In a much-awaited speech in Cairo just now directed largely at the Muslim world, Obama has vowed to:

  • shut down Guantanamo Bay by next year,
  • prohibit the use of torture by the United States (what about rendition or outsourcing of torture?) and
  • remove US troops from Iraq by 2012 (what about the large permanent or “enduring” US bases it has built?).
  • seek a world in which no nation holds nuclear weapons.

He has also pledged to work for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate. He has called for the Palestinians to “abandon violence” – without issuing a similar call to the Israelis. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements, he adds – but what about existing settlements?

He said:

I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

The full text of Obama’s speech can be found here.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. I think it’s a very significant speech. Immediately after delivering it, he has to fly to Buchenwald to make sure the Jews don’t freak out.

    Obama is not superman. I applaud him for daring to push the envelope. He knows if he goes too far, the daggers will be out for him.

  2. The End of America’s Strategic Alliance with Israel? [Caroline Glick]

    Both rhetorically and programmatically, Obama’s speech was a renunciation of America’s strategic alliance with Israel.

    Rhetorically, Obama’s sugar coated the pathologies of the Islamic world — from the tyranny that characterizes its regimes, to the misogyny, xenophobia, Jew hatred, and general intolerance that characterizes its societies. In so doing he made clear that his idea of pressing the restart button with the Islamic world involves erasing the moral distinctions between the Islamic world and the free world.

    In contrast, Obama’s perverse characterization of Israel — of the sources of its legitimacy and of its behavior — made clear that he shares the Arab world’s view that there is something basically illegitimate about the Jewish state.

    In addition to his morally outrageous characterization of Israel and factually inaccurate account of its foundations, Obama struck out at the Jewish state through the two policies he outlined in his address. His first policy involves coercing Israel into barring all Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria (otherwise known as the West Bank), and Jerusalem.

    Even more strategically devastating than his castigation of Israel as the villain in the Arab-Israel conflict is Obama’s stated policy towards Iran. In Cairo, Obama offered Iran nuclear energy in exchange for its nuclear-weapons program. This offer has been on the table since 2003 and has been repeatedly rejected by the Iranians. Indeed, they rejected it yet again last week.

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YjdiMjk5ODk2OGYwYmRjNmRhYmNlZjFjNDljNTdkYTE=

  3. Mr. Obama should realize that reconciliation with what is in reality, diverse Muslim communities, does not mean compromising on universal human rights values and laws. Mr. Obama was criticized by Human Rights Watch – see http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/jun/04/barack-obama-human-rights

    What Obama didn’t say
    With only bland references to human rights, Obama’s speech did little to make the region’s autocrats feel uncomfortable

    Heba Morayef
    o guardian.co.uk, Thursday 4 June 2009 20.30 BST
    o Article history

    Where human rights is definitely lacking (in respect towards, and practises), in not just by the Egyptian regime’s rule but in almost all Islamic-ruled countries, including supposedly moderately-Islamic ruled Malaysia and Indonesia. As Ms. Clinton did a great job criticizing the Chinese regime over Tiannamen Square massacre, Obama should have done the same with dictatorial and fascist Islamic-ruled nation-states. Is he discussing stuffs equally with Ms. Clinton? I hope so! Further, in the long term, due to such destructive sacrificing of human rights, will actually cause Islamist ideological power grip to increase, where the goal of a dangerously homogenous and Arab-centric “Muslim Ummah” i.e “islamic Caliphate” is their ultimate goal, globally, including for what used to be liberal, modern and diverse South-East Asia’ s ordinary Muslim communities. Besides, targeting the oil of course (increasing new oil fields in Borneo)!

  4. Obama gained 73% approval rating from the people United States during his 100 days tenure from the Dems and Reps(Pew Survey). That speaks for itself….

  5. let the American be ‘Taiko’ to the world, we malaysian have much worries coming to our way in our country.
    R u aware, our personal income tax just increased????? my monthly taxable income has increased from RM600+ to Rm900+, an increase of RM300 per month thats 50% up!!!!!!!! ouch….., i guess more money needed for billion stimulus economic package, PKFZ blackhole, failed Trengganu roof, BN members china visits, look like we are heading to south for sure. Najib 1malaysia dream soon be achieved, thats 1 malaysian for himself alone. Red Alert our domestic petrol price (could) be increased very soon becos petronas peggi bank (may be) emptied,

  6. Egypt’s policy for the Strip was succinctly spelled out by the deputy governor, Muhammad Flafaga, in an interview appearing in the Danish newspaper Aktuelt on February 9, 1967:

    Question: Why not send the refugees to other Arab countries? Syria would no doubt be able to absorb a vast number of them. Are you afraid that national bonds with Palestine will be loosened, that the hatred against Israel will vanish if they become ordinary citizens?

    Answer: As a matter of fact, you are right. Syria could take all of them, and the problem would be solved. But we do not want that. They are to return to Palestine.

    UNRWA reported in 1956: “One of the obstacles to the achievement of the General Assembly’s goal of making the refugees self-supporting continues to be the opposition of the governments in the area.”

    Ralph Galloway, an UNRWA official who quit in frustration, observed bitterly: “The Arab states don’t want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don’t give a damn whether the refugees live or die.”

  7. hmmm history repeating itself from 30 pieces of silver to 1 gold chain, that`s what inflation can do

  8. Could be, Koo. Remember the Oscars when both best actor and actress went to African Americans not long after the attacks on the twin towers?

    Another conspiracy? No, of course not, not when the ball is in their court.

  9. “I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition.”

    Somehow, I find this statement flawed.

    How can the US seek a new beginning with Muslims ? “Muslims” are not a sovereign state, they are a group of diverse people who follow a religion or religious code. So how is it that a sovereign state (US) can appease this vast diversity of peoples in different sovereign states all over the world ?

    On another note, an observer commented that he wasn’t sure if Obama’s message was well received by the Muslim world but at least in the Cairo Uni hall where the speech was delivered, at least half the people there looked like him and they liked it. Oh well, at least Obama has got good marketing stock compared to Bush.

  10. Thank you Anilnetto, otherwise I could have missed this speech
    You’ve done a greate job–another Obama kind

  11. He’s just a smooth-talking puppet put up by the real power behind the curtain. Please don’t be fooled by his smooth talk & suave persona-it’s all style, no substance.

    He’s been gradually turning away from his promises before he was elected, so don’t be deceived by all the lies & veiled attempts to fool the public. Guantanamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, taxes, etc., all lame attempts helped by the MSM into convicing the world that change is imminent.

    Don’t take my word for it though, find out from alternative sources.

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