The analysis poureth forth! My brain’s already gone into overdrive today – had to spend half the afternoon figuring out if I could go home early to watch the speech (couldn’t, had a 5 PM meeting), where I’d watch it (in 2 different offices at work), and following twitter (brain now confundled mass. kudos to alex for literally tweeting the crap out of the speech and getting his tweets quoted on the Atlantic). Now that Google Reader is in overdrive, I’m just going to grab some Panadol and carry on.
Here are my picks so far for must-reads:
Mark Lynch at Foreign Policy appears to have really liked the speech. According to him “the rollout of the speech already stands as one of the most successful public diplomacy and strategic communications campaigns I can ever remember — and hopefully a harbinger of what is to come.” He’s also pointed out the shift in describing the Palestinians’ plight: “I don’t think I have ever heard any American politician, much less President, so eloquently, empathetically, and directly equate the suffering and aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians.”
KABOBfest said the speech was Clintonite (Oh, isn’t Bill going to be happy if he reads that!) and while I personally don’t agree with the take, the retorts to Obama are hilarious – including “ “I do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight.” – Campaign promise broken!” and ” “Now, that must be our work here on Earth.” Obligatory Star Trek reference #1.”
Ali Abunimah of The Electronic Intifida- writing in the Guardian – has called Obama a ‘Bush in sheep’s clothing’. This part below is reflective of how US presidents talk about Palestine:
Nowhere were these blindspots more apparent than his statements about Palestine/Israel. He gave his audience a detailed lesson on the Holocaust and explicitly used it as a justification for the creation of Israel. “It is also undeniable,” the president said, “that the Palestinian people – Muslims and Christians – have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation.”
Suffered in pursuit of a homeland? The pain of dislocation? They already had a homeland. They suffered from being ethnically cleansed and dispossessed of it and prevented from returning on the grounds that they are from the wrong ethno-national group. Why is that still so hard to say?
The Daily Intel has a round-up from different news sources, and Al-Jazeera reported that a Hamas official thought Obama’s speech had a Martin Luther King touch. Clearly, Hamas is figuring out how they can get on Obama’s good side.
In another post-speech thought, wasn’t it patronizing when he said “Hamas does have some support in Palestine..”
More thoughts later. This is going to be a long news month ahead – I’m particularly looking forward to tweeting the Pakistan budget for 2009/2010 on June 12. The name-calling in the National Assembly and token walk-outs are always fun – must remember to find a bag of popcorn this time around.