I’m Guessing Obama’s “Landmark” 2009 Cairo Speech Didn’t Lower the Tides in Egypt Either

President Obama’s foreign policy of distancing America from allies like Israel while coddling extremists like the Muslim Brotherhood don’t seem to be working out too well today:

Angry protesters attacked U.S. diplomatic compounds in Libya and Egypt on Tuesday, citing in both instances an online film considered offensive to Islam.

In Cairo, several men scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy and tore down its American flag, according to CNN producer Mohammed Fahmy, who was on the scene. In Libya, witnesses say members of a radical Islamist group called Ansar al-Sharia protested near the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, where NATO jets established no-fly zones last year to blunt ground attacks from then Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi. The group then clashed with security forces in the city, blocking roads leading to the consulate, witnesses said. The Libyan government notified the United States that an employee at the U.S. Consulate was killed, a State Department official told CNN.

In Egypt, police and army personnel formed defensive lines around the U.S. Embassy in an effort to prevent demonstrators from advancing, but not before the protesters affixed a black flag atop a ladder in the American compound. The black flag, which hangs in full view from inside the complex, is adorned with white characters that read, “There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger,” an emblem often used by Islamic radicals. A volley of warning shots were fired as a large crowd gathered around the compound, although it is not clear who fired the shots.

As you will recall, Obama and his surrogates spent inordinate amounts of time self-congratulating the President Obama for his landmark speech in Cairo immediately after he was sworn into office. Let’s highlights some key tenets of that speech and see if they ring true today:

[L]et me speak as clearly and plainly as I can about some specific issues that I believe we must finally confront together. The first issue that we have to confront is violent extremism in all of its forms. In Ankara, 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.

So far one American dead, our sovereign soil desecrated and the Al Qaeda flag flown over our embassy in Cairo.

The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind. The enduring faith of over a billion people is so much bigger than the narrow hatred of a few. Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.

I’m not sure everyone is on the same page here but let’s move on.

Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. Indeed, we can recall the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said: “I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”

Our embassy apologized for the radical filmmaker Muslims are protesting but failed to condemn the violence.  I’m doubt highly anyone Muslim or otherwise believes our power has grown today.

So America will defend itself respectful of the sovereignty of nations and the rule of law. And we will do so in partnership with Muslim communities which are also threatened. The sooner the extremists are isolated and unwelcome in Muslim communities, the sooner we will all be safer.

Last week, our nearly bankrupt government agreed to forgive $1 billion in debt to Egypt now being run by the Muslim Brotherhood who gained their power thanks in large part to the support of Islamic extremists. To reward the US, they have violated our sovereignty and killed on of our officials.  I’m going to say this makes us less safe.

The second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world. America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable.

So long as that unbreakable bond doesn’t interfere with Obama’s appearance on the David Letterman Show.

But this much is clear: governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure. Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. 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.

Peaceful and law-abiding voices of Jews, Christians and any non-Muslim are continually snuffed out by Egypt’s lawless police force under the Muslim Brotherhood. Good thing we forgave that $1 billion.

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. No matter where it takes hold, government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who hold power: you must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy.

Speechless

The fifth issue that we must address together is religious freedom. Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.

Despite the familiarity of today’s images to all Americans alive when the Islamsists storm the American Embassy in Iran, I’m sure this is just an aberration…

People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith based upon the persuasion of the mind, heart, and soul. This tolerance is essential for religion to thrive, but it is being challenged in many different ways. Among some Muslims, there is a disturbing tendency to measure one’s own faith by the rejection of another’s. The richness of religious diversity must be upheld – whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt. And fault lines must be closed among Muslims as well, as the divisions between Sunni and Shia have led to tragic violence, particularly in Iraq. Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together. We must always examine the ways in which we protect it… it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit – for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear. We cannot disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretence of liberalism.

I know there are many – Muslim and non-Muslim – who question whether we can forge this new beginning. Some are eager to stoke the flames of division, and to stand in the way of progress. Some suggest that it isn’t worth the effort – that we are fated to disagree, and civilizations are doomed to clash. Many more are simply skeptical that real change can occur. There is so much fear, so much mistrust. But if we choose to be bound by the past, we will never move forward…We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written. The Holy Koran tells us, “O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.” The Talmud tells us: “The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace.” The Holy Bible tells us, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is God’s vision. Now, that must be our work here on Earth. Thank you. And may God’s peace be upon you.

Maybe something got lost in translation?

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] light of today’s events I blogged the 2009 Cairo speech below but this tweet wonderfully sums up the disastrous political day for Obama: @iowahawkblog this […]

  2. […] was Mitt Romney’s statement of outrage over the attacks.  The first statement I blogged from Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech was the following: [L]et me speak as clearly and plainly as I can about some specific issues that I […]

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