- June 5, 2009
America Reacts to Obama’s Speech
Mark Lynch praised President Obama’s speech in Cairo today, calling it a triumph for public diplomacy that peacefully serves as an “invitation to conversation.” Steve Benen at the Washington Monthy commended the speech’s success in planting the foundation for a new relationship between the Middle East and the U.S. At TPM Cafe, M.J. Rosenberg notes that the speech’s success was based on an unprecedented act of addressing the audience as equals and that it provided a format for a future where Middle Eastern leaders will similarly address their own people.
Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard criticized Obama’s mention of democracy in his speech without further mentioning democratic successes in Iraq, which enjoys many of the values Obama claims to support in the region. Max Boot at Commentary Magazine rejected Obama’s use of ‘false’ historical or moral equivalencies, and called for a more robust approach to democratic development.
In response to Obama’s emphasis on respect between the U.S. and the Muslim world, the Washington Times argues that the Arab world must actively reciprocate this respect by rejecting local forces that threaten U.S. security and invite American military presence in the region.