January 27th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Better chances for Mideast peace under Pres. Obama?


Palestinians prepare tea on an open fire next to Israeli-bombed buildings in Rafah on the Gaza Strip border with Egypt on January 24, 2009. The Arabic graffiti on the wall reads: 'Fatah movement.' (PHOTO CREDIT: PATRICK BAZ/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Former President Jimmy Carter tells the Associated Press that Israel will face a catastrophe unless it revives the Middle East peace process and establishes an independent Palestinian state. This is a sentiment he's echoed before, and he's saying it now as he's making the rounds to pitch his new book on the issue. But timing is everything.

President Obama sat down for his first formal TV interview since taking office with the Dubai-based Arab language network Al-Arabiya. It's a calculated move for the President to make good on his promise to improve American-Muslim relations in the wake of the Bush administration. In the interview, he told Muslims that Americans are not the enemy. He also vowed to hunt down terrorist groups who kill innocent civilians while respecting laws.

The interview comes as the President's newly tapped special envoy for Middle East peace, George Mitchell, is on his first trip to the region to meet with Arab leaders.

Perhaps like clock work, the week-long cease-fire between Israel and Gaza, that halted three weeks of fighting, was ended when Palestinians detonated an explosive device at an Israeli Army post, and Israeli helicopters fired back in response.

Here’s my question to you: Are chances for peace in the Middle East any better with President Obama than they were with President Bush?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mike from Syracuse, New York writes:
Not a chance Jack. Every President since Truman has tried and failed. Clinton had the best deal they are likely to see worked out with the PLO, only to have them walk away at the end. Until so called moderate Muslims renounce the terrorists who set the agenda, there will be no peace.

Tripp from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania writes:

Obama is intellectually more capable of responding to the needs of both Israelis and Palestinians than was Bush. Also, the acting and probable new Prime Minister of Israel, Tzipora Livni, seems ready to address the removal of Jewish settlements from the West Bank and reform Israel's apartheid-like treatment of Palestinians. It may be bleak, but now there is again hope.

John from Fort Collins, Colorado writes:
In attempting to start a dialog with the Arab world, Barack Obama is certainly off to a good start to right the wrongs of the Bush administration's dealings in the Middle East, but I doubt his chances for a lasting peace are any better. The roots of the problems in the area are a complex mix of religion, social structure, poverty of the masses, and politics beyond our ability to change in the short term.

Sue writes:
Jack, have heard 'peace between Israel and the Palestinians' since I was 2! Yep, I'm 62 and have yet to see it. Having traveled in Israel, Egypt and Jordan in recent years, my impression is that the gap and distrust is almost genetic. My most vivid impression is the unhappiness in the face of the people we saw in those Muslim countries. Their lives are so hard and they blame us. For them to accept our mediation would require this country to denounce Israel. There's no chance of that, so getting deep into that situation is a waste of time and effort.

Paula from Indiana writes:
On November 4th the entire world celebrated the outcome of the election. I am sure the people in the Middle East were thrilled by the results. I am not sure President Obama can make a difference in that war-torn part of the world but I don't think he'll have to dodge any shoes when he visits there.

Filed under: Middle East • President Barack Obama
soundoff (567 Responses)

    Up till now, our policy has been "do what we want, and then we'll negotiate". The response from Arab nations and Iran has been, "If we do what you want, what is there to negotiate?". We can do better than that.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  2. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    If it is possible for the U.S. to have any influence at all, it willbe mor likely under the intelligent diplomatic approach the Obama administration will be able to provide as oppsed to the Bush administration's lack of anything constructive.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  3. Dave from Orlando

    At least there is a chance for peace, slim as it is with the lunatics running things in that part of the world. Under Cheney/Bush there was no chance since they did everything possible to roil things up.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  4. Jonathan

    I don't think so Jack. He will spend a lot of time "talking" to terrorists and legitimate ME leaders and after a few years realize he has acheived little if anything. Meanwhile Iran will be nuclear and the Palestinian issue will have actually taken a step backward.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  5. Terry

    Yes, I believe that the Middle East has a better chance for Peace under President Obama because he is a man of integrity who has offered a hand and a listening ear. President Obama does not come across as a hot-headed Cowboy wanting to take on the world, but rather a man of Peace and Reconciliation who is offering to sit down and talk with leaders rather than to use threating retoric.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  6. George

    Better than Bush? We have good reason that the Bushies always leave things in a turmoil, and has to be cleaned up by someone else, but yet they see that they are right. Talk about clueless, these people are in a sad state of denial as they fuddled while America burned. I just hope that Jeb decides to run in the next, or any election, because i live here in Florida, and I would finally like to see the Bushies get what they deserve, and that is our state of denial.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  7. Beverly-NYC

    Jack, peace in the millde east is one feat Obama should not waste any time on. The Israelis and the Palestinians will fight long after we are all dust. Until both sides get sick and tired of killing each other over dirt and being right, any effort expended will be for nothing. Let the Eqyptians, Syrians or whoever wrap their heads around this problem for a while, they are more affected by it being in the region than we are. Bush has left Obama enough pressing issues right here to deal with. It's time for us to be selfish and stop being big brother to the world.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  8. GW

    The chance for peace in the Middle East is as dismal with Obama as with the previous administration. Until Hamas and the Iranians come to grips with Israels right to exists, there will be no peace. Further, the US should waste no more time and money on this issue. Turn this mess over to the UN and allow them to deal with it. Stop wasting our money.

    Rochester NY

    January 27, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  9. Laura

    It's hard to say whether or not there will ever be peace in the middle east. I think that even if there will be peace, we won't see it with Obama no matter how hard he works. This has been going on for so long and its not going to stop over night. Especially when no one over there seems to be doing all that much in the first place. It seems we (the U.S.) are doing more than them. It's not us that is causing the chaos, it's them, and without the Middle East putting as much effort as we are, we won't see it for many years to come.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  10. Jerry

    He will hold both sides feet to the fire. Even if Isreal is our allie and carry the biggest stick, both sides need something out of this. He needs to get them back at the table with both sides having something to gain.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  11. mac from traverse city Michigan

    I dont think so jack, the different factions will just continue using the president as they have for years, like a generous slot machine. They just Pump his hand in front of the cameras and money falls out.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  12. Gary

    Are you kidding me....no President of the US will have any significant impact on bringing peace to to the Mid-East unless the leaders from those nations want it as well. And by all accounts to-date, they don't!

    It was the "leaders" of Gaza, Hamas who decided to keep up the barage of rocket attacks into Israel..and it was the Israeli government who decided to use a bazooka in a knife fight. Not to mention phsycos like Iran's Abajenadad's "wipe them off the face of the earth" rhetoric. Until these respective leaderships can find some common ground to work from, this fighting will continue for yet another genaration.

    Unless President Obama knows how to fire a rocket or operate an Israeli tank, he will have minimal impact (like his predecessors) on the issue.

    Gary from Toronto

    January 27, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  13. Sterling in Texas

    Yes, yes YES!

    Compared to Bush, peace (under President Obama) has a better chance not only in the Middle East but in every corner of the world.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  14. claude daniel

    Ottawa, CANADA
    it depends if the countries involved want peace or not.

    it is just like a married couple, it does not matter how much counselling they get unless they all want to work it out.
    Just remember Jack, "if there is no willing, there is no feeling".


    January 27, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  15. Bill

    Philosophically , yes, Obama has a better chance, but practically , no. As long as religion is the driving force behind the dispute, there will never be a solution.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  16. Jackie in Dallas

    Anything will be better under President Obama than under President Bush that requires intelligence, finesse, compromise, and compassion.

    Peace in the Middle East is an illusion, however. With the more radical Muslims saying that they will never accept an Israeli state, and the Israeli state saying, rightfully so, that they will defend their sovereignty, you have an eternal conflict. We need to facilitate getting both sides to the table to work out some durable elements of a cease-fire.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  17. Jim Boyle

    When the founding fathers talked of free speech, certainly they never envisioned what it would come to. The public would be much better served if the mass media discontinued giving all "petulant gasbags" the forum to spew their hate and misinformation. He exercised (I assume) his right to vote, and his candidate lost, so live with it. For one to say he hopes any President fails is unAmerican. This is why I proudly display my sticker, "Hey, Rush...bend over fat boy!" He should be thankful his drug issues did'nt lead to jail time, as there are those in jail for much less, that didn't have the money to buy their way out. Jim Boyle, San Antonio

    January 27, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  18. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Those crazy people who live in the Middle East don’t seem to want peace if they haven’t found it in a couple of thousand years, so this question is academic. But technically the chances are better; about twice as good as zero.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  19. George in Florida

    No US President makes a difference in the Mideast Peace process. The only thing that will make a difference is to lock all of the negotiators in one room and not allow them out until a deal is reached. Of course, they might wind up killing each other while in the locked room...

    January 27, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  20. Irv Lilley

    Jack, Chances for peace in the middle east will only be good , when
    both Jews and Arabs have a change of heart. Their conflict is based on ideology and blind hate. History and personal feelings
    about each other are so entrenched in their psychy, that only a
    complete change of each person's attitude will bring about lasting peace. .

    January 27, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  21. Anita from Tennessee

    Yes, President Obama is reaching out to the countries of the Mid East by stressing that we be respectful of them and their ideals. This is a step in the right direction and the situation cannot be changed over night as the Mid East has endured eight years of ridicule from the past administration. Let's hope that they will at least listen to our new President and give us a chance.

    As a side note, I listened to Republicans Hutchison from Texas and Blackburn from TN this am repudiating the stimulus plan, but yet not offering anything productive in the way of a stimulus. If they want to oppose the plan that is fine, but if they can't offer anything productive to stimulate this failing economy, they should keep their mouths shut and CNN should quit interviewing them until they have something to offer!!! President Obama has said that he welcomes comments that would help the economy and if anyone that has any ideas he would welcome them as he wants the stimulus to work. Take heed all you nay sayers!

    January 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  22. Jim Boyle

    I hate to be the pessimist, but at 62 and 1/2 years, on some subjects it comes natural. There will never be peace in the Middle East in my lifetime. Of course, I have had a tough time understanding why we are so stuck on the side of Israel?? I certainly am not naive enough to think they are without blame in the continuing violence and discord.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  23. erico sobeach 33139

    There's no guarantee that the Middle East will ever achieve peace, under Obama or any other future USA President. The turmoil that's exsisted there, since the take over by Israel of Palestine, will continue for years and decades to come. The basis being that it is a religious counter force fueled by Muslim extremists, who are bound to fight to the death. It has already been proven, over and over. The worst could be yet to come, once and (if) Israel attacks the nuke facilities at Iran. We should all pray for peace, it is our only hope.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  24. odessa

    maybe they are willingly listen to president obama than bush..some people are calling them crazy because they rather commit sucide rather than to talk about their problems..during the campaign, some political adversaries were criticizing him about diplomacy issues;at least he committed his words than other politicans who never stick to their campaign promises..

    January 27, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  25. Eddie, from Chicago

    Absolutely Jack, the middle east's fair well to Bush was a shoe hurled at his face and he followed it up by vacationing while all hell broke lose in Gaza. Forget the political capitol Obama does or doesnt have in Washington, the more important thing is the political pull he has overseas. People all around the world were celebrating Obama's election, did we get that with Bush's election? No.

    The new President also seems to have a clear intent to open dialogs with nations that in the Bush administration were treated like children being given the silent treatment by their parents. Thing is, we aren't their parents, and they aren't children, and they can hurt us if we just ignore them.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  26. Mahmoud El-Darwish

    Jack if by "Middle East" you mean just Israel, then no. I don't believe President Obama will be better than G.W. Bush for just Israel.
    I do believe that Obama will have opportunities to represent a more even-handed Middle East policy if we define that the region as being more than just Israel. Now if the hawks behave this time around and we set aside the silly notions of 'nation building' and empire that were pipped into Bush's head the last go round- Obama then stands a chance, with Clinton at State, to repair decades of foreign policy blunders in that region.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  27. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    The people we have a problem with in the middle east have forged an identity out of fighting the United States. They say they just want their land back, but Hitler said that too. Besides, history shows there's been an issue their long before they lost their land. The two mentalities simply can not coexist in peace.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  28. Jayne

    President Obama is committed to diplomacy and if anyone can bring peace to the Middle East, it is this man and the impressive team he has assembled, especially Secretary of State Clinton and George Mitchell. Unfortunately, while there are many great things about our new leader, he's not a miracle worker. The parties involved must ultimately decide to live in peace with one another.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  29. Conor in Chicago

    Only if Obama defies his AIPAC masters and actually approaches the matter with some sense of fair play instead of serving as a figure head for Israeli influence in the United States government.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  30. Jaison From NYC


    I wanna know when President Obama was on Muslim Television then did he ever asked those Muslims Countries or it's people, why they hate other religion people in the world?????

    January 27, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  31. Kiki from Omaha

    Jack if you talk about "chance" the answer is yes because cowboy diplomacy doctrine with bush was a complete failure and even put our country more in danger. You can't fight ideologism with ideology.
    How do you expect the ruling in an abortion case to be when the judge is a pro-life or a pro-choice or how do you combat fire with oil and kerosen. It's insane.
    Obama is not an ideologist, he is a realistic and people in conflict always like the arbitrage of a realistic.
    But practically the big question is: is either sides ready to accept consensus?

    January 27, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  32. Everett Mincey

    From E.Mincey, Vancouver, BC Canada

    I do not think Obama has any magic with regard to Israel/Hamas situation in spite of his apparent willingness to go "mano a mano" with persons in other countries. The situation does not depend on US presidents-it depends on the willingness of adjacent muslim countries and groups to acknowledge the right of Israel to exist. If that does not happen, there is no reason to think Obama can have any impact-and he will not have any.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  33. Carol, Lakewood Co

    Better chances for peace? Well people do speak to one another, it is a basic. I guess any chance is worth consideration.
    Our cultures may differ from mid-east, however is there room for change? If there isn;t, we would all still be living in caves, right?
    I believe Obama is our best chance at progress, remember he won? I certainly HOPE for peace my three sons (in the military) are involved and they are certainly loved and valued here in Colorado, who does not hope for peace? If we give up the concept of possibility then we lost already.
    Colorado Mom
    of three serving.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  34. Deb

    Absolutely not!

    January 27, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  35. Terry- Greensburg, IN

    Obama & Hillary-are going to come up with some unique ideas involving the middle east and elsewhere.
    They're going to give them an inch to see if they are going to become a ruler. If they don't, their going to rule for them.

    Greensburg, IN

    January 27, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  36. Gary

    The Arab-Zionist Conflict will never subside. We need to understand this. We are fooling ourselves by thinking any administration can resolve this mess.

    The answer is not in diplomacy. Diplomacy only delays conflict just read the history books.

    It's Strange that the world always waits for the U.S.A to make a move. Where has the United Nations been. What a useless organization.

    Gary from Atlanta

    January 27, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  37. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Yes. Bush was hated and both sides may give Obama a chance. Mitchell is an experienced negotiator and should be able to start talks.Clinton came very close. Maybe this time Obama will succeed.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  38. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, President Obama is following the correct course here and it does promote a more peaceful approach. Appealing to the moderates of Islam is the first step in treating the patient. The US and Israel tried “chemotherapy” to kill the terrorists and that has not done the job, let’s try to treat the patient…get the moderates and right thinking Imams to condemn and shame these destroyers of life. In other words, boost the patient’s immune system to fight the disease of terrorism. Once the moderates are on board, then we can get all sides at the table and work towards the two-state solution.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  39. Ron in Ohio

    Of course there is a better chance. There is no guarantee since the religious hatred there has existed for centuries, but as America revives its respect in the world, at least the Mideast has a better chance of being calmer even though the leaders get their power from conflict. Obama has already recruited experienced, respected people to assist. It seems the US is at least trying to do something concrete.
    Ron in Ohio

    January 27, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  40. Brittany, Palm Beach FL

    If we believe that the United States is going to be the determing factor in whether or not there is peace in the middle east It seems to me we are mistaken. What president would not want to be able to make that claim. We are talking about conflicts that have raged on before we as a nation were even a thought. We can assist in any way possible but until these people want peace there will be none and I don't know what anyone has seen that has made them at all opptimistic about that happening anytime soon.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  41. Dave Thomas

    These people have been fighting over this little chunk of land for thousands of years. Unless Mr. Obama is the second coming of Christ, which many people seem to think that he is, I do not see him resolving the situation. Let'em fight it out....best man wins.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  42. Marie

    Peace is what anyone in Middle East want but it cannot be mandated by force. Obama said his administration will "Listen" and that is a big change. He said he will "Respect them", again it is a big change and he said he would involve every key nation in that region in the negotiation. It is a huge change. I believe he will make it happen.
    He did offer to talk to Iran directly and again it is a door to peace.
    Ontario- Canada

    January 27, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  43. Barbara - NC

    Those people have been fighting since the beginning of time. They probably always will. I think they like it.

    Maybe there's a better chance of slowing down the death and destruction. Time will tell.

    At least Pres. Obama is starting his term trying to do something instead of yelling out the helicopter door at the end of his term for them to stop fighting.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  44. KarenB, Florida

    you got to be kidding. get realistic.
    it appears to be their way of life, and fat chance he
    can do anything that affects it (except possibly to
    make it worse)

    January 27, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  45. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: About the same--–we have to realize that the US might be able to change "behavior," but I seriously doubt they will ever change a culture--but at least Obama can try.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  46. Lee in TN

    There usually is a chance for something good to happen when the
    people included will at least be willing to sit down and talk to find the common grounds,find where they differ and try to mend the differences

    January 27, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  47. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Jack, at least he is going to sincerely try. The fact that he is willing to talk and listen to all sides is a great step. If it can be done, President Obama is the man to do it.
    However, do not know if there will ever be peace in the Middle East.
    They appear to enjoy slaughtering each other.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  48. Deb I , Nauvoo, IL

    I have no idea what will happen, but I do know that unless somebody honorable keeps trying to help peace break out, nothing can happen. It is time for the US to take up its long forgotten role as a leader in the process. Don't any of you Republican jerks try to tell me that anybody has been trying for at least the last eight years.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  49. Troy


    no chance in hell. these people have been fighting for ages and no president is good enough to stop them from fighting. The only way to even begin to make peace would be to create brand new land so that they can separate. I don't think that is possible and even if you could do it, they would fight over who had to move.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  50. Judy from Canada

    Jacj Almost anyone is better than george W. However, there has been fighting in the Middle East for years, it is likely to continue for years.Many a president have tried. However, I wish Mr. Obama luck.Just maybe he can do it But if I were a betting person I would not put any money down. Peace is always worth pursuing.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  51. David of Alexandria VA

    Yes - but mostly because any new administration has some advantage or representing a fresh start.

    His success or failure will ultimately depend on how he steels himself for the typical belly-bumping of that region. Going in to listen first is fine - but this has been going on without resolution for 60 years (arguably since about 1120 AD).

    He needs to leverage his "newness" while he can - otherwise, he will be no more successful in real terms than either Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, or Truman.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  52. LM from Fayetteville, NC

    Better chances anywhere with Obama. He doesn't act like a "cowboy".

    January 27, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  53. Ed

    I think there is a chance for a treaty in the middle east, like a Middle East Union, perhaps complete with rioting in the streets. If we're putting money on it, I'll bet Obama for even odds.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  54. Steve in Michigan


    I know this is hard to believe, folks, but...

    These people hate each other for a whole bunch of reasons.

    Reasons they consider legitimate.

    You know... things like... oh... THE BIBLE..... for example....

    Trying to understand them... only translates to understanding WHY they hate each other so much.

    This built in hatred for each other is part of their identity.

    You don't change that by sitting around the campfire one night and talking....

    Not going to erase 1,300 years of history just because we think we have some sort of magical crew in Washington DC.....

    Sorry, folks... ain't happening.

    Even with all the peace love liberals in charge... NEWS FLASH... there will still be wars.

    Once again... we think OUR internal politics will change the world.

    BUZZ.... Wrong answer!

    January 27, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  55. Al in IA

    Any semblance of Middle-East peace will only be achieved when Israel withdraws from it's occupied territories to it's 1967 borders. Barack Obama is the only person in the world who can make that happen. He can do it only with support from the Congress and the people of the US who have been immersed in pro-Israeli propaganda and religious fervor for so long that the truth is obscured. Only the national media (you) can bring us the truth and ultimately Middle-East peace. Are you ready to help?

    January 27, 2009 at 1:29 pm |

    A brokered deal with real negotiations IS possible, and we have to go for it. Obama has the skills, advisors, and the will of the people.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  57. Frank from Peterborough

    Bearing in mind the big stumbling block is the Israeli settlements and Israel's acknowledgement of this and their reluctance to correct what these people are doing it is going to be extremely difficult.

    About the only way an American President can influence Israel in this matter is to threaten to cut off some of the financial and arms support currently being given to them and then maybe they will clean up the settlement mess.

    If the woman who is running for election in Israel gets elected then there will a good chance of some progress in this area since she has publicly stated the settlements should be removed and the land returned to the Palestinians. If she does get elected then the Obama administration will likely have some success.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  58. Shirley in TN

    I think it is possible that an approach to the problem that regards the populace in the Middle East as people like us and not as somehow less human than ourselves will go a long way towards mending fences and promoting good will in the Middle East. This seems to be what President Obama is trying to do. As long as we continue the "ugly American" attitude that we are better than everyone else in the world, we will get nowhere. I don't know why those idiots in Congress can't figure that out. They're so wrapped up in themselves that they cant even see what's right in their face. Preconditions? Because we're so much better than them? Shut up, McCain.

    Knoxville, TN

    January 27, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  59. Kathryn, Santa Barbara, CA

    Anything under President Obama is better than Bush, but I don't think even Obama can effect peace in the Middle East. Hasn't there been fighting there for... millennia?

    Have either Israel or Lebanon ever kept their word to each other about anything? I remember back to President Jimmy Carter and the Camp David Accords. What happened with that?

    I don't think even Moses and a new batch of commandments could bring peace to the MIddle East unless the people themselves on all sides of the borders are willing to keep the peace, without United States interference, or any other country's interference.

    Upon reflection, old commandment #6 still works: "Thou shalt not kill."

    January 27, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  60. Anj in CA

    After 5,000 years fighting over a piece of land the size of NJ, seems to me the only way is to make hard choices, something Obama specifically acknowledges has to happen. My idea would be to say that Israel would retreat to the 1967 borders (where people seem to forget they lived until attacked by ALL their neighbors), BUT ONLY if it's clearly understood that at the first attack within those borders, the source will become a parking lot.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  61. Henry P. O'Hagan

    It is only human to want to talk instead of sdmeone telling you how to act or we will bomb you. Yes President Obama will succeed if we are willing to talk and LISTEN.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  62. Cheryl

    No, nothing will change. I am NOT at Bush hater like a lot of others and I don't think that anything will change with Obama. He is a "bleeding heart" liberal and all of the liberals out there think that extending a hand to the Middle East will solve all the problems. Well, think again!! The people over there are just all backwards and ruthless and would just as soon cut off our heads as look at us. Sadly, not many people realize that. I think Bush handled them the way they should be handled. I also want to say that so many Bush haters blame him for everything but they forget their basic government. He could not have done anything without the congress and the senate approval, so for all those who want to blame him, think about that for a while!!!!!

    January 27, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  63. Bev

    Jack, Prez Obama hit it on the nail. With his approach he appeals to the "huminization" in the muslim people. He reminds them that no matter what culture or creed you are, every parent wants the best for their kids, good life, health and prosperity. He therefore makes the culture of "demonization" that reigned supreme all this time Null and Void. The tears of a mother in the Middle East is the same as the tears of a mother in United Sates of America. Trust me Jack even the people in the Middle East prayed for a leader like our President (they just won't say it or at least they can't say it out loud).

    January 27, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  64. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    Peace in the Mid-East is an unrealistic expectation, no matter who is in the White House. Obama will most certainly bring a less caustic tone to any discussions of a peace settlement, whereas the Bush/Cheney method was totally inflammatory, but the results will be the same. Obama needs to keep his energy directed at our problems here at home.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  65. Matthew, Cedar Rapids

    Most definitely. Iraq just gave the Muslim world more reason to hate America. I don't see president Obama having to dodge a shoe.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  66. Pat,Clearwater Florida

    Yes, under Obama we have determination and intelect. Under,
    Bush we had a do not care attitude my way or the highway
    good old boy attitude!!!!!

    January 27, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  67. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    We will have more influence in the region under Obama, but that doesn't mean a quick resolution to the Middle East problem. They have been fighting with each other since the beginning of time and seem to know nothing else about how to live. Peace in the Middle East is one of those dreams that is always just beyond our reach. I wish him well though, I know he'll try hard.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  68. Syed

    President Obama is off to a good start on Middle-East. His words will go a long way to cooling rheotoric of nut cases who call themselves Muslims and commit unimaginable atrocities on their own. Words, in this case, are half the battle.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  69. Ray in Nashville

    As long as Israel exists, there will be no peace. The Arab world keeps telling us this. We need to listen to them and plan our regional policy with that in mind. Back Israel, work with the moderate Arab nations, but know that many in the Arab world will hate us and we will not change their minds with either money or force.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  70. Matt from Tacoma

    Chances for peace IN the Middle East any better with President Obama than they were with President Bush, No... human life and property will continue to suffer from destruction... chances for peace WITH the Middle East, certainly peace WITH, a common enemy would need to be addressed and focused on, besides twenty years from now kids will grow to be men or women and "avenge" the death of their relatives in the name of who knows. None the less, makes for a good T.V. show while I eat my popcorn.
    Thanks Jack,
    -Matt from Tacoma

    January 27, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  71. Sherry Gardner, N.Calif.

    Definetly will be better with Obama. After his reach to them upon becoming President with the first phone call and the first interview last night-Gee-what can you say? I am very proud of our President!

    January 27, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  72. David in San Diego

    Yes, better but still not good. Bush left office with active warfare in Gaza. Stability without combat would be an improvement–and he "accomplished that mission" already, just by being inaugurated. Just think what he can achieve by having his administration actually do something.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  73. Linda in Charleston, SC

    Jack there is no comparison. Obama is doing great and Bush only made matters worse. I'm sure you will see how tough Obama can be if there comes a time for that but he's doing what needs to be done at this time. Don't cha know Jack how sweet sugar is in drawing in the bugs?

    January 27, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  74. Ken in Seattle

    Obama at least knows where the Middle East is, so that's a heck of a start.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  75. Billy G in Las Vegas

    ANYONE would have a better chance for peace in the Middle East than "lets bomb them" Bush.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  76. Terry in Hanover County

    Obama has a better chance than our last President who decided the best diplomacy was no diplomacy, but I really don't believe the politicians in the Middle East want peace because either they have no clue what peace is or peace is not in their best personal interests. Every day I pray for their people, especially the children who grow up in war zones and know nothing about living in peace, a very sad situation indeed.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  77. Brady

    There won't be peace in the Middle East until hell freezes over.

    Brady from Columbus, Ohio

    January 27, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  78. Bill Gove

    Jack-be sure to look at the black comic hero story on fox news .com. It's discusting-you should speak out against fox- its time someone did.....

    January 27, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  79. Linda in Muncie, Indiana

    Jack: I believe Pres. Obama will do much to improve this country and our standing in the world. However, peace in the Middle East can only come from within. The issues there, many centuries old, are far too many and too complex for anyone from the West to resolve. But I suppose, as fellow Earthlings, we have an obligation to do what we can to help spread peace where we can. That's a little difficult when we are dropping bombs on people eleswhere.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  80. peggy minnesota

    I don't care Jack,I'm sick of the entire mess over there.I would like to see some of my tax money go to hard working families and not to the sick ideas of people who have no reguard for life or liberty or what God stands for .Let it be Mr.President,they don't care..

    January 27, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  81. karen-phoenix

    YES< YES!!!! I watched Anderson Cooper last night and saw President Obama's interview with the Arab network. Excellent!!! There is HOPE for peace!!! NOW the republicans had better get on board or there will be NO republican party left after 2010!!! And I was a republican for over 40 years. NO MORE!!

    January 27, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  82. TB Pittaburgh Pa

    Maybe, nothing has worked for 2000years. Probably will take the 2nd coming to pull this mess off.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  83. David Bakody Nova Scotia

    We best hope so Jack, and this time there is honest hope and for that many are grateful.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  84. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Changing presidents in the U.S. will not matter to the never ending problem that is the Mid-East. Only the principal parties can come to a resolution. Remember, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  85. Marty Petersen

    Limbaugh did not say he "wants Obama to fail." He said he wants "his policies to fail." And if that offends some people so be it. For the last 8 years, the left had no problem hoping that Bush failed, and rudely at that.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  86. Sue -Idaho

    Jack, that's a big YES, he understands the muslims culture and he's speaking to their people like they are human beings. Unlike Bush calling all of them an axis of evil. Obama is very smart to go on their television and tell them he knows the majority of them are just interested in raising their children and living a normal life. It's about dam time we talked to them, maybe a good many will listen. I'll bet Osama is peeing in his pants right now.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  87. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl


    Only if the parties involved want peace and so far they seem hell bent on keeping this bombing and destruction on going.. We have to wait and see what happens. You know the old adage" you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink". We can help them along the way to find a lasting peace but they have to want and work for it. I have hope.
    St. Augustine. Fl

    January 27, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  88. Sandi

    I don't see how anyone can achieve peace in the Middle East when the people involved don't want to co-exist. I saw a 60 minutes program where they spoke with a Palastenian mother asking her what it would take for her to be able to get along with the Israelis. Her answer was "I don't want to get along with them, I want them all dead." It was pointed out that currently her children's school bus could be bombed and she still felt it was more important for the Israelis to all die then learn to get along so her children could be safe.

    How do you win against such a mindset?

    January 27, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  89. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    There is always that chance Jack that with this adminstration we can be just mediators and get both sides to talk and find that fine thin line that both can agree to peace on. We also at this time have the best person to try find that thin line.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  90. Liz in Towson, MD

    Considering all the Bush administration did was disrupt whatever peace there may have been in the Mideast, there's no way we can go but up.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  91. Justin

    I assume you mean will OBAMA will tax the Middle East someway. I cant wait for the HD tax, watch a movie tax, drive a nice car tax, wear nice clothes tax and own a pair of shoes tax.
    Ironic, the guy holds the worlds most expensive phone.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  92. Anthony Smith

    Better than Bush, but not much of a chance. Atleast Obama will hear all sides. As for peace in the Middle East, there is a reason why they wandered the desert for years. They are stubborn people and people who have hated each other for years. Like us with Iraq, you can't make others love us. Some people were made not to get along and they never will!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    January 27, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  93. Natalie Dayton, Oh

    If a student of the Bible you understand that peace in the middle east will only come about as a precursor to what Christians call the rapture. That being said, Bush suffered from the "John Wayne" syndrome...peace in the middle east was not as important as his need to promote ethnocentrism (his). Obama on the other hand is the badly needed conundrum the entire world needs offering a more "common ground" approach to the issue of peace in the middle east. Think about it: He is the only President we have ever had that relates to every single human being on the planet one way or another whether we're talking about culture, race, religion or peace. In fact he's probably the cousin of radio rackateer Lush Bimbaugh.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  94. John from collinsville, Illinois

    Yes ! It's high time a president talk to the whole muslim world and say we are not your enemy. Are you with us or are you our enemy attitude just is not working.So far president Obama is the only one who has addressed the world this way!

    January 27, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  95. Craig from Pa.

    I agree with Beverly from NYC.....
    Having lived in Tehran 52 years ago, and seeing little, if any change
    in the Middle East over all the years,.... add to that the thousands of years these people have been at each other,... they need to work things out amongst themselves, (if they EVER will achieve that),... without any intervention from the outside world........Probably not politically correct, but the facts are facts that can't be reasonably denied!!

    January 27, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  96. carson

    I wouldn't think so . the possibly thing wouldn't proceed untill the earth goes burnt down with global warming.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  97. Kerry Diehl

    Only if he can part the waters or walk on it like everyone else seems to believe!

    January 27, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  98. Meredith in Maryland

    I think it's time to let the Middle East fight it out on their own school yard. What can the US do to intervene that hasn't already been done, suggested or pushed upon them? I don't think they care what Clinton, Bush or Obama has to say. Let's turn all of the attention towards our own problems. I think that's what need to happen at this point. The Middle East will just keep on fighting against one another, just like they have for the last 500 years.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  99. Kooky in CA

    Chances are about as good as they are going to get. Whether Obama can negotiate anything with that pack of hateful clowns is to be seen. If anyone can do it, it will be him but he is bucking against centuries of political, religious and ethnic differences that will take your basic miracle to accomplish. Let’s hope he can do it.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  100. Jean

    Hi Jack:

    I have one question for some of the media. Why won't some of CNN
    media and others won't respect our New President by the proper
    title. He is our President and he has earned the title President Obama
    instead of Barack Obama or Obama. I don't like the way that some
    Cnn New men and women are handling this. Please inform them that
    America is watching. That not for you Jack. You and Wolf are great.

    January 27, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  101. Jack - Lancaster, OH


    It is so hard for us grass roots types to know when to follow history for its lessons, like the violent history in the middle east for lets see, hundreds of years, and expect this man, this next 4 years to stop it, OR as the politicians like to ignore the past and forgive all their collective transgressions and only think of the future...war. I can't take it any more jack, I just can't.


    January 27, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  102. Kyle- DuPont, WA

    Jack, this is like asking is safer for a mouse or canary to try and break up a cat fight.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  103. JR in Norfolk VA

    My question to you is: What do we know about where President Obama stands on the issue? Does he support Israel as a long-time ally of the United States or is he sympathetic to the Palestinians and recognizes Hamas as the legitimate government of the Palestinian Authority? I fear the answer is going to be "both", but this doesn't solve the issue. The President is going to have to do a lot more than sit on the fence between two factions at war with each other to bring about a lasting peace in the Middle East. I wish him luck.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  104. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    There is a better chance in this administration, but after watching Bob Simon's report on 60 Minutes Sunday, I don't think so.

    The United States government and the people have to come to terms with the fact that the Palestinian government in whatever form it is in is becoming like what my great-grandmother use to say: Sometimes the biggest liar tells the truth sometimes.

    After watching the inhumane treatment of Palestinians in their own home and not to mention the carnage in Gaza over the past several weeks, I tend to agree. We can support Israel, but at the same time, we need leadership that will call them out when they've turned into the oppressor. There is no shame in that. The shame comes from letting the ugliness continue.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  105. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    There is no question that there is a better chance of peace in the mid-east with Obama than with Bush. But, chance is all that appears to be possible. Unfortunately, the politics of that area have to much to do with destroy the opposition, rather than work with them.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  106. jeff church

    lets just put it this way. peace under the obama administration seems hopeful, however, the moderate muslims in this country and other countries seem cool anyways. its whether or not the muslim extremists change their view of america and stop trying kill everybody that doesn't believe in their views. i mean, thats really the issue here. put it this way, i believe moderate muslims will be much more favorable for obama, however, they have always been, to some extent more passive and less likely to commit violent acts.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  107. Willow, Iowa

    I think he definitely has a better chance for anything than Bush did. Bush and his cronies didn't care, said whatever they wanted to, insisted that we would only talk to democratic countries, and decided who liked and who they didn't like. Bush et al, wanted to run the world THEIR way. Obama and his team want to communicate with the world and be a part of the world. they can go a lot further than Bush in making friends in the world. for many years, we just sent them money and expected them to do what we wanted. Its time to treat other countries as partners in this world.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  108. Jerry- Illinois

    Obama won the election, lets give him a chance.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  109. matthewbenzor

    "YES" after 8 years of freemason propaganda

    January 27, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  110. Ted

    Peace in the Middle East has been at most an elusive thing. I don't know if a lasting peace is ever possible,but one thing I do know is ,if anybody has a chance to make it happen its President Obama.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  111. Doug - Dallas, TX

    I'm sure they're better than when "W" was running things but the reality remains that the only ones who can solve the problem are already over there. Until they are ready to work for peace everything else is a smokescreen. The Middle East has been at war for the last 3000 years and probably will continue for the foreseeable future regardless of what we do.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  112. V.K. Raman, Sparks

    All middle-east countries will hail Obama for his leadership and willingness to listen without compromising American principles

    January 27, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  113. Yamini Balachandran from DC


    I am noticing EVERYTHING he is doing (Domestic / International) to that effect... He is using the ULTIMATE power (PEOPLE's Power) and going directly to the People/Public is the best you can do ...

    these rogue leaders could now be answerable (to some extent) now even though I do not expect it to bring a long lasting solution but POSITIVELY this is going to be a much much better shot at the issues and TRUST is on his side....

    January 27, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  114. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    Just looking at Bush makes you feel like slapping someone, heaven forbid he opens his mouth. Yes, i think chances are steal slim, but better.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  115. Gerry from Virginia

    Since George Bush did little to promote peace anywhere in the world, I would say President Obama certainly will do a better job.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  116. Randy from Salt Lake City

    No. President Obama, the House and the Senate take their orders from Israel, plain and simple. The billions of dollars we give to Israel comes right back to the US in the form of campaign money or bribes to lawmakers via AIPAC. That will not change until the US economy collapses in the Spring/Summer of '09.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  117. Tanilan

    I don't think it will be any easier for President Obama to broker some kind of peace in the Middle East, than any other president we've had. Sure each one makes certain strides towards creating some kind of peace; but, as Doug in Dallas said, these people have been fighting since the Old Testament. I don't think we will see peace in that region, ever.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  118. Tina (Texas

    Yes. He is willing to talk in a civil manner to both sides instead of talking like an idiot to one.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  119. SG

    Peace will come from leadership within Israel and Palestine. The more US/ Obama administration gets into the middle, the less the chances of lasting peace. All we can hope for is to contain the damage so it does not spread out of that region and be there to help and facilitate as needed or requested.

    US has the opportunity and responsibility to set a strong example.

    The current example has been "pre-emptive strikes" "attack first, question evidence later" "there will be collateral damage" so, both Israel and Hamas are prompt to follow that example in their capacities. None of them realize that they do not have the capacity to execute the way US does.

    US needs to lead by setting an example for others to follow. Beyond that not much can be done.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  120. HD in Phoenix

    Absolutely Jack. The big difference between Bush and Obama is the fact that Obama is a true statesman and he actually wants peace. Bush was nothing more than a red necked puppet for the religious right wing extremists in the base of his party who wanted Bush to promote policies that would usher in Armageddon. Simply put, Obama wants peace and has the honest desire and finesse to pursue peace. The Bush administration wanted worldwide destruction to compliment their skewed religious extremist, dispensationalist views of reality.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    January 27, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  121. Mark from Kansas

    I am +ve but I do not expect much "change" here...

    These fundamentalists and terrorists FIRST need to understand that their religion is not hundred but ten thousand years backward.... You should FIRST stop producing Kids if you cannot raise them properly...

    This is the 50% of the menace – I know 50% or more of them who think Birth Control is a sin!!! Obama cannot fix this problem, I guess??

    January 27, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  122. Hot Shot From St. Petersburg Florida

    Jack. Were in a bad place now. But I am at ease because America is not seen as the renegade type, cowboy country that it was under President Bush.Does other country's see us as the pit bull that used to bite? But no longer does because of our economic situation. President Obama is the driver and I have the best of faith that he will deliver. God Bless America. And thank God For You Jack.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  123. Jean Ann, Connecticut

    Middle East Peace? I think this is where "Yes, We Can" meets "No, We Don't". In my lifetime every US President has endeavored to achieve Middle East Peace. Peace will only be acheived when the countries involved want it more than we do! The fact is, they have been unwilling for generations to make the comprimises necessary to achieve peace. This is one place where Obama Hope will not equal Change.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  124. NANCY M.- Colorado

    Absolutely! This is the most hopeful for all sides. It is the best chance for the Palestinians to have their own state and for the settlements to be removed from the West Bank. This has been one of the worst cases of one people trying to squeeze another people into non-existence. Shameful. Even some Israelis are seeing the wrong in this.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  125. Marie Ontario

    For the past 8 years the world has seen a nation with a corrupt justice system, a democracy haunted by screams of cheating, people jailed without benefit of trial or justice, a government that spies on it's citizens, illegal invasions, religious extremism and a failing system of capitalism.

    Once the Obama administration can change the world's view of America by alleviating some of the latter problems then perhaps they will have the moral authority to become legitimate moderators in the Middle East and elsewhere.

    For the time being however that 800 pound gorilla will only be in the room because it is strapped to George Mitchell's back.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  126. Terry from North Carolina

    Until the Palestinians have a country of their own recognized by the rest of the free world there will never be peace in the middle east. Until we learn to mind our own business there will never be peace in the middle east.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  127. lynn

    Jack: Americans and the media have become a bunch of whiners and naysayers. Everything is "too hard" or "didn't happen in the past so why try now". Too many Americans are stuck in the faulty perceptions President Obama spoke of in his excellent interview. Funny that so many think the war has been going on for 3 000 years when Israel didn't come into existance until 1948!!

    I place my hope and faith in President Obama's hope, intelligence and willingness to try.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  128. Richard Sternagel

    President Obama will make an honest attempt to broker a peace in the Middle East. However, his problem I fear is that there has developed a culture of war in the Middle East( revenge being part of this culture). This culture is rampant throughout the Region. Couple that with the fact most of these countries have dictators/extremist running their countries. I give President Obama credit for trying to engage a peace process.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  129. Melissa from New Orleans

    Maybe. This fighting has been going on for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. Its not like its something new, the frequency just increased after the area was divided up at the end of wwi-ii.

    If he can broker peace in the middle east, he'll be a miracle worker.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  130. Richard in Orrtanna, PA

    Better YES, will all the problems be solved NO.
    Solving the problems has to start somewhere, and having an open mind and an open dialoge is a good place to start. Just ask Ex-President Jimmy Carter.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  131. John in Arizona

    With a president who thinks talking is better than bombing, of course prospects for peace have improved.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  132. Kate Idaho

    Maybe, I think both parties are too convinced that thie way is the only way. If the people would just find a way to keep from shooting at each other, there would be hope.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  133. Barbara Greenslate

    Absolutely, the chances are better. Mr. Obama is already respected around the world far more than Bush ever was. His interview with El Arabia shows that he is fair, objective and respectful of others and the views of others. The fact that he lived in a Muslim country adds credence to his opinions. After eight years of narrow-minded, self-centered Cheney/Rumsfeld and their puppet George Bush, how could he not do better?

    Cocoa, Fl

    January 27, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  134. Bob D, Morrisown, NJ

    Obama's approach to the middle east is more intelligent, timely, and focused, and would be much more likely to yield results - all things being equal.

    Unfortunately, all things are not equal. Bush's policies, especially the counterproductive invasion of Iraq, has further radicalized the Islamic world. Ahmadinejad came to power in Iran, which is now emboldened and empowered to support terrorist organizations. Iran is more influential in Iraq, and closer to having nuclear weapons than when Bush took office in 2001. Hamas has been democratically elected as the government of the Palistinians. Syria has allied itself with Iran. Hezbollah is now a major component of the Lebanese government.

    So while Obama's approach is much better, the challenges are much greater. As a matter of opinion, I think Obama is more likely to have a greater degree of success in achieving peace, he certainly can't do any worse.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  135. BJ Smith

    It seems next to impossible, but with most people on both sides actually desperately wanting a solution it could mean this just might be their best last hope. Obama has created a good beginning by selecting George Mitchell.

    BJ in Seminole, FL

    January 27, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  136. Murray New Mexico

    You've got to be kidding, Jack. Better is a relative. With W you started from zero. But I think that radical Islam (read that terror Islam) has such a hold on Gaza that there is little hope, but there is hope, and Obama is a messenger of hope.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  137. John

    Jack: There is always a chance that meaningful peace agreement can be worked out, but it will take constant effort by the United States, the European Union, other friendly Arab States, Israel, and Palestinian State. Israel and Palestine must agree to recognize each has nation-state with borders and crossings for trade and commerce. Homas and other terrorist must recognize Israel as an Independent state. This will take along time to put in place, but at least Obama has started the process.

    John from Alabama

    January 27, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  138. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: There's no chance it could be any worse than the legacy that "W" left this country in. Sure it will be better!

    January 27, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  139. Freddy

    President Obama is not having a second thought. He is just taking his time to find the right thought!

    January 27, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  140. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Not a chance Jack. Every President since Truman has tried and failed. Clinton had the best deal they are likely to see worked out with the PLO, only to have them walk away at the end. Until so called moderate Muslims renounce the terrorists who set the agenda, there will be no peace.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  141. jim Toronto

    Chances of a middle east peace settlement are slim at best!
    Until the Israelis decide that the settlers and the settlements on the west bank have to go. Not a few of them but all of them.
    They are like cancerous cells constantly expanding, each joined by roads, further dividing and subdividing the rest of the landscape, spreading acre by acre. hill top to hill top.
    Is there a will to shut them all down? Any of them?
    I think not.
    There isn't anything Obama can say or do that will change that.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  142. Danniyal Ahmed

    Most definetly Jack. The Bush administration adopted policies that alienated the muslim states. President Bush's unwillingness to talk, let alone compromise did not help the issue. President Obama has given the clear impression that he atleast willing to discuss the issues. That is an important first step. No one expects him to completely change American policies. However, the establishment of a dialogue will take peace efforts another step forward. I don't know if President Obama will bring peace to the region, but I'm confident that he will create an evironment favorable to a lasting peace.

    Danniyal Ahmed
    Dayton, Ohio

    January 27, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  143. Denise

    Without a doubt! The chances for peace in the middle east improved the minute Obama took office. Our credibility, and image globaly, as well, improved. "I" could do better than Bush. He, and his administration, did more to jeopardize our country than any terrorist!!

    January 27, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  144. Paul from Parry Sound, Ontario

    Yes, of course. A ham sandwich could do better than Bush has done.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  145. Keir Campbell

    Hopefully. As Jimmy points out,in his book,that progress needs to be made at least by September of this year. I feel that if that date is missed Israel can kiss it's "Jewish" state goodbye and some other form will evolve. Time is not on their side!

    January 27, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  146. vern-t anaheim,ca

    they will be better now that george w. bush is out of office b ut i am not sure president obama can do anything about the middle east problems that have existed for thousands of years but if he doesn't try nothing will happen and i'm not confident he can do much to improve matters in that area

    January 27, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  147. Mike S., New Orleans

    Absolutely yes Jack! President Obama has already reached out to convince Muslims we are not their enemy, and he will employ diplomacy in the Middle East. This is a much better approach than "Smoke 'em out of the foxhole, dead or alive..... Yee Haw Hee Haw" that we had for eight years.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  148. Daniel (Snyder County, PA)

    It feels good to know that the "Shoot first, ask questions later" mentality is over (thank God). We should be thankful that a village in Texas now has its "idiot" back, and we can finally get on with our lives and begin putting the broken pieces back together (which I'm sure will take more than one term for Obama to fix). I have every bit of confidence in President Obama's ability to restore America's reputation as a peaceful nation.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  149. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I believe the opportunity to restore peace in the Middle East is better for Obama than Bush but a chance of lasting peace is not ours to bear.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  150. James

    They have hated each other for thousands of years. History repeats itself and one man will not change that course. Educate yourselves by reading about it, you will understand the underlying factors that drive their beliefs and actions. Peace? As glamorous as it sounds, it's unrealistic.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  151. Patty-AZ

    I find it unlikely that Obama is going to change things in the Middle East...he is not God, does not have miraculous powers...the conflict has been ongoing for 1,000 of years...it is part of the prophecy. You can't change the will of God, but we can only hope and pray for Peace..

    January 27, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  152. Larry in Texas

    Jack – I Totally agree with Former President Carter on this issue.....
    It's a wonder why their neighbors in that region doesn't agree with it.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  153. John, Fort Collins, CO

    In attempting to start a dialog with the Arab world, Barack Obama is certainly off to a good start to right the wrongs of the Bush administration's dealings in the Middle East, but I doubt his chances for a lasting peace are any better. The roots of the problems in the area are a complex mix of religion, social structure, poverty of the masses, and politics beyond our ability to change in the short term. However, the Obama administration can improve relations with all the countries in the region to help them gradually refocus their attention from fighting to education and building their economies. But this is going to take a long, long time.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  154. Bakary

    All I can say, Jack, is that the chances will get much better if President Obama continues on his intelligent approach. Good luck!


    January 27, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  155. Timer

    I believe chances are a bit better. However, I think in the end, the Middle East will continue to war.

    Actually, I'm starting to think that maybe, they're afraid of peace... as silly as that sounds. Peace, after 3000 years? How will they handle that?

    January 27, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  156. Dave in Saint Louis

    I know this Palestinians will have a bigger voice than ever before.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  157. Mary - California

    Obama can commumicate with the Middle East and has a positive attitude, which is certainly a step in the right direction, Unfortunately, the Bush Administration didn't care and because of this, we lost the respect from many countries.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:47 pm |

    My buddy Jack Caferty: Our socialist president Barack Hussein Obama will make it less likely for Middle east peace. In fact, he will make it worse. He will make many unwise concessions to the muslims like Jimmy Carter the Democrat did when the terrorist government held Americans hostage for over 444 days. I am puzzled why the liberal news media and journalists blame George W. Bush for the middle east situations. When in fact it is a result of Jimmy Carter, Now we are spending billions of dollars there due his blunders. Thank you Jimmy Carter. Jack shouldn't you be letting your listeners know about Carter? For the liberals that think Obama will have a better chance for peace in the Middle East, I will tell them don't hold your breathe.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  159. Rose in Az

    Better? Maybe but I don't think that Obama will ever achieve peace in the middle east. Too many presidents have tried and failed. I was not pleased with the remark that Obama made when he said America is not the enemy of Muslims. Did he forget 9/11 and what they did to us. They sure are not our friends.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  160. Julie M

    Absolutely. The chances for peace between the U.S. and the Middle East are much better with our newly elected, cool-headed president, but peace between the Middle East and the Middle East? Well, maybe President Obama will be a good influence, maybe "yes, he can."

    Miss South of Houston

    January 27, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  161. Steve

    Only if he makes an offer each party can't refuse.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  162. Dean in Macungie,PA


    I am not sure if peace is attainable in this situation, but I think we must keep trying. I believe Obama's administration will make every attempt possible and I wish them nothing but luck.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  163. Annie, Atlanta

    No. Imagine America 1500 years into the future. Suddenly some group over in Europe decides that Native Americans get to take their land back and they round up the rest of us into two territories. This plan was obviously not well thought out back in 1948.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  164. Stacy from Fairfax, VA

    There is no doubt. President Obama showed the world that he has the intelligence and insight to help bring a new era of peace to the region.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  165. Hugh ~ Tracy, California

    I don't believe that the Messiah could make peace in the middle-east, and President Obama would need to perform a miracle to achieve it. When you combine God and hate, the end result is death and destruction.
    "Going to a mosque or church doesn't make you a muslim or christian, any more than going to your garage makes you a car."

    January 27, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  166. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    Yes and no. Anyone would do a better job than Mr. Bush. That said said unless the jewish and arab people over there can let go of their hatred and fears this conflict will continue without end, no matter who is in the White House. What I want to know is who died and decided that America would have to solve the problems of the world. Take care of your own problems and maybe other countries can start to look up at America as an example instead of someone to hate.
    Those countries in the middle east don't appreciate Americas sacrifice so why bother?

    January 27, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  167. William Joseph Miller

    I cannot speculate about the future. However, I will give Obama an A plus for his efforts. I was particularly proud of his interview with Al Arabiya when he pointed out not one child in the Middle East has received better education or health care because of Al Qaeda. That's really telling it like it is. And when the ding-wing right wing accuses Obama of being a patsy for terrrorists, they are wrong.
    My advice to Obama is the following.
    1. We cannot with the war against terrorism by military means, we must begin an agressive diplomatic solution. That is particularly true in Afghanistan. Obama's latest appointments have encouraged me greatly.
    2. We must begin to create a foreign policy that gives the Muslim world hope and change – so that terrorism will be less attractive.
    3. We must stop giving Israel a blank check to seize whatever Palenstinian lands it pleases because of some arcane writ in the Old Testament. I am pleased that Obama has noted this in his current pronouncements.
    4. We must hit terrorists where it hurts – their pocket books. We must proceed with green technology regardless of what Republicans who are shills of the oil companies, want. The less oil we use, the fewer carbon emissions in the atmosphere. and the less money available for terrorism. I might add that until Israel's latest offensive, Iran's leadership was in serious trouble with its own people. Israel's latest offensive has actually given Iran's regime of mullahs a new lease on life, and has weakened Iranian reformers and resistance movements.
    Finally, we as Americans, must understand that peace will NOT occur overnight. However, I applaud Obama for his efforts.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  168. Ann from S.C.

    The chances of the U.S. affecting peace in the Middle East are slim to none. This conflict has gone in in varying configurations since long before the existence of the the United States. It is only our arrogance that makes us think we can facilitate change.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  169. Tim

    Does Wolf have a beard? Some questions are obvious, Jack, and this is one of them. Of course he has a better chance, Bush really never tried, did he? That doesn't mean that he'll be sucessful, but being engaged in the process sends a message to moderate arabs, and it's a message that is in our national security interest. Go Obama go.
    Tim in Texas

    January 27, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  170. Dave from Veazie, ME

    I do think that an Obama administration has a much better chance at achieving a middle east peace agreement than the Bush administration did and its mostly due how differently the two are perceived. Bush was not careful enough when starting his war on terror at distinguishing between terrorist and peaceful, law abiding Muslim people. Obama, on the other hand, made it very clear that he wants to build a relationship with the middle east based on respect of the Muslim religion. This does give him an advantage. However, the thing we all need to realize is that there has been fighting in the middle east for thousands of years, building a lasting peace there may be impossible.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  171. Andrew

    President Obama is just what the Doctor ordered. He understands that America isn't just a nation with a lot of money and a large military, it is an ideal. That ideal is that all human beings of all faiths, nationalities, and whatever else divides us are entitled to respect, prosperity, and peace. The Mideast is in disarray and the guiding light of America's beacon to the world can be provide the path a bright future for the region and the world. In the end, ultimately President Obama is combating terrorism, but he is using hope and respect. To fight terrorism, you must deflate the balloon of hatred that extremism feeds off of.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  172. shirley heckman superior wisconsin

    YES, He has already "put out his arm" to reach the Muslim people. When was the last time Bush did that? I think he means it when he
    says he wants to work with those who are willing to "unclench" their
    fists. This is a HUGE, HUGE first step....

    January 27, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  173. Amanda

    Peace in the Middle East, if attainable, will likely require a global effort. Obama may just be the one that is able to pull together leaders from around the globe to help bring a resolution to this dilemma.

    January 27, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  174. Queen (utah)

    Onlu if he goes by Hussien Barack Obama.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  175. Rian McMurtry

    Of course Obama has a better chance than Bush. Bush–invader of Iraq, torturer in chief of Abu Ghraib and Guantanmo, proclaimer of crusade–was Al-Qaeda's #1 recruiter.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  176. angel in LA

    Peace will come to the Middle East in God's time not ours.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  177. Meg Ulmes

    Can you picture Bush or Chaney giving an honest interview like this to any media outlet, let alone an Arab one? No answer, needed, that's a rhetorical question. I think that there is definitely a much better chance for peace in the Mideast under the Obama administration. Of course, the real answer to peace is with the Israelis and the Palestinians–but at least we're going to be a presence there to help.

    Troy, Ohio

    January 27, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  178. Gerry in Toronto

    Chances are a lot better. Muslems, like everyone else respond to intelligent conversation versus the bull tactics employed by the Bush administration.

    Obama's reach out to the Muslim world in yesterday's interview with Al-Arabiya yesterday did more to further the peace process than everything all former US presidetns have done together.

    Change has come to America.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  179. Chad --Los Angeles

    A little better, but fighting in the middle east is all they know, thats what they do.

    They won't stop fighting until Isreal is conquered, which will not happen while the U.S. is still around, OR unless they run out of oil, which they use to fund Mideast wars and hang over the rest of the world's head... So which will happen first??? Neither in my lifetime!

    January 27, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  180. Harvey

    This is for the Conservatives and Liberals: I know of no President that got elected to the Presidential Office by either side that knew what the hell they were doing. That's why the President relies on his or her appointed cabinet members to advise them. "Everyone" of the 44 Presidents who took Office including President Obama is on a learning curve. We the people assume that the President knows everything. Wrong Attitude.

    Some Presidents learn the political curve better than others. President Obama is on the right track. You come up with strategy or policy. At times you will need to adjust the strategy according to the situation. Nothing in life is perfect . Black Americans "did not" want Bush or any other President to fail. Raise your hand if you would like for Bush to get another 8 years in office if it were possible. Sorry, I'm being a little conservative.

    If there is anyone out there that feel they will do a better job at running the country, then shut up and step up to the Presidential plate in 1012. Otherwise you are nothing more than a JTP – Joe the Plumber


    January 27, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  181. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Having read some of the anti Obama blogs it is kind of sad and disheartening that there are some people who simply don't have the ability to think above what they heard Rush say or what they heard on Fixed News.

    We have a few of these types in Canada as well with the only difference being how they are described. In America you call them Republicans but in Canada we call them morons.

    Anyway Jack to answer your question yes the Obama administration will see progress in the Middle East and people should remember without hope you really don't have much.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  182. Jerry: Alpharetta. GA

    No, the chances for peace are not improved but the dialogue will be much better. We tend to forget the motivation behind the terrorist, it is not to get even with George Bush, it is not to damage the United States, and it certainly is not to estabish everlasting peace and harmony in the world. The terrorist are after power. They demonstrate their power by creating strife in countries that are recognized as world leaders and they will continue to do so. Unless the terrorists are met with a force that is much greater than has been demonstrated to date, there will be no peace. President Obama can speak softly but he had better carry a very big stick and use his power of persuasion to get all peace seeking nations to pull their sticks out of the closet.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  183. Frank in San Jose, CA

    In order for peace to reign in the Middle East, the peoples must overlook their ingrained hatred for each other and aspire to be something better than they are. Obama has been able to do that for Americans, so if he can duplicate that sucess with the Middle East region, then I think he stands a much better chance than previous Presidents.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  184. JW in Atlanta

    There's a better chance for ANYTHING under Obama. Bush was a disaster.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  185. Linda in Florida

    I don't know if anyone can bring about peace in the Middle East. What I do know is that people in the Middle East must be stunned to find out that our new President's policy is not, "my way or the highway" and that he is actually interested in talking to people whose views might be different from ours!

    January 27, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  186. L.M.,Arizona

    As long as we let Israel have nukes with no accountability,we keep supplying them with money and weapons,and we let them shoot people who have stick and stones there will be no peace in the middle-east no matter who is president.


    January 27, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  187. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    There is no chance for peace in the middle east. The Palestinians have sworn to kill all Israelis and the Israelis have absolutely no love for the Palestinians. The day will come when they will completely eliminate each other. How sad.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  188. Lynn - Mooresville, NC

    No, Obama doesn't realize the people involved. He held his hands out to the Muslims and stated that the US was not their enemy. He is right. The U.S. is their VICTIMS! Unless he takes off his rose colored glasses, the U.S. is in grave danger. Rational talks only works when you are dealing with rational people. These terrorists doesn't think anything of taking innocent lives and even dying for their cause. Their hatred for the U.S. only grows stronger and makes for more desperate measures. Obama just wants to make them feel special and ask nicely for them to give us a chance. This only shows his weakness and inexperience.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  189. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    Are you kidding me????? I watched AC 360 last night and guess what Jack......we now have a president who can talk....really talk!!!! I would say that gives Mr. Obama a big lead over anything Mr. Bush tried (or didn't) I just hope it is not too late.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  190. Pugas=AZ

    We probably would give the middle east peace process a better chance for success if we stayed completely out of it. What would everybody there think if we were a no-show at all the endless talks?
    We just seem to muddy the water and give all sides fodder to push their own agendas. Let's get this country on track again and MOOB.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  191. annie florida

    at last...someone actually doing something for some sort of peace. am I dreaming?

    January 27, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  192. Krishna Koliwad

    Yes, Jack. They are much better. President Obama is trying to establish an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect with Muslims who considered Cheney/Bush as terrorists! We have to position ourselves as dependable and impartial mediators. President Obama has the best chance of doing that. God bless him.

    LCF, CA

    January 27, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  193. Richard Green

    Yes, the chances for peace are better with Obama than with Bush. They will improve even more if the US would stop arming everybody in the Mideast. Our aid should be ONLY medical, humanitarian aid, and economic aid in the area. We should provide no weapons to anyone over there [sure, we stipulate that what weapons we sell can only be used for defensive purposes....that's a joke. There's no such thing as a "defensive" weapon].

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  194. Ralph Nelson

    Bush wasn't doing anything but photo opts. Chances are about 1,000% better, but Hamas is what it is and you're wasting your time. Get the economy fixed, the Middle East is just spent energy. The Middle East, Afganistan, kissing Republican rears.....mistakes. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  195. kevin monticello florida

    Sure , he wants to keep the isrealis on a leash to be slaughtered , and give people like akmed adinijhad the keys to the nuclear palace ........what could be better for middeast arabs ......i guess jihad is only going to get even stronger under the liberal obama administration !!!

    January 27, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  196. Gigi in Alabama

    After 8 years of Bush "do nothing" attitude, Obama has a lot of ground to make up. I think he has the right attitude and the intelligence to accomplish much in the Middle East . . . but a permanent peace, I doubt it. Religious wars are hard to extinguish.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  197. Griff

    "Bitter Chance! Bitter Change! Mr Cafferty.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  198. Pat,Lexington, Ky.

    Oh, YES. Obama has first-hand knowledge of some Muslim nations; he has patience, he is very articulate, has studied international relations, and he is very intelligent. George W. Bush is none of the above.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  199. Mike

    Why do the anchorwomen and men continue to call him Barack or Obama or Barack Obama and not call him President Obama or President Barack Obama. The anchorman that comes on at 3 called the professor by his profession as a professor, so why not call the president by his profession.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  200. pete canada

    Its all up to Isreal,,,not.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  201. Steve Canada

    A lot of very smart people have taken a run at this for a lot of years with little success. If the US policy of allowing Israel to pound the crap out of Palestine while they "slow walk" to attempt to broker any deals, it will be difficult..Mitchell, Clinton, etc is a lot of horsepower...I wish them well

    January 27, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  202. Juanita from Detroit

    I was most impressed with the President's comments during his interview yesterday. His understanding of the Muslim nation and his compassion for all people make me more than a little optimistic that change is just around the corner. I really do believe that we will see a better relationship in the next two years.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  203. Monica, NY

    Now that former President Cheney has been forcefully wheeled out of the Oval Office, the chances for peace and diplomacy in the Mideast are much greater.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  204. Paula (Indiana)

    On November 4th the entire world celebrated the outcome of the election. I am sure the people in the Middle East were thrilled by the results. I am not sure President Obama can make a difference in that war-torn part of the world... but I don't think he'll have to dodge any shoes when he visits there. We seem to all be looking to our new President almost as a messiah who will deliver us from the dark times we are facing. I just hope people realize he is only a man, a very good man, who will do his very best. I think the world-wide view of him is extremely high. His chances at finding a solution in the Middle East are probably about as good as they'll ever get, considering the history of the area.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  205. Jim/NC

    No chance under any circumstances. Every president has tried and failed. If Obama pulls this off, then, we have other issues to deal with.
    For example, would President Obama give the farm away? Would an agreement put Israel and their citizens in harms way? In my view, you cannot talk to terrorists. History proves that they will not listen to any ideas other than their own.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  206. Richard From Georgia

    Jack please ask this question to the powers that be. With all the talk of how to help us the american people how about we bring back the deduction on the federal income taxes for the interest paid on our credit cards. Many people are using there cards to try stay afloat. Giving the fact that you can write off the interest on a home equity loan lets remember millions of people do not own a home. So would'nt it be a good thing to allow?

    January 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  207. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Yes, Jack! The ONLY way to PEACE is to TALK! For both sides to dialogue find common ground. Israel & Palestinians all want the same thing, peace, security and prosperity! War is not the answer.

    Here is a quote for everyone:

    "Civility dies with the death of dialogue."

    January 27, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  208. Nancy Tally

    No, I'm angry and ashamed that my tax dollars are going to finance Israel's crimes against humanity.
    Israel is killing innocent civilian in Gaza by their blanket bombing of civilian areas,
    Its morally reprehensible, what our government is doing and our media,, their is no truth about this ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. Just like their was no truth, about the ran up to the war in Iraq where one million innocent Iraqis where murdered!
    Gaza essentially is a prison, a concentration camp,, there where horrible crimes against the Palestinians, which thanks to our corporate media just somehow breeze right by public attention.
    I believe if American knew that was really happening in Gaza they would demand it stop.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  209. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    Could it be worse?

    It's time that the USA stops deciding who has the "right" stand on everything and show some respect for other cultures, religions and approaches to governing. In that respect, I think President Obama has, with his recent statements to al-Aribiya, made a move in the right direction.

    Stay true to your ideals, sir. Most of us support your more reasonable approach to working with the rest of the world...

    January 27, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  210. john

    The issues in the Middle East are based in thousands of years of culture and religious beliefs. Why would anyone who has any knowledge of history think that the President of the United States, no matter how well intended or how sympathetic to the Muslim views, will be able to change things? How well did that approach work for Nevile Chamberlain in negotiations with the Nazis?

    How about getting down to working on issues that are immediately in front of the American people before trying to create world peace?

    January 27, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  211. Mickie

    What, you mean it wasn't really "mission accomplished"? Oh, that meant they finally got Bush to show up on a military mission (LOL)! Anything Pres. Obama does is better than the JOKER we had in office for last 8 years acting like a Cowboy.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  212. Greg in PA

    Jack, are you kidding? Peace with muslims? It will never happen. The Obamanator won't do anything to help the process. Just because he is our first half white and half black president doesn't mean anything, lacking any real world experience doesn't help either. I can't believe that you voted for that guy!

    January 27, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  213. just me!

    Absolutely! Obama is offering a hand not a fist signalling a willingness to sit down, talk and listen to each other's point of view. What a refreshing change. It will take time to undo the damage down over the past 8 years but the first step of many has been taken.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  214. Jake, Oregon

    A Peace Agreement today is just as likely as one was 800 years ago.
    It's been a long fight, but one has to remain optimistic I suppose.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  215. ms.walker

    President Obama,is all about peace and making sure we don't have too jump back into war again for nothing,we have and better chance of doing much better with President Obama ,because at least he will think about the country well being before jumping to conclusions,like Bush did.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  216. Jay in Texas

    The chances of peace in the Middle East are better under Obama than under Bush but ONLY IF Obama scraps the old lop-sided, unquestioning, unconditional support of Israel and everything that country does including invasion of neighboring countries like Lebanon and murdering innocent civilians like in Gaza and Lebanon. If Obama is determined to keep the old "Israel can do no wrong" policies in place, then he forfeits the real opportunities that exist for peace in the Middle East.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 27, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  217. Jackie - Canada

    I think people like Rush Loser is a hinderance to progress. I hope the people in the Middle East is not reading comments from that man. Imagine what they're saying....If people like him exists in America, how can Obama help us? If Obama is given a chance and not get push back with EVERY move he makes, he'll have success in the Middle East.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  218. Tom Darby

    When I was in College in the late 1940's I wrote an essay titled: The Middle East The Current Powder Keg. It seems we have not learned much since then.
    Permission to take up arms is hereby given to those who are attacked because they have been oppressed – Allah indeed has power to grant them victory – those who have been unjustly driven from their homes, only because they said: “Our Lord is Allah”.
    —Qur'an, 22:39-40

    After 9/11 many believers in Islam thought bin Laden and Al Qaida had gone to far. But, the attack on an Islam country by the Bush Administration brought about a new Jihad. Until we can show by action that neight the Jews or the United States is a threat to Islam we will have Jihad.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  219. Marie in Racine

    Well,the Middle East has been problematic for a long time,but so had Ireland. I am old enough to remember the IRA and all the killing . If anyone can alleviate the situation ,George Mitchell can.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  220. Gigi

    Yes Jack, they are better off. Jimmy Carter learned his wisdom from the "Good Book" he read. And from that same book I read God loves all the children of the world. We are told to love the world and let God take his vengeance when and where he chooses. They way the US is crumbling...maybe we had better listen, shape up and clean our own house. Give them an example of repentance

    January 27, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  221. Harold from Anchorage,AK

    Yes, by putting the problems on the table now vs ignoring it and going on vacation fequently. Plus he's got the backing of some thoughtful folks in the process, like Jimmy Carter, who did more than any other President to bring the opponents together.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  222. Beth, MA

    The United States has to acknowledge openly that Palestinians are people, too, and that the proper response to a child throwing a rock isn't a bullet.

    AIPAC is a formidable force in American politics. However, there is a difference between being an American Jew and being a Jewish American. The difference lies in which word is the noun. That applies to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee as well. President Obama swore an oath to do what is best for this country first.

    Older Americans were raised on the belief that Israel was a democracy that had to be supported no matter what. Younger Americans don't think the same way. Among that group, Israel won no supporters during the recent assault on Gaza. Imagine how they would have felt if all the news coming out hadn't been censored by the Israelis?

    Bush/Cheney didn't believe anything could be accomplished unless it was through guns and bombs. President Obama has signaled that diplomacy is going to be his first line. The Israelis knew they wouldn't be called to account under the previous regime. If the Israelis don't cooperate with George Mitchell, who is acting for the president, then we will see how serious they are about peace.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  223. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    I doubt it Jack. The problems in the middle east are rooted in several thousand years of hatred between the Jews and the Arabs. The US portion of the peace equation is really too minor to sway the peace efforts in any serious way.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  224. JoAnn Hardy in Iowa

    Finally, we have a chance to bring peace to the mid-east. It was never going to happen with Bush in charge. Thank God for a new administration and a new chance to stop the killing. Jimmy Carter is correct. There has to be an independent Palestinian state.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  225. nancy

    Gee wiz Jack, (no i am not sarah palin) your questions today can be answered by my 10 year old son-yes, yes, yes.

    Is your chance for peace always better with a community organizer (Obama) than with the class bully (Bush)?

    nancy, cape girardeau, mo

    January 27, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  226. Candice from Fort Worth, TX

    This is a "no-brainer." Bush never seemed to see the consequences of his action in Iraq- he didn't try see his action through Muslim eyes. The terrorists have to be engaged and answered, but not all Muslims are terrorists. President Obama is a pragmatist who is willing to approach Muslim countries for dialogue. Isn't this what a saner world needs and preaches? We can't hide our heads in the sand and hope the problem goes away. Like a cavity in a tooth – if you ignore it, it just get worse!

    January 27, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  227. Eddie Florida

    You bet the middle east peace can be achieved, once the third party address the core of the problem from the get go.
    I think that president Obama have a better chance as he is starting at the begining of his term , instead of waiting till his last yr.
    Jack, as an Arab american, it always amaze me how most of you inteligent reporter never tell the American public why the palestinians doing what they doing however you never fail to show your sympathies to the jewish people as they are the victims.
    Some times i wonder if all of you reporters know or read about the history of that part of the world.
    The international world made a big mistake in 1946 and they are paying very big for their mistake. The Belfore Agreement in which they gave palestinian land to the european Jews.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  228. Beverley, Fredricksburg Va


    American has not always been an honest broker in the peace process. Both parties must feel like they are being heard and both parties must sacrifice. If we keep telling the Palentinians, stop firing rockets, but we don't tell the Israelis to move out the settlements, then we will never make any progress.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  229. Phil P. in NJ

    Jack, President Obama understands that we must give peace a chance first. That's the difference between the last administration and this one. "Smart Power" will prevail because the more you give people hope, the less likely they will feel like failurs or feel left out of the process. Their lives all of of sudden have "real meaning". Hopefully they will feel it's not necessary to blow themselves up because they can make a difference.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  230. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    We have been a country for just over 200 years and these people have been fighting for several thousands of years. What makes us think that we can make them stop killing each other. Yes, there is a much better chance with Obama than W. but time will tell.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  231. earle,florida

    Yes,Jack. Just keep Hillary out,and let Mitchell work his magic,...

    January 27, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  232. garrick

    hi jack
    yes this President has lived the life of poverty and has kin that are so diverst,we never had a President that includes everyone under such a broad tent,we all should learn to reach out to each other and stop judging because someones different


    January 27, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  233. Wyatt Maker-New York City

    Hmmm....well...I think a mildly intelligent Giraffe would have better chances of making peace in the Middle East than President Bush...because Giraffes, unlike Bush, have miraculously figured out a way to survive off of an easily replenishable resource...

    January 27, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  234. steve in Florida

    You might as well have asked " Would you rather have an intelligent conversation about a potential peace or just get bombed into total submission."

    January 27, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  235. sue

    Jack, have heard 'peace between Israel and the Palestinians' since I was 2! Yep, I'm 62 and have yet to see it. Having traveled in Israel, Egypt and Jordan in recent years, my impression is that the gap and distrust is almost genetic. My most vivd impression is the unhappiness in the face of the people we saw in those Muslim countries. Their lives are so hard and they blame us. For them to accept our mediation would require this country to denounce Israel. There's no chance of that, so getting deep into that situation is a waste of time and effort.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  236. Paula in Albuquerque

    As volatile as the hatreds are in that region...who can say? But, I do admire the fact that the President is willing to be statesmanlike and mature, by establishing a dialogue with the Middle East. What sense does it make to ignore those with whom we have disagreements, rather than showing a willingness to discuss differences?

    January 27, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  237. Sherri

    Absolutely Jack! Open communication is the way to go, you bring your friends close AND your enemies closer!. The gunslinger attitude that President Bush had and his stupid statement “BRING EM ON” that resulted in the war in Iraq escalating 2 fold of which we loss 4200 US soldiers, was despicable! Mr. Bush happily walks away to his $2 million estate & leaving the clean up mess for President Obama. America MUST communicate with the rest of the world, not only with our so-called allies!

    January 27, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  238. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack,

    Are chances for peace in the Middle East any better with President Obama than they were with President Bush? YES!! WHY?

    Yes because Obama is a communicator from day one of his administration with a constance and a determination of reaching out to the muslim work in having a respectful dialogue and actions!

    If there is a time to finally get this done it will be with this President!

    January 27, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  239. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    Obama is intellectually more capable of responding to the needs of both Israelis and Palestinians than was Bush. Also, the acting and probable new Prime Minister of Israel, Tzipora Livni, seems ready to address the removal of Jewish settlements from the West Bank and reform Israel's apartheid-like treatment of Palestinians. It may be bleak, but now there is again hope.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  240. Judy from Canada

    Jack There are some interesting thoughts here. An element of truth in all of the comments. Unfortunately, Bush is being blamed for everything wrong and Obama is going to save the world. Life is not that simple. Many people have tried over many years. Some believe there will be no peace in the Middle East untill Jesus returns much like preparation for the Rapture. There are many Bible believer in the US Maybe they could check out what revelation says. However. one wants to look at things peace is worth trying to achieve. The hate runs deep I wish Obama a lot of luck I hope he is able to achieve it

    January 27, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  241. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack,

    Are chances for peace in the Middle East any better with President Obama than they were with President Bush? YES!! WHY?

    Yes because President Obama is a communicator from day one of his administration with a constance and a determination of reaching out to the muslim world and work in having a respectful dialogue and actions!

    If there is a time to finally get this done it will be with this President!

    January 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  242. Jay-San Antonio

    Yes; He will do for America what bush and others never could do. I agree with him that people all over the world just want a better life for their children.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  243. Scott, Wichita

    Bill Clinton was 100 times the diplomat that Barack could ever be. And as someone who suffered under Hillary's rule in New York until I escaped, her position as Chief Diplomat won't exactly help his progress.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  244. rhonda

    Anything is possible. That is why I voted for President Obama. He made me believe that with diplomacy, honesty and fairness we as a nation can accomplish anything. I see great strides in the Middle East over the next 8 years if the world doesnt implode on Dec. 21, 2012. (No, I'm not crazy)
    Grand Forks, ND

    January 27, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  245. Otis, NC

    At least I think so, Mr. Cafferty.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  246. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Heck, there are more chances for peace with Bozo the Clown than with Bush! There's always a chance for peace, if you want it. And that's the million dollar question. What do they want and what will they give up for peace?

    January 27, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  247. EC

    YES he will. President Obama is so politically savvy when it comes to foreign policies. He's very articulate and intelligent and will do everything in his power to restore foreign relationships around the world. Some relationships were severely destroyed by the bulling the George W. Bush did. I'm proud we NOW have a President willing to reach across the tables to EVERYONE in working towards keeping Americans and people around the world more safer.

    President Obama is NOT going to cure all, but he will start the healing process and repair a lot of broken bridges.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  248. Jeff Crocket

    Richard Holbrook, George Mitchell, and Hillary have already had there shots at peace during the Clinton Administration. Why would they suddenly be successful now?

    Until Radical Islamic terrorism is killed off there will be no peace in the Muslim world. The Radicals will never negotiate with anybody!

    January 27, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  249. Marva

    There is always a chance for peace provided EVERYONE is willing to negotiate – and listen. The U.S. cannot be the "world's police". We must, first and foremost, strengthen our economy and re-claim our standing in the world. We may then use that economic strength to negotiate PEACE, but we must be careful not to be viewed as attempting to "spread democracy". "Democracy" is so much more than the right to vote, it is the belief that each of us has a RIGHT to choose our own course. We musn't become militarily involved in cultural, religious or idealogical differences around the world and we musn't invade sovereign nations with the intent to depose its leadership. We must select our "allies" carefully ... we must share more than economic alliances with those we call "allies". The U.S. is a country of diverse religions, cultures, idealogies AND tolerance ... the Middle East countries' politics are borne from their religious idealogies – they will not accept deviation from those ideologies. Once our leaders fully understand that and accept it, we can move forward toward forging peace. President Obama appears to understand the fundamentals ... listen and negotiate.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  250. Big D Northern Minnesota Woods

    President Obama will be able to "Procure" some Valuable Time to Increase the Length of Time of the Peace Negotiations. Therefore, Giving Us Valuable Time to Establish Our New Foreign Policy Posturing + New Strategic Initiatives! Yes, "Smarter War!"

    The New United States of America Is Arrived! JUMP BACK!

    January 27, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  251. Ron

    Jack,thats a no brainer,you get more results using honey then vinegar like the Bushy used when people had a different view then W did the attitude was his way or the highway,now we have a president who is willing to listen and think things threw.Ron inAR

    January 27, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  252. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Absolutely. Bush was not only arrogant to the key players, but didn't know who they were.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  253. Larry D.


    I think President Obama will represent america in a whole new way showing the world that we are tougher and we want peace everywhere. I think he will handle the middle east well we may even see a more peaceful middle east during his first 2 yrs in office. I think President Obama will find osama bin laden during his first 4 yrs in office and put him to justice. Obama knows the muslim world some of his family is muslim so this will give him some advantage then mr. bush had in the middle east. No more shoes being thrown instead probably a hand shake.

    January 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  254. Myrtle, AL


    Jack, everyone thinks the big dog is chasing them because he wants
    to bite, when he only wants to play.


    January 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  255. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    If President Obama signals to the Palestinians that he respects them and their desire to live in peace the way we already support Israel, I believe he certainly CAN achieve Mideast peace.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  256. Nevek harvey

    To be honnest there is no chance of a lasting peace in the midle east.
    Of course I am no expert on the matter. It is simply that the wheels are turning in one direction while the car is still skidding on the ice and heading for the river. There are many things that seperate people. And they are widely spoken on CNN. They are of course : Money, politics, crime.

    The Ex-President Bush was directly responsible for these policies with foreign countries. How can one man cause so much trouble? And further... how can he get away with it?

    So to anwser the question.... it's not because there is a new wind of change across the sky, that the car won't head for the river.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  257. Big Tony in the ATL

    As far as ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hucleberry hound could have done a better job than bush, but peace was not a priority of that administration. Bush and company got what they wanted and it wasn't Bin Laden ! If your talking about peace between Isreal and Palestine, forget it they could take a cease fire for all of Obama's 8 years and that war still wouldn't be over. Its been going on for centuries and it will take J.C. himself to settle that border war and I don't mean you Jack! Here I am getting all wound up about things, sorry Jack. Yes, Obama will do a better job than Bush !

    January 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  258. methusula

    that's rich! Cafferty calling Limbaugh a gas bag. Hack, (I mean Jack), has exxon approached you yet?

    January 27, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  259. Daniel, Indiana

    That will depend on the approach. If he continues to follow the concept that Israel is entirely right in what they do and the Palestinians/Arabs are entirely wrong, then he stands no better chance at peace. The time has come for both sides to acknowledge that they have made mistakes and fueled the fire and decide that it is time to truly work for a peace agreement.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  260. Eli in Virginia

    Carter did make headway in the Middle East. We spend about 90% of ALL our foreign aid on Egypt and Israel (Carter’s brokered peace)... yes, the other 5-10% goes to the rest of the world. Almost 90% of the people in both Palestine and Israel want peace, and desire a two state solution. However, the US can no longer rubber stamp all the actions of Israel... nor can we continue to force the Palestinians to seek the aid from those whose intent is keeping the hatred fires burning (Hamas and Iran). Hatred can be minimized through dialog, action and assistance. We need to cut the Palestinians back into that 90% piece of the US aid pie… aid that Bush took away after he stupidly enticed them into bed with Hamas. Peace is achievable, but it will take a fair approach... Obama's approach.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  261. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    If there's any chance at all of resolving an age old conflict, then he has an excellent chance! On the plus side, some of his predessors have already made progress in that area for him to build on. On the minus side, then came Bush!

    January 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  262. John in Rohnert Park

    Well at least Pres. Obama brings a refreshing sense of hope and a willingness to listen and perhaps compromise whereas Bush was just a stubborn jerk about everything domestic and foreign. He wanted the world "HIS" way and no one wanted to cooperate with him because of it. We have to be realistic and realize that these people have been fighting with each other since Moses and Pharaoh, but at least with Pres. Obama there is finally a chance at some resolution.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  263. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Warring among Middle Easterners probably goes back to the stone age and is a way of life, (or death if you prefer). Meddling in their affairs only invites the rest of them whatever the side to fight the intruders. No one, including the annoited Obama will stop centuries of hostilities and should work on America's problems first. The naive Jimmy Carter should shut up and stick to peanuts.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  264. Lynn - Mooresville, NC

    The fighting has been going on for years and will continue for years to come. President Obama's supporters think that he can walk on water, so they believe he will make a difference. These same supporters also blames Bush for the middle east crisis even though the middle east have been fighting through several presidencies and will fight through more.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  265. Linda in Arizona

    Of course. EVERYTHING has a better chance of succeeding with President Obama than it had with bush.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  266. Ray Rauscher

    Absolutely, anyone willing to talk to both sides and someone with the ability to stay as calm as Obama will make a big difference, just ask the kid's. RAY VANCOUVER,WA.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  267. ED in RI

    The only way to for Obama to improve the chances for peace in the middle east, is to dictate the necessary policy to Israel, not vice-versa, as happenned with the Bush Administration.
    I believe it's Americas' responsibility to negotiate plans, especially since it was this country that created "The State of Israel" in the first place.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  268. James in TN

    Yes. I think we will, this attitude of not trying to solve issue has become a trend and now Obama is is doing it and I think it's great. We want peace, shake their hand.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  269. Oregon Wally Las Vegas Nevada

    no, its time to forget that piece of sand and start paying attention to the other sand pit,,,MEXICO..leave the middle east all together our own boarder with Mexico is much more important...

    January 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  270. Nuwan

    I believe so. If Obama tries to understand the cause of this conflict and offer solutions then both Palastine and Israel wants a resolution it can happen. It is those extreamist elements in both Palastine and Israel do not want peace. That is a lingering cause of every major conflict. If people are willing to compromise and treat each other with dignity and corporation then peace can be achieved in middle east. Obama need to push for that middle ground.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    January 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  271. Robert Thomson

    Yes because Obama is a compassionate liberal and he is able to understand the compassionate concept.

    Bob – Southfield, MI

    January 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  272. John D

    Jack, do us all a favor, stick to the facts, rather than calling people names, point out the reason they are factualy wrong, as a teacher I have enough to deal with when I ask students much younger than you to have some respect for adults, how can I ask them this when you say thinks like "gas bag" regarding you latest piece about Rush, you may be right but that doesn't make it right! Clean it up Jack, lead by example, people will listen with far more respect!

    January 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  273. Pat Conlin

    The President will fair no better than any of the previous president's. The ruthless terroists do not want peace. They hate American's and want us all dead or become one of them. Until the Muslim people rise up against ther own peace cannot be acheived.When the radical elements of there society are eliminated from power then and only then can real peace be achieved.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  274. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    I certainly hope peace is possible in the middle east now, but I've felt that way for years. I think Obama's outlook and attitude are much better than Bush and he has a good intelligent Secretary of State to help work out a peace agreement for the region. Overall I think Obama is in a good position to do what others have failed at for many years. I do have one lingering question: Just what is it that Israel exports to the US that we actually think we need? I've never been able to figure that out. On the other hand it is clear we can't export enough guns and ammo to make Israel happy. Just where do they get the bucks to pay for that stuff anyway?

    January 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  275. Sandra fromTexas

    Yes, chances are better because they would be better with almost anyone. Enough of the cowboy rhetoric such as "bring em on", "with us or against us", "wanted dead or alive" etc. President Obama uses phrases such as "mutual respect", "mutual trust", "mutual understanding" etc. The difference in these two men is so vast and distinct that it has to make a difference in the way we feel about ourselves and the way other look at us.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  276. Chuck

    Try asking the twin towers.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  277. Joyce Enderle

    Jack – I voted for Obama mainly because he said he would cut out ALL PORK – how will a water park in Florida costing over one million dollars stimulate the economy?????? He's got some s'plaining to do, LUCY. Joyce Enderle

    January 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  278. arlene in iowa

    until the radicalism is still active there will never be peace for israel.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  279. Victor Briscoe

    Peace in the middle east is not attainable because Israel won't force all it's people out of occupied land, and the Arabs will continue to fight to illuminate the jews.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  280. Priscilla

    Obama is the best chance we will ever have of influencing peace in the middle east.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  281. Cee, Walnut Creek, California

    Not only should Obama's stimulus plan create jobs which improve efficiency, cost and quality of existing NEEDED products and services only but also create new and additional critical products and services, like new sources of energy and low cost medical and dental schools–don't let supply and demand game of doctors gouge people. These jobs should also eliminate American bad character, greed, deceit, institutional systematic wage discrimination and underemployment practices, double talk, fast talk and easy talk like when majority calls its aggression and domination 'freedom,' reward whisle blowers of bad American character. Also this stimulus should start with bringing back American jobs home, exported to India and China because of slave labor profit motivation and Bush administration's world domination scheme.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  282. Jim, from Las Vegas

    How long will it take to label Obama the Anti-Christ if he does bring peace to the middle-East?

    January 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  283. Albert R.Killackey. Los Angeles

    President Obama’s approach in the Al-Arabiya interview was to talk straight to the people. His basic message to them was to think about the future of their children and to judge the radicals in their world by what they build and not by what they destroy. To tell these people to think will upset the radical religious leaders who exist under a rule of no thinking allowed by the people. To suggest that the people will judge the leadership is to plant seeds that government exist by the consent of the governed. “Are chances for peace in the Middle East any better with President Obama than they were with President Bush?” Yes, because it appears that the chance for revolution in the Middle East is better under President Obama.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  284. Eddie

    Jack, Of course the chances are better,but remember the hamas way of doing things they promise or preach change as fast as a digital clock. The leaders on both sides of the coin need to be respectful and look beyond the present and to look to their childrens future.The world is tired of the same old song and dance!

    January 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  285. fanofgrendel

    Oh I suppose it doesn't hurt to be hopeful, but false hopes seem to be the rule to this never ending game. When all is said and done, peace talks will be full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    Wadsworth OH

    January 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  286. Nancy, Tennessee

    Palestinians and Israelis will continue to fight until the end of time. President Obama may be better at stating the position of the United States in wanting peace for everyone around the World than George Bush, but this is a tough matter that must be settled by the people of these two nations.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  287. Debbie

    From some of the comments on here it is apparent that what you hear and know about the middle east is taken strictly from the media. If you had or are living in the middle east you would probably have a different take on the situations and the life that people live there. Don't assume , while sitting in your living rooms watching your TV's and the reports from the media that all people of mid-eastern decent are terrorist and live in hatred. The citizens of these countries work and try to make a decent living for their families as do the citizen here in the U.S. but are living daily with conflicts by extreme radicals who twist the words of the Bible and the Koran to fuel the hatred within themselves. This is not the overall beliefs of Muslims. I have lived in a middle eastern country and found the people to be heartwarming and welcoming. There was always great hospitatility that was shown to me. President Obama has taken a bold move to dissolve much of the misinformation that many Americans believe middle eastern people are like. This a step in the right direction for our country.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  288. david doherty

    Yes Jack, as small as the odds are, there's still a better chance with Obama in office than num-nuts. Even if it's 1%, it's still a better chance.
    Dave from NH.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  289. gg

    many us companys depend on war for profits they will use all there power like cia to make sure there is no peace .

    January 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  290. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Chances for peace under "W" were nil, because he does not know what that is

    January 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  291. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Chances for peace under “W” were nil, because he does not know what that is (or have any interest in learning). President Obama seems to understand the complicated nature of these problems, while possssing the intelligence and will to seek a solution. We are lucky to have him.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  292. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    Definitely, but I would still rather him resolve our problems first.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  293. j/NJ

    Are chances for peace in the Middle East any better with President Obama than they were with President Bush?

    Absolutely, President Obama is much more likely than any president since Jimmy Carter to implement a balanced Middle East policy in the long term...moreover Obama seems to understand that geopolitical issues separating both sides are infinitely complex, that both sides have an interest in maintaining stability in that part of the world, that neither side is always right nor always wrong and that unconditional support for Israel irrespective of circumstances invariably sends the wrong message...

    January 27, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  294. Garvey

    The obvious answer to this question should be yes,but the reality is No..Although Pres. Obama has restored some of America's image around the world, it is highly unllikely he can put an end to centuries of conflict. Especially since the dispute is not only political but religion based. The most we can hope for under an Obama administraion is a 4-8 year time-out.


    January 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  295. Jerry from Allentown, Pa.

    I think with President Obama in office, reaching out to the Muslim world like he did yesterday on the Arab TV network, raises the chances for peace in the Middle East to 50/50 from the zero chance there was with President Bush in office.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  296. vern-t anaheim,ca

    jack,i wish i could say things will improve in the middle east,but with arabs hating jews and jews hating arabs i don't think peace in that region will ever be achieved

    January 27, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  297. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    Conflict in the Middle East has been going on for thousands of years. I would be hubris to think that President Obama could end the conflict in four or eight years. However, as mediator between the two parties, chances of peace are greatly increased if negotiations get started early in trying to resolve their differences than to wait seven years to start negotiations.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  298. Thomas

    What all people are longing for is simple respect. Our similarities of humanity out way our differences .
    You can no-longer mend wounds built on fear and mistrust without honest concessions. President Obama understands the deep meaning of respect .
    The healing that can be achieved through our common inspirations of bettering ones life as well as your neighbors.

    To my Buddy JIM FALLBROOK CA,
    Your understanding of History is so flawed.
    And I'm sure you would like to see a continuing policy toward Apartheid in Gaza.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  299. Tom from Philly

    Peace? Did i miss the weather report? Is the ice storm on the way to hell about to freeze it over? But really I think the chances are better but the palestineans took less than 24 hours to blow those chances. He got on arab tv, told them he had muslim family members, that we all had to be respectful of eachother, and then they launched another rocket, wtf. Did this boradcast miss gaza? Mabey we shouldn't have elected jesus to bring peace to the middle east, lol lol. But the other option of having PTSD suffering unlce fester line the perimeter of the arab world with nuclear wepons wouldnt be a better solution.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  300. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    The is definitely a better chance with president Obama for peace in the Middle East, even if it might be slim. With president Bush there wasn't any at all. His idea of negotiations was my way or the highway.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  301. Janice from DE

    Indeed, there is a greater confidence in a peaceful solution to this crisis in the Middle East with President Obama. Appointing George Mitchell to mediate was a brillant move. There is a feeling that you can trust Obama to be fair minded to all sides because he has exhibited his compassion and humanity. I absolutely loved his interview with the Muslim newspaper. It will give everyone a lot to think about.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  302. Candi

    President Obama is, I believe, more educated and objective, and therefore a better facilitator to talk about peace to the many factions involved.

    However the actual peace part is up to the people who live in the Middle East. Politicians can sign their names to any piece of paper, it will still be up to the people to decide the ultimate outcome.

    South Dakota

    January 27, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  303. Martin

    Of course they are. Of course it would help if there were legitimate polls regarding public opinion throughout the United States. The present polling does nothing but create a poor reflection of what people feel.
    A proper poll shou ask who the people support among the following:
    (a) The Palestiians,
    (b) HAMAS or
    (c) Israel.

    January 27, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  304. James, Charlotte

    Jack, are you kidding me? The best thing he has done is get to work on the first day trying to put a handle on the problem. Chances are great when time is allocated. Change has come to America!!

    January 27, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  305. docb

    Absolutely, Jack> If you are open then it allows the other party to be less on the defensive...Only problem is the SoS statement to 'obliverate Iran'!...Good thing he is sending Mitchell as envoy!

    January 27, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  306. Jack Carlson

    His chances are Zip, Zero.
    Jack CArlson
    Seattle WA

    January 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  307. Michele

    Yes I do, because he speaks openly, and not as an enemy pointing his finger at the TV, poking it in the eye of Bin Laden. I think he has made it clear that we are only Muslim enemies when attacked as most of the Muslim citizens realize, but Bin Laden has cried Jihad for a reason unknown to us.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  308. Ken-Long Island

    What were the chances a wandering Rabbi from Nazareth could defeat the Roman Empire? Just about as long, I'd say. If you are willing to listen to other points of view and respect people, as people, putting before them a common interest, and leading them out of the shadow of their own doubts, there is always the possibility they will follow. It doesn't matter what has come before, or how many times you fail, if you believe, good things might happen.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  309. Hakeem Kareem

    America is on its way to getting the respect it deserves from world leaders. Arrogance is giving way for diplomacy and mutual respect.
    Obama is the leader America needs at this age and time.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  310. Kathy Selleck

    I am delighted by President Obama's early actions and expressions.
    Most importantly, he is embracing science and scientists to help solve the myriad problems facing our globe. Three cheers for that!
    Our President is also showing peace-making courage by reaching out to the Arab world. He has had an excellent first week, consistent with his campaign promises.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  311. Ron from SF

    Are you kidding me? The chances of anything positive are infinitely better under Obama, than they were under pResident Screw Up.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  312. Eileen Curras

    We all need to work on this issue.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  313. Jerry Harris

    Without a doubt he will get alot more done in the middle east in his first year then Bush and his do nothing Sec. of State Rice. She couldn't settle what time of day it is.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  314. latreca atlanta ga


    January 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  315. cooper fennell

    I think PRESIDENT OBAMA is doing a magnificent job. At least he is trying to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Lets first of all give him his due respect by recognizing him as the PRESIDENT OF THESE HERE UNITED STATES!

    January 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  316. Cory in Texas

    Chances to fix ANY problem seem to be better under President Barack Obama. than they were GB.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  317. Mike in VA

    Chances for peace in the Middle East are not any better with President Obama than with President Bush or any other past or future President. There will never be peace in that region as long as both sides exist.
    It's time to stop beating the dead horse.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  318. Gary Raisanen

    I see no change from the Bush administration in rushing to throw good money after bad in the guise of economic stimulus. What does abortion funding have to do with creating jobs? How does Citi Banks new luxury jet help the taxpayer? Where are the controls he promised? 12 Million dollars for Representative Barney Franks bank? Give me a break. I feel that there is no one in the government out there to represent the interests of the people who elected them, not even Obama.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  319. Andy Taylor (the real one)

    after watching Bush for 8 years, President Obama first week of work seems to be more than Bush did in 8 years. Of course I might have been sleeping and just woke up.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  320. Susan from Greenfield, Wi.

    I agree with the President concerning what most of the Muslim people's want. They just want to live, make a living, and tend to their family's. But their powers that be want us out of their lands, and until that happens there will never be peace with America. The ethic disputes between each other are thousands of years old, and will never be settled.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  321. Susan from Idaho

    Absolutely, validation of a country and its religions is far more likely to breed less animosity. Being tolerant of diverse cultures sends the message that we want to live in harmony with the entire world.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  322. Joe Boutte

    An intellectual in the White House that can walk with kings, but hasn't lost the common touch.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  323. Pat

    We finally have a Pres. who understands the basis of communication: If we want to effect change, we have to talk to those who don't agree with us.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  324. j/NJ

    Are chances for peace in the Middle East any better with President Obama than they were with President Bush?

    Absolutely, President Obama is much more likely than any president since Jimmy Carter to implement a balanced Middle East policy over the long term...indeed Obama seems to understand that geopolitical issues separating both sides are infinitely complex, that both sides have an interest in maintaining stability in that part of the world, that neither side is always right and that unconditional support for Israel irrespective of circumstances invariably sends the wrong message...

    January 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  325. Dean in Pa


    If Barack achieves peace anywhere in the Middle East he will truly deserve the title of "Messiah" that Rush "The Republican God of Idiotology" has placed on him.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  326. Jaette Hart

    Pres. Obama's pre-preparation to his swearing in paid off. He did hit the ground running. His outreaching to Moslems will start the groundwork for communications which never existed under Bush. His intelligence and awareness is gratefully appreciated by this proud American.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  327. Terry

    Chances are zip....he is being naive ....good effort....he cannot however reach the Arab Islamic Murderers....just talk to their dead victim's families. He needs to watch out for another attack ....now that we won't have Gitmo. Be sure he puts the new prison in Alcatraz.....California USA.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  328. Lisa in Yucca Valley, CA

    If there is a chance, President Obama will find it. At least he is able to consider all sides and give it his best shot

    January 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  329. Pat

    Definitely! Obama is not afraid to talk with those who don't agree with us. He understands the basis of communication. What a change!
    Pat – Wisconsin

    January 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  330. Terry Doherty

    His chances are better than the last administration. But I believe the middle East may be beyond reasoning. Let's hope not!

    January 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  331. steve

    malvern arkansas

    No, Not unless he just give them their way. History shows the muslims and christians have fought for world dominatioin time and again and it will still hold true. The guy with the big gun usually rules

    January 27, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  332. Rick Cairns Swarthmore, Pa

    In the twentyone months before the Shrub took office there had not been a single death in the Middle East. In the eight years since, there have been thousands.
    Now that we have a president willing to put some pressure on Israel again, the chances of something good happening are greatly increased. I'm still not holding my breath.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  333. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    Without question. But lets be clear, the Israelis are creating these problems too. Why can't they give the Palestinians what they wanted for so long themselves? Obama is a charming man with good manners, and great intellect. I believe he will waste no time tackling this problem with a lot of good men behind him.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  334. Lisa in New York

    Absolutely, the chances for peace in the Middle East are better under Obama. And how do I know? Because every Israeli I know is telling me that there's never been a U.S. president who understood the Middle East like George W. Bush.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  335. Susan Frost

    Obviously the chances of peace are better now, though how much better remains to be seen. At least we have a President who sees peace as a goal, not that retarded meathead who started wars for other people to fight although he was too drunk and coked-up in Montgomery to attend his own! Why would any other country listen to that doofus? We didn't, and our Supreme Court elected him. President Obama has a lot of fences to mend, but he's smart, respectable and RESPECTFUL – and even a slim chance is better than none.

    Tuscaloosa, Al

    January 27, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  336. John A. Feddema, Minneapolis

    Long story short, "It's the occupation, stupid!"

    January 27, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  337. Danni

    Peace in the Middle East???, there’s a good joke for you. They have been fighting for thousands of years, why should they stop now. Let me resolve the Middle East issues for you Jack. First, let’s give the Palestinians a state according to the 1967 agreement. Second, let’s give the Golan Heights back to Syria, which is rightfully theirs. Third, we should stop this "double standard" that is happening there and actually help them negotiate with each others. Wow Jack, who knows, I might get a noble prize for this.

    Upland, Ca

    January 27, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  338. Dennis from Albuquerque

    Jack, are you implying that Bush had a plan for peace? Of course Obama has a chance for peace in the mideast, at least our soldiers will not be shot at in Iraq in 16 months or so.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  339. Warren form Decatur, GA

    Do you think he could make it any worse?

    January 27, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  340. Jan Illinois

    At the least he is trying to extend a hand and talk with these people, which is more than Bush has done. I'm not sure anybody could do anything for these people, they seem to love what they have lived for all these years , so let them live their own ways and let's get to fixing American problems.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  341. Lynn, San Diego

    If the US really has any influence on the peace process in the Mid-east our chances of success went up by about 70% with Obama taking office, Bush was a -25%.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  342. Sarah Jordan


    To be perfectly frank, he's the only game in town now isn't he.

    He will have success because the question they will have to answer is very basic. Do you want a better world for your child?

    January 27, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  343. Richard Cayce

    Peace in the Middle East has a better chance with President Obama, who has presented an open-dialogue platform.


    January 27, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  344. Claire - Melbourne, FL

    Hello Jack,

    Absolutely as evidenced by his sending his envoy, George Mitchell, over there to "listen" for a change.

    Pres. Carter is right – Israel is doomed unless they cease their incessant bullying of the Palestinians. They have them imprisoned in Gaza....no food, medicine, water or other supplies in, including Reporters – they don't want the world to see what they're doing.
    They are committing genocide and getting away with it.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  345. David P. Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Let us not rate America's power to make peace in the Middle East too highly – the conflict has deep local roots and must ultimately be settled by the locals without the appearance of outside imposition. By basing its policy in facts and reason, the United states may be able to facilitate a locally-driven peace, but the only strong role the US could play is to restrict the action of regional outsiders who are themselves interfering with the local moves toward peace. If we can keep Iran and Syria from promoting conflict, we will have done all that can be done.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  346. EugeneWiese Midlothian,Va.

    I expect a lot of diplomacy to bring peace to Israel with the Appartheid conditions that exist. I agree with Jimmy Carter, there needs to be a two State solution.Even then there will need to be a referee,to assure that the Palestinians do not get the shaft. Gene

    January 27, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  347. Sharon, Chicago, IL

    Truthfully, I think most Americans need a history lesson on how Israel came into being and how the Palenstinians got pushed off the land in the first place–most seem blithely ignorant of who the original "terrorists" were. Obama, at least, with give Middle East peace priority, thoughfulness, intelligence, and much less cowboy bravado–if the US can do anything, I believe Obama will be the leader who accomplishes the most when all is said and done.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  348. C Ray

    Who are we kidding?
    Any attempt to promote peace in the Middle- East is
    to commit political suicide in the US.
    No politician has ever been successful if they haven't followed the
    Pro-Israeli line !
    Obama will cower under the weight of the Jewish Lobby and things will
    get increasingly worse; if that's possible!

    January 27, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  349. EugeneWiese Midlothian,Va.

    Bipartisanship is not dead but the honeymoon may soon be over. We have a lot of people in this country who are adversarial and should be exiled to Alaska or West Texas,along with the people in the Middle East who cause most of our problems. Gene

    January 27, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  350. Conor in Chicago

    Obama should do what the silent majority of this country wish he would do with respect to the Israel/Palestinian issue: Leave it alone and move on to things that actually matter to us. If you are Jewish or Muslim and are reading this then there, I said it, we don't really give a damn if you people want to kill each other because your religious books say "God" promised this land to you.

    Stop sending Israel money and weapons. Tell them they are on their own. The Muslims don't get any help from us either.

    This war will conclude when one side submits to the others' dominance or is wiped from the Earth and frankly I don't really care what happens either way so long as my money doesn't pay for it, me or my children (none yet) don't have to fight because of it, or the oil doesn't stop flowing from that region while we are converting to green technology. Otherwise have at it you two-enjoy killing each other.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  351. Roy Munroe

    A resounding YES to this question. Obama knows more about how to deal with adversity in this day and age of terrorism than Bush will ever know or understand in several life times. At least Obama knows you don't talk about peace with a gun in your hand, it has never worked and never will. George Bush and company just did not get what "Diplomacy" is about and that it always involves on going Dialog between those involved and that guns & bombs are a LAST resort option only.

    Olympia Wa

    January 27, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  352. Jan Illinois

    Second thoughts.... For years and years this has been going on and on. WE are in trouble HERE in the UNITED STATES. From what I understand many monies have been giving over the years to try and help these people and nothing seems to work, they seem to love the way they live, I say LET THEM, it's time to put us first for a CHANGE how about that. Let them fight till time runs out that is what they want to do or else they THEMSELVES would have changed it by now, and that's simply the way it is.

    January 27, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  353. Jasmine, Largo, Md

    Yes jack, I think it will. Obama has shown that he is willing to listen and respect the muslim world and not use the ol "my way or the hingway" policy of the last 8 years. And that's sounds like Change to me!

    January 27, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  354. Jenna Wade

    Are chances for peace in the Middle East any better with President Obama than they were with President Bush?

    Yes, a much better chance.

    First, he is addressing the Israeli/Palestinian issue during his arrival verses departure of his term.

    Second, he is putting result driven people on the ground in the region.

    Third, he recognizes that the key word for Palestinians is CONTIGUOUS State of Palestine

    If I were in a position to make recommendations to President Obama, I would remind him that Hamas was legitimately voted in by the Palestinian people in a Democratically held election and they should not be ignored like how the Israelis and Bush did from day one.

    Roseville CA

    January 27, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  355. Stephanie from Charlottesville VA

    Yes, chances are 100 times better–but still peace is impossible in that region in our lifetime.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  356. Jordan-Iowa

    No chance at all. Not when you are pulling our forces out of there. The Gaza situation is just a mess. Send a air craft carrier or 2 over there. That should send a message.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  357. Beth - Waco, TX

    I think that President Obama should talk with all the surrounding Arab nations to Israel and Palestine so that they could be directly responsible for brokering some way these two peoples could learn to live more humanely. Maybe the carrot stick could be that half of the money we keep sending to Israel should go to Palestine. Do any of the neighboring Arab nations send money to Palestine? Why should America carry the whole financial burden for the Mid East? We need to withhold all financial aid to Israel and/or Palestine unless they try harder to find common ground. Their problems really are not ours; we have more than enough here at home.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  358. toni boutwell, myrtle beach, SC

    Of course things will get better, we finally have a president that actually understands the world. All he needs to do is let Israel know that they will get no more aid from our country unless they stop the attacks on Hamas, the legally elected power in Palestine.
    If Israel refuses then Obama MUST not only stop funding Israel, but spend the money to rebuild Gaza, build back thier schools and if needed re-arm them,

    January 27, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  359. Charles from NJ

    No. The Arabs hate all US presidents equally.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  360. Matt in Nashville

    In a word: YES! World leaders actually respect our President now, so they're a lot more likely to listen to what we have to say.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  361. Roger (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

    Tell us this is a rhetorical question.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  362. BJ A

    They sure are Jack. Especially if Obama has the political courage to take an impartial stance with regard to Israel and Palestine and not just demand painful concessions from the Palestinians. They have given of both their blood and their land and it is time for the US to truly play a mediating role and not declare our bias before negotiations take place.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  363. Mike - Owings Mills, MD


    I think prospect of Middle East peace are better under the Obama administration than the Bush Administration. Bush always seemed to want to push the parties to make peace in the way that Bush wanted. President Obama wants the parties involved to be at peace under terms that the parties that they themselves want. He might have finally figured out that the United States can’t stipulate the terms of peace the way the United States wants, peace must be in the terms that are acceptable to the parties that are affected within the region. The United States cannot push peace at any cost and I think that we might finally be learning.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  364. Will

    That depends Jack. Is the US going to stop selling arms to Israel?

    January 27, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  365. Pierre Angiel


    January 27, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  366. Kendra

    My hopes are high but the bottom line is our chances can't get any worse. Bush dug a real hole for us and in my opinion, we are now going to climb our way out.

    San Jose, CA

    January 27, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  367. Nelson


    There will Never be peace in the Middle East. Jews and Muslims have been fighting each other for thousands of years before America, and they will befighting each other for thousands of years after we are gone.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  368. Blair Chafe

    The chances are far, far better, with a President who will try to be even-handed, and not just do the bidding of the Israel lobby, as Bush did.

    Now, having said those words, 'Israel Lobby', i know there is no chance of you showing my comment. Nonetheless, the chances for peace are far better.

    Blair Chafe

    January 27, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  369. Ann

    Yes the cowboy attitude of " You are either with us or against us", era is over. Thank God!

    January 27, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  370. Jordan-Iowa

    Once we leave Iraq can you say civil war. All 3 of the main Iraq tribes will go crazy. It will destabilize the whole region. Bad idea Obama.Bad idea.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  371. Forrest

    From Panama.
    I am 55. I will bet my house that there has not been one week in my life where the New York Times has not had a story about Mideast conflict. I voted for Obama, but i do not expect him to solve this unsolvable situation. I wish he would just ignore it, really.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  372. Jeanne Lehnert

    YES......Yes.....and YES!
    Jeanne Lehnert
    Mesa, AZ

    January 27, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  373. Bernadette Loesch

    Dear Jack, The short and sweet answer about Pres. Obama and the Middle East; you bet your sweet bippee!

    January 27, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  374. Enda

    Hi Jack,

    I traveled around the Middle East last summer and spoke politics with a lot of people. Obama was very popular there, and people wanted him to become president because they think he doesn't see them as the enemy.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  375. Denise from Cape Coral Fl

    In my Opinion, Absolutely YES. Our President has his roots in the Muslin World which in my Eyes will make a Big Difference. God I Like Our President!!!!!

    January 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  376. Sylvain Gauthier

    Obama has a weapon that muslim extremist will discover soon. He can speak and reach people.
    Nobody has been able to beat Obama at winning the ears of people. Imam better be prepared because muslim ears will be attracted to the word, voice and promise of Obama.

    The new battleground is on , the ears of muslim, i bet on Obama

    January 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  377. tom t

    won't help they only know terror

    January 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  378. Sherrie

    I think President Obama will be able to quiet the conflict in the middle east but not altogether stop it. If you believe in the Bible,,,it says the Muslims will not be quelled until Jesus comes back.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  379. M. B. Sult

    Sure, chances are better (under Obama Admin.)

    But overall chances are bleak. This fighting has been going on forever...and will be...forever. Whenever religious ideology (superstiion) is the guiding principle in decision making...rational compromise will never be possible.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  380. roger singh

    Jack, I think Prez. Obama is doing just a fine job at adressing the Muslim nation, and has done more in the last week regarding the Mideast process than Bush has in the last eight years.
    JaCk CaFferty in 2012

    January 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  381. Garland H. Green Jr.

    "Are chances for peace in the Middle East any better with President Obama...?"

    Yes, but the forces aligned against him are strong. There is money to be made in brokering hate. In the end it is up to both sides to say enough is enough. Remember Bosnia? How about Northern Ireland? There is a chance. But I am not so sure this is the best chance. I hope so.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  382. Jai from Chicago

    With a president who is focused on a two state solution and who is willing to listen to both parties, the chances of peace are definitely at least on par with Bill Clinton's, and with him we almost obtained it. The President's message that we are willing to offer our hand if you unclench your fist to the Muslim world, if kept up, will be strong. We can hope that since a President hasn't been so willing to talk to them that they will take this call against terrorism and for peace to penetrate the soul of the Muslim world.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  383. Scott

    The chances of peace are no different between Bush and Obama. That is because peace doesn't rest on any one person (no matter how much they talk about change). Some person might calm things down for a while or elongate an outcome, but the outcome will always be war when it comes to these conflicts.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  384. Ken, Plano, TX

    The fact that Obama is paying attention to the issue is a good sign. As I remember it, the Bush administration did nothing about the Israel/Palestine issue but follow Sharon around the White House like a school boy trailing behind his headmaster.

    To measure Obama against the Bush record is like measuring the distance to the moon in inches.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  385. Brian

    I believe our chances for peace in the Middle East are better under President Obama verses Ex President Bush. With this being said, i still think it is impossible to establish a fully functional friendship no matter what president is in place. The Middle East is a very hostile area and i don't see them being our friend anytime soon.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  386. David

    If the Islamic world cannot deal with President Obama,there is no one they can deal with.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  387. Robert Schoenberger

    I think the combination of sending Mitchell over as special envoy and the interview are showing the Muslim world that a real effort is being attempted by a new America.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  388. Koby

    If our president is truly interested in finding a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict he must dismantle UNRWA. This United Nations agency perpetuates the conflict by refusing to support the resettlement of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza. It is time for the Arab world to focus on building a Palestinian state rather than trying to destroy Israel.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  389. Audrey Calomino

    Experts agree that the Arab/Israeli conflict cannot be solved militarily. That leaves diplomacy and communication - areas in which Obama and his team excell. So, yes, he has a good chance of resolving it.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  390. sanjeev dhara

    There is a much better chance,
    he can appeal to the middle east with not only his middle name
    but his policies, like closing gitmo
    and differentiating between terrorists and Muslims in general

    January 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  391. Gregory, NJ

    Yes, Bush made the Middle East made at America Because he used Iraq as a scap goat.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  392. Dorinda, Dayton, OH

    I wish that it was as easy as a yes or no answer. It is better to say that I believe progress will be made toward peace because I believe President Obama is wanting peace to be the ultimate goal. I do not believe peace was Bush's goal because it seemed he never thought it was truly attainable without beating the nation down (something I am sure is an unattainable goal)and having them bow down to the United States.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  393. Leo R. Havelock, NC

    Absolutely. President Obama seems to see both sides of this conflict clearly, and realizes that Israel is as much at fault as the Palestinians.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  394. LaMott Jackson

    It's always been possible. It just seems more so with President Obama. His approach comes at a time when no one else would think to confront the issue so head on. I'm hoping for the best, but unlike many I don't believe Barack is the "Masaiah" and the solution to all the issues, but I do believe he will work far harder than any other President in hopes of reaching an accord, and that, at the very least is good enough for me.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  395. Jose Gonzalez

    It doesn't matter if Obama reaches out to the Arab world or not. The muslim fanatics think of the U.S. as the evil enemy and it will take many years of proving them otherwise until other generations of Arabs dilute that hatred.

    Jose Gonzalez
    San Juan, PR

    January 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  396. William


    I sure hope so!


    January 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  397. Homer Murray

    Israel and Palestine has been fighting since the land was divided. This not going to stop.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  398. Ari Nacius

    He will try his best, as he mentioned in the interview. But ultimately, it will be up to the countries in the region stop the bickering and end the bloodshed.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  399. Mark Temple Texas

    Obama could do nothing and it would be more than Bush. Bush was a negative and took us backward by refusing to talk to the world. That flacky meeting at Annapolis was a joke to the whole world. Go Obama.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  400. Carl Zaisser

    The entire Muslim world just watched Israel destroy Gaza, paid for with US taxpayer money and protected by US diplomatic muscle. Does Barack Obama or anyone in America think that a new day is dawning simply because he announces that the US is not an enemy of the Muslim people? Dream on, American people and media.

    Carl Zaisser
    Vienna, Austria

    January 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  401. Bev

    No I don't feel any President is any better than in other in our world crisis as it is today. Without the guidance of God through his son Jesus we don't have or the president won't have a clue
    Always Bev

    January 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  402. Mel

    Yes, Obama has set the tone for success in the Middle East.This is a tough nut to crack but it is one of his goals and I believe he will make it a top priority.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  403. Rodney

    He is getting involved upfront but the problem will only be resolved for the USA when we simply ignore them and let them fight by themselves.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  404. Frank G Anderson

    Yes, for certain there is a better chance, at least with Arabs, but Israel is a lost cause.

    Also, why is the Administration and the American media almost silent on the lese majeste issue in Thailand – recall freedom of speech issues, anyone?

    January 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  405. mikeh

    Peace is unattainable in that region for as long as the US continues to back the state of Israel and the people who resided on that land continue to be in a refugee status. With Obama in control now at least the major Arab states with have an open dialogue with his administration.

    Mike N San Angelo Texas

    January 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  406. Steven Davidson

    It is impossible to negotiate with the Palestinians. They refuse to make any concessions and even when you give them most of what they want they NEVER abide by their agreements. In light of all the past efforts to negotiate with these people I believe Israel should NOT stop bombing until the last one of them is gone. That and only that is going to stop them from bombing Israel.

    New Windsor Md

    January 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  407. Sly

    I don't think it does matter Jack, think about it do you think Bush or Obama is on any terriorist mind when there loading another RPG to hit the other town across the border. When I am arresting criminals at work I have never once thought about my mother-in-law.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  408. Adam

    The chances for peace will never change until we get an administration that stops telling the occupying nation, Israel, it has the right to defend itself, while expecting the occupied, the Palestinians, to simply die quietly.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  409. Jerold

    I seriously doubt that the situation will improve because many in the Arab community will not rest until Israel is destroyed. The Palestinians simply do want peace if it means living with Israel.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  410. Yusef

    Yes, the chances of reaching peace under President Obama are better compared to Bush. Then again, anyone's chances are better compared to Bush.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  411. Chris Smith

    No Not at all Obama should keep the troops where they are and fight to win the war. I think that troops should remain in Iraq at least Afganistan. We need to find Osama Bin Laden soon.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  412. Naj

    Much better chance. First and foremost he needs to address the Palestine issue. So many innocent people have died not to mention Women and Children. Actions will make a difference not just Words.

    I won't be surprised if I don't see this on the blog. CNN is so biased.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |

    Obama is showing some educational approach to the middleeast chaos. Unlike Bush who taught that the cowboy way would solve
    extremely delicate and complex political issues. Diplomacy is the way of this century to solve problems, instead of blasting everyone who stands as a treat to the US. ( thank God Bush is back Texas Y'all)

    Alberto Orozco
    Austin, Texas

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  414. Andrew H

    The chances of attaining peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis is better under Obama than under previous administrations, but it's a bit like saying my chances of winning the lottery are better than my chances of being hit by a meteor from outer space. Until Hamas and its terrorist supporters stop attacking Israelis and until the Israelis are willing to respect Palestinian soveriegnty, we will continue to see the same story for the next 25 years...

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  415. Jacqueline

    I think so Jack, maybe with Obama as President we will get fair and balance reporting on the situation in the middle east. Maybe it is time for Israel to let the Palestinians have a chance at a normal life. You cannot throw people out of their homes, close crossings, control utilities, control the flow of medicine and food and not expect terrorism. When people have no hope or see a better life for their children, then they have nothing to lose.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  416. Maureen - NC

    In a word – NO!!

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  417. Micaiah2004

    Answer: Hell NO. Only the naive would think Nobama-Clintoon and their shallow cabinet have the experience and savvy to create a lasting peace with the volatile Middle East. You already seen Nobama mistakes, incl. closing Guantanamo. Suspects released from Guantanamo now are back in Al-Queda fold and participating in killing American troops and plotting the next attack on U.S. soil which will likely be a dirty nuclear suitcase bomb and/or biological agent, causing far greater casualties than 9/11. Nobama had a chance to tightened security further and strengthen our intelligence network even more than what was accomplished by Commander-in-Chief Bush but Nobama failed to avail himself of That Opportunity. His Guantanamo base closing has heightened RISKS to U.S. safety and homeland security as well as to our troops!!!! Nobama and the Nobama Ramas have no stomach or will to engage the jihadists/islamofascists and Destroy them. Conversely, the jihadists terrorists groups have every intention and commitment to do whatever it takes and how long it takes to kill all infidels (Americans, westerners, jews). There is a distinct mismatch in the commitment to see this WAR to a FINISH with the utter destruction and surrender of the enemy. Other mistakes made by Nobama is the support of international abortionist groups by releasing taxpayer monies to support the murder of millions of unborn. Have we not destroyed enough unborn infants to the tune of nearly 50,000,000 since Roe v. Wade. This attitude of callousness towards unborned and the sheer volume of murders signifies many in our country are a bad sign of a non-GODLY nation who kill for convenience, not due to rape, incest, or to save the mothers' lives. It is a sad commentary of our nation.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  418. Debbie

    Absolutely...all things humane, intelligent and positive have a better chance of succeeding now that we have a President who "gets it", who thinks and makes decisions without the poison of hubris.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  419. david

    Obama is our only chance to settle the middle-east problems, Bush was a very disappiontment, to the world, I thank god for Obama

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  420. Bob Catalano

    Pres. Obama will achieve peace in the Middle East, simply because he knows enough to be even handed and impartial in his dealings with the Israel-Palestine. It doesn't take a genius to see that being one-sided doesn't work.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  421. Tim Jessen

    Absolutely! President Obama has exhibited an openness and tolerance for Muslims and Muslim countries previously unheard of in the Bush administration. I'm amazed at his outreach to that community, but not surprised. He is showing what real leadership is all about, and is at the same time leading his country to new understanding and acceptance of all faiths, underscoring that we are in this human condition together, and must face today's issues together. Bravo, President Obama! Continue to lead us to higher values and greater understanding of all our neighbors–in this country and throughout the world.
    Bloomington, Indiana

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  422. Jerry Platz

    Chances for peace in the Middle East would be better if a TURNIP was in the White House than they were with Pres. Bush.
    – Jerry in Nor-Cal

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  423. Retson Tedheke, Nigeria

    The Whole Universe responsed to the Message of Hope; It keeps people Alive, Keeps Businesses Going in Environments Like This and Gives a dire Situation Like Isreali/Palestine a sign that things can change. With Obama, Change and Hope is what will finally make sense in the Middle East. Bush never gave room for Hope, He killed Hope

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  424. Saul Rivera

    I believe that there is a better chance with Pres B. Obama. Just for the simple reason that his approach is a listen to approach. By doing this he allows the different opinion to flow and getting the major fact and out of them in order to understand the different cultures. The interview seen shows this. I believe that with in this administrastion much psychology is being used in order to move foward towards the proper steps to bring peace upon all these nations.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  425. Tom

    With President Bush we had two chances for peace in the Middle East, "slim and none!"...With President Obama, we have a man who is genuinely interested in ending pain and suffering and death to innocent men, women and children!

    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  426. Steven Frieder

    Now that the Bush Administrations policies of blind counter attack, that Israel has so gratefully adopted, are obsolete, our childhood education programs can advocate "violence is not the answer" with out a hint of hypocrisy.

    Croton, NY

    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  427. Steve

    Yes..with a name like Obama that will get you in the door to talk.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  428. Jon-Phoenix

    I'd say has as much chance of reaching peace as ROD BLOGOJEVICH staying in office. At least not until the president can stand up to AIPAC and the likes and puts America first.

    Now Jack, let's see if you have the Khutzbah to put that on the air. Enjoy your comments by the way.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  429. Daniel Drageset

    Obama will try to talk and mediate with the Middle Eastern countries, not to confront them like Bush.

    Sure, it will be difficult to achieve peace in the region, but yes there is a better chance with Obama.

    There is a global belief in Obama's abilities and positivism around him as a person. If he manages to sit down with all parties of the conflict, I am sure he will make progress, but there is a long way to go. A way that has been made longer by the conflict between Israel and Hamas recently.

    The important thing is that Obama starts right away. Too many presidents have delayed this issue to the end of their presidency when their message to the Middle Eastern countries have had little effect.


    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  430. Abdullah Moshaikah

    President Barak Obama is the man the world is waiting for. He inspires so many Americans to form community group to help communities. He is truly genuine with his message to establish peace not in the Middle East but in the world. This is a golden opportunity to take him for his word and defend Arab interest, not the Arab regime’s interest. Arab progressive movements should know what American progressive movement is doing in order for us to bridge the gap between Middle East and America. America has the best political system in the world.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  431. Christina

    Who was the idiot that said there was EVER a chance for peace in the Middle East? Seriously? We need to go kill Bin Laden and his people and get the hell out of there. They have been fighting for what some 3000 years and we are going to be able to create peace between all of them in less then a decade? Please, smarten up people, there will NEVER be peace in the middle east.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  432. Tarek

    Is there is other options!!? If nothing will be made, nothing will ever be. The gap between Israel and Palestinians and Muslim world increases everyday, and the future will look even more dark if nothing happen today.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  433. Kevin

    Without a doubt Obama is better suited to achieve peace in the Middle East than Bush. Obama has three decades of experience with the Muslim world. Bush was introduced to the Muslim world when he took office in 2000. After Bush's 8 years, it was clear that his knowledge and understanding of the subtleties and motivating factors was limited at best.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  434. steve from mississippi

    Sure it does! As soon as the U.S. stops catering to Israel as if we them something.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  435. nancy from Pennsylvania

    Not even the most gifted diplomat can mitigate the senseless hatreds and animosities that have existed in this region for thousands of years. But the poise, tact, and intellect demonstrated by President Obama, and his particular talent for bringing parties together, will result in the best chance we've seen for peace in the region in decades.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  436. Steve

    If peace in the middle east could come from the White House, we would have had it by now. It's been so tantalizing close before. As much as we think can bring the parties to agreement, they must first choose to want an agreement and then agree. Simple, right? Unfortunately, the parties today seem better served by conflict and reasons they believe they need to maintain conflict. Golda Meir once said that "peace will only come when arab mother's learn to love their children more than they hate us." When mothers on both sides are willing to take this fight to their governments, then there will be peace. This is a long way of answering question – no peace is no more likely today.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  437. Sly, Alpena, Mi

    Hi Jack, Are you alright over there? That question can not be answered. It is way too early to tell. Plus, that's up to the Isrealis and the Palestinians, not President Obama.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  438. elias

    No Doubt! Jack, tell that to Dr Wolf Blitzer too.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  439. Terry in Fayetteville, NC

    The chances of peace are better anywhere, without the Bush puppet of what Eisenhower described as a "military industrial complex" that is always looking to expand its market.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  440. Amado Yoro - Hawaii

    Very possible to have peace and better relationship under the Obama administration than the president in the past 8 years.

    President Obama has better public relations skills and has a big opportunities to gain international support in building or rebuilding the world in terms of international relations, peace and order.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  441. Francois

    Two words basically: Stay tuned.
    My feeling is that there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth for those who were expecting a new and balanced approach.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  442. Paul

    Only if we understand that we are not honest broker in Middle East. People of Palestine and Israel are brothers. They are two children of Abraham (Isaac and Ismael). You don't pick between brothers. You bring peace between them because they share the same blood. If we stop sending $3 billions to Israel every year, we are going to have 80% of chance toward peace. They will not built WALL when Reagan helped to TEAR down one in Germany. There won't be more american made bullets flying around.... You can't achieve peace when one is armed and the other one is not armed...


    January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  443. Pam Nevers

    Yes! He seems to have an aura about him, bringing people together. We saw that at the Inauguration. So maybe, just maybe this will bring peace to all in the Muslim world.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  444. Alex in Maine

    Any new administration has an opportunnity to re-invent the Country's image. George Mitchell succeded in Ireland during Clinton's administration and I have full faith in my former Senator now.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  445. James, Brooklyn_NY

    NO and no and no....these 2 nations have been kiling each other for centuries, America have been more impartial in favor in Isreal while blaming the PLO, even if BO tries it will not be enough...there is a very old grudge here...there will never be peace among those 2 neighbors better yet cousins. Jack you can bet on me

    January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  446. G. Rogers Eastman

    Fort Myers, FL : Jack,, When President Bush was in office and did not engage until his last year, I felt the glass was half empty. With President Obama engaging in his first week, I feel the glass is half full.His news interview addressed both Muslims and Arabs without having to have pre conditions as those who ran against him demanded. Pretty smart,don't you agree ?

    January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  447. Denise

    Absolutely there is a better chance for improvement in the Middle East. Reference only yesterday in his interview reaching out to the muslim community. It's called diplomacy, people. Strange concept after 8 years of the bully Bushy legacy. It just might work.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  448. Pritesh Patel

    Ofcourse under presidency of Obama chances are better. I am very impressed about his interview on Arabic channel. I think he is sending the right message across muslim world. This should've been done by previous president long time ago.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  449. RJ Anthony


    Chances for Mideast peace under Bush were slim to none (closer to none)...under Obama chances are just slim. A modest improvement, but an improvement nonetheless.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  450. Tosin from wichita falls, tx

    For peace to reign in the middle east, the people involved have to start taking responsibility for themselves. president obama will only try as much as he can, but noting significant will be achieve except from within....

    January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  451. Abdullahi Edward, Kano, Nigeria

    The only way peace chances in the area will improve is if Obama and the previously moribund State Department are able to equivocate the democratically elected Hamas government with that of the winning party in Israel. Furthermore, success will only come through dialogue with ALL parties concerned. Saying that Abbas represents the Palestinian people doesn't make it a fact. Hamas, in actuality, won more seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council than did the Fatah Party of Abbas. Finally, peace can only be achieved with the sacking of the Israeli/AIPAC plant – Rahm Ammanual. To say nothing of the fact that Hillary Clinton is going to have to shuck off her New York roots and cleanse herself of her inherent bias towards Israel. Yesterday is not today! We have to look towards tomorrow with different eyes if we are to succeed.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  452. julie- Palmdale CA

    I just hope so. The huge civilian loss in Gaza and the bombing of over 50 United Nations sites including hospitals and schools was not necessary. We need some honest balance. Israel has a right to defend itself within reason. It went way overboard.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  453. Matt in Boston

    I think the real question is how much harder is it going to get after he's served his term. This is an issue that's been going on since Israel achived statehood in 1948 during Harry Truman's presidency. Carter couldn't solve it, Clinton couldn't solve it, and Bush couldn't solve it, even though, in his defense, he was the first president to acknowledge the ideological differences between Israel and Palestine and say that they each need an indpendent state in the region. I think Obama's strength is in his domestic policy and that's where he's going to focushis attention, particularly on the economy. 60 years on, the situation hasn't gotten any better, and I doubt that it's going to resolve itself anytime soon. The tensions just keep rising, and they are going to keep rising regardless of any outside persuasion due to the fact that there are so many parties involved in this mess. That's why we saw the Gaza war as intense as it was earlier this month. All the different factions have had enough of each other, and neither Obama nor anyone else can fix it within the next four years. If there can be any solution, it's going to take more time than he has.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  454. JMBarrett, Rhode Island

    I am encouraged, after listening to President Obama's interview with El-Araybia, that peace in the Middle East may come, with sincere effort of both Palestinians and Israelis. The United States, while being an allie of Israel, must also recognize the legitimate concerns and complaints of the Palestinians. Hearing with only one ear (the one attuned to Israel) is no longer an acceptable policy of the United States.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  455. Yasmeen

    As a second generation Palestinian-American, I can honesty say that this is the first time in my 40 year life that I feel true hope of middle-eastern peace. Obama gets it – he really gets it....and I think he will be the necessary catalyst to finally get this thing going where it hasn't been in a long, long time.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  456. Philip K

    Yes for sure with our Far Gov. and understading polices toward the ME

    January 27, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  457. Brad K, San Diego

    Obama-mania has captured the world so I would say yes absolutely, but I would stop short of calling it peace, rather a contented reduction of hostilities. Unless one side disappears from the face of the Earth, someone will always be upset, as is the case when a desired resource cannot be divided.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  458. AB

    Unless Obama is the Second Coming, he has no better chance for peace than the leaders of the past 100 years.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  459. Ken Haumschilt

    Right now may be the best time to negotiate some sort of preliminary Middle East peace. Just as alcoholics are most willing to discuss solutions after a bad hangover, perhaps Palestinians and Israelis can get down to the business of a permanent peace framework.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  460. Eric

    Does a bear sh-t in the woods and wipe his a-s with a fluffy white rabbit?

    Obama think global....Bush only thought about Dallas Texas!!!

    January 27, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  461. Eugene Jensen

    There's little doubt under Obama that the middle east has a better chance for a peaceful resolution , as hard as that may be, all that is required is a considerate, compassionate, and reasonable desire for peace from the conflicting parties, Barak can help the two sides to be obtain just that.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  462. Susan Halliday

    The difference in chances for peace in the Middle East between Obama and Bush?
    Obama is shooting for The Moon.
    Bush was headed for a Black Hole.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  463. Eric S. Dean

    Obama seems to be attempting to change the world view of the US by taking a different approach in diplomacy and setting the pace for a shift in the Mid-East mindset of where the line is between Religion and Politics. I think Obama is the only one that would be able to pull that off successfully.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  464. Ken

    Mideast peace is a greater possibility under President Obama because he is actually interested and involved in the process, but is it likely?...I doubt it. The reality is that the two parties don't want to act like adults and want to wage battles that neither can or will ever win. Until Israel treats the Palestinians as an independent group of people and stops settling, dividing, blockading, and invading Palestinian territory at will, then peace won't ever be possible. Killing 1500 Palestinians when only a dozen Israelis have been killed by inaccurate and mostly ineffective rockets is never a sign that peace can be achieved, or that it is even desired.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  465. Dan Tundra, Northern Minnesnowta

    It will be impossible for a Palestinian solution under any administration if we the American People continue to allow Lobbyists to pay our House and Senate Members Billions of dollars. AIPAC (Israel Political Action Committee) has paid over 2 Billion Dollars in total to our Congress as reported by Politico.com. No wonder why our Government loves Israel and will never support anything not desired by Israel. We've made Israel a mini super power, but Israel's actions are certainly not consistent with their own religion. If the Arab world rises up against Israel's illegal actions, we better just stay out of it.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  466. Melissa

    I think it's pretty naive to think that just cause Obama is president, the world will somehow magically become a place where all people join hands to sing Kumbaya. Until these anit-semitic, extremists accept a Jewish state, Israel will have no choice but to continue defending their right to exist.
    And a lot of good the UN has done for this situation.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  467. Scott, Cape Coral, Florida

    The chances of peace are no different between Bush and Obama. That is because peace doesn’t rest on any one person (no matter how much they talk about change). Some person might calm things down for a while or elongate an outcome, but the outcome will always be war when it comes to these conflicts.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  468. Mike from Hamilton, Ontario Canada

    If you really want to solve the Palestinian Issue, you have to go to the root cause and have Israel honor the BALFOUR DECLARATIONS, only then will the world understand the reason for this conflict.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  469. Rocky Boomba

    Yes, absolutely. This guy (Barack) is like a breath of fresh air after having been stuck in an airtight porta-potty for 8 years.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  470. Sam


    It's a strategic decision that the U.S as a country, not presidents, have to make and that is to be objective and non-biased towards a certain group. Once that's reached, I am confident that president Obama will have better luck defusing the situation back there than his predecessors.

    The U.S is perceived as the enemy in that area for that very reason and until that perception is changed, I don't believe we will see any difference as we have seen during Bush's.


    January 27, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  471. grant Marcus

    I know that this is an old term going back to Vietnam,
    but expanding an illegal war from Iraq to Afghanistan
    is called an escalation. And appointing as envoy, Richard
    Holbrooke, whose history goes back to Vietnam, is
    not sending a message of peace, but a declaration of war
    for the region, a war in Holbrooke's own words, will
    "last longer than the war in Iraq." Oh, and by the way,
    the war IS the bad economy, so look what we're in for.
    –Grant from California.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  472. Ogden

    It's not that the chances for peace in the Middle East are BETTER under President Obama - it's that he's giving us THE FIRST CHANCE for peace in our lifetimes.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  473. George

    Jack, George Bush had no chance of restoring peace in the middle east so of course Pres. Obama has a much better chance.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  474. Sarah

    I believe that the crisis in the Middle East will be solved much more easily now that President Obama is in office. He is much more charismatic and seems just so much more approachable to the average person than Bush was. My sincere hope is that those in power in the Middle East will view him that way as well and not treat the US with the same hostility that has come to represent them.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  475. ral

    Yes, absolutely.

    We've had 8 years of the neocon and Aipac propaganda tied up with the lies of the Bush administration. The Obama administration's approach to the Middle East will be about fairness and reflects the new American hope. Most Americans are praying for an equitable and peaceful end to the Middle East conflict. A strong but fair and neutral diplomacy is the only way forward for all Americans now. 

    January 27, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  476. Tyler Starke

    Jesus Christ Jack, are you serious? The Bible, the Qu'ran and the Torah all teach the same old law. Stone people to death.

    I can explain how mentally deranged the thought process involved in the fighting parties, but it involves some serious religions reading. I would rather not go into the details here, but I don't think anyone is going to create peace in that region until the three groups involved sit down and realize they might be reading different books from the same source.

    Jews don't believe in Jesus. America is not as Christian as they claim. The Qu'ran teaches the Jews and the Christians are in for a fiery doom..... It never ends, this quilt of religious zealousness.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  477. Todd

    DEFINITELY! It's clear to me, there's a new "sheriff" in town, not unlike "Blazing Saddles," when the African-American sheriff rode into town and used intelligence, wit and common sense to bring order back. He already has the respect of the world going for him, and with George Mitchell as his special envoy, the chances for peace haven't been better.

    Phoenix, AZ

    January 27, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  478. Chibuzor

    The chances of peace in the middle east is largely dependent on the willingness of the Palestinian and the Israelis to accept each other. To understand the fundamental right to life and to happiness belongs to all. I am also convinced that the Obama's administration stands a better chance in utilizing the power of this great country to bring about peace or at least push for a greater understanding. The fact that he is of the minority (African America) background and his willingness to engage is a plus.


    Poughkeepsie NY.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  479. rick

    Under Bush the chance for peace was about 1%. Under Obama it's about 2%, so I think the chances are doubled.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  480. Karen - Tennessee

    Nope. Cultures that are dominated by men are never peaceful, and the Palestinians are a good example. There is nothing the USA, or Israel, or anyone else can do to change this. It must come from within.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  481. Hussain - Los Angeles

    Bush had never left the US until his presidency.

    Obama grew up all over the world and understands it much better than Bush ever could. I am a Middle Eastern immigrant and I can tell through the Al-Arabiya interview that Obama has an greater understanding of the region than any of his predecessors. He also mentioned something very important. He said he will LISTEN TO BOTH sides! Palestinians have often felt overlooked by the US. If this administration is going to conduct unbiased negotiation, a compromise may be reached. I don't now if he'll be successful, but he has definitely has a better chance than Bush.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  482. Franky

    Jack, I'll bet that the Cubs will win a World Series than a peace being settled in, LOL!! And how long this "peace" has arguably been run for?? 1,000 or 2,000+ years?? Yeah, I'll take my chances with the 100 year losing team, LOL!!

    You see Jack, now you got me in trouble over here...

    January 27, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  483. Sharmaine from Atlanta, Georgia

    Hi Jack,
    Yes. I believe that the chances are better with President Barack Obama in creating Middle East peace. This President brings in refreshing ideas that the Middle East people are not exactly used to hear from an United States leader. I am kind of skeptical about the fact that it will actually work, but if it doesn't, at least we can say that we have at least tried.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  484. Patrice, Jacksonville Florida

    In the interest of progressive/forward thinking aren't we required to believe the new administration will have a positive impact on middle east negotiations. At this point any effort to rebuild relations with that region of the world is a welcome relief.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  485. Dominick

    Jimmy Carter and many others need to stop fooling themselves. No matter who is President, there will never be peace in the Middle East. The Palenstinians don't want peace with Israel, never did and never will. Biblical History proves that!

    Jimmy Dominick

    January 27, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  486. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    Anyone that believes a true "peace" in the Mid-East is possible, has never read their history books. The Mid-Eastern culture and mind set is all about killing anyone who doesn't agree you, and that will never change, even if God himself intervened. Besides, we make too much money selling weapons to all of them, and we wouldn't want that to stop.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  487. Toni Miley

    In 1776, a nation of 13 colonies declared war on the mightiest navy the world had never seen. Against unimaginable odds, this a nation defeated a mighty empire, her mother country. In 2009, President Obama will begin a process that makes significant moves toward peace, saving untold lives, and another political miracle will be accomplished by the United States of America.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  488. Mohammad

    Absolutely. President Obama has demonstrated that he is mindful of the Israeli and Palestinian aspirations. Indeed, he may be able to broker a fair and balanced peace between the two parties, which will both end sixty years of hostility and weaken extremist organizations that have used the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to gain popularity amongst Muslims.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  489. Steve

    YES!! I think By showing the musslim world respect and a attitude that we will work with them on the same level for peace. Is far better than the cockie mind set Bush showed to the world. It is the mind set of past pres. that got us in this sittuation. We need to use words for peace not bombs! And as long as america stays the number one war mongoring nation in the world, the middle east and rest of the world will hate us, and view us as an enimie.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  490. Clark


    Absolutely! Obama's willingness to reach out will double the chances of peace. It goes from 1% all the way up to 2%.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  491. Tony

    No. Look at history. The palestinians were offered a great peace deal after the Yomkippur War and they didn't take. 20 years later at Dayton they agreed to 1/3 of what they were offered in 1973. they started thre second intifada just because Ariel Sharon walked by the Dome Of the Rock yet they require complete control of Jerusalem. The US presidents and the world have tried to broker numerous deals for them most of them good, to no avail. What they really want: Israel not to exist anymore, not Obama and not anyone can give them. So let them dream idiocies and live their nightmare which they don't want to give up.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  492. Jermaine

    I am not sure if Barack can achieve peace in the Middle East, but I will say that having a President named Barack Hussein Obama who has lived amongst Muslims, and has Muslim family members shows the Muslim world that he more knowledge of their culture than any other president we have had in the past. Reaching out to Muslims in his first official interview as President shows he is passionate and serious about attempting to maintain peace. Will it work, who knows but it is a damn good start!!!!!

    January 27, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  493. Tim Sullivan

    Are you kidding? President Bush built walls. In his first week, Obama is already reaching out, and has the benefit of Muslims within the network of his family and friends to reinforce his believability. I was brought up Catholic, but I couldn't care less about Obama's religious affiliations. America was built on freedom of Religion. Should the world not be just the same? In his interview, this president did not underscore religious differences. He underscored the importance of protecting innocent victims from terrorist actions and properly connected that to the will of the American people while driving home the idea that we are not enemies with the Muslim people or religion. That' exactly the kind of president we've been needing.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  494. Sam Bronx, New York

    No more or less than they have been under any other President.
    The question is, what will be done with those chances.
    If President Obama indulges anti-semites who sanction Hamas terrorist attacks like Jimmy Carter, then those chances will be thrown away and nothing will happen.
    If instead President Obama offers legitimate negotiation to legitimate goals and a rational resolution, and backs it up with active effort and support for action to eliminate terrorist groups like Hamas, then those chances can be developed to advance the peace process.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  495. rodney taylor

    I believe the chance for peace in the middle east is better with President Obama. He has already shown the ability to listen to others who view the issues in other ways. He brings hope at a time people need it most. I live in Germany and many people here were influenced by his rise to power. Pres. Obama not group people all the same, unlike hsi predecessor. Everyone on the news is nit picking at his attempts to fix America, but we need to remember we the American people have responsiblity to fix the economy also.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  496. Louis Gkikas

    President Obama has demonstrated that he intends to do all he can to bring about peace to the Middle East. He has taken more steps towards that goal in his first week of office than President Bush did in 8 years.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  497. Rick Jones, Fredericksburg, VA

    No Jack, nothing will change under Obama. An early slip by Obama during the campaign was that Jerusalem must remain the capital of Israel, and he continues to state that he is committed to the security of Israel. No American president will ever admit the obvious; that the formation of the State of Israel in 1948 was a tragedy perpetrated on the Palestinian people and has been an unmitigated disaster. The only solution to this conflict is a single sectarian state with both Jewish and Palestinian citizens.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  498. Mark S

    I am absolutely appalled that the President chose to give his FIRST interview, not to Americans that elected him but rather to the Muslim world. The Middle East has been fighting for thousands of years over religious beliefs. I don't think Obama or any other President can trump God and their belief of His will.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  499. Rudy Carruthers

    There are many variables in this equation, but I would argue that Obama is a better international representative of the United States than Bush. Unlike the Bush administration, Obama expresses a diplomatic and friendly rhetoric which strays away from poorly planned and misled offensives. Obama's interview with middle eastern media let many young men in the Muslim world know America seeks global peace and prosperity. Moves like this in the future are more likely too keep extremist recruits low

    January 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  500. susan dejohnette

    Making the muslims feel worthwhile can't be a bad start for President Obama; unlike Bush who resorted to namecalling and starting wars with no end in sight.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  501. Folefac D. Atem, Pittsburgh Pa

    Are chances for peace in the Middle East any better with President Obama than they were with President Bush?
    Yes, Chances for peace in middle east are far better with President Obama than they were with President Bush;
    Everyone looks at Obama as a brother and friend. His name is Barack Hussein Obama does not look to American like Bush. The name George Bush is too American to convince the Palestinian.But The first name; Barack and second name; Hussein make the Arab brothers feel he is one of them. So, it will be much easier to bring the Palestinian to the table. . Being born in USA and being the president of USA is enough to bring the Israel to the table. Besides, Obama can easily convince people as compared to Bush.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  502. Hal B

    Superb right out of the gate (ready on day one) " I WON " that to me said, I'm not campaigning for office; I'm doing what I promissed .

    January 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  503. Maliha

    Only peace can bring peace, doesn't matter who the president is? War only brings defeat, killing and aggression. You can invade a country but you cannot invade people's soul. One cannot kill 100 & 1000s of people and expect their families will forgive the aggressor. Unfortunately people in these regions are getting double whamy. They get killed by tanks and guns and what ever are left are conned into killing themselves in the name of Islam. Leaving very young , women & very old.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  504. Babak A.

    Is there a better chance for Mideast peace under President Obama? Is the sky blue? Do bears live in the woods?

    Of course there is a better chance for peace under President Obama, not just in the Middle East but around the world. Am I saying Obama is the world's savior? No. But when you ask whether the chance for peace is better under him than a president who started a preemptive and unnecessary war, shamelessly backed torture, and consistently burned bridges with countries around the world...the answer should be clear.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  505. Kelsey

    I'm am a Canadian citizen, and from an "international" standpoint, I know for sure that President Obama will make more of a positive difference in the Middle East than former President Bush did. Simply because of the fact that President Obama is cool, collected, and he "gets to the point"...as many people saw when he sat down with Al Aribaya television. Also, if President Obama decides to remove troops from Iraq, and place them in Afghanistan, certainly Canadian troops will welcome them with open arms. A Canadian soldier dies with every passing week over there...it's a really unfortunate situation.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  506. ralph

    The answer I believe is yes. All we need to do is turn our backs on our Israeli allies and appease the terrorist and Iranians. In this regards I note the propaganda machine is already beginning to warm up. I have noted in the past 1 to 2 weeks at least 3 "news " pieces putting the Israwlis in a bad light and garnering Palestinian sympathy. The most recent was on 60 Minutes this past Sunday.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  507. AlS

    Yes I think Pres Obama will promote peace. He has done more than any president I ever seen. Bush couldn't spell peace. GOP is holding up the tax payers money. They will feel it in the next election because the American people woke up with Pres Obama election with billions watching.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  508. Tommy Chatman Bey

    Sure we have a better shot at peace in the middle east with President
    Obama than Bush 43. Porky the Pig would have a better chance than Bush 43!!! Remember what Bush said, " he tried to kill my daddy". He was talking about Saddam at that time & we've been at WAR every since.
    St. Louis, MO

    January 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  509. ab

    I hope so. BTW check James Lindsy report of UNWRA. For a country that puts in 75% of its funds the USA has not much say.
    Is that the role UNWRA was to suppose to play?

    January 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  510. Susan, Canada

    If 90% of Palestinians and Israelis want peace for themselves and their children, then both sides need the political will to change their way of doing business with each other and with the west. Watching President Obama's interview gave both sides a look at how quickly change can occur, and maybe a glimpse of what that change should look like. We all hope he succeeds. Gads, its lovely to see and hear this articulate young statesman after 8 years of chest thumping babblefesthoodery.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  511. Micaiah2004

    The naive, cult-following NobamaRama-ites think their messiah can talk to the Middle East and bring peace with the extreme, violent jihadist/islamofascists. Save your breath. The Nobama appeasement approach does not work against islamofascists. Have these Nobama Ramas read any of the books on these jihadists and what makes terrorists tick?

    January 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  512. Jermaine from Brooklyn

    I am not sure if Barack can achieve peace in the Middle East, but I will say that having a President named Barack Hussein Obama who has lived amongst Muslims, and has Muslim family members shows the Muslim world that he has more knowledge of their culture than any other president we have had in the past. Reaching out to Muslims in his first official interview as President shows he is passionate and serious about attempting to maintain peace. Will it work, who knows but it is a damn good start!!!!!

    January 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  513. jasem dashti

    Yes there is always a peace chances, But if both sides make sacrifices to courage the channels of peace, In my point of view i don't see the Israeli's are into the peace process. What you see as daily activities of expanding the settlers to build houses and closing the borders on Gaza Stripe, Not allowing the basic life necessities to enter then anger builds up and the Palestine's will start again to attack the Israeli's with rockets. We should encourage both sides to stop the daily uprising attitude to cut off the conflict.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  514. Garry applebee

    Obama will do much better once he gets Isreal to realize that there in palastein and it's their country. And i'm jewish and I know history, untill they give them true compensation their will never be peace. But compared to bush he might have a chance.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  515. Jason, Athens GA

    Carter, Regan, Bush Sr. Clinton, and W have all spent their administrations trying to by one method or another work out some kind of lasting truce in the region. Aside from dead soldiers and dead civilians, I don't see what any of them have to show for their efforts. Despite the optimism I share for Obama and his new approach to foreign policy, I still don't see any reason to expect much difference now.

    We're involved with people and their blood feuds that go back more millennia that our nation had seen centuries. I hate to use the word "hopeless", but that's what any ideas of a peaceful end to the Gaza conflict is.
    If we're going to be fair, I suggest we should simply send over the only things that will be of any use to both sides – bandages and tombstones.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  516. Jordan

    It is certain that chances for peace in the middle east are greater with the Obama administration. But anyone who has studied the region can tell you that Arab-Israeli tensions are deep rooted and there is no simple solution to the conflict. Most Americans, do not know the history of the Palestineans, especially since the end of World War II, specifically the fact that the masses have suffered from extreme poverty for a long time. Their people rally around hope, similar to what Americans are doing right now but just conceptually different. The hope of the Arabs is for a better life for themselves and their children. With the good will the new president has received around the world, he could potentially use that good will to help forge a two-state solution to the conflict. Also important though, is that efforts will have to be made to help improve the economic situation of the less-oil rich arab nations, and to make efforts to improve our relations with Iran, which Bush neglected to his detriment. Iranian help, the most populous country in the Middle East, is necessary to create a stable middle east, allowing American troops to leave, but first Obama will have to change the tone out of Tehran and through diplomatic efforts, convince Iran that a stable Middle East will not only benefit Arab-Israeli relations but Arab-Persian relations as well.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  517. Scott, Florida

    Hey Tyler Starke, get your facts straight. The Bible doesn't teach "stone everyone to death", it teaches the opposite. It was the Old Testament that Jesus came to overturn by stating "you have heard an eye for an eye, but I have come to say 'Turn the other cheek". It's the people who THINK they know what religions are about that are keeping us in a perpetual state of stupidity.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  518. Grace

    I think Pres. Obama is taking a step in the right direction. Up until now, we haven't seen nor heard about our position on Mideast Policy. Until the conflicts in the Mideast are dealt with in a consistent, diligent manner, the world will be in constant disruption. The global system is like any other natural phenomena. Until you addres what is disrupting the system, you are unable to address the problem.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  519. Zach

    It all depends on the muslim response. You can't clap with one hand so while Obama's reachout is noteworthy, I doubt the response will materialize – only because the nutbags will launch some terrorist strike and poison any chance. Islam needs major reform and just maybe, Obama can be the catalyst in a small way

    January 27, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  520. Spanish4Garlic, Irondequoit NY

    Yes, absolutely. I listened to his interview with the Arabian network. I think this is an auspicious first step toward peace, and I, for one, stand behind our new President without hesitation.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  521. miriam feldman

    I cerainly hope so, however, the president assumes something that is not true. Some muslims are not committed to the betterment of their people, but are exclusively interested in achieving power. An example is that when Israel left Gaza, Hamas used whatever capital they had and was given to them by other countries and supporters to accumulate rockets and build tunnels to destroy Israel, not to improve the situation for their people. They then proceed to blame Israel for their peoples poverty, and enlist the sympathy of the media and President Obama for their plight.
    Hopefully, President Obama will recognize this unfortunate truth.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  522. ruth

    Now that we have a president that appears to be head and shoulders above the last president in the intelligence department ,maybe there is a chance for peace. The US needs to deal with the problems in the region with an even hand which has not been the case. I also wonder why the UN or the US would not send in some sort of policing force to try to keep both the palistinians AND Israelis honest! The mere face that even if there were to be a Palestinian state it would be made ujp of two separate pieces of land; Gaza and the West Bank.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  523. Harvey --Minneapolis

    No! Obama will have great rapport with the Muslim/Arab contingent but he will not be able to convince the recalcitrant Israelis who believe in Transfer. His strategy at this point is no different than what has NOT worked for the past 40 years.
    Maybe he should try the approach that was first suggested in 1963 and promote Jerusalem, including the the sacred shrines of all religions, as an International City!

    January 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  524. Shirley Connally

    President Barack Obama has done an excellent job during these first few days since his inauguration. He entered the pesidency running and has acted expediently in addressing the concerns of the country. He surrounds himself with experts and listens to there expert discussions before making decisions.

    It amazes me that commentators think they individually have the expertise to negatively review the decisions of all of these experts. Before drawing conclusions on the president's decisions, these commentators need to follow suit and surround themselves with facts and experts before commenting to others.

    Shirley Connally (Houston, Texas)

    January 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  525. Angie (VA)

    Pres. Obama has done an outstanding job for the 1st week, and who can complain? no other Pres.one else has inherited the MESS that must be fixed.
    Hey, here's a thought..let's reduce those high end salaries of those both reps and dems to what the AVERAGE american citizen makes for a year..I bet they'd stop throwing stones and work together then!

    January 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  526. Darren - Kansas

    I think there is a better chance for peace, or at least better relations between the Middle East nations and the U.S. President Obama has sent a positive message to countries in the Middle East by putting in plans to remove troops from Iraq, close the Guantanamo prison, and end the practice of torture. He has also chosen good diplomats to be envoys in the Middle East in George Mitchell and Richard Holbrooke. Obama's vow to use more diplomacy and engage with our enemies as well as our allies may bear fruit in the long run.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  527. Dr. Henry O. Akinfe

    Listen gentlemen and Ladies of America, I think is high time we realise that the whole world is not subject to american dominion.
    Its easier to be humble in our attitude in approaching sovereign nations, America.
    American have a better chance of getting peace in the middle east now that Obama is the president ,because the world , particularly the middle eastern blocks will listen to him and his new envoy because they are cool guys, and he (Obama) is highly favoured by men and God. Remember Start by listening?.
    Dr Henry O. Akinfe

    January 27, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  528. tanya...atlanta

    Anything is possible. Whether Obama is the difference or not rely's soley on the grown responsible individuals in the mid-east. Hopefully he can talk some sense & peace into the mid-east but past political issues all theses conflicts are long overdue and THEY need to come to some agreements. LIKE Obama said respect has a lot to do with it.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  529. George Ferdinand

    A cease-fire peace Yes
    A transfer of prisoners peace Yes
    A West Bank peace Yes
    A Golan Heights peace Yes
    A Two Nation State peace Yes
    Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Palestine No, that will only occur when Jesus Christ returns

    George F
    Southgate, Michigan

    January 27, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  530. Cheryl

    President Obama has set the stage for diplomacy in the Middle East by showing respect for the vast majority of Muslims who are not affiliated with terrorist organizations. The Bush policies polarized our Muslim friends and even US-Muslim citizens. Given, the work will not be easy but the Obama administration is off to a great start!

    January 27, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  531. Avi

    Peace! are you kidding. What George Bush and successive Israeli Prime ministers have done I dont think will bring about peace if Obama was negotiating with Carter himself. I am Israeli, but this last war, was an embarrassment to me personally as a Jew and to the whole human race. The world simply stood by and watched Israel drop Phosphorous bombs on the biggest open air prison in the world and burn children alive in the process. Over 250 Palestinian children killed and over 1000 injured, and you ask about the prospects of peace? I dont think any Palestinian or Arab after witnissing the current violence are talking about peace nomatter who the president of the United states is.


    January 27, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  532. Pete Kirby

    Judging from most of these posts, the average American hasn't a clue! (Nor have the US media – that includes CNN!) Peace will return to the ME when Israel and the US accept the standing offer from the Arab League: Israel abandons the settlements and withdraws to the '67 borders, shares Jerusalem with the Palestinians and works out some equitable arrangement regarding the right of return.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  533. robert moon

    all depends on whether israel wants peace or not. president obama would have to twist the arm of israel harder than ever before to have any hopes of peace and that is a monumental task in the face of the israeli lobby in our country. the more peace drags on the more it benefits israel and israeli objectives so why they should seek peace; they can always say :"we are doing this to defend ourselves"

    January 27, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  534. Liz, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    JACK, I think ANYBODY willl have better luck in the Middle East peace process than George Bush had. But President Obama I feel will have the best chance in many years to possibly achieve a peace between the Israelis and the Pakistanis – he is starting the process at the beginning of his term rather than at the end, and I think he will do an excellent job, along with George Mitchell.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  535. J East

    jack, to compare president obama to george Bush with regard to the palestinians, is like asking the jews if Hitler would do more for the jews than president roosevelt. Also, tell wolf that the relief money going to the poor so they will vote for democrats is not a problem since the poor won't remember in 5 years what happened today,just ask my son and daughter. Jim in melbourne florida.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  536. Geri Barron

    In all of the cost cutting discussions why hasn't cutting illegal immigrants benefits mentioned? Trillions of our tax monies are spent supporting illegal immigrants in housing, medical, medicaid. food stamps. California is bankrupt and other states in the red with this spending. They pay no taxes!! Then send most of their earnings to Mexico. They would return "home" without this support.
    And why is this country allowing pregnant illegal immigrants to have legal US citizenship. We even provide free hospital services to deliver these babies. This is asking for more illegal immigrants and costs this country to support them. This is not in the interest of the United States citizens or our economy.
    Is common sense totally absent from our government? No doubt, yes.is the answer.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  537. Helen

    I believe the answer is yes! Every side in a disagreement has their perspective on what has caused their problems. Obama acknowledged listening is a better was to begin to achieve peace but was firm by indicating the US will not tolerate terrorism. No one wants any harm to continue to Israeli or Palestinians. George Bush “Macho, Macho Man” approach continued to remain a good disco song with lots of people dancing to gunfire but did not achieve the results he wanted .

    January 27, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  538. Jon Buder

    If the Palestinians wanted peace they have always had the the opportunity to establish their own homeland and live peacefully. Problem is,.as Bill Clinton found out, they really don't want it. when enough of them stand up to the terrorist Hamas organization, accept Israel as a nation, and bargain honestly, they will get what they want – their own state. Until then, Israel must continue to retaliate to the Palestinian aggression, hopefully with enough force to cause a change in Palestinian attitude. You can only claim to be a victim but for so long.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  539. Patricia Wallis from Utah

    I feel that President Obama will help the image of America but I didn't
    know if it will help with peace in the middle east. They have fought for
    so long I'm not sure they know how to live in peace. Pain and hatred
    runs so deep in the souls of the middle east, look at their history.
    But we do have a better chance at everything with Pre. Obama vs
    anyone since Pre.John Kennedy.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  540. Avi Goldstein

    The chances for Middle East peace are not primarily dependent on who our president happens to be. Rather, they are dependent upon the same factor that has governed this matter for decades: the unwillingness of many Arab states to recognize the right of a Jewish state to exist in the historic Jewish homeland.
    Once this right is acknowledged, negotiations can proceed on the contesting claims that Israel and the Arabs have to the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  541. michael , Las Vegas NV.

    Obama would really be the Messiah if he could pull that one off.

    Seriously I doubt it , the Muslims & Jews have been at war with each other since before Christ and show no sign of working for peace
    even now.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  542. Vani B

    Who knows! The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Obama has, however taken efforts to signal that he is more willing to listen to Palestinians. He is laying the foundations for an open and honest relationship. And trust counts for a lot in a peace process.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  543. John Szatkiewicz

    Jack, while this does nothing to establish the President's first few days in office the event of Citi Group underlines the problem facing us taxpayers...

    When do these people finally get accountable for their actions? Are they so much above everyone else that their wishes are always fulfilled? Lastly, how come we seldom see the names nor faces of these individuals who have first hand knowledge of milking the American taxpayer? Perhaps they need a few years in the barn or in the prison shower learning how not to drop the soap.

    Seems to be the same old same old stuff...

    January 27, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  544. Carol from Mass.

    Are chances for peace in the Middle East any better with President Obama than they were with President Bush?

    Of course...Obama is intelligent and understands that respect is one of our greatest commodities. He is surely on the right track...lets get rid of bully politics that are built on disrespect. Let the world begin to respect us again.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  545. Alex

    Based on the history of the Middle East and on the attitudes of the majority of Arab countries as well as Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, it is unlikely that Pres. Obama can do much to change the current situation between Israel and the Palestinians. The stated goals of Syria, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the various terrorist groups is the elimination not only of the State of Israel but also of its population. One cannot negotiate with an eliminationist ideology.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  546. Al Granizo

    No intelligent person can expect that two peoples that have hated each other for over two thousand years will stop doing so in a decade. An Arab acquaintenance told this catholic, in a friendly debate, ...."These people could have been given their homeland anywhere in the world. Why did they pick a place right in the middle of their bitterest enemies?" Food for thought.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  547. Joe Fattal

    It amazing me to see two adults, bunch of grown-ups can sure make war between themselves, can blow each other up. Whichever is more powerful than the other is immaterial, but then when peace is around its always someone else that goes to all the trouble to bring a solution to the conflict. And that usualy is not a lasting peace. I wish everyone stay out of the conflict, for the United States to stop encouraging Israel by financing the state of Israel, financialy, and militarily. And for the palestinians to mind their own affairs, and tolerate their ugly neighbors. If the israeli government finds out its on his own, see how quick peace will be in the area. As long as the United States back israel, we will never have peace in the area, neither the Palestinians will have a state. SO STOP SENDING PEOPLE IN THE AREA TO PRETEND THEY DOING SOMETHING FOR PEACE.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  548. Gilbert Schwob

    Yes, much better chances even if ME peace is rather questionable.
    Undoubtely, since Obama is in the Oval Room, respect for America came back. On top of it his view on the conflict is balanced and he uses to listen before making a decision.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  549. Steve

    new subject> I think the poeple of palistian needs to take a good look at the way they vote. They voted in hamas, who for years have shot off rockets into isriel then turn around and hide behind the poeple. I hope when the go to vote next time they wont make the same mistake twice.
    I would never vote for a pres. that shoots rockets into canada. that is just not responsible for man kind

    January 27, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  550. Gordon

    Those two marginal entities have been slugging it out for 60 years and it ain't gonna change in our lifetime. We fund both sides with taxpayer dollars which can be better used in today's economy. Israel has health care.... Where's mine? Let's put those billions to better use... There are people on this planet with genuine need who would appreciate food rather than weapons of mass destruction. Cut these two clowns off altogether and do something good with the money.

    Gordon, Rhode Island

    January 27, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  551. Ben

    The real problem to peace is quite simple. The terrorists represent the "Palestinians" and they don't want peace; they want the complete destruction of Israel.
    When will the press actually address this unfortunate truth? We are blessed with an ex-president who when asked that question merely shrugged his shoulders. Apparently he has no ability to distinguish propaganda from fact .
    Our presidents, sans one, basically have tried to bring peace to the region. There has been small success, however when there are terrorists such as hezbullah and hamas whose aim is the ultimate elimination of Israel from the Middle East and the Jew from the entire world, the onus belongs to the Arab World to control their own for peace to become a reality.
    When Egypt finally decided she wanted peace with Israel, her leader came to Israel and a peace pact was ironed out. When Jordan decided that she would follow suit, peace was achieved. Lebanon wanted peace but she was deterred by the murder of her leaders by arab extremists. Those extremists still prevent peace and still use lies as weapons in their ultimate desire to destroy Israel.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  552. Denver, from Las Vegas

    He will fail like everyone else as long as he continues to push for this "2 state solution/fantasy" It is beyond comprehension that our democracy is supporting the Apartheid in Israel. Give both sides the right to vote and have representation in their government, because democracy is the only answer if you want peace in Israel.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  553. Charles from Roswell, Georgia

    First, Jack, there is no "peace" that is forever. But at least Obama will not base on ideology to deal with the problem. So he has better chance to reach peace agreement in middle east.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  554. Bruce from Delaware

    Seems he has lieutenants that are very pro-Israel, so I am not too hopeful. Celente has some good ideas, as does George Uri, but not much sense is coming out of mainstream commentators. With the recent shipment of 6 million pounds of ammo to Israel, I am even less hopeful. We apparently desire some level of conflict, perhaps to distract from the economy.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  555. Freedom

    Sorry Jack ,the answer is NO
    First Palestinian are not just Muslims, Palestinians are Christian too. Why keep mixing religion with Nationality? You either say Jew against Christian & Muslims OR you say Israel against Palestinian.
    Obama is looking at Maps and maps don’t have people on them. If Obama want to make Peace, I suggest he go to Middle east and see the disaster he had created in every Palestinian home.


    January 27, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  556. Avi Goldstein

    One note to Tyler Starke: While the Torah may talk about stoning people under certain circumstances, in practice this likely happened never or almost never! The rules of evidence in Jewish law are so strict that it is almost impossible to arrive at a guilty verdict that results in the death penalty. As the Talmud puts it: "A court that kills even once in 70 years is a court of death."

    January 27, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  557. Jim Shipley

    It is to Israel's benefit if it does. Every day the US becomes less relevant in the world. If we lose control, who will defend Israel from the world's hate? Money is the power and every day the US is more in debt and the Muslims are richer. The tipping point is not far off. Israel needs to think about that!

    January 27, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  558. Avi Goldstein

    Denver, there is no "apartheid" in Israel. In fact, I would venture to say that the freest country for Arabs in the Middle East is ... Israel! They have freedom of speech, freedom to earn a living, equality between the sexes, and much more that does not exist in most Arab countries. And yes, they do have the right to vote.
    But just as Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and so on are Arab states, and France is mostly composed of native French, and Germany of native Germans, Israel is a Jewish state and can only remain so with a significant Jewish majority. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you do have a problem with it, take it up with all those Arab and European countries first.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  559. Luis (from Seattle Washington)

    No jack. It's the type of things I hear at church when preachers say that many will work for peace and stability, but instead violence and tranquility comes. Peace didn't come to the Middle East during the Bush Administration and previouse administrations, all we saw was the continual growth of violence. It seems to be getting worse as the years pass by, so the Obama Administration will have a tough time reaching that goal.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  560. Steve

    This conflict is such a mess that, to me, it is very hard to believe it might ever grind to a halt really, no matter who is President. Violence begets violence, it's basically as simple as that, I guess. There's to much hate and broken treaties, and genuine peace efforts have been in a stalemate for too long.
    And still, in a modern world there must be a way to negotiate more effectively, to make efforts of reconciliation. Whether establishing an independent Palestinian state is really the solution to the problem can just as well be questioned. But Obama will hopefully represent some sort of change, compared to how the Bush administration handled the crisis in the middle east, in that he will at least listen to wise ideas, have some new ideas created within his staff himself, and act more carefully than Bush would ever have, also in terms of talking to other statesmen and experts. Of course it's not all about talking, but to have a clear but reasonable opinion and sense of how to tackle the problem would be a new start at least. And I think, Obama and Clinton are up to it, and they have enough understanding at hand.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  561. Pierre Butera from Leuven, Belgium

    The Mideast problem is lasting so long and is unstable that no one can really tell what any new try can produce. Barack Obama seems he has understood that if there is no solution provided to that problem, no one will ever be taken as serious. The way he is weighing in is smart and original: before him, the arab world was adressed to as: "we take your oil, we give some dollar to spend around, but we will always kick your ass about Israel." Obama says:"We will buy less oil, we'll kick any terrorist at any cost, we want you to make a deal with Israel, and we will respect you". That respect can make a difference

    January 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  562. Ms. Adams

    I would like to start off by saying that President Obama has been in office one week and you ask a question of this magnitude? It makes no sense this man has did more in the one week than Bush did in his Eight years that show you and the world that he is putting forth an ernest effort to make change and he is Organized in his steps to do so. I listen to both Fox and Cnn comments about our president and I think you might be on the wrong network. Stop the Madness give our President a chance white or black, he is our President and he was elected for the office so he must be given a Chance to do the job that he was Elected to do. One week in office want bring about peace and he knows this. Damn you gave Bush 8 years to put us in the Mess we in and you want President Obama to provide peace in a week! Remember he is the President, he isn't Jesus!

    January 27, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  563. BC from AZ

    The chances are better, assuming President Obama takes the time to educate himself and his staff on the historical significance behind the conflict; something the Bush Administration failed to do. The conflict in Gaza developed long before the sovereign state of Israel arrived in the region and began aggravating old wounds. It stems from millennia old Islamic-defined politics developed around effective techniques harnessing the power of zealous religious interpretation to enact the policies of the current political leaders. These centuries old political processes are often invigorated amongst the Islamic community in favor of violence, especially when a foreign power approaches the conflict with the visible prospect of military force as an option. That said, the chances are much better, especially if Obama approaches the conflict without flaunting America's military strength, and starts laying a foundation of diplomacy-centered policy that will keep the different sides talking long enough to reach a peaceful conclusion. His administration needs to also recognize that in a conflict that has lasted well over a thousand years, it may take decades to reach an agreement, and the process will be tedious, slow, and frustrating, requiring a level of patience that most in our culture of instant-gratification would never accept.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  564. Daphne Bussey

    This comment is on the stimulus package. Here in CANADA we are a little more sympathetic to our less fortunate, so in our budget that was just "brought down" in our parliament we had measures to help the working poor keep more of their taxes and the idea being that they are more likely to spend their rebate. The best feature is the $1350 tax credit if you make renovations to your existing home. To get it you have to spend it first. Considering the worry of all stimulus features is will people will use the money or save it, I think this is an ingenuous feature. Maybe now that so many Americans are out of work and have lost so much money they will be more sympathetic to the less fortunate.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  565. Ken in NC

    Jack, the chance of anything is better with President Obama than with former President Bush. The only thing President Bush can do better is mess up a soup sandwhich.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  566. Marcia W. From florida.

    I think President Obama he's doing the right thing making a peace with middle East. The is a good Muslim and the bad ones,So the bad ones is those who killing the innocent kids. Also there is a lot of Americans stays in the Muslim Country and they have been staying there for more than 10 to 25 years and they still living and happy than staying in America. Also they love to work with Arab people. So any were around the world you will find good and bad apples.There is a bad Christians too so what, We have to put politics and hate aside also stop putting each other down we all God's people. I bealie he will success.


    M W.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  567. Ron Phila. Pa

    I dont think there will every be any peace in the MiddleEast, as long as they are fighting over land that God gave both of them! It's hard to believe that President Obama ,or anyone else can resolve this problem.

    January 27, 2009 at 6:53 pm |