Thursday, 4 June 2009

Obama speech in Cairo

This is my placeholder post for reactions and commentary on the Cairo speech, earlier today.

I'm not a fan of Egyptian blogger sandmonkey at all, but he was invited to Cairo University to attend the speech and his report is very good.

What I think in a nutshell:

Obama needs partners and supporters in the US to help him deliver on his paradigm-changing words.

In the Arab/Muslim world, with the exception of Iran and a few Islamist movements, most of the regimes are pro-US and will happily support him. It will be Israel's government that will most likely hold things up.

Obama's speech has won him extra affection at the street level; it will probably stem the drip-drip leak of angry men to jihadi-type activities. But decisions and actions by the Obama administration, to back up the words, are crucial.

More links and comments to follow ...

Obama would win presidency of Egypt easily.

British-educated, Harlem-based Egyptian Mona El-tahawy always has a different take.

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Lynn said...

Thanks for the link, Ahmed. Comments are comments all over the world I guess. It's funny to read the same kind of unremitting negativism on his post as on so many in the US.

I look forward to your take.

Lynn said...

Thanks for weighing in. Pretty close to my take, although of course I could only hope that his impact on the street would be what you think it will be.

The push on Israel will be very interesting. From my perspective, Israel has gotten away with saying "Heck, we'll negotiate in good faith as soon as the Arab nations are willing" - for five decades. Now, they may have to actually consider doing so.

Ahmed said...

Lynn, thanks for your comments.

It's interesting that Obama's strategy so far seems to not include spelling out any needs or requirements from any body. He goes around the world spreading a message of balance and hope.

His words will go some way, I feel, to redress the hurt that some Muslims have felt. There is no doubt that his words will be studied carefully by the Bin Ladens and the Zawahris. And they will appreciate the symbolism and the reach-outs, even if they don't say so.

Obama is raising the stakes.

He better start taking tough decisions asap!