On His First Anniversary as President...

…on his way to Egypt, he was asked what he would say about the "authoritarian" nature of the Egyptian regime. That was kind of an understatement: Egypt is a brutal, harsh dictatorship. Obama's response was something about how he doesn't like to use labels for "folks." When a politician uses the word "folks," you wait for the next horror that's coming along. Obama said that he wouldn't call Mubarak authoritarian. He's a person who brings stability and does good, and he is our friend. (Chomsky, 2010)

Has Obama made any progress on the Israel-Palestine issue?
Obama said that we are now in a position where things can really be done because there are constructive proposals on the table. He singled out the Arab League Plan and said that it was a good basis for proceeding. … when the press asked whether Obama would do anything if Israel continues to expand settlements, his spokesperson said no; it was purely symbolic. He said that we wouldn't do what George Bush, Sr. did. He [George H. W. Bush] imposed very minor penalties if Israel continued to expand settlements. Bush withheld loan guarantees to the extent that Israel used the funds for settlement expansion. Obama said that we won't go as far as Bush, Sr., that the statements now are purely symbolic. That's telling Benjamin Netanyahu to do whatever he likes. That's a wink. We say "stop expanding settlements," but we wink to say they can go ahead and do it. (Chomsky, 2010)

Chomsky, N. (2010). A President's Report Card: Obama's First Year as President an Interview with Noam Chomsky. Harvard International Review, 32(1), 56+. Retrieved April 21, 2011, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5042649097