Saturday, June 6, 2009

Obama speaks to the Muslim world

US president Barack Obama knows how to make a speech. No doubt about it. He did a star turn at Cairo University. He knowingly sprinked his speech with a common greeting in Arabic, referred to one liners from the Koran, and spoke with an authority which had but one goal: to seduce his listeners. In that he exceeded. He touched the right buttons on Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, Iran, global terrorism, to loud applause. His speech does signal a shift from past US administrations, especially the foul 8 years of George W. Bush's. It tapped Israel's knuckles on illegal settlements in the West Bank. He did 'reach out' to Hamas with conditions, and to Iran. Furthermore, like the wily politico that he is, Obama was short on details. Words mean a lot in the Arab and Muslim worlds, but deeds mean even more. Let's see if Obama can match his high mindedness with plonking his money down on the barrel head...or as a man from Missouri would say: 'Show me!'

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