« Happy 75th Anniversary! | Main | Wants and Needs »

Obama to Make Foreign Policy Speech in Islamic Capital

I saw at Atlas Shrugs that Obama is going to make a foreign policy speech in an Islamic capital in his first 100 days. I wanted to write about it then, but with three young kids, bath time came first. Today I see Allahpundit at Hot Air addressed it as well.

It seems the question has come down to which city to make this address. The New York Times' Helene Cooper reports on the possibilities:

So where should he do it? The list of Islamic world capitals is long, and includes the obvious --Riyadh, Kuwait City, Islamabad -- and the not-so-obvious -- Male (the Maldives), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Tashkent (Uzbekistan). Some wise-guys have even suggested Dearborn, Mich., as a possibility.

Clearly it would be cheating for Mr. Obama to fly to Detroit, talk to Dearborn's 30,000 Arab residents and call it a day. And Male and Ouagadougou, while certainly majority Muslim, can't really be what Mr. Obama's aides have in mind when they talk about locales for a high-profile speech that would seek to mend rifts between the United States and the broader Muslim world.

So Burkina Faso and the Maldives are out. But that leaves a whole swath of Islamic capitals, all ready to be spruced up for Mr. Obama to make his speech. I've thought hard about this, and asked a few people -- diplomats even -- which capital Mr. Obama should pick.

The consensus, after an entire day of reporting, is Cairo.

This entire thing is an awful idea. To make a significant foreign policy speech in his first 100 days in an Islamic capital for only the symbolism does nothing useful for our country. It does not put him or us in a position of strength, but makes us look weak and in need of Islam's approval. Any sign of weakness will encourage radical jihadis to try harder to attack us.

If, however, he insists on doing this thing, then the only possible location is Baghdad, where our troops removed Saddam Hussein and defeated al Qaeda. Cooper argued that choosing Baghdad would be a problem for Obama because it would validate the Iraq war, which he opposed. I disagree. Going to Baghdad wouldn't validate the war since it's essentially over, but it would validate the Democratically elected government. With all the money and human life we spent to free the Iraqis from tyranny, to not go to Baghdad would be a terrible slap in the face to our country, our troops, and their efforts.


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/33332.

Comments (33)

As I was reading your piece... (Below threshold)

As I was reading your piece, Kim, i found myself saying "Baghdad" before you wrote it. And not just for the reasons you suggested, but also because it would be a superb way to honor the US troops there.

Cairo? Riyadh? Beirut? Damascus? Islamabad? Amman? Kabul? Forget it.

Although Mecca or Tehran have some appeal to them, now that I think about it...

J.

This entire thing ... (Below threshold)
Smiles:
This entire thing is an awful idea. To make a significant foreign policy speech in his first 100 days in an Islamic capital for only the symbolism does nothing useful for our country. It does not put him or us in a position of strength, but makes us look weak and in need of Islam's approval. Any sign of weakness will encourage radical jihadis to try harder to attack us.

You simply do not get it. The vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists. We need there co-operation to fight the terrorists. Do you have any idea how the British were able to thwart the an airline attack back in 2006? It was Muslims that alerted the authorities. Thank God we finally have a leader that is willing to reach out to the many Muslims who are not terrorists. I'm sure he is pissing the hell out of Al-Queda by reaching out to the Muslim people.

You could add Jakarta to th... (Below threshold)

You could add Jakarta to the list.

This kind of thinkin... (Below threshold)
dr lava:


This kind of thinking is dead. Do you have any idea how many Muslims live on the planet?

The only way you could possibly think this way is to live in a world that is so insulated, so ethnically isolated that you have no contact with any humans different from yourself.

It's a very big world. I am sorry you feel the need to exclude people you know nothing about. Is it ignorance or arrogance?

Actually, I think Baghdad w... (Below threshold)

Actually, I think Baghdad would be a bad idea, symbolically (as is the whole thing, IMHO). It wouldn't be that much different from going to Dearborn.

I'm sure the Secret Service is pushing for Baghdad!

I'm betting on Tehran for t... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'm betting on Tehran for the surrender....er....foreign policy speech. That way The Chosen One can kiss their asses at the same time.

Kim,The problem wi... (Below threshold)
Smiles:

Kim,

The problem with your thinking is that your stereotyping all Muslim nations. By doing this you give Muslims that are not at all supportive of Al-Queda a reason to hate us.

Here is something to think about. One of the biggest difficulties the U.S. has is getting intelligence information from within Muslim nations. The Obama affect is likely to garner support of Muslims in these countries. This will in turn lead to more sources of intelligence. Your mode of thinking results in more Muslims hating Americans.

You missed the obvious: Du... (Below threshold)

You missed the obvious: Dubai.

Yes, it's not a capital city, but then, there is no such thing as an "Office of the President-Elect" either, so such trivial details do not appear to daunt the Lightworker. Plus, the skiing is reportedly pretty good.

"...you give Muslims that a... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"...you give Muslims that are not at all supportive of Al-Queda a reason to hate us."

Yeah, I can recall ALL those Muslims to date making all kinds of negative comments about Al-Queda.

I can hardly wait until The Chosen One is sworn in. Peace will guide the planets and love will fill the skies.

Is Dearbornistan out of the... (Below threshold)

Is Dearbornistan out of the question?

smiles - "I'm sure he i... (Below threshold)
Marc:

smiles - "I'm sure he is pissing the hell out of Al-Queda by reaching out to the Muslim people."

Sure I'll believe that as soon as you admit Bush pissed off "Al-Queda" [sic] by sending a flotilla of ships and spent hundreds of millions on food and shelter aid for the victims of the tsunami off the largest most populace Muslim country in the world, Indonesia.

Without that admission you're chalked up as yet another BDS victim.

Yeah, I can recall... (Below threshold)
Smiles:
Yeah, I can recall ALL those Muslims to date making all kinds of negative comments about Al-Queda.

They do, its just that FOX news, Rush & right wing blogs choose not to report it.

Polls Show Majority of Jordanians See AlQueda as Terrorists


When asked if they saw AlQueda as a Terrorist organization...
- 87.1% said "Yes", 7.4% "No" and 4.6% "Don't Know"

When asked whether they condemn the actions of AlQueda...
- 86.5% "Yes", 9.6% "No" and 3% "Don't Know"

When asked whether they sympathsize with AlQueda...
- 91.9 "No", 5.3% "Yes" and 1.7% "Don't Know"

When asked whether Zarqawi's actions worked for the benefit of Arab and Islamic issues...
- 94.1% "No", 2.3% "Yes"

When asked whether the acts of AlQueda were in line with Islamic teachings...
- 86.4% "Definitly No", 7.4% "No to some extent", 1.5% "Defenitly Yes", 2.7% "Yes to some extent", 1.7% "Don't Know" and lastly 4% refused to answer

Sure I'll believe ... (Below threshold)
Smiles:
Sure I'll believe that as soon as you admit Bush pissed off "Al-Queda" [sic] by sending a flotilla of ships and spent hundreds of millions on food and shelter aid for the victims of the tsunami off the largest most populace Muslim country in the world, Indonesia.

Marc,

I have no problem admitting that Bush helping the tsunami victims pissed off Al-Queda.

smiles. You are the one w... (Below threshold)
Greg:

smiles. You are the one who just doesn't get it. You actually believe those numbers you posted. The silence from the Islamic community for years over extremism is amazing. I suppose you think if you had been in Mumbai that you could have reasoned with the jihadists. No. You would be dead.

KimDo you have run... (Below threshold)
James:

Kim

Do you have running water and electricity in your house? Do you have a WC or an outhouse?

It sounds to me that you live in Hicksville, next door to one horse town! You have no concept of the world, it's people, geography nor history.

Your ignorance is nothing short of terrifying and a shocking indictment to the education system that failed to educate you.

Is there no editor here to oversee the content that is posted on here? Honestly, it appears that any fool can post here willy nilly!

Wizbang? More like, crash bang wollop

smiles. You are th... (Below threshold)
Smiles:
smiles. You are the one who just doesn't get it. You actually believe those numbers you posted. The silence from the Islamic community for years over extremism is amazing. I suppose you think if you had been in Mumbai that you could have reasoned with the jihadists. No. You would be dead.

Greg,

Of course there are extremist who can not be reasoned with. The point is the vast majority of Muslims are not extrememist and can be reasoned with. Insinuating that all Muslims are terrorist or should be feared is not only wrong but detrimental to ending violence.

At my job I work with a team of programmer's that are Muslim and live in Pakistan. Every Muslim I have met have been kind hearted and descent family men. I challenge you to get to know some Muslims in your community, it could change your perspective.

How about Obama being the f... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

How about Obama being the first American president in many years to first go to Beirut?

Bush never went to that city? Bush has not been to Beirut (wonder why?) even though he said, yesterday :"I have had the privilege to see the Middle East up close."

Kim,There is no re... (Below threshold)
RA:

Kim,

There is no reason why a US president should not make a major foreign policy speech in an Islamic nation. The problem is not Islam, as you assert, but the specific highly organized groups of people who commit terrorist acts. Yes, many of them practice a form of Islam--or claim to--but this does not mean that all one billion Muslims should be lumped in with their actions.

I know it's popular around here to jump on the bandwagon and pretend that this issue is very black and white, and that it's simply "Islam" that is the problem. But it's not that simple, and going around spreading this kind on ill-informed rhetoric doesn't help your cause.

Hopefully you will at least consider this.

You see, there are lots of Muslims in the world, and they do not all act and think the same; each group has its own history and particular identity. Being "Muslim" in Morocco is not the same as being Muslim in Indonesia, or the US, or Jordan. There is no single "Islam," just as there is no single "Christianity" (there are many different ways that Christianity is practiced across the world).

In Iraq today there are many Muslims who the US is working with on a day to day basis. You don't want a US president talking to them? In Afghanistan it's the same. In Turkey as well. There are millions of Muslims across the world who should not be held accountable to the deeds of murderous terrorists who profess to practice the same religion.

There is no need, and certainly no benefit, in oversimplifying what is going on today. There are most definitely Islamist terrorist groups--that is a reality. At the same time, there are millions of Muslims who have nothing to do with the actions of groups like Al Qaeda, and we should avoid holding them accountable for things that others have done.

Thankfully the folks who th... (Below threshold)
JFO:

Thankfully the folks who think like Priestap et al are leaving us to be replaced with adult, intelligent, reasonable thoughtful people. Not people who thinks this way: "bring it on" or "dead or alive" and the other old TV western talk we got for the past 8 years.

Current rightwing thought process : "MMM..Muslims bad...US good."

Weep for him, miss him, pine for him wail and gnash your teeth for his retirement....but the grown ups are entering the WH soon.

If he must make the speech,... (Below threshold)
Ken Hahn:

If he must make the speech, I'd suggest Tirane. Or if he'd rather have a livelier time perhaps Mogadishu.

James - "Is there no ed... (Below threshold)
Marc:

James - "Is there no editor here to oversee the content that is posted on here? Honestly, it appears that any fool can post here willy nilly"?

Your presence here answers your own question.

crickmore - "Bush never... (Below threshold)
Marc:

crickmore - "Bush never went to that city? Bush has not been to Beirut (wonder why?) even though he said, yesterday :"I have had the privilege to see the Middle East up close."

And that means what?

That without Beirut being visited no other travel in the area is counted as valid?

That you haven't a clue whether Bush ever went to any country there?

Or you just toss up any crapola and hope it sticks.

smiles - "They do, its ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

smiles - "They do, its just that FOX news, Rush & right wing blogs choose not to report it."

That flatout happy horseshit.

Did you not see all the reporting by Fox you suggest on the protests in India the last few days?

That said, your laundry list of poll numbers misses the point.

No one of sane mind suggests Muslims as a group support any terror organization.

And your poll numbers only suggest that to be true, not to mention it's far easier to answer as they did when no name or face is attached to their opinion.

What is demonstrably true is Muslims have spent little time "in the streets" protesting terror attacks or Islamic extremism as a whole.

Sure, there have been isolated examples, but when compared to say, the hundreds of thousands that went to the streets over the Danish cartoon issue or when the [phony] Koran flushing at Gitmo controversy hit the news they're a drop in the bucket.

Let me know when a hundred or so thousand Muslims hit a city street somewhere in the world protesting a terror act and I'll give what you claim some credence.

'Til then you and your disingenuous "poll stats" will and should be ignored.

And finally a question.... (Below threshold)
Marc:

And finally a question.

It's well documented that one of Osama's main "beefs" with the U.S. was the presence of U.S. forces in Saudia Arabia and other Muslim lands.

Why would you believe he would alter his thinking if Obama gave this speech in a Muslim country as the "Head Infidel" that leads a country of "300 million Infidels"?

It's well document... (Below threshold)
Smiles:
It's well documented that one of Osama's main "beefs" with the U.S. was the presence of U.S. forces in Saudia Arabia and other Muslim lands.

Why would you believe he would alter his thinking if Obama gave this speech in a Muslim country as the "Head Infidel" that leads a country of "300 million Infidels"?

Marc,

Read (and think about) post 16 as well as my other posts. If you had done this you would not have asked why I believe Osama would alter his thinking.

smiles... sorry I read crap... (Below threshold)
Marc:

smiles... sorry I read crap once and toss it.

Nothing, I repeat nothing will alter Osama's goals as he set them out, at the top of that list is our and the wests defeat.

Guess you haven't heard, Osma's number two jihadist cut throat has already called Obama (along with Rice and Powell) "house nigger."

Oh.... and I forgot, Obama ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Oh.... and I forgot, Obama having left the Muslim faith makes him and consequently America, and even better target than Bush.

"lawyer: marcYou n... (Below threshold)
JFO:

"lawyer: marc

You need to be regularly told what a complete idiot you are. Too much exhaust fumes would be my idea.

Guess yo... (Below threshold)
Smiles:


Guess you haven't heard, Osma's number two jihadist cut throat has already called Obama (along with Rice and Powell) "house nigger."

What's your point?

Why do you suppose Ayman al-Zawahiri made those statements?

The popularity of Barack HUSSEIN Obama in the muslim world undermines the propaganda alqueda puts out. Propaganda about America being a racist hateful nation, bent on enslaving the rest of the world.

Obama makes the jihadists nervous because he is an appealing new face whose ascension undermines the belief that Islam and the West are locked in an inescapable clash of civilizations.

President-elect Obama's diverse background, along with his pledge to reverse many of the policies and approaches of the Bush administration on issues such as detentions at Guantanamo, torture and the war in Iraq has served to dramatically improve America's image, especially in the Muslim world.

Counter-terrorism expert Richard Clarke explained, "Most of all, by returning to American values the world admires, Obama sets al Qaeda back enormously in the battle of ideas, the ideological struggle which determines whether al Qaeda will continue to have significant support in the Islamic world."

Oh.... and I forgo... (Below threshold)
Smiles:
Oh.... and I forgot, Obama having left the Muslim faith makes him and consequently America, and even better target than Bush.

Marc,

Thats not true. Under Islamic law Obama is not guilty of apostasy for the following reasons:

1. Obama was abandoned by his father. Under Islamic law a father's religion is not passed to his child in cases of abandoment.

2. People that appear to be Muslims, but don't follow Islam and choose another religion, are permitted under Islamic law to leave Islam without penalty.

I suggest you read this article by Ali Eteraz, it will explain it in more detail.

smiles - "Counter-terro... (Below threshold)
Marc:

smiles - "Counter-terrorism expert Richard Clarke explained, "Most of all, by returning to American values the world admires,"

You're so full of sh*t your eyes are brown, quoting Clarke only proves it.

Presumably Clarke means American values prior to the "evil Bush" policies, to a time when we were "universally loved"

Just when was that?

In the "all love us" years of Clinton? (ignoring the long list of terror acts then)

Marc,There is no p... (Below threshold)
smiles:

Marc,

There is no point in replying to any of your comments. You are not interested in having an intelligent discussion. You ask questions that would be unnessary if you gave some thought to what I wrote. To continue would be childish and a waste of time.

Here is why It should be Mo... (Below threshold)

Here is why It should be Morocco

What do you call an Arab, Muslim and African country who was the first to recognize the United States independence?
Kingdom of Morocco

What do you call a moderate, tolerating, peaceful country who is the strongest ally to the United States in the region?
Kingdom Of Morocco.
What do you call Obama's first speech in Morocco after his inauguration?
A historical moment.

The Moroccan Community is one of the fastest growing communities in the USA, Moroccan Americans Democrats, republicans and independents are inviting President Elect Obama to Make Morocco the home for his first foreign policy speech abroad.

Morocco is the ideal country to launch a message of peace to the Muslim world.
A peace loving country with a respected voice in the region, Morocco is a long time friend of the United States and would be proud to host President Elect Barack Obama in this historical event.

Morocco is well positioned to hold this great event .Besides the long standing ties and good relations Morocco has with the US for over 200 years, there are many other factors that would lead the new elected Leader, Mr. Barack Obama to give a speech in Morocco .

Morocco enjoys political stability, a stability that is continuously strengthened as Morocco builds a modern democracy in the spirit of freedom, openness and tolerance.

Morocco is also well positioned as a Western ally in the global war on terror.

Morocco offers a rich and widely diversified potential as it is strategically located on both the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, within 7 miles from Europe and serves as a gateway to both Africa and the Arab world. The diversity of Amazigh, Arabs, and Jews, who have lived side by side for centuries, as well as its close ties to Europe, has made Morocco a different country than many of its neighbors.

Mr. President Elects Obama, please accept our invitation. Not only do we support your vision for change, but we are ready to help you make it happen. Let this speech in Morocco be the start of a new day for America's relation with the Muslim World
www.obamatospeakinmorocco.com/home/
Hassan Samrhouni
Founder of Obama to Speak in Morocco




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy