Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Presidential Speech

Meh. A lot of words, but color me unimpressed.

In talking about the change in Egypt, he failed to mention that Egypt is still ruled by its military, and he did not mention the $1 billion plus that we still provide to the military. Addressing democratic change in that country really requires, I think, that our financial support of their ruling military needs to be addressed in one form or another.

He made the pro forma condemnation of Iran and said that we will not tolerate a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Of course, there already is a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, and Israel started it by developing its own nuclear arsenal. Minor detail.

The discussion on Bahrain about the two sides needing to have a discussion was one of the softest puffballs he has ever delivered, and completely absent was any mention of the role played by Saudi Arabia. The latter, one of the more repressive nations in the region, was absent from the speech altogether, actually. Feh.

When he finally got to the Palestinian-Israeli issue he presented it as if it was an issue divorced from the greater issue of Middle East unrest, which is nonsense. It is the newly structured Egypt which united Fatah and Hamas, and one can hardly say that is unrelated to the peace process, as much as Obama tried to ignore that in his discussion. Also glaringly missing from what he had to say was that the Israeli government is one of the players in the denial of human rights to Arabs, having kept Palestinians in a condition of statelessness for decades.

In other words, more “change you can believe in.”

Update: Thursday 2:30pm
And we notice, it didn't take long for Israel to tell President Obama rather specifically to "shove it."

Update 2: Thursday, 6:30pm
Chris Matthews spent the first thirty minutes of his show laughing at and mocking New Gingrich. It wasn't until halfway thrugh that he finally mentioned "Obama's big speech," and he only spent about ten minutes discussing it before turning the discussion to Sarah Palin. I don't know if that is a tribute to the idiocy of Chris Matthews, or to the trivial impact of Obama's speech.

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