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted and repeat offenders will be banned.

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Boris: You lack the A,B,Cs of Histroy. But, for you to accept ethnic cleansing, you must come a cross as if you did not force anyone out. Thus the lie about no Palestine and no Palestinians fall in that rational. If Judiasim goes back back to 5700, the Palestinians go back 8000 years. You have been brain washed


To “Son” of Jerusalem: There was not Palestinian nation until aprox 1967, when Arab living there start calling them self Palestinian. There is not Palestinian language and culture. Remember: In December, 2000, Arafat rejected the proposals from Pr. B. Clinton [actually originating with Israeli PM Ehud Barak] that the Palestinians to have 92% of their demands. Palestinian chooses to fight with Israel by terror, but still complaining on any Israel retaliations. This tactic of demonization and isolation Israel will not help!!


Boris, It is a known fact the the ports of Haifa and Jaffa were the best in the region in the late 1800s and the Palstinian citrus industry was exporting the Europe in 1901 the best produce. You and Mark Tawin should read histroy very carefuly. Palestine was 100% ready for independence before many of you converted to Judiasm and became the new colonials


To “Son” of Jerusalem: The German botanist Leonhard Rawolf, who visited Pales-
tine in 1575, described it as a ruined and disordered country. He
could go nowhere without submitting to robbery and extortion.
George Sandys reported, about 1610, that Palestine was a bedrag-
gled land of contemptible villages. Maundrell, an English chaplain
at Aleppo, in 1697 drew a similar, depressing picture. He found
Acre a village with a few poor cottages–and spacious ruins;
Nazareth was “an inconsiderable village”.


Boris: have you red, how he described Palestine and the infrastructure of the Palestinians back then. Pay close attention to that. See how he looks at their homes, gardens, schools, and installations. You and Mr. Twain must go and learn from this man


To “Son” of Jerusalem: You are a big, big Deceiver like all Arab propaganda. George Sandy’s in his journey 1610-1615 to Turkish Empire, Egypt and the Holy Land made observation of nation living in the region including Jews: I am quoting:“G. Sandy’s accounts of Jews is notably sympathetic to their plight and the anti-Semitic prejudice they have suffered”. Jews are living in the Holy Land for more than 3500 years.


Boris, it is clear that you nither have anu new arguments, nor you have red anything new since you converted to Judiasm in 1989, and immmigrated to ISrael. You keep citing Mark Twain, try and read the english poet George Sandys and see how he desribed Palestine before many jews new about it, and before many colonial powers made it a potentinal colony for the Jews


To “Son” of Jerusalem: Since 1948 about 800 thousand Jews were forced to leave Arab countries most of them settle in Israel. Only few thousand Jews live now in Arab countries. You are very good in False multiplication how you count 500 mosques. It’s Lie!! There were not even 20 small towns in historical Palestine. May be your historian counted 500 Bedouin tents. Read Mark Twain book travel to Palestine. Twain’s description of Holy Land under Muslim rule: deserted empty land, poverty and dirt. Under Jordanian rule in Jerusalem were destroyed dozen of Synagogues and Jews were prohibited to pray at Wailing Wall.


Boris you say “Local population was brutally forced convert to Islam or exterminated.” if that is the case, why do we still have Jews and Christians in the Middle East. And why do we still have more churches and more Jewish Temples in the Arab world than Spain, Italy, and Germany compined. Where are the 500 moseques in historic Palestine Boris.


To “Son” of Jerusalem and his comrades: Please, read Britannica: “The Rise of Islam”; or Arab conquest of: N. Africa, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Persia, Armenia… Arab expansion from Arabian Peninsula started 630 continued until 1800. Local population was brutally forced convert to Islam or exterminated. Total land occupation about 12 million sq km.


Russian boy, where are the natives of these countries that you claim that the Arabs took? The whole world knows that the Palestinians are there and you have been killing them since 1948. More than 100,000 Palestinian killed and we are still counting. It is time to move to Russi Boris


To Garciayveg: Arab steal territory of N. Africa, Egypt, Middle East total 12 million sq. km, Jews took back territory belonging to them 20 thousand sq. km. Who is stealing land?? Jews make US a nuclear power, it cost much more than 5 billion $ per year, its price less!!


Obama needs to to stop pussyfooting around with the isralis; we give these land thieves over 3 Billion Dollars a year ‘military aid’ and they have atomic bombs — anybody else scratching their head?


The head bobbing to scriptures is more useful
than fluffy diplomacy ever was, is, and shall
even be. Now, where was I (in my head bobbing)?


As to Obama’s foreign policy – he doesn’t seem to have one. He is “reactive” at best. He bounces around all over the place trying this or that and no one knows what we stand for – even us Americans. I voted for Obama, but I am becoming increasingly disappointed with some things foreign policy one of them. The Bush Administration was too arrogant and confrontational but – Obama seems to be going in a completely different direction and it’s difficult for the world to follow such a diverse view of our positions on world affairs. We should have dialogue with Iran and N. Korea, but not on the same levels with other countries and as for as Israel – we need to stop making demands upon them that will hamper their security – giving in to Arab demands which is to decrease the size of Israel and increase Israel’s security threats is not something we should be pursuing. JIM @ USA


The right direction. We must stop sending billions of dollars to Israel until they comply with UN resolution 242, only then will Arabs see the US as fair and worthy of respect. We have created many of the problems in the Middle East with our meddling in the past decades ( over throwing democracy in Iran, weapons to Saddam, etc., etc.). We must stick to American values and not political agendas.


Yes, Obama and his is team of advisors are exactly right in their approach to solving the problems left behind by the Bush administration. We now see that any fool can get us into war,but only thoughtful diplomacy can get us out of this mess and keep us from repeating the same mistakes in the future… Will we ever learn !!!


Move a little faster Mr. President.

We need to cut back on the head bobbing to scriptures and stand up the facts that Homo sapiens need to get on the civilization band wagon, if we are to be decent citizens of this portion of the local universe.


I think that it is the right direction, given what President Obama was was left with by the former administration. I also think the right tome has been set going forward.


I think it is the right direction, given what President Obama was left with from the last administration. He has set the right tone going forward.


He is doing better job than previous regime. He is good listener
understand the difference of world politices


I think our president needs to focus more on creating jobs in America and assisting the jobless more. Its sad times when our government stops listening to the people. They seem to favors governmental idealisms on what we need instead of asking.


Lately I have been staying with my next to youngest son and have some time at night to watch TV. I was very impressed with Daljit Dhaliwal on our late night news cast. Realizing this is one of the most insane things I have ever done, I am trying to write her a note. Where did you guys find such an intelligent, yet strikingly beautiful and well organized news personality. Whoever did this should be handsomely rewarded. I would be tickled pink to hear from her. Thanx, Ward


The Middle East is a failure because we should not be there in the first place. Iraq was because the big money oil thought they could take over. 9/11 was Saudi’s not Iraqi’s or those from Afghanistan. There are no lessons learned, you do not “win” against a citizen army, Vietnam should have been burned in people’s memory. Russia was driven out of Afghanistan, and they had a real blood and guts military, not the left wing, hearts and minds, fight by the rules morons the US has. And do not say the Afghan’s did it because of US help, our abandoning them is what created Bin Laden and why they hate the West, check your history. Iran’s hatred for the US is well deserved also.
Factories in the US are still moving out of the country, and nothing has been done to stop it. The economic situation here will lead to total collapse or civil war, printing paper money and handing it out will not fix anything. Economics 101 says a country economically sound must have a gold standard and an industrial base, we have neither. The government gave that all away to line their own pockets and have replaced it with illegal aliens. Things are good now, compared to what they will be down the road, and in ten years it will be a Mad Max society.


The intitial premise for engagement in Afghanistan was to ferret out Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda for the attack of 9/11. That should remain the primary and sole focus. Whether Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan, those countries should be left to deal with their own internal issues without U.S. involvement. The U.N. should be taking a more direct role in assisting those countries with issues that affect their populace, with only a participatory role by the U.S. The same could be said for Israel and the Palestinian issue, problems on the African continent and elsewhere around the globe. As the President noted, it’s time for other nations to step up to the plate and deliver. Simply put: U.S. foreign policy is on track in the sense that while the President has taken the lead in dealing with foreign policy issues, the issues themselves can no longer be considered only U.S. issues; they are global issues that must be addressed globally.


Our foreign policy in the middle east is a failure because of our one sided financial and military support for Israel($3-5 billion every year)and our failure to admit that Israel has nuclear weapons.How can we expect other countries to trust us if we play this old secret agreement to shield Israels nuclear weapons from international scrutiny.As to Iraq and Afghanistan just get out, stop the killing.


I am a US citizen I think we are slowly… moving in the right direction… at least the discussion is a lot friendlier


I believe Obama is being wise to listen to all recommendations as to whether he should commit to more troops considering the current crisis and increasing seat rates of soldiers. We have far too many republicans clamoring to upstage the president by claiming they want to support our troops ,yet, many of these people want to laugh as he fails at the war in afghanistan which is inevitable without refocusing, having goal and re-strategizing what is the priorityand looking at history and what others have learned. from what i learned recently, the troops that have been trained usually dont stay with the afghan army, so its extremely uncertain how to retain the people to fight for themselves seeing not everyone believes in the U.S. occupation regardless of the mission or goodwill to aid them. so i agree the President need to reassess the new information and just not give in for sake of republican shennagins to make him look weak when a strong man is strong when he can admit his first inclinations to change his vision for what needs to be done


In 8 mos Obama has made significant progress in putting the USA on track as a responsible, respected world player. Israel’s hard line on the settlements makes ME peace very difficult. Obama will be an honest broker…that’ll be a nice change. Obama will find a way to get them to the table and hopefully a peaceful result.


I think his forigen policy twards the Mid east is silly he is contuing the predessors work by fighting a war that we can’t win, LBJ was severly depressed and had a massive heart attack that killed him because of the Vietnam war, and these wars are no different, we need to free Aung San Suu Kyi and get rid of China and Russia from UN thats what I think we should do.


If Israel turned its back on anyone…

(I speak not of the periodic occasions of
its individual indiscretions)

…in the World:

they would, by that, be negating the
Meaning of Their Entire Existence
which cannot be, in pure essence:
negated at any time…

for the One who
from the Heights
created Israel
as a Firstborn
cannot be negated
anyone, here, on Earth, below…

This! despite the occasions
in which Israel has, sometimes,
found much pleasure (and much heartache!)
in its periodic alliances with “foreign women”
(both literally and figuratively)…

as I, myself, have experienced…
both in “marriage” and, later:
in (very necessary but very bitter) “divorce”…
to and from a foreign woman.

Such being often the case with…
“foreign alliances”…without giving
them all due forethought and deepest

“He who has ears to hear…”


obama has little to decide on concerning the jewish settlements being built feverishly to accomidate american/jewish retires , typical u.s. government officials such as leiberman of conneticut and many others of jewish interests decide what is best for israel first,not america,their ellection to office is a matter of spin and quid proquoe manipulation to gain office , we have a self serving enemy of democracy using american resources to make televive capital of america.


Obama inherited a mess along with the now in the open sore that is the US political system, greed and political corruption

Obama Considers Strategy Shift in Afghan War, yup gonna starve them into submission and let the unmanned drones do all the hard work. Desert trash can not put an IED in the path of a drone air plane, ya just can’t reach that high

Nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea. Boys and girls let us not forget the United States of America is a SUPER POWER and has lost more nuclear weapons than the power hungry will ever obtain

True strength is the power to abstain from flexing ones muscles and using inelegance and debate to reach a mutual end to indifference

Dealing with a rabid dog you starve him to submission

Tall One you just toss them hands in the air and give yourself up in the name of Goooooober and everything will work out


Mr Obama is not doing a good job. he extended the war afghinstan. he has not taking tough decision to stop Iran from producing nuclear bomb. He has given mix message towards terrorism . he stop CIA from tough integretion methods which could cause some sleeping cell to become active


President Obama has been doing a tremendous job under the circumstances – he inherited a war that wasn’t finished and another that shouldn’t have been started and a huge debt because for the first time in history taxes were cut during a war. He had to spend a large amount to counter a huge bank meltdown and a very bad recession. Now because he want’s to possiblt spend more, not to start wars but to install needed health reform – the right who created all the problems are complaining bitterly.You would think they would at least be quiet but no they are viciously complaining and making up blatant lies to try to defeat Obama – regardless of what is best for the country – in order to help their election chances next year.


So far, it is heading in the wrong direction. We need to step back, stop killing innocent people in far away places who had no part or even the knowledge of Sept. 11. Start with a humanitarian approach. Emphasis should be on honest and impartial diplomatic approach. The monster we have created in the middle east must be contained if we are serious about wanting peace in the world. Fairness must replace bias.

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