Talking Points Memo & Impact Segment
America and the Arab world
“Press reports say the guy who threw his shoes at President Bush is a big hero in the Arab world, which points out how difficult it is to deal with some Muslims. There’s no question that the USA has sacrificed greatly to bring a measure of freedom to Iraq. If this guy had thrown his shoes at Saddam, he would have been executed. But now he has freedom of expression, thanks to us. The question is, why we are spending billions to free these people if many of them don’t even want freedom?
We just don’t know if our investment in blood and treasure will ever pay off. For now, the Bush administration and the incoming Obama administration must protect us from Muslim fanatics. There are two schools of thought: Obama apparently believes in a ‘softer’ approach, saying he will ban all coercive interrogation and close Guantanamo Bay; Dick Cheney thinks that’s a mistake and says America was right in getting tough on people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. So all Americans need to think about the danger from the Muslim world and how we should deal with it. Despite the economy, that remains the toughest problem Barack Obama will face in his presidency.”