May 11th, 2009
03:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Cafferty: How can Pres. Obama succeed at Mideast peace where others have failed?

 Join the conversation on Jack's blog.

Join the conversation on Jack's blog.

President Obama may not have much time to help broker a peace deal in the Middle East. King Abdullah of Jordan tells the London Times that Mr. Obama's meeting next week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become the acid test for the administration’s commitment to peace.

King Abdullah says all eyes will be on Washington; and if there are no signs of progress, the Arab world will feel like yet another American government has let them down. He suggests that overnight, President Obama could lose the "tremendous credibility" he's built up in the Arab world.

And that would be a shame because Mr. Obama has a pretty impressive level of support over there. A new Ipsos survey polled 7,000 adults in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan.

The poll shows President Obama gets a 48 percent favorable rating, running as high as 58 percent in Jordan. Only one in 10 residents across the region think the U.S. president will have a negative effect on their country.

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soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Mississippi Mike

    No, he's basically a more arrogant Jimmy Carter. Obama is failing in everything he's tried to do so far, Middle East policy is way "above his paygrade." He thinks that making flowery speeches and giving in to their every whim will make the muslim world respect him but instead they are going to use him up and hang him out to dry.

    May 11, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. Tony

    President Obama can dream all he wants and the Arab world and dream along with him! The elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge is the misguided support the United States has provided to successive Israeli govertments, without ever the warning that things will change. It has always been the 'other' side that was wrong or misguided.

    Until and unless we as a people can summon our intellect to question the support our politicians give Israel, in exchange for lucrative contracts for their spouses and the campaign donations, nothing will change in the Middle East. CNN can do well to highlight those ties and shame them into changing their slimy ways.

    May 11, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. Kurt C.

    He's definitely not going to make progress if he keeps throwing Israel under the bus.

    May 11, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. Jack

    I am afraid that even Obama hasn't a chance in the Middle East.

    May 11, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Ian

    He can succeed by pulling ALL troops from Iraq AND the mideast IMMEDIATELY! He can succeed by removing U.S. influence from all mideast elections. They are adults, let them handle their own issues. How would we like it if China had military bases on our soil? How would we like it if China was involved with our elections?

    May 11, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Steve

    Why is it that it is always up to the US to provide success or failure in the middle east. If arabs want peace in the middle east it seems simple.

    Stop waring.

    Peace can be had in a moment! It starts with a thought – not an action.

    May 11, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Pat F

    That's an easy one – he can't.

    May 11, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  8. Wes

    Half his family is muslim so that should be a good start. On top of that he is not a practicing Christian and flees from any chance to be labeled as such so he is there man.

    May 11, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. Alfred E. Neumann

    US presidents have little influence other than military aid in the Middle East.

    Middle East countries will do what the US has done in the past – act in their own best interest. They love war more than they love their own children.

    Wake up Jack Cafferty – Obama is a legend only in your own mind!

    May 11, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. bill

    ok–right on–lets follow the bush policies of illegal wars and being hated by all the "other" countries. PEACE??? who would want that when we have proven WHY we are in Iraq, you remember WMD.

    May 11, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. GuyInVA

    How can Obama succeed at Mid East peace? By letting the sycophants in the media report the story. Much like the recent loss of 549,00 jobs was reported as a positive (I know, I know, he "inherited this mess"), we could have a million rocket launches into Israel and mass beheadings, and the media would report that the administration was helping them hash out their differences.

    May 11, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. Bev - NYC

    Peace between Israel and Palestine will not happen in my lifetime. Only when they are tired of killing each other over dirt should the US intervene and mediate. Until then Obama should concentrate on home and getting our troops out of Iraq and Afghanstan as soon as possible.

    May 11, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    He can succeed by being the first President to not be subservient to AIPAC and Israel, by not giving Israel a blank check, by no longer ignoring Israel's crimes against the Palestinians and its neighbors, by holding Israel to the same standards the U.S. holds all other nations to. American hypocrisy regarding Israel, which has devolved from a Jewish homeland to an expansionistic Zionist regime that has alienated even rabbis and Orthodox Jews, is a prime cause of hatred for the US in the Middle East and elsewhere. Obama can reverse this by holding them to account for their criminal invasion of Gaza.

    May 11, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. Clark, New York NY

    Certainly starting talks with Syria and Iran are the right step in the right direction. This approach brought peace agreements with Israel and Egypt and Jordan, and our hands-off and/or arrogant approach over the last 8 years has certainly yielded absolute disaster.

    May 11, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. RI Moderate

    The radicals on both sides have no incentive for peace. They stay in power by demonizing the other side.

    Good luck Mr. Obama, but there's not much chance of success..

    May 11, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. DaBird

    Nobody can succeed in the Middle East. Thousands of years of fighting won't change as long as indoctrination of the kids continues. This is the first time the comments didn't blame something on Bush. Amazing!

    May 11, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. Jeff from Atlanta

    How can you have peace when each side believes within their souls the other should die?

    this isn't something they compromise on. they don't believe the other should move away, they believe they should be wiped off the face of the earth. compromise that.

    This isn't something you can go over there and apologize for and think you have solved the issues.

    May 11, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  18. ray ray

    Of course Arab nations love Obama – he bowed to one of their leaders.

    Does everyone remember Mikhail Gorbachev... and how popular he was in America?

    We LOVED Gorby because he acquiessed to our demands and dissembled the USSR, effectively ending the cold-war by waiving the white flag.

    The world sees Obama as America's Gorbachev.

    May 11, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. Brian, Edmond OK

    Easily. He's doing it throught the G.R.I.T. (Graduated and Reciprocal Initiative in Tension Reduction) process developed by Charles Osgood.

    May 11, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  20. Allen in Hartwell GA

    It appears unfortunate but true that the only way for there to be peace in the Mideast is to eliminate all humanity from the area...that or give them a common enemy.

    May 11, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
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