Monday, June 8, 2009

My Response to Obama's Cairo Speech

At Cairo, President Obama stated,"More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.
And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear."

Obama is way off base when he refers to colonialism as denying rights to Muslims. If Obama is referring to Iraq, that is not colonialism. The United States went into Iraq to liberate the Iraqi people who were living under a brutal dictator, Saddam Hussein. American troops went into Iraq to assist the Iraqi people with starting a new life, which includes freedom, which they did not have under Hussein. The United States did not go into Iraq to set up a mini model of the United States. Iraq is still a Muslim nation. The United States did not force its Judeo-Christian roots onto the Iraqi people or its government. The American troops are and have been in Iraq fighting the terrorists and bringing peace to the Iraqi people.

Obama accuses the United States of ignoring Muslims aspirations during the Cold War. The United States primary goal during the Cold War was in its defense against Russia. President Ronald Reagan's main priority was defending the U.S. and making sure that Russia did not have the opportunity to create and launch a nuclear strike against the United States. Obama is not happy about how the Muslims were left alone during the Cold War. He again, is not happy with the U.S. in helping Muslims in Iraq. It seems to me that nothing makes him and other liberals happy. We stay out of the Muslims business during the Cold War and liberals are not happy. Then The United States tries to help Muslims in Iraq and Obama and other liberals aren't happy either. I am wondering if Obama is only happy when he has the power to decide what role the United States plays in Muslim affairs.

I find Obama's last statement appalling. For him to think that its his responsibility as the President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam is absurd. When a group of people takes it upon themselves to kill 3000 innocent American lives, they as Muslims have created their own labeling as being terrorists. The United States did not attack Muslims on Spetember 11, 2001. Muslims are the ones that committed this heinous act. Muslims are the ones that need to change the way people perceive them. Americans are not the ones that need to change. It is the President's respomsibility to defend us against the terrorists, who just happen to be of Muslim descent.It is not the President's responsiblity to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam or Muslims.

15 comments:

Kyle R. Cupp said...

Teresa,

I wrote a bunch of responses to this post, but I think I’ll post one at a time to keep the discussion focused. Number One:

You write: I find Obama's last statement appalling. For him to think that its his responsibility as the President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam is absurd.

George W. Bush made it a point to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam. Was he being absurd and appalling?

Teresa said...

George Bush did not claim this to be a responsibility of him being President. Bush may have felt some obligation after 9/11 to prevent violence against peaceful Muslims in the U.S. so they were not targeted because of the reaction to 9/11.This is understandable. This was done while on U.S. soil. Obama said his statement while on foreign soil in a Muslim country. To me, by Obama stating this in a foreign country he was referring to Muslims across the world who have given themselves a bad perception by their actions involving terrorism and others who still enable terrorists. To me there is a huge difference in stating this while in America and stating this while in a Muslim country on foreign soil.

Bush did not state this as a responsibility of him being President. Bush did state that it was a priority of his to keep the American people safe and fight against terrorism. Bush outwardly showed his fight against bad stereotypes of Muslims and Islam but did not claim it to be a responsibility of him as President of U.S.

Bush's expression in fighting negative Muslim stereotypes is acceptable to me. Obama's statement is an overstatement and a misunderstanding of what his true priorities as President of U.S really require of him. Muslims need to repair their own image themselves and show the world that they embrace a peaceful lifestyle. It is okay for the President to help Muslims show that they are peaceful or give examples but I do not think it is his responsibility as President of U.S.to fight against Muslims negative stereotypes. In fact, it is the leaders of Muslim countries or countries in the Middle East responsibility to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam and Muslims.

Kyle R. Cupp said...

Bush took on the responsibility to fight negative stereotypes of Muslims. I don’t know if he ever said it was his responsibility, but he implied that it was in some of his public speeches—speeches that were played in the Middle East. You say you are fine with Bush actually taking on this responsibility, but you express being appalled when Obama merely says that it is his responsibility. Why is Obama’s saying such is his responsibility so much worse than Bush’s actually taking on that responsibility?

Teresa said...

I answered that question in my previous response. Bush did not claim it to be a responsibility of his as being President of U.S. and Obama did.

Kyle Cupp said...

I answered that question in my previous response. Bush did not claim it to be a responsibility of his as being President of U.S. and Obama did.

This response doesn't answer my question. My question is not whether there is a difference, but why you think the difference matters. I want to know why you think Obama's stating such is his responsibility is worse than Bush's making it his responsibility. Here, again, is my question:

Why is Obama’s saying such is his responsibility so much worse than Bush’s actually taking on that responsibility?

Teresa said...

Bush did not think of this as a responsibility of being President of U.S. Obama stated that its his responsibility as President to fight negative Muslim stereotypes. It is worse because that is not a responsibility of any President. Bush merely assisted Muslims in their fight against negative stereotypes.
Bush, in my opinion, never assaulted Christian beliefs and faith. He never promoted one particular sect or specific religion over another.Obama has promoted the religion of Islam over other faiths. He has not made a similar statement regarding the Christian faith. Obama has continued his assault on Christians in their beliefs and on people of faith since he has been President. You may have disagreed with Bush policies but he never directly assaulted the Christian faith like Obama has over his career in politics and in community organizing. It is worse because Bush did not have such a negative outlook on Christians and people of faith and Obama clearly does.

dirtyrottenscoundrels said...

I guess my question to you, Kyle, would be is it the responsibility of a sovereign leader of one group of people to reduce negative stereotypes of another?

The argument might be made that there is a good reason for people to worry or have stereotypes because of the hate speech that has come out of the Islamic groups, specifically some of their religious leaders esposing hate and wanting jihad against us.

I think that the stereotype can be carried far too far by some extremists in our society, but realistically, how can you expect people who are seeing Islamic believers continuing to carry out a war on our soil (including the one who just killed a new soldier at a recruiting base in Arkansas), who recruit in our jails, who preach in their mosques and train their children to spew rhetoric and behave violently because we are infidels to not look askance at Islamic followers?

It is the same situation that many people have faced in different arenas - in Vietnam, not knowing who was on your side, for example. Firemen trying to put out fires being sniped at by people on the same block of row houses - you would think they'd have the expectation of being safe because they were there to help.

Another more current example - contractors rebuilding Iraq with US taxpayer dollars being killed by Islamofascists spreading fear.

It is a normal human reaction. And while Obama may want to, say, promote peace - I can't honestly say that it is up to him to change the stereotype brought on by THEIR OWN behavior.

Why is it my job, for example, to tell you that all whalers are great people and you should take them at deeper than face value and respect them. The whale killing isn't all that bad, and it isn't personal - just their business, right? They aren't trying to hurt the animals after all.

Now - if you see whalers as a threat as some see Islamic extremists as a threat, for me to try and fight the negative stereotype you perceive about the whalers might just offend you. I know it would offend many activists (and no - I don't feel that way about whalers).

I think that Teresa has every right to believe that Obama made a misstep there just as much as the left used to track every little misstatement by Bush 1, Bush 2, Quayle, Palin, etc.

Kyle Cupp said...

Dirtyrottenscoundrels:

You ask: “would be is it the responsibility of a sovereign leader of one group of people to reduce negative stereotypes of another?”

It depends. If a leader of Group A is involved in the affairs of Group B in such a way that his involvement shapes the way people view Group B, then I’d say yes, the leader has such a responsibility. Following the 9/11 attacks, Bush sought to clarify that the enemy was not people of the Muslim faith, but rather a few people who had perverted their faith and used that perversion as a pretext for violence. He believed he had that responsibility, and he acted on it.

Additionally, we as human beings have a responsibility to the truth. When we encounter negative and false stereotypes of another, and when we can do something about them, then we have a responsibility to speak the truth. Perhaps it’s not Obama’s responsibility qua president to speak the truth about Muslims, but it is his responsibility as a human person to do so, given the situation he is in.

dirtyrottenscoundrels said...

Question: How can one person, like Obama, no matter how powerful, change the outlook of group who is consistently destroying property, killing people, and creating chaos for no other reason than their religion (which is a major hate point for the left v right by the way)?

You sir are arguing from a disingenuous point of view by saying "a few". When you combine the many groups who all pretty much represent the "Death to America" crowd, it is far more than a few. You denigrate your own argument by using such defining terms that you know to be false as do I.

I can understand the idea that Obama should talk to people and tell them that the majority of the Islamic faith doesn't pursue terrorism actively, but he should then go on to ask them when was the last time they helped people stop the ones who are creating the terror and perpetuating the violence in the name of the their so called peaceful religion.

On top of that, he should ask how any culture who supposedly promotes peace doesn't actively stop funding going through their banks, arrest people who funnel money to murderers, and quit treating women like property.

He should then go on to promote free education like the West has to promote knowledge and prosperity, no more female mauling, free market capitalism, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, etc.

You can claim this high and mighty truth.

In truth, European Christians deserve criticism in the past for the Crusades.

In truth, Middle Eastern Fanatics deserve fear for the terrorism they promote. To ignore the terrorism aspect of what part of their culture does would be ludicrous and have us walking around with the same head up our ass innocence that blew that whole "never on our soil" thing that ended up with over 3000 corpses crushed under tons of stone.

You can argue from the Jesus Christ level of "turn the other cheek", but to attempt to look down your nose and assume this higher air is rather irritating and doesn't reflect the reality of this world and the behavior of the other guy.

Maybe you want to go join the Quakers or go squat in a rice paddy and chant but I live in a world where I see mass targets all around me and realize that the friendly little people that you want us to look up to COULD be out to kill me, my wife and those I love.

For you to try to get me to agree that my President should try to get us to relax our vigilance is about as stupid as a suicide bomber walking openly towards Isreali tanks.

Might as well drop it - cause I certainly won't agree that Obama's behavior was appropriate towards the US or Isreal.

Kyle R. Cupp said...

Dirtyrottenscoundrels:

All I gave in my last comment was a simple answer to your question. I didn’t touch on what responsibilities the Muslim community may have to condemn the violence perpetrated by other Muslims. Nor did I get into other responsibilities President Obama may have towards Muslims. I neither affirmed nor denied that we are under threat from terrorism. Yet you suggest I may want to be a Quaker or squat in a rice paddy. Where did that come from?

To clarify, I meant “few” in a relative, broad sense, and was referring to those Muslims who have committed or are planning to commit acts of terrorism against the U.S. Compared to the total number of Muslims, only a few, a small number, are engaged in terrorism.

In answer to your question, I don’t expect that Obama or any one person can change the outlook of terrorist groups.

dirtyrottenscoundrels said...

You said "Additionally, we as human beings have a responsibility to the truth. When we encounter

negative and false stereotypes of another, and when we can do something about them, then we have

a responsibility to speak the truth."

What false stereotype - that the people in the Islamic world have either engendered, financed,

supported or just let happen violence perpetrated on school buses, funerals, weddings, schools,

malls, skyscrapers and all sorts of innocent individuals because they were white, Christian,

western or in the wrong place.

You still minimize the tens to hundreds of thousands of soldiers willing to die for their

religion to crush any other religion standing in their way. You forget the people who are letting

their children participate in this training. You forget the people who are committing all sorts

of atrocities on many other innocent peoples around the whole world because they aren't the same

SECT.

Let's look at Bosnia/Herzegovina. Who was involved in that little fracas that Billy Bob Clinton

got us into? Muslims you say? Genocide? Mass Murder.

Where did the chanting or quakers come from?

This holier than thou, looking down your nose at Teresa and telling her how we should basically

above it all and try to do anything we can to get along with a group of people who are either out

to kill us, want to convert us, run a backward society, harm women, still practice slavery, and

who are still causing a ton of trouble in Iran, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, and some trouble even

confronted by troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Give me a break lotus eater. Your innocent naivete is what allows terror cells to get too damn

close to their targets because "no no, mustn't offend the people from the Islamic culture - no

racial profiling" even if the race as a whole is responsible for a majority of the violence

perpetrated in the last 2 decades - like Somalia and other African massacre locations.

Nice people. I am sure we shouldn't notice a damn thing about 'em.

I'll keep an eye on 'em on a flight and you'd better pray I'm faster than they are if you're on

the plane, because you'll never realize that some people have the evil in their bones to harm you

because you are white or Christian or western. Because somewhere in your lineage you might have

had an ancestor in the Middle East fighting to take Jerusalem.

dirtyrottenscoundrels said...

You really need to get past this cultish belief that Obama means something so saintly when he is

snubbing our long time allies in Isreal on the same trip. He is refusing to sell Apaches to

Isreal (a whole whopping 6) but he is willing to sell 12 of the same helicopters to Egypt, who

was meeting with Hammas right before Obama went to proclaim his Hussein heritage we couldn't

mention for the same reason you yammer on about here.

The reason we find him so appalling, sir, is because of the whole of his politics and his actions

and this fits in to what we see like one single puzzle piece.

This reminds me of the Soc Security people. You go in for disability and even if you have 9

disabling problems, they rate you on each one seperately - not as a whole. Some things might be

treatable as a single thing, but together, there is no way someone can work. You have to wait for

years to get a court date to try and argue to a judge that, yes, this all adds up.

You are trying to defend one little piece of what we look at and cringe. Economically - he's an

idiot. Foreign Policy? Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Isreal, etc. Yep - great record.

He has scared the hell out of NY and he knew about the plane going up there because the President

doesn't travel in AF1 without the backup - he HAD to know. He spent a ton of money on a date.

About the only thing I like so far is the stem cell research ban being lifted, but I don't like

the idea of abortions for stem cells.

Health Care, Cafe Standards, Stimulus, Tax Cheats, his past contacts and the fact that he brings

a convicted felon who is a radical violent activist - self admitted mind you.

Nah - I don't think that the whole idea of his trying to move to a one world government and

promote massive socialism and dependance on the government fits in with his outreach to a section

of the world population who tends to hate or not get along with most any religion around them,

much less different sects.

Your ideal is beautiful, but like communism in its real form, it will never happen because humans

are human. They will continue to war on us and we will continue to have fearful stereotypes

because of them.

Obama fighting that stereotype means he disagrees with the people who have the stereotype - who

fear for their lives when there are really people out there trying their best to harm them.

And the vast majority of the people who aren't out there to harm them? They allow the others to

exist, and in fact some encourage it.

Have a good night.

Kyle R. Cupp said...

Teresa,

Question Number Two: Why do you think that Obama was referring to Iraq when he spoke of colonialism? Has he used the Iraq War as an example of colonialism before?

Teresa said...

Obama referred to colonialism in a negative light. He has always expressed disagreement about the U.S. troops going into Iraq and he has not expressed such negativity or dismay about Afghanistan. In Obama's speech he says "more recently" so I would doubt that he is referring to the United States being colonized or even Kenya being colonized. I believe that he thinks that the U.S. took over Iraq and imposed its views or Judeo-Christian philosophy in Iraq. But, the U.S troops removed a brutal dictator and did not force the U.S.'s religious views or philosophy on Iraq. Iraqis are able to continue practicing their religious beliefs which include Islam. The U.S. troops led the peace initiative in Iraq by fighting the terrorists. He also talks about the sweeping change brought by modernization and globalization which led many Muslims to view the West in a hostile perception. Bush believed in globalization but in respect to the Americas as a whole not regarding Iraq. But, I believe Obama was referring to Bush when he made that statement. But, Bush didn't go into Iraq until after Muslim terrorists hit the U.S. on 9/11. So they caused their own negative perceptions. I believe that Obama believes Iraq caused Muslims to hate the U.S. when in fact they clearly had that perception of the U.S. before the U.S. troops went into Iraq and this is self-evident by the acts of terrorism committed against the West before the U.S. went into Iraq.
Will Continue 2nd part of question 2 shortly

Teresa said...

I was merely speculating with regard to Obama thinking that U.S. policy in Iraq is an example of colialism. There is some support for this. In Cairo, Obama stated that his commitment to Afghanistan was strong but not colonial. I believe a reasonable inference is that he was referring to Iraq since he referenced a particular distinction(colonial) about Afghanistan. I think Obama believes that Bush was taking part in Colonialism in Iraq.
While in Cairo Obama stated that he wants a new beginning between the United States and Muslims and goes on with the reference about colonialism. I believe even though he has never specifically stated Iraq, the subtle way he speaks is suggestive in a way especially because of where he made the statement(Middle East) about colonialism that he is talking about Iraq. He is very suggestive but nonspecific at same time so that he has plausible deniability while having suggestive intent at the same time. In my opinion, he is referring to Iraq when he speaks about colonialism and not colonizing Afghanistan.

After being inaugerated Obama in an interview with a a Middle East's most popular networks and Called America a "colonial power." According to Michael Van der Galien at Poli Gazette,"This accusation has been made against the United States in recent decades and especially recent years, but it’s incorrect. Those who know history a bit know that colonial powers behave quite different than the U.S. does. It does not attempt to occupy countries for an unlimited time, nor does it want to turn those countries into slaves."