Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests

A Challenge to Islam-Bashers

posted by David Klinghoffer

To conservatives who this morning are decrying Obama’s Cairo speech for making nice with Islam, I would ask, realistically, what would you have had him say? Should he have condemned Islam, really raked it over the coals, as some conservative bloggers never tire of doing? If you had been asked to write the speech, please tell me how you would have the President of the United States address the Islamic world. If it would have been your preference that he stand up there before the red curtain and let Muslims have it, how would that have helped our country or anyone else’s? Realistically, now.

I think NR‘s Rich Lowry has it exactly right:

The speech was an act of diplomacy and as such, it inevitably was going to skate over some inconvenient truths and tilt its presentation in a way to try to make it more persuasive to its target audience. Fundamentally, Obama’s goal was to tell the Muslim world, “We respect and value you, your religion and your civilization, and only ask that you don’t hate us and murder us in return.” Bush tried to deliver the same message over and over again. The difference with Obama is that people might actually be willing to listen.

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posted June 4, 2009 at 2:58 pm

“Rake Islam Over the Coals”–huh? This was another blown opportunity by our morally challenged President who might soon be provoking violence against America with these kinds of words.
Obama failed to bring some positive pressure for the Arab world to come forward and join the community of nations. We have some success in Iraq thanks to America’s involvement. We have a tiny bit of improvement in Egypt but not nearly enough considering the billions we have given them to join us. The Saudis lack clear gratitude and snub us at every turn. Who else? Syria is a dictatorship and hold Lebanon hostage. Iran is a rogue state. Pakistan is in turmoil.
Obama’s “diplomacy” does not differ from Bush’s and that of Condoleesa Rice. Perhaps Obama has some talent as a diplomat but as a President, he remains a disaster. He had an opportunity to take a leadership role and punted it away to cower and grovel instead. He could have told the Arab world what might be expected from them since he is not shy at all about telling the sovereign state of Israel that it must stop growing its towns, divide Jerusalem and make an Arab Palestinian state.

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Glen Davidson

posted June 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm

What’s the matter, do the Russians own the copyright for “We will bury you?”
Krushchev’s diplmacy isn’t good enough?
Glen Davidson

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posted June 4, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Obama when question about the speech today admitted that “one speech will not bring peace to the world.”
Gee. I am so disappointed. I assumed one speech would do it and implicit in his “admission” is the perception that yes, one speech delivered by a man so magical that HE could, “THE ONE” could, change literally everything.
During the campaign, this fool stated that unlike the diplomacy of the Bush years, he would offer “determined diplomacy.” What kind of a joke is this man perpetrating on us? How far have we fallen to accept this person as a leader?

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Scott R.

posted June 4, 2009 at 6:37 pm

How far have we fallen to accept this person as a leader?
Somehow we wound up with Bush for 8 years. America was over at that point. There is nowhere but up after Bush, and the past 5 months have been a vast improvement.

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Jeff Singer

posted June 4, 2009 at 7:10 pm

The question is not whether President Obama should “rake Islam over the coals”, but whether he should speak honestly about American values and American foreign policy:

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posted June 4, 2009 at 11:09 pm

I think Obama’s speech was too hippie and “brotherhood of man” in some places (which was to be expected). In one place he was arrogant, that is when he said he unequivocally prohibited torture (even if you agree, isn’t this a little self-serving). Some of the section on women’s right’s was typical liberal arrogance, which Muslims probably won’t receive well. Is women’s lib really all about letting women choose whether or not to cover their heads in public? He mentioned education for women, and he should’ve stopped there. I mean, every society has its standards of public decency. Is women’s head covering really a fight we want to pick with the Muslim world? My favorite line was: “We cannot disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretence of liberalism.” This is for the Western liberals who use terrorism as an excuse to bash all religion. But mostly I wonder if Muslims will see hypocrisy in Obama saying he’ll work with Muslims to promote child and maternal health while his State Department helps to fund organizations that promote abortion overseas.

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Your Name

posted June 5, 2009 at 9:08 am

I agree. Barack Obama is a vast, vast improvement over President Bush in matters of international diplomacy. However, you still have to give credit to Bush. When that reporter at a press conference in Iraq started throwing those shoes, President Bush didn’t duck, shriek or run out of the room. That act of courage may have said more to the Middle East community than all of his words put together.
How about that ultimate fool OBl? Dismissing of any western leader out of hand. There is a real amateur in diplomacy for you.

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posted June 5, 2009 at 11:11 am

I support our president, I believe that religion should not be used as a political ploy; however, with regards to women in the Muslim faith, instead of what seemed focusing on head gear, he should of spoken more how their plight of abuse, ridicule from the men, treated lower that animals; but he was in a predominately Muslim country and had to walk on eggshells as all politicians do. Being of Jewish faith, I am nervous that again we will be persecuted for our beliefs of generations (my mother was even as a child in the midwest, and great-grandmother with my grandmother escaped Nazi occupied lands just prior to WWII). I hope and pray the our President will make the right decisions regarding not only our faith, but the faith of many other religions.

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posted June 5, 2009 at 12:15 pm


posted June 5, 2009 at 12:32 pm

A Challenge to Islam Bashers??? The Obama speech is yet another clear indication that Obama has no pretense of even-handedness (as if a US President should be even-handed in consideration of the plight of a tiny democracy vs. intransigent and violent enemies)–he is blatantly insulting to Israel and cowers to Islam. He brings no uncomfortable truths to the Muslim world and he is all about guilt and making the Jew pay for it.
Obama had Jewish support and even some Israeli supporters. After that speech–how can even one Jew support such a liar and a fraud? All laws of lashon hora must be thrown away regarding this menace. Everyone respects the office of the Presidency-this man is the worst of the worst. He is a child, a liar and has no moral compass. We have been punished by this con-man for too long and the long wait for 4 years to get a chance to put the nation back on a path will bring a high price.
David K–if you listened to Obama allow Jews right to their homeland only because of the Holocaust while showering the Arab Palestinians with every positive victim status he could muster and not find this Pro-Islam–you are simply not watching. He is bowing and begging, apologizing and grovelling to the worst segments of humanity–the people who need some honest talking. Nope–the honest talk goes for the Jews who dare live in their own homeland. Honesty demands that we stop catering to Arabs by pretending that “Palestinians” are a real people deserving of their own mini-state while ignoring the state of Jordan. Honesty demands a bit more that saying that we all understand your humiliation BECAUSE of the Jews but violence really does not help. Huh?
If I am an Arab in those territories and the President of the US is telling me that he has every sympathy for my “humiliation” I am going to be inspired to violence. As an Arab, I listen to Obama–I want to go out and kill as many Jews as possible since his “honesty” JUSTIFIES my actions. The future is now set–Arabs will become inspired to violence, not peace, and the Jew will be blamed. Obama will lead the Arabs in a violent uprising and the prospects for peace will be set back at least 50 years.
I knew Obama would be bad but I did not imagine he would be this bad–so quickly.

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posted June 5, 2009 at 1:26 pm

That’s easy:
My speech would have extended the hand of friendship by recounting all the assistance the US has shown the Muslim world (Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq, etc.).
I think it is THEY who who have much, much more to apologize for than we to them.
It just grates on me to hear him run down MY country. (P.S. The Arabs don’t respect it either. Like it, yes, but respect or fear, no.)

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Al Eastman

posted June 5, 2009 at 8:20 pm

Is it possible that not all the people who find fault with President Obama’s speech in Cairo are foaming at the mouth conservatives? Perhaps they are rational, thinking, intelligent people who listened carefully to the speech. THEN they came to their conclusion about how much Mr. Obama supports Israel.
In spite of his chief of staff’s ties to Israel, I seriously doubt Mr. Obama will be as loyal to Israel as Mr. Bush was.

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posted June 7, 2009 at 8:11 am

Generally speaking, I do not like Islam. If you look at major conflicts in the world today (Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan) with most of them (all of these) there is an Islamic element that is fighting on the other side. Some would say not to judge the whole on this, and I certainly agree that most Muslims are not violent at all, but I say that when the vast majority of bombs going off are set by people of a certain religion, and they use that religion to justify their acts, there is something wrong with the religion.
All that being said, President Obama has to act based on what is best for the country, not what many of us feel. Trying to make nice with Islamic countries is smart. It will allow us more influence in region for all of our political goals. Would I have been able to give that speach? Probably not. Am I glad he gave it? Absolutely!

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