6.05.2009

Brick wall headache

Shame on you if you have not yet taken 55 minutes to watch the video of President Barack Obama’s speech to the Muslim world – indeed, to the world – at Cairo University yesterday. In my opinion, this is one of the most important speeches ever delivered by an American president. It would be a shame to depend on soundbites and the opinions of others and deny yourself the experience of this remarkable plea for peace.

I watched the speech live on C-SPAN early Thursday morning. Throughout, the speech was met with thunderous applause, and as Obama ended by quoting from the Holy Qur’an (Koran), the Talmud and the Holy Bible, the audience of 2,500 leaped to its feet in a sustained standing ovation.

Immediately following the speech on C-SPAN, “Washington Journal” callers – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – praised the president’s remarks, and many who called in were “weeping with joy” over what they had just heard.

For me, it was a genuinely moving experience.

This was a major speech by the president of the United States on one of the most critical issues facing the world. According to a Washington Post reporter stationed in Cairo, the city's streets were empty as its citizens gathered around bar TVs in muted and rapt attention.


So, why won’t Americans take the time to hear what their president had to say?

I was recently invited to join a “friends group” on Facebook. This is a site where someone can type "I joined a pottery class," and get a multitude of in-depth reactions such as “Way to go!” It's a text-messaging, "tweeting on Twitter" one-liner world. So, this is what it's come to.

Following what I truly believe to be an historical moment, I checked network morning shows for reaction to Obama's words. Just the usual celebrity gossip, chitchat and recipes. So, this is what it's come to.

I read the Associated Press roundup of world reaction to the speech - a report seemingly skewed negative. So, this is what it's come to.

The network news shows Thursday night managed to devote about five mnutes to the speech. So, this is what it's come to.

The radical right had its “talking points” ready – “siding with the enemy” and “naivete” and “a break with reality.” So, this is what it's come to.

And, still you haven’t listened? So, this is what it’s come to?

Beating my head against a brick wall.

To quote an episode title from “Cracker” with Robbie Coltrane: “One day a lemming will fly.” One can hope.

***

At the top of DemWit’s left sidebar are links to both the full transcript and the video of the Cairo speech. Let us know your reaction. Thanks!

8 comments:

Frodo, aka Joe Shlabotnik said...

One of the things that Frodo has learned from the game of baseball is patience at the plate.
You have at least three chances to get a hit. Not all of the pitches thrown will be equal. If you "foul off" a couple, then your chances of doing something productive are increased as you get more pitches to observe. Swing hard and true when you commit yourself.

Remember that Edward Everett Horton was the scheduled lead speaker on the day that President Abraham Lincoln delivered the "Gettysburg Address." Nobody expected him to say or do anything memorable that day, including himself.

Today, Barack Obama goes to Buchenwald, and on Saturday he will stand on the beaches of Normandy. He will have something to say in each instance.
Frodo does not decry the "talking heads" or the partisans. He finds their premature analyses as both amusing and indicative of their lack of credibility. Frodo merely chooses when to step into the batter's box and to swing for the fences when he does.

airth10 said...

Time Magazine has a poll asking: Are critics right that President Obama is turning his trip into an apology tour?

77% have answered no. Mississippians are the only ones to have voted yes, by 80%.

Tiny said...

Tiny has great hopes, as she has for years, that the world wide family of God will work together to have peace and harmony among all human kind. She is grateful that President Obama reinforced that point from Cairo yesterday.

If his speech yesterday is to be in baseball terms, President Obama hit it clear out of the park. Let's see how many catch pieces of it and turn it into something worthy of implementation to bring praise to working together for the betterment of human kind.

Everyday is an opportunity for a new beginning. May the masses follow the leader to bring about a more cooperative world family.

bbj said...

Tiny ~~~ AMEN.

The President's speech gave me chills. Thanks for a great article, BJ.

Tiny said...

To help you get it:

BJ, it can all be chalked up to the dumbing down of America. There is always going to be some distraction for people to choose
to ingorge rather than spend time on what will make their life more meaningful and productive. However we do have a daily opportunity for a new beginning if anyone so chooses to take that first step in that direction. But how many will?

Tiny is sure if any of the neos watched Obama's speech, they did so with an ear tuned to anything that could be construed to assert that he really is a Muslim just like they "told you he is." And the one Rachael Maddow mentioned last night(Elizabeth Hasselbeck)saying he never mentioned Democracy. She must have been refilling her kool-aid glass during that part of his speech.

Tiny, for one believes this speech will go down in history as one of the most, if not the most, important speeches made by a US Pres. He was absolutely marvelous and on spot with everything he said.

Tiny's hope is that the die-hards will get their heads out of the sand and help build a better society in which to live.

B.J. said...

Note to I-753: I am able to email most of my regular readers. Just letting you know I'm taking a blog break until Wednesday. Please don't go away! And, please don't be put off by all this talk of the major religions. We all want "whirled peas." BJ

faye said...

Hi BJ,

Thanks for the heads-up. I watched the Cairo Speech a couple of times and was deeply moved by it. I copied and pasted it into a document so I could keep it. We have been away the whole month of May - our annual trip to see the kids and grands in Florida, so I've been catching up on your blog.

Believe me, your "small part" is very important to me. I sometimes may be a bit late in reading a post, but never miss one - and never cease to be amazed at the amount of thought and effort you put into each one. Randy and I are both grateful for the way you keep us informed and keep us thinking!

By the way, we came the long way home from Florida - along the Mississippi coast. Stopped in Pascagoula and found the street where I lived for a time around the age of 8, then drove through Ocean Springs, Biloxi and Gulfport. It just broke my heart to see the many piles of rubble still there from Katrina, but what really brought tears to my eyes was the changing face of the coast - the gigantic casinos obstructing the view of the Gulf and the high-rise condos replacing the family homes and businesses which gave the area its charming character. So sad!

Keep up the good work, B.J., and know that you are making a difference in the world!

Love, Faye

Anonymous said...

A friend has a vid that was sent to him which was filmed with an iPhone. He can't get it to open on his pc. What media player does he need? And can the vid be hosted on YouTube?



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