Obama in Cairo

Discussion in 'Politics' started by D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Obama was in Saudi Arabia yesterday (in Riyadh, "the place where Islam began"). Today he is in Egypt.

    World leaders usually head to Sinai beach resorts where diplomatic gatherings are often held. Obama gave his speech in downtown Cairo, in the Great Hall of Cairo University before a crowd of 3,000.

    He told the audience "Assalamu-alaikum" (which is a phrase used by muslims, Arab christians and jews: "Peace be upon you").


    He told the audience: "I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on 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.

    I do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight. I know there's been a lot of publicity about this speech, but no single speech can eradicate years of mistrust nor can I answer in the time that I have this afternoon all the complex questions that brought us to this point."

    --------------------

    By the way, I was listening to Fox News this morning. The anchor was talking to conservative "middle-eastern experts" on Obama's Cairo speech and the anchor snickeringly asked: "Can he accomplish world peace with a speech?" -- I got the feeling the Fox anchor had not even bothered to listen to the speech, yet he was criticizing it.

    --------------------

    Obama continued: "But I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly to each other the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors. There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other, to learn from each other, to respect one another, and to seek common ground.

    As the Holy Quran tells us, Be conscious of God and speak always the truth."


    (Something tells me that conservatives such as Rush, Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan will not appreciate Obama for sprinkiling this speech with goodwill references to the Quran.)

    At the very least, I hope some posters here will watch the first section of this speech:

    YouTube - Obama Cairo Speech [Full Speech PT1] June 04 2009

    "It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra, our magnetic compass and tools of navigation, our mastery of pens and printing, our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires, timeless poetry and cherished music, elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality."

    This speech is merely a beginning, "a new beginning". Opening up an honest dialogue with muslims - with Obama's personal connection, the Kenyan father, the boyhood in Indonesia, the appeal for seeking a "common ground", a theme that's run through nearly all of Obama's speeches.

    Obama: "They {muslims} have fought in our wars. They have served in our government. They have stood for civil rights. They have started businesses. They have taught at our universities. They've excelled in our sports arenas. They've won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building and lit the Olympic torch. And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same holy Quran that one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, kept in his personal library."

    --------------------

    This speech is obviously more symbolism than action. And the Egyptian people seemed honestly taken with Obama's call for a more open dialogue, a new beginning. Here's a paragraph I saw in a Washington Post article:

    "In Cairo, however, the details of Obama's speech were almost less important than the official build-up and symbolism around it. After years in which the United States was linked here almost exclusively to violence in Muslim countries and support for Israel, suddenly the state broadcasting service was beaming uplifting scenes of the American and Egyptian flags flying side by side, and Obama's smiling face superimposed over graphics of the Pyramids and local landmarks. A small icon -- the Egyptian and American flags woven together in a yin and yang -- was kept on the screen throughout the morning.

    "Egyptian people are very quick to forgive," said Mosad Ashour, a producer at a local television studio. "People insult us and even the next day, it is over."
     
  2. Industrialsize

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

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    It was a Masterpiece.........
     
  3. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Here's Obama addressing women's equality:



    The sixth issue -- the sixth issue that I want to address is women's rights.
    (APPLAUSE)

    I know...
    (APPLAUSE)

    I know, and you can tell from this audience, that there is a healthy debate about this issue. I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal. But I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality.
    (APPLAUSE)

    And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well-educated are far more likely to be prosperous.

    Now let me be clear, issues of women's equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, we've seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead.
    Meanwhile, the struggle for women's equality continues in many aspects of American life and in countries around the world. I am convinced that our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons.

    ----------------------

    This whole speech is magnificent.

    Obama: "Many more are simply skeptical that real change can occur. There is so much fear, so much mistrust that has built up over the years. But if we choose to be bound by the past, we will never move forward. And I want to particularly say this to young people of every faith in every country. You more than anyone have the ability to reimagine the world, the remake this world.


    All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart or whether we commit ourselves to an effort, a sustained effort to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children and to respect the dignity of all human beings.
    It's easier to start wars than to end them. It's easier to blame others than to look inward. It's easier to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path. There is one rule that lies at the heart of every religion, that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us."
     
    #3 D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, Jun 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  4. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    He told the audience "Assalamu-alaikum" (which is a phrase used by muslims, Arab christians and jews: "I prostrate myself before you to abjectly apologize for all the miserable failings of the United States of America and to declare myself guilty of all the well-deserved criticism I will receive from faceking, starinvestor, Nick4444 and Trannity during the next 8 years for the destruction of that once fine country").
     
    #4 B_Nick8, Jun 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  5. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    "I prostrate myself before you to abjectly apologize for all the miserable failings of the United States and to declare myself guilty of all the well-deserved criticism I will receive from faceking, starinvestor, Nick4444 and Trannity during the next 8 years for the destruction of that once fine country").

    --------------------

    Starinvestor responds: "We need more tax cuts, dammit. Tax cuts! And the ability to beat down alleged sex offenders with a stick! Oh, and these damned hoodlum kids TP-ing my house need to respect their elders!"


    Trinity: "Hold on, hold on! I'm still scouring the Fox News website to link a rebuttal to all this freaking Obama Worship!"
     
    #5 D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, Jun 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  6. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    I don't think he's completely destroying the country, he is causing lots of long-term problems and he is losing track of all of his lies and they are catching up to him.
     
  7. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    "Oh. I almost forgot. Also for being a deceiver, cheat, swindler, liar, fraudster, and a con artist. Yeah, I think that's all. Thank you, good night, and barack salam."
     
  8. faceking

    faceking Active Member

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    Petty.
     
  9. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    Funny.
     
  10. faceking

    faceking Active Member

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    He's right... but for many "young people of particular faiths" their version of remaking the world isn't so friendly. The whole speech was a nice olive branch to that part of the world... the problem is the nutjobs sees this as useless, offensive, and a sign of weakness.

    Curious how may Jihads vs the West will be dropped over the next week...

    Great effort by the Pres... but "masterpiece" and "magnificient"... you guys are really acting like Obamabots.
     
  11. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Politico.com records some varying reactions from people on all sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict":

    Jeffrey Goldberg writes under the heading "An Absolutely Extraordinary Moment":
    An African-American President with Muslim roots stands before the Muslim world and defends the right of Jews to a nation of their own in their ancestral homeland, and then denounces in vociferous terms the evil of Holocaust denial, and right-wing Israelis go forth and complain that the President is unsympathetic to the housing needs of settlers. Incredible, just incredible.

    M.J. Rosenberg writes:
    Mission accomplished. For the first time in memory, an American President spoke to Muslims and Arabs not as antagonists who need to take certain actions before achieving US acceptance but as equals.
    And the IPF rounds up generally positive reaction from Arab leaders and left-leaning Israelis, including this zinger from a Kadima parliamentarian:
    Obama's speech is further proof that Netanyahu did not properly gauge the policies of the Untied States. The policies of the president on the Palestinian issue are identical to those of Kadima, and it is unfortunate that Netanyahu is unable to accept the idea of two states for two peoples for narrow political reasons.
     
  12. faceking

    faceking Active Member

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    The Faux News for the internet left. Of course there is going to be positive and negative reaction.
     
    #12 faceking, Jun 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  13. Flashy

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    Doesn't really matter, because all of that will collapse around this one line he uttered:

    U.S. "does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements,"

    Operative word is continued. The fact is, that when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, one side, the arab side, is not willing to make *ANY* concessions. *Continued* suggests that those settlements already in place, which are a fact of life and contain over 400,000 Israelis, are not going anywhere. The question is *continuing* settlements.

    No Peace deal will be reached that does 1 of these two things.

    1. Attempts to remove the largest Israeli settlement blocks. The Saudi "PLAN" consists of recognizing Israel only *AFTER* it retreats to the 1949 armistice line. Which will never happen. the 1949 borders were indefensible, and that is the whole reason for the location of the settlements in the first place...*DEFENSE* of the borders and strategic depth. Complete Non-Starter

    2. Attempts to resettle 4 million Palestinian "refugees" inside of the state of Israel. The "Right of return" can never and will never be allowed to happen. Another non-starter


    and this one fact: The US will not end Iran's nuclear weapons program militarily, and the iranians will not voluntarily stop it no matter what. As such, the ISraeli's will have no choice but to strike.



    He is a great speaker...long on symbolism, lifting rhetoric and charisma, short on actual solutions and substance. Not his fault, just a fact of reality.

    Compromise is not within the nature of the folks he is dealing with.

    -The Iranians will not give up on their weapons program.
    -The Arabs will not give up on the Right of Return for the "refugees" or demanding the removal of all settlements while offering nothing but recognition that an existing state actually exists, when they simply will still believe in its lack of legitimacy
    -The Saudis and other Muslim nations are not going to magically recognize the equal rights of women and tolerance of homosexuals and non-muslims.


    since none of these things will be compromised on by the arabs and iranians, there will be little movement, and we will be blamed, once again, for the failings in the larger muslim world.
     
  14. Flashy

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    oh, that's a zinger is it? Kadima is not "left leaning". Ariel Sharon was the leader of Kadima.

    the policies of president Obama are not identical to Kadima...because if they are, Obama, will certainly fail because-

    1. Kadima does not support the removal of the main settlement blocks. Never has, never will. So, as i said, Obama has said *CONTINUED* settlement...which means, he accepts the settlements already there and the US policy that there are new realities on the ground, and the main blocks, will remain.

    See how the Arabs feel when Obama tells them that.

    2. Kadima does not support the Right of Return...convenient that Obama did *NOT* mention that. Because once he tells them Palestinians, that he supports the Israelis keeping the majority of the settlements, which is a given, and once he tells them that all Palestinians must be relocated to the new *PALESTINIAN* state, and not inside pre-1967 Israel, they will go nuts.

    Then, Obama will be confronted with the full implacable stubborness of the Palestinians and Arabs. He will then, for the first time in his career, yet once again for seasoned observers, learn the full import of the time honored and proven phrase that "The Palestinians never miss An opportunity to miss an opportunity"

    when Ehud Barak offered them virtually everything for a state, except the right of return, and just under 5% of retained land by the israelis, under the aegis of the Clinton administration, it was turned down flat.

    Now, they have the most pro-palestinan president they could hope for, and even he cannot grant them the Right of Return, or the dismantling of the main settlement blocks, and they will immediately turn on anything that does not deliver it to them.

    All Netanyahu has to do, as usual, is play defense, and wait for the Palestinans to screw it up, refuse the best offer they will get, and wait for Hamas to then promptly start a conflict in the West Bank with Fatah, and bigno, back to square one.
     
  15. faceking

    faceking Active Member

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    Willtom, et al... please read this post. You can say as many nice things as you want, but it's US/Israeli actions/inactions that drive terrorism. If you think I'm lying, read Osama Bin Laden's statement on why 9/11 happened... this isn't right vs left, and blah blah.


     
  16. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    Seen from this perspective, face, all the world in general and the Middle East specifically would appear to be at permanent impasse. But that's not what diplomacy is about; it's about baby steps. One at a time.
     
  17. Zeuhl34

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    This is possibly the most I've ever agreed with you in a non-porn thread. I view it as a necessary olive branch to start mending relations, and it's a good first step but some stronger diplomatic relations, particularly in defense of Palestine, are needed to really start changing any minds.

    By the way, Love the avatar:grinning-smiley-003
     
  18. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Flashy writes (and faceking requotes): He is a great speaker...long on symbolism, lifting rhetoric and charisma, short on actual solutions and substance. Not his fault, just a fact of reality.

    --------------------

    Obama has been in office slightly over 4 months. I'd hardly expect "solutions and substance" within his first year regarding the middle east.

    Middle-eastern fear and distrust of the United States is widespread and strong. Laying down a "new foundation", a "new beginning" is the first step. We are now making that first step. We need to connect with these people honestly and forthrightly. We need to humble ourselves.

    Conservatives will not like this, but some repudiation of the Bush administration tactics will be needed. American steps towards an apology for invading Iraq (if not Afghanistan) -- and Obama did, in fact, do this:


    Obama: "Now, let me also address the issue of Iraq. Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was a war of choice that provoked strong differences in my country and around the world. Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible.

    Indeed, we can recall the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said, I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power and teach us that the less we use our power, the greater it will be. Today America has a dual responsibility to help Iraq forge a better future and to leave Iraq to Iraqis."

    "And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter or forget our principles. 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable. But in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals."

    --------------------

    Now, of course, a new american president saying that Iraq was a "war of choice" -- that our own fear "led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals" (by hastily invading a country that had no connection to 9/11) is not an interpretation of the past 6+ years that is going to be praised by Dick Cheney or that media-touring daughter of his (the non-gay one).

    But, it's important we own up to our own mistakes, our own shortcomings, before we set this new hopeful foundation for a future peace.

    It may not work. Muslim extremists don't always negotiate. I'm not a Pollyana. But it must be tried. This foundation is not for the extremists at any rate. It's for the rational, peace-seeking muslim majority.



    P.S. I read the text again, and, line-for-line, with few exceptions, it is by far the finest speech ever given by an american president, in person, in the Middle East.
     
    #18 D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, Jun 4, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  19. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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  20. Flashy

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