The president thinks more U.S. investment in Muslim lands and exchange programs that will bring Muslim women to America so they can work as interns will enhance U.S. prosperity and, thus, change Muslim attitudes about the United States.
Pigs will fly first.
The U.S. has been more than generous to Arab and Muslim nations in direct foreign aid, military assistance and other ways. Egypt receives about $2 billion of American taxpayer dollars every year, yet it still votes against American interests at the U.N. 79 percent of the time. Jordan, a "moderate" Muslim nation, receives nearly $200 million annually in U.S. foreign aid, but votes against America at the U.N. 71 percent of the time. Pakistan votes 75 percent of the time against the U.S. at the U.N. while pocketing nearly $7 million annually in foreign aid (in addition to the money it gets to supposedly fight al-Qaida).
An even better example of the disconnect between American assistance and changed Muslim attitudes toward the U.S. is the Palestinian Authority. As former Israeli diplomat Yoram Ettinger writes for ynetnews.com, just since 2007, "U.S. foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority and to PA-controlled (nongovernmental organizations) reached nearly $2 billion, in addition to $3.7 billion contributed by the U.S. to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East since 1950."
Has this aid produced jobs and, thus, a moderation in rhetoric and the objectives of the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas? Has it led to both sides in the Middle East conflict mounting a "sustained effort to respect one another and seek common ground," as President Obama called for in his Cairo speech last year?
As Ettinger writes in his column, quite the opposite has occurred. "On April 20, 2010 Abbas named a Ramallah street in honor of Abu Jihad, the architect of PLO terrorism during 1965-1988." Honor? For masterminding terrorism targeting Israeli civilians?
On March 11, PA media, which Abbas controls, praised Dalal Mughrabi, who commanded the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre, which resulted in the deaths of 38 civilians, including 13 children. The PA also named a girl's school in Hebron, a computer center, a summer camp and a sport tournament after Mughrabi.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Cal Thomas' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.