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A Bush in sheep's clothing

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CHIMO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 08:33 PM
Original message
A Bush in sheep's clothing
Once you strip away the mujamalat the courtesies exchanged between guest and host the substance of President Obama's speech in Cairo indicates there is likely to be little real change in US policy. It is not necessary to divine Obama's intentions he may be utterly sincere and I believe he is. It is his analysis and prescriptions that in most regards maintain flawed American policies intact.

Though he pledged to "speak the truth as best I can", there was much the president left out. He spoke of tension between "America and Islam" the former a concrete specific place, the latter a vague construct subsuming peoples, practices, histories and countries more varied than similar.

Labelling America's "other" as a nebulous and all-encompassing "Islam" (even while professing rapprochement and respect) is a way to avoid acknowledging what does in fact unite and mobilise people across many Muslim-majority countries: overwhelming popular opposition to increasingly intrusive and violent American military, political and economic interventions in many of those countries. This opposition and the resistance it generates has now become for supporters of those interventions, synonymous with "Islam".

It was disappointing that Obama recycled his predecessor's notion that "violent extremism" exists in a vacuum, unrelated to America's (and its proxies') exponentially greater use of violence before and after September 11, 2001. He dwelled on the "enormous trauma" done to the US when almost 3,000 people were killed that day, but spoke not one word about the hundreds of thousands of orphans and widows left in Iraq those whom Muntazer al-Zaidi's flying shoe forced Americans to remember only for a few seconds last year. He ignored the dozens of civilians who die each week in the "necessary" war in Afghanistan, or the millions of refugees fleeing the US-invoked escalation in Pakistan.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jun/04/bar...
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. 'It was disappointing that Obama recycled his predecessor's notion that "violent extremism" ...
Edited on Thu Jun-04-09 08:38 PM by jgraz
... is unrelated to America's (and its proxies') exponentially greater use of violence before and after September 11, 2001.'

Inflammatory headline aside, the man does have a point.

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MrModerate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. Obama cannot wave a magic wand and make all the mistakes . . .
Edited on Thu Jun-04-09 08:43 PM by MrModerate
That governments and peoples have made over the last 75 years go away. Although he made several strides that direction yesterday.

Abunimah would clearly prefer the world wallow in Western guilt rather than looking forward. He is part of the problem and not part of the solution. Obama *has* made a clear break with the past although it is nuanced rather than hysterical.

I have significantly more hope than I did the day before yesterday.
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CHIMO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Politics Is
The art of the possible. The audience, I am sure, was glad that it was not more of Bush.

His audience for the speech was also the US and Israel.

He has laid out a framework. Perhaps a narrow framework. But none the less, a frame work to moving forward.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 10:08 PM
Response to Original message
4. I Believe We Asked for Change, Not Just Spare Change
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MrModerate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 10:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Aside from registering 56 on the Cute-o-meter, what does your comment mean? n/t
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