Obama’s Cairo Speech Almost The Same as Bush’s June 2002 Speech


Which one gave this speech: Obama or Bush? (ironic that both were given in June too)

For too long, the citizens of the Middle East have lived in the midst of death and fear. The hatred of a few holds the hopes of many hostage. The forces of extremism and terror are attempting to kill progress and peace by killing the innocent. And this casts a dark shadow over an entire region. For the sake of all humanity, things must change in the Middle East.

It is untenable for Israeli citizens to live in terror. It is untenable for Palestinians to live in squalor and occupation. And the current situation offers no prospect that life will improve. Israeli citizens will continue to be victimised by terrorists, and so Israel will continue to defend herself.

In the situation the Palestinian people will grow more and more miserable. My vision is two states, living side by side in peace and security. There is simply no way to achieve that peace until all parties fight terror. Yet, at this critical moment, if all parties will break with the past and set out on a new path, we can overcome the darkness with the light of hope. Peace requires a new and different Palestinian leadership, so that a Palestinian state can be born.

I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror. I call upon them to build a practising democracy, based on tolerance and liberty. If the Palestinian people actively pursue these goals, America and the world will actively support their efforts. If the Palestinian people meet these goals, they will be able to reach agreement with Israel and Egypt and Jordan on security and other arrangements for independence. And when the Palestinian people have new leaders, new institutions and new security arrangements with their neighbours, the United States of America will support the creation of a Palestinian state whose borders and certain aspects of its sovereignty will be provisional until resolved as part of a final settlement in the Middle East.

In the work ahead, we all have responsibilities. The Palestinian people are gifted and capable, and I am confident they can achieve a new birth for their nation. A Palestinian state will never be created by terror – it will be built through reform. And reform must be more than cosmetic change, or veiled attempt to preserve the status quo. True reform will require entirely new political and economic institutions, based on democracy, market economics and action against terrorism.

Today, the elected Palestinian legislature has no authority, and power is concentrated in the hands of an unaccountable few. A Palestinian state can only serve its citizens with a new constitution which separates the powers of government. The Palestinian parliament should have the full authority of a legislative body. Local officials and government ministers need authority of their own and the independence to govern effectively.

The United States, along with the European Union and Arab states, will work with Palestinian leaders to create a new constitutional framework, and a working democracy for the Palestinian people. And the United States, along with others in the international community will help the Palestinians organise and monitor fair, multi-party local elections by the end of the year, with national elections to follow.

Today, the Palestinian people live in economic stagnation, made worse by official corruption. A Palestinian state will require a vibrant economy, where honest enterprise is encouraged by honest government. The United States, the international donor community and the World Bank stand ready to work with Palestinians on a major project of economic reform and development. The United States, the EU, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund are willing to oversee reforms in Palestinian finances, encouraging transparency and independent auditing.

And the United States, along with our partners in the developed world, will increase our humanitarian assistance to relieve Palestinian suffering. Today, the Palestinian people lack effective courts of law and have no means to defend and vindicate their rights. A Palestinian state will require a system of reliable justice to punish those who prey on the innocent. The United States and members of the international community stand ready to work with Palestinian leaders to establish finance – establish finance and monitor a truly independent judiciary.

Today, Palestinian authorities are encouraging, not opposing, terrorism. This is unacceptable. And the United States will not support the establishment of a Palestinian state until its leaders engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure. This will require an externally supervised effort to rebuild and reform the Palestinian security services. The security system must have clear lines of authority and accountability and a unified chain of command.

America is pursuing this reform along with key regional states. The world is prepared to help, yet ultimately these steps toward statehood depend on the Palestinian people and their leaders. If they energetically take the path of reform, the rewards can come quickly. If Palestinians embrace democracy, confront corruption and firmly reject terror, they can count on American support for the creation of a provisional state of Palestine.

With a dedicated effort, this state could rise rapidly, as it comes to terms with Israel, Egypt and Jordan on practical issues, such as security. The final borders, the capital and other aspects of this state’s sovereignty will be negotiated between the parties, as part of a final settlement. Arab states have offered their help in this process, and their help is needed.

I’ve said in the past that nations are either with us or against us in the war on terror. To be counted on the side of peace, nations must act. Every leader actually committed to peace will end incitement to violence in official media, and publicly denounce homicide bombings. Every nation actually committed to peace will stop the flow of money, equipment and recruits to terrorist groups seeking the destruction of Israel – including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizbullah. Every nation actually committed to peace must block the shipment of Iranian supplies to these groups, and oppose regimes that promote terror, like Iraq. And Syria must choose the right side in the war on terror by closing terrorist camps and expelling terrorist organisations.

Leaders who want to be included in the peace process must show by their deeds an undivided support for peace. And as we move toward a peaceful solution, Arab states will be expected to build closer ties of diplomacy and commerce with Israel, leading to full normalisation of relations between Israel and the entire Arab world.

Israel also has a large stake in the success of a democratic Palestine. Permanent occupation threatens Israel’s identity and democracy. A stable, peaceful Palestinian state is necessary to achieve the security that Israel longs for. So I challenge Israel to take concrete steps to support the emergence of a viable, credible Palestinian state.

As we make progress towards security, Israel forces need to withdraw fully to positions they held prior to September 28, 2000. And consistent with the recommendations of the Mitchell Committee, Israeli settlement activity in the occupied territories must stop.

The Palestinian economy must be allowed to develop. As violence subsides, freedom of movement should be restored, permitting innocent Palestinians to resume work and normal life. Palestinian legislators and officials, humanitarian and international workers, must be allowed to go about the business of building a better future. And Israel should release frozen Palestinian revenues into honest, accountable hands.

I’ve asked Secretary Powell to work intensively with Middle Eastern and international leaders to realize the vision of a Palestinian state, focusing them on a comprehensive plan to support Palestinian reform and institution-building.

Ultimately, Israelis and Palestinians must address the core issues that divide them if there is to be a real peace, resolving all claims and ending the conflict between them. This means that the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 will be ended through a settlement negotiated between the parties, based on UN resolutions 242 and 338, with Israeli withdrawal to secure and recognize borders.

We must also resolve questions concerning Jerusalem, the plight and future of Palestinian refugees, and a final peace between Israel and Lebanon, and Israel and a Syria that supports peace and fights terror.

All who are familiar with the history of the Middle East realise that there may be setbacks in this process. Trained and determined killers, as we have seen, want to stop it. Yet the Egyptian and Jordanian peace treaties with Israel remind us that with determined and responsible leadership progress can come quickly.

As new Palestinian institutions and new leaders emerge, demonstrating real performance on security and reform, I expect Israel to respond and work toward a final status agreement. With intensive effort by all, this agreement could be reached within three years from now. And I and my country will actively lead toward that goal.

I can understand the deep anger and anguish of the Israeli people. You’ve lived too long with fear and funerals, having to avoid markets and public transportation, and forced to put armed guards in kindergarten classrooms. The Palestinian Authority has rejected your offer at hand, and trafficked with terrorists. You have a right to a normal life; you have a right to security; and I deeply believe that you need a reformed, responsible Palestinian partner to achieve that security.

I can understand the deep anger and despair of the Palestinian people. For decades you’ve been treated as pawns in the Middle East conflict. Your interests have been held hostage to a comprehensive peace agreement that never seems to come, as your lives get worse year by year. You deserve democracy and the rule of law. You deserve an open society and a thriving economy. You deserve a life of hope for your children. An end to occupation and a peaceful democratic Palestinian state may seem distant, but America and our partners throughout the world stand ready to help, help you make them possible as soon as possible.

If liberty can blossom in the rocky soil of the West Bank and Gaza, it will inspire millions of men and women around the globe who are equally weary of poverty and oppression, equally entitled to the benefits of democratic government.

I have a hope for the people of Muslim countries. Your commitments to morality, and learning, and tolerance led to great historical achievements. And those values are alive in the Islamic world today. You have a rich culture, and you share the aspirations of men and women in every culture. Prosperity and freedom and dignity are not just American hopes, or Western hopes. They are universal, human hopes. And even in the violence and turmoil of the Middle East, America believes those hopes have the power to transform lives and nations.

This moment is both an opportunity and a test for all parties in the Middle East: an opportunity to lay the foundations for future peace; a test to show who is serious about peace and who is not. The choice here is stark and simple. The Bible says, “I have set before you life and death; therefore, choose life.” The time has arrived for everyone in this conflict to choose peace, and hope, and life.

Thank you very much.

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Obama called America ‘the largest muslim country in the world’, and specifically stated we ‘Are not a Christian Nation” in several interviews, and insinuating it in his Cairo speech- while dissing America/Presdient Bush, and apologizing for America’s ‘sins’ around the world.

Fact: Muslims make up only 0.6% of our country. Jews have htem beat with 1.7%, Christians make up 78%.

Tell me how htis makes America ‘the largest Muslim nation”? Indonesia has 200 million Muslims,India has 156 million, Pakistan has 150 million muslims- again, Tell me how again this makes America ‘The largest Muslim nation’?

Folks, there a an agenda going on, and it aint pretty! The egyptians were shouting out “We love you” to Obama while he stood htere LYING to hteir faces!The bible states the world would rather beleive a lie than hte truth, and there are soem wierd similarities between how the world is going to bow and adore hte antiChrist, and how they are falling at hte feet of Obama- Again- I aint big on end times predictions and signs, but it’s just eerie how the world is falling all over htemselves licking hte feet of Obama while he stands there and lies htrough his teeth to them!

Ironic how?

Alice in Wonderland has nothing over on “the one.” He lives in a fantasy world where historical facts are skipped over or changed to suit the moment. If speeches made up of soaring rhetoric and catchy phrases could change the world then Obama would be a master but in the real world he is a man wihout much experience in any area and it shows. The press and the progressives around the world will wet their pants over this speech but in the long run what will it produce, nothing. Obama is so sure of himself that he is willing to use moral equivalency and expect to get away with it in juxtaposing the Israel and Palestine conflict and trying to justify his stance. The mass media in this country is so biased in favor of Obama that the average American who does not look beyond his or her TV or newspaper is fed a daily dose of Obama the hope of mankind. What a joke, what a sham but hey maybe just maybe the American public will wake up and actually look at what is happening to this country and elect a divided government at the next mid term elections.

Ironic that both were given in June, both called for a 2 state solution, both called for Israeli and Palestinian sacrifice, both cited Koran and Bible, and one brings Chris Matthews to tears while its parallel speech got mocked by the same guy and his ilk.


Palestinians watch a television broadcasting the speech of President Barack Obama in Cairo, at a shop in Gaza City June 4, 2009.
REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

New caption: “Where have we heard this before…sounds familiar?”

“Peace”…..”Two-state solution”…..yadda, yadda….


Just words.

Great Scott! I wonder if our dear media even remembers a word Bush spoke.

Yep, the same, yet you still hate him:

Ed M.:

I don’t hear anything in this speech that Bush didn’t say himself.


…its false idea that the ideas within it represent a huge break with the Bush Administration’s policies with regard to Islam. Of course they don’t. … Bush’s allies in the war are Obama’s allies, and Bush’s enemies are Obama’s enemies, because those allies and enemies are opposed to or support the United States, not a particular president.


…the speech was reminiscent of the remarkable series of speeches President Bush gave about the advance of freedom.


I liked the fact that he put in a Bush-like plug for democracy…I thought he did an effective job of making America’s case to the Muslim world.

The Corner:

Obama’s goal was to tell the Muslim world, “We respect and value you, your religion and your civilization, and only ask that you don’t hate us and murder us in return.” Bush tried to deliver the same message over and over again.



…if Obama really means it, it is bad news for the Jews in Israel and America, not to mention for American national security.

The Corner:

Obama echoed al-Qaeda’s calumnies against them [our military] — and did so in a foreign land. This is unprecedented. It is shameful.

Confederate Yankee:

Barack Obama alarmed allies and confirmed for the nation’s enemies that he will do for democracy and the advancement of human rights what George Tiller did for pediatrics.

Hewitt, again:

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.


Barack Obama’s ivory tower naiveté will get us all killed.

So, the same …hardly: not a mention of the word ‘terrorism’ or ‘terrorists’; not a word or promise about democracy in Afgan. or Iraq; Obama reminded the M.E he has ended the policy of torture in interrogations and will close Gitmo; declared Iraq a war of choice; didn’t label Iran one of three members of the “axis of evil,”; he spoke in Cairo while Bush spoke in the Rose Garden; and finally, Obama got a standing ovation.


Yep, the same, yet you still hate him

And yet your side still hates Bush.

The more he perpetuates Bush-era foreign policy, the more I can live with it. What is farcical, is how he does this while doing everything he can to put on smoke and mirrors that he’s anything but Bush.

Not all Middle Easterners are fooled.

But some are:

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said “there is a change between the speech of President Obama and previous speeches made by George Bush.

What changes? Aside from finding moral equivalence, being a serial apologist, and speaking out of both sides of his mouth, not much.


The Palestinian Authority hailed Obama’s speech as a ‘good beginning’ [AFP]

From al Jazeera in English:

Ahmed Yousef, senior advisor to the deposed Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniya, told Al Jazeera that Obama’s speech was a “landmark”, but had some reservations.

“The things he said about Islam and the Palestinian suffering and their right to have a state is great. It is a landmark and a breakthrough speech,” Yousef said.

Bush and Rice have made the same “landmark” speeches regarding Islam and Palestinian suffering.

And the problem is, with the next paragraph:

“But when it comes to legitimacy of the Israeli right to exist [there are issues]. He knows the Palestinians have to have their own state before recognising another.

The refusal for Palestinians like Yousef to come to the middle and make any concessions. Meanwhile, Obama heaps the burden of guilt upon America; the other half of it isn’t on Muslims- it’s on the “violent extremists”.

Obama cites from the Koran:

The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent is as — it is as if he has killed all mankind. (Applause.) And the Holy Koran also says whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind. (Applause.)

I recall Bush citing the same passage during one of his “Islam is a peaceful religion” speech.

(Note: See verse 5:33)
During a Ramadan speech in 2001, President Bush cites:

The Holy Qu’ran says: “Piety does not lie in turning your face to the East or West. Piety lies in believing in God.” (2:177).

Yet as Scott points out, Obama gets the rousing applause and Bush is seen as a Crusader launching wars against Muslims and not at takfiri terrorists in their midst. Meanwhile, Obama still allows Predator drones in Pakistan, a troop surge in Afghanistan, has not ended the occupation in Iraq but will follow through on the SOFA signed under Bush. It’s comical enough to make you want to laugh and cry!

Washington Times Editorial:

Check Mr. Bush’s remarks at the Islamic Center of Washington on Sept. 17, 2001, six days after the Sept. 11 attacks, in which he said, “America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country.” Likewise, Mr. Obama stated, “Let there be no doubt: Islam is a part of America.” Mr. Bush believed that, “Women who cover their heads in this country must feel comfortable going outside their homes.” Mr. Obama upped the ante, noting that “the U.S. 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.”

In his June 24, 2002, Rose Garden speech on the Palestinian issue, Mr. Bush pledged his administration to pursue a two-state solution and stated, “it is untenable for Palestinians to live in squalor and occupation.” Mr. Obama echoed those sentiments when he noted that Palestinians “endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: The situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable.”

In his May 18, 2008, speech at the World Economic Forum in Sharm el-Sheikh, Mr. Bush made most of the same points on the value of economic development and democracy in the Middle East that Mr. Obama made yesterday. He addressed the authoritarian leaders of the region, including his Egyptian hosts, noting, “Some say any state that holds an election is a democracy. But true democracy requires vigorous political parties allowed to engage in free and lively debate.”

Mr. Obama told literally the same group of authoritarian leaders, “you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy.”

These are but a few examples of message continuity between the Bush and Obama administrations. There are many more, especially dealing with democratization, women’s issues, religious freedom and the war in Afghanistan. The section in which he pledged to “confront violent extremism in all its forms” might as well have been taken from former Vice President Dick Cheney’s briefcase.

We fully expected to hear something along the lines of what Mr. Bush said on Sept. 17, 2001: “the face of terror is not the true faith of Islam … Islam is peace.” Mr. Obama surprised us by not repeating the frequent Bush mantra about the religion of peace, although he did praise the Muslim world for various (and debatable) historical accomplishments. He also noted Islam’s “proud tradition of tolerance” with a historically mangled reference to Andalusia and Cordoba during the Spanish Inquisition. Both are sites of major Muslim massacres of Jews in the 11th century. We hope the president will issue a clarification of this section of his speech lest the terrorists get the wrong message.

Barrack Hussein Bush

* JUNE 5, 2009

The freedom agenda gets a new cover, but Iran is his real test.

One benefit of the Obama Presidency is that it is validating much of George W. Bush’s security agenda and foreign policy merely by dint of autobiographical rebranding. That was clear enough yesterday in Cairo, where President Obama advertised “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” But what he mostly offered were artfully repackaged versions of themes President Bush sounded with his freedom agenda. We mean that as a compliment, albeit with a couple of large caveats.

So there was Mr. Obama, noting that rights such as “freedom to live as you choose” and “the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed” were “not just American ideas, they are human rights.” There he was insisting that “freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together,” and citing Malaysia and Dubai as economic models for other Muslim countries while promising to host a summit on entrepreneurship.

There he was too, in Laura Bush-mode, talking about the need to expand opportunities for Muslim women, particularly in education. “I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles,” he said. “But it should be their choice.”

Mr. Obama also offered a robust defense of the war in Afghanistan, calling it “a war of necessity” and promising that “America’s commitment will not weaken.” That’s an important note to sound when Mr. Obama’s left flank and some Congressional Democrats are urging an exit strategy from that supposed quagmire. On Iraq, he acknowledged that “the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein” and pledged the U.S. to the “dual responsibility” of leaving Iraq while helping the country “forge a better future.” The timeline he reiterated for U.S. withdrawal is the one Mr. Bush negotiated last year.

The President even went one better than his predecessor, with a series of implicit rebukes to much of the Muslim world. There would have been no need for him to specify that six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis if Holocaust denial weren’t rampant in the Middle East, including Egypt, just as there would have been no need to name al Qaeda as the perpetrator of 9/11 if that fact were not also commonly denied throughout the Muslim world. There also would have been no need to insist that “the Arab-Israeli conflict should no longer be used to distract the people of Arab nations from other problems,” if that were not the modus operandi of most Arab governments.

Mr. Obama also noted that “among some Muslims, there is a disturbing tendency to measure one’s own faith by the rejection of another’s,” a recognition of the supremacist strain in Islamist thinking. He also included a pointed defense of democracy, including “the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed” and “confidence in the rule of law.” We doubt the point was lost on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, now in his 29th year in office. All of this will do some good if it leads to broader acceptance among Muslims of the principles of Mr. Bush’s freedom agenda without the taint of its author’s name.

As for the caveats, Mr. Obama missed a chance to remind his audience that no country has done more than the U.S. to liberate Muslims from oppression — in Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo and above all in Afghanistan and Iraq, where more than 50 million people were freed by American arms from two of the most extreme tyrannies in modern history. His insistence on calling Iraq a “war of choice” is a needless insult to Mr. Bush that diminishes the cause for which more than 4,000 Americans have died.

He also couldn’t resist his by now familiar moral self-indulgence by asserting that he has “unequivocally prohibited the use of torture” and ordered Guantanamo closed. Aside from the fact that the U.S. wasn’t torturing anyone before Mr. Obama came into office, his Arab hosts can see through his claims. They know the Obama Administration is “rendering” al Qaeda detainees to other countries, some of them Arab, where their rights and well-being are far less secure than at Gitmo.

The President also stooped to easy, but false, moral equivalence, most egregiously in comparing the U.S. role in an Iranian coup during the Cold War with revolutionary Iran’s 30-year hostility toward the U.S. He also compared Israel’s right to exist with Palestinian statehood. But while denouncing Israeli settlements was an easy applause line, removal of those settlements will do nothing to ease Israeli-Palestinian tensions if the result is similar to what happened when Israel withdrew its settlements from Gaza. We too favor a two-state solution — as did President Bush — but that solution depends on Palestinians showing the capacity to build domestic institutions that reject and punish terror against other Palestinians and their neighbors.

Hanging over all of this is the question of Iran. In his formal remarks, Mr. Obama promised only diplomacy without preconditions and warned about a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Yet surely Iran was at the top of his agenda in private with Mr. Mubarak and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, both of whom would quietly exult if the U.S. removed that regional threat. They were no doubt trying to assess if Mr. Obama is serious about stopping Tehran, or if he is the second coming of Jimmy Carter.

It is in those conversations, and in the hard calls the President will soon have to make, that his Middle East policy will stand or fall.

Also interesting: Obama and the Freedom Agenda

The only difference between the Obama and Bush Middle East speeches is in the petty partisan attacks against Bush that Obama disguises throughout his boring rants and the silly apologies.

Otherwise, the POLICY (and implementation of this policy) that he advocates is the same as the Bush Administration. Almost without exception.

Liberals dont understand “nuances” when it is convenient…