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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Making a statement early on
Posted by Jill | 5:26 AM
There are those who think that this is going to be dogwhistling to his "terrorist allies in the Middle East." But then those are also the ones screaming that they as individuals have a right to get their mitts on an original copy of Barack Obama's birth certificate; that the assertion from the state of Hawaii isn't enough proof that he was born there, and they are the ones who think Obama is some kind of stalking horse for Al Qaeda. And there is no reasoning with these people.

But you have to admit, it is not only very smart in terms of signaling a change in our policy towards the Muslim world that is NOT in sympathy with Al Qaeda that Obama is going to use all three names when he takes the oath of office:
Q: Are you prepared to give a speech in an Islamic capital? Would that send a message about inclusiveness and tolerance given the mutual suspicion that exists between these different faiths?

O: This is something that I talked about doing in the campaign and it's something that I intend to follow through on. What the time frame is, how we structure that, you know, is something that I will determine with my national security team in the coming weeks and months.

But I think we've got a unique opportunity to reboot America's image around the world and also in the Muslim world in particular.

So, we need to take advantage of that and the message I want to send is that we will be unyielding in stamping out the kind of terrorist extremism that we saw in Mumbai.

We will be at the same time unrelenting in our desire to create a relationship of mutual respect and partnership with countries and peoples of goodwill who want their citizens and ours to prosper together. And I think that the world is ready for that message.

Q: Would you expect that speech to be in the first six months, first year?

O: I'm not going to speculate on the date . . . but it's something that I will do.

Q: Do you anticipate being sworn in as Barack Obama or Barack Hussein Obama?

O: I think the tradition is that they use all three names, and I will follow the tradition, not trying to make a statement one way or the other. I'll do what everybody else does.

Of course the Usual Suspects are going to have the vapors over this. They will probably invoke the victims of the 9/11 attacks and their families, even the ones like Glenn Beck, who has said he "hates 9/11 victims' families" and Rush Limbaugh, who has had his own words for the "Jersey girls" who dared to question the Bush Administration on an investigation of the attacks. But for Obama to "take back his name" at the inauguration not only signals the Muslim world that he is not ashamed of his ancestry, it also tells the Republicans, the talking heads of Hate Radio and Hate TV, and those in the Muslim World who think we are now a paper tiger (and we may very well be) that he is not someone to be trifled with; that whatever Maureen Dowd may have said during the campaign, he has balls of steel.


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