OBAMA Speech in Cairo was a 10+ AMAZING !!!

Moxon

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Reading the speech probably has half or less of the impact of seeing it live
Exactly, reading the speech without the haze of emotion (and patriotism no doubt) can be an informative exercise in extracting the bare bones meaning, and here it appears to be... nothing.

Cynicism is an easy and lazy response; (and predictably consistent from certain quarters).
No, lazy is being so willfully sucked in by pure sentiment and failing to provide yourself with sufficient background knowledge of the world and America's part in it over the last 100 years or so (not 8) - I can see no other way one can arrive at such elation from such a steaming pile of nothing. I'm tired of hearing the praise song 'not Bush, not Cheney' - that doesn't de facto equate with the kind of hyperbole being tossed about here. If the struggle of people against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting then I think we have reasons to be fearful.

For both good and bad, words, even silly little old political speeches, have been the single most powerful stimulus to ensuing actions.
Again, apart from the vibe of the thing, what was actually said and what actions will it inspire? Change comes from hours, days, years of organising, agitating, changing perspectives; boring work that too few people are prepared to engage in, not from the frothy spoutings of naked emperors.
 

HDM

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My point is that words arouse, that making speeches , reading pamphlets, reading a book, can be a call to action. The source of action is in the word.

I find the cynicism of you three to be sad. I find the baseless hatred to be annoying. I am thankful that you are ignored by the world at large. You are just so much peeing into the wind. Beware of the blowback.

Moxon needs to get a handle on his ego.
 

HDM

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Here is a sampling of more professional opinions, separate from ravings from the peanut gallery:

TIME’s Scott McLeod Wrote, “President Obama’s Speech In Cairo Today Is The Most Important Address Ever Given By An American Leader About The Middle East…He Didn’t Arrive Or Depart As A Prophet, But For An American President Treading Into Territory Inhospitable To U.S. Policies, He Won Some New Adherents.” On TIME.com’s blog, Scott McLeod wrote, “President Obama's speech in Cairo today is the most important address ever given by an American leader about the Middle East. As he told 1,000 people at Cairo University and millions more around the world, everything won't be solved by a speech. Yet it was an unprecedented reach-out to Muslims and particularly to the Arab world. Far more than any other U.S. president in the past, he both acknowledged harmful Western policies during the Colonial and Cold War eras and promised an intense personal effort to resolve the region's problems and build a new era based on mutual cooperation and respect. The clear message Obama delivered—in his words, body language and statement of policies-- was that America is determined to be part of the solution in the Middle East. He didn't arrive or depart as a prophet, but for an American president treading into territory inhospitable to U.S. policies, he won some new adherents.” [Scott McLeod, TIME.com, 6/4/09 <http://mideast.blogs.time.com/2009/06/04/obama-in-cairo-the-making-of-a-prophet/> ]
 

harpo

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Moxon said:
No, lazy is being so willfully sucked in by pure sentiment and failing to provide yourself with sufficient background knowledge of the world and America's part in it over the last 100 years or so (not 8) - I can see no other way one can arrive at such elation from such a steaming pile of nothing.
I would hazard a guess that your 'background knowledge' of the last 100 years of history is based of picking out the bits that support your own loud but blinkered views.

So Obama's speech was just a lot of words with no substance - newsfash: that's what a speech is; words. Sometimes a speech can stir people, as Obama's seems to have done in both the West and the Islamic world, and then, just perhaps, something solid can come of it.

I would hazard a second guess; nothing Obama could possibly say and nothing he could possibly do, would gain a single word of praise from you.
 

bigbadwolf

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harpo said:
I would hazard a second guess; nothing Obama could possibly say and nothing he could possibly do, would gain a single word of praise from you.
One campaign promise (or half-promise) was to pull out of Iraq. If he did something like this, critics like me would be silenced. Or if he initiated something like single-payer health insurance. Look at his actions. He has been back-tracking on almost every half-promise he made. Other than rhetoric, I don't see major differences between Obama and GWB on substantive issues of foreign and economic policy. The moment Obama got elected, the key word changed instantly, in Orwellian fashion, from "change" to "continuity."
 

bigbadwolf

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HDM said:
I find the cynicism of you three to be sad. I find the baseless hatred to be annoying. I am thankful that you are ignored by the world at large. You are just so much peeing into the wind. Beware of the blowback.

Moxon needs to get a handle on his ego.
You are playing with words and ascribing attitudes to us that are false. It is not a question of "hatred": it is realistic scepticism -- based on Obama's slender experience as a senator -- on what he will actually do. It is also scepticism based on the sheer momentum of the imperium. You are ignoring American realpolitik.

What Obama is actually doing is not just continuing GWB's policies but digging even deeper into Afghanistan and Pakistan and not pulling out of Iraq. Look at what is happening on the ground. With regard to Israel and the Palestinians, very strong and sustained pressure on Israel would be required for real progress. I don't think Obama will exert it. The one thing he has done is to tell Netanyahu to keep his hands off Iran.
 

bigbadwolf

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And here is another thoughtful piece in the Guardian.

And a good essay by Alexander Cockburn at Counterpunch.

And finally one by Paul Craig Roberts.

Sorry, just found one that echoes my sentiments exactly:

[SIZE=-1]
After all the months of lead-up and hype, few could have imagined that this speech would contain nothing of substance. Surely Obama would feel the need to announce some new initiative on at least one of the major matters of concern to the Muslim world...

[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1] Surely he had to have some hopeful surprise up his sleeve. Wrong. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

There were, of course, many eloquent mood-music paragraphs and a smattering of quotes from the Holy Quran (as well as the Bible and the Talmud). Obama obviously believes that America's unchanged objectives with respect to the Muslim world are more likely to be pursued successfully by being polite and complimentary than by being rude and intentionally insulting. But the mood-music paragraphs dealt with atmospherics or the past. When it came to the present and the future and to concrete matters of American objectives and policies, there was nothing new. Nothing hopeful. Nothing.

[/SIZE]
 

harpo

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bigbadwolf said:
One campaign promise (or half-promise) was to pull out of Iraq. If he did something like this, critics like me would be silenced. Or if he initiated something like single-payer health insurance. Look at his actions. He has been back-tracking on almost every half-promise he made. Other than rhetoric, I don't see major differences between Obama and GWB on substantive issues of foreign and economic policy. The moment Obama got elected, the key word changed instantly, in Orwellian fashion, from "change" to "continuity."
Two policies on which he will be judged, quite rightly. If he back-tracks on either of these I'll agree he is an empty windbag just as Clinton proved to be.

The difference between most posters here comes down to the level of cynicism. I'm willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt (for now) - the guy has hardly got his feet under the desk yet. The fact that he is a great speaker seems to count against him in some quarters.
 

HDM

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Let's just say that in this case, it isn't so much what the Guardian thinks, or what Cockburn thinks, or what you or I think ... it is what the Muslim world thinks. That was the audience. That was the necessary audience. That is the audience that will decide what value President Obama's words have. On this issue, at any rate. And since I have only your words -- there being no action I'm aware of by or from you -- I can only judge your character by what you write. As you me. It's just words.
 

Moxon

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One campaign promise (or half-promise) was to pull out of Iraq. If he did something like this, critics like me would be silenced. Or if he initiated something like single-payer health insurance. Look at his actions. He has been back-tracking on almost every half-promise he made. Other than rhetoric, I don't see major differences between Obama and GWB on substantive issues of foreign and economic policy.
You took the words out of my mouth. I can think of at least one thing he could've said in a major speech to the Muslim world that may have set the stage for a complete change of direction in American foreign policy and would've had me writing with caps lock on sprinkling exclamation marks everywhere also, but it didn't happen.

Again, what is this apparent universal ecstatic vibe he has ignited going to achieve for the Muslim world? Peace in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan? Detente with Iran? A fair and peaceful resolution to the Palestinian problem? No, all of these would require the will of the US to be at all feasible. Apparently as the President of the United Stated he doesn't have the power to influence these events and so he's hoping to change things by making millions feel warm and fuzzy. I'm assuming the givers of plaudits here have been inspired sufficiently to go to the occupied territories and lay down before bulldozers clearing land for more illegal Israeli settlements.
 
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