Posted on June 18, 2010 in Viewpoint with James Zogby

On Thursday’s edition of Viewpoint with James Zogby: Michael Isikoff, Investigative reporter for Newsweek; Geneive Abdo, Fellow and Iran analyst at The Century Foundation; Raed Jarrar, Senior Fellow at Peace Action.

Michael Isikoff, Investigative reporter for news week, discussed a wide range of issues facing the Obama Administration, including the BP oil spill and the war in Afghanistan. Isikoff gave an analysis of Barack Obama’s presidency, discussing how the BP oil spill and his handling of the war in Afghanistan are perceived by the American people. Isikoff responded to poll results indicating a less than favorable view of Obama’s handling of both situations amongst Americans. In regards to the Oil spill, Isikoff dubbed Obama a “prisoner of events”, and stated that both situations could be viewed as “Obama’s Vietnam” and “Obama’s Katrina” respectively.




Geneive Abdo, Fellow and Iran analyst at The Century Foundation, discussed the current status of international relations with Iran. Abdo analyzed U.S. policy towards Iran and described “a new regional dynamic” in the Middle East, in which, she said the U.S. must define it’s policy. “The [Obama Administration] policy [towards Iran] is starting to resemble Bush Administration Policy”, said Abdo. Abdo’s comments come within the context of a U.S. decision to impose sanctions on Iran despite headway made by both Turkey and Brazil in regards stopping Iran’s nuclear program. She explained that promise of U.S. diplomatic engagement with Iran is fading.




Raed Jarrar, Senior Fellow at Peace Action, discussed the status of Iraqi politics 3 months after the country held its most recent elections. Jarrar gave viewers an tutorial of Iraqi politics as of current, breaking down coalition platforms, issues and intrigues. Jarrar stated that the U.S. currently is not the most important player in fostering solidarity between the 4 main Iraqi political coalitions, and explained that Iran, Syria and Turkey have been more influential in the push for a national unity government.” Despite regional efforts to create a national unity government with includes all 4 coalitions, Jarrar said: “ I don’t think the situation is moving forward fast enough”.