Friday, June 05, 2009

More on Obama's speech

The WSJ has an excellent piece on Obama's Cairo speech:

Mr. Obama also noted that "among some Muslims, there is a disturbing tendency to measure one's own faith by the rejection of another's," a recognition of the supremacist strain in Islamist thinking. He also included a pointed defense of democracy, including "the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed" and "confidence in the rule of law." We doubt the point was lost on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, now in his 29th year in office. All of this will do some good if it leads to broader acceptance among Muslims of the principles of Mr. Bush's freedom agenda without the taint of its author's name.

As for the caveats, Mr. Obama missed a chance to remind his audience that no country has done more than the U.S. to liberate Muslims from oppression -- in Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo and above all in Afghanistan and Iraq, where more than 50 million people were freed by American arms from two of the most extreme tyrannies in modern history. His insistence on calling Iraq a "war of choice" is a needless insult to Mr. Bush that diminishes the cause for which more than 4,000 Americans have died.

He also couldn't resist his by now familiar moral self-indulgence by asserting that he has "unequivocally prohibited the use of torture" and ordered Guantanamo closed. Aside from the fact that the U.S. wasn't torturing anyone before Mr. Obama came into office, his Arab hosts can see through his claims. They know the Obama Administration is "rendering" al Qaeda detainees to other countries, some of them Arab, where their rights and well-being are far less secure than at Gitmo.

The Obama administration is "rendering" detainees to other countries? Gee, I wonder if Hollywood has the movie "Rendition II" in the works? Yeah. Don't hold your breath.

The 50 million freed is especially interesting. It would have been nice for those in the Arab world to have heard that bit of history from our President, wouldn't it?

I have a friend who once told me that we shouldn't have gone to war in Iraq. I asked why she believed that, thinking it would be the usual argument, but no...she had a different take. She said we should never go to war except to fight for our own soil. She said, "Look at all the times we have fought for others. Look at all the Americans that have died for other people's freedom. They don't appreciate it. They don't even seem to remember it. Our boys died for ungrateful spoiled children."

Sometimes I think she may have a point.