Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Responses to Obama's Cairo speech from the left

I'll go in alphabetical order. Ali Abunimah makes a concise case against, saying that describing a tension between "America and Islam" is the same old notion of the monolithic "Muslim world", who have to prove themselves not to be terrorist sympathizers. He says that a stop to "natural growth" of the settlements isn't something to get that excited about -- the settlements are still there, and Obama's not saying they ever won't be. Phyllis Bennis provides the detailed analysis of how Obama's language differed from past U.S. statements, finding that Obama made all sorts of good first steps, but that the actual changes to U.S. policy were minimal (I guess that was sort of the analysis of some of the traditional media, but hers is better). Overall, she gives a mixed review. Noam Chomsky gives a thumbs-down, in a piece that is way too long for me. I did notice that while Chomsky is a two-stater, he's not impressed with Obama, or John Kerry, on the issue. Robert Dreyfuss says Obama hit a home run.


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