I suppose now would be a good time to comment about President Obama and the conflict here in the Middle East.
It can not be contested that he has a huge wave of momentum behind him – but that wave will probably be striking a wall – of which there are so many of varying types – in this land… politics, opinions, and the lack to forgive just to name a few.
Whether one is here, or in the States, it is hard to escape that many view President Bush's Middle East agenda a failure. I do not know if I am ready to go that far, but I think all can agree that most here in the region do not trust American Foreign Policy to be even-handed or just.
This will impede Mr. Obama's efforts once underway. And this trend will take perhaps longer than his current term to reverse. Here in the Arab world you largely have an elite class ruling over the masses of klans.
But it is precisely here where the free world can win; people (with the possible exception of the hard line fanatics) want hope.
Mr. (and Mrs.) Obama have emulated hope for so many both in the States and abroad – and that's a large part about what people have been fed through the various media sources here in the Middle East. Now this is a good thing.
Because for us as Americans (and Christians too) hope is a major component. The hope of the American forefathers built, and still drives, a large part of the American dream and spirit – and people notice that over here. Many have begun to understand familiar words like “and justice for all”.
If Obama's team can harness this, and gain the cooperation of the public – then there will be advances towards peace. And he's off to a good start because of the tone of his inaugural address – of his offering of a “new way forward”.
He also had his tuff tone too. That's important to understand. It is needed over here. This may sound simplistic – but the child's gotta know it's going to get spanked if it misbehaves…
All this as Obama begins to seek a way to engage these monumentous issues here in the Middle East. He must do so – and it looks like he will. If anything, the news reports from the foreign journalist now partly able to enter Gaza, reveal the scale of death and destruction brought upon the Strip over the last three weeks – a reminder that things which happen here effect the whole of the world… a world right now that is looking to Obama for hope.
Let us remember do as God has asked us, and to pray for our leaders, and hope in God.