It’s one thing to acknowledge that the Muslim world has had a negative reaction to America's war effort in Afghanistan and Iraq, but, when one starts referring to "the previous eight years" before the Obama administration, it starts to sound like partisan Democratic talking points. As ABC’s Christiane Amanpour appeared on Sunday’s Good Morning America to discuss President Obama’s predicament regarding his speech on the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, Amanpour at one point recounted that relations with the Muslim world had suffered during the "previous eight years" before Obama became President.
After host John Berman queried as to "how is this playing in the Muslim world," Amanpour in her response asserted: "But clearly President Obama from the very beginning went out of his way to try to repair relations with the Islamic world which had been so devastatingly damaged over the previous eight years."
The war in Afghanistan was only seven years old when Obama took office, so her "previous eight years" crack could only be interpreted as a direct reference to the Bush presidency rather than just the war.
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, August 15, Good Morning America on ABC:
JOHN BERMAN: There is, of course, another audience here, the international audience, how is this playing in the Muslim world?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Well, all of this will inevitably play. How precisely these last two days of comments and change in comments will play, we'll wait to see. But clearly President Obama from the very beginning went out of his way to try to repair relations with the Islamic world which had been so devastatingly damaged over the previous eight years. He not only mentioned that in his inauguration speech, in his first interviews, but also with that big speech in Cairo, and obviously, talking about trying to get moderate Muslims also to stand up for their faith and to stand against extremism. And, in fact, the people who are in charge of building this have spoken out against 9/11, have condemned terrorism and are viewed as those in the moderate community. So it's clearly something that has come a cropper, if you like, since they were able to build this and protests have started. But the question, is vital. What does it actually mean, how far away is suitable? Can a mosque be built there? There are other mosques in that general area. What does it precisely mean when you strip it all down, this political furor that's been started over this?