From the AP:
In a new overture to Iran, the Obama administration has authorized U.S. embassies around the world to invite Iranian officials to Independence Day parties they host on or around July 4th....
So, we'll bring the sparklers, they'll bring the centrifuge....? Sounds like, er, fun. (Insert raucous peals of inappropriate Hillary laughter here.) Meanwhile, in a distinctly less congenial frame of mind, Obama is telling the Israelis not to have any more babies.
Maybe this is all part of Obama's new "good role model" offensive. As he told the BBC on the almost-eve of his foreign trip (first bow, I mean, stop, Saudi Arabia), "I think the thing that we can do most importantly is serve as a good role model."
That'll show 'em.
He also said: "The danger I think is when the United States or any country thinks that we can simply impose these values on another country with a different history and a different culture."
This, of course, was the Great PC Fallacy of the Bush administration: believing that Islamic culture was at base interchangeable with Western culture -- just a little backward, that's all. But then Obama contradicted his own statement:
"Democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of religion -- those are not simply principles of the West to be hoisted on these countries, but rather what I believe to be universal principles that they can embrace and affirm as part of their national identity."
Whoa: Obama says these principles aren't "Western," are "universal" and can be, presto, "embraced and affirmed" as part these Islamic countries' "national" identity"? Mush. Democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of religion are precisely "principles of the West" that cannot be "hoisted on" (he means "foisted on") these Islamic countries--which is what he may be seen as implying in the first place. The point is, these principles are in no way "universal" at all.
Obama said he would be "encouraging" countries on his trip to promote these values, but added: "I think the thing that we can do most importantly is serve as a good role model."
I think the thing we should do is start analyzing Obama's statements with respect to targeted audience. In the BBC interview, he seems to be messaging his Western audience with barbeque outreach, PC goop about universalism, role modeling, etc. Nice, Goody2shoes Obama. Maybe this way, he thinks, no one will notice, for example, his support for immunity for Saudi Arabia in court cases seeking to hold Saudis liable for the 9/11 attacks.
The Obama administration has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to protect Saudi Arabia and four of its princes from being held accountable for their alleged role in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the United States that killed almost 3,000 Americans ....
Through its solicitor general, Elena Kagan, the Obama administration has asked that the Saudis be held immune under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, or FSIA, even though there is ample U.S. evidence of complicity by the Saudi government and the named princes in support of al-Qaida's terrorist attack. ...
"In effect, the U.S. Government announced its opposition to allowing 9/11 victims and their families full access to the U.S. legal system in (the government's) effort to protect Saudi Arabia and its princes from being held accountable for their role in the attack on the United States," said Peter Leitner, who has assisted terror victims' families successfully in suing terrorist organizations for the past 12 years.
"As power of Attorney for the family and estate of John P. O'Neill, former FBI (counter-terrorism) expert, I find it disgusting that the Obama administration has spat in the faces of these victims just as (Obama) prepares to leave for Egypt and Saudi Arabia while advocating for the closing of (the U.S. Guantanamo prison in Cuba) and giving full access to the U.S. court system to the terrorists currently imprisoned there," he said.
No doubt more model behavior according to Obama. And so it is -- at least in the eyes of his increasingly favored constituency, the Muslim world. There, as I noted after his first interview as president with Al Arabiya, Obama seems determined to succeed as the Al Qaeda alternative.
Hotdogs and hamburgers ... or 9/11 families and Israeli babies?
Or how about a little nuclear power?