Obama Launches His Second Charm Offensive in the Middle East


…and it’s offensive. Maybe not to those in Cairo and the Muslim universe, maybe not to anti-Americans overseas, maybe not to half the country who thinks like President Barack HUSSEIN (his decision- it’s cool and hip to include, now) Obama, but offensive to myself and fellow conservatives who see danger in a president who doesn’t defend America, but castrates it before the world.


President Barack Obama waves before he delivering a speech in the Grand Hall of Cairo University in Cairo June 4, 2009.
REUTERS/Larry Downing

Transcript and video of the “New Beginning” speech here, speaking at the Grand Hall of Cairo University.

I don’t have time to fisk the entire speech (I’ll leave it to readers to dissect the parts they want to take issue with- or parts they may praise!).

But before I go off to work….

As a student of history,


I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. 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.” And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, served in government, stood for civil rights, started businesses, taught at our Universities, excelled in our sports arenas, won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the Olympic Torch. 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.

I guess President Barack HUSSEIN Obama didn’t study the rest of the story. Since bringing this up in itself would have been undiplomatic; and since it would have provided another opportune fodder to apologize to Muslims for our long history of oppression and tyranny against them…..I have to chalk this one up to historical ignorance.

Let me also address the issue of Iraq. Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was a war of choice that provoked strong differences in my country and around the world.

President Barack HUSSEIN Obama believes this. But it is a partisan issue that should be debated at home, not conceded abroad beyond America’s shores.

Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein,

Er….so…uh….it was a GOOD choice, then?

This is another example out of many where President Barack HUSSEIN Obama wishes to have it both ways. (Read Peter Wehner’s excellent commentary on Obama employing Aristotle’s golden mean, the search for the midpoint between two extremes. Hat tip: Steve Schippert. David Frum also notes how Obama straddles the line, and positions himself as an intermediary).

I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. Indeed, we can recall the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said: “I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”

Diplomacy was tried and failed. It didn’t begin under President Bush #43 but under Bush #42, with the original Cease-Fire Agreement which Saddam Hussein violated while the ink was still wet.

Diplomacy was tried and failed under President Clinton, leading him to sign the Iraqi Liberation Act. “Regime change” became official U.S. policy under Bill Clinton, because the Saddam Hussein regime was recognized as irredeemable and diplomacy exhausted.

There was no “rush to war”.

Hitting the reset button on diplomacy each time we have a new Administration only gives rogue regimes like Iran and North Korea and Saddam’s Iraq the gift of time.

And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter our principles. 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.

“unequivocally prohibited the use of torture”?!? Puh-lease….you mean the meaningless window-dressing EO you signed on day two that revoked President Bush’s 2007 EO that basically said the same thing as the new EO, prohibiting torture?

This is not only a slam at the policy decisions of the previous administration, but an insult to our military, CIA, and our country.

We have not “altered our principles” or acted “contrary to our ideals”. The Administration never lashed out at al Qaeda and the Islamic terror network out of “fear and anger”. The course that President Bush and his Administration pursued was one of prevention; on how best to stop the next terror attack, not seek revenge. This is even true of Afghanistan.

Set the record straight on Guantanamo. The men and women who have served at Gitmo deserve better. They deserve recognition for the fine job they have been doing there. It is not a gulag. Explain instead, why Guantanamo should remain open for business:

How about using his political capital with the Muslim world to convince them that Guantanamo is a paradise compared to any other prison/detention facility in the world? How about this: Change the name. Don’t call it “Gitmo”. Change the perception. It’s not a “gulag”. Call it ‘Al muntazah al-dini lilmujaheden al Muslimin,’: “The Religion Resort for Islamic Militants.”

If he can call the “war on Islamic terror” a kinder, gentler PC name (Overseas Contingency Operations) in order to keep prosecuting it without appearing to be perpetuating Bush-era foreign policy, then he can come up with an alternative for Gitmo as well.

For a great article on the perils of political apologies, read Peter Feaver.

Apologies can bring with it, more harm than good when applied incorrectly.

Scott coming away with a different take:
Obama’s Cairo Speech Almost The Same as Bush’s June 2002 Speech, pointing out the need for finding common ground, recognizing Israel’s right to exist and the formation of a Palestinian state, etc.


Marc Thiessen this morning:


Hugh Hewitt:

“The world is the worse for this speech because it was not honest about the situation in the Middle East, not honest about the threat from Iran, not honest about Israel’s deep desire to be allowed to live in peace, and not honest about the determination of Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran to destroy Israel and to gain the weapons necessary to do so in an instant.

“No speech so deeply dishonest in its omissions or so rhetorically misleading its its assumptions and arguments can do anything other than communicate extraordinary weakness on the part of the United States. It will indeed be a famous speech, for all the wrong reasons.”

Others blogging:
Mike’s post
Confederate Yankee
The New Editor
Bookworm Room
The Anchoress
Ed Morrisey
Michelle Malkin
Gateway Pundit
Bottomline Upfront
Peter Feaver
Thomas Ricks

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Obama speech is nothing new:
or this:
or this:…
or many others. Only difference is this time…
[wide eyes of awe ON] it’s Barack! [wide eyes of awe OFF]

Does this sound like Obama’s speech?

Moral truth is the same in every culture, in every time, and in every place. Targeting innocent civilians for murder is always and everywhere wrong. (Applause.) Brutality against women is always and everywhere wrong. (Applause.) There can be no neutrality between justice and cruelty, between the innocent and the guilty. We are in a conflict between good and evil, and America will call evil by its name. (Applause.) By confronting evil and lawless regimes, we do not create a problem, we reveal a problem. And we will lead the world in opposing it. (Applause.)

As we defend the peace, we also have an historic opportunity to preserve the peace. We have our best chance since the rise of the nation state in the 17th century to build a world where the great powers compete in peace instead of prepare for war. The history of the last century, in particular, was dominated by a series of destructive national rivalries that left battlefields and graveyards across the Earth. Germany fought France, the Axis fought the Allies, and then the East fought the West, in proxy wars and tense standoffs, against a backdrop of nuclear Armageddon.

Competition between great nations is inevitable, but armed conflict in our world is not. More and more, civilized nations find ourselves on the same side — united by common dangers of terrorist violence and chaos. America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenge — (applause) — thereby, making the destabilizing arms races of other eras pointless, and limiting rivalries to trade and other pursuits of peace.

Today the great powers are also increasingly united by common values, instead of divided by conflicting ideologies.

-Pres Bush Westpoint Graduation 2002

It really is sad that we elected this man. A man without any real world experience in any area other than progressive politics. He can turn a phrase and give a rousing speech but he can’t get historical facts right and he has a vision of this country that is truly scary. The mass media in this country force fed Obama to the American pubic and like good little lemmings the majority bought his act. Maybe people will wake up and realize that his view for America will fundamentally change this country and we may not be able to repair the damage he and his ilk will do. I hope that happens but as long as the majority of Americans fail to know our history and rely on biased reporting then that hope is indeed slim. Obama never fails to take partison shots and he did again in this speech. I am sure that the media will tout this speech as a great speech and they will heap praise upon “the one” but what will this accomplish in the long run. I am sure Israel will now just fall in line and peace will break out in that part of the world. In the real world the bonds between Israel and the US have been strained and they may fray even further but hey he knows what is best for Israel. Iran was quick to respond to this speech and I am sure their proxies will speak up as well.

Outstanding coverage by the FA hosts, thanks!

I thought my husband was going to throw a shoe at the television this morning because of the Iraq remarks written into the speech by…..? as the smartest president in the world couldn’t really be so ignorant to trot over to the ME and show such a lack of concern or appreciation for what our country has done for that area of the world and for muslems. Playing USA politics with that tinderbox, just dumb.

Marc Thiessen isn’t the only one noticing the lack of specifics in the speech and it appears that some in the area listened only to what they wanted to hear in regards to Israel. Others, not too impressed, couple of reviews IMO are assuming they will be getting something out of the big O so they gave him a big wet sloppy one.

Round the world reviews:



New granddaughter, 10 days in Colorado, one week home, two weeks in MO and now my Colorado kids are visiting here, tomorrow, back to MO til Monday. Can’t wait to get back to normal, missed all of you too!


Read this instead of eating breakfast, very good find.

There was much wrong with that speech— his inaccurate historical cites, providing lame excuses for the behavior of Iran and the Palestinians, setting up a straw dog in the case of 911. We don’t hate or fear Islam for what happened nor did we attack a religion, we went after the terrorists that were responsible for terror attacks that happened to be Islamic. Who terrorized and murdered the Iraqis and Afghans? Terrorists or Islam?

Also, I got the impression that he basically wants this country and Israel to tie their’s and our hands behind our backs and say “go ahead.”