Obama calls for Palestinian state on ‘67 borders, and puts U.S. behind Mideast “reform”
The NYT reports
WASHINGTON—Seeking to harness the seismic political change still unfolding in the Arab world, President Obama for the first time on Thursday publicly called for a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that would create a non-militarized Palestinian state on the basis of Israel’s borders before 1967.
Obama also said
about the Middle East: “It will be the policy of the U.S. to promote reform, and to support transitions to democracy.” Whatever that means. Helping jihadists and anti-Christian persecutors come to power in Egypt? Sacrificing the lives of American soldiers in Afghanistan for the sake of people who hate us? Trying to kill Kaddafi for the sake of who knows what in Libya?
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Paul K. writes:
I listened to the president’s speech on the Middle East. Like his recent speech on immigration, it was a series of illusory promises based on false assumptions. The transcript is available here.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 19, 2011 02:03 PM | Send
Here are three passages in the speech that stood out to me:
Obama: In the face of these challenges, too many leaders in the region tried to direct their people’s grievances elsewhere. The West was blamed as the source of all ills, a half century after the end of colonialism. Antagonism toward Israel became the only acceptable outlet for political expression. Divisions of tribe, ethnicity and religious sect were manipulated as a means of holding on to power, or taking it away from somebody else.
Here Obama suggests that hatred of Israel and inter-tribal and inter-religious hostility are “misdirections” of the sentiments of Middle Eastern peoples, who only really want peace and freedom. In fact, these hatreds stem from the populace itself and will be expressed when they no longer have a government that suppresses them.
Obama: Indeed, one of the broader lessons to be drawn from this period is that sectarian divides need not lead to conflict. In Iraq, we see the promise of a multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian democracy. There, the Iraqi people have rejected the perils of political violence for a democratic process, even as they have taken full responsibility for their own security.
This, again, sounds like a classic “Bushism.” We have tens of thousands of troops in Iraq keeping a lid on that society and yet pronounce it a successful democracy.
Obama: History shows that countries are more prosperous and peaceful when women are empowered. That is why we will continue to insist that universal rights apply to women as well as men—by focusing assistance on child and maternal health; by helping women to teach, or start a business; by standing up for the right of women to have their voices heard, and to run for office. For the region will never reach its potential when more than half its population is prevented from achieving their potential.
Here Obama shows his disrespect for Islam, insisting that it adapt to modern Western liberal ideas of sexual equality. By what right do we do this? Just as many of us reject the introduction of sharia into Western societies, I understand that Muslim societies reject the introduction of Western feminism. They have only to look at us to see its disastrous results. What if they democratically choose not to extend full rights to women—what is our response? Also, it is foolish to suggest that the Middle East will never reach its potential until women are liberated; in fact, as European populations decline, the vacuum is being filled with the prolific offspring of those disempowered Middle Eastern women. As it successfully colonizes Europe, I would say the Middle East is well on its way to achieving its potential.
Beyond these initial thoughts, I have to laugh when this president exhorts Middle Eastern leaders to unleash the entrepreneurial potential of their people, when he and his taxing and regulatory agencies make it so difficult for small businesses to survive in this country.