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Obama in Cairo: Sellout or Outreach?

Our Readers Who Comment have been filing furiously about President Obama's speech this morning in Cairo, during which he "urged Islamic nations to embrace democracy, women's rights, religious tolerance and the right of Israel to co-exist with an independent Palestinian state, " as Scott Wilson reported.

Many who comment express support for the President's speech, seeing it as a useful effort to reach out to the Islamic world. Many others see it as a sign of weakness and a sellout of U.S interests. Several suggest Obama has forgotten 9/11.

There was both praise and scorn for Obama's careful parsing of the Israeli-Palestinian situation about which he said, "the only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security."

And for some reason several posters suggested that only now was Obama admitting to his Islamic heritage, as if it hadn't come up either directly or in code throughout the presidential campaign.

dbeins was the first to post and said, "The only way there will be a new beginning with the Muslim world is if we stop blindly backing Israel and their illegal expansion."

And crumppie wrote, "He said "the United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements." Talk is cheap. Let's see if he follows through with action."

joeyjoey said, "Obama, Good job sticking up for the Palestinians. Bad job thinking you have to be an apologist for America."

But TexRancher wrote, "Obama is showing his ignorance. Kissing up to these people only makes the U.S. look weak in their eyes. The cycle of suspicion and discord?... Looks like he campaigning for King of the Muslim World rather than acting like a U.S. President!"

And nychap44 suggested that "A good new beginning should include the Muslims letting us know where Oshama Bin Laden is so we can arrest or kill him."

cleancut77 wrote, "The speech will solve nothing but it was good nonetheless. I particularly like his rendition of Israel's founding. If I was in the audience I would have asked what do the Arabs have to do with the Holocaust?..."

DC2Amsterdam said, "This is a great speech. Good job and hitting Israel on the settlements. I am so glad we are going to have more than 7 more years of this man as our President."

whitehousewatcher, who obviously didn't read much of the news coverage during the presidential campaign, wrote, "so now this great man touts his muslim background. wonder why he (and his news friends) hid it during his "buy the presidency" campaign? what a leader."

HassanAliAl-Hadoodi said, "A friend remarked 'He sounded like a Muslim.' Of course, he is one, even though an apostate. On the positive side, he expressed for the first time a really evenhanded policy. The Israelis should be as angry as the Muslims. Curious that he left out gay rights and abortion."

badz34 wrote, "obama has sold the u.s. out to everone else he might as well sale us out to the muslims also."

meltonj1 wrote, "What a farce. All those words about how Muslims should do this and Muslims should do that. Never mind that it is the US that invaded Iraq and Afghanistan and continues to occupy them, and it's the US that's the biggest backer of Israel no matter how much they oppress the Palestinian people. Any new beginning needs to begin with the US."

VirginiaConservative, whose dislike for Obama has populated our message boards for months, said, "Ummm, Barry - the muslims are the occupiers in the Holy Land. The Hebrews... were there hundreds of years - thousands in the case of the Hebrews - before the moslem invasion and occupation. But, like this moron's statement that America is one of the largest muslim countries in the world - he's not one to let little pesky things like facts to get in the way."

To which onsongomk replied, "Virginia,no one is a moron. It doesnt matter how long the "the Muslims" have occupied the "holy land". What the wrld needs right now is peace and stability for economic growth. Ths all we need at this time.let us come together in harmoney despite of our believes,religion and class and work together as a people for the common good of everybody."

And timothy2me added, "...And the "Hebrews" also converted to Islam. Are you one of those people who think the entire population of Egypt was wiped out and replaced? Palestine is occupied by Palestinians, the indiginous population."

egrib wrote, "...Never EVER forget 9/11 Mr. President!!! Never! Your appeasement with the enemy is beyond disgusting. Treason!! You have sold your countrymen down the river - in the hopes of winning something silly like a Nobel Prize... What a disgusting display of weakness, stupidity, and naivete."

willandjansdad1 predicted that "At some point the heads of the wingnuts are going to start exploding."

barnabytwist wrote, "Finally! A president who will put Israel in its place."

tjhall1 said, "As he read from his teleprompter, he sold out America yet again. Gone was his election campaign's forbidden Muslim talk. Gone is Israel's trust. In doing so, he let the Arab despots know that they are safe. Way to go, Odumbo..."

demtse wrote, "My problem with Obama's and other westerners speaking to the peoples of other countries is, talking about the internal affairs of those countries in terms of how they treat their citizens. Its none of the west's business how arabs treat their women. Who is the west to tell anyone, anywhere, how to treat people. The west has bloody hands when it come to violating the human rights of millions of people throughout history. Get off that moral high horse."

akeegan2 said, "The Muslim world does not respect weakness. If the President goes there and apologize for the Actions of the American Goverment The Muslim nation will reguard The President as a coward and that brings shame on American people and there will no respect for Good people of the United States..."

GordonShumway wrote, "The selling of America. He's selling it right from under our noses to the very people we fought to stay free. Way to go, Voters!"

pelham1861 said, "He did not challenge Muslim leaders to denounce radical Muslim terrorists. Therefore, all the flowery language was just that. I hope one day he grows into this job...right now he seems content to be loved by liberal elitists for lofty rhetoric and little actual leadership..."

We'll close with this exchange:

livetrainer wrote,, "First time I am impressed by an American president. He seems to be truthful and sincere. Being a Muslim, I welcome his vision. We do a new start, mutual respect and dialouge. You can have bigger peace of cake but not entire cake. People in Muslim world were never asking more then this (exclude extremists, they are every where)."

But delusional1 replied, "It is folly to exclude extremists. They are precisely who need to be dealt with. Have you forgotten who flew the 4 planes on 9-11? I haven't."

The transcript of the president's speech is here.

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  June 4, 2009; 7:51 AM ET
Categories:  Israel , Obama  | Tags: Israel, Obama, Palestine  
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Next: No Middle Ground on Abortion


American has not been a country that is well received aboard. The schoolyard bully image has run its course. The view to hit and be hit back is what we have done in the past 8 years. The fear talk of being a coward, weak and naive are words of "my way or the highway mentality". America has being this rich and awesome country that has lost its luster. This president is trying to help the country regain its footing. Our history at home has been dark and sad, what makes us think we have not repeated that historical behavior aboard? We are now trying to change for the future and the good for all. Even those that think strength is in fight. Fighting only yeilds you that kind of respond.

Posted by: nettieliggins | June 8, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Obama administration opens door for Iran's uranium enrichment program!!!

Coward liar Barack HUSSEIN Obama "Apologist in chief", how can he keep his nonsense promise during his campaign, that is, negotiating with U.S. enemies such as North Korea and Iran, which have never respected any treaty with U.S., when North Korea just launched many missile and nuclear tests and illegally arrested two American journalists Laura Ling and Eunu Lee, while Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an extremist who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map and denied the holocaust, again defied U.S. and Europe with his racist hate speech against Israel at a U.N. anti-racism conference? Is Obama going to bow to Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejas as he did to King Abdulla of Saudi Arabia to gain his peace deals? Is he willing to convert to Islam, his Kenyan father and Indonesian step father's religion, to meet Osam Bin Laden's requirement that in order to end the Iraq war, U.S. troop withdrawal is not enough, Americans must reject their democratic system and embrace Islam? Just recently, Obama said that he would support Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy with rigorous inspections, giving a green light to Teheran's ambituous uranium enrichment program, which can be used for nuclear bomb development as well, without suffering sanctions and economic isolation as it currently endures. Does Obama want Iran to become another North Korea using its nuclear power to terrorize the U.S and its allies?
As for waterboarding tactic used by CIA, Obama ordered to stop it even it worked well on terrorist suspects like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-describer planner of 9-11 attacks who provided CIA with valuable information, preventing another 9-11 attack and saving thousands of American lives.

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | June 6, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I don’t subscribe to the beliefs of people who think that President Obama’s speech was a sign or weakness or a selling out of the U.S. Those that that think “might makes right” have a school yard bully view of the world.

Posted by: Frazil | June 4, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Sounded like a dreamy pre-election speech. Not a realisitic post election one

Posted by: davidnelsonau | June 4, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

This was not a day for democracy, freedom, girls and women rights, religeous freedom all things which American should cherish. I have not heard the call for the recognition of Israel and to sit down and talk it over.
It was a talk for the USA to get the needed for cheap oil and money. It was an over-estimation if not arrogance to tell other free countries how to do things (i.e. EU, France). It was an obvious sell out of an old friend (Israel), but then all good friends got the treatment (Taiwan, Viet Nam, etc).
Who else but friends?
The fact that Mr. Obama is not going to Israel shows that he is not serious: if he would be, he would have gone and shown the world how to do it!
His itenerary shows something else: up to Dresden and Buchenwald: to the DEAD Jews!
I feel sorry for the USA.

Posted by: roby3926 | June 4, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

God, I do love America! Never did as a young American of African Descent. You see as some call our Prez as sellout and weak and numerous other things. We do so at our own peril. I am old enough to remember when I hated those Americans who bombed and killed in the name of God in their supremacy! We have just killed a doctor and some anti-abortionists applaud while some are appalled. We allow child pornography to hide behind first amendment rights and as a young christian model allows her body to speak volumns. Yes our arrogance is only surpassed by our hypocracy.Let's live and let live truly!

Posted by: wvgoody | June 4, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Hold on "Fairfaxvoter" (speaking of rants)!

What are you so angry about? You guys won!

Posted by: JAH3 | June 4, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Fairfax voter - high five, my man, high have the best post of the day!

Posted by: LABC | June 4, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

One problem with these comments, as with many comments on events in the Middle East, is that some people write about "the Muslim World" as all Muslims were exactly the same. People and societies vary, just as there is no single "Christian society" or "Jewish society" in which all members who follow a particular religion are stamped from one mold.

Posted by: CherieOK | June 4, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I put one out there earlier but it was about facts of prophecies.

I see this good will gesture as that. It is a chance to once and for all allow people to act like such, including the President's own.

It allows folks to begin a period of more than the old word overused - DIALOGUE and ENGAGE, but to flat out put the bias behind them NOW! Not another day but START living it.

He's not preaching to them, just wants them to understand the differences of cultures are to be celebrated, the chance for a girl to go to school in SWAT or TEXAS should NOT be denied. People should have more than just shoes and clothes in Africa, not insurgents hating them because they are proud owners of rubies, diamonds, oil with BLACK skin (you listening Arabia??, Turkey?, France?).

Where will it end that want peace but get it denied by leadership like the blind in Iran and Korea. Why does the settlements have to be done without merit in Israel but why are they so violent against the Jews when the Jews hold out the olive branch. Last time I checked, in America, if a country is being threatned by violence, they get a violent reaction, so stop blaming the Jews and Israel for ATTITUDEs in the boroughs of Palestine. If the Palistenians want peace, take it up with their own people first, instead always including outsiders to start fracasessa and lob weapons at settlements, and Israel while supporting terrorism and cheering against those who oppose America with the same weapons, attitudes.

The reality is, OUR President is showing how great he is and some in the world aren't listening. Hopefully this second trip abroad (Egypt) will soak this time.
Let us pray.

Posted by: kurtbw | June 4, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Is Obama selling out Israel? I HOPE SO!

This Monday, June 8, is the 42d anniversary of the deliberate and unprovoked Israeli attack on the USS Liberty. Israeli forces killed 34 Americans and wounded 134 more. American-made Israeli jets strafed the Liberty even though it was flying a huge American flag. Israeli patrol boats machine-gunned life rafts full of American service personnel.

When's the last time Hamas matched this?

Israel, with a straight face that would make a used-car salesman blush, still claims it was a mistake. I guess Mohammed Atta was sightseeing on 9/11.

Sell out Israel? ABSOLUTELY!

Posted by: Garak | June 4, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I just don't trust the guy. Maybe it's because he's a lawyer

Posted by: JAH3 | June 4, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

fairfax voter --

Don't sweat it. Doug neve quotes me, even though I'm one of the most recommended posters.

But its the whole that's screwed-up in their priorities.

They leave anti-semitic posts up and let anti-semites post endless hate speech, but they take down complaints about anti-semitic hate speech and have been known to block Jewish readers that complain too much about the WP's lack of enforcement of their hate-speech policy from posting.

Someday someone will do an exposee about

They have an extreme pro-Arab bias.

My bet is that the guy moderating the on-line forums is an Arab or an Iranian.

He, and are no friends of either Jews or Israel.

They go so far in the pro-Arab direction that Jewish posters just give and stop posting, just like I did for so long.

Posted by: UniversalHealthCareNow | June 4, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Disgusting the way the president kisses the ass of the enemy, and flips off our friends. There is a link among the thousands of terrorists attacks worldwide in the past 10 years. One needs only open ones eyes, and read the news to see that it's the "religion of peace."

Posted by: steveseo | June 4, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

President Obama called the attacks of September 11, 2001, "not opinions to be debated" but "facts to be dealt with." I agree.

I've summarized important facts about September 11 in my book "9/11 Unveiled" --, an "executive summary" of what happened on that tragic day.

On July 11, in collaboration with Citizen Investigation Team, and Pilots for 9/11 Truth, we'll present a National Security Briefing: Deconstructing the 9/11 Pentagon Attack -- Our presentation, based on hard facts, refutes the generally accepted theory.

Enver Masud
Founder, The Wisdom Fund

Posted by: twforg | June 4, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I am so glad I switched over and voted for Barack Obama!

Posted by: johng1 | June 4, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | June 4, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Yes, it's hilarious how the first two posters here pretty much sum up every "discussion" on this website.

Posted by: daler1 | June 4, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Hah! Hey fairfaxvoter and yank46, did you guys plan that exchange? That was hilarious.

Posted by: crblaisd | June 4, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I am so tired of the "dot.comments" conceit. Random angry people write in their rants. Then the guy who writes this column gives them a megaphone. They don't represent public opinion. The balance of comments never, ever matches public opinion polls, which are scientifically conducted based on long-accepted, objective techniques and standards. The result is a systemic bias in this column toward right-wing, disempowered, angry people, as though they exist in the real world in equal numbers with people of good will, open minds, and common sense on both sides. Stop using a fun-house mirror to distort the body of public opinion through this absurd lens.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | June 4, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: yank46 | June 4, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

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