‘Is obama egypt’s great enabler?’

President Obama walks to the podium to speak about the situation in Egypt, Feb. 1

UK Independent (Mary Dejevsky): …Is President Obama succeeding where Bush and Blair so expensively failed? ….he took a very different approach … As presidential candidate, he campaigned against the Iraq war and expressly rejected the imposition of democracy….democracy, he argued, was still eminently good but had to come from within. Under his leadership, he said, the US would not dictate to other nations how they should organise their lives.

…Mr Obama did not just yank US foreign policy back in the realist direction taken by his Democrat predecessor, Bill Clinton. He combined that shift with an unusual degree of cultural awareness, most conspicuously in the early overtures he made towards the Muslim countries …. One of his first foreign-policy moves was … a wide-ranging speech addressed to Muslims everywhere. He delivered it in Cairo.

….More than a year and half later the choice of Cairo University looks prescient … revisiting the speech, it is immediately clear not only how far he has shifted the US agenda, but how far his commitment to home-grown democracy remains the same … Obama’s language shines out as consistent with everything that protesters across the Arab world are demanding now.

…Maybe Obama’s early overtures planted a seed that is starting to bear fruit across the Muslim world. Maybe it is simply that modern communications, plus the similar politics, economics and demographics across the region, are combining to galvanise discontent. What is evident, though, is that Obama’s words have gone with the grain of these societies in a way that the sermons of Bush and Blair did not.

Any social ferment of this order brings huge uncertainty. And it is embarrassing to watch Western leaders struggling to divest themselves of allies from a bygone age. But if you ask which American leader contributed more to the cause of change in the Muslim world, you might not agree – yet – that it was Barack Obama, but you could surely accept that George Bush set it back.

Read the full article here – it’s excellent, really interesting too on relations with Iran

President Barack Obama holds a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Feb. 1, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

12 Responses to “‘Is obama egypt’s great enabler?’”

  1. 1 majii
    February 1, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Thanks, Chipsticks,

    I love reading foreign news services’ takes on our president and the protests in Egypt. Even though our own politicians and many of our citizens don’t give our president much credit for anything, the people in other nations seem to appreciate his leadership and tend to make the serious connections that the MSM has failed to make. There is a connection to the protests in Egypt, our president’s speech in Cairo, and the changes he has made to foreign policy that might be bringing real change in different countries without resorting to threats, bullying, or war.

  2. February 1, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    ‘Is obama egypt’s great enabler?’

    Indeed yes. I was especially struck by the news given us by President Obama that the Egyptian people linked arms to keep the Cairo Museum safe. The war in Iraq, especially in the beginning, destroyed so much of Middle East history, priceless artifacts stolen and scattered — it was simply heartbreaking. When I saw the destruction, the broken glass cases, the already partial destruction of two mummies, and statuettes broken on the floor of the Cairo museum, I was so afraid history was going to repeat itself. But thank goodness it looks like that destruction was headed off by the Egyptian people themselves. Obama told them that he heard their voices as we do, and these intelligent people should have the government that they want and deserve

  3. February 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    A wonderful article, now if our media would just follow suit. I was always impressed by how accepting and encouraging our President is in dealing with other nations. He respects other cultures and religions, and offers encouragement as they set their own path. So simple and so rare. Thanks so much for this article.

  4. 4 globalcitizenlinda
    February 1, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    one cannot also ignore the fact that the burning of the US flag which had become a daily ritual during protests in the Middle East is not been in evidence since President Obama made the sincere outreach to the Muslim community.

    I have been telling people that what President Obama has managed to do in such a short time is to apologize for past American actions (remember how the gop sneered at his apologies), defuse the anger directed towards America, encourage people to do some critical thinking about whose policies are also responsible for their dire situation, and made it possible for other to think that if ‘the skinny kid with a funny name” can now be voted into office as President Obama, yes they too can achieve what was once considred impossible .

    In other words, he has flipped the anger of marginalized young people and the poor towards their governements and their elites and simultaneously raised their hopes of what ordinary people can achieve through organic grassroots activism

    it is also possible that this yearning for democracy and socio-economic equity could spread beyong the Middle East. I have been talking to some relatives in Africa and the people are now open to force their long-term dictators out of power through collective and authentic grassroot activism.

    hey Chipsticks, may be some of the evidence we have that people listened to this speech (as documented in the photos taken at that time)could also be included in this entry. I recall seeing one in which masked men carrying firearms (and belonging to one of these many active groups) were documented listening intently to the speech in Cairo

    • 5 DoNoHarm
      February 2, 2011 at 9:12 am

      GlobalCitizenLinda: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We, too, feel that the U.S. actions during the previous administration was more of a forceful nature rather than one of calming direction. It appears the U.S. is still experiencing growing pains, after all, we are still a young nation, in our formative years. It wasn’t until after WWII when our service people returned home that we remotely recognized there were other countries on this earth than our own, evidence by our lack of teaching another language besides English in our schools–and even today, there is rumblings because Spanish is taking hold as an elective rather than a necessary. As a country, we are now in our teen years, learning our place in this world. Fortunately, our President Obama is now at the helm. We will have an uphill battle to keep this wise, calm man steering us into the 21st century. Again, GlobalCitizen, thank you. And Chipstick, thank you for all you do. Mimi

  5. 6 kelly
    February 1, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Such a accurate article. This one author is smarter than the combined employees of all U.S MSM, especialy the dim wits on our three cable networks. I support a revolution to get rid of all cable news. 😀

    • 7 Sue in Minnesota
      February 1, 2011 at 9:58 pm

      Kelly, I’ll get onboard for that. Our MSM is a disgrace….Americans need to wake up and demand better.

  6. 8 Debra
    February 1, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    President Obama’s outreach to the Muslim Community is having a positive effect. I think his speech in Cairo energized the young people in Egypt. Check out this article in Time magazine


  7. 9 africa
    February 1, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Wow. Excellent article. Thank God for the foreign press. It is refreshing to see more than a herd mentality regurgitating the same things over and again.

  8. 10 Sonjia Duncan
    February 1, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Do any of you remember a company call Gulf Western. It was a oil company and they purchase a publishing company I worked for and I couldn’t understand why they wanted Simone and Schuster. Over a short time they purchased other publishers, movie co., tv networks, all sorts of communication media. What we think of as MSM as the free press no longer exist. PBS is still around but congress is always decreasing it’s budget. The last hope of real news.

    Sorry, but my point is stop waiting for the msm to print or broadcast the real news. They have a new mission statement.

  9. 11 barb
    February 2, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Beautiful Chipsticks,

    Al Jazeera, has been trying to get a foothole in American News Broadcast but is having a difficult time. I know that when I wanted to kmow what was happening in Egypt. I went to their website. They were arrested, had their camera equipment conficated, all TV coverage blocked, jailed for two days and still have the Secret Service following them around and yet they continue to bring us the news at risk of being jailed again.

    Since when has our MSM told us the truth and put themselvies in precarious situations. I have no confidence in our Media.
    They are too lazy to get out of their chair and use their brain buy researching history.

  10. 12 Fred
    February 2, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I will repeat what I said yesterday again after reading this.If his detractors can be honest with themselves even once in their lives;they will admit that President Obama is a visionary and the way the Egyptian people have risen it is to a very small part to that speech in Cairo that was so criticized;even before he even sat on AF1 for the flight.

    Most people think instant gratification but the President thinks in the long run

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