Archive for February 11th, 2011
President Obama’s first big foray into the Arab world as leader of the Free World was a much-noticed, much-discussed, much-loved, much-reviled speech in Cairo.
Titled “A New Beginning”, the President’s remarks were meant to signal to the Arab street that a new administration meant a new approach to the Middle East. Fans called it visionary. Critics called it apologist.
Here’s a passage:
“So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. And this cycle of suspicion and discord must end.
I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
Here’s Rush Limbaugh’s reaction.
So here’s my question. You can expect some obvious foreign travel for the President between now and the summer of 2012, when he has to stay at home and kick his reelection effort in high gear. Iraq and Afghanistan would not be a surprise. What about a visit to Israel, along the lines of what then-candidate Obama did in the summer of 2008, to reassure Jewish-American voters?
If so, and the President swings by Israel, then what about another stop in the neighborhood: should Obama head back to Cairo University and give a sequel to “A New Beginning” . . . “A New New Beginning”?