Middle East Reactions To Obama’s Cairo Speech

Pepe Escobar’s commentary on the speech:

Real News Network – June 5, 2009

Peace be upon Barack

Pepe Escobar: Commentary on Obama’s speech to the Muslim World

Israeli and Palestinian commentators, analysts, and politicians respond

Real News Network – June 5, 2009

Middle East reacts to Obama

Israeli and Palestinian commentators, analysts, and politicians respond
to Obama’s Cairo speech


33 comments

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    • Edger on June 6, 2009 at 5:33 pm
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    that I’ll save for later.

    What’s your reactions?

    • kj on June 6, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    “live blogging of reading the speech”  (ie, typos galore!)

    acknowledgment of location: at the intersection between tradition and learning (nod to the days of advanced thinking, mathematics, etc.)

    acknowledgment of hospitality:  ancient, much honored practice of Islam

    immediate placement of current situation brought on by centuries of interaction (ie, subtext and history! no denial or ignoring its existence!  lol)

    acknowledgement of discrimination (ie, tide of history and displacement (not physical displacement, but displacement none-the-less)

    acknowledgment of exploitation…  (see above, these are issues he has ‘authority’ to talk about given his background and upbringing) (he is aligned, in other words)

    so far, so good, in fact, excellent pared-down to-the-point intro.  let’s see where he goes with details.

    cooperation and non-exclusivity… again, good.  acknowledgment that we are at the very beginning of a time of open communication.  just the beginning, no where near the middle or end.  personally, i like that emphasis very much because I think we only get to where we might go with one another by traveling the distance.  noting we’re only at the barest beginning is realistic, to say the least.

    “common ground”     “common sense, common ground” (or vice versa, can’t remember , was a tag line in the 2004 campaign.  it went on to become a website started by old cohorts of mine, not sure if it’s still around.)  anyway, partial to the theme.  (actually, the site still exists.  http://www.commongroundcommons…  I never did join!)

    okay, back to the topic.

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

    Out-of-the park, as they say.

    again, out of the park:  “As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and at the fall of dusk.”  all the more powerful because it is a true statement.  so, he’s doing the connection thing better than any

    one anywhere could have possibly done.   fascinating.

    back to the heyday of islam’s contributions to the world community of learning, common humanity (almost expect to mention how it is the fastest growing religion today)

    ohhh, don’t like the use of the pronoun “they.”   he could have easily gotten around that by starting out, “Muslims have fought in our wars, served in our government, stood for civil rights,…”  etc.  bad form, Obama!    ouch!

    back to himself.. “I have known Islam on three continents”  okay, that’s overkill, Obama.  we get it.  you’re worldy.

    getting bored now.   America is great, yada yada.  yeah, maybe our ideals are, but our practice of our ideals?  come on.   the less said, the better!

    oh shit, there are six more pages to read?!!!

    • kj on June 6, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    sigh. okay.  “we are all one”   but!  like the use of ‘new world order’ haha, nice dismiss of bushinc.

    bla bla “tensions” yeah, understatement.  let’s blame the extremists (actually, as long as that includes Christian extremists, I’m on board with blaming extremists.  let’s blame ‘them’ yeah!)

    finally… Afghanistan.    

    hey Edger, we seek military bases in Pakistan, correct?  I am w00fully out-of-touch.   and I don’t like his reasoning for not only staying in Afghanistan, but including Pakistan, in a big public speech like this, at all.  fuck obama!  🙂

    are we funding NGO’s?   huh?   getting pissed.   don’t quote Jefferson in this context!

    on to page 3…

    • kj on June 6, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    define “combat brigades” please.   otherwise, only slightly mollified that there is a timeline.  actually, don’t care for the timeline at all.  unless of course, there is some major change in how we actually ‘occupy’ Iraq.  (long previous discussion, nevermind)

    Too weak on the “in some cases, it (9/11 fear and anger) let us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals.”   way, way too weak.   blown chance.

    at least he mentions torture, if only, as others have said, by stating it is now prohibited.   I don’t call that acknowledgment, but then I’m a hard ass when it comes to stuff like that.

    Now to Israel and Palestine (which doesn’t exist, of course)

    • kj on June 6, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Now to Israel and Palestine (which doesn’t exist, of course)

    paraphrase:  “We will always take Israel’s side.”  “because Israel is God’s oldest son and we (ie, Christianity, America, the West) are the youngest son and everyone knows three siblings fight and so we’re going to gang up on the middle son.  because he’s like, the middle son.  and really, really REALLY religious so it’s sort of easy to pigeonhole him.  plus the Holocaust was evil incarnate, to say the least. ”   “but hey, we’re trying to be sensitive.  the middle son should at least get his own room and not have to bunk with the oldest, who has big guns and uses them.”   “we all need to grow the hell up!”  I mean, look at Martin Luther King!  he used non-violence!  (well, imo, he was helped by Malcom, but then, that subject has been covered recently.)  

    oh, I like the “Violence is a dead end.”   now he’s getting back to definitive statements.  “It’s a sign of neither of courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children or to blow up old women on a bus.  That’s not how moral authority is claimed, that’s how it is surrendered.”

    (someone please read these words allowed to Obama re: his Pakistan/Afghanistan decisions.

    I’m tired.  on to nukes.  will probably skip that part.

    • kj on June 6, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    he was too, i don’t know, unspecific talking about I/P.  he could have gone into detail.  the outlines are already well-known.  as Pepe says, the 1967 border?  not discussed.

    • kj on June 6, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    kudos for admitting the US overthrow role in Iran.  

    agree with Pepe re: the “No single nations should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons.”   so who chooses, Barak?   “see a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons”  why don’t I believe that?  who believes it?  so why say it?  because it “sounds good”   ???   I hate that sort of ‘sounds good but means nothing’ language.

    “… controversy about the ‘promotion’ of democracy in recent years.”   PROMOTION?  THAT’S WHAT WE’RE CALLING WAR THESE DAYS?!!!

    I’m losing it now.  do I have to finish reading?????

    • kj on June 6, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    not having a good reaction to any American talking about democracy.  interesting reaction, eh?   (we tossed that pooch out into the water on a broken surfboard and it done sank to the bottom of the ocean.  too negative?)

    maybe he’ll save details for the religious freedom part of the speech.  (sigh.  really started well, though!)

    • kj on June 6, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    kudos for mentioning Andalusia.

    Andalusia is one of my favorite real but mystical in my mind due to my great love for Federico Garcia Lorca’s work Son of Andalusia: The lyrical landscapes of FGL(a book i have yet to read)

    okay, some mention of women.  I’m going to stop with the mention of Andalusia and go read some Lorca.    

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