I wonder if a former president had said this a while ago, things might have worked out better.
Almost the entire Muslim world thinks that America has been at war with the Muslim world for years. Why didn’t former leaders ever think to clarify? Why was there so much stigma and labeling of certain countries as forces of righteousness and others as ‘axis of evil’? When Obama reaches out to Iran with an offer of friendship, what is he saying? He’s saying that the Irani people are not especially evil. And he’s saying it clearly.
I don’t think any former president have thought the Iranis or Muslims to be generally more evil than anyone else. I know that Bush’s beef with Iraq, Iran and North Korea was with their leaders, not with their people. But how is the average inhabitant of these countries supposed to know that? When the millions of people in Karachi hear that the greatest Christian nation in the world has attacked and overthrown Muslim nations, what are they supposed to think? What are they told to think? When the US sends drones into Pakistan and blows up houses, what are they to think? When the US promotes sanctions that hurt the average Irani more than the government, what are they to think?
But when Obama says in clear English: “We are not at war with the Muslim world,” then the only war to continue believing that America hates Muslims to to call him a liar. And I know many will. But some won’t. And at least the West is now doing what can to clarify things. There’s a lot to be said for clarity.