51 thoughts on “Obama’s Cairo Speech: One for the Ages – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. RE: “…Human history has often been a record of nations and tribes subjugating one another to serve their own interests…”


    FROM: Jewish Voice for Peace  (info@jewishvoiceforpeace.org) 

    This coming June 10, we will be at the Caterpillar annual shareholder meeting for the sixth time. 
    We will remind the Board of Directors that stopping the company’s sales of bulldozers to Israel is not only ethical but affordable for Caterpillar. We will remind them that not changing course will be increasingly more costly to Caterpillar: Hampshire College has already divested from CAT, and so has the Church of England; other churches are considering similar steps. Twenty Israeli peace and justice organizations have come in support of divestment from Caterpillar. 

    We want you to be with us at the meeting. Please sign a letter to Caterpillar by June 9th, and we will hand-deliver it to the Board of Directors the next day. Help us bring thousands of letters of protest! 

    *TO SIGN – http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/301/t/1849/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=27360

  2. Maybe Hamas could go half way on meeting Obama’s call for them to renounce violence by promising to keep their civilian death toll under that of Israel or the US.

  3. I agree with you that it was a speech for the ages. Yes, the very persuasiveness of his case, and his charisma will make some on the right hate him that much more, such as those in Israel who have launched a hate obama campaign this week. He enraged Al Qaeda, Dick Cheney, and the radical Jewish right. What does that say? More importantly, he will also increase the lure and power of the reasonable middle. Only time will tell whether his push for real solutions, for the truth, leads to the moderate settlements we need, or to further polarization due to fear of a final settlement by the fringes.

  4. Ah, yes, Obama is a smoothie alright. Nice words without substance.(see the Chomsky piece I sent you this a.m.).

    Obama is good at throwing sand in our eyes, whether it’s about the bailouts, the pull outs (Iraq, Af-Pak), or the stimulus. Promises, promises, but no change.

    1. I actually disagree in two respects.

      1. Words are actions. In the case of the US relationship with Israel, the change from accepting or even promoting, to very clearly and convincingly opposing settlement expansion is a REAL change.

      Maybe it was timed to appeal, and the actual implementation would be slightly softer. But, the issue is no longer hidden.

      2. Every policy that Obama pursues, he does so relatively slowly, or rather deliberately. And, to date, the areas that he committed to advance in his campaign (and they were good work, good priorities), he has done so.

  5. The big deeds Obama is pushing are too big for one man. Obviously a sufficient portion of the US ‘establishment’ must be supporting this president privately as well as publicly. Had any prior chief executive merely entertained such notions that Obama has uttered, especially in Cairo, he/she would have elicited such opposition as to crush any further consideration as has happened so often in the past with previous administrations.

    Neocons declared everything changed after 9-11. Those fools had not the slightest comprehension of the words they spoke. Dumbfounded as always they and their domestic & foreign Zionist allies now grieve and tremble underneath the transformations they had stupidly unleashed. In the final analysis these one time, self described cabalist’s had gambled big time and in the prospect lost, proving beyond doubt how unfit they were in accomplishing their goals. Obama has nothing to fear from these weaklings and their feint voices from the wilderness of American politics.

  6. ‘Of course, recognizing our common humanity is only the beginning of our task. Words alone cannot meet the needs of our people. These needs will be met only if we act boldly in the years ahead; and if we understand that the challenges we face are shared, and our failure to meet them will hurt us all.’

    A very fine and timely speech from President Obama, Richard. And you and he are right; such words do require something of real substance to provide the necessary momentum that should follow them.

    Resolving the Israeli Palestinian conflict has always been a tough nut to crack and sixty or more years into the process has done little to change that fact. Nevertheless, some real possibility of movement on the issue may now exist where none existed before. Whether the US administration’s current stance on the matter will bear fruit remains to be seen but things do seem to be moving in the right direction.

    Direction is one thing, however. Progress is another. How far down the line will this new initiative take us before some major ‘incident’ occurs to roll back the advances made, before we have to return to square one and begin the journey all over again? It seems to me that a plan B would not go amiss here, a backup contingency to level the playing field in our favour, some fail-safe that consolidates and builds upon whatever gains have been achieved? Without one, it’s going to be an uphill struggle all the way, one in which our speed of ascent may be barely discernible at times.

    ‘These needs will be met only if we act boldly in the years ahead; and if we understand that the challenges we face are shared, and our failure to meet them will hurt us all.’

    Are we going to act boldly? Do we understand and will we share the challenges we face? If not, then our failure to meet them will indeed hurt us all.


  7. It’s so significant that there is a settler extremist group which began a publicity campaign calling Obama anti-Semitic and picturing him in a Nazi uniform.

    The abuse of the term “anti-semitic” and the use of Nazi imagery should already be a dog that hunts no more;it is ugly; it’s the kicking,screaming & flailing of those who refuse to budge;it reflects the desperation and fear of cowards, those who hide behind ( and thus abuse) their religion. It’s the opposite of what Obama is doing: opening up, embracing, transcending.

    When Obama, who operates on another level, says “we must say openly, the things we hold in our hearts…..” I think he means all this ugliness too must come out- like poison pus. Let’s get it out there and examine it in the light to each other, not “behind closed doors”. Let’s publicly shame it or better in the process we will listen to each other, hear beyond the words, and feel the lost or missing empathy, which is a necessary first baby step.

    The brilliance of the speech is manifold, as you indicate Richard, but ultimately ( for me) it’s in it’s attempt to isolate extremists ( on all sides) who are and will be unmovable, to leave them in the desert, parched dust, to dry them up. For that to actually happen he must keep this up.

    Will listen to Gerges- thanks.

  8. Issues with Obama’s Speech

    Summary: Holocaust and Ashkenazi Genocidalism

    Now that we have more access to Russian, Polish, and Soviet archives, any discussion of the Holocaust is completely inappropriate unless contextualized by the history of ethnic Ashkenazi financial crimes, sabotage, radical violence, targeted assassinations, mass murder, ethnic cleansing, and genocide.

    Forbes: Zionist ethnonational Financial Warfare

    Transnational Zionist political economic oligarchs skim a good chuck of that subsidy described above into their pockets in addition to what they suck more directly out of the US economy.

    These oligarchs like Saban, Bronfman, Adelson, the Krafts, Peretz, etc. are Netanyahu’s real employers.

    If Obama wants to change Israeli behavior. He need only add the IDF to the list of terrorist organizations on the basis of the Gaza rampage — there is more than enough documentation to do so.

    Then the US government could start arresting the oligarchs for aiding and abetting Zionist terrorism.

    Seizing all the oligarch’s assets and all the assets of Israel advocacy organizations would defang the Israel Lobby.

    I do not understand why ordinary progressive Jews, who do not have multiple millions of dollars in the bank run interference for the oligarchs, who view ordinary Jews as canon fodder to defend plutocratic revenue streams.

    Why Not Remove Zionist Interlopers?

    What is sauce for the goose is gravy for the gander.

    Because Neocons acting as a Jewish Zionist special interest formulated policies that forced millions to become refugees, an even handed US foreign policy must treat the removal of criminal Zionist conglomeration from the ME as a completely valid option that would stabilize the ME and benefit US interests.

  9. Mostly fluff, this speech. Nice fluff but fluff nonetheless.

    But it seems almost certain actions will now follow: people don’t make this kind of speeches (and burn a lot of bridges) when they’re not determined to take action of sorts.

    This is probably the end of the beginning…

  10. I was listening to Mike Malloy last night on the radio and he played a lot of excerpts from Obama’s speech and did commentary. A very impressive speech overall. Certainly not perfect and he didn’t go nearly far enough for my taste, but pretty groundbreaking in its way. The thing is, words ARE important. They serve to frame an issue, and if you can slowly shift the frame over time, you can eventually change policy (I hope). He mentioned ‘Occupation’, which is unprecedented I think for an American president, he mentioned ‘Palestine’ versus merely the Palestinians which opens the discussion where one can hopefully at some point bring up the fact that Israel actively and continuously denies Palestine’s right to exist. This is so obvious but it is rarely stated The significant language, the eloquence and speaking directly & emphatically to the Arab world is an important step. The speech was better than I expected and I imagine that it has the various elements and players in the Israel lobby privately and publicly fuming. One can safely assume they did NOT like this speech. It hopefully reinforces their reservations about Obama being the desired docile little pet who can be successfully pressured and manipulated. The thing is, even the outposts of the lobby like the New Republic that like to feign playing footsie with Obama are (I think) quite apprehensive underneath. This speech undoubtedly notched up that apprehensiveness big time. Despite my misgivings about President Obama so far (particularly on the economic front), he really is an impressive man. I can’t think of the last person who could speak like that, truly uplifting, magical.

  11. I’m more impressed that he went straight to the heart of Mubarak vs. Islamist territory and proclaimed his support for democracy and women’s rights. Words are words, but these are VERY powerful ones. Hopefully the Egyptian women’s rights and democracy advocates have taken note.

  12. RE: “Speaking on Iran, I can’t recall any previous president acknowledging that the CIA overthrew Iran’s democratic government in 1953.”

    SEE ALSO: “Neocons for Ahmadinejad”, By Daniel Luban

    At Wednesday’s Heritage Foundation conference on the Middle East peace process (which, as I wrote yesterday, was primarily devoted to pushing the almost-universally-scorned “three-state solution” for Israel-Palestine), Middle East Forum director Daniel Pipes made an unusually revealing comment while discussing Iran’s upcoming presidential elections.

    “I’m sometimes asked who I would vote for if I were enfranchised in this election, and I think that, with due hesitance, I would vote for Ahmadinejad,” Pipes said…

    ENTIRE POST – http://www.ips.org/blog/jimlobe/

    PS. The Heritage event, which was sponsored by right-wing U.S. casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, came only two weeks after right-of-center Israeli parties hosted a similar conference in Jerusalem.

    SOURCE – http://original.antiwar.com/luban/2009/06/04/hawks-push-three-state-solution-for-palestine/

  13. Yes, it was a great speech. The things he said were not particularly new or original, if they had been he could not have presented them as the ‘universal truths’ he wanted his audience to consider. And what made them momentous of course is that they were said by an American President. So Gideon Levy was right in saying that “the mountain birthed a mountain”.

    I looked at the reaction in the biggest Muslim country, Indonesia (incidentally discovering in the process that the Indonesian student who was best man at my first marriage, many years ago, is now a senior politician there). It was positive but there was also the feeling that Obama was addressing the Arab rather than the Muslim world. A fair point. Indonesian Islam has had no share in external strife (though the internal horror of the Bali bombing should not be overlooked). Neither has it engaged in the suppression of women.

    I looked at the comments by Chomsky and Ali Abunimah to which Ellen provided links. They made substantial points but they would have been fairer if Obama would have been in office for four years rather than just over four months. I also wonder if they take sufficiently into account that, for all the power of his office, he can only operate within the narrow margins set by the given political constellation.
    A radical break with the past is the privilege of armchair politicians. The real ones can only give us incremental change.

    1. In my experience with selling X.25 communications software in Indonesia, Pakistan and Arab countries, I found that Indonesians were a good more hostile and angry at Zionism and the State of Israel than Pakistanis, who were usually much more hostile and angry than Arabs.

      Of course, I was dealing often with engineers, who tend to be binary in their outlook, but the phenomenon of increasing hostility with distance reminded me of the abolitionist movement, which was generally far stronger the further a state was from the South.

  14. Arie, that’s the excuse everyone wants to give Obama – “incremental change.” I could accept that if somebody could show some. Even a crumb of change. I repeat, the ONLY change thus far is in presentation. Policies remain identical with the status quo ante, thank you. Believers in “audacity of hope” and “change we can believe in” are being bamboozled, and will be the most disappointed as it becomes apparent.

  15. Offhand these ‘crumbs’: closing Guantanamo; forbidding torture; withdrawing entirely from Iraq; putting his foot down on the extension of settlements; seeking an opening to the Islamic world; being prepared to negotiate with ‘axis of evil’ Iran.

  16. P.S. I just read Alexander Cockburn’s Counterpunch article on the ‘High Words’ of the Cairo speech and the ‘low truths’ in the background.

    He reproaches Obama, among other things, for talking about Al Quaida violence and not saying a word about the horrific recent massacre in Gaza. Yet he also says at the end of his article, recalling the fact that Bush Sr. lost out on a second term because he got into strife with the Israel lobby:

    “I’d guess that much earlier in his presidency Obama is on his way to losing it too.”

    So what does he want him to do? Commit political suicide in a more flagrant fashion ?

    1. Obama has a tool that Bush Sr. did not have.

      Obama can designate the IDF a terrorist organization because of its increasingly well-documented terrorist behavior in Gaza and then the FBI, CIA and the US military can start arresting Zionists throughout the world and waging war on Zionism as part of the war on terrorism.

      In the old days Chaim Weizman pointed out that practically all Yiddish-speaking Jews rejected Zionism to support revolution.

      It is an abandonment of Yiddish heritage for their descendants to support racist reactionary plutocrats like Saban, the Krafts, the Bronfmans, Peretz and Adelson, who should all be stripped of their assets and sent to jail for the rest of their lives.

    2. “….So what does he want him to do? Commit political suicide in a more flagrant fashion…?”

      Thank heavens Obama is not a slave to the far left or his party. Either possess a million ways to screw the pouch and themselves without trying. Societal upheaval, chaos and war are handmaidens of rapid change as well as the certainty of “political suicide” due to naive and irresponsible leadership. Obama demonstrates he is neither. He is a shrewd pragmatist and smartly gets all his ‘ducks in a row’ before he acts.

      I did not waste my vote.

  17. Arie, those crumbs you mention are still attached to the loaf. That’s the point I was trying to make. He says those things but doesn’t perform them. He can’t, and he won’t perform them. Call back when Guantanamo is closed, the troops are out of Iraq, when he shakes hands with Ahmadinejad, the settlements even frozen, let alone withdrawn.

    Ending torture? Just listening to this hypocrite is torture.

  18. Joachim said: “In my experience with selling X.25 communications software in Indonesia, Pakistan and Arab countries, I found that Indonesians were a good more hostile and angry at Zionism and the State of Israel than Pakistanis, who were usually much more hostile and angry than Arabs”

    I recently participated in a discussion on Israel at http://www.indonesiamatters.com, an Indonesian weblog. Rather to my surprise I found very little anger there and felt a bit like a ‘one man army’. I just don’t believe that Indonesians get more worked up about Israel than, for instance, Egyptians do.

    And as for Obama declaring the IDF to be a terrorist organisation and have Zionists arrested throughout the world: Joachim, what have you been smoking?

    1. There are not many people, who understand as much as I do about the world finance system and the damage caused by the meltdown of CDOs and related derivative securities.

      (Economic and financial modeling was my day job for a long time. Eastern European and Jewish studies is my hobby. Screenwriting is my pastime. And I develop software and occasionaly hardware in all three areas.)

      Zionists have been actively waging ethnonational financial warfare on everyone else since approximately 1980. The damage to the world economic system is so severe that dismantling the State of Israel, arresting Zionist political economic oligarchs, and seizing Zionist assets is almost certainly necessary to undoing the damage but may not be sufficient to restore full functionality.

      I could be wrong, and we will find out over the next 4 years, but according to my analysis Obama really has no choice, and the anti-terrorism laws are the most efficient way to do the job.

      This sort of economic fiasco will be repeated over again until the Zionist political economic oligarchs are broken a the Zionist network of control is dismantled.

      1. Last paragraph should be:

        This sort of economic fiasco will be repeated over again until the Zionist political economic oligarchs are broken and the Zionist network of control is dismantled.

        1. Joachim – Words carry secondary as well as primary meaning. If the (un)words(/un) used to provide information also reflect a political perspective, the information provided will be filtered through the reader’s perception of that perspective. Words which are neutral regarding political orientation allow the reader room in which to consider the information, without requiring a decision on whether they agree with your political position. If there is no agreement, I think information presented in politically charged terms is perceived as unreliable.

      2. Zionists have been actively waging ethnonational financial warfare on everyone else

        Joachim, you have your own blog & are welcome to make such statements there. But not here. Back off. I think you know where the line is. Toe it.

        1. Joachim’s statement isn’t rightly anything beyond that which has been mentioned, at least comically, in mainstream progressive Jewish media:


          Am I to take it The Forward crossed your red-line with that too? If so, I might consider taking an objective look into the dealings of individuals such as Marc Rich and Lev Leviev to adjust your bearings. Jack Abramoff is another notable example, as while not current and not having pushed nearly the amount of funds around as others do, his scamming Native Americans to fund Israeli settlers has a horribly tragic irony to it.

  19. Gene: “He says those things but doesn’t perform them. He can’t, and he won’t perform them.”

    Is that what your tea leaves tell you?

    1. Arie, both of you are using tea leaves. If you read Glenn Greenwald, you’d know that Obama’s record on torture, habeas corpus and civil liberties is not as clearcut as you apparently believe.

      I don’t know what to make of Obama. I was briefly optimistic about him early last year, then as the year went on it became clear that he was just a centrist Democrat–much better than Bush, obviously, but probably not a closet leftist pragmatically leading the country as best he can. In fact, to his credit he doesn’t pretend to be a leftist most of the time–it’s Obamaphiliac lefties who imagine he’s in their camp, doing all he can. I think he’s mostly doing just what he wants–propping up his Wall Street supporters, defending the Bush power grabs with respect to civil rights, downplaying the need to prosecute anyone highranking Americans for torture, lecturing Arabs on the need for nonviolence. (Which I agree with, but it’s a bit rich coming from Obama. The last thing he probably wants is a precedent for prosecuting high-ranking US officials for war crimes.)

      As for the speech, it’s what a smart defender of the American empire would give. It’s radical in the context of American politics to talk about “Palestine” and to talk about Palestinians as having human rights just like Israeli Jews. But sensible members of the American foreign policy establishment know that the Israeli settlements are not in the interests of the US by any rational standard. The Bush neocons don’t get this, but someone like James Baker does. The Bush I administration was very tough on Israel–they were also willing to be allies with any vicious Arab dictator that toed the American line (including Saddam, until he misunderstood what we’d allow him to do.) I think Obama is most likely an extremely intelligent and nuanced representative of the American Empire.

      Which might still work out well for the Palestinians, if Obama sees their good as important for US foreign policy goals. He probably wants an alliance of Arab states against Iran–he’s got to give them something in return, given popular opinion over there.

      1. It occurred to me right after posting that people commonly link Obama’s foreign policy views with those of Bush–the first Bush, George Herbert Walker. I think I’ve seen that connection made several times. Obama might have even said it himself, but I’m not sure.

        Anyway, here’s one link–


    2. Ari, don’t waste your bandwidth; if O were to magically accomplish all the things he promised in seven months, or even seven years, that would not change some minds. If the economy were to suddenly turn around (as it is doing), the reason (in certain minds) would be that either it is part of an economic cycle that O had nothing to do with, or it was due to policies started by Bush. You can’t win.

  20. Arie, it’s not my tea leaves. It’s Obama’s record thus far that informs me.

    Joachim, why don’t you drag out the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” while you’re at it, and show your true antisemitic colors. It sounds more like jealously on your part than any understanding of the world financial system that motivates your attacks on the “Zionist oligarchs.” I’m old enough to remember hearing the Nazis using the same arguments you’ve been putting forth. I haven’t heard yet that the Bush family, or other members of the military-industrial-financial complex, are Zionists. I think you should reconfigure your software.

    1. In the forward to the Israel Lobby and American Society, Part 2 I wrote:

      Kiesling more than compensates for occasional questionable assertions with his willingness to reevaluate long held opinions belied by events. He confesses on pp. 107-108:

      Most Greek bookstores carry Greek translations of all the latest books by Noam Chomsky, an American intellectual gifted at connecting all the dots of U.S. behavior into a tidy picture. In 2001 I assured Mr. Tegopoulos, the publisher of Athens’ most popular leftist newspaper, that his favorite American philosopher was clinically insane.” Chomsky, I said, had deduced a vast, invisible mechanism of systematic U.S. oppression and exploitation, one that was not true to human nature and could not have operated over decades without becoming visible to its employees. I reassured Tegopoulos that the U.S. foreign policy apparatus could not conspire its way effectively out of a paper bag.

      I feel more charitably disposed toward Chomsky now. The Iraq War proved that the United States does have a small group of extremely intelligent, disciplined, highly competitive individuals competent enough to mobilize the U.S. bureaucracy around a single mission such as regime change in Iraq. Chomsky’s favorite conspirators, the former Troskyites turned neoconservatives, might even have read Chomsky in their youth. Certainly they made the same mistake he did. They confused mastery over the U.S. bureaucratic system with U.S. power to triumph over the real world.

      I can empathize. I used to be highly sympathetic both to the American Jewish community and also to the State of Israel until Israeli behavior in the Occupied Territories as well as the policies of the second Bush administration forced me to reevaluate my original assumptions and to study issues relating to the Middle East in more detail.

      I started looking at the relevant financial data in 1980, it took me 18-19 years to get where Kiesling was when he wrote his book. It took me about 15 years longer than it should have because I was convinced that the idea of a Zionist plutocratic conspiracy was anti-Semitic paranoid delusion.

      Yet if Zionist Neocons can conspire to manipulate US foreign policy, why can’t hyperwealthy Zionist plutocrats in concert with Jabontinskian Neocons and Friedmanite Neoliberals conspire to manipulate the finance industry and the world economy?

      Forbes recently published an example of Zionist political economic conspiracy, sedition and conspiracy: Forbes: Zionist Ethnonational Financial Warfare.

    2. In addition journalists and analysts have commonly used terms like Russian Jewish oligarchs.

      Because American political leaders routinely grovel to the AIPAC or COPOMAJO employees of hyperwealthy Zionists, using the terminology of “hyperwealthy Zionist political economic oligarchs or Zionist plutocrats” is completely appropriate.

      1. using the terminology of “hyperwealthy Zionist political economic oligarchs or Zionist plutocrats” is completely appropriate.

        A zoch in vay! Using that terminology is basically useless & tells people nothing except a load of malarkey and gobbeldy gook. I suggest you stop writing in slogans and start talking like a down to earth human being.

      2. It also does no good using logic to defend yourself against trolls. In one paragraph, he called you an anti-semitic Nazi and uninformed. What are you supposed to do to refute those charges? Say “no I am not?” Waste of breath.

    3. Nazi Nazi Nazi Holocaust Holocaust Hitler Hitler antisemite antismiete.

      Gee, Shulman, you really are compelling.

  21. Joachim, you wallow in non sequiturs and distortions. Your rant is not worth dignifying with a response.

    I’m waiting for Richard to weigh in here for the knockout.

    1. I have worked on and off in the financial industry. I have seen all sorts of collusion and conspiracy. Why do you think it would be impossible to throw in some politics?

      When I was seeking VC investment, I was several times queried to determine whether I had Zionistically correct beliefs and attitudes about Israelis and the Palestinians.

      Is it not great cover for high-level Zionism-based manipulation that a conspiracy can depend on ordinary Jews outside the finance industry to cry “Anti-Semitism” reflexively if someone begins to wonder about the data he is seeing?

      Didn’t the Jabotinskian Zionist Neocon conspirators use exactly the same accusations when Walt & Mearsheimer started to discuss the Israel Lobby?

      Conspiracy in the financial industry not only has political benefits but can improve one’s bankbook.

  22. “The Iraq War proved that the United States does have a small group of extremely intelligent, disciplined, highly competitive individuals competent enough to mobilize the U.S. bureaucracy”

    I might be mistaken but whatever I saw, read or heard of, let us say, Feith and Bolton to begin with, and Wolfowitz less so, gave me the impression that these were rather stupid individuals.

    Joachim, I don’t have to follow your reseach trails, such as they are, to convince me that you are not in the real world. How can you in all seriousness suggest that Obama should follow your policy recommendations? Congress would probably impeach him for being certifiably insane.

  23. When the United States is full of idiots who vote for a new anti-Christ year after year, yea it must be easy to wage wars for empire.

    You really have to pity the Arabs. They have to first deal with the collective mental illness of the Jewish Zionist community and also a bunch of 19 year old idiot American soldiers who probably didn’t make it past 3rd grade.

    This is the stupidest empire of all time. Aided by the most morally corrupt national movement (Jewish nationalism).

    Armageddon can’t happen soon enough.

  24. Donald Johnson wrote:

    “it’s Obamaphiliac lefties who imagine he’s in their camp,”.

    If he was he wouldn’t be where he is now.-

    If by a fluke of history, even greater than the one taking Obama to the presidency, a leftie would get into that position he would give many of us a ‘warm inner glow’, for a while. Then, when it became clear early in the piece that because of the obstruction by Congress he was achieving nothing but cooking his goose for a second term, disappointment would set in.

    I read way back that when Obama became editor of the Harvard Law Review and subsequently its President (the first Afro American to do so I believe) a lot of people expected he would take a position, as far as the University politics connected with that journal was concerned, on the left. He didn’t.

    So he is a man of the centre. However, as you know, he comes from a totally different background than Bush Sr. A man who went to an ordinary primary school in Indonesia and had neighbours there who could barely afford to bring a square meal on the table must look at the world with different eyes. For one thing it should enable him to have some empathy with the victims of empire – this was probably beyond GHB’s mental reach.

  25. Obama is a man of the center all right, but center of what? A political center? Ideological? A blend of interests national and economic? Our current chief executive’s power is more likely based on something ‘a little old and a little new’ rather than on the usual common partisan perceptions and interpretations.


    A RELATED ARTICLE: “The Tone and the Music”, by Uri Avnery, 06/08/09

    (EXCERPT)”…He walked onto the stage in Cairo, alone, without hosts and without aides, and delivered a sermon to an audience of billions. Egyptians and Americans, Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs, Sunnis and Shiites, Copts and Maronites – and they all listened attentively.

    He unfolded before them the map of a new world, a different world, whose values and laws he spelled out in simple and clear language – a mixture of idealism and practical politics, vision and pragmatism…”

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.counterpunch.org/avnery06082009.html

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