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The anticipated speech - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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According to the preliminary information about the speech contents that was leaked, the basic points will be about the Arab revolutions breaking out now in the region and the peace efforts between the Israelis and Palestinians. It is said that the television speech to be delivered from inside the White House will last 45 minutes, which is a long time in proportion to modern television. The Syrian event is expected to take up a very important part of the speech in which he will express the stand of the US administration and international community and their demands from the consequences of the successive and very bloody events.

President Obama will make a mistake if he does not read what is happening in the Arab world accurately and clearly because what is happening now is that there are peoples that have woken up searching for their dignity and freedom like the peoples of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Tibet, Burma, and others. The free world that is promoting freedom and rights day and night must back this movement instead of standing obsequiously and hypocritically and denying many cases of tyranny and despotism.

President Obama will be very wrong if he does not realize that the successive Palestinian intifadas inside the occupied territories stem from the same principle. They are by a people living under an oppressive, domineering, and despotic regime practicing the fiercest forms of violence and codified genocide through deportation, humiliation, and deprivation and is backed by the world’s military and political might. The belief that there are “some kinds” of injustice which can be fought and others which can be denied is the beginning of the mistake and increases the extent of suspicion, apprehension, and concerns about US intentions and policies in the region.

President Obama will make a mistake if he believes the Arab world wants a lecture about “Al-Qaeda” and Osama Bin Laden because they do not exist anymore. They are from the past and there is now a more important moment in time, a moment for dignity, freedom, rights, and finding a new role for them in a new and changing world being drawn up by a new generation of youths. It is the new Arab moment.

Many still remember President Obama’s famous speech at Cairo University and promoted as a frank, direct, and open message to the Muslim world. It was unprecedented in its presentation and purport but disappointing because of the massive “vacuum” in achieving and fulfilling the promises.

The people realize today that the countdown for President Obama’s election program has started and that he will be accountable to the American voter and the pressure and influential forces for every word he says and therefore he will be unable to achieve what he will promise in terms of the issue of peace between Palestine and Israel because he is incapable of pressuring Israel to move, particularly in light of the unification of the Palestinian parties’ stands after a long disagreement.

There is hope that President Obama will be able to focus on resisting despotism and injustice and not enabling the ruling organs to kill and terrorize their people as had happened with the knowledge, realization, and denial of successive US administration because this kind of policy is now difficult to accept in an open and transparent era.

Barack Obama is not George Bush (there are not many like George W. Bush at any rate but that is another discussion). But as a President who came to the presidential seat with a great ambition and carrying the hopes and good opinion of the world he must justify at least for himself that he deserves the Nobel Prize for peace which was granted to him “in advance” for an achievement of which nothing has been accomplished so far. The anticipated speech and the policies, legislations, and decisions that will follow it could be a step in that direction.

We will listen, see, and then judge! The crucial factor is not just the speeches and words. We are basically sick of this method.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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