Posted on February 05, 2010 in Viewpoint with James Zogby

Dr. Stephen Walt (phd), Professor of International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, spoke about various foreign policy issues currently facing the Obama Administration. Walt spoke about Iran and the Obama Administration’s efforts of re-engagement and diplomacy with the controversial regime, but sated that among other developments in Iranian politics, Ahmadinejad’s reelection last summer contributed to worst of all possible worlds for the Obama Administration. Walt also commented about the efficacy of sanctions and stated that increasing the “squeeze” on Iran in the hopes of bringing about a regime change is “like asking for a miracle”. He then went on to talk about the current status of Israeli, Palestinian negotiations and U.S. policy on the war on terror.





Sameh Shoukry, Egyptian Ambassador to the U.S, discussed Egypt’s role in the Middle East peace process, specifically with regards to brokering peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. Ambassador Shoukry spoke about the current status of the intrastate reconciliation process between Hamas and Fatah, and the likelihood of its success. Shoukry received some criticism from callers unhappy with the Egyptian Government’s discussion to build a wall blocking the Gaza strip from its boarder with Egypt.





Robert Borosage, Political strategists and President of the Institute for America’s Future, analyzed the economic elements of President Obama’s State of the Union address. Borosage, following the president’s speech had said that proposing a freeze of discretionary funds is causing a distraction, not a creating a direction, and labeled it “a bad policy”. When asked to elaborate on his statement, Borosage stated the freeze assumes the U.S. economy is stabilized and causes a premature shift in the economic agenda geared towards paying down the National deficit. Borosage called this policy “economically premature” and added it “politically sends the wrong message”.




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