Standing-O In Cairo
Those on the far-right have been criticizing President Obama’s speech for the past forty eight hours, now that he’s actually given it, the fireworks are really going into overdrive. If you want to get right down to specifics, there weren’t very many differences in actual policy from what Bush said before he was ducking flying shoes. But this wasn’t a policy speech. It was a new beginning. A chance to find common ground and work toward peace – which, after all, is what nearly everyone on the planet wants.
The President touched on everything from the genocide in Darfur, to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to the threat of a nuclear Iran to the innocent blood al-Qaeda has shed throughout the world. He held out an olive-branch to moderate Muslims everywhere. He quoted Presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson to remind Muslims that America has been a friend to them for many, many years. He quoted from the Koran, the Talmud and the Bible, all the while the audience of Muslim students cheered again and again and again.
So of course, bin Laden accused President Obama of antagonizing Muslims. Zawahiri, who likes to call our President names (house-negro), is now calling him a criminal. Others on the far-right back here in the States have dubbed this Obama’s apology tour, and have called the speech “Carteresque”.
Listen, President Obama gave a historic speech which was designed to do one thing, and one thing only. Extend an open hand to the Muslim world. The mere fact that he was given a standing ovation, as opposed to a pair of flying loafers, proved that it was a success.