Cleopatra, in the Egypt of the imagination, still might rule as the Queen of the Nile, but today, Obama in Egypt was, as the joke goes, the Queen of denial.
[Sleeveless Michelle was nowhere to be found in Egypt. Michelle avoided the flying rocks she would have encountered had she ventured into the Cairo streets in one of her trendy sleeveless frocks. Michelle will meet up with Barack in safe Paris, later in the week.]
Obama, in a speech as dry as mummy dust, denied reality and engaged in more of his dangerous hopey dopey talk, which his acolytes love to listen to, but which accomplishes little other than set the expectations of the listener up for a fall and encourage dangerous false hopes and unreality.
In this latest speech, a speech sure to be praised by Big Media enablers and those not paying much attention or foolishly filling the empty vessel with their own wishes, Barack Obama bowed before America’s chief adversaries and, as he did with his Jeremiah Wright race speech, muddied the waters to confuse mostly Arab (Iran is not Arab) Middle Eastern political forces with the worldwide religion of Islam.
Obama abandoned reality and again chose to ignore Lord Palmerston’s admonition that “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.” Well actually, Obama did speak about “mutual interests” but the mention did not refer to Israel. Iinstead, for Obama, the mutual interests are “between the United States and Muslims around the world”. Israel was reduced to a friendly sort of “bond”.
Obama also did not bother, in a speech sold by Obama and Big Media as “honest” to discuss terrorism. The word “terrorism” simply never came up. Murdered Iraqis who are gay were never mentioned. Gays and their oppression was not mentioned at all. Instead Obama quoted the “Holy Koran” with the verse “Be conscious of God and speak always the truth.” Then Obama proceeded to avoid telling the truth.
Obama did not engage in sufficient truth telling to discuss the possibility that perhaps there is, or isn’t, an ideological problem with Islam which requires airing in order to update Islam for the modern world just as Christianity and Judaism had to evolve and adapt to the modern world:
But there is a persistent and broad view that it is Islam itself which is responsible for the “democratic deficit” in much of the Muslim world. [snip]
The notion has increasingly been heard that Islam is essentially incompatible with democracy because it emphasizes God’s sovereignty rather than that of human beings; because it values men over women; and because it discourages dialogue and pluralism. Many Muslims contest such views by arguing that God has granted sovereignty to humans to govern themselves; and that Islamic justice disallows discrimination based on class, race or gender (because the noblest humans are the most pious).
Listeners of the Obama publicity stunt today can be forgiven for not knowing if the problem is Islam, unmentioned terrorists, Arabs, Persians, Arab Muslims, the Middle East, Jews, Chinese or Russian Muslims, male Muslims, Indonesians, African Muslims, Americans, American Muslims or perhaps Portuguese water dogs.
In his speech Obama praised the achievements of Islam (Obama mentioned algebra and the pen as achievements. Obama should consider that the word “assassin” is a Persian Muslim contribution and that he is playing a real game of three dimensional chess with the etymological masters of the “checkmate”).
Obama also dared to equate African-American slavery in the United States with the treatment of Palestinians by Israel.
Obama’s foolishness extended to Iran’s nuclear program. Obama approves of Iran acquiring “peaceful” nuclear power even though the energy resources Iran already has at its disposal are ample. Israel would be foolish indeed to listen to Obama as he smuggles more than enough time to Iran for development of a nuclear weapon which would eliminate Israel.
Slavery, and Koran verses, but not once did Obama bother to remind the audience about the Muslim lives saved by President Bill Clinton as he stopped “ethnic cleansing” and saved Muslim lives in Kosovo and Bosnia.
President Clinton presided over the historic 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel in 1994; the Interim Agreement on Palestinian self-rule in 1995, the Wye River Accords in 1998; and in 2000, from Camp David to Taba, brought the parties together for the first high-level discussions of all permanent status issues, and offered a proposal for a comprehensive peace, accepted by the Government of Israel but rejected by Yassar Arafat. After two years of renewed conflict, Arafat said he would accept the Clinton Plan.”
No mention of an American president, Bill Clinton and how he (General Wesley Clark too) saved Muslim lives. But Obama did have the audacity to mention women after primary and general campaigns dependent on misogyny and sexism against Hillary Clinton (and govenor Palin). Peter Daou, formerly of the Hillary campaign properly mocks Obama chiffon thin defense of women. Writes Daou (unfortunately for the repulsive Huff n’ Puff):
Take the issue of women’s rights, addressed in Obama’s Cairo speech with the most tepid language [snip]
Is that a joke?
With women being stoned, raped, abused, battered, mutilated, and slaughtered on a daily basis across the globe, violence that is so often perpetrated in the name of religion, the most our president can speak about is protecting their right to wear the hijab? I would have been much more heartened if the preponderance of the speech had been about how in the 21st century, we CANNOT tolerate the pervasive abuse of our mothers and sisters and daughters.
1. Aside from a few platitudes, it is disappointingly weak on human rights and specifically women’s rights.
2. It betrays a naiveté, perhaps feigned, about how the Arab world works.
I sometimes preface my posts by explaining that my Mideast perspective is that of an American-Lebanese-Christian-Jew who grew up in Muslim West Beirut at the height (or should I say depth) of the Lebanese civil war. The tumultuous and bloody intersection of religions and geopolitical interests is painfully real to me.
Yes, Obama is targeting the Arab ‘street’ and global public opinion – but to the corrupt regimes that dominate that region of the world, his oration means virtually nothing. Repression and suppression will go on uninterrupted. And to those whose abiding hatred of Israel (and thus America) is absolute, Obama’s words will be seen as empty and hypocritical.
Daou ends his article with a magnificent slap across Barack Obama’s face:
Enough with the perpetual campaign. True justice, true peace, these are earned through courageous decisions and bold actions. Real truth to power.
If we are to fix America’s image in the world and if we are to heal the planet’s myriad ills, it will not be done through contrite kumbaya speeches about how we are all one world and how we should all coexist peacefully, no matter whether the remarks are delivered in Cleveland or Cairo. It will be done by leading through example, by righting the many wrongs here at home, by seeking justice and fairness for all, by doing what is right, not saying what sounds pleasing to the media elite and the pliable punditocracy.
Ricki Lieberman in her latest electronic epistle discussed Israel in the 1970s:
There were no settlements, only decades of Arab refusal to recognize Israel, and vows to push the Jews into the sea. Israel was still struggling to resettle and absorb nearly a million Jews from Arab lands who had arrived penniless in the years after Israeli Independence. At the same time, 22 Arab states were leaving their Palestinian bretheren [sic] to rot in miserable refugee camps on Israel’s borders, rather than to take them in.
Today the Jews from Arab lands are productive tax paying citizens of Israel while the Palestinians continue to fester in the camps, radicalized by false hopes, rhetoric, and schooling which promotes anti-Semitism, hatred of Israel, and homicide bombers.
While I am no supporter of the settlements – they have diverted resources needed elsewhere – they are not the obstacle to peace. Long before there were settlements there was no peace and no impulse to peace. Had the Arabs accepted partition in 1947 or recognized Israel in 1948, there would have been no settlements. Had the Arabs made peace in 1967, there would have been no settlements. Had Arafat recognized Israel in 2000 at Camp David with President Clinton, there would today be a strong Palestinian state.
Tragically, as Abba Eban said, the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Let’s be really honest, Mr. President. The obstacle to peace is the lack of a critical mass of Arabs who will recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and work for a Palestinian state which both guarantees Israel’s security and benefits from the regional prosperity that will accompany peaceful co-existence. To acheive [sic] peace, this is where the real work needs to be done. Until this happens, the rest is a distraction…
Ricki is quite right. The conflict can only be resolved by two willing to negotiate parties – Israel and the Palestinians.
We remember when Bill Clinton tried to bring peace to Israel and the Palestinians. It was said that Bill Clinton knew where every boulder in Israel was as he negotiated detail after detail after detail with Yasser Arafat and Ehud Barak over boundaries and territorial lines.
Bill Clinton’s proposal was rejected by Arafat. Ehud Barak, while engaged in an election fight for survival, accepted the Clinton proposal. Ariel Sharon who was running against Ehud Barak stated clearly that “If Barak loses, I don’t have to honor a deal“. That reality did not matter to Arafat who denied reality when he rejected the peace proposal, which would have created a Palestinian state. Eventually, but too too late, Arafat accepted the deal – but by then Sharon was Israel’s Prime Minister and Sharon had made his “no” very clear well before election day.
Likud party leader Ariel Sharon, who is leading the polls by a wide margin in the election for prime minister on Feb. 6, spoke recently at his ranch in southern Israel with NEWSWEEK’s Dan Ephron. Excerpts:
EPHRON: If Barak manages to clinch a deal with the Palestinians and you win the election, you’ll face a lot of pressure to implement the agreement, from the United States among others.
SHARON: Look, no doubt I’ll have to deal with that. And as I said, it’s very complicated. But if I go on what Barak says, that [the election] is a referendum [on the peace …
As today’s Obama Dimocrats like to say “Elections have consequences.”
Ricki is not the only one questioning the Obama strategy of attack your friends, appease your foes:
“My concern is that we are applying pressure to the wrong party in this dispute,” said Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.). “I think it would serve America’s interest better if we were pressuring the Iranians to eliminate the potential of a nuclear threat from Iran, and less time pressuring our allies and the only democracy in the Middle East to stop the natural growth of their settlements.”
“When Congress gets back into session the administration is going to hear from many more members than just me,” she said.
In today’s speech Obama once again put logic and American interests aside in order to boost his popularity.
What Obama did today was once again encourage rogue states such as Iran to do as they please and ignore American interests. Encouraging Iran to develop nuclear power for whatever use sends an uncertain message to unstable characters.
A wise president does not allow American interests and intentions to be misunderstood (think April Glaspie and the first Iraq war) nor American interests to be ignored by foes.
A wise president sometimes needs to make her intentions clear and the consequences of conflict very clear so that foes do not miscalculate to their own detriment. A wise president does not encourage false hopes and delusions and denial.
Obama has not heard the celestial choirs he expected to hear in the United States. Obama is now in search of celestial choirs in the Middle East. But celestial choirs are not reality – they are a hope and a dream – and a denial of reality.
Obama today denied reality.
Obama is the Queen of Denial.