CAIRO - Speaking before a large crowd at Cairo University in Egypt's sprawling capital city, President Barack Obama urged the Muslim world to "look over there," causing several dozen in the audience to turn their heads to see what he was pointing at in the vague middle distance.Well, OK, that "excerpt" is practically the whole thing. But I couldn't figure out where to stop. Head on over there anyway, and give him some traffic. Not that he needs it or anything. Curse you, IOZ!
"But seriously," Mr. Obama continued. "The time of the past is in the past, and the future is that which lies before us." Pausing for effect, he added, "The present is now," drawing applause.
Dwelling only briefly on a host of topics ranging from Afghanistan to Pakistan, the President spoke at length about his own biography, repeatedly declaring "I am the way, the light, and the truth," as he outlined his family history and spoke proudly of his father's Muslim heritage.
While the reception was generally appreciative, many afterward expressed skepticism. One student noted, "He's a Hussein, I'm a Hussein. That's terrific. But what's he going to do for us?"
On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which most Egyptians cited as their top issue, the President had suggestions for both sides. "The Palestinians must surrender," he said. "Abjectly. They must forgo their dreams and aspirations and live forever in the bitter half-dream of that-which-might-have-been-but-could-not-be."
Unlike past presidents, however, he also had sharp words for the the Israeli side. "Israelis," he urged, "must be willing to accept broken Palestinian dreams as their neighbors, accepting with grace their defeated neighbors, at least until such time as we can figure out somewhere else to put them."
Mr. Obama urged governments across the region to maintain a reasonable fiction of democratic governance, except in the case of hereditary monarchies. Regarding Iran, he reminded the audience that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and expressed America's firm commitment to the principle that if you're not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Curse You, IOZ!
I was about to publish a measured, reasoned, insightful analysis of Dear Leader's speech in Cairo. Sure I was. You know me -- measured, reasoned, insightful, and analytical to a fault. Of course. But I looked at IOZ's blog first, and saw that he beat me to it. Again. An excerpt: