Obama’s speech to the Islamic world

Here is the much-hyped speech

It is easy to preach when you are the US of A. Obama makes provocative statements, but stays clear of owning up responsibility on behalf of his country, except in the matter of Iraq where he can conveniently blame his predecessor

I join issue with the following –
1. US will continue to fight terrorism globally – especially those that target innocent Americans, will continue to operate in Afghanistan and will reduce interference in Iraq. Why do we not hear anything about the creation of Taliban and how past mistakes may be avoided in future? Why not admit that economic sanctions and unfair trade practices also kill millions and destroy livelihoods systematically all over the developing world?
2. After decades of arming Israel and creating a hopelessly lopsided power differential, Obama expects Israel and Palestine to negotiate in peace
3. Pumping in money into Pakistan in the face of every evidence of a state deeply compliant or heavily compromised in the face of fundamentalist forces
4. What is US’s record in reducing its nuclear arsenal in the last decade? Will it sign the CTBT?
5. When talking of fundamentalist fringes, it is useful to remember that giving into the stereotypical, but widely persistent free market values have brought the vulnerable in the US and with it, the world, to the brink – causing death and destruction that is unfortunately bloodless, glamour-less and as a result, meaningless

But on matters of religious freedom, democracy and women’s economic advancement, the script reads well and is encouraging.


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