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Scorching across northeast Nevada, I began to understand why there is nothing on the map. It’s because there really is nothing fucking out here — just valley after valley of hardpan between mountains. I began to get lonely and turned on the radio for company. I pressed the ‘seek’ button and it just kept on seeking.

Occasionally, a station would pop on the radio, startling me. The selection was limited to classic rock, country and Christian talk shows.

On one show, a young caller (she sounded like a teenager) called in to ask how to cope with President Obama turning his back on Israel and embracing the Muslim extremists. The host kept trying to butt in as she ejaculated all her worst fears of this being a sign of Armageddon. I thought he was going to interrupt her by correcting her and saying that simply wasn’t true, but instead expressed his sympathies and said her fears were very legitimate. His recommended solution: read the Bible more and pray.

I know Christians — like any group of perfectly respectable people — have a few idiots making the rest of them look bad. My question is how do these assholes get radio shows?

Obama attempting to reach a compromise between Israel and the Muslim world is not switching sides. Even if he wanted to join with Palestine and the Muslims, there’s no way in hell they would agree to it. For those who happen to be living under a rock, he US is not exactly on good terms with them at the moment.

Based on conversations I’ve had with people (mostly relatives), I think there’s a large population of Americans who grossly overestimate Obama’s ability to fuck shit up. Yes he’s been very busy these last five months and yes, he’s a very sneaky public speaker. But the man is simply not capable of undoing decades of sour relations with the Middle East to join them in the war on Israel.

Obama’s speech tomorrow in Egypt to attempt to reach out to the Muslim community has been promoted by the White House like the super-bowl of presidential speeches. Obama himself has been hinting about this speech since his early campaign. The entire world will be watching.

No pressure Barack.

In reality, this speech probably isn’t going to make much of a difference. The Muslim people have been hearing speeches by western leaders for decades. One more is not going to change much, no matter how groundbreaking it may be. Muslim people are more impressed by actions than words. They rely on word-of-mouth information from friends and local religious leaders and are not easily persuaded by public speakers and mass media telecasts.

In an interview with NPR, Obama simply said the US would have to be more assertive with Israel in their expectations that BOTH sides compromise, not just the Palestinians.

He’s not going to ‘turn his back’ on Israel because it is a crucial geopolitical ally in the fight against terrorism as well as a key player on the global diplomatic stage.

It was exactly the kind of brainless zeal expressed by the Nevada radio host that Israel sought to exploit when they invaded Gaza in January. They gambled on President Bush, then in his last days in office, would put faith before reason and join them in their military attack that killed many civilians.

Questioning the motivations of a political leader is healthy for a democracy, but practitioners of mass media should have at least a modicum of responsibility to know what the hell they are talking about. Otherwise, they are just spreading the ignorance.

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