President Obama delivered a speech in Cairo, Egypt. The speech was a campaign promise made to pander to votes of the anti-war base of his party. It is as though to deliver a speech in a Muslim country, peace will break out all over the world. Were that true, it would have happened after any number of speeches delivered by members of previous administrations. Obama's people may be determined for the average listener to believe this was an "historic" speech but they are sadly mistaken. Or, deliberately misleading for political points. Pretty words. Aptly, though not superbly, delivered. No solutions offered. This is the problem with a novice in the White House. Novice because he has no leadership experience. No executive experience leading more than himself. He lectures but he does not produce solutions.
No mention was made of the contributions to that part of the world by our own military. No mention of the millions of Muslims that have been aided, fed, supported and freed by our military members. From Bosnia to Somalia to Kuwait to Afghanistan to Iraq, a debt of gratitude is owed. A free republic always trumps a brutal dictatorship.
If this Democratic president wants to be taken seriously as a supporter of our military members, their families and our national security needs, he must walk the walk. It would be a decent move to stop reaching backwards and criticizing the previous administration - however subtly delivered - while taking a swipe at our own military and intelligence agencies. By saying we violated the principles of our Founding Fathers after the terror attacks of 9/11/01, President Obama appears out of touch with basic legal tenets and the opinions of average Americans. As a self-professed legal scholar from his years of studying and teaching Constitutional Law, the President knows he is being disingenuous by such small minded statements. It is also well past time to stop with the exaggerations for political points. He knows that the enhanced interrogation techniques were used on only three prisoners, whether he personally agrees with that decision or not.
If this Democratic president wants to continue to make his argument that the U.S. should profusely apologize around the world for our actions after the terror attacks of 9/11/01, then he has an obligation to release all of the CIA classified documents that pertain to this subject. Not just de-classifying the documents that side with his claims.
President Obama is a master of delivering moral equivalencies in his speeches - particularly when he is speaking of his notions of good versus bad. As Jonathan Tobin wrote in Commentary, "As a statement of philosophy as well as a proclamation of American values it was as morally unserious a speech as an American president has ever made." By failing - deliberately - to speak of his complete support for the state of Israel to exist, he states that both Israel and Palestine are equal partners in the road to peace. This is utter nonsense. Palestine refuses to acknowledge the right of existence of Israel and have stated they will never do so. The U.N. declared the state of Israel just over 60 years ago. It was, in fact, Arabs in the region that enslaved the Palestinians for almost 40 of the next years, not at all connected with the birth of the state of Israel. Why didn't Obama mention that, if , in fact he knows the history of the region? Equating the struggles of the people of Palestine with the American civil rights movement was vapid indeed.
Why didn't Obama plan to stop in Israel while he was in the neighborhood?
President Obama declared it perfectly acceptable for nuclear development in Iran. Though he used the pap nonsense that it is for energy, as the Iranian mad men state, everyone - especially Israel - know what the goal is there. Ironic that Obama resists nuclear power as an energy source in his own country.
On religion, Obama declared, "Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance." Really?
On women's rights Obama again does the moral equivalency act. "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." This is so intellectually deceptive. To compare the life of an American woman with those in Muslim nations in the struggle for "equal rights" is vacuous.
Was there any mention to the initiatives of former First Lady Laura Bush in the Arab world for women and girls health care? No. He was busy pumping new global efforts that he was only announcing during the speech. America, under leadership from Laura Bush, brought clinics in Saudi Arabia for breast health care and for combating malaria in Africa. Not to mention the work credited to both Laura and George W. Bush in Africa for AIDS patients. No. Just his claim that he wants to eradicate polio in partnership with the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Opportunities were missed if the purpose of this speech was more than simply fulfilling some silly campaign promise to pander for votes from the anti-war crowd of his base support. Americans expect better from their President. Let's hope President Obama grows into his new job.