Obama's speech to the Muslim world from Cairo, Egypt sounds like a clear change to US foreign policy regarding the Middle East. The whole 55 minute speech is up on YouTube.
President Obama Speaks to the Muslim World from Cairo, Egypt
The main points that I got were that Hamas has to end the violence, Israel has to end the illegal settlements, a push for a two state solution recognizing both Palestine and Israel and he got a big round of applause when he mentioned respect for women. The speech ended with a standing ovation. Sounds like a good start if the parties comply.
Thanks for the link. I will check it out in the evening. Yes indeed it is a good start and hopefully will bring good results too.
The same history that saw Paisley and Adams sit at the same table. I never thought that I would see that in my lifetime, or the fall of the Iron Curtain, for that matter.
Personally, I liked the speech - this is a volatile part of the world and American help and diplomacy, in trying to fix some of the problems, is appreciated.
Not sure if the words can be translated into action, but difficulty is no excuse for not trying
It's a huge change in US policy. GW's policies advocated supporting freedom around the world.
He struck just the right note, it seems. I'm proud of us!
Of course, the attack machine from the right is on his case again, last headline I read.
I missed it on the news, have just read the whole text now online, and plan to watch the YouTube link. I am thoroughly impressed with the issues the guy addressed, openly and with all the words. He was incredibly well paced and every so often through the discourse referred to "focusing on common ground as opposed to focusing on the differences" and "stop looking at the past in order to achieve a new beginning".
Wow, the guy CAN carry a speech! It raised the hairs at the back of my neck just reading the text, it'll probably raise a private standing ovation when I watch the live feed. This type of speech, so full of moral conviction about what's right, is what makes one the TRUE leader of the free world, and not the size of one's weaponry.
Kudos to Mr. P, and his team who put together this amazing piece of speech - I fancy it's going to go straight to history books.
PS: Smartest thing: He addressed head on the fact that there was much expectation around his speech, and admitted that one single speech can't change the course of history, but can set the grounds for new beginnings. Like I said, I'm thoroughly impressed.
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.
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.
I thought the speech was brilliant! He touched on all the main points with compassion and common sense.
The man sure can carry a speech, he is a brilliant, charismatic man but to say "stop looking at the past in order to achieve a new beginning" its unrealistic. unfortunately, pepole can not forget hundreds of rockets, bombing suicides kiling innocent pepole and much more...
I reckon you are right about this. I cannot imagine the suffering or the effect it would have on people to have so much destruction heaped on them year after year.
I don't think he's asking people to forget. Only that if the past is repeated over and over and over, it goes nowhere. Nobody asked the Jews to forget WWII. Stop the eye for an eye stuff and find a way of moving forward.
That's all well and good but when you wag your finger and say that to two people who each have a finger in each other's eye at the moment it gets a little more tricky.
Jewels, you need to live in this reality to really understand how things are complicated.
Jewels the eye for an eye stuff is about 6000 years old and the hatred is learnt from conception. You are right of course, if it is not halted it will never simmer down, and so far I do like what he (Obama)has said on this and other occasions about peace. I hope he can get Congress behind him with a sensible plan that allows the Palestinion people to be free again after sixty years of soul destroying isolation. It will take a miracle, but the Berlin wall came down. If this war with Israel continues the Arab Nations will never be free of terrorists.
I do live in this reality. I'm not immune to seeing what a mess we make of our lives and those of people in the middle east.
I'm really tired of people not seeing the highest and best possible outcome. I don't give a continental if people think my ideals are an impossible outcome. This can be changed only if we want it to.
Jewels your opinions are always worth hearing on anything to do with humanity. You speak a beautiful truth, we must learn to believe in the best possible outcome. This is a very emotional subject at the moment and the whole world wants to believe Obama's new Admin get it right. I can attest to you not being immune, I have been reading you for many months now. I feel a bit jaded I guess after all those years of Australia having John Howard living up George Bushes ass!Very few in Australia wanted George's gulph wars, and it seems a long way to make up for that little detour when we could have spent money and love in Palestine and Israel instead of destroying a city as beautiful as Baghdad and killing thousands of innocent people.
Kind of you ernestshub. It is emotional and it's terrible how we hear the cynical negative side more than the positive hopeful. I think this is because of what we are used to seeing. And of course history just embeds the belief of nothing changing for the better.
It worries me though that it is put in the hands of just the Administration of one government, or is seen to be placed in the hands of the US government. This one man can't do it alone. He can't. He will succeed if we keep the impulse of change alive. The cynics make a good point, but it's just not good enough to stay in that way of thinking. If you have no hope, you have nothing. If cynicism is what drives a person, then please step aside and let those who still have hope, have a go. Geez, I'm sounding like I've a speech written. I don't - and I've not been a part of any beauty pageant and asked for world peace either! But I do want it.
I've listened to the Obama speech just then, thanks Mike for the download link. I read his speech last night as it was released by the White House. It's worth listening to, more than once.
I can get really jaded too, but I refuse to give up hope. What's the point without hope?
Well it certainly looks like we would all love to see peace in the Middle East.
Finally we can wholeheartedly agree on something Jewels. Glory be ...
Sadly this is Israel's response to Obama's speech.
Israel: Obama's Speech Won't Change Our Settlement Policy
Interestingly Hamas seems more even tempered with an invitation for Obama on June 3rd. Hamas Delivers Peace Letter to President Obama
Peace and tolerance is two sided, it needs to be reciprocal. It doesn't work if it's one sided.
We will soon see if Obama's speech truly means a change to US foreign policy regarding the Middle East. Or whether it is just more talk like we have seen off and on from the last half a dozen US administrations, both Republicans and Democrats.
As far as I am concerned there could have been peace in the Middle East long ago if Israel truly wanted it. With the overwhelming one sided support that Israel has received from the US over the last couple of decades the Obama administration really does have a chance to change things. But only if they truly want to.
In the newspaper this morning was a "pre" event piece that basically said that he has Osama Bin Laden and other terrorist groups in the middle east running scared because he is bring a believable message for a new beginning.
Thanks for the link, very nice speech. I understand skeptics that think achieving the things Obama talked about is nearly impossible. At least we are trying to move forward and it is nice to hear positive thoughts by our leader that just might make a difference. Makes me feel hopeful
It was a speech written by someone else full of hopeful generalities like a thousand others. There have been plenty of nice words offered about these intractable problems and we are still faced with them. The ability to read a teleprompter well is fine, but will NOT solve these problems.
Personally, I found the "Now that I'm here we won't be against Islam" tone a bit offensive as an American. It implies that we were against the religion itself in the first place.
Of course - one speech does not always translate into action. However, Clinton managed to do that in Ireland, so it is dangerous to generalise. Only time will reveal whether there is substance behind the words, but I prefer to hold onto a little hope.
The previous administration managed to completely destabilise this part of the world, which we found offensive - I don't think for a minute that the vast majority of Americans are anti-Islam, but that is how the speeches and actions came across to non-Americans.
Separating the people from the administration is essential - I like the Iranian people a lot, but detest their idiot President and the theocracy.
President Bush gave several speeches at Mosques wherein he noted Islam as a religion of peace and stated in no uncertain terms that the US was not at war with Islam, respected Muslims, and valued our own Muslim population and history of providing religious freedom for Muslims of all sorts to practice their faith like others in this country do, etc.
The 'difference' comes down (as it so often does) to you like this guy but didn't like the other guy.
I don't think it matters that much who wrote the speech as long as it was delivered and in my opinion it is far less offensive than a lot of things are leaders have said in the past.
History is against these changes but if we keep looking in the past we won't even consider the possibility of peace.
Nobody expects change overnight but Sufidreamer made a good point, did anyone expect the Iron Curtain to fall?
This is a great start. Regardless of history and cynical bias, there is always hope. We also have to want this, all of us.
Agreed - the Greeks and the Turks, for example, committed disgraceful atrocities against each other - we are talking thousands of men, women and children slaughtered.
Despite this history there is dialogue, simply because the populations of the two countries (apart from a minority of extremists), genuinely want to be friends.
TK - Again, you are making an assumption that I disliked Bush because of his personality. Wrong - I live in the Middle East, and Israel/Palestine is in our back yard. Bush came across as a bully who believed that he could dictate to people - in this respect, he is not half the man that his father was. Bush Jr is probably a nice man, but he had a poor grasp of the complexities of international diplomacy.
In two years time, if Obama does not deliver, I will be just as critical. I really do not care whether a Democrat or Republican is President.
LOL. I don't think so. In two years no matter what is happening it will be presented in different terms. On the campaign trail Obama refers to visiting "all 57 states" but he's not an 'idiot,' he just misspoke or was tired or something. His teleprompter cuts out and the golden tongue suddently turns into a mouthful of mashed potatoes but he's still a 'brilliant speaker.' He recites the same kind of political speech full of hopeful generalities that politicians have since year 1 and he's not just business as usual, he's a new beacon of hope for the world. It's all politics, and it always will be. The media will assist you with what to think, and if it happens to flatter your prejudices you will be happy to go along. Just the nature of the beast.
LOL, I do think so. You were the one throwing around accusations of 'personality politics,' yet you have fallen into your own trap.
Try not to be so condescending, TK, because that is extremely offensive and intellectually lazy - I am able to see through media reports and make my own analysis of things. You do not know my mind, so stop making incorrect assumptions about what I think and feel.
We still discuss politics here, TK, and we are able to see beyond media agendas and discuss genuine issues, not political fluff. I do not need my prejudices flattering, thanks - maybe you should look at your own.
LOL again. We'll see. I never claimed to be immune either.
We are a little more immune to 'personality politics' and shallow media in Greece - genuine and meaningful political debate is the lifeblood of the country, as you can imagine.
All politicians get a hard time, here, regardless of political ideology or affiliation...If Obama does not deliver, he will be treated no differently
When a speech is written for a president, it is written to what he wants to say. Unlike other presidents, Obama is not just a talking head.
I don't have any illusions that this will change anything. However, the attempt has to be made and voiced. You just can't give up on something because it hasn't happened in the past.
I think it makes for an awfully sad person if you can't feel hopeful about anything and only criticize.
Wonder if he truly has the power to do what he says he would like to do...... i also wonder how many fans he would have if he came on here. Wrote his speeches on here for us....
Brenda I think he has the power if he is supported by us. His ideals are the ideals of the common person. Whether this is too high an ideal to achieve is yet to be seen. But what if? Just what if he succeeds. It is going to take a charismatic person to at least try and rectify this situation. It can't be based on taking sides, it must be a unified ideal supported by all of us. I for one really want this. I feel a bit small and helpless up against the task of it and I can only see myself giving support in the form of hope. What else can I do here?
You have no problems quoting proverbs and calling yourself christian. Where is your faith, your christian ideology? Why are you not supporting this? Don't you want this?
Actually, I don't think I've done either of those things. You are thinking of someone else maybe?
Apologies if I've misunderstood your stand on the religious forum. But I was under the impression you were christian. My mistake.
I listened and watched Obama's speech and my thougts were.
This man is a President for Peace!
Been a long time since any politician has sounded mature and practical as well as confident.
If I were American I would very proud of that fact here is a man who has the attention of millions of muslims ,they are listening !! and the respect for the USA is building again.
My only hope is that he runs as long as Bush did.
People talking might not solve problems overnight ,but at least information and communication gives HOPE for evil not to reign.
I am reminded of that saying
For evil to reign ,all it takes is for good men to do nothing.
Obama is doing something!
Fostering an environment that will be open ( not closed as before) to communication is WHAT Pres. Obama is doing.
Anything that makes it harder for a 15 yr old to pick up a machine gun is progress persiod.
Being realistic doesn't mean giving up hope, etc. etc. Real hopefulness has to be applied to the real world in practical ways or it is just empty, self-serving platitude. Just saying things like "we have to ride the wave of positive energy to change the world!" gets us nowhere. At some point you have to rub the rainbows and puppy dogs out of your eyes and do real work in the real world. Pandering, up-beat speeches won't do squat in and of themselves.
And what are you doing to help the situation? I am actually a realist and not a newage honky. Funny, I've spent the last 9 years deconstructing social conditioning and helping many many others do the same. Hate the rainbow and rose colored glasses. Doesn't make me a cynic though. I have spent 21 years working in the real world, doing 'real things.' Then I woke up that it was bullshit and that I was feeding the corporate monster. You make huge assumptions, like I think you just did for Sufi.
But please let us in on what you are doing to solve hatred in the world? Can't wait to hear it. And hope it's practical as well.
Just as the debate was taking a more interesting turn, you return to the arrogant and condescending tone. Once again, you make sweeping and offensive generalisations about people that you do not know, an extremely weak line of debate.
Are you going to offer an opinion, rather than make snide comments, or is that beneath you?
Sufi, I have to agree. I've been following along and just when the thread was getting interesting, POP goes the "tksensei weasel".
I noticed that if you just ignore them, the conversation can go on. Ignore their arrogance and self righteous pops, and the best thing we can do is to not communicate with the tkensei weasel. Completely ignore them no matter what they write, and soon enough they will look like a big ARSE and escape off to their hubs.
Ask me anything you like and I'll try to answer.
Let's try this. Unashamedly, these are leading questions, but I will offer the same courtesy in return - you are more than welcome to turn these around!
What approach do you think that the US should take to the Israel/Palestine situation?
If you had to pick out one element of the President's speech that you agreed with, what would it be?
In which major policy area, concerning the Middle East, do you think that the previous administration could have done better?
tic toc, tic toc, tic toc........weasle, where are you?
lol.....I sense a good and robust debate brewing here, RK! To be fair, they are not easy questions, and I look forward to the answers.
How did the dissertation go?
Oh I'm sorry, was I under a time limit set by YOU? That's certainly worth taking seriously.
I think the first mistake that many make is in assuming the US can 'fix' this mess in the first place. What we can do is what we've been trying to do for decades now: support moderate positions on both sides - when and to whatever extent that is possible - and try to facilitate dialog toward common interests when and if parties so inclined can be found on both sides. Other more directly affective steps are those we are unwilling to take because they carry too complicated consequences.
There were lots of fine words in the speech I have no reason to disagree with. The problem is that they remain only that.
Could have done better? ALL of them.
Absolutely no argument here. Whatever the solution, getting the moderates to talk is the key - the trusted, 'neutral third party' approach has worked in other conflicts, although the situation is much more complex than the Irish conflict or Greece/Turkey.
Again, that is a balanced response. I liked the tone of the speech, and thought that it offered genuine understanding. We will have to wait and see whether it has any substance. Believe it or not, I do share your misgivings on this one, although I would love to be proved wrong!
Thanks for answering - that was appreciated, and we find that we are not so far apart on many issues
On that issue, it looks like we agree. The speech gives me the same hope that Clinton did with the Northern Ireland peace process.
However, as you said, it is a long, long way from words to action, and I have no doubt that we will relive this conversation in a couple of years. Ego aside, I hope that you are proved wrong - this part of the world is extremely volatile, at the moment, and Israel/Palestine is only one area of concern.
This is not so much about Bush/Obama or Republican/Democrat as about the perception of America. Rightly or wrongly, the US is not trusted at the moment, and that is a situation that I do not like.
Don't patronize me. I know what real hopefulness is... Words do give people the motivation to actually do something. I guess being negative about everything and condemning any new ideas is more realistic?
Great speech, however the Republicans over here are calling the speech an apology. Mind you their approach did not work for 8 years but that doesn't stop them from any criticism.
tksensei is right it will take more then just hope it is all so going to take hard work and understanding and time to forgive on both sides not forgetfulness But first thing that has to happen is the fighting has to stop to start the healing.
I must away, but hope this discussions is alive and kicking in all the right directions when I return. Peace all!
I see we have one who incites hatred. Practical ideas for changing your standpoint would be? Can't wait to read em.
Giving territory to bad people for peace is like you will bail out billionaires, who wants more and more, since they have a black hole inside.
Do not have false hope.
I am amazed why liberals hate Christians. Did they ever fired Katushas on them?
I am not an expert in political games. I have a deep feeling that Obama's speech is more dangerous for America, for America's image and America's authority than one can see on the surface. One should read between the lines.
Im not very good at reading between the lines anymore , I tended to see things that werent there, just wondering what you see? care to share a bit more.
I prefer not to. If you don't see it, it won't help if I share. It will be like adding fuel into flame. I don't want to argue or to start an argument. Time will clear all.
I dont think you can presumme to know if it will help or not ,but that is your choice to share or not, I respect that.
I have a deep feeling that Obama's speech is more dangerous for America, for America's image and America's authority than one can see on the surface.
I do not want to argue either ,but that statement you made evoked curiousity on my part is all.
To your best life.
I’m sorry if I offended you in some way or another, it was not my intention. Okay. What arouse my concern is that terroristic organization Hamas (together with other open terrorists) expresses love to Obama and what’s more, they donated lots of money (more than was allowed) to his election campaign.
No one will argue that Ahmadinejad, Hamas and others alike are terrorists, therefore are enemies. Doesn’t it arouse your concern that our enemies love our president?
This is only the upper part of an iceberg.
Sufi- If I ever needed a lawyer for my defense I would chose you. You not only have one of the most logical minds but you would be most amenable even to others(including Judge). Your calm constructive engagement methodology is a proof that being nice is just as important as logical reasoning. I pay my respects to you.
Thanks, CW, and likewise - you are always calm and respectful. It is very easy for these forums to become a useless slanging match, so we need diplomats like yourself..
TK accepted the handshake, and I respect him for that.
Mind you, I was hoping for a debate, but we agree on most things, so.....
Hey, TK - the RedSox suck.....Discuss.
Thanks, Sufi but my sports knowledge is zero(not sure if my husband agrees with you about my "diplomatic" words). Anyway my bro only talks about cricket. I guess I have to brush up on that area from some other source.
PS: You could even engage Mohammedm earlier with his Egyptian football team. You sure know how to engage in fruitful conversation.
lol - Must admit, I know very little about baseball.
Good old Mohammed - I even look out for his team's results, now! I am a firm believer that there is always something that we can talk about - I love debate, but it is also nice to discuss areas of shared interest as well as differences. In the local taverna, we have some intense political debates, but then sit and drink a beer afterward, and talk about football or goats!
Even I know nothing about Baseball(something in common) but then in fact I know nothing about so many things. Yes, that's the way it should be. We can always disagree agreeably after all life is too short to dwell on our differences rather than bringing us closer together. I am sure you must be a great company in your local taverna (is that similar to what we call pubs/bars in US?)
PS: I am sure you must have been the best debater in your student days.
The taverna is a sort of coffee shop/cafe/bar, where old men drink ouzo and shout at each other. Very much a cultural Middle Eastern thing - most countries in the region have them, although not all serving alcohol.
Strangely enough, I was never much good as a debater at school or university. Moving to Greece has given me a crash course, because it is the national sport over here! There is a whole etiquette behind a Greek debate, and you have to learn very quickly
Oh yes, those Greeks sure have a lot of history to talk about. And those Greek Philosophers have contributed a lot to the world at large(especially in political science/public administration). Why don't you write a hub about Greek Philosophers? Thanks for that info. How I wish one day I get to travel to all those places and maybe even meet you in person.
PS: What is the Greek etiquette for debates? I feel you would have been just as sharp then but now more agreeable to others.
It is true - the Greeks have been debating for thousands of years, and the art is very much alive. The Greeks have a lot of respect for somebody who can debate! I would love to write some Hubs about the philosophers, but time is the issue. I think that Darkside has a good series of Hubs about Greek philosophers - well worth a read. You and your husband are welcome here anytime.
The etiquette behind debating is long and complex, much more like a game of chess than an argument. I could quite easily write a long Hub about it, and I am still learning as my knowledge of the language improves. Ad hominem is frowned upon, and it is seen as bad form to merely attack the position of others without offering any view of your own. Religion is never debated about!
Thanks for the invite(we would love to take that up). Btw I requested this hub and hope you educate folks like me with a wonderful hub. http://hubpages.com/request/13581/?new Have a good weekend.
No worries - it might be a few days, but I will try my best!
You have a good weekend, too
Oh, yeah... And Sufi, don't worry about my proposed hub. Mine will basically be on argumentation and logical fallacies with definitions, etc. So! Write what you will... I'm slow these days, anyway, as I am pounding out press releases and newsletters and dealing with hostile & political corporate environments at times, .
Re: Original Topic,
I was pleased that he opened with "As-Salaamu Alaykum." I used to cover my head, and during that time I lived in Texas (in a small town outside of Dallas) for a year. I got a lot of stares and many extremely rude responses, and I used to say that to people all the time, in part to freak them out further, as well as an exercise in wishing well even those who persecute you.
One guy even told me I probably had bombs in my bra. Obnoxious.
I think it's wonderful that somebody is still trying to reach their hand out in friendship.
Opening up a positive dialogue with the Muslim world is an humble thing to do. They are human beings just as we are, some with views that the western world doesn't understand just as they sometimes don't understand us. The point is we are all different with values and beliefs that have always been that way but there can be common ground on the trust and respect of each others world. Extremism and killing though is where the line has to be drawn on groups who promote hate and discord. Perhaps though maybe one day they will realize they are isolated and join all fellow mankind for hope an peace. That would be a great achievement for a safer world.
Enjoy - that sounds fantastic. I love a good picnic, going out into the mountains and enjoying the summer
Lita- Looking forward to that hub of yours. I am sure you both would have a different take (besides Sufi's could be Ouzo influenced)
President Obama is trying to open a door. I believe this is a good first step. I am sure he knows he has to be wary of being used or duped by the hate mongers but this is the first real chance we've had in a long time to show the people of the world that we really care about peace.
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