Was going to break this down in to a couple of more “parts”, but thought enough is enough already. So this last will cover the remainder of Obama’s speech in Egypt. (And if you think what you are seeing now is long, wait til you get “below the fold”.)
That does not mean we should ignore sources of tension. Indeed, it suggests the opposite: we must face these tensions squarely. And so in that spirit, let me speak as clearly and plainly as I can about some specific issues that I believe we must finally confront together.
The first issue that we have to confront is violent extremism in all of its forms.
Fine, on the face of it. But let’s go on shall we.
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. And it is my first duty as President to protect the American people.
The statement “We are not at war with Islam” is nothing new. President Bush uttered this more than once. But the inclusion of “and never will be”, gives one pause. Given what hasn’t been said by those who just want to get along with the world and practice their cult in peace, in other words “The Mythical Moderate Muslim”
So America will defend itself respectful of the sovereignty of nations and the rule of law. And we will do so in partnership with Muslim communities which are also threatened. The sooner the extremists are isolated and unwelcome in Muslim communities, the sooner we will all be safer.
“unwelcome in Muslim communities”??? It is to laugh!!
The second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.
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.
Wonder if “Teh One” has ever heard you can’t have it both ways. Yes, the American people’s bond with Israel will never be broken. But Obama all but snubbed Israeli leaders (including Netanyahu) on their most recent visits to the United States. He tried to dictate to the Israeli PM what he must do in the defense of his country. Or there would be possible repercussions from us. Now is that any way to act toward your single strongest ally in the very part of the world where there are no others? (let alone the common ties to religion and culture which go back thousands of years). I hope you mean what you say above, but your recent actions make this somewhat doubtful.
Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed, more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction, or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews, is deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.
Nice, very nice, hopefully your audience took some of this to heart. (Best part of your diatribe so far.)
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 sixty years they have 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. So let there be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.
For decades, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive. It is easy to point fingers, for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought by Israel’s founding, and for Israelis to point to the constant hostility and attacks throughout its history from within its borders as well as beyond. But if we see this conflict only from one side or the other, then we will be blind to the truth: the only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.
That is in Israel’s interest, Palestine’s interest, America’s interest, and the world’s interest. That is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all the patience that the task requires. The obligations that the parties have agreed to under the Road Map are clear. For peace to come, it is time for them, and all of us, to live up to our responsibilities.
Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and 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. This same story can be told by people from South Africa to South Asia; from Eastern Europe to Indonesia. It’s a story with a simple truth: that violence is a dead end. It is a sign of neither courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus. That is not how moral authority is claimed; that is how it is surrendered.
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 responsibilities. To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, and to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel’s right to exist.
At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.
Israel must also live up to its obligations to ensure that Palestinians can live, and work, and develop their society. And just as it devastates Palestinian families, the continuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel’s security; neither does the continuing lack of opportunity in the West Bank. Progress in the daily lives of the Palestinian people must be part of a road to peace, and Israel must take concrete steps to enable such progress.
Finally, the Arab States must recognize that the Arab Peace Initiative was an important beginning, but not the end of their responsibilities. The Arab-Israeli conflict should no longer be used to distract the people of Arab nations from other problems. Instead, it must be a cause for action to help the Palestinian people develop the institutions that will sustain their state; to recognize Israel’s legitimacy; and to choose progress over a self-defeating focus on the past.
America will align our policies with those who pursue peace, and say in public what we say in private to Israelis and Palestinians and Arabs. We cannot impose peace. But privately, many Muslims recognize that Israel will not go away. Likewise, many Israelis recognize the need for a Palestinian state. It is time for us to act on what everyone knows to be true.
Could be snarky about the above. But this is basic boiler plate stuff. I doubt there will be a lasting peace in Israel until the Palestinians have either been given land somewhere (doesn’t have to be land held by Israel…in fact it shouldn’t be!) and are left to their own devices. Israel made their desert land bloom, and their cities rise out o the sand. The Palestinians have been offered the chance to do so since Israel became a state. (and they refused, or bulked, or created hate and discontent) Perhaps it is time for the Arab states to cough up some land for their “oppressed brothers”? Listens to the sound of crickets …
Too many tears have flowed. Too much blood has been shed. All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon them) joined in prayer.
Hmmmm where in the Old Testament and or the Torah is this story of Isra??? Oh!! silly me, we are talking about the Qur’an…never mind.
This issue has been a source of tension between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. For many years, Iran has defined itself in part by its opposition to my country, and there is indeed a tumultuous history between us. In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically-elected Iranian government. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians. This history is well known. Rather than remain trapped in the past, I have made it clear to Iran’s leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward. The question, now, is not what Iran is against, but rather what future it wants to build.
Another strong paragraph. Assuming the last two sentences are not as hedged as the first 2/3rds of the paragraph was. And how America is going to hold Iran accountable for it’s present actions along with those it alludes to for the future.
It will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we will proceed with courage, rectitude and resolve. There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect. But it is clear to all concerned that when it comes to nuclear weapons, we have reached a decisive point. This is not simply about America’s interests. It is about preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down a hugely dangerous path.
It isn’t all that hard to overcome decades of mistrust. Just start acting in a way which promotes trust. Start doing that which can not be taken in any other way then of being of a positive, constructive, nature. For example, hold out a legitimate “olive branch” to the people and nation of Israel. Denounce the practice of taqiyya, backing that up with action. That would be a good start. But cynic that I am says; “Figure the odds on that happening anytime soon.”
I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America’s commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. And any nation, including Iran, should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the Treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I am hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal.
And here he exposes the famous “Why can’t we all just get along” philosophy. The one which saw such stunning success when used by Chamberlain and later, Jimmy Carter. There are always going to be those who respect only those who have power, and are not afraid to use it, if and when the time comes. America has for the most part during the 20th century always been most successful when operating from a position of strength. We have failed only when acquiescing.
The fourth issue that I will address is democracy.
I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other.
Oh, I don’t know about that….seems Japan and Germany did alright considering we “imposed” upon them after that World War II thing.
That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people. Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.
Pretty words…sounds like he is running for office. Too bad most of his audience is probably going “huh??!?” right about this point. Though there is an Egyptian middle class of sorts. As there are many well educated Egyptians. The fact is most wouldn’t have a clue about “transparent government” any more then they would about “rule of law”. You need to take “baby steps” here Sparky.
This last point is important because there are some who advocate for democracy only when they are out of power; once in power, they are ruthless in suppressing the rights of others. No matter where it takes hold, government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who hold power: you must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; 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.
*Sigh* Now if he would only practice what he preaches…here at home!!!
Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition. I saw it firsthand as a child in Indonesia, where devout Christians worshiped freely in an overwhelmingly Muslim country. That is the spirit we need today. People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith based upon the persuasion of the mind, heart, and soul. This tolerance is essential for religion to thrive, but it is being challenged in many different ways.
“Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”?!?!?!?! Damn, what is Homie-in-Chief been smokin’?? Wanna try bringing a bible into Saudi Arabia? And what about a bit more “religious tolerance” here at home. I am far from being even close to what could be called a “good Christian”. But it does get tiring seeing Christians right here at home being constantly harangued by your own political party.
Among some Muslims, there is a disturbing tendency to measure one’s own faith by the rejection of another’s. The richness of religious diversity must be upheld, whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt. And fault lines must be closed among Muslims as well, as the divisions between Sunni and Shia have led to tragic violence, particularly in Iraq.
Does that mean the Wahahbists are toast?? I hope so. So how come I get the feeling it only means they go into “hiding” for awhile, til all this Kumbaya stuff “blows over”.
Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together. We must always examine the ways in which we protect it. For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That is why I am committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.
Seems like it was your party which was responsible for said restrictions in the first place….err wait…this wouldn’t have anything to do with DHS monitoring where said “charitable contributions” are going….say to funding of terrorist groups, or those groups which sponsor same. Naaa, it couldn’t be that.
Likewise, it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit, for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear. We cannot disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretense of liberalism.
There is no dictate as to what anyone has to wear day to day. But some jobs require certain clothing/uniforms be worn by ALL members. Some forms of identification dictate individuals faces MUST be in full view. Regardless of the religion, you have to comply with this. Or for example, you can choose NOT to have a drivers license. (and keep your face covered)
Now let me be clear: issues of womens 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 womens equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world.
Our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons, and our common prosperity will be advanced by allowing all humanity, men and women, to reach their full potential. I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order to be equal, and I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles. But it should be their choice. That is why the United States will partner with any Muslim-majority country to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment through micro-financing that helps people live their dreams.
“I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order to be equal”?? If you are talking about qualifications for a particular job/career, then why not? Oh, that’s right it wouldn’t be “fair”. If you are talking about equal pay for equal work, than I would agree with you there. Just as a “homemaker” (of either gender) is just as “equal” as any other human.
I know that for many, the face of globalization is contradictory. The Internet and television can bring knowledge and information, but also offensive sexuality and mindless violence. Trade can bring new wealth and opportunities, but also huge disruptions and changing communities. In all nations, including my own, this change can bring fear. Fear that because of modernity we will lose of control over our economic choices, our politics, and most importantly our identities, those things we most cherish about our communities, our families, our traditions, and our faith.
But I also know that human progress cannot be denied. There need not be contradiction between development and tradition. Countries like Japan and South Korea grew their economies while maintaining distinct cultures. The same is true for the astonishing progress within Muslim-majority countries from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai. In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.
“Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”???? Granted, in recent years, there have been some areas where, due to having vast amounts of money, there has been upscale construction on a (very) locally massive scale. But other then that the words “innovation and education” being found next to either “Islam” or “Muslim nation” are only found in works of fiction.
This is important because no development strategy can be based only upon what comes out of the ground, nor can it be sustained while young people are out of work. Many Gulf States have enjoyed great wealth as a consequence of oil, and some are beginning to focus it on broader development. But all of us must recognize that education and innovation will be the currency of the 21st century, and in too many Muslim communities there remains underinvestment in these areas. I am emphasizing such investments within my country. And while America in the past has focused on oil and gas in this part of the world, we now seek a broader engagement.
On education, we will expand exchange programs, and increase scholarships, like the one that brought my father to America, while encouraging more Americans to study in Muslim communities. And we will match promising Muslim students with internships in America; invest in on-line learning for teachers and children around the world; and create a new online network, so a teenager in Kansas can communicate instantly with a teenager in Cairo.
Teenagers in Kansas are communicating with teenagers in Cairo….if only on MMORGS such as “Conquer”. And most of the kids from Cairo are generally viewed as pains in the ass. Still, we have had exchange students from the mid-east here, matter o’ fact a number of them were enrolled in flying schools…..
On economic development, we will create a new corps of business volunteers to partner with counterparts in Muslim-majority countries. And I will host a Summit on Entrepreneurship this year to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world.
Gonna use some of those mad “Community Organizer” skilz, are ya?
On science and technology, we will launch a new fund to support technological development in Muslim-majority countries, and to help transfer ideas to the marketplace so they can create jobs. We will open centers of scientific excellence in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and appoint new Science Envoys to collaborate on programs that develop new sources of energy, create green jobs, digitize records, clean water, and grow new crops. And today I am announcing a new global effort with the Organization of the Islamic Conference to eradicate polio. And we will also expand partnerships with Muslim communities to promote child and maternal health.
All these things must be done in partnership. Americans are ready to join with citizens and governments; community organizations, religious leaders, and businesses in Muslim communities around the world to help our people pursue a better life.
Not bad. Now if you can findenough locals who are aware of such things as “technology” and “science” (let alone scientific excellence). And create “green jobs”… please!! Ignoring the Islamic part for a second, these people are doing well just to have clean running water, proper waste disposal, and a steady food source. Yes there is that ‘enth of a percent who have all the modern conveniences and trinkets, but they are the exception, not the rule.
(And yes, I have been to enough other parts of the world, thanks to “Uncle Sam’s Seafaring Travel Program” ™ , that I am well aware of what the standard of living is “over there” compared to “over here”.)
The issues that I have described will not be easy to address. But we have a responsibility to join together on behalf of the world we seek, a world where extremists no longer threaten our people, and American troops have come home; a world where Israelis and Palestinians are each secure in a state of their own, and nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes; a world where governments serve their citizens, and the rights of all God’s children are respected. Those are mutual interests. That is the world we seek. But we can only achieve it together.
Standard boiler-plate “progressive speak”, cue the “Kumbaya” music!!
I know there are many, Muslim and non-Muslim, who question whether we can forge this new beginning. Some are eager to stoke the flames of division, and to stand in the way of progress. Some suggest that it isn’t worth the effort, that we are fated to disagree, and civilizations are doomed to clash. Many more are simply skeptical that real change can occur. There is so much fear, so much mistrust. But if we choose to be bound by the past, we will never move forward. And I want to particularly say this to young people of every faith, in every country, you, more than anyone, have the ability to remake this world.
And given any chance at all, my generation will be the one destroying the world, giving you the chance to remake it.
All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to an effort, a sustained effort, to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings.
It is easier to start wars than to end them. It is easier to blame others than to look inward; to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path. There is also one rule that lies at the heart of every religion, that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. This truth transcends nations and peoples, a belief that isn’t new; that isn’t black or white or brown; that isn’t Christian, or Muslim or Jew. It’s a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization, and that still beats in the heart of billions. It’s a faith in other people, and it’s what brought me here today.
Hmmmm, a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization?? “Og want Ug’s Mammoth smacker.” “Og take Ug’s Mammoth smacker, cause Ug big pussy.” You mean that pulse??? Or how about “only the strong survive”.
We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written.
The Holy Koran tells us, “O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.”
The Talmud tells us: “The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace.”
The Holy Bible tells us, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
Why the Qur’an quote didn’t mention peace or peacemakers, but the Talmud and the Bible did, imagine that. Wonder what the reason for that was. It couldn’t be that Islam is not “The Religion of Peace” ™ . Rather it is “The Religion of Submitting”.
The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God’s vision. Now, that must be our work here on Earth. Thank you. And may God’s peace be upon you.
“And the bombs start dropping in 15 minutes” …. err was that mic still “hot”??? (well one can always hope)
LC Aggie Sith wrote:
His ignorance is now legendary….
Guy S wrote:
What is really sad (and more then a little dangerous, is he treats his ignorance like a major league homerun hitter treats his record on homeruns; he is always trying to “better his record”. Obama is consistantly seeking to break the worlds record for ignorance. Seems to be doing a damn good job of it too.
By the way, didn’t see the major “blockquote” error on the extended part of this post. But it’s fixed now.
LC Aggie Sith wrote:
No problem…I figured it out 😉
I remember something from my religion classes in Anthropology…Mohammed went into the cave to speak to the angel. When asked by his followers how he knew if it was an angel or a devil, Mohammed replied he didn’t know.
Oh, and when are people going to catch on that Islam comes from the word “surrender”??
Guy S wrote:
“Surrender or (to) “submit”/”submitting”, in any case “Religion of Peace” is a total fabrication, figuratively and literally.