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High Expectations for Obama's Cairo Speech


An Egyptian worker cleans a garden in front of the dome in Cairo University ahead of President Obama's visit to Egypt, where he is expected to deliver a speech on June 4. (Asmaa Waguih/Reuters)

By Dan Balz
President Obama has set a high bar for his trip to the Middle East and Europe this week. By his own description, he is on a truth-telling mission. The challenges are clear: Can he successfully reach out to the Muslim world without offending Israel? Can words move either side to do what they have resisted in the past?

Like so much about Obama's foreign policy, this trip will be viewed through the prism of the Bush administration and the degree to which Obama's administration represents continuity or a new direction. Clearly his goal is to signal a new era in relations with the Muslim world. But Obama's words will be measured and analyzed by audiences with conflicting interests, ancient grievances and long memories of other presidents' records.

The president's itinerary includes Saudi Arabia, Germany and France. He will dine privately with King Abdullah in Riyadh, visit the Buchenwald Nazi concentration camp and later join in ceremonies commemorating the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. But the centerpiece of the trip will be his big speech in Cairo on Thursday, designed to open up a new relationship with the Muslim world. It will also be the most significant statement from Obama to date about moving forward the Middle East peace process.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that no one in the administration expects that one speech will change everything -- certainly not quickly. Obama, in an interview with National Public Radio, said that, with a new government just formed in Israel, the process is at the beginning stages. But expectations have been building up around the speech and along with those expectations, hard questions for the president.

Obama was pressed by NPR's Michele Norris and Steve Inskeep about the challenge of developing a new relationship with the Muslim world without demonstrating America's willingness to press Israel harder for changes in its policies. If Israel continues to ignore U.S. demands for an end to settlement activity -- which Obama has called for publicly and privately -- and the U.S. continues to support Israel, how will that enhance American credibility in the Muslim world?

Obama said it will be important for the United States to follow through on its words, but added, "I haven't said anything yet, because it's early in the process."

Still, he made clear he intends to take a firmer posture on these questions than some of his predecessors -- at least theoretically. "It is important for us to be clear about what we believe will lead to peace and that there's not equivocation and there's not a sense that we expect only compromise on one side," he said. "It's going to have to be two-sided and I don't think anybody would deny that, in theory."

He was quick to add that the reality is far more difficult due to conflicts within both the Israeli and Palestinian communities. Whether he ultimately adopts a tougher line in his approach will be the real test.

On the eve of his departure, Obama reaffirmed America's close relationship with Israel. "I think that as a vibrant democracy that shares many of our values, obviously we're deeply sympathetic to Israel," he said. And as long as there are threats from others in the region to Israel's security, the United States will feel it is "important to back this stalwart ally."

But he said that will not dissuade him from speaking frankly to its friend. "What is also true is that part of being a good friend is being honest," he said. "And I think there have been times where we are not as honest as we should be about the fact that the current direction, the current trajectory in the region, is profoundly negative -- not only for Israeli interests but also U.S. interests. And that's part of a new dialogue that I'd like to see encouraged in the region."

How frankly will Obama speak to the Muslim world as he seeks to change perceptions of the United States? He bristled during one part of the NPR interview that touched on the fact that he will be speaking in Egypt, a U.S. ally with an undemocratic government.

He had already spoken in Turkey, Obama responded, noting that it was a democracy that "some Turks would say has flaws." He went so far as to say that there are Americans who believe American democracy is flawed as well.

"Are you about to say Egypt is just a country with some flaws?" Inskeep asked.

"No, no what I'm about -- don't put words in my mouth, Steve, especially not in the White House," a testy Obama responded.

Wherever he speaks, Obama said, be it in Egypt or China or Russia, his goal will be to affirm the values of human rights and democracy. "But I think it's a mistake for us to somehow suggest that we're not going to deal with countries around the world in the absence of their meeting all our criteria for democracy."

Interpretations of the speech in Cairo will also be influenced by what he says about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and, especially, Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons -- an issue of paramount importance particularly to Israel.

A speaker as gifted as Obama should have no trouble finding appropriate words to call on all sides to find new ways to resolve their differences peacefully and to signal his commitment to establishing a new relationship with the Muslim world. But in the Middle East, details matter most, not sweeping statements.

That is not necessarily the purpose of Obama's speech in Cairo. The details will come soon enough. But the ultimate measure of whether this week's visit is a success is whether what Obama says begins to change behavior among parties who have so often frustrated the efforts of previous presidents to make peace.

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 2, 2009; 3:26 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Balz's Take  
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Comments

The President has itemized elsewhere the relatively well-known disparities between what is said publicly and what is said privately by the various players in the Middle East, including the U.S. With his high approval ratings at home, he is, at the moment, relatively secure in suggesting that, were his example to be followed across the area, progress toward peace might actually advance. However, Middle Eastern governments will at best wait to see whether their internal power centers as well as the Arab street has listened and is supportive. And, of course, they will also be closely following the President's support at home to find opportunities to influence his approach.

Posted by: thewolf1 | June 3, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Like the economy, this a$$ hole doesn't get it in when dealing with terrorists or their supporters. His naive and stupid intent to "be nice
---------
Maybe he's trying to fight intelligently.

It's beyond your scope.

And that's all.

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | June 2, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

First and foremost, I believe we should not have to apologize for any of our past behaviors or positions. From my recollection, we are the only ones trying to make positive strides in that area.

What I would like to see from our President, is that he encourages the Saudi's and the Egyptians to take a greater role in that region. They are the elder statesmen and they have responsibility's they have not met.

Being the oldest 'sons' in that region entails and requires a certain amount of responsibility. And they have not taken any authoritative positions except to undermine our positions; and we should respond to that.

We are the neophytes as far as hierarchial leadership roles and when we stand up and defend others; we are accused of being arrogant and meddling. We should resent that because that is a mischaracterization of us and what we stand for.

It is their mess, we should help facilitate but they need to get off their backsides and be responsible BIG BROTHERS in that region. We cannot be all things to all people and yet we try. Being a democratic society means we have the ability to maintain and direct; it should not be misconstrued as being in control of their messed up affairs.

I believe if we took a step back and gave the reins to them, we would soon find out who are friends really are. They would probably do nothing, which is to be expected because their history is steeped in non-committal policies and smoke screens.

It is a new day and we need to set the reord straight once and for all. We are not going to be the ugly step child anymore, they can flog someone else. Israel can take care of themselves very capably. And if they need our help, we will have their backs. They know that, and I believe the American population would support that position.

Posted by: jakesfriend1 | June 2, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Like the economy, this a$$ hole doesn't get it in when dealing with terrorists or their supporters. His naive and stupid intent to "be nice" to those who would destroy us illustrates just what an arrogant egghead he is.
What an embarrassing moron.
U.S.Army Retired

Posted by: LarryG62 | June 2, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama should ask The Arabs what happened to all 700,000 Jews which were expelled or murdered from Arab lands since 1949.

Israel (the "apartheid" state) has 20% Jews. Arab countries are 0% Jewish.

Posted by: pkhenry | June 2, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama's pre-trip statements have already said all that needs to be said. The status quo will remain in 4 to 8 years.
I guarantee it.
The sooner US gets out of negotiating phase of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the easier it will be to reach a settlement.
Expecting the US to negotiate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict woud be comparable to asking the Nazi regime to negotiate the concerns about Poland's freedom at that time. Why? Because Israel was born mostly as a result and has been sustained thruout despite its aggressions and cruel/apartheid policies to now

Posted by: Kingofkings1 | June 2, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Irony: Obama who thinks Gitmo is encouraging terrorists and waterboarding is cruel punishment, and he is going to Egypt, a police state who is known for torture. There he will try to encourage democracy. He may have to use Egypt someday for rendition.

Posted by: gsms69 | June 2, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again, he will bow to the Saudi king and kiss his hand then give him the keys to the USA. I bet we dont see that happening again because he will control the access of the press to what he wants to be seen in the U.S. He won't show a birth certificate and he is trying to assure the muslims that he is against Israle and on their side. That was proven when he said the Iran could have nuclear power(?) plants!

Posted by: jmsmaxwell | June 2, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

His remarks proclaiming some sort of U.S. neutrality between Muslims and Jews will be seen as a green light to attack Israel .

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | June 2, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I have many Muslim friends, but I have to say that most Muslims are intolerant towards non-Muslims. Muslims are generally anti-Christian and say mean things when the subject comes up. Muslims still have a hard time interacting with their non-Muslim neighbors. I think Obama should spend some money with media campaigns that call for more tolerance from the Muslim world.

Plaigerized from David Matthews' comments, to which I concur.

Posted by: lindalovejones | June 2, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I have many Muslim friends, but I have to say that most Muslims are intolerant towards non-Muslims. Some of my Muslim friends still praise Hitler and Muslims from South Asia are generally anti-Hindu. Muslims still have a hard time interacting with their non-Muslim neighbors. I think Obama should spend some money with media campaigns that call for more tolerance from the Muslim world and the Muslim diaspora.

Posted by: davidmatthews | June 2, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

The White House said that Obama will send a message from Egypt to the Islamic world, but they forgot that his messages have already been received by the Islamic world when he visited the Wailing Wall, put on his head the Jew's cap and prayed their prayers - where he wore a yarmulke.

Moreover, There are alot jews in current Obama's adminstration.

Obama described the U.S.-Israeli relationship as a special one in which Americans are "deeply sympathetic" toward what he called a "stalwart ally,"
If that is so then Palestine-Israel conflict is being handled in the wrong hands, the US, because the US must be biased in favor of israel.

CAN OBAMA HANDLE ISRAEL-PALESTINE CONFLICT IN IMPARTIAL/UNBIASED MANNER ?

Muslims want tangible change on Mideast from Obama, not just a propaganda speech directed to the Muslim World.

Is Egypt or Saudi Arabia a stalwart ally of the US too ?

Posted by: fan2lee1 | June 2, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

No matter how much the Israel, the US or Obama give the Arabs it won't be enough for them.

Arabs and Arabists will cause President Obama to be a one-term President, and will cause Democrats to lose congress in 2010.

Nobody likes to "be played for a fool"

President Obama screwed Jews and Christians.

We're not going to forget this!

Posted by: UniversalHealthCareNow | June 2, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I am in awe of Obama's ability to do, as he said during his campaign, more than one thing at a time. Obama, however, seems to do everything well, very well. He is astonishing.

Posted by: GeorgHerbet | June 2, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

The White House said that Obama will send a message from Egypt to the Islamic world, but they forgot that his messages have already been received by the Islamic world when he visited the Wailing Wall, put on his head the Jew's cap and prayed their prayers - where he wore a yarmulke.
Obama described the U.S.-Israeli relationship as a special one in which Americans are "deeply sympathetic" toward what he called a "stalwart ally,"
If that is so then Palestine-Israel conflict is being handled in the wrong hands, the US, because the US must be biased in favor of israel.
Muslims want tangible change on Mideast from Obama, not just a propaganda speech directed to the Muslim World.
Is Saudi Arabia a stalwart ally ?


Posted by: fan2lee1 | June 2, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

The White House said that Obama will send a message from Egypt to the Islamic world, but they forgot that his messages have already been received by the Islamic world when he visited the Wailing Wall, put on his head the Jew's cap and prayed their prayers - where he wore a yarmulke.
Obama described the U.S.-Israeli relationship as a special one in which Americans are "deeply sympathetic" toward what he called a "stalwart ally,"
If that is so then Palestine-Israel conflict is being handled in the wrong hands, the US, because the US must be biased in favor of israel.
Muslims want tangible change on Mideast from Obama, not just a propaganda speech directed to the Muslim World.
Is Saudi Arabia a stalwart ally ?


Posted by: fan2lee1 | June 2, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

So,is there anyway that we can get the
Muslim World to keep their fellow Muslim
Mullah Barack Hussein Obama and his ugly
wife Michelle Obama,their two spoiled
brats,the stupid dog and Obama's Fugitive
from Justice and Deportation Aunt and if
we throw in Madame Nancy Pelosi as well?...
Since after all,Barack Hussein Obama is
their Messiah as well,isn't he now then?...
Obama and Family Go Back To Kenya!

-----------
No.

They "stole" (or were handed)Cheney, and when they tried to return him, because, let's face it, he's not too bright, we said we didn't want him back.

Told 'em they could keep the Bush family, too.

So, anyway, they're not in the market, really, for American politicians, having been burned by their neocon experience...

You just don't take the slow ones, no matter how good they look...

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | June 2, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

The White House said that Obama will send a message from Egypt to the Islamic world, but they forgot that his messages have already been received by the Islamic world when he visited the Wailing Wall, put on his head the Jew's cap and prayed their prayers - where he wore a yarmulke.
Obama described the U.S.-Israeli relationship as a special one in which Americans are "deeply sympathetic" toward what he called a "stalwart ally,"
If that is so then Palestine-Israel conflict is being handled in the wrong hands, the US, because the US must be biased in favor of israel.
Muslims want tangible change on Mideast from Obama, not just a propaganda speech directed to the Muslim World.
Is Saudi Arabia a stalwart ally ?


Posted by: fan2lee1 | June 2, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Caliphacy Note... it looks to me as if Obama already has his plait filled with all the nonsense going on with those idiots he is allowing to work and create chaos at that hillbilly FBI AND GRAND RAPIDS POLICE DEPT. IN MICHIGAN, HE'S SUPPOSE TO BE MONITORING. AND YES THIS IS TAKEN AS A MILITARY PLOT!

Posted by: ahmadmali | June 2, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

So,is there anyway that we can get the
Muslim World to keep their fellow Muslim
Mullah Barack Hussein Obama and his ugly
wife Michelle Obama,their two spoiled
brats,the stupid dog and Obama's Fugitive
from Justice and Deportation Aunt and if
we throw in Madame Nancy Pelosi as well?...
Since after all,Barack Hussein Obama is
their Messiah as well,isn't he now then?...
Obama and Family Go Back To Kenya!

Posted by: Darleen2009 | June 2, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I can just hear Obasama now...

"Wanna good deal on a Sedan? How about a Pick-Up?"

"Fleet Discounts!" ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | June 2, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Maybe while Barry is in the area he can drop by a Kenyan hospital and pick up some certified documents he seems to have misplaced to clear up some unanswered issues.

---------

Yeah, bummer.

I know a couple of people who are just dying to throw his natal horoscope, and they just can't get that d*mned birth certificate!

Hawaii, or Kenya?

American, or African?

Alien, or Dick Cheney, Soviet Republican, taking America to war illegally while destroying the Constitution and economy through a haze of alcohol-induced psychosis?

For those of us with a brain, a real one, it's pretty obvious where the problem is, now isn't it?

ROTFLMAO

Posted by: thegreatpotatospamof2003 | June 2, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama must make it clear to the world that our government will no longer support Apartheid on the Mediterranean. Either Israel signs up for a two state solution and establish a Palestinian state in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza or it should pass out Israeli citizenships to all Palestinians under its occupation.

No more, not in our name and never again will our government subsidize this kind of horror that we are paying for today. If Israel is unwilling to go along with a two-state solution or a one-state solution, then Israel is on its own: no more cover at the United Nations, no more loan guarantees, no more military aid, no more annual monetary aid.

With every passing year, the situation in the Middle East becomes more dangerous and we, in turn, become more threatened and all because of a country that does not know where its internationally-recognized borders are. Israel must decide now: either it leaves the territories or it becomes a binational state. No third option.

Posted by: ArabJuice | June 2, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

_ Black white connect.c'om _Best interracial dating site in the world! It's where diversely ethnic singles meet new friends, make great dates, and build lasting interracial relationships. No matter you are looking for a NSA or serious relationship, you'll have to check it out! Hope u can join us.

Posted by: janeseven | June 2, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

From Egyptian citizen

President obama you are welcomed in Egypt and we have a great hope of you Mr. president than the the other Extremest U.S ex-president and I hope to take an impartial situations to our arabic cases.

Posted by: wahba_khalifa | June 2, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I believe the President's policies for the Middle East really will be even-handed. Earlier US governments favoured just one party. This time, both probably will be unsatisfied.

Posted by: HassanAliAl-Hadoodi | June 2, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

The only "land for peace" deal the Arabs are willing to accept is 100% of Israel and they're offering to give Israel the peace of the grave in return.

Israel will not commit suicide.

The Arabs won't even accept Israel's right to exist.

The Arabs won't even renounce terrorism, like 9/11, remember it?

If the President and the Democratic Party screw Jews and Christians by screwing Israel, Jews and Christians will tell the President and the Democratic Party "Screw You"

Democrats are treating Jews like crap and going back on all their campaign promises to us regarding Israel.

We are not going to forget it.

If President Obama screws Israel, he and the Democrats will lose Jews and Christians.

Its our holy land.

Its very, very, important to us both.

Posted by: UniversalHealthCareNow | June 2, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Jews have always been there for Democrats.

Now, after we worked our butts off and contributed millions of dollars to get President Obama elected, even after Rev Wright, even after questions about him being a Moslem rather than a Christian repeatedly came up during the Campaign, now, after the President and the Democratic Party have gotten into office, they've screwed us.

Jews trusted President Obama and the Democratic Party.

Jews have gotten screwed.

We've been accused of many things, but being stupid isn't one of them.

We've gotten a great chance to see our fellow Democrat's "true colors"

You can all piss off and go to Hell the next time you want Jewish-Americans votes or money.

Jewish-Americans will not support a President or a political party that fails to support Israel.

The Arabs have infinite money and an infinite base of anti-semites, lathered up by hate speech, to help them.

Israel has had the US as a counter balance.

If the US abandons Israel, Israel will still survive.

But Jews and Christians will never, ever, forgive the President or Politial Party that screws Israel.

Posted by: UniversalHealthCareNow | June 2, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a moron....

Posted by: charko825 | June 2, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

He's got high hopes, he's got high hopes

If The King of Saudia Arabia don't bust him

Like the King busted that Cheney dope

Yes, he's got high hopes, he's got high hopes...

Posted by: markwpa | June 2, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

When Impeached after 2010 gets Peloser and Hairy out;

O'Bomba-Nation, or in preference to his up coming trip-"Obasama";

Should get into selling Used Government Motors Cars!

LOL! :-D

The "Bridge" to the Muslims is either a bold-Faced liar pretending to be a Christian while promoting the Islam Faith(Allowed in Islam);

Or:

Apostate!(Punishable by Death in Islam!)

Obasama continues his ongoing "I'm a Magical Mystery Tour"! ;~)

Also considered "Campaigning"!- EIGHT F'ing Months AFTER the Election!

Posted by: SAINT---The | June 2, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Ask the Saudi King about the Mullah who was a member of Heinrich HImmler's SS and recruited Muslims to fight for Hitler in WWII and assisted in the extermination of the Jews. He later was protected and sent back to Iraq.

Posted by: mharwick | June 2, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

America has nothing to apologize for. The Islamo-fascists have been butchering people all over the world since before Obama was born. They continue to do so. They cannot be appeased or cajoled even by the charismatic cool and persuasive President, even if they think he is a Muslim in disguise. Read Because they Hate and learn all about the people Obama thinks he can change through appeasement and apologies for America trying to defend itself.

Posted by: mharwick | June 2, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

USA aid to Israel is at least $3 billion dollars a year. It's this money which fuels the building of the illegal settlements and the walling off of the Palestinians. Unless this issue is tackled and USA aid is made directly contingent on Israel working towards real peace with the Palestinians, then Obama is just engaged in a PR exercise. If you continue to fund policies and actions you don't believe are productive of peace, while at the same time, proclaiming peace and cooperation, then your words are those of a hypocrite. This is the problem Obama has in the Muslim World. As long as those USA C-130 cargo planes keep unconditionally bringing in to Tel Aviv the boxes of cluster bombs, assault weapons, napalm, and other munitions, there will be no peace in the Middle East. And, Obama's words then mean nothing.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | June 2, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

The White House said that Obama will send a message from Egypt to the Islamic world, but they forgot that his messages have already been received by the Islamic world when he visited the Wailing Wall, put on his head the Jew's cap and prayed their prayers - where he wore a yarmulke.
Obama described the U.S.-Israeli relationship as a special one in which Americans are "deeply sympathetic" toward what he called a "stalwart ally,"
If that is so then Palestine-Israel conflict is being handled in the wrong hands, the US, because the US must be biased in favor of israel.
Muslims want tangible change on Mideast from Obama, not just a propaganda speech directed to the Muslim World.
Is Saudi Arabia a stalwart ally ?

Posted by: fan2lee1 | June 2, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The White House said that Obama will send a message from Egypt to the Islamic world, but they forgot that his messages have already been received by the Islamic world when he visited the Wailing Wall, put on his head the Jew's cap and prayed their prayers - where he wore a yarmulke.
Obama described the U.S.-Israeli relationship as a special one in which Americans are "deeply sympathetic" toward what he called a "stalwart ally,"
If that is so then Palestine-Israel conflict is being handled in the wrong hands, the US, because the US must be biased in favor of israel.
Muslims want tangible change on Mideast from Obama, not just a propaganda speech directed to the Muslim World.
Is Saudi Arabia a stalwart ally ?

Posted by: fan2lee1 | June 2, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Interesting point saelij,

"And if it is one thing Arabs respect it is strength, and Obama has that by virtue of who he is."

It will be interesting to see how Mr. Obma chooses his words and delivers his message of "soft power".

It's interesting to see that Mr. Obama is not willing to take Israeli policy as read, but is actually expecting Israel to discuss it's options - inherently tied to US policy in the region - before a US sign off. This is an emblem of change AND of strength.

An apology may not be required - but an honest recognition of Arab sentiment is valuable. When the strong man says, "I hear you" that is a sign of his strength.

Mr. Obama's visit has Al Qeida worried enough to denounce him on Al Jazeera and it has issued a call for a continuation of jihad against the "criminal" Obama. This should indicate that they know that the soft power Obama brings is a threat to their public support and their continued existence.

I think that President Obama will neither declare victory nor offer surrender. Nor will he declare his unilateral support for Israel. He will probably outline the interests and the responsibilities that decent, ordinary Muslims have in finding peace and security for themselves - and that they will find support from his administration.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | June 2, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Maybe while Barry is in the area he can drop by a Kenyan hospital and pick up some certified documents he seems to have misplaced to clear up some unanswered issues.

Posted by: ChangeWhat | June 2, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

With friends like that, who needs enemies ?

Ofer, Israel

Posted by: heibett | June 2, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why there would be "high expectations" for the President's Charm Offensive to the Muslim world.

Obama's powers of persuasion have not accomplished much in policy terms, despite the media swooning at his hipness. His entreaties to other countries to welcome Gitmo terrorists for resettlement was a major flop, for example.

Posted by: BerkeleyBW | June 2, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama described the U.S.-Israeli relationship as a special one in which Americans are "deeply sympathetic" toward what he called a "stalwart ally,"

If that is so then Palestine-Israel conflict is being handled in the wrong hands, the US, because the US must be biased in favor of israel.

Muslims want tangible change on Mideast from Obama, not just a propaganda speech directed to the Muslim World.

Is Saudi Arabia a stalwart ally ?


Posted by: fan2lee1 | June 2, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I hope this is not another apology tour. America has done a lot to help Muslims with survival aid to Pakistan, Indonesia,Turkey,and Iran. We also lead a war to protect Muslims in the former Yugoslavia. The moderate Arab states know America's worth to world peace and stability and are not going to stop working with us even though we are tied at the hip to Israel. We need to thank the Arab nations that stand with us and pledge to help them bring peace to the Middle East, which we can do. He doesn't need to go there and criticize America's recent past in front of these nations. He will look weak in their eyes since they know he is the most powerful man in the world. And if it is one thing Arabs respect it is strength, and Obama has that by virtue of who he is.

Posted by: saelij | June 2, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Obama should call for an independent Palestinian state by December 31st of this year, along with a massive international public and private investment program to rebuild Gaza and the West Bank in order to promote international commerce.

Anything short of announcing a firm timetable for Palestinian independence by December 31st of this year will be viewed as an absolute public relations disaster in the Arab world, Europe, and Asia.

Seize this moment!

Posted by: lockmallup | June 2, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

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