[Guest post by DRJ]
Al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri today denounced Barack Obama for failing to support Palestinians in Gaza against the Israelis:
“In the comments, which were posted on a militant Web site and obtained by the SITE Monitoring Service, al-Zawahiri described Israel’s actions in Gaza as a “crusade against Islam and Muslims” and called it “Obama’s gift to Israel” before he takes office later this month.
“This is Obama whom the American machine of lies tried to portray as the rescuer who will change the policy of America,” al-Zawahiri said, according to SITE. “He kills your brothers and sisters in Gaza mercilessly and without affection.”
This isn’t the first time al-Zawahiri has taunted Obama. In mid-November he criticized Obama’s position on Afghanistan and likened Obama, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice to ‘house slaves,’ Malcolm X’s term for blacks who are subservient to whites.
I wish Obama could smooth troubled waters as his followers hope, but I wonder if his abandonment of his Muslim heritage may actually increase antagonism in the Middle East. Obama is the son of a Muslim and an atheist, but is now a Christian and sometimes friend of the Jews. That background isn’t a problem for most Americans, but it may not be as easy for some cultures to accept.