Thursday, June 04, 2009

Obama's Cairo Speech

Moving? Yes. The man has a way with words, no question about it, as he's shown many times before. And as another departure from the Neoconservative belligerency towards the Muslim world and the many mistakes that flowed from it certainly useful.

Accurate? Hardly. As far grand sweeping statements go this one was no different, by in considerable parts simplifying a complex reality into a series of bite-size and quite reductionist sound bites.

Encouraging? Probably. Words usually precede actions and it's hard to see how the President would make such statements if he's not been preparing the ground for a number of initiatives, some of which have already been set in motion (albeit in a slightly stop-start-stop motion).

No doubt spin masters around the world will now engage in a frantic exercise of decoding Obama nice words. But actions really do speak louder than words and the world's, including the Muslim world's, respect for Obama's still not entirely clear intentions will start to grow when we start to see decisive actions on a number of fronts.

The Israel - Palestine conflict is an issue where it really is a case of now or almost certainly never. It must receive a high degree of priority, in particular in the light the West's sixty years of complicity in a crime with almost exclusively Muslim victims and the ongoing, unabated and continuously worsening fate of these victims.

Full transcript of the speech.


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