Cairo Speech: Highlights
Posted by cann0nba11 on June 4, 2009
I’ve been reading president Obama’s speech delivered in Cairo earlier today. While many conservatives and talking heads will be sure to go through it with a fine tooth comb, I feel compelled to point out some of the positive tidbits that were delivered. Obama addressed the following specific issues:
- The first issue that we have to confront is violent extremism in all of its forms.
- The second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.
- The third source of tension is our shared interest in the rights and responsibilities of nations on nuclear weapons.
- The fourth issue that I will address is democracy.
- The fifth issue that we must address together is religious freedom.
- The sixth issue that I want to address is women’s rights.
- Finally, I want to discuss economic development and opportunity.
This analysis offers excellent counterpoint and factual clarifications, here are the firm words that stood out to me:
- “I made clear that America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam. We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security. Because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children. And it is my first duty as President to protect the American people.”
- “Over seven years ago, the United States pursued al Qaeda and the Taliban with broad international support. We did not go by choice, we went because of necessity. I am aware that some question or justify the events of 9/11. But let us be clear: al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on that day. The victims were innocent men, women and children from America and many other nations who had done nothing to harm anybody. And yet Al Qaeda chose to ruthlessly murder these people, claimed credit for the attack, and even now states their determination to kill on a massive scale. They have affiliates in many countries and are trying to expand their reach. These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with.”
- “We would gladly bring every single one of our troops home if we could be confident that there were not violent extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan determined to kill as many Americans as they possibly can. But that is not yet the case.”
- “America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable.”
- “Six million Jews were killed – more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. Threatening Israel with destruction – or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews – is deeply wrong”
- “America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them. And we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments – provided they govern with respect for all their people. This last point is important because there are some who advocate for democracy only when they are out of power; once in power, they are ruthless in suppressing the rights of others.”
- “I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well-educated are far more likely to be prosperous.”
These are very powerful statements. I hope that they will be said again, and acted upon.