August 11, 2014
"A greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: assalaamu alaykum"
The speaker had what one might imagine, given his background, a
better insight into Islam, Muslims, and the Middle East than others who
had preceded him. He said he was seeking "a new beginning" that was
"based on mutual interests and mutual respect" because his nation and
those in the Middle East shared "common principles-principles of justice
and progress, tolerance and dignity of all human beings."
He cited "civilization's debt to Islam" and noted that there were
more than 1,200 mosques in this country. He declared that his nation
would never be "at war with Islam" and he quoted from "the holy Koran"
several times during his speech.
Five years later, noting the Islamic holiday of "Eid-al-Fitr" on July
28, he said "In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many
achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very
fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy," but
the U.S. did not elect its first Muslim-American congressman until 2007.
No Muslims took part in our founding.
At one point he cited his nation's "strong bonds with Israel" calling
them "unbreakable." Noting the Holocaust in which six million Jews were
killed, he said that "Threatening Israel with destruction-or repeating
vile stereotypes about Jews is deeply wrong" but that he deemed the
situation of Palestinians "intolerable" adding that "Palestinians must
abandon violence." Noting his opposition to Israeli settlements, he
managed to be on both sides of the issues that divide Israel and its
Turning his attention to Iran, he noted that "For many years, Iran
has defined itself in part by its opposition to my country", citing
reasons why Iranians felt justified to feel that way. He also pointed
out that Iran "has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence"
against U.S troops and civilians."
"It is clear to all concerned that when it comes to nuclear weapons,
we have reached a decisive point" and that preventing "a nuclear arms
race in the Middle East could lead this region and the world down a
hugely dangerous path" adding that "No single nation should pick and
choose which nations have nuclear weapons." Presumably he was referring
to Israel which would be directly threatened, indeed destroyed, by an
Iranian nuclear weapon.
While noting the "controversy about the promotion of democracy in
recent years" he asserted that "No system of government can or should be
imposed upon one nation by any another" despite the fact that the U.S.
invaded both Afghanistan and Iraq specifically to impose new governments
that would not threaten the U.S. and its interests in the Middle East.
Citing religious freedom, he said that "Islam has a proud tradition
of tolerance" but noted that "Among some Muslims, there is a disturbing
tendency to measure one's own faith by the rejection of another's"...and
fault lines must be closed among Muslims as well, as the divisions
between Sunni and Shia have led to tragic violence, particularly in
On August 7, after ignoring Iraqi and Kurdish requests for military
aid in the form of weapons to fight the Islamic State (IS) for months,
in the wake of its attacks on Christians in Iraq. the potential genocide
of Yezidi men, women and children driven from their homes, and an
attack on Erbil where the U.S. has a consulate and Baghdad where we have
an embassy, he authorized "targeted military action in Iraq."
He concluded by noting that "It is easier to start wars than to end them", but Barack Obama, speaking in Cairo on June 4, 2009
mere months after having taken office in his first term, said he
believed "We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we
have the courage to make a new beginning..."
His new beginning was demonstrated by withdrawing all U.S. troops
from Iraq and announcing the withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2015. The
result of that action, combined with doing nothing as the Islamic State
of Iraq, Syria and the Levant (ISIL) emerged from the Syrian civil war
and severed the northern portion of Iraq, adding it to the portion of
Syria it controls, has left a Middle East that faces a regional war with
a fanatical Sunni Islamist entity.
With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that Obama lacked an
understanding of Islam, history, and the Middle East. His Cairo speech
became part of what came to be known as his "apology tour" as he spoke
in other nations, making it clear that he thought the U.S. was the cause
of many problems in the world and that he was endowed with some special
capacity to make things right again at home and abroad.
The irony of the speech is that it was spoken by a man for whom no
leader in the Middle East has any respect, putting the Prime Minister of
Israel and the Supreme Leader of Iran on the same page together. Add to
them the leaders of virtually all other nations. Obama thought he could
dictate to Israel and could charm the Iranians to make concessions. He
Obama was wrong about the Muslims that have been slaughtering
Christians in the Middle East and Africa and he has been largely silent
about it. The leader of the Islamic State that has captured a large
swath of northern Iraq, Abu Bakral-Baghdadi
recently anointed himself "Caliph Ibrahim" and told his fellow Muslims
that jihad "is the duty on Muslims that has been lost for centuries."
Obama was wrong that no nation can impose a system of government on
another when the history of Islam has been its determination to impose
Sharia law wherever it gained power and the history of Communism that
was its imposition in Eastern Europe and elsewhere like Cuba until the
collapse of the Soviet Union freed its subjugated nations, though Cuba
continues to be subject to the Castro dictatorship.
These days, Iran is still playing Obama for a fool while pursuing its
quest to build its own nuclear weapons. The Russian Federation has
seized the Crimea from Ukraine. Latin American nations are dumping their
children into an America that has no real border anymore.
Since he gave that speech in 2009, the Middle East has seen the rise
of the Islamic State stretching from Syria to Iraq. Syria remains
embroiled in a civil war. The Palestinians are again attacking Israel.
Iran is still intent on building its own nuclear weapons. Tunisia,
Egypt, and Libya have removed former dictators and chaos is the order of
the day in Libya.
If you read Barack Obama's Cairo speech from start to finish, you are
likely to conclude that a self-deluded fool gave it, a man determined
to avoid confronting the enemies of mankind until an Islamic-inspired
genocide required it.
© Alan Caruba, 2014
Read more: Family Security Matters http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/spectacularly-wrong?f=must_reads#ixzz3A5dTEao8
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