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The Speech

Today was the day of the big speech. The world changer. Aside from it being another exercise in narcissism for Obama, it wasn't all that impressive. Boring perhaps, but not impressive.

Yet hidden within the boredom was a look into just how Obama views the world, and how certain pieces of that world should fit into the global puzzle.

It started off alright, brimming with niceties and patronizing remarks. But not two paragraphs into it, he resorted to making excuses. Not for the actions of the U.S., but for those of the muslim world.

"The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.

Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. This has bred more fear and mistrust."

So, these Muslim nations had nothing to do with their lot in life. Just tools of other countries. "Modernity and globalization" are hostile to Islam? Progress of human kind is to be blamed for the reluctance of an entire people to extract themselves from the dark ages and better themselves as human beings?

Extremists? They are terrorists, Mr. President. Man up and use the word.

"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."

Yes. When I hear the word "Islam", the first thoughts I have are just how much we share in "common principles". I'm sorry, but "justice, progress, tolerance and dignity of all human beings" are not exactly Islamic traits.

Obama then goes on to tout the many contributions to societal evolution which Islam has made possible. Pens, printing, Algebra, music. But the kicker is the last contribution:

"And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality."

Whoa. 'Nuff said.

Continuing, Obama points out that Morocco was the first nation to recognize the United States.

"In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President John Adams wrote, "The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims."

Obama fails to point out that this "treaty" was nothing more than bribery money paid to protect American merchant vessels from being attacked by pirates.

"And when the first Muslim-American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers - Thomas Jefferson - kept in his personal library."

Wow. Not that it matters, but, Jefferson was a voracious reader, whose collection of books was so large that it became the first Library of Congress.

"Much has been made of the fact that an African-American with the name Barack Hussein Obama could be elected President. But my personal story is not so unique. The dream of opportunity for all people has not come true for everyone in America, but its promise exists for all who come to our shores - that includes nearly seven million American Muslims in our country today who enjoy incomes and education that are higher than average."

The only time Obama's race and muslim name are ever bought up is when he brings it up. His number of 7 million muslims is in dispute as well. And he does not explain in what context American muslims hold these averages.

He continues on, addressing Islam in America, Iraq, Afghanistan, making another statement that we are not at war with Islam, and throughout this part, never once refers to the extremists as "terrorists".

Obama finally wades into the swamp of the "situation between Israelis, Palestinians, and the Arab world," noting that America's bond with Israel is "unbreakable."

Paying lip service to the historical persecution of Jewish people, up to today, not once does Obama link Islam to any of this persecution. He does, however, connect Israelis and Palestinians as if each has an equal role in violence toward the other.

He then unloads this whopper:

"Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America's founding. This same story can be told by people from South Africa to South Asia; from Eastern Europe to Indonesia. It's a story with a simple truth: that violence is a dead end. It is a sign of neither courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus. That is not how moral authority is claimed; that is how it is surrendered."

This is just bizarre. Aside from the fact that he once again feels it necessary to bring up a long corrected dark episode in America's history, what was his objective in comparing slavery to the plight of the Palestinians? If the Palestinians are slaves to anyone, it is to the Arab countries who use them as pawns in their never-ending war against Israel.

Obama then goes on to paint a moral equivalency between Islam and Arab denials of Israel's "right to exist" with the cessation of Israel's settlement building. He continues to blame the plight of the Palestinians living in Gaza on Israel (and not the ruling party Hamas), calling for Israel to take "concrete steps" to enable Palestinian progress. He gave no indication that the Palestinians have any role to play in their own success or failure as a people.

"Finally, the Arab States must recognize that the Arab Peace Initiative was an important beginning, but not the end of their responsibilities. The Arab-Israeli conflict should no longer be used to distract the people of Arab nations from other problems. Instead, it must be a cause for action to help the Palestinian people develop the institutions that will sustain their state; to recognize Israel's legitimacy; and to choose progress over a self-defeating focus on the past."

Aside from the fact that it is still an unbelievable concept that Palestinians and Muslims deny Israel's right to exist, no amount of cajoling from Obama will convince any Arab state to stop using the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to further their dreams of eradicating Israel from the earth.

If these nations, especially Egypt and Jordan, had any sincere interest in contributing to the progress of a Palestinian state, they would cede parcels of land to Gaza and the West Bank, respectively. The only acceptable "solution" to all Arabs and Palestinians is to take more land from an already shrinking Israel.

The speech then shifted over to the subject of Iran and its desire to obtain nuclear weapons. After slapping the U.S. on the wrist for its involvement in the overthrow of the "democratically elected" Iranian government in the '70's, he spoke not a word about Iran's involvement in supplying arms to Hezbollah, its support of international terrorism, or its direct involvement in the deaths of US service men and women in Iraq.

He then closed out his Iran discussion with this:

"I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. And any nation - including Iran - should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the Treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I am hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal."

How naive. How transparently weak. If Obama cannot distinguish the difference between our possession of nuclear technology and the motives behind Iran to possess the same, then we are doomed.

Speaking of democracy, Obama states:

"America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere."

This is perhaps the most coherent and acceptable part of his whole speech.

Obama's next issue is that pertaining to religious freedom.

He begins his statement with the following observation:

"Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance."

The rest just doesn't matter after that. Is this man living on this planet?

The final leg of his marathon speech concerns women's rights:

Now let me be clear: issues of women's equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, we have 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.

Can he say ANYTHING without first disparaging the United States? There is absolutely NO comparison between the rights of women in any country he listed to those of the U.S.

Women in the muslim world are treated like animals. Stonings, honor killings, illiteracy, lack of education, lack of voting rights. You name it, they endure it.

The last few paragraphs are devoted to wishful rhetoric.

All in all, not a very inspiring speech. He is just another infidel. One with power, but, we're all the same to the "religion of peace." If this speech accomplished anything at all, it may have given Islamic radicals a moment of solidarity with Obama, and in a warped way, justified their hatred and violence toward Israel.

Not that they need an excuse.


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Comments (14)

Why does the National Organ... (Below threshold)

Why does the National Organization of Women ADORE Obama???

I guess because he says cool stuff like this:
"That's why the United States government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab and to punish those who would deny it."

Golly, ladies, you GET to wear the hijab!! Your choice! (or you can whipped or stoned...again YOUR CHOICE!!)

In most Muslim countries THOSE are the choices women actually have relative to the "blessed" hijab!

Allan be praised!

Wow.... (Below threshold)
jim x:

Wow.

You want a speech? Try Sara... (Below threshold)
davidt:

You want a speech? Try Sarah Palin introducing Michael Reagan in Achorage yesterday... http://alaskareport.com/audio/palin.mp3 ...Only 17 minutes long, but hits ALL the right points, with full force. Sarah Palin has more balls than all the rest of the Republican Party combined.

davidt, great speech, great... (Below threshold)

davidt, great speech, great woman...great American!

If she started the "Tea Party" tomorrow, she'd have millions of folks re-registering within a month. Me included!!

"The relationship between I... (Below threshold)
STaylor:

"The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation"
Am I the only one he is trying to think of hundreds of years of cooperation between Islam and the West and drawing a complete blank? The only Islam west cooperation I can think of is when Turkey allied with Germany during WWI (whether that counts or not I won't say). Otherwise the history between the West and Islam is an almost unbroken bloodbath that rangs from Islam's inception and its subsequent assult on the Byzantines all the way through the Invasion of Iberia, the Cursades, the fall of Constantinople, the invasion of the Balkans, the Reconquista, the Seige of Malta, the Battle of Lepanto, the Seige of Prague, the variose Turkik Wars, the Barnary War (America's introduction to Islam), The European Colonization of the Mid East.... And the list goes on and on. They do teach history at Harvard; don't they?
And I suppose there are seven million Mulims in America if you beleive CAIR. Everyone else has the number between 4.6 and 1.4 million. Nitpicky I know but he can look at census reports.

STaylor: Nope, you're not ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

STaylor: Nope, you're not alone. Barry must be hanging around Joe Biden too much. He's gotten to the point he just makes shit up to fit the particular moment and crowd.

Please excuse the typos, I ... (Below threshold)
STaylor:

Please excuse the typos, I was rushed.
Cursades=Crusades
Baranry=Barbary
and so on
Mea culpa.

"Islam has a proud traditio... (Below threshold)
914:

"Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance?"

You can put down the crack pipe now Obama.

I cannot belive how much cr... (Below threshold)
1903A3:

I cannot belive how much crap this guy can make up and people belive it.this is one "smart" (heh) dude knowing that they (public educated)will eat this crap up.my head is still spinning.why not close the library of congress and just rewrite history the way you want to.

Were those centuries of coe... (Below threshold)
hermie:

Were those centuries of coexistence and cooperation Obama mentions, including the years that Muslims sold African slaves to the Americas and other nations?

He knows how to read and re... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

He knows how to read and read it well. That said, there was no substance, no policy to back up any of his assertions.

He could have said his administration wants women who want to wear the hijab, to do so, but NOOOOOO, he had to add the "punish" part.

His whining about what a terrible country we have been is past old. It is now turning off the independent voter. America has its faults, but we are without a doubt the best country in the world.

He shares the same view as Michelle, we, this country, has not been great until he got in office. Such ego. Such ordacity. ww

Re: 9:That's in ne... (Below threshold)
epador:

Re: 9:

That's in next year's budget.

"Islam has a proud traditio... (Below threshold)
Hank:

"Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance."

If late night comedy writers weren't such PC cowards, they could create countless skits based on this statement alone.

I guess I shouldn't be amaz... (Below threshold)
jim x:

I guess I shouldn't be amazed that you had such a problem with this speech. But wow.

Most of your objections seem to boil down to:

"Omigosh, he didn't go to their own house, and tell them how wrong, stupid and awful they are!"

"Omigosh, he said something nice about Islam!!!"

Guys, the whole purpose of this speech is to help convince Middle Eastern moderates that the US doesn't hate them and is able to treat them with respect.

I mean, do you expect the US to win over Middle Eastern moderates, by going to their house and calling them a bunch of crazy stupid losers?

Even if you think they *are* a bunch of crazy stupid losers, I think you can see how that won't work, can't you?

I could fisk this whole response, but let me just single out one part in particular.

What was his purpose, you ask, in comparing slavery to the Palestinians' plight?

Why, it was to try to convince extremists to take a path of peace.

So I ask you: what possible objection can you have to that?

Seriously.




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