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Obama must do more to solve Mideast mess

By unknown | Jun 10, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THIS sums up US President Barack Obama's much-vaunted speech to the Muslim world.

THIS sums up US President Barack Obama's much-vaunted speech to the Muslim world.

Comments and analysis from Arab streets as reflected on Al-Jazeera, CNN and BBC suggest that while his message is generally welcome, scepticism abounds.

This is mainly due to the bitter price paid by many in the Muslim world for trusting US governments more than necessary. The other is knowing that actions speak louder than words and that as yet his speech contained no more than articulate sounds.

What is intriguing is that while global anticipation of ground-breaking decisions to "mend Muslim fences" heightened expectations, it's the re-affirmation of neo-conservative rationale that seemed at odds with his "re-imagination".

As much as he sounded like a preacher or an imam, Obama retained a military quality. From women's rights to democracy; human rights to economic development and decrying regime change to practising it, his range covered the entire gambit of life on earth in idealistic rhetoric. Yet it was incomplete!

After softening feelings in Israel, he confirmed an oft-repeated claim by Muslims: "The situation for the Palestinians is intolerable". This cold brutal fact alongside his equally harsh admonishing of Israel's need to acknowledge Palestinian suffering and Palestine's "right to exist", is the closest any US president has ventured to unsettle Zionist colonialism. Yet he did not go far enough. Words alone can't heal the wounds of centuries.

Iqbal Jassat, chairman: Media Review Network


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