Open thread: Obama’s Cairo II speech

posted at 10:32 am on May 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

At 11:40 today, Barack Obama will give what some are calling the Cairo II speech, a follow-up address on the Middle East and the US backing for popular, representative government in the region.  His Cairo I speech was generally considered a success, although ultimately forgettable, mainly because Obama himself failed its first test in Tehran within days of its delivery — and that after the White House specifically tied the Green Revolution uprising (that it refused to support for months) to the speech.  Now Obama will once again address the issue of freedom, liberty, and peace in a speech, this time perhaps aimed more for American voters than Middle Eastern audiences, but will he live up to his own rhetoric, or again ignore freedom-loving Iranians (and Syrians)?

Politico offers a list of five questions about the speech today:

  • How far on Syria will Obama go? — I suspect he’ll only go as far as the sanctions announced yesterday, which Andrew Malcolm helpfully reminds us were preceded by weeks of warning to get funds out of the US.  If he calls for Assad’s resignation, he’ll end up looking impotent, as he has no real means to affect it, but without it, he will leave Syrian dissidents wondering why Hosni Mubarak had to go but not Bashar Assad.  Politico’s Josh Gerstein thinks Obama will try to split the difference: “Obama’s formulation could hint at Assad’s exit, while stopping just short of demanding his ouster.”
  • How much will he say on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and how specific will he be? – He’ll probably want to say plenty, but will restrain himself.  Benjamin Netanyahu is on his way to the US for an important summit, and the union of Fatah and Hamas has more or less scuttled Obama’s plans to get Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas on the same page.  Obama is facing pressure in the region to start pressuring both sides for movement, but Fatah’s alignment with Hamas has all but scotched any chance of an agreement.
  • Will Obama Unveil a Marshall Plan for the Arab world? - Oh, I’m sure Obama will highlight new aid proposals, but no one has the money for a Marshall Plan any longer.  I read a rather cogent dismissal of the concept yesterday, but I’ll be darned if I can remember where.  The reason the Marshall Plan worked in Europe after World War II is because Europe was already industrialized; they just needed recapitalization.  We’ve been doing Marshall Plans in Africa and now Afghanistan for decades to no avail.
  • Will Obama lay out a uniform doctrine, or improvise? - Wasn’t this the White House that snorted derisively at the concept of “doctrines” during the Arab Spring?  Consistency would be nice, but this administration has spent the last several months playing it by ear.  Without a significant change in personnel, I doubt they’ll produce a “doctrine” today — but that then opens Obama to criticism of failing to deliver on expectations with major policy speeches, a failure which has become a habit.
  • What’s next? – More speeches?  This could be another expectations problem for Obama.  In the wake of his Cairo speech, what was next was an utter failure to support popular, democratic demands for reform in Iran.  Don’t be surprised if the same thing is “next” after Cairo II, in Iran and in Syria.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4 5

Rosa Parks? Oh, please.

Del Dolemonte on May 19, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Is he wearing his “made in America “tee shirt or his “I killed Osama tee shirt?”

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 12:32 PM
There were t-shirts draped over every chair in the room. /

Shiny_Tiara on May 19, 2011 at 12:33 PM

and made in China

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:34 PM

And he wonders why many Americans think he’s a Muslim.

kingsjester on May 19, 2011 at 12:35 PM

The entire premise that we have “shared values” is a damnable lie. I’m too disgusted to listen to any more of this. I had to turn him off and listen to Rush.

Buy Danish on May 19, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Shared values? Let me see…Honor killings? No. Beheadings?No. Hate for Christians Jews, and all others except Muslims? No. Yeah we sure do have a lot in common……/s

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Sharia Sangria for everyone!

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:31 PM

That’s the ticket!

Dee2008 on May 19, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Would be if I were in charge! Big bartabs for everyone! LOL

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Iraq success is due to W bub not you

cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 12:36 PM

The entire premise that we have “shared values” is a damnable lie. I’m too disgusted to listen to any more of this. I had to turn him off and listen to Rush.

Buy Danish on May 19, 2011 at 12:33 PM

POTUS is the only one in the room that has “shared values” with those Christian-killing, child-raping thugs.

GrannyDee on May 19, 2011 at 12:36 PM

he just said that any arab country that undergoes a revolution the US will support them

offroadaz on May 19, 2011 at 12:37 PM

POTUS is the only one in the room that has “shared values” with those Christian-killing, child-raping thugs.

GrannyDee on May 19, 2011 at 12:36 PM

I disagree. He is giving the speech at the State Department.

myrenovations on May 19, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Iraq success is due to W bub not you

cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Wait… There was success in Iraq? I thought the war was lost? Harry Reid and Obama both told me that years ago.

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Rush’s immitation of Barry Soreto the King of the Indonesian Ghetto is awesome.

I just don’t care anymore. Say whatever you want about me. You should hear what I say about my ancestors.

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Rush says the speech is flat, dead, and keeps waiting for applause that at times…

… never comes.

Sweet!

Seven Percent Solution on May 19, 2011 at 12:38 PM

POTUS is the only one in the room that has “shared values” with those Christian-killing, child-raping thugs.

GrannyDee on May 19, 2011 at 12:36 PM

It’s why people think he’s not “made in America.” His values are so foreign to most of us.

Dee2008 on May 19, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Sandee

Heh :)

cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 12:38 PM

I just tuned in.

Now he’s telling everybody that the press must be free, I guess.

He always says exactly the opposite of what he actually does. I guess that’s what is called “lip service.”

Alana on May 19, 2011 at 12:38 PM

POTUS is the only one in the room that has “shared values” with those Christian-killing, child-raping thugs.

GrannyDee on May 19, 2011 at 12:36 PM

I disagree. He is giving the speech at the State Department.

myrenovations on May 19, 2011 at 12:37 PM

You’re right. I stand corrected. (Unlike Newtie, I know how to admit when I’m wrong.)

GrannyDee on May 19, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Rush: This arab sping is just an giant flowering of democracy..pffffttttttt

sicoit on May 19, 2011 at 12:39 PM

You’re right. I stand corrected. (Unlike Newtie, I know how to admit when I’m wrong.)

GrannyDee on May 19, 2011 at 12:39 PM

LOL!

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 12:39 PM

I can’t believe I’ve wasted 25 minutes of my life listening to him read from his teleprompter, saying absolutely NOTHING new.

bpard on May 19, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Rush says the speech is flat, dead, and keeps waiting for applause that at times…

… never comes.

Sweet!

Seven Percent Solution on May 19, 2011 at 12:38 PM

I noticed that. Very tepid crowd.

He’ll have to wait till his Newz Division is handed their talking points on little index cards. Be sure to fawn over POTUS because he is amazing.

/puke

Key West Reader on May 19, 2011 at 12:40 PM

he just said that any arab country that undergoes a revolution the US will support them

offroadaz on May 19, 2011 at 12:37 PM

How about Persian…

the_nile on May 19, 2011 at 12:40 PM

What’s sad is this man actually believes this b.s. and he’s the Leader of the Free World!

kingsjester on May 19, 2011 at 12:40 PM

30 minutes in and he’s said absolutely nothing. pro.

Static on May 19, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Now he’s telling everybody that the press must be free, I guess.

He always says exactly the opposite of what he actually does. I guess that’s what is called “lip service.”

Alana on May 19, 2011 at 12:38 PM

paging boston herald. the hypocrite in chief is blabbering on all the channels and has a message for you.

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:41 PM

he just said that any arab country that undergoes a revolution the US will support them

offroadaz on May 19, 2011 at 12:37 PM

So he is advocating the over-throw of Sovereign Nations?

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 12:41 PM

What’s sad is this man actually believes this b.s. and he’s the Leader of the Free World!

kingsjester on May 19, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Yep. BHO is a legend in his own mind.

GrannyDee on May 19, 2011 at 12:41 PM

The tipping point = getting food on the tables !!!
Well, DUH.

pambi on May 19, 2011 at 12:42 PM

The tipping point = getting food on the tables !!!
Well, DUH.

pambi on May 19, 2011 at 12:42 PM

How about our tables? Have you seen the price of Arugula?

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Cornell West is beyond insane. There are no words for his Hell-Bound ramblings.*

“Brilliant African Father” hahahahahahahahahha*

*listening to Rush

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:43 PM

As usual, long on talk, short of specifics…

JIMV on May 19, 2011 at 12:44 PM

forgiving 1 billion in debt for egypt…

offroadaz on May 19, 2011 at 12:44 PM

I am really tired of the muslim-ombudsman-in-the White-House’s endless communications to the muslim world

Who’s he working for?

He can direct his communications to Americans, and send his envoys to the Middle East, if needed.

The President’s job is not to make speeches to the world, or at least to the only parts of the world he personally cares about

If the Prez has some deal going concerning the middle east, step to the WH podium and notify the news crewa.

He couldn’t make it to Texas, and he couldn’t even declare Texas qualified for disaster aid, but he primps for the Cairo cameras, and is getting ready to send more bucks overseas

This guy is full of bull.

A Marshall plan? That’s for people who win wars. Obama is not a conquerer and he will not be able to formulate the new governments. All he will do is flush our money

I already know how this will play with the American public.

How about switching the venue to Israel? That would be a truer test of peace possibilities in the middle east

entagor on May 19, 2011 at 12:44 PM

he just said that any arab country that undergoes a revolution the US will support them

offroadaz on May 19, 2011 at 12:37 PM

So he is advocating the over-throw of Sovereign Nations?

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Imperialist! Doing to the Middle East what the British did to his Father of the Year’s Country! hahahahaha

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:45 PM

The entire premise that we have “shared values” is a damnable lie. I’m too disgusted to listen to any more of this. I had to turn him off and listen to Rush.

Buy Danish on May 19, 2011 at 12:33 PM

He’s only speaking for himself, there. He wouldn’t have the slightest idea about Judeo-Christian values, individual responsibility, free-market economics or any of that other American nostalgia.

Remember, he was raised by Marxists and Muslims in Hawaii and Indonesia. Go easy on him.

Jaibones on May 19, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Cornell West is beyond insane. There are no words for his Hell-Bound ramblings.*

“Brilliant African Father” hahahahahahahahahha*

*listening to Rush

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Poor Obama. Not black enough. Who’da thunk it?

Dee2008 on May 19, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Fool simply doesn’t understand one dam*ed thing about what anyone needs, let alone HOW TO BE FREE !

pambi on May 19, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Is he still talking reading…?

Seven Percent Solution on May 19, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Cornell West is beyond insane. There are no words for his Hell-Bound ramblings.

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Actually, I think he’s pretty much on the mark here.

Jaibones on May 19, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Will the “Arab Spring Dinner Tables” be allowed potatoes?

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Maybe the Palestinians would have had a home if they didn’t try to overthrow every country that ever let them in.

cannonball on May 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Cornell West is beyond insane. There are no words for his Hell-Bound ramblings.

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Cowardly little fatherless white liberal raised in Hawaii? OK, you’re right — West missed the part about Obama’s African father abandoning him at age one.

Brilliant!

Jaibones on May 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Will the “Arab Spring Dinner Tables” be allowed potatoes?

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Only if they’re sweet potatoes and approved ahead of time by Moo-Chelle.

GrannyDee on May 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM

I stopped listening.

Alana on May 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Will the “Arab Spring Dinner Tables” be allowed potatoes?

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Hey I’ve got an idea, why don’t we send Michelle over there to “adjust” their eating habits like she is dictating to us? It’s a win,win situation… At least for us.

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM

nervous what hes about to say about Israel

offroadaz on May 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM

forgiving 1 billion in debt for egypt…

offroadaz on May 19, 2011 at 12:44 PM

POS….

sicoit on May 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM

So my take is that this speech is going over well with moderates?

hahahahaha

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM

occupation…

equanimous on May 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM

I am not listening but based on the comments, it sounds like he’s kicked his campaign into high gear–it’s a donation pledge drive speech for all those overseas donations….

Youngs98 on May 19, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Will the “Arab Spring Dinner Tables” be allowed potatoes?

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Hey I’ve got an idea, why don’t we send Michelle over there to “adjust” their eating habits like she is dictating to us? It’s a win,win situation… At least for us.

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM

I have much to say. and that would get me banned. LOL excellent plan. I’ll stop there.

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:49 PM

OK, he;s talking Israel. Here comes the ass whipping.

cannonball on May 19, 2011 at 12:49 PM

“We dont want democratic Egypt to be saddled with past debts” -Obama 2011 Egypt speech.

MeatHeadinCA on May 19, 2011 at 12:50 PM

“We dont want democratic Egypt to be saddled with past debts” -Obama 2011 Egypt speech.

So we’ll be saddled with it…

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Jaibones on May 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM

I like Rush’s take, “Cornell West. Who is stuck in the ghettos of Harvard…”

ha!

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:51 PM

“We dont want democratic Egypt to be saddled with past debts” -Obama 2011 Egypt speech.

MeatHeadinCA on May 19, 2011 at 12:50 PM

But it’s perfectly okay to saddle our country, our children, our grandchildren, etc. with trillions upon trillions of debt.

FUBO.

GrannyDee on May 19, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Israel is about to be Paul Ryaned.

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:52 PM

“friends must be honest with one another…” Seriously, they cribbed that line from West Wing.

myrenovations on May 19, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Hope Bibi reams him a new one.

petefrt on May 19, 2011 at 12:52 PM

hes calling for 1967 israel bordrs. Bye Jerusalem…

offroadaz on May 19, 2011 at 12:52 PM

’67 borders my big, white butt

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:52 PM

OMG Obama just threw Israel under the bus

unseen on May 19, 2011 at 12:52 PM

“We dont want democratic Egypt to be saddled with past debts” -Obama 2011 Egypt speech.

MeatHeadinCA on May 19, 2011 at 12:50 PM

…so we’ll go further into debt on their behalf.

Ugh.

Dee2008 on May 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM

“We dont want democratic Egypt to be saddled with past debts” -Obama 2011 Egypt speech.
MeatHeadinCA on May 19, 2011 at 12:50 PM

What about OUR debts? When are we going to figure out that we cannot be the world’s sugar daddy any longer. We are bleeding.
OMG!!!! HE SAID IT!!!! 1967 Israel. He said it. My heart hurts.

HornetSting on May 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM

“‘We’ believe…1967 borders must be…”

Nutshell.

GGMac on May 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM

How’s about arabs in Jerusalem go to Saudi ARABia … hmmmm….

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM

I will bless those who bless you…

kingsjester on May 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Ok, now will the Jewish citizens of this country stop supporting the Democrats?

Probably not. Can’t fix stupid.

stenwin77 on May 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM

hes calling for 1967 israel bordrs. Bye Jerusalem…

offroadaz on May 19, 2011 at 12:52 PM

BHO’s dog whistle to the Muslims.

GrannyDee on May 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM

If ’67 borders then why did Arafat refuse it under Clintoon?

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

I knew bho was going to do this to Israel. Gosh Bibi, have a flat on your plane so you can’t come see this pos tomorrow!
L

letget on May 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

there already is a Palestinian homeland,it is named Jordan

equanimous on May 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

OK, so give Palestinians their own state, that way the next time a rocket gets lobbed into Israel, it’s a sovereign nation attacking another and Israel can wipe them out because it’s an act of war.

Alden Pyle on May 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

But it’s perfectly okay to saddle our country, our children, our grandchildren, etc. with trillions upon trillions of debt.

FUBO.

GrannyDee on May 19, 2011 at 12:52 PM

What about OUR debts? When are we going to figure out that we cannot be the world’s sugar daddy any longer. We are bleeding.
OMG!!!! HE SAID IT!!!! 1967 Israel. He said it. My heart hurts.

HornetSting on May 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Exactly!

MeatHeadinCA on May 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Bibi should cancel his visit. AIPAC should rescind the president’s invitation.

myrenovations on May 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Bibi should refuse to come.

stenwin77 on May 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Another thing that ticks me off is this idea that Egypt is now”Democratic.”I hardly call the Muslim Brotherhood that. As bad as Mubarek was he was more secular and was trying to stop some of the barbarian practices such as female genital mutilation. The MB want complete sharia law.

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM

He’s as much as announced his hatred of Israel.

GGMac on May 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Can’t wait to hear Sarah’s comments

stenwin77 on May 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM

I will bless those who bless you…

kingsjester on May 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Exactly!

Dee2008 on May 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM

“Palestinian refugees” ? Is he serious? Bringing up the “right of return” to what is now Israel? I can tell whose side he’s on.

Paul-Cincy on May 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM

So, he increases our taxes and forgives the Muslims revolutionaries debts. And now he’s throwing Israel under the bus. Can we say it now?

kingsjester on May 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM

I just want it on record…Dear God, we don’t agree with this idiot in the WH…we are friends of Israel..please do not lump us in with this idiot. Amen.

HornetSting on May 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM

I bet Bibi turns his plane around instead of coming here tomorrow.

Alden Pyle on May 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Beck’s Restore Courage campaign, if successful, will put a monkey wrench in Øbama’s spokes.

petefrt on May 19, 2011 at 12:56 PM

WHO.THE.HE!! does this kingsized POS think he is that HE can decide what Israel can and can not do????????? I hope Bibi gives him the biggest head biff he can…..

sicoit on May 19, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Bibi should cancel his visit. AIPAC should rescind the president’s invitation.

myrenovations on May 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Wish he would.

MeatHeadinCA on May 19, 2011 at 12:56 PM

bet the jewish side of the family, who wish they were WASPs – imao, will applaud his bravery in standing up to the AIPAC Cartel.

Yeah, that’s what I am dealing with.

#rejects

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:56 PM

“Every state has a right to defend itself”. Except Arizona, Texas, California and New Mexico.

VegasRick on May 19, 2011 at 12:56 PM

This is his typical “we are all at fault, let’s split the difference”. That’s NOT the situation here. Here, one side wants war, the other wants peace.

Paul-Cincy on May 19, 2011 at 12:56 PM

I bet Bibi turns his plane around instead of coming here tomorrow.

Alden Pyle on May 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM

I would NOT bet against you on that. He just might do it.

petefrt on May 19, 2011 at 12:56 PM

HornetSting on May 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Amen.

kingsjester on May 19, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Bibi should cancel his visit. AIPAC should rescind the president’s invitation.

myrenovations on May 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

AIPAC…give them the chance to show Barry he is NOT adored. And, Bibi…I just don’t know.

HornetSting on May 19, 2011 at 12:56 PM

From your keyboard to God’s Ears

I just want it on record…Dear God, we don’t agree with this idiot in the WH…we are friends of Israel..please do not lump us in with this idiot. Amen.

HornetSting on May 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Branch Rickey on May 19, 2011 at 12:57 PM

I hope Israel knows that most of the American public does not agree with Obama.

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Next speech Ofascist to announce a timeline for when the US troops, under the UN, will be moving in to Israel to reset these boundaries?

txhsmom on May 19, 2011 at 12:57 PM

He’s an airhead. He’s a space cadet. He’s not serious.

Paul-Cincy on May 19, 2011 at 12:57 PM

I will bless those who bless you…

kingsjester on May 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM

…and whoever curses you I will curse.

GrannyDee on May 19, 2011 at 12:58 PM

myrenovations on May 19, 2011 at 12:54 PM

remember they are not allowed to boo him

well crap on that…boo him big time…

cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 12:58 PM

More dorm room foreign policy. The volume of what this guy doesn’t know or understand could fill a football stadium.

RBMN on May 19, 2011 at 12:58 PM

And yet, American Jews continue to vote for this fraud.

Vera on May 19, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4 5