Obama’s Cairo Speech

The Failure of Resistance and Refusal


In his critique of the first one thousand days of President Barak Obama’s presidency, and what he calls the “Obama Syndrome,” political commentator Tariq Ali notes, “From Palestine through Iraq to Iran, Obama has acted as just another steward of the American empire, pursuing the same aims as his predecessors, with the same means but with a more emollient rhetoric.”1 In an assessment of Obama’s June 2009 Cairo speech, and in seeming agreement with Ali’s characterization of Obama’s presidency, Deepa Kumar writes, “What Obama’s speech represents is a repackaging of U.S. imperial aims in liberal terms. It heralds a new rhetorical approach built on the ashes of the now widely discredited cowboy diplomacy of the Bush era.”2


Middle East Nuclear Weapon Arab World Muslim World Religious Extremist 
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  1. 1.
    Tariq Ali, The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad (London: Verso, 2010), pp. 56–57.Google Scholar
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    See Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank’s Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (London: AK, 2012).Google Scholar
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    Mahmood Mamdami, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror (New York: Pantheon, 2004).Google Scholar
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    See Fareed Zakaria’s From Wealth to Power: The Unusual Origins of America’s World Role (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999); The Post-American World (New York: W. W. Norton, 2007); and The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad (New York: W. W. Norton, 2009).Google Scholar
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© Matthew Abraham 2014

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