Obama's Plea for Conciliation with the Muslim World

I have read the transcript of the President’s speech from Cairo this morning. Contrary to the concerns of some, I found no overt offerings of apology or mea culpas for perceived sins, past or present. However, the President was not shy about candidly discussing what apparently are, in his view anyway, the shortcomings of our American system and the mistakes of past administrations, before his audience in Egypt and the rest of the World…

  • “For we have learned from recent experience that when a financial system weakens in one country, prosperity is hurt everywhere.”

  • “…Iraq was a war of choice that provoked strong differences in my country and around the world. … 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.”

Gee, I thought we’d tried that. DOH!

  • “9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable…”

(Thank you for your generous understanding and insight into my personal psyche. I’m humbled and awed by your empathy and compassion.)

  • “…But in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals.”

You may have a right to your opinion, but I too, have a right to my own about that.

And he attempts to explain on our behalf why, perhaps, we might feel the way we do…

  • “The attacks of September 11, 2001, and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and western countries but also to human rights.”

Ya think? That, along with its perpetual intolerance towards others with different beliefs and its general attitude toward its own women.

However, Obama maintains that Islam is a culture of tolerance and dignity…

  • “America and Islam… overlap and share common principles, principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

…implying that Muslims are not simply predisposed to try and destroy my way of life.

All I know is that, in the peace of that beautiful, quiet Autumn morning, 19 cowards, proclaiming to act in the name of a Muslim god, commandeered and crashed 4 US airplanes, killing 3,000 of my fellow countrymen and women. Men and women who had done absolutely nothing to deserve it. Who left behind children, spouses, parents, brothers, sisters and friends. It changed forever the way I view the world and my place in it.

You’ll just have to excuse me if I’m not ready to forgive and forget and sing Kumbaya just yet.