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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Reactions To Obama's Cairo Speech

Top of the Ticket has the whole speech, long winded as one would expect and the reactions to Obama's Cairo Speech are varied on the left and the right.

For example, conservative writer, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, thought the speech was surprisingly good, while owner of Hot Air, Michelle Malkin disagrees as does Yid with Lid.

Liberal writer Peter Daou blogs at Huffington Post and discusses the "emptiness of Obama's Cairo speech."

Daou speaks to a portion of Obama's speech about women:

Is that a joke?

With women being stoned, raped, abused, battered, mutilated, and slaughtered on a daily basis across the globe, violence that is so often perpetrated in the name of religion, the most our president can speak about is protecting their right to wear the hijab? I would have been much more heartened if the preponderance of the speech had been about how in the 21st century, we CANNOT tolerate the pervasive abuse of our mothers and sisters and daughters.

I saw the word naive used regarding Obama's words, by Huffington Post writer and by Malkin and it is a good thing that Americans in general are not quite as naive.

The latest Gallup poll shows that the majority of Americans are skeptical about Middle East peace being attained.

With President Barack Obama seeking to engage the Arab world with his speech in Cairo, Americans' confidence that there will ever be peace in the Middle East is at near-record lows. Only 32% of U.S. adults surveyed by USA Today and Gallup in late May believe "there will come a time when Israel and the Arab nations will be able to settle their differences and live in peace"; 66% disagree.

In the meantime, Daou points to another writer for the same progressive liberal site, one who was able to witness what Obama referred to as a "force for stability," speaking about 81-year-old Egyptian President Mubarak.

Right before he took off from DC, on what the media has been depicting as some "odyssey," to address the Muslim World from Cairo, President Obama had described the 81-year-old Egyptian President Mubarak as a "force for stability." This week Cairo and its twin city Giza have been a showcase of what this "stability" cost.

The capital is under occupation. Security troops are deployed in the main public squares and metro stations. Citizens were detained en masse and shops were told to close down in Bein el-Sarayat area, neighboring Cairo University, where Obama will be speaking. In Al-Azhar University, the co-host of the "historical speech," State Security police raided and detained at least 200 foreign students, held them without charges in unknown locations. Exams were postponed in the major universities fearing demonstrations, and students were told to stay at home. And in several areas in Cairo and Giza, there will be in effect a curfew, where shops won't be allowed to open, citizens instructed not to open their windows. Almost everyone I know will be staying home tomorrow watching Obama's speech, not necessarily because they are keen on knowing what the freshly-elected US leader has to say to the Muslim world, but because they know it will be virtually impossible to move anywhere in the city on Thursday thanks to Obama's force-for-stability host.

I am guessing Obama's desire to speak directly to the Muslims via Egypt, isn't setting very well with some as the next paragraph shows:

"Republicans screw the Arabs. Democrats screw the Arabs, but with a smile," is a popular saying among the dissidents' circles in Egypt. President Obama's choice of our country as his next destination from where to address the Muslim World only validates the saying. Even before his "historical speech" is delivered, Obama's "mini-historical speeches" have been nothing but one slap after the other on the faces of human rights campaigners in the region. After conversing with the Saudi monarch, "yes we can" changed to "I'm struck by his majesty's wisdom." Will the next step be praising the public beheadings in the kingdom as an example of ideal justice?

Huffington Post is not the only liberal site that is unhappy with Obama's speech either, as evidenced by liberal Taylor Marsh. Her piece is titled "For Obama in Locked Down Cairo, Honor Killings Don’t Exist."

It was on ’s rights that Pres. Obama sought to truly, as Mr. Shrum said, show cultural sensitivity, completely and totally ignoring the horrific issues face in Muslim and Arab countries across the world. That is the threat of death if they do not kowtow to the men who make the rules and enforce them through beatings, rapes, honor killings and all manner of abuse, mostly in the name of religion. It is a cause I have fought for since the 1990s, when Mavis Leno took up the charge of Afghan under the Taliban. But today, Pres. Obama chose instead to respect the cultural differences that are not only dangerous for , but deny them basic . When it comes to violent extremism towards the populace, talking about an older woman getting blown up was okay, but acknowledging the wholesale violence against and girls, Obama offered an American shrug in reaction to what in Arab and Muslim countries have to endure. Mentioning that was just too much. Instead, Pres. Obama focused on, unbelievably, hair and traditional coverings of Muslim . As for a 13 year-old-girl stoned to death, that was just too much.

Marsh wasn't finished there, not by a long shot:

It’s the new Democratic Party diplomacy, as we not try to stray too far into another country’s business, because we “do not presume to know what is right for everyone.” On diplomacy, it is not our business to tell countries how they should operate. But it should always be our duty to stand up for the oppressed, the beaten, the raped, those killed in 19th century murder called “honor killings” and say this is not only wrong, but immoral and against the cause of . That doesn’t mean we can stop the behavior of nations, or hold our diplomacy hostage to their barbarous ways, but they sure need to know we’re watching, see what’s happening and condemn what they do. We should never stand silently as Pres. Obama did today.

So, how did Obama's speech go over in other Muslim countries?

Not real well, obviously his "beautiful" speeches and "slogans", do not impress Iran.

Those reactions above were from liberals, surprisingly, many conservatives were far less harsh, although some recognize his empty rhetoric for what it was.

Commentary Magazine offers some snark:

On religious freedom, he certainly pulls his punches. One must simply laugh at a line like “Among some Muslims, there is a disturbing tendency to measure one’s own faith by the rejection of another’s.” Yeah, totally.

And on his last topic, women’s rights, he softly cajoles but makes no mention of the abject abuse of women in the Muslim world. Only if they come up with some liberal welfare programs “will [the U.S.] partner with any Muslim-majority country to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment through micro-financing that helps people live their dreams.” Might it be better if they stopped stoning women for adultery?

Will this speech accomplish anything? The American elites will swoon. But it won’t do much of anything — other than encourage Iran. The president operates from a false premise and paints a distorted picture of the region. It’s all everyone’s fault, and no one’s fault. And it’s about forgetting how we got to where we are. The Palestinians don’t lack a state because of Jewish settlements. They lack a state because they rejected one — again and again. So long as Obama is being anything but “honest” I suspect we won’t see much progress, let alone peace.

Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs has a long piece, well worth the read, photos and examples of what is wrong with Obama's Cairo speech.

And it only got worse. It was terrible. My heart is heavy for my country and the free world.

The media can spin their subjugation and adulation a million different ways, but America did not vote for a "Muslim presidency," which is what this is. Obama deceitfully hid his Muslim background and schooling and his agenda. Little did America know that Obama's objective would be a conversion of this nation to "the largest Muslim country in the world". From the moment he spoke as President, in the inaugural address, Islam was falsely given a preeminent place in the creation of America. In this speech, he quoted from the Koran three times. Why doesn't anybody comment on this? Why doesn't anyone ever comment on what he projected vs. what he is? Why won't all those talking heads state the obvious?

The Asia Times said Obama made a mistake by speaking in Cairo. “Why should the president of the United States address the ‘Muslim world?,” it asked. “What would happen if the leader of a big country addressed the ‘Christian world’? Half the world would giggle and the other half would sulk."

Go read her whole piece... heartbreaking.

Obama keeps insisting that America is not at war with Muslims or Islam, yet a day before Obama's speech, Bin Laden made it very clear:

"We either live under the light of Islam or we die with dignity ... brace yourselves for a long war against the world's infidels and their agents," bin Laden said in the recording posted on an Islamist website on Thursday.

No pretty words or apologetic speeches is going to change the fact that Bin Laden and his followers, as well as other Islamic Jihadists will continue to fight against America attacking whenever and where ever they can.

Roger Simon, via The Politico, describes the reactions from the crowd listening to Obama:

When Obama quoted the Koran — “As the Holy Koran tells us, ‘Be conscious of God and speak always the truth’ ” — or praised Islam — “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality” — he got applause.

But other lines, such as when Obama vowed to protect the American people from violent attack, were met with stony silence.

“In Ankara, I made clear that America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam,” Obama said. “We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security. (Silence from the crowd.) Because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children. (More silence.) And it is my first duty as president to protect the American people.” More silence.

And when the president talked about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America, he was met with only stares from the audience. “But let us be clear,” the president said, “Al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on that day. The victims were innocent men, women and children from America and many other nations who had done nothing to harm anybody. And yet Al Qaeda chose to ruthlessly murder these people, claimed credit for the attack, and even now states their determination to kill on a massive scale. They have affiliates in many countries and are trying to expand their reach. These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with.”

Here is the problem in a nutshell.

He quotes from Kuran which only serves to encourage jihadist extremists who believe the world should live under Islamic Sharia law which makes his assertions afterward seem empty and truly naive.

What else did Obama accomplish in his speech, other than kissing up to Muslim extremists that torture, beat and kill their women while promising to defend America against those very same extremists?


He has managed to take over the spot of Jimmy Carter as the most anti-Semitic Jew hating American president in history.

Now that is an accomplishment, let me tell you.

Haaretz, titled 'We're launching a campaign against anti-Semitic Obama' :

Some 130 protesters gathered in front of the American Consulate in Jerusalem Wednesday afternoon to rally against U.S. President Barack Obama, who had just launched his Middle East tour, during which he is expected to reach out in friendship to the Muslim world.

As more than a dozen local and international journalists looked on, the protesters chanted "No, You Can't" and waved posters saying "20 new 'settlements' by 2010 - Yes We Can!"

Far right activist Itamar Ben-Gvir, who attended the protest, told Channel 10 that "it appears that we've arrived at a red line, which has already been crossed by the most anti-Semitic American president."

So, let us recap.

Obama annoyed the crowd he spoke to by speaking about 9/11, he encouraged jihadist extremists by quoting from the Kuran, he managed to get Bin Laden to reaffirm his war against America, he strengthened Iran's nuclear position, he pissed off members of the liberal progressive faction of the Democratic party by whitewashing the torture and abuse against women in the very country he spoke in, and last but not least he managed to annoy the one truly Democratic country in the Middle East by painting himself as an anti-Semitic.

The final word here goes to Yid with Lid:

President Obama's speech in Cairo was historic. No other President has gone to a foreign nation to so publicly throw a strong ally under the bus. Once again the President, pandered to the Muslim world by dissing Israel in a major way, he downplayed the role of terrorism, made Hamas look like a rowdy Boys Glee Club, called for the internationalization of Jerusalem, and used the Palestinian party line to describe the Israeli presence not only in the West Bank and Gaza but its VERY existence at all:

[Update]Hugh Hewitt's words here, shows perfectly the failure and success of Obama's speech, the failure of honesty and the success of betrayal of our allies.

"On the other hand?" Set aside the president's inexplicable failure to cite the U.N.'s vote to bring Israel into existence as a modern state which should have then led to a blunt, discussion-ending statement that Israel exists as an independent Jewish state and will always exist as an independent Jewish state, and consider that the president invites comparison between the Holocaust and that which has happened in the Middle East through successive wars waged against Israel by its neighbors since 1948. This last paragraph is a profound betrayal of Israel suggesting as it does that Israel has done to the Palestinians what the Nazis did to Jews, which will no doubt shock many Americans and of course many Israelis while becoming a standard text for the most radical among the Palestinians. It was clearly carefully crafted to indulge Palestinian and Arab narratives about what has happened in the past 61 years while maintaining plausible deniability for the president's supporters who are also supporters of Israel, but it fails to fool anyone for even a moment. Israelis should finally grasp if they haven't already that the ground of the American-Israel alliance is quaking beneath them.

The world is the worse for this speech because it was not honest about the situation in the Middle East, not honest about the threat from Iran, not honest about Israel's deep desire to be allowed to live in peace, and not honest about the determination of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran to destroy Israel and to gain the weapons necessary to do so in an instant.

No speech so deeply dishonest in its omissions or so rhetorically misleading its its assumptions and arguments can do anything other than communicate extraordinary weakness on the part of the United States. It will indeed be a famous speech, for all the wrong reasons.

Good job Obama. (golf clap)