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Obama Makes His First Phone Calls as President

A new president's first phone calls to heads of state is one of great symbolism. The world watches as the new American president lets everyone know what his priorities will be. Today President Obama made his first phone calls. His very first one? It went to Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah. We know this not from American newspapers, but from a UK newspaper. I have a feeling this will be a pattern we'll see a lot in the coming years: (emphasis mine)

President Obama placed the Middle East at the forefront of his first hours in office yesterday as he sought to make good on his promise of "ushering in a new era of peace".

In a flurry of telephone calls from the Oval Office, he reached out to leaders in the region and vowed to engage immediately in pursuit of a permanent Arab-Israeli settlement.

The spokesman for President Abbas revealed that Mr Obama had told the Palestinian leader that their conversation was his first with a foreign statesman since taking office. Mr Obama also spoke to President Mubarak of Egypt, Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, and King Abdullah of Jordan.

I can understand his desire to put the Israeli/Palestinian conflict at the forefront of his administration, but why Abbas? Why not make that first phone call to to Israel, which is an ally.

As I said in my earlier post, the world is watching, including our enemies in al Qaeda, Hamas, Iran, and Syria. Their interpretation of Obama's gesture to Abbas is not one that could possibly benefits us.

Jammie Wearing Fool:

Fatah leader and current alleged Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas was the first person supposedly called by the dear leader. That is Abbas on the right in the picture above shaking the hand of the current Hamas leader Haniyeh. The difference between these two is that Haniyeh wants Israel wiped off the map now and Abbas is willing to take the slow death by a thousand cuts approach to wiping Israel off the map.

Strange choice to say the least. Couldn't he find an ally? What does this mean for Israel? I think it is pretty clear who's side he will take in future matters related to the Palestine/Israel problems.


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Comments (25)

Abbas is a statesman? Who ... (Below threshold)
Tim:

Abbas is a statesman? Who knew?

I see this more as a slap a... (Below threshold)
James H:

I see this more as a slap at Hamas than anything else.

James H:That is a ... (Below threshold)

James H:

That is a possibility.

Maybe it was a "hold your f... (Below threshold)
Doug:

Maybe it was a "hold your friends close and your enemies closer" thing.

"I think it is pretty clear... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

"I think it is pretty clear who's side he will take in future matters related to the Palestine/Israel problems."

That mentality prevents the United States from performing the honest broker it must play in the Middle East.

Hey Dave, beings how you're... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Hey Dave, beings how you're into "honesty", did you read the newswire reports this morning that a ship bound for Gaza from Iran carrying weapons for Hamas was stopped? Seems that Hamas was a little less than honest about the cease fire.

Didn't think so.

ODA,What does your... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

ODA,

What does your post have to do with mine or with Kim's? Hamas and Fatah are two different entities. I never said Hamas was honest.

"Why not make that firs... (Below threshold)
Marc:

"Why not make that first phone call to to Israel, which is an ally."

Or, B. Hussien Obama's with stated intentions to conduct foreign talks "without preconditions" why not Hamas?

They ARE the "elected representative" of Palestine are they not?

If needed... here's the closing /sarc tag.

"Why not make that first ph... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"Why not make that first phone call to to Israel, which is an ally."-kp

US foreign policy shouldn't revolve around coddling Israel, and Israel isn't an ally. Israel is a dependent, like a spoiled kid raised by grandparents. Out of control.

Israel and the world knows ... (Below threshold)
abc:

Israel and the world knows we're in their corner - he's either taking a swipe at Hamas (as per James H) or trying to begin the dialogue/mediation by paying a small (and cost-free) compliment to the side that we seem to favor less. Perhaps this will help the US to appear less biased, or at least show that we take them seriously.

Now I know that the whole peace talks in the Middle East thing isn't so popular with Wizbang's readers*, and that no matter how nice we are, they will probably continue to act like jackasses who want to be wiped from the face of the planet. But at least he can say he tried before we go to plan B.

*with good reason, I'm a realist too, and if the Palestineans believe half of what I've read they do, there is little hope of peace; there's jsut too much institutionalized hatred

JFO - ""Lawyer" marc - ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

JFO - ""Lawyer" marc - are we to be entertained during Obama's presidency by your sophomoric reference to him as "B. Hussein..."?"

Well, that took longer than expected!

Since the day before the inauguration I've written his name that way. In doing so I just knew some asswipe would eventually call me on it.

Guess you haven't noticed...

Take a peek at the vid of the oath. B. Hussien Obama took the oath using "B. Hussien Obama."

It's Ok now, unlike the preceding months when nitwits like you and others had bunched G-strings over its use and called everyone racists, hate monger etc.

Welcome asshat, you're the first of many I suspect.

I have no doubt you are a r... (Below threshold)
JFO:

I have no doubt you are a racist and a hate monger "Lawyer" marc.

JFO - "I have no doubt ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

JFO - "I have no doubt you are a racist and a hate monger "Lawyer" marc.

Typical response after being made a fool of. Again!

Or is it still?

Wow! JFO loves to call the ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Wow! JFO loves to call the names. I have no doubt JFO that you are a pedophile, homophobe. See, it is easy. ww

"Lawye"r marc... (Below threshold)
JFO:

"Lawye"r marc

Speaking of fools.....were you listening to the oath or jsut babbling and drooling like the moron you are? He used his full name you jackass. As for your use of the sophomoric B. Hussein, it isn't even original you fool. The witch Coulter's been using it for a long time.

And I repeat I am without doubt that you are indeed a racist and hate monger.

Israel is a depend... (Below threshold)
Israel is a dependent, like a spoiled kid raised by grandparents. Out of control.

And coming from a liberal. Classic hypocrisy!

JFO - "Speaking of fool... (Below threshold)
Marc:

JFO - "Speaking of fools.....were you listening to the oath or jsut babbling and drooling like the moron you are? He used his full name you jackass. As for your use of the sophomoric B. Hussein, it isn't even original you fool. The witch Coulter's been using it for a long time."

Um... no. I not only didn't see the vid but intentionally didn't watch any of the pomp and circumstance live or on tape. Never have, never will.

Secondly that I chose to abbreviate Barrack is of no consequence, the point being as you so [in]ablity point out Ann Coulter has used "Hussein" as I have done and cheapshot asswipes such as yourself have excoriated her for it.

BUT, it's OK now, B. Hussein Obama took the oath using his middle and given name, something you will never admit to.

Hey, Obama promised change,... (Below threshold)

Hey, Obama promised change, 52% voted for it. He never really said what the change would be. So America essentially handed Obama a blank check. He knows America isn't really paying attention, so he can do with that blank check whatever he wants.
http://www.rightklik.net/

There could be no better in... (Below threshold)
sherry:

There could be no better investment in America than to invest in America becoming energy independent! We need to utilize everything in out power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil including using our own natural resources. Create cheap clean energy, new badly needed green jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. OPEC will continue to cut production until they achieve their desired 80-100. per barrel. The high cost of fuel this past year seriously damaged our economy and society. Oil is finite. We are using oil globally at the rate of 2X faster than new oil is being discovered. We need to take some of these billions in bail out bucks and bail ourselves out of our dependence on foreign oil. Jeff Wilson has a really good new book out called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now. He explores our uses of oil besides gasoline, our depletion, out reserves and stores as well as viable options to replace oil.Oil is finite, it will run out in the not too distant future. WE need to take some of these billions in bail out bucks and bail America out of it's dependence on foreign oil. The historic high price of gas this past year did serious damage to our economy and society. WE should never allow others to have that much power over our economy again. I wish every member of congress would read this book too.
www.themanhattanprojectof2009.com

Scary, but expected.<... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Scary, but expected.

Scarier still, the press coverage, or lack thereof. My local TV station showed up in the top 10 google news- LOL - or maybe "COL" (Cry out loud.)

Israel is a dependent, ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Israel is a dependent, like a spoiled kid raised by grandparents. Out of control.

And coming from a liberal. Classic hypocrisy!
17. Posted by Kim Priestap
----------------------------------------------
Israel is a housing project subsidized by the US. It makes Puerto Rico look like Germany. It's a top-down welfare state.

Granted, I am liberal/libertarian on certain issues such as the legalization of marijuana. But even I admit my draconian pro-life stance cancels that all to hell. I'm... complex.
Maybe you can page back from the following link and analyze my answers. Anyway, all quizes put me in the conservative end of the spectrum. I would place you, by your posts, as a peeker at George Bush's paper.

http://www.selectsmart.com/plus/select.php#results

If the link doesn't work, I'm (by their account) a moderately libertarian conservative with 100% of my answers deemed to align with "conservative" principles.

Thx for the exercise :)

OMG, how quickly things are... (Below threshold)
epador:

OMG, how quickly things are degenerating even further. We start the Post complaining about the symbolism of calling the Palestinian President first. But the debate in the comment section is a purulent discharge of obviously infectious diatribe.

What's more important is WHAT he called and told the Palestinian President, not whether he called him first. And the reported words are not encouraging to those of us that recognize appeasement of killers has a poor outcome every time.

Appeasement:1: to ... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

Appeasement:

1: to bring to a state of peace or quiet : calm
2: to cause to subside : allay
3: pacify , conciliate ; especially : to buy off (an aggressor) by concessions usually at the sacrifice of principles

Epador, you are obviously using "appeasement" in the third sense. However, that makes absolutely no sense in the context of your sentence. No American president has reason to buy off Fatah. Fatah is not an aggressor against the United States and is not even a potential aggressor as Germany was to Britain in the oft-abused Chamberlain analogy. Fatah is not even in any meaningful sense an aggressor against Israel.

Moving beyond the issue of motivation, what in fact did President Obama give to Mahmoud Abbas to buy him off?

The bottomline is that appeasement is now a conservative buzzword, used with total disregard to its meaning, to suggest that liberals are cowards that are afraid to fight. As Haley Barbour used to say "that dog won't hunt." But that doesn't stop you from shoving its mangy butt out the door of the cabin every chance you get. You need to get some new material.

bryand - "Thx for the e... (Below threshold)
Marc:

bryand - "Thx for the exercise :)"

And we are expected to believe you took that thing and were honest rather than (A) not taking it at all and lying or, (B) taking it and lying about the true results?

You long and past history here put both options very much at the head of the table of possibilities.

"Speaking of fools.....were... (Below threshold)
Paul:

"Speaking of fools.....were you listening to the oath or jsut babbling"

Um, JFO....Before calling someone a fool or a jackass, that little red line underneath a word, in this case "jsut" means that you have misspelled it...you foolish jackass.




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