Day One – Obama’s Middle East Strategy

According to Reuters, Obama jumped right into the Middle East today with this action

Obama made clear his Middle East strategy would be different from Bush, who was faulted by critics for taking a largely hands-off approach to peacemaking for much of his eight years in office. A final failed push for a peace deal was widely seen as too little, too late.

Obama spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah not long after he stepped into the Oval Office for the first time since his historic inauguration as the first black U.S. president.

He is expected to name a Middle East envoy soon, with former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell widely considered his choice for the job.

Perhaps it’s a bit too soon to expect Obama to talk to Hamas, but I welcome Mitchell who realized you had to talk to the IRA and the UDP to get the Northern Ireland peace deal done.

Hopefully he’ll get down to business before someone breaks the ceasefire. Frankly, it would make the Iraq withdrawal easier and  give us a lot more support from places like Iran and Syria, who we need if we want anything in the Middle East to succeed.

I’ll put up a petition soon.

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