You can read what I wrote about the speech here. Others have been writing too.
The Anchoress, in addition to her must-read Ich bin ein Muslimer takedown of the speech, has a list of blogs thinking about what he said, which I’ll just copy wholesale:
Andy McCarthy: Koranic text Obama left out
Andrew Bolt: Islam, I am your savior!
Fausta: What was missing from the speech
David P. Goldman: Why Couldn’t Obama’s writers find a peace quote from the Koran?
Abe Greenwald: Not too good on Women’s Rights
Jennifer Rubin: Abudullah is not charmed by Obama
Bookworm: Gives the speech a C and wonders about specifically Muslim formulations
Ed Morrissey: Not so bad; not much different from Bush
Michelle Malkin: Not having any; didn’t like Bush’s speeches here, either.
Rich Lowry: On the whole not bad
Max Boot: Could have been a lot worse
Ann Althouse: Commenters parse the speech
Jake Tapper: President finds himself in Hieroglyphs
Hugh Hewitt: The World is Worse for this dishonest speech
“Yes we can” in Hieroglyphics
Mike Allen: Kinda common rhetoric
Confederate Yankee: Obama’s Brilliant Delusion
Andy McCarthy: Founding Fathers Friends to Islam?
Dana Perino: Comparing two presidents, two speeches
Damian Thompson: Watch out for Christian Terrorists!
Noisy Room: United Under Allah
Obama’s Nixon China Speech
Flopping Aces: Charm Offenses & History
Gateway: US President won’t stand for democracy
Here are some more reads I recommend:
Joshuapundit summarizes all the of ill-informed, fatuous and foolish statements that surrounded the nuggets of smartness and decency buried in that mess.
Rick Moran about the sadness the deliberately or foolishly misinformed speech engendered in him, and Sammy Benoit chimes in.
Ira Stoll, who hoped for better when it came to Obama and the Jews, confesses that the speech brings him to a different point of view.
Peter Daou also caught that strange obsession with the hijab.
Max Boot notes that the speech could have been worse, and explains what was good. He also highlights all the false equivalencies Obama drew between the Muslim world and the west. He also deconstructs the little misuse of history, by which Obama implied that Tripoli and the US have always been partners in freedom. (I bet Boot would give the speech the same C I did.)
Jennifer Rubin also sounds many of the same notes I did.
And Abe Greenwald agreed with me on the bizarre fact that Obama kept harking back to those hijabs.
Reading all of these views shows that the issues I picked up upon — the vague mea culpas, the hostility to women, the hostility to Israel, the apparent willingness to protect America (thank God), the false moral equivalences, the bastardized history, etc. — were not products of my own anti-Obama imagination but were, in fact, truly present in an anything-but-earth-shattering speech to the Arab world.
Laer thinks the speech was as good as it could get, considering both audience and speaker.
UPDATE: I have to add Peter Wehner to the list, for nailing both Obama’s rhetorical and substantive approach:
The best way to view President Obama’s speech in Cairo is to understand the way Obama views himself and the rhetorical devices he employs. In this case, the key to unlocking Obama’s speech may be Aristotle’s golden mean, the search for a mid-point between extremes. Obama’s rhetorical template is an increasingly familiar one: he gives voice to one side of a dispute and then the other. And Obama — our philosopher-king, the Voice of Reason in an unreasonable world — interprets and arbitrates these disputes, putting them in just the right context and arriving at just the right solution. Or so we are led to believe. The trouble is that Obama’s approach at times distorts history and mistreats our closest allies.
The above, by the way, is not just an airy-fairy conclusion. Wehner goes on to support his theory — and also shows the lies Obama has to tell to maintain this Olympian posture.
Krauthammer wasn’t so thrilled either, and he caught the same point I did about the bizarre comparison Obama made between women in America and women in the Muslim world. He also latched onto the innanely self-referential quality that is in all Obama’s speeches, as did Benjamin Sarlin, who gives the formula for writing your own Obama speech.
And you know you’re in good company when you make the same points Melanie Phillips does.
UPDATE II: Soccer Dad reminds us that, as with Sotomayor’s 32 infamous words, context is king. Also, JoshuPundit also wondered, as I did, if, in referring to Muslim charitable practices, Obama was suggesting that we do away with that little legal provision make it illegal to fund terrorism.Email This Post To A Friend
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