Tales from the Trail

The First Draft: Reviews flood in after Obama’s Cairo speech

June 4, 2009

OBAMA-EGYPT/He’s been preparing for this moment since long before he came to the White House, so President Barack Obama might wonder how his Cairo speech to the Muslim world went over. He wouldn’t have to wait long — within minutes after he ended his address, the reviews started flooding in.

The Washington Post said Obama did well, but basically, talk’s cheap: “Perhaps today’s words, from the son of a Muslim, will be viewed as a welcome olive branch. But it’s still just a speech. And even stirring words can’t paper over the seemingly intractable differences in the Mideast.”

The New York Post got a bit snarky: “If world peace is attained by complimenting those on the other side into submission, he made some serious progress. Obama really buttered them up in Cairo.”

The Drudge Report noted how long the speech was: the Web site showed a photo of Obama speaking, over the line “6,000 words”.

In Iran, there was a sort of pre-emptive review, issued even before Obama spoke: Iran’s supreme leader said United States was deeply hated in the Middle East, and warned Obama that “beautiful” speeches alone would not improve the U.S. image in the Muslim world.

More reviews are definitely expected to trickle in, since Obama’s speech was a multimedia event. If you missed the live broadcast, you could also see part or all of the speech online at Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites. The White House ran the speech live on its website, and the State Department streamed it as part of a live chat – and the chat continued long after the speech ended.

One comment found there sounded like a rave: “Barack Hussein Obama is definitely an ”Elevation” leader that makes one vibrate while listening to him!”

Around Washington today, Israeli Defense Miniser Ehud Barak meets with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Admiral Eric Olson, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, testifies next year’s budget request, and FBI Director Robert Mueller appears before a panel of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

For more Reuters political news, please click here.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (Egyptian citizens watch Obama’s speech in Cairo)

Comments
6 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

The Arabs have lost many wars to Israel. In each case all the land they lost was eventually returned to them. This encourages them to make more wars. If losing wars ended with the loss of territory perhaps they would not be so reckless to start wars.

Posted by dmmd25 | Report as abusive
 

Wow. So the Post and Drudge criticized Obama’s speech. The sun came up this morning, too.

The Post and Drudge would criticize President Obama if he established world peace tomorrow. Partisanship is the purpose of their existence. So why is their opinion part of this article at all?

Isn’t it time the legitimate news media – like Reuters – stopped treating the opinions of partisan propaganda media – like the Post and Drudge – as though they were newsworthy?

Posted by Ignatz | Report as abusive
 

Obama’s speech was a strong move in the right direction. He both recognized our differences and shared ideals with peaceful Muslims who recognize basic human right to live and create a happy life for themselves, as long as they do not harm themselves or others. He made no appology for our support for Isreal, yet recognized that Palastinians and the Isrealis need to acknowlege one another in the same way as we do here in America, rationalizing that democracy for all is the most rational approach. Thoughtfully placing limitations on those who will not recognize basic human rights should necessarily be our shared goal. I hope it works!

 

Actions truly speak louder than words. However the common wisdom today is perception is more powerful than truth. In a purely political sense these two concepts are contradictory and will yield little progress towards establishing peace anywhere in the world.

Only those who endure the consequences of political decisions our leaders make can tell us whether or not peace is moving forward. Further exacerbating the matter is the media’s unwillingness to question the veracity of statements made by all governments involved when making the case for certain policies.

James Madison argued that only an aggressive and free press can expose the excesses of any government. With fewer and fewer correspondents on the ground where the news is happening how can we be certain of what the media tells us. We all know the impact the world economic condition is having on all businesses. It is a shame that the policy of “propping up” stock earnings for news agencies has become more important than “digging up” the truth.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive
 

Cutting through all the cynicism and naysayers, Obama’s message is pretty clear and simple. Just like Reagan’s famous call of “Tear down this wall, Gorbachev”, Obama is telling everyone, Americans, Jews, Muslims, to tear down the walls of intolerance, discrimination and ignorance that extremists love to exploit. Extremists exist in all forms among us all, not just only in the Muslim world. And “it is always easy to blame others instead of looking inward”, wise words from a wise leader.

 

the americans have been isolating iran for decades and put them in lotsof truble ,even they have been engaged in activities that could harm iranian nations and helping irans enemies in the past.how come all of the sudden they try to be friendly with iran by congracualations to iran?this wont work for them. becuse its the fact that they still seeking for their own advntages, and i think today,americans should negotiate with iran over the neclure issue and be prepared to accepet the fact that iran is also entitel to have neclure power.also they should relaize that iran is still far a way from devaloping the wapen.

Posted by amir | Report as abusive
 

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