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Sky news: Obama’s UN speech

with 3 comments

I told Sky news that Obama’s speech was aimed at appeasing a domestic audience and as such, it failed to set out a concrete vision for US engagement with the Middle East. Beyond the rhetoric of democracy and free speech, what does US engagement look like with an Egypt with Morsi (formerly of the MB) as president, with Tunisia where Ennahda is struggling to contain salafi literalist strands, with Syria beyond a condemnation of the murder of children and other such platitudes – in other words, beyond the (home) audience pleasing speech, how serious is America about democracy promotion, including in places where its efforts seem minimal or nonexistent (the GCC, Lebanon, Occupied Palestinian territories) and about supporting the Arab uprising in countries where it appears to privilege the status quo (Bahrain, Yemen). Overall, a wasted opportunity to engage with world leaders considering just how pressing some of the issues are (namely Syria) – understandable given his concern over reelection, but in the long run undermines the importance of the UN as a forum for conflict resolution.


Written by Myriam Francois

September 25, 2012 at 11:47

3 Responses

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  1. I won’t allow Sky News in my house. Otherwise, good points made though.

    John Davies

    September 26, 2012 at 12:56

  2. Good points.

    But why do people always associate Salafism with literalism? Can somebody please give an example of this unfounded literalism that Salafis allegedly propagate?


    October 2, 2012 at 15:04

  3. ..all the core points, Alhamdulillah justifiably highlighted and just to recall while depicting the theme of Dido’s world tour some years ago — 7 sec A long walk to justice — when we contemplate the horrid effect of sanctions being imposed by a few upon countries that ‘refuse’ to submit.

    abu haniffa henley

    October 3, 2012 at 09:07

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