President Obama will give his much anticipated speech directed at the muslim world in Cairo, Egypt on Thursday, June 4th.
He will also add a stop over visit to Saudi Arabia.
One wonders if he will be as critical to both of these countries as he has been with Israel.
Saudi Arabia is a human rights hell, with capital punishment consisting of public beheadings, flogging, and amputations.
It is a breeding ground for militant Wahabi teachings.
Women are treated as property, often openly abused by males, with no legal recourse. They are denied many basic rights. 75% are illiterate, none are allowed to drive.
It is an authoritarian regime, consisting of a “monarchy”.
Egypt has one of the worst human rights records in the world, including under the present leadership of Hosni Mubarak.
The press is still dominated by state-run entities. Homosexuals are routinely harassed. Female circumcision is still practiced, though technically outlawed. The brutal group, the Muslim Brotherhood is increasing its influence. Dozens of arms smuggling tunnels were found connecting Egypt and the Gaza strip during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead. Accusations of election rigging are the norm.
When asked if Egypt was a proper choice for this speech, given its putrid track record of human rights, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs flippantly explained:
“The scope of the speech, the desire for the president to speak, is bigger than where the speech was going to be given or who’s the leadership of the country where the speech is going to be given,” he said.
“This is a continuing effort of the president to engage the Muslim world.”
“All of this gives the president the opportunity hopefully to extend the hand to those that in many ways are like us but simply have a different religion.”
Bizarrely, Gibbs also added that Obama’s great-uncle helped to liberate Buchenwald.
This is germane to the situation, how?
I guess if Obama were able to speak in North Korea, he would emphasize just how much our two peoples have in common, and dismiss the social injustice inflicted upon its people by the government.
Of course, no substantial dialog concerning Egypt’s, Saudi Arabia’s, or Islam’s role in world conflicts and mores will be discussed in any meaningful way. Some lip service will be paid to it, just like his gentle tut-tuts given to Europe and their anti-Americanism.
Expect it to be part Kum-by-ya, part apology, with a bit of subtle anti-Israeli rhetoric tossed in for good measure.