Apparently Obama didn't throw Israel far enough under the bus. By Siraj Wahab, Maher Abbas, and Ghazanfar Ali Khan for Arab News:
RIYADH/DAMMAM: Saudis dismissed US President Barrack Obama's much-anticipated "Arab Spring address" as meaningless, predictable drivel while Egyptians and other Arabs, to whom Obama offered some sops, also did not find anything new in the speech, which according to them focused on US interests.
Imagine: a speech by a U.S. President that focused on U.S. interests. Not Saudi interests, but U.S. interests. The nerve.
"He did not say anything of consequence," said Riyadh-based historian Hatoon Al-Fassi. "It was a long speech and what I remember the most is his defense of Israel. Till he uttered this sentence, 'US commitment to Israel's security is unshakable', I had some hope, but when he said that I lost all interest. All his words after and before just rang hollow."
Stating support for Israel's right to exist is anathema to the Saudis. Only a declaration calling for the destruction of Israel will suffice.
Al-Fassi said people in the Arab world had high hopes after his speech in Cairo two years ago, "but when it came to action he turned out to be a hypocrite like all previous American presidents. So I did not have any expectations anyway. His words did not move me because they were all couched in diplomacy and hypocrisy, and nothing more."
"Katheeran min kalaam khalil min al-amal." That is how Dammam-based political analyst Mutlaq Al-Anazi described Obama's speech: "Too much talk and no action."
I'd describe the past decade another way: "Too much action, not enough thought." In Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya, we have frenetically involved ourselves in their intra-Islamic conflicts, and run ourselves ragged trying to improve their lives (according to Western standards), to the detriment of all involved. We don't know what we're trying to accomplish, or what they're trying to accomplish.
"There was nothing in his speech except a robust defense of Israel," said Anazi. "When you support Israel then you lose the moral high ground that we expect American presidents to take when dealing with the Palestinian-Israeli issue."
Again, in order to maintain the "moral high ground" according to Saudis (and generally Muslims), the U.S. must commit to the destruction of Israel. Nothing else will do.
“Obama’s speech contained both positive and negative points,” said Imam Yousuf Suleiman, an Egyptian engineer. “It was a photocopy of his previous speeches, and he did not give any solutions for the crises that triggered the revolution in Egypt, which was actually caused by lack of social justice and sustainable development.”
He emphasized the need for modernizing economic infrastructure and building an economic civil society to reduce unemployment in Arab countries.
It goes without saying that the U.S. is responsible for providing that modern economic infrastructure, and building that economic civil society in Egypt. Not the Saudis, Bahrainis, or Kuwaitis, and of course not the Egyptians themselves. The Egyptians see Iraq, see Afghanistan, and they want their fair share of the loot. Muslims want, kuffar provide. That is as Allah wills it.
[Journalist Hadi] Fakihi said the US president would be judged on the actions that he takes on the ground rather than the empty rhetoric.
"In any case America did not play any role in the changes that have or are taking place in the region. We all know it. This is our script. What is your contribution? Nothing," he added.
Whatever level of largesse, whatever level of involvement, the U.S. Administration thinks is sufficient to win the hearts and minds of Muslims in Dar al-Islam, it isn't. Poll after poll show that our efforts are not recognized, appreciated, or desired. It's not working. More importantly, it can never "work" in the way that we think it should. It can never be two societies working together in equal partnership to achieve our shared mutual goals, because we are not their equals, we are filthy kufirs, and our goals of spreading tolerance and freedom are antithetical to their goals of removing all resistance to the imposition of sharia and slavery to Allah.
"The US can go to any extent, when its interests are at stake," said Ameer Siddiqui, a local Pakistani banker, adding that the future of the US is bound to the Middle East and North Africa. The two regions have shared economic and security interests, Siddiqui observed.
President Obama's speech seems to be more directed toward his own constituency and his political fortunes than the problems in the Middle East, said Naif Al-Hazmi, a Saudi teacher. He said that Obama must understand the real problems that plague the Middle East region instead of trying to act like a "super cop."
I would love to hear what he thinks are the "real problems that plague the Middle East region". I think it would be most instructive to the kuffar. Let's hear the calls for the destruction of Israel. Please do go on. Let's listen to the conspiracy theories about the Protocols of Zion, and the Mossad and the C.I.A., and the eternally victimized, eternally helpless, ummah.
In point of fact, there is one major, central, fundamental problem with "the Middle East region", and that problem was created 1,350 years ago by a morally degenerate madman.