O’Reilly Obama Interview Shows That President Still Hasn’t Changed Course – Fox News

On February 7, 2011, in Latest News, by admin

Bill O’Reilly’s Sunday interview with Barack Obama revealed a president who has not changed course from the path of the last two years—contrary to the conventional wisdom on both left and right in Washington. On the revolution sweeping Egypt and other Middle Eastern capitals, President Obama still cannot articulate what U.S. interests are and how he will use tools available to him to advance those interests.  This could be as easy as saying, “we stand with those seeking democracy, we insist that the dictator of Egypt leave, and we will oppose and work against the Islamists who want an even worse alternative to existing repression.” Instead, Mr.

Bill O’Reilly’s Sunday interview with Barack Obama revealed a president who has not changed course from the path of the last two years—contrary to the conventional wisdom on both left and right in Washington.

On the revolution sweeping Egypt and other Middle Eastern capitals, President Obama still cannot articulate what U.S. interests are and how he will use tools available to him to advance those interests. 

This could be as easy as saying, “we stand with those seeking democracy, we insist that the dictator of Egypt leave, and we will oppose and work against the Islamists who want an even worse alternative to existing repression.”

Instead, Mr. Obama seemed again to reprise the role of the litigator-in-chief who took three months in 2009 to respond to an urgent request for more troops from our military commander in Afghanistan, and who refused to support democracy forces in Iran as they took to the streets in 2009 and again last year.

When asked directly by O’Reilly if the Muslim Brotherhood is a threat to the U.S., the president responded: “I think the Muslim Brotherhood is one faction in Egypt, but they are well organized there are strains of their ideology that are anti-U.S.” 

Got that? This is a rather blithe assessment of one of the oldest and most central pillars of the ideology the seeks to unify mosque and state and subject everyone to an Iranian-style theocracy. 

It should have been an easy question to answer—unless you fundamentally misunderstand the threat posed by the Islamist ideology that unifies disparate groups like Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood. This seems to lend credence to unfortunate reports that the White House is open to a new Egyptian government that allows a role for the Brotherhood. –This same line of thinking has just paved the way for a Lebanese government controlled by Hezbollah and in the orbit of Iran. More to come apparently.

As for the economy and Obamacare, the president repeated now well-trod talking points that “I don’t want to spend the next two years refighting the battles of the last two years.” 

Put another way, Mr. Obama does not understand—or rejects outright—the verdict of voters in elections last November. They clearly and unequivocally rejected the socialist path on which Mr. Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress had placed America. Undoubtedly, they do want some of the battles of the last years’ refought.

O’Reilly asked Mr. Obama if he is “a man who wants to redistribute wealth.” He denied it “absolutely.” This from the who in the 2008 campaign said that “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” 

His response to O’Reilly seems either delusional or disingenuous. By trying to freeze in place the massive increase in government spending and deficits and Washington’s power grab in the form of Obamacare (i.e., “not refighting the battles of the last two years”), President Obama has demonstrated anew that he puts faith in government decision-making rather than individuals making decisions about what is best for themselves and their families. On this, he is consistent.

There is a conventional wisdom in Washington that President Obama has moderated since the November elections and performed better as commander in chief. Judging by his discussion with O’Reilly, the conventional wisdom is wrong.

Christian Whiton is a former U.S. State Department senior adviser and is a principal at D.C International Advisory. He is a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion.

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Egypt not going back: Obama – CBC.ca

On February 6, 2011, in General, Latest News, by admin

Egypt will not go back to what it was and is ready for political change, U.S. President Barack Obama said Sunday night, adding that the popular opposition group the Muslim Brotherhood does not have majority support in the country. Obama’s remarks on Fox News came after Egypt’s Vice-President Omar Suleiman convened talks there with opposition groups, including the Brotherhood

Egypt will not go back to what it was and is ready for political change, U.S. President Barack Obama said Sunday night, adding that the popular opposition group the Muslim Brotherhood does not have majority support in the country.

Obama’s remarks on Fox News came after Egypt’s Vice-President Omar Suleiman convened talks there with opposition groups, including the Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood said Sunday’s negotiations with the recently appointed vice-president were well-intentioned, but did not go far enough.

Suleiman agreed to press freedoms and to lift the country’s longtime emergency laws once security is stabilized. As well, demonstrators arrested since the start of the protests will be released.

A group including opposition organizations will study constitutional amendments that would pave the way for political reform.

Abdel Monem Aboul Fotouh, a senior member of the Brotherhood, told Al Arabiya network the government statement represented “good intentions but does not include any solid changes.”

Suleiman’s meeting with opposition organizations occurred as demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak’s regime continued for a 13th day.

Articles in constitution need immediate change

Fotouh said certain articles in the constitution needed to be changed immediately, specifically one covering presidential elections, which put Mubarak’s ruling party in a position to choose the next president. Another amendment would limit the president from running for unlimited presidential terms.

Fotouh said until that happens, people will remain in the streets.

A variety of officials took part in the negotiations, including members of secular opposition parties, independent legal experts, a representative of opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei and business tycoon Naguib Sawiris, according to Reuters.

The negotiations marked the first time the Muslim Brotherhood, officially banned in Egypt, has held direct talks with the government. In the past, Egyptian officials have accused the group of trying to overthrow the secular order.

Senior Brotherhood leader Mohammed Mursi said his representatives would be sticking to the protesters’ main condition that Mubarak step down after nearly 30 years of authoritarian rule.

Mubarak has said he would not run for the presidency again in elections slated for September, but has insisted he will serve out the remaining seven months of his current term to supervise a peaceful transfer of power.

Countries such as Israel and the U.S. have worried that the anti-government protests would end with an Islamist government eventually running the country.

Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Assam el-Aryan said his party won’t contest the next election, but it will help with the transition of power.

An anti-government protester shouts anti-Mubarak slogans at Tahrir Square in Cairo.An anti-government protester shouts anti-Mubarak slogans at Tahrir Square in Cairo. (Mohamed Abd El-Ghany/Reuters)

“We are ready for any duty, any burden that can be given to us as a task for the future of our country,” he said.

On Saturday, Hossam Badrawi, the new secretary general of the ruling National Democratic Party, replaced Safwat El Sherif, who resigned from the post. At the same time the president’s son, Gamal Mubarak, stepped down as head of the party’s policies committee.

Doctors, medical supplies enter protest square

Several women were among the anti-government demonstrators who continued to occupy Cairo’s Tahrir Square as the weekend came to a close.

As thousands of chanting protesters gathered in the square, doctors in white coats came with medical supplies, the CBC’s David Common reported from the scene.

Protesters have been camped out in the square for a week, but supplies have been flowing in for the past two days.

Meanwhile, garbage trucks were making the rounds again and banks near the square were able to reopen on Sunday.

Several women joined the anti-Mubarak protest in Tahrir Square on Sunday.Several women joined the anti-Mubarak protest in Tahrir Square on Sunday. (Nahlah Ayed/CBC)

People have been clamouring to get into the the banks amid reports that automated tellers have been running out of money.

Overnight, the army set up checkpoints farther away from the square in central Cairo. David Common said he saw the army confiscating food and other supplies and he heard they were turning away cars but letting pro-government supporters through.

The UN estimates at least 300 people have been killed and thousands more wounded in the unrest in Egypt.

Stability in Egypt of global concern: Cannon

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said it’s up to Egyptians to determine the political makeup of their country, but Canada is calling for respect for human rights, religious freedoms and for Egypt to continue to recognize the state of Israel.

“There must be stability in that region because it does affect global security,” Cannon told CBC News on Sunday in an interview from Ottawa.

Cannon revealed that nearly 500 Canadians have opted to voluntarily leave Egypt on flights arranged by the Canadian government.

When the service to help Canadians leave the country for connecting flights in Europe began early last week, Foreign Affairs estimated that about 6,500 Canadians were in Egypt, including 1,200 registered with the Canadian Embassy.

Regular commercial flights out of Egypt are still available, Cannon noted.

With files from The Associated Press

Continue reading here: Egypt not going back: Obama – CBC.ca

Best Friends, Despite Political Differences – msnbc.com

On February 6, 2011, in Latest News, by nadia

President Obama may have agreed to join Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on his show prior to the network’s Super Bowl coverage, but that doesn’t mean they are suddenly pals. More likely, Obama’s decision to sit down with the conservative O’Reilly was driven by tradition: A White House aide said it is customary for the sitting president to agree to an interview with the network hosting the Super Bowl.

President Obama may have agreed to join Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on his show prior to the network’s Super Bowl coverage, but that doesn’t mean they are suddenly pals. More likely, Obama’s decision to sit down with the conservative O’Reilly was driven by tradition: A White House aide said it is customary for the sitting president to agree to an interview with the network hosting the Super Bowl. Although O’Reilly isn’t likely to accompany J.Lo to the White House to watch the Super Bowl with Obama after the interview airs, these other unlikely friends may just be sharing the bean dip.

Continue reading here: Best Friends, Despite Political Differences – msnbc.com

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