April 11th, 2009
02:28 PM ET
9 years ago

Muslim issues dominate agenda

President Obama visits the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul during his bridge-building and sight-seeing trip to Turkey.

President Obama visits the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul during his bridge-building and sight-seeing trip to Turkey.

(CNN) - The collapse of the U.S. economy has dominated the first months of Barack Obama's presidency.

But after last week's G-20 summit in London, Obama was in Turkey and Iraq this week, underscoring a different point.

Once he's taken care of problems at home, most of his biggest business is in the Muslim world.

Iraq: Obama owes his election in part to his opposition to the war in Iraq. Now, he plans to withdraw U.S. combat troops. But Iraq is still so dangerous that Obama had to keep his visit a surprise and be content with a quick look from behind U.S. barbed wire. Will U.S. forces really be able to back out?

Afghanistan: Obama has made this war his own, vowing to win, promising to keep terrorists from again taking refuge on Afghan soil. Even after more than seven years of fighting, the challenge is daunting and some Americans are already musing about whether it will be 'Obama's Vietnam'.

The Obama administration sees Pakistan as both a base for insurgents in Afghanistan and a battleground in its own right. Militants threaten the stability of the country and also potentially the security of its nuclear weapons. What's the best way for Obama to respond?

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Seth

    Da,TX.: This is not a muslim country, not yet, and the blood shed by these wars we shall see. I know alot of people are disenchanted with our country, but that is no reason to look to mecca and not making light of this as an America, it frightens me that so many liberal minds are being taken in by this religion that teaches to kill, anyone who does not believe as they do, and are so suppressed.

    April 11, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. MH

    USA need to repair relationship with muslim world. USA can gain a lot by repair this relationship. Which I think Pres. Obama is doing. But I think Israel-Palestine issue is the root cause. And USA shouldn't act as proxy to Israel not give Israel billions of dollar aides without any condition. USA should act as nutral and resolve this issue which can really help.

    April 11, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. ck

    And just what efforts are the Muslims putting forward toward peace and harmony in the world???

    I would really like to know if they are doing anything of note.

    April 11, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. Sandy

    dan how about risking a terrosist attack in texas that kills 2700+ people including someone you know? As someone who worked in WTC.. I don't know how you can even imagine accepting such a thing. You have no clue how things are unless they happen to you and you're in it.

    April 11, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. Loyal Opposition

    Obama shows great leadership in a global era that seeks security and political undestanding. I admire his respectful outreach – a seemingly ordinary and common gesture that each statesman strives to uphold. He understands very well that he has potent political capital, state machinery and the gift of vision. And he's using it, of course. But foreign leaders know very well that his tic tac smile comes to them with a political agenda – one that doesn't sell toothpaste. He has the weight of the free world on his back, but he sure strides like it is at his back.

    April 11, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. butterfly

    Dan, TX.
    Then why did we not take Bin Ladin out?
    The 9-11 victims and the nation were told that he would be brought to justice. That is the least that should have been done and still should be done. We should get Bin Ladin and then get out.
    There should never be a time in American history where a person can mastermind that kind of distruction on American soil and get away with it. That would send the wrong message to anyone who wishes harm on us Muslim or not.

    April 11, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. Right Thinker

    Taliban and Al queda are bastard children of the unholy alliance between USA and Pakistan. Chickens have come home to roost. Should have never played with fire. You always get burnt. Afghanistan used to be a civilized place and then it turned islamic. People of land that is pakistan today used to civilized then they turned islamic and we all know it took just 50 years for the monster to disintegrate when it was left on its own. Now USA is pumping millions of dollars in this dead country. How would you like India to be talibanized because USA policies and indian leaders indifference will make that ahppenn very soon.

    April 11, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. bimmer

    Why Muslim issues dominate the agenda?

    The answer is in the title itself.

    April 11, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. Jim

    The USA doesn't have a problem with the Muslim world. On the other hand, Islam seems to have a problem with any religion or ideology other than itself.

    April 11, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. bimmer

    Finally US has an opportunity to handle the Muslim issues.

    It has an President ewho understands those issues.


    Becuase he is one of them.

    April 11, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. Nick, Rochester, NY

    Read Samuel Huntington's essay "The Clash of Civilizations" in the Summer 1993 issue of the journal Foreign Affairs. That's all you need to know to understand (and predict) the crises of the 21st century.

    April 11, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |

    Of course Islamic issues dominate the world – This religion has stated that it wants to dominate the entire world and will kill anyone that doesn't want to convert to it.
    This isn't a new concept – It's sorta like what Spain wanted to do to the Jews with the Spanish Inquistion and when it tried to convert all natives in the newly found Americas to be Catholics.
    Religion – All of mankinds real "Original Sin"...

    April 11, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. JWM, VT

    It pays to remember that Afghanistan was the U.S.S.R.'s Vietnam. A true multil-national effort might achieve results, but this is a total quagmire. Yes, the area is the source of terrorism and should be closely monitored, but, in the end, the local populace has to stand up and be counted. A daunting task, to be sure, but the only realistic solution in the end.

    I wish more Americans could visit Turkey, as I have. Entered my first Mosque and was impressed with the decorum and tolerance for this Western Christian. Turkey remains a secular state with a Muslim majority and sets an example for the world. A small minority of that faith, like most faiths, are causing the problems.

    April 11, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  14. expressiongifts

    I am not sure. I have recentlly in the past two years have been more political. I am very intrested in how our economy will imporve and how the world will change with Obama as aleader.

    April 11, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. Sammy

    Dan in TX is willing to accept more attacks because it will save money? Is he serious? Lets hope he doesnt work in a high rise, fly cross country, use the subway, or any of the other things where large numbers of people come together.

    Lets see... turn the other cheek when thousands were killed? You have no conception of the Islamic world where that would be seen as weakness. If we need to have a better understanding and better relations with that region of the world then we better know how to play by their rules.

    April 11, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. bk

    Obama lied and got elected. He is continuing Bush's Policy's as we knew he would.

    April 11, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. Jim

    Forget it. Islam is too radical. If you had a 50/50 majority in Calif with muslim and caucasian the muslims would try and seize power. Thank goodness it is just filled with hispanics. Its time for the western countries to stop this nonsense. I can't name a single muslim country with a thriving christian population. What do people think will happen when they become a major population in the US. Look at what is going on in France and Britain. No the problem is with intolerance in Islam. They post fliers around US campuses advocating attacks on Americans. Radical Islam is the problem at home and abroad. First focus on helping US domestic terrorism and flushing out radical Islam in France and Britain and leave the goat herders alone in Afgahnistan and Pakistan. Then defend the oil in Iraq.

    April 11, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Steve

    wrong, not no sensible. you are correct that it is the fastest growing religion in the world. but accepting it is not the answer; destroying it is. a religion that advocates putting those to the sword who do not convert is not a valid religion. a religion that advocates treating women as chattle is not a valid religion. you may argue that not all muslims are radicals or violent. the problem is the non radicals shelter those who are. that makes them accomplices and therefore guilty. wipe them out now before its too late.

    April 11, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Why are these issues so dominate. they hit us, we hit back, lets move on to more important issues.

    April 11, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  20. JoeTheLumber

    Pakistan is the main source of terror; it is al-Qaeda's base of operations. The Pakistani power elite is full of bin-Laden supporters. It's time for the U.S. to team up with India and carry out surgical strikes on terrorist training camps. CTF Devil out of RC East in Afghanistan has been going into Pak on counter-insurgency raids since 2005. Let's step it up!

    April 11, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. Thierno Diallo

    it's time that both Americans and their government understand that they cannot live in peace even in their homeland with U.S forces and tanks rolling in muslim countries. Take the piracy example in the gulf of Aiden as Somalis without future try to put food on the table caused by U.S unwillingness to support a government elected by the people of somalia.

    April 11, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  22. Jeff, TN

    Obama's Vietnam? There's so much spin out there I'm starting to get dizzy.

    April 11, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Lionnel

    Biden is "dead wrong," and Obama is weak, apologizing for America overseas, and bowing to the Arabian king. Does the Norht Korea care about Michelle Obama's arms or her dog? The Obamas are celebrating EASTER, so they must be Chirstians, church-goers, Bible believers and the Ten-commanment keepers, having faith in God, eternity, salvation/redemption of Christ Jesus, and Heaven & Hell, or are they not? Ask Bill Maher.

    April 11, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  24. Rodger Harris

    American is too tolorent of these people. We have become and are becoming much too weak as a society. Now we have left wing softies running the country. The pirates are one case where we as a nation should consider these actions as unacceptable. Stop the nonsense America start doing something that will make the world understand that you are the strongest nation on earth. Don't put up with these idiots. The pirates like Iran are a non issue. End it by what ever means necessary. Send these guys packing – sink all their ships blast them out of the water. Send subs, destroyers what ever it takes don't let these people push you around. End it.

    April 11, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. flybyshoeing

    Dan TX. Affhanistan War is about the pipeline pushed by Unocal Oil company. Who worked for Unocal? Why none other than Afgan President Karzi. Iraq is about the oil.

    April 11, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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