By Investor's Business Daily
Middle East: While declaring that "America and Islam . . . need not be in competition," President Obama called on Islamic countries to embrace Western ways. But Islamic hard-liners see no "new beginning."
In his much-hyped speech at Cairo University on Thursday to promote "a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world," the president came armed with apologies and compliments.
The West is guilty of anti-Muslim "colonialism," not to mention "a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations."
The left often accused Ronald Reagan of naivete for believing the Soviet Union could be relegated to "the ash heap of history"; here we are 20 years later apologizing for defeating the Evil Empire.
According to President Obama, Islam can be thanked for everything from "Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment" to "algebra," "our magnetic compass," "pens and printing" and "our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed."
And as if speaking on the set of Dr. Phil, he claimed "we must say openly to each other the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors."
In fact, the Muslims that America has a problem with — i.e., Islamofascists — seldom have trouble expressing what they hold in their hearts. Often it's sheer hatred for the West.
Iran's supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for instance, immediately called the Obama speech "sweet and beautiful talks to the Muslim nation . . . that will not create a change," adding that Israel is still a "cancerous tumor in the heart" of the Muslim world.
After the flattery and the mea culpas, however, came an internally inconsistent message.
After saying "no system of government can or should be imposed by one nation by any other," the president added — rather dictatorially — that "you must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise . . . ."
Sounds like the U.S. system to us.
The real diktats, however, were saved for the Israelis. "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements," the president said.
And instead of rallying the Islamic world against a would-be nuclear Iran, he made the pronouncement that "no single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons."
Does that mean we've given up on stopping Iran from having a nuclear bomb? If so, that's a very dangerous signal to send.
Compare that with another Democratic president, Harry Truman, after the bombing of Hiroshima: "Having found the bomb, we have used it. . . . It is an awful responsibility which has come to us. We thank God that it has come to us, instead of to our enemies."
This president said he seeks the day "when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together, as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus and Mohammed, peace be upon them, joined in prayer."
He intends to establish that paradise-on-earth by having U.S. taxpayers finance initiatives such as "new science envoys to collaborate on programs that develop new sources of energy, create green jobs, digitize records, clean water, grow new crops."
Sweet talk and the Almighty Dollar can buy a lot, it's true.
But only a fairy-tale mind-set could think it possible to bribe and cajole the Middle East into becoming a land of peace, love and understanding.
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