“Obama’s Cairo Speech” by Michael at Oleh Musings

I haven’t blogged lately, for a lot of reasons, but I recently posted my take on Obama’s Cairo speech to Facebook. It started out as a response to my sister’s knee-jerk applause for the President, and got a little bigger. Here it is:

Here is my take on President Obama’s speech in Cairo. I won’t post the whole text, just the parts I want to comment on. You can read the full text of the speech here.

He started out with a paragraph of meaningless platitudes, but started his second paragraph with this: “We meet at a time of great tension between the United States and Muslims around the world — tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate.”

Well, he’s right about that, but it’s about as obvious as stating that the sky is blue, or the night is dark. He very quickly gets into an appalling mess of historical misinterpretation and inaccuracy, combined with political naivete and wishful thinking, that can only lead to dire consequences. He continues: “…tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim—majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.”

What Obama is missing here is that “colonialism” is used by Islamic propagandists as a catchall term to deny any self-responsibility for thier own problems… It’s not our fault, the colonialists did it to us!” It’s also used as a code for “Zionists,” to deligitimize anything to do with Israel… “They don’t belong here, they’re just colonists!” By using the language of Islamics propagandists, Obama is feeding into their lies.

He also ignores the Cold War fact that many Arab and Muslim rulers tried to use the US-Soviet conflict to further their own aims, without regard for their own people’s needs. Nasser of Egypt was particularly adept at playing Cold War sides against each other.

Obama continues: “The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. All this has bred more fear and more mistrust.”

Well, duh! Can you imagine any better description of why Americans might not like or trust the Islamic world? Obama is on the edge of true understanding here, but falls right into wishful thinking: “I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition.”

Where is the mutual respect in Isamic Jihad? Or the laws of dhimmitude? Or in CAIR? I remember in 2006, during the Lebanon War, when some 10,000 Arabs and Muslims marched through Dearborn chanting ‘Death to Israel.’ Is that the mutual respect that Obama has in mind? Or is he thinking of the Mohammad cartoon riots?

And now we get to a crux of the matter: the mores of the Islamic really do appear quite incompatible with the mores of America. Where in any Islamic tradition is there anything that compares to the Bill of Rights? Is it in the provision that apostates get the death penalty? Or in the PA law mandating death for anyone who sells land to a Jew?

Obama continues: “But I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly to each other the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors.”

Perhaps the President should take his own advice. The Islamic terrorists are not shrinking violets, and they are not shy about saying publicly what what is in their hearts… Just listen to Ahmadinijad, or Hamas, or Hezbollah, or even Turkish PM Erdogan, when he recently tried to shout down Pres. Peres. If Obama really wants to listen, it’s not too hard….

Obama goes on to misinterpret a great deal of history. I have only limited space here, so I’ll focus on a few small points: “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco.”

He adds the Treaty of Tripoli, in which the US, under President Adams, said it was not at war with Islam. What Obama fails to recognize is that that treaty was negotiated by the fledgling republic to stop the Barbary coast pirates and slavers from taking US ships. After independence, American ships were no longer protected by the British Navy, and so were fair game for the Barbary pirates. The Treaty of Tripoli was, in effect, extortion: the US had to buy off the pirates. The attempt failed, and President Jefferson had to take America into its first foreign war: against those same Barbary pirates, who preyed on American ships and sailors.

But also, for a “student of history,” Obama sure does make a lot of basic mistakes. The first country to recognize the United States was France. Spain was second. Even Britain, the mother country, recognized American independence before Morocco did.

Obama adds: “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.”

All I can say is: Inconceivable!
(You keep using that word. I do think it means what you think it means.)

What, exactly, is Obama implying about Jefferson here? Does he know why Jefferson read the Koran in the first place? Jefferson helped to negotiate the Treaty of Tripoli, and in so doing, met the Morroccan Ambassador to London, who gave an explicity Islamic justification for the piracy: infidels have no rights, but large commission just might hold the enforcement of Islamic law in abeyance. It was a shakedown job. Jefferson read the Koran to know his enemy.

An aside: I used to have a Koran in my personal library. Does that mean anything? Or does it just mean that I try to be educated, and widely-read?

Obama continues: “…I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

He hasn’t read the Constitution. Here is Obama’s job description: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” That comes from the Constitution of the US. Nothing in there about boosting Islam, but a lot about boosting the US. Fighting negative stereotypes (of all sorts) can be compatible with that oath of office, but only as a minor sideshow.

Obama continues for a couple of paragraphs about how great Muslims are in America, and how great America is for Muslims. Mostly, it’s just platitudes, based on America’s tolerance for diversity. He never once contrasts it with the repression and discrimination that is rampant in the Islamic world.

But then Obama says this: “In Ankara, I made clear that America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam. We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security — because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children.”

Three comments: First, America may not be at war with Islam, but a sizable chunk of Islam is at war with America. That’s what a lot of the troubles in the world today are all about. Take a look at Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Taliban, just for starters.

Second: Yes, people of all faith reject killing innocents, but there is only one faith that commands its adherents to kill or subjugate everyone else. I seem to remember a few things about that when I read the Koran….

Finally, civilized people reject the killing of innocents, but just how do we define innocents? A lot of Islamic terrorists (and plain rabble rousers) take the line that no one who isn’t Muslim can be innocent… which means it’s OK to kill everyone else. Whether those guys are right or wrong is irrelevant, since they ACT on their conviction. Obama ignores this fact at everyone else’s peril.

Obama continues with several paragraphs about the war in Afghanistan, showing that he absolutely does not understand the nature of the conflict. He says that America is only fighting one group (al-qaeda), but makes no mention of combatting the ideology that underlies that group, or of recognizing that al-qaeda is only one of many such groups. He can’t lead a winning campaign this way.

Obama goes on to say that the terrorists will win in Iraq by 2012, because that’s when US troops will leave.

And now Obama gets to Israel. This is where he starts to *really* get everything wrong. Which is sad, because he does make a couple of good points. First, the good:

“America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable….”

“Palestinians must abandon violence….”

“Now is the time for Palestinians to focus on what they can build. The Palestinian Authority must develop its capacity to govern, with institutions that serve the needs of its people….”

Those are accurate statements, and can be the basis for an actual peace, except… that President Obama has no clue about what’s real, on the ground, here in the Middle East. Let’s continue from each set of elipses, shall we?

“America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied. Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust….”

The Jewish aspiration for a homeland is not rooted in a tragic history. In fact, it predates the tragic history, predates the Holocaust, predates European anti-semitism, predates modern European civilization, predates Islam, predates Christianity… I think you get the picture.

Fact: Jewish aspirations for a homeland, in Israel, are based on a 3000+ year history of living in and loving this land. Israel is central to our religious beliefs and practices, we built the first independent kingdoms here, and through 1800 years of exile, never forgot our roots. The aftermath of WWII may have made the *re*establishment of Israel politically possible, but the desire for nation-hood and independence? That was there long before 1948.

Here’s the rest of that second quote: “Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and it does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America’s founding.”

Where to begin? First, Obama used the word ‘resistance.’ In pro-palestinian circles, this word has a very specific meaning: action against Israel. He says it’s wrong, but only through violence. I know that he meant it was always wrong, but what his audience hears is: “You’ve got the wrong tactic.”

And, to compound the error, he says that “resistance through violence” is wrong because it fails. In other words, for Obama, there is no moral argument against palestinian terrorism, only a practical argument. He has just swallowed all of their propaganda. And equated them with the morality of America’s Civil Rights movement, to boot.

Next quote: “Now is the time for Palestinians to focus on what they can build. The Palestinian Authority must develop its capacity to govern, with institutions that serve the needs of its people. Hamas does have support among some Palestinians, but they also have to recognize they have responsibilities. To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, recognize Israel’s right to exist.”

Uh-oh… President Obama has just said that any peace depends on Hamas. That ends it, right there. Has he ever read the Hamas Charter? Hamas believes that Israel will exist until Islam obliterates it. Period. There’s no room for past agreements, or Israel’s right to exist in there.

Let’s look at what else the President had to say about Israel:

“On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people — Muslims and Christians — have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than 60 years they’ve endured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations — large and small — that come with occupation….”

Does Obama realize that the palestinians brought this on themselves? They left in ’48, at the urging of their leaders, to make room for Arab armies to kill all the Jews. And when those armies failed, the palestinians’ “Arab brothers” dumped them in refugee camps to use as a political weapon. It’s been a brilliant strategy, but it is not Israel’s fault. Since the end of WWII, the palestinians are the *only* refugee population that has not been repatriated or absorbed by their ethnic relations, as well as the only refugee population for whom refugee status is a birthright.

As for the occupation, we’ve seen what happens when Israel pulls its army out, from Lebanon in 2000, and Gaza in 2005. The result was emboldened terrorists who felt that Israel was on the ropes, prompting them to launch the 2006 Lebanon War, and a multi-year rocket campaign from Gaza. What do you think will happen if Israel pulls the army out of Judea and Samaria?

If the palestinians don’t want an “occupation,” they should put down their guns. And go home. And no one will follow them. But it’s obvious what will happen if Israel drops it’s weapons: every rocket out of Gaza tells us that.

The point is that President Obama has swallowed the propaganda of palestinian terrorists and their supporters. He’s using their terminology. He’s pushing for one of their big issues: no more “settlements,” or even construction in settlements. He’s even pushing to end the ‘natural growth’ exception.

This means that, according to Obama, the biggest obstacle to peace is Jews having babies. That’s natural growth. Obama’s *stated* formula is: Palestinians must stop violence, but Jews can’t have babies.

We are in for a dangerous four years with this joker in the White House.

Original Link.

3 Responses to ““Obama’s Cairo Speech” by Michael at Oleh Musings”

  1. Michael says:

    Thanks for the hat tip.

  2. Rachid Z says:

    Hi,
    A christian such as yourself should applaud Obama speech. Why you may ask well cause its trying to bridge the gap between two people that are not going anywhere any time soon. I would like to see some of the teaching of Jesus manifests in your writing from loving your enemy to turning the other cheek. These are lessons we all learned from Jesus life and to be applied under all conditions. Your publication for instance only adds to the mistrust and hatred. Lets us move forward and stop this nonsense because there is only one earth and we have to share it. I applaud my president for trying to do just that and lets face there is not one country on the face of the earth that could take on the Unites States. Iran our enemy spends $6 billion dollar on military we spend a trillion dollar so even if all countries get together to fight us they will be wiped out of the face of the earth. The 10000 chanting “death to isreal” in dearborn are just venting their anger the war in lebanon and Gaza left thousands innocents dead and billion of dollars of infrastructure in ruins. Isreal in both wars lost maybe 30 soldiers. You said Jewish aspirations for a homeland, in Israel, are based on a 3000+ year history of living in and loving this land? is this really a fact and even do you think it is justified to drive people out of their homes and besieged in guettos and encirled them with a wall, checkpoints and humilition. Are willing to give up your house and your church back to the Natives because hundreds of years ago they lived there. Your post is filled with inaccurate “fatcs” Morocco is the first to recognize US independance and there is more I dont want to get into it. On the day of judgment we will be accountable not only for our actions but also for every word we wrote. We will be asked if we tried to promote peace.
    Peace is not bad my friend we should work for it we should try it

    Peace

    Rachid

  3. Jew says:

    Yes! Finally, some sense!

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