Obama not exactly winning the future in Libya
I’m convinced that listening to Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech — not the words, but the man — were more than a few young Arabs who were saying to themselves: “Hmmm, let’s see. He’s young. I’m young. He’s dark-skinned. I’m dark-skinned. His middle name is Hussein. My name is Hussein. His grandfather is a Muslim. My grandfather is a Muslim. He is president of the United States. And I’m an unemployed young Arab with no vote and no voice in my future.” I’d put that in my mix of forces fueling these revolts.
That was Tom Friedman in a recent column. What he writes must be true, because like, Friedman writes for the Times and is therefore, like, super smart.
Unfortunately for Friedman, he still thinks his 2009 fantasies are still valid, because 2011 has an alternate reality:
A coalition of six youth groups that emerged from Egypt’s revolution last month has refused to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who arrived in Cairo earlier today, in protest of the United States’ strong support for former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who was ousted by the uprising.
“There was an invitation for members of the coalition to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton but based on her negative position from the beginning of the revolution and the position of the US administration in the Middle East, we reject this invitation,” the January 25 Revolution Youth Coalition said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
Apparently, these young Egyptian rebels didn’t listen to Barack Hussein Obama’s speech in Cairo, despite the fact that they only live there. Unlike Friedman’s fantasies, they did indeed have a voice in their future, and they made change happen on the streets of Cairo. All of that, in spite of Barack Hussein Obama, not because of him. Can you blame the Egyptians in giving the administration a big “thanks, but no thanks”?
And this is in Egypt, where the revolution went off relatively smooth, as Mubarak washed his hands of the whole thing and went on his permanent vacation. Imagine how the young revolutionaries in Libya feel right now? As Colonel Qaddafi is steam-rolling the rebels, murdering his own people, while President Speechmaker’s administration and the world community dawdle over what’s appropriate.
We were told all along that Obama would take a more “pragmatic” approach to the Muslim world. No more pissing off Muslims with military interventions that would just tick them off even more than they already were. No, we were told, they hated us because of George Bush and the neocons. Well, Obama made his nation building speech. A lot of good that did.